THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN SCAR TISSUE AND HAIRBALLS
"We can also think of this fascial scarring and adhesion in terms of hair. Remember our example of well-manicured hair that a comb or brush glides through easily? Now think of the exact opposite. Think of a hair tangle. What happens to hair that is not well taken care of, or was slept on wet? Instead of the individual hair follicles lying parallel to each other in a neat and orderly fashion, they become tangled with the individual hair fibers running in every conceivable direction. The result is a tangled mess —— a ball of hair that takes forever just get a comb or brush through it. “Hair balls” can be so restrictive that just trying to get a comb through it, pulls and causes great pain. This is even more true with fascia." Dr. Russell Schierling from his Destroy Chronic Pain site.
"Dr Schierling; just a quick note. My name is Michael Boyle, I'm a strength coach based in Boston. One of my coaches forwarded me your blog link and I loved the analogy of fascia and hair ( combed vs. uncombed) and I want to tell you that I will eventually use it in a blog or article. Thanks for a great analogy." Michael Boyle, owner of one of America's top gyms as voted on by Men's Health (Body by Boyle), as well as being the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Boston University Men's Hockey Team --- the 2009 National Champions.
Fascia is not only the most abundant connective tissue in the body, it is arguably the most pain-sensitive as well. On top of this, in most areas of the body it is so thin that it cannot be seen with even the most advanced imaging techniques commonly in use today (for example, MRI). Couple these factors with the fact that fascial injuries are exceedingly common, and you can see a PERFECT STORM brewing on the horizon. This is especially true when you realize that FASCIA is found everywhere. It's a big reason I have written so many articles on this subject. Below you'll find a few of them.
There are tons of others. If your doctors are having a difficult time telling you why you are having CHRONIC PAIN, or are treating your Chronic Pain to no avail, take a few minutes to read about Fascia. These articles may provide a glimpse of hope. When you are trying to cope with Chronic Pain, a little hope goes a long way.
OTHER EXAMPLES OF TANGLES
PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME & SCIATICA
One of the hallmarks of PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME is that like DISC PROBLEMS, it has the ability to cause SCIATICA (leg pain). One of the hallmarks of Workman's Comp is that people tend to get the run-around. Annette had been a patient for quite sometime, as had her HUSBAND; so when she developed severe hip / buttock pain at work, she knew where to come. Unfortunately, in Missouri, patients injured at work cannot choose their own doctor (the employer along with the WC carrier sends you to the "Company Doctor"). As usual, Workman's Comp had her on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND; a place she knew she did not want to be considering what her husband had gone through several years prior (look at the link above). I saw Annette ONE TIME in the latter part of last year, and did not see her again until yesterday. Rather than me tell you about how well she is doing, I'll let her tell you herself. For those that are interested, I have many other POSTS & VIDEO TESTIMONIALS on Piriformis Syndrome. Enjoy.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FIBROMYALGIA AND NEUROPATHY?
What is the chief reason that LOW CARB DIETS work (my preference is PALEO because it does such a good job of dealing with INFLAMMATION, GLUTEN, AUTOIMMUNITY, and LEAKY GUT SYNDROME)? I have been telling people for a very long time that if you truly want to get healthy, the very first thing you'll have to do is strictly control your Blood Sugar (HERE). Failure to keep your blood sugar on an even keel (huge PEAKS and even deeper VALLEYS) is the hallmark of UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR.
I bring all of this up to tell you that there is a growing number of physicians and researchers who believe that FIBROMYALGIA is the result of NEUROPATHY throughout the smaller nerves of the body. In other words, many believe that instead of "CENTRAL SENSITIZATION" with Fibromyalgia, the problem is that Neuropathy is present not only in the larger nerves of the Nervous System, but the smaller nerves as well ("Small Fiber Neuropathy"). There is actually a lot of research that backs this theory up, with the latest study coming out of the most current edition of Arthritis and Rheumatology. It seems that not only were there about 20% fewer superficial nerve fibers present in those who had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, but they also had high levels of a specific marker of Inflammation (IL-2R --- a marker in some Autoimmune Diseases). HERE is a partial list of inflammatory markers that indicate whether a person has high levels of systemic (whole body) Inflammation present. I would say that the argument is no longer whether or not this Small Fiber Neuropathy is present in people with Fibromyalgia, but whether it is actually causing the problem, or merely a symptom of the problem.
There are any number of reasons that my vote would be that this Small Fiber Neuropathy is a symptom as opposed to being the actual cause of the problem. We know that Small Fiber Neuropathy is a characteristic of many chronic pain syndromes. Chronic Pain has the ability to alter the nervous system (brain atrophy is one of the most well known), and my best guess is that Small Fiber Neuropathy is just one more example of this phenomenon. We also know that a diagnosis of Neuropathy does not account for all the other problems commonly seen with Fibromyalgia (MIGRAINE HEADACHES, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES such as IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS, or others ---- click on the "Autoimmune" link above for a list).
The truth is, we have known for a very long time that Fibromyalgia is intimately linked to something called "ADRENAL FATIGUE". After a certain amount of time (it's different for everyone) a body that is trying to process the quantum amounts of SUGAR (160 lbs per person per year) and starch in the typical American diet will start to fall behind. The further behind the body falls, the higher that blood sugar rises. One of the very first things the body will do to compensate for this failure of the pancreas alone to control blood sugar is kick in the Adrenal Glands (the stress glands that produce Cortisol) to help take up the slack. After a period of time (again, different for everyone) the Adrenal Glands become "burned out" or "fatigued". This is why you will never find a person who has Fibromyalgia who does not have Adrenal Fatigue. And because their sugar regulation system is so fouled up, these folks are almost always ADDICTED TO SUGAR AND STARCH as well. So; in answering the question of Fibromyalgia or Small Fiber Neuropathy, the point is almost moot. Why? Because you would deal with both in essentially the same manner --- the manner that I spoke of in the first sentence of this post.
Just remember that while Low Carb is a great starting point, for many of you it will not be enough. This is because TYPE II DIABETES is not simply a "Blood Sugar" issue. Type II Diabetes is considered one of the numerous "INFLAMMATORY" health problems. This means that it is driven not only by sugar (which is itself considered to be extremely inflammatory), but potentially by all sorts of other things as well. These can range from gluten or dairy (or other food sensitivities), to heavy metal toxicity, to parasites, to XENOHORMONE EXPOSURE, to POOR GUT HEALTH, chronic bacterial or viral infections, or any number of others. This is why "MONOTHERAPIES" (taking supplements for symptoms in the same way one would take drugs for the symptoms) are never a solution for any health problems, including Fibromyalgia.
RELIEF FROM CHRONIC NECK PAIN
“That gluten sensitivity is regarded as principally a disease of the small bowel is a historical misconception. Gluten sensitivity can be primarily and at times exclusively a neurological disease.” Dr. Marios Hadjivassilou from a 2002 issue of the British Medical Journal's, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. He is defeating the argument that there is no such thing as "non-celiac" Gluten Sensitivity.
"After speaking with Perlmutter, Dr. Oz agreed that consuming healthy fats and limiting carbs can help prevent and even reverse conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and ADHD. Perlmutter is not alone in his assessment that a low-carb, high-fat diet can curb disease. Cardiologist William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, said it can reverse diabetes. And obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman said a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet produces rapid weight loss without exercise or calorie-counting. Dr. Westman detailed how the ketogenic diet accelerates weight loss without deprivation in his book A Low Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Manual." From an article in the October 21, 2013 issue of Examiner.com called Dr. Oz: Low-carb, high-fat diet can reverse Alzheimer's, diabetes, ADHD. After consulting with Dr. Perlmutter, Dr. Oz is changing his stance on eating a diet high in whole grains and avoiding fats.
"Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered a new link between celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by consumption of gluten, and dementia or other forms of cognitive decline." From the October 12, 2006 issue of ScienceDaily (the research was published in that month's issue of Archives of Neurology).
The benefits of "Low Carb" are really nothing new. Not only was cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins talking about the numerous health problems associated with processed carbs, grains, and sugar back in the early 1970's (1972's The Atkins Diet Revolution), there were many before him preaching the same message. DR ROYAL LEE and others were warning people about the dangers of processed grains clear back in the 1920's. There were several early nutritional pioneers who understood that the modern milling process leached virtually all the nutrients from grains, leaving nothing but empty carbohydrates. In fact, in one of his newsletters, Dr. Lee wrote that, "The vitamin of flour is lost as soon as its oils becomes rancid, a change that occurs in a few days after the milling of the grain unless the flour is refrigerated".
We are being duped to think that the products we are purchasing and consuming under the auspices of "Whole Grain" are wholesome and healthy. The fact is, we live in a society whose way of eating is based largely on processed grains. On top of that, our government is telling us we should consume up to 14 servings of grain a day (HERE), while the majority of the sugar comes from grain as well (HFCS). The truth is, it is difficult to avoid grains in our society. But it is increasingly looking like this might be a necessary step in avoiding CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES as well as a host of Neurological Diseases such as PARKINSON'S, EPILEPSY, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, HASHIMOTO'S THYROIDITIS, NEUROPATHY, and numerous AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS.
Who is correct in this argument? The studies are all there for everyone to look at. All I can tell you is that person after person who makes the commitment to go GLUTEN FREE sees substantial changes not only in their GUT HEALTH (LEAKY GUT SYNDROME), but in their neurological systems as well. This should not be a surprise considering what we already know about the NEUROLOGICAL EFFECTS OF GLUTEN and the fact that most (80%) of one's Immune System is found in the Gut (HERE). Let's play the devil's advocate though, and say that Gluten has nothing whatsoever to do with Alzheimer's. It's almost a moot point. Why? Because we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES (such as those found in grains) do cause / contribute to Alzheimer's Disease (HERE) simply because they contribute to UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR and INSULIN RESISTANCE. Believe whomever you wish, but if the doubters are wrong, and non-celiac's with Gluten Sensitivity are creating AUTOIMMUNE RESPONSES against their own brains; the results will be disastrous (see Dr. Hadjivassilou's 12 year old quote from the very top of the page).
I guess you could always look at the bright side. If you do get Alzheimer's, it will probably only be a short mater of time until you are unaware of the fact. Trust me on this one. I never see people who cut sugar and crappy, processed carbs from their diets who feel worse after doing so. Furthermore, the leap from Low Carb to Gluten Free is a small one. If you value your brain, take the plunge.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN PCOS, LOW LIBIDO, UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR, AND HIGH TESTOSTERONE
"Androgen excess is the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age. Androgens are produced primarily from the adrenal glands and the ovaries. However, peripheral tissues such as fat and skin also play roles in converting weak androgens to more potent ones. Androgen excess can affect different tissues and organs, causing variable clinical features such as acne, hirsutism, virilization [masculinization] and reproductive dysfunction." From the opening paragraph of Dr. Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman's online article called Adrogen Excess. Abdel-Rahman is a Reproductive Endocrinologist at Sohag University in Egypt.
Generally speaking, when men have chronic health problems they end up with low libidos, which is actually one of the first signs of ill health in males (HERE). They are usually told that this is the result of "LOW T" (not enough testosterone), although Low T has a number of underlying causes. Women can likewise end up with low libidos as the result of long-standing generalized health problems. You have heard me say repeatedly that UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR --- even in the absence of full-blown DIABETES ---- is at the root of almost every health problem you can name.
One of the most visible examples of this phenomenon is something called PCOS. We know that PCOS is heavily linked to both blood sugar and INSULIN RESISTANCE. So much so in fact, that it is frequently treated with Diabetes drugs such as metformin. With PCOS, women's bodies fail to respond normally to insulin (they require more), and on top of this they make much more testosterone than they need. And as you might have imagined from this post's title, this affects the libido, but not in the way that seems obvious from what you've learned so far (SUGAR IS TURNING MEN INTO WOMEN AND WOMEN INTO MEN).
Although some women with PCOS will actually have an increased sex drive (intuitively, this makes sense), the majority will have a dramatically decreased (or even non-existent) libido. As I'll show you in a moment, much of this depends on what's going on with testosterone levels. So, PCOS is not only the number one cause of INFERTILITY in America (it's arguably America's #1 female endocrine problem), but also a huge contributing factor to SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION as well. While the medical community is busy trying to solve this problem with a host of drugs and procedures (including IVF), I would like to show you what you can do to start the process of getting your life, your fertility, and your libido back on track. Why am I talking about this on my blog? Read the email I got from R.F. of the Seattle area just the other day.
Dear Dr. Schierling,
I am at my wits end. I am a 38 year old married female in very poor physical condition. I admit that I am severely addicted to sugar, sweets, and fast food. Although I was an athlete in college and took great care of myself, over the course of the past 15 years (two healthy teenagers), I have gained over 100 pounds (I am 5'7"). I have been to lots of doctors, and although they all tell me that among other things I have PCOS, nothing they prescribe seems to work for me. I am now on antidepressants along with several other medications. I have absolutely no libido and my husband is becoming more distant by the day. What advice can you give me? I am willing to do anything. Just please do not just tell me to eat less and exercise more like my doctor does. That approach does not work. I cannot go on living like this. Thank you for your website and the amazing amount of information you provide.
Sincerely, XXXXX XXXXX
When women end up with high levels of testosterone caused by Insulin Resistance, they also end up making excess Estrogen as well. This is why they not only end up with PCOS, but are thrown into ESTROGEN DOMINANCE at the same time. Because the female hormones get fouled up, one of the common solutions is to get a prescription for certain hormones (bio-identical hormones are particularly hot right now) to "balance" things out (HERE). With women, it is often some sort of HRT, with men, it is taking testosterone for the supposed "Low T". Let me show you why in and of itself, this is extremely short-sighted.
Don't get me wrong, someone who really knows what they are doing with these hormones can make some dramatic changes in symptoms --- at least for awhile. The problem is that virtually all of the hormones in your body are on negative feedback loops ---- the same sort of loop your air conditioner and heater are on. A thermostat has an adjustable set point, and shuts off your heat or air once the desired temperature is achieved. When the temperature changes, the thermostat fires your unit up again. Hormones are on similar thermostat-like feedback loops. When the body has enough of a hormone, it will shut down endogenous (its own) production. This is why bodybuilders who take testosterone end up with shriveled testicles.
THE TESTOSTERONE DICHOTOMY
Your body's tissues / cells communicate with each other via a number of chemicals. These chemicals have interesting names like CYTOKINES, chemokines, interleukins, or any number of others. We like to refer to these chemicals collectively as "Inflammation". Not too long ago I was at a nutritional seminar where the speaker made an interesting statement. When referring to solving chronic disease states, he said, "Inflammation is everything". In other words, find out what is driving INFLAMMATION, and you'll likely be a long way to solving your problem. Sugar is extremely inflammatory, as is JUNK FOOD. For many people, GLUTEN is massively inflammatory. The list is extensive, and can include everything from heavy metals to parasites. In fact, it can be nearly endless.
What does this have to do with PCOS? Listen to what Hethir Rodriguez of the Natural Fertility Info website has to say on this subject. "It has also been found that women with PCOS have low-grade inflammation, which may be a cause for insulin resistance. White blood cells produce substances to fight infection, this is known as inflammatory response. In some predisposed people eating certain foods, or exposure to certain environmental factors may trigger an inflammatory response. When inflammatory response is triggered, white blood cells produce substances that may contribute to insulin resistance and atherosclerosis." If you want to see a list of the "substances" she is talking about, HERE is a post on the subject.
But back to the question at hand. Why do you find some women with PCOS who are obese and some who are not (because 70% of our society is overweight or obese, most of those with PCOS are naturally going to fall into this category)? And why do you find some women whose sex drive is off the charts, while others (the majority) have sex drive that are in the dumps? There are any number of reasons, but I will attempt to shine some light on a few that I am aware of. I am sure that I am just scratching the surface.
- LENGTH OF TIME WITH THE PROBLEM: When researching this post, it seemed that generally speaking, the vast majority of the women touting increased sex drive with PCOS had not been living with the problem for very long. It also seemed like they were not, for the most part, women struggling with the most hardcore PCOS Symptoms. In other words, I am not sure if I recall seeing a post from a woman with all of the PCOS SYMPTOMS saying that she had a raging libido. In fact, many had no other symptoms than high testosterone on their blood work, and the inability to get pregnant (they may or may not have been overweight).
- SHBG: SHBG stands for Sex Hormone Binding Globlulin. Women manufacture testosterone in several places (25% from the adrenals, 25% from the ovaries, and about half comes from the conversion of androstenedione in the fatty tissues). However, when it comes to testosterone, the number that really matters is how much free testosterone is circulating in the blood stream --- most labs will say this is about 30-75 ng/dl, which is only about 1% of one's total testosterone. According to Dr. Mohamed Yahya Abdel-Rahman, some of the things that cause SHBG to "unbind" from testosterone and leave women with increased levels of free testosterone circulating in their bodies includes HYPOTHYROIDISM (sometime take a moment and compare the symptoms of Hashimoto's to PCOS), EXCESS INSULIN / OBESITY (these two go together like peas in a pod), Glucocorticosteroids such as CORTISOL and CORTISONE, as well as excess androgens themselves. An interesting side note is that Estrogen is antagonistic to Testosterone (it decreases it), which is why the birth control pill is a commonly used medical treatment for PCOS. Just be aware that 'The Pill' has an incredible number of potential side effects itself --- particularly with long term use.
- ESTROGEN DOMINANCE: There are any number of reasons that women can have higher testosterone levels in their system, with PCOS being one of many. Some women simply have more T than others. Read the internet message boards on the subject or look at the peer-reviewed literature and you'll find that women who engage in heavy, complex, multi-joint weight lifting also seem to have both high testosterone levels and higher sex drives (HERE). Remember that although there are probably hundreds of reasons that women have androgenic hormones (testosterone or precursors such as DHEA) in their systems, conversion to Estrogen is one of the biggies. Over-conversion ("aromatization") is just one more thing that can lead to Estrogen Dominance, which is an epidemic among American women. And as far as I am aware, you simply do not find women with significant Estrogen Dominance who have heightened normal sex drives (they are always suppressed).
- GENETICS: I would never hope to tell you that genetics play no part in PCOS. However, it is critical that you understand that EPIGENETICS trumps genetics in case after case after case. "It's my genes" has become the excuse du jour. Once you understand that in many (arguably most) cases you have the ability to turn genes on or off via diet and lifestyle, it can be very empowering.
- POLLUTION / TOXIC LIVING: We are exposed to a wide array of pollutants on a daily basis (HERE), the majority of which are considered to be "ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS" (they are also known as XENOESTROGENS). Along this same line of thinking, having a toxic (or absent) microbiota (POOR GUT HEALTH) is being linked, along with blood sugar, to most health problems as well. This is loosely called "DYSBIOSIS", and along with a LEAKY GUT, is one of the major consequences of our nation's UNBRIDLED ANTIBIOTIC USE. Another point I have to make here is that it will be impossible to correct hormonal imbalances without being able to clear excesses from your body (HERE).
- STRENGTH TRAINING: STRENGTH TRAINING can increase androgen levels somewhat. However, because it is extremely effective at lowering insulin levels and increasing insulin sensitivity, you will never see it associated as a causal or contributing factor as far as developing PCOS is concerned.
Granted, there are many of you reading this that might very well require the services of someone trained in FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE. The thing is, according to any number of experts, DOING THE BASICS on your own will result in great improvement for many of you; probably the majority of you. For instance, you can already imagine what a PALEO or KETOGENIC DIET do for you! For a complete generic protocol (nothing to buy), take a look at THIS POST.
This post is not really geared for the person who is occasionally constipated, but for those people who deal with it every single day of their lives --- those who go to the bathroom every week or two ---- or even less frequently (yeah, I've seen it on numerous occasions). According to a 2006 meta-analysis of nearly 150 studies on the subject (Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology), "the incidence of constipation is determined to be >30% in the general population." In other words, darn near one in three Americans of all ages is constipated. In other words, there are a lot of folks you know who are, like you always suspected, literally full of it. Just remember that constipation is never really a diagnosis unto itself, but a symptom of a deeper problem. This means that dealing with this problem will probably entail more than simply taking that special formula you bought at the health food store.
The two types of constipation are "Obstructive" and "Hypomotility". Obstructive Constipation simply means that people "plug up" because they are full of impacted fecal matter. Hypomotility means that the rhythmic motion of the intestines called "peristalsis" slows to the point a person has trouble evacuating their bowel. Be aware that Hypomotility can and frequently does become Obstructive over time. Some of the reasons people become constipated also have to do with the medications they are on --- brutally common medications (STATINS, ANTIDEPRESSANTS, ACID BLOCKERS, and NARCOTICS are some of the biggest offenders). HYPOTHYROIDISM and UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR are both common causes as well. PARKINSON'S, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, and numerous other neurological issues can contribute to this problem also. IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME can cause both constipation and diarrhea. This does not even begin to get into the potential problems caused by things like polyps. There is also the mysterious "Slow Transit" (Severe Hypomotility --- sometimes called STC), which simply means that things move through the digestive tract extra slowly, and which doctors sometimes try and deal with via colostomy. This problem is thought to be caused by a deficiency of one of the chemicals related to intracellular communication, SUBSTANCE P (one of those chemicals that falls under the heading of "Inflammation").
- CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT: Although this should come as no surprise, I found numerous peer-reviewed studies linking OVERWEIGHT / OBESITY to constipation in both children and adults.
- EAT THE RIGHT FOODS: This goes hand-in-hand with the bullet point above. Heavily processed foods, SODA, SUGAR, and JUNK FOODS, are highly associated with constipation when compared to a healthy diet. It goes without saying that you need to be consuming lots of soluble and insoluble fiber (fruits, vegetables, etc). However, fiber is not the be-all end-all it has been made out to be concerning constipation. More on this in a moment.
- STAY AWAY FROM BAD FOODS: Some of these are obvious and go without saying. Some are more subtle. GLUTEN, for instance (most people who are sensitive to Gluten are also sensitive to dairy). Make sure to learn how some of the neurological diseases mentioned earlier are related to Gluten (HERE). HERE is a video from one of our patients who had this problem her entire life --- until she changed her diet.
- DRINK LOTS OF WATER: Notice I did not tell you to drink lots of fluids. I told you to drink lots of WATER. In most cases, the difference is huge (Green Tea is an exception to this rule --- particularly if it is hot).
- EXERCISE: Although this is fairly generic, it is important nonetheless. I have written on this topic extensively (HERE).
- EAT THE RIGHT FATS AND PLENTY OF THEM: Americans have been freaked out by dietary fat ever since the FAT-FREE 80's, when they got fatter than ever. If you are not getting enough good fats in your diet, you are setting yourself up for a host of health problems, including constipation. Coconut oil and EVOO are both excellent fats. The Livestrong website once said, "Saturated fats are difficult for your body to digest and can contribute to hard, difficult-to-pass stools. Your child should eliminate consumption of saturated fats to help alleviate abdominal pain associated with constipation." Terrible advice to say the least. FISH OIL, cod liver oil, and castor oil, can be beneficial for constipation as well. When possible, add lemon to your oil to really get things moving along (it's great for the liver and gall bladder).
- TAKE CARE OF YOUR LIVER AND GALLBLADDER: This is huge. A sluggish Liver / Gallbladder is going to sludge up your bile production, which fouls up your digestion, and can lead to constipation. BEETS are a good way to do this. Just be aware that any and all the medications you take affect the liver. This is why your meds can cause or contribute to constipation. There are any number of Gallbladder Cleanses online that are all basically the same (EVOO, lemon juice, organic apple juice, etc).
- ACIDIFY YOUR STOMACH: Although this is possibly the single most important bullet point on the list, I will warn you that this point is going to sound counter-intuitive for many of you. As crazy as it sounds, most people have too little (or too weak) stomach acid. If you want to see how this all works and how you have been duped into thinking you have too much or too strong stomach acid, read THIS POST. Along with acidification of your stomach, DIGESTIVE ENZYMES can be extremely beneficial as well --- especially for those not consuming raw vegetables (a chief source for such enzymes).
- LEARN ABOUT GUT HEALTH: Be aware of the numerous things including ANTIBIOTICS that literally destroy your GUT'S HEALTH. Fail to understand Gut Health, and constipation will be the least of your worries. You may need to take PROBIOTICS. Kombucha, Beet Kavass, Sauerkraut, DIRT, and any number of other fermented foods are helpful in this arena as well.
- GET PLENTY OF FIBER: If you are consuming lots of vegetation, great --- you should be fine. If not, get on it. As an extra source of fiber, I prefer FLAX SEEDS in a special drink (click the link) as an extra boost of fiber. Just remember that the more fiber you take in, the more water you will need to make it work. If you fail to follow this step, the fiber will actually act like a plug.
- COLONIC IRRIGATION OR ENEMAS: I realize that to many of you, this old-school method of dealing with constipation sounds terrible, but here's a fun fact for you. Go back fifty or sixty years, and if you were admitted to the hospital for whatever sort of problem, you were likely to get an enema. Why? Doctors still understood Gut Health and the fact that a clean bowel helped their patients heal better and faster.
- HERBAL OR OTHER SUPPLEMENTS: Many people use synthetic Vitamin C in large doses to help with constipation (this can actually promote diarrhea). To see why I am not a fan of this, you can click HERE. People do something similar with the mineral Magnesium, which I think is not a problem for most people. There are a host of formulas on the market for helping with constipation. While most are certainly not harmful, how beneficial they are, I cannot say. I do know that Aloe Vera seems to work well for lots of people. Also, as part of the Master's Cleanse (one that I have done many times), part of the process involves the "Epsom Salt purge" each morning first thing. It definitely works.
- HAVE YOUR SPINE ADJUSTED: The nerves that emanate from the spine control every function of the body. I cannot begin to tell you how many people, over the years, have found the solution for their constipation via CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS ---- even though they were coming in for something else (usually low back pain).
- FECAL MICROBIOTA TRANSPLANT: Look folks; if you've tried everything and nothing has worked, FMT is the likeliest answer. I put it last because many of these other things should be part of your health regimen anyway.
RETIRED DENTIST DISHES ON CHRONIC NECK, SHOULDER, AND HIP PAIN
Below is a recent testimonial from Dr. Winna. Dr. Winna entered the world of Chronic Pain almost 20 years ago via a skiing accident (CHRONIC NECK PAIN, CHRONIC SHOULDER PAIN, HIP PAIN, PIRIFORMIS). If you enjoy testimonials like Dr. Winna's, take a few moments to watch some of our nearly 200 VIDEO TESTIMONIALS.
In 1995 while snow skiing at Lake Tahoe, California, a snowboarder crashed into me causing a rotator cuff injury. Over the next ten years, I had three cortisone injections and took pain medications to no avail. I regularly used over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) to try and minimize the pain. I also have Fibromyalgia so I am always in some degree of pain. Then in 2011, while playing tennis on a Wii, I suddenly began to experience even worse shoulder pain.
I saw a sports medicine physician who sent me to a physical therapist. The PT said they see many people with this sort of injury because there is no resistance when playing the Wii. After several weeks of therapy, I felt only minimal relief. Not wanting to live in chronic pain any more, I researched my injury on the internet and found Dr. Schierling's website. After my first visit, I had very little pain. And after a follow up one week later, I was pain free. I have been playing tennis (real tennis) the past two summers.
I still suffered from chronic pain in both hips. Even though I see a chiropractor every week, he could not alleviate this pain. It became difficult to walk after only an hour or so. Dr. Schierling once again came to my rescue. I even traveled to Dublin, Ireland last Fall and was able to walk through the city every day with only minimal discomfort. Doctor Schierling has enabled me to look forward to many years of retirement which can now include sports and travel. God bless you Dr. Schierling!
Dr. Edwina J. Beasley
Chief Dental Officer, Retired
California Department of Corrections
CHRONIC NECK PAIN AND HEADACHES
HOW MANY AMERICANS STRUGGLE WITH THIS COMMON PROBLEM?
While there are a wide array of potential reasons for this (GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, FAILURE TO MANAGE BLOOD SUGAR, etc, etc), one of the more common is ADHESION OF THE FASCIA coupled with SUBLUXATION. If you are one of those people who can barely turn their head, or who gets relief from Chiropractic Adjustment, but it never seems to last; watch the video below. If you feel like it, you can watch some more videos (HERE). Cooper (below) was at the end of her rope. She had been through all sorts of tests, including BRAIN SCANS. The medical community's solution? DRUGS! Fortunately; for most of you there is a better and far less expensive way to deal with this problem. And the really cool thing is that doing it this way actually addresses underlying causes as opposed to simply covering symptoms.
CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR
CONTROL YOUR HEALTH
Recently, Yahoo ran an article by Eve O. Schaub called, "My Family Stopped Eating Sugar for a Year and This is What Happened". This short article chronicled the effects of her family of four going without sugar for one year after realizing that, "sugar is the thing that is making so many Americans fat and sick". After cutting out any and all foods containing added sugar, she began noticing changes. Some of the effects she described after going without sugar for a year included things like dramatically fewer sick days for her children (less illness), more energy, feeling healthier, feeling stronger, etc. The thing that sealed the deal for her was when she consumed a piece of banana cream pie on her husband's birthday. After going a year without sugar and then eating only a few pieces of a slice of pie, she virtually passed out on the couch for an hour with a racing heart and splitting headache.
Why don't we all react like this when we eat sugar? For the same reason that a heroin addict feels that fleeting feeling after ingesting the drug. But it doesn't take long for their body to begin screaming for the next fix. Fail to get it, and the addict will get physically sick. Many of us (self included) are SUGAR ADDICTS. And when we want to fool ourselves or others, we simply SUBSTITUTE "BAD" SUGAR FOR "GOOD" SUGAR. The problem is, even if the crazy amounts of sugar we are consuming is not (yet) making us fat (trust me; it will), it is making us unhealthy. The truth is, almost every non-genetic disease we can think of (and many that are widely considered to be "GENETIC") can be traced back to Uncontrolled Blood Sugar (HERE is one such example). Uncontrolled Blood Sugar simply means that whether or not your the numbers on your blood test are within range, you are putting massive stress on your Endocrine System via the sugar you are consuming. The following are some of the many posts that pertain directly to blood sugar (these are in no particular order).
If you spend any amount of time on my site, you'll find others --- many others (HERE is one I thought of after I finished). If you want any hope at solving your Chronic Illnesses, you must get your blood sugar under strict control. For those of you who are seriously struggling with CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY ILLNESSES or GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, CHEATING is not an option.
GUT HEALTH & DO-IT-YOURSELF FMT
FECAL TRANSPLANTS ARE HERE TO STAY
"Clinical levels of antibiotics can cause oxidative stress that can lead to damage to DNA, proteins and lipids [fats] in human cells....." Dr. Jim Collins, Ph.D. faculty at the Wyss Institute and Distinguished Professor at Boston University. Collins was discussing his research published in the latest issue of Science Translational Medicine for the July 3 issue of ScienceDaily.
"FMT using donor stool has arrived as a successful therapy." Dr Martin Floch, the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, from the September 2010 issue of the same (Fecal Bacteriotherapy, Fecal Transplant, and the Microbiome).
"Diabetes and even obesity, as well as Parkinson's disease, might be cured just by replacing the bacteria in your gut." From the January 19, 2011 issue of NewScientist (Fecal Transplant Eases Symptoms of Parkinson's). The article was discussing research by the famous Australian Grastroenerologist, Dr. Thomas Borody (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation and Emerging Applications) published in the December issue of the National Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. I wrote about bacteria and obesity HERE. I also happen to believe that science is close to telling us that PARKINSON'S is an Autoimmune Disease.
Although there are any number of ways to restore this flora (avoid SUGAR / STARCH, drink fermented drinks, eat fermented foods, eat plenty of fiber, WORK IN THE SOIL, take quality PROBIOTICS), there is an option that has been getting a lot of play lately --- especially among desperate, chronically sick (particularly AUTOIMMUNE) patients. That would be FECES TRANSPLANTS (sometimes referred to as FMT or Fecal Microbiota Transplantation). That's correct. I did not stutter. Not only are Stool Transplants being done for people with chronic Clostridiun Difficile (C. Diff) infections, they are being done for people with a wide variety of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES as well. Just not in America.
Although it sounds repugnant to those of us who are healthy, how many things as potentially effective as having two ounces of liquified feces "injected" into your bowel could be so easy? So easy you could do it at _ _ _ _? The truth is, there are a whole host of YouTube videos explaining / describing how you can go about performing this procedure on yourself in the privacy of your own home. And why, pray tell, would people want to do something like this at home instead of simply going to their doctor to have it done? Ask yourself which doctor is doing it right now? Very few. Although I believe there are many reasons for this, power and money are always the ones I look for first (not to mention, doctors would have to admit that their FREQUENTLY ABSURD PRESCRIBING HABITS FOR ANTIBIOTICS would probably called into question as a potential cause of the disease in the first place). We will delve deeper into this issue in a moment, but for those of you questioning the safety of such treatments, the track record is virtually spotless. After telling us that there are potential problems with the endoscopy itself, Dr. Lawrence Brandt, speaking in the March 2012 issue of Gastroenterology and Hepatology says, "otherwise, there have been no significant adverse side effects definitely attributable to fecal transplantation."
Despite the fact that European physicians are treating all sorts of Chronic Autoimmune Diseases with this technique and have been for years, the FDA is laying down even more restrictions and regulations concerning its use here in America. Since I reported that Stool Transplants were being used in the States to treat people with Chronic C. Diff infections (1/24/2013 --- HERE), the FDA declared that physicians who want to use the procedure in their clinics need to fill out an IND application (Investigational New Drug). Let's just say that the whole process of getting an IND can not only be a pain in the rear end, but going through the entire process can prove extremely time consuming and cost-prohibitive as well.
Last year Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, told Medpage Today that, "just putting [an IND] together and carrying it out and managing data to the level of sophistication required by the FDA, just running it all costs a lot of money." Even though the FDA is now allowing individual practitioners to perform these procedures without the IND for those with C. Diff, those with C. Diff is all they are allowed to treat in this fashion. What about the tens of millions of Americans with Autoimmunity? Despite the fact that the National Institutes of Health say there are 24 million Autoimmune Americans, the AARDA says that over 50 million Americans suffer from Autoimmune Disease. Why the difference? The NIH numbers only include 24 diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available. I have seen stats saying that one in 3 American adults have some sort of Autoimmune Disease.
Never forget that when doctors collect data, it's ultimately the government's use, to make more money, or both. Just follow the trail. Dr. Alm happens to own a company that collects, checks, and sells "Stool Specimens" for this procedure. His website says that his company works with doctors, "to make FMT easier, cheaper, safer and more widely available. We do so by providing hospitals with screened, filtered, and frozen material ready for clinical use. This service eliminates the time, staff, protocols, and facilities needed to screen and prepare material from new donors for each treatment. With OpenBiome, all that’s needed to deliver FMT is a doctor and an endoscope." This sounds rather good; sort of.
Firstly, I applaud Dr. Alm's entrepreneurial spirit. He saw a need, put a heck of a team together, and went about making it all happen. He will do well with this venture. And if the FDA ever lifts their restrictions against using this procedure for chronically ill people, Katie bar the doors. He and his company will be making money like there's no tomorrow. Secondly; understand that the drug companies are going to fight lifting the IND for use of this procedure for those with Autoimmune Diseases and chronic illnesses, tooth-and-nail. Why? It's really as simple as understanding the relationship between POOR GUT HEALTH, SICKNESS, AND DISEASE. Big Pharma wants you using drugs --- lifetime drugs --- to ward off the symptoms of your Autoimmune Disesases; not potentially cure them with a dukie enema. Again, the problem is currently that doctors cannot perform this procedure without an IND for non-C. Diff illnesses. Thirdly, are you really telling me that this procedure needs to be done with an endoscope? Use an "Rectal Syringe" and be done with it already. Fourthly, they are up against a public who is desperate for solutions. Although many love the comfort of their medical "box", there are millions of others who are ready and willing to step outside the box when given the facts.
Michael Hurst has the website FECAL TRANSPLANT DOT ORG. There are many other similar sites. One of the best is THE POWER OF POOP. To the uninitiated, this whole thing might sound like some sort of sick joke. But for those who have been CURED OF RA, IBS, FIBROMYALGIA, INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASES such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease, or any number of other Autoimmune Disease, this topic is as serious and real as it gets. Rather than me talk about it, I am going to let you watch Michael's video.
(For the record, I am not suggesting you do this. In fact, I would never suggest you do anything without getting your doctor's permission first. As I told you earlier, this website, blog post, and video are for informational purposes only. Again, do not even think of trying something like this at home without the express written consent of your doctor.)
MICHAEL HURST'S DIY STOOL TRANSPLANT (FMT) VIDEO
As I have said previously, ANTIBIOTICS are one of the top destroyers of health in the United States. And on top of it all, we are often times TOO CLEAN. For many people, it adds up to an Autoimmune Nightmare. After all, 80% OF YOUR TOTAL IMMUNE SYSTEM IS FOUND IN YOUR GUT. Destroy it and you are in deep trouble. Restore it and you have a fighting chance to get your life back. Getting your life back would be better than someone putting a gold brick in your lap and telling you to keep it. Just make sure that if Michael invites you over to his place for margaritas Friday evening, make sure to tell him that you'll be bringing your own blender!
YOU CAN TRUST THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY....
TO LIE, CHEAT, AND STEAL
Just yesterday, Reuters News Service reported that the same thing is allegedly going on in Iraq. "The latest controversy centers on claims that the company hired government-employed physicians and pharmacists in Iraq as paid sales representatives to improperly boost use of its products." Should we be surprised? Heck no! For "Big Pharma" this is just another day in the life --- a speed bump on the way to the next huge payday. It's always been more about profits than people, and this issue is getting worse not better.
WHAT'S THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY SAYING?
"The recent discovery that pain caused by a peripheral nerve injury can imprint itself in the Central Nervous System (Centralized Pain) ranks as one of the great advances in pain management. Although there has been some debate, these brain changes appear to be the result of chronic pain and not the cause [of the chronic pain]. Centralized Pain is often accompanied by symptoms of hyper-arousal of the Sympathetic Nervous System, which can be used to help guide diagnosis and treatment of Centralized Pain." Dr. Forrest Tennant, Pain Management Specialist, and Editor in Chief of Practical Pain Management, from his recent article, Chronic Pain and the Brain.
"As we will discuss shortly, pain that arises in the CNS (Central Nervous System) is frequently “learned” pain. In order to learn how to hit a golf ball, speak German, or play the banjo, you have to practice. And everyone remembers the old adage; practice makes perfect. Unfortunately, this is also how things tend to work when it comes to pain. If you stimulate pain pathways in the Brain & Nervous System long enough, or are exposed to enough stressors in your life (chemical, emotional, dietary, physical, bacterial, viral, parasitic, electro-magnetic, heavy metals, etc), you can alter the way your Brain and Central Nervous System function. Because pain can become pathologically locked into the CNS, the method of removing it must specifically target the CNS, as well as the metabolic causes of the pain." Dr. Russell Schierling, from the website DESTROY CHRONIC PAIN. This was written back in 2010.
Dr. Tennant tells us that when pain lasts longer than 3-6 months, it has the ability to, "adversely affect the individual's well being". One of the things that Dr. Tennant mentions is atrophy (shrinkage) of the Brain. I wrote about this on DSP, when I told you that, "For years neuro-scientists have known that Chronic Pain can cause brain atrophy that is indistinguishable from Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia. More recently The Journal of Neuroscience reported that “The longer the individual has had Fibromyalgia, the greater the gray matter loss, with each year of fibromyalgia being equivalent to 9.5 times the loss in normal aging.” Think about this for a moment. Every single year you live with Fibromyalgia or other Chronic Pain Syndromes is the equivalent of nearly 10 times the brain loss seen in the normal aging process." Dr. Tennant gives eight different references to scientific studies showing that, "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies recently have shown loss of grey matter density in patients with chronic pain". According to the research, this is at least somewhat reversible. Get rid of the pain and the brain will, at least to some degree, regain its mass.
- ANERGY: This is where your Immune System becomes so weak that it can no longer mount a response to antigens. This is commonly seen with Fibromyalgia / Adrenal Fatigue and associated problems.
- ANOREXIA: This is the weight loss not typically associated with "Anorexia Nervosa" which is intentional starvation.
- ANXIETY / DEPRESSION: I have written about this issue fairly extensively (HERE).
- DIARRHEA: Can anyone say IBS?
- FATIGUE: This is almost always due, at least in part, to overworked and burned out ADRENAL GLANDS. It goes hand-in-hand with, and is frequently seen in conjunction with THYROID ISSUES, INSULIN RESISTANCE, and other ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS.
- HEAT EPISODES: This is a common problem those who do not have may have never heard of. I routinely see people in my clinic who are "Heat Intolerant", particularly after TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES or WHIPLASH ACCIDENTS.
- INSOMNIA: As crazy as it sounds, even though these folks are exhausted, they have trouble sleeping.
- NAUSEA: The Parasympathetic Nervous System is associated with digestion. It's opposite --- Sympathetic Dominance --- is not. Failure to digest leads to numerous health problems.
- RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME: RLS is a form of PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY that is an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE (click the link for a list of others).
- TREMORS: Tremors come in all shapes and sizes, and are associated with a variety of different health issues.
- URINARY HESITANCY: Bladder Infections and Urinary Tract Infections are the result of this stasis / stagnation of urine in the bladder.
The only things I had on my list of things that cause, contribute to, or are associated with Sympathetic Dominance that Dr. Tennant did not have on his, were......
- MIGRAINE HEADACHES: HERE is more information.
- ADD / ADHD: HERE are several articles on this topic.
- BRAIN FOG: This is frequently seen in Fibromyalgia, Autoimmune Diseases, and GLUTEN INTOLERANCE.
- DRY SKIN / DRY EYES / DRY MOUTH: Because so many different drugs stimulate the Sympathetic Nervous System, these are the side effects associated with numerous medications as well.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
If, as Dr. Tennant says, these problems are permanent once they are locked into the CNS, why does it matter? Let me tell you why knowing this information matters. Go back to the quote from the top of the page and look at what Dr. Tennant says about this phenomenon of Centralized Pain. Carefully note that most experts believe Centralization, "appears to be the result of chronic pain and not its cause". Re-read that and let the magnitude of what it is saying sink in for a moment. Plainly stated, this means that the longer your pain goes on, the more likely you are to lock it into your Brain and Central Nervous System. In other words, you need to do whatever it takes to get to the root of your pain and solve it. This is true whether you are dealing with PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME or CHRONIC NECK PAIN. ADRENAL FATIGUE or NEUROPATHY. Let severe pain linger, and the odds for permanently imprinting these pathways in your Nervous System increase dramatically.
How would a person proceed to tackle their Chronic Pain issue? The first place to start is by looking at the body as a whole. Many people have SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS that they think are local (HERE and HERE are a couple of common examples). For those dealing with Chronic Pain, it would serve you well to go through my posts on UNIVERSAL CAUSES / UNIVERSAL CURES.
COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION TO GLUTEN?
"New research draws a connection between gluten-induced leaky brain damage and seizure disorders (epilepsy). We know that gluten sensitivity can cause seizure disorders. Additionally, we know that gluten sensitivity can contribute to blood brain barrier permeability (leaky brain). Now add to this the fact that a leaky brain will contribute to seizures and epilepsy. Thus the circle is complete. When added together these elements create a viscous unending cycle of perpetual food-induced damage. If you ask the doctor what the cause of the disease is, the most common reply is – “The cause is unknown (unknown etiology), but most likely genetic.”" From an article on the Gluten Free Society's website (Leaky Brain, Seizures, Epilepsy, & Gluten Sensitivity). This article was tackling several studies from 2009 and 2010. By the way, LEAKY BRAIN SYNDROME is a close relative of LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.
For starters, a 2006 study on the link between GLUTEN (Celiac Disease) and Epilepsy was published in the November 2006 issue of Neurologist. Listen to the what the authors had to say, "There is a well-documented relationship between epilepsy and celiac disease, including a syndrome characterized by epilepsy, occipital calcifications, and celiac disease. This case emphasizes the need to include celiac disease in the differential diagnosis when investigating the etiology of epilepsy......" All you need to be aware of with this study is that here is Celiac Disease is a Gluten-induced AUTOIMMUNE attack against the Small Intestine. Most cases of Gluten Sensitivity are NEUROLOGICAL IN NATURE and do not necessarily cause the GI symptoms so commonly associated with Gluten.
Harvard Medical School's Dr. Kenneth Mandl (a pediatrician) recently looked at insurance claims of 2.5 million Americans. He found that if you have Epilepsy, you were much more likely to have Autoimmune Diseases such as PSORIASIS, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, NEUROPATHY, or any number of others. Listen to what Dr. Mandl's team writes in JAMA Neurology. "Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, often with neither a known etiology nor an effective treatment. Autoimmune mechanisms have been increasingly identified. Epilepsy and autoimmune disease frequently co-occur; patients with either condition should undergo surveillance for the other. The potential role of autoimmunity must be given due consideration in epilepsy so that we are not overlooking a treatable cause." Oh, for those of you who have children, they are even more affected by this phenomenon than are adults ---- 520% instead of 400%. But then again, none of this is brand new information.
- "The aim of this review is to present current knowledge of the role of immunity in relation to seizures, with a particular emphasis on clinical data available in childhood. More specifically, various autoantibodies involved in autoimmune encephalitis and epilepsy and general pathophysiological hypotheses on the role of immunity in seizure genesis are discussed, specific epilepsy syndromes in which autoimmune components have been studied are summarized..." From the September 2017 issue of Pediatrics (The Immune System in Pediatric Seizures and Epilepsies)
- "Autoimmune encephalitides ("autoimmune epilepsies") may account for epilepsies of so far unknown cause. More than a dozen autoantibodies have been found with this constellation... In the first decade of this century, IgG autoantibodies against proteins on the surfaces of neurons were identified as markers and pathogens in autoimmune encephalitides that in approximately 80% of cases are accompanied by repetitive focal seizures..." From the June 2017 issue of Epilepsy Currents (Autoimmune Epilepsy: Encephalitis With Autoantibodies for Epileptologists)
- "The increasing incidence of new-onset seizures with age is well known. Often, the etiology cannot be clarified. Our findings suggest that autoimmunity should be considered an important etiology in patients with late-onset seizures. Testing for neural antibodies and brain MRI may be worthwhile in this patient group." From the September 2017 issue of Epilepsia (Prevalence and Outcome of Late-Onset Seizures Due to Autoimmune Etiology)
- "LGI1-antibodies are closely associated with a limbic encephalitis which is characterized by confusion, disorientation and seizures, frequently with medial temporal lobe inflammation on imaging [LGI1 is a cancer-suppressing protein]. The seizures include typical medial temporal lobe events and more distinctive semiologies including bradycardia, piloerection, and faciobrachial dystonic seizures (FBDS). These multiple seizure descriptions appear in several separate reports." From the August 2017 issue of Seizure (LGI1-Antibody Encephalitis is Characterized by Frequent, Multifocal Clinical and Subclinical Seizures)
- "The range of neurologic dysfunction in gastrointestinal diseases is broad and spans the spectrum from peripheral to central processes. Peripheral neuropathy, myopathy, myelopathy, cerebrovascular events, epilepsy, encephalopathy, and cerebellar dysfunction have all been described. Neurologists should be aware of the possibility that an underlying gastrointestinal disease process may be present in and responsible for the neurologic dysfunction that has prompted referral of an individual for evaluation." From the June 2107 issue of Continuum (Gastroenterology and Neurology)
- "In its classic presentation, Hashimoto's encephalopathy is a neuropsychiatric syndrome with cognitive impairment, hallucinations, myoclonus, tremor or ataxia, associated with elevated anti-thyroid antibodies. In some cases, not all the associated features are presented... The patient was diagnosed with an autoimmune encephalopathy with elevated serum and CSF anti-thyroid antibodies. None of the antiepileptic drugs were successful.... We suggest that Hashimoto's encephalopathy should be suspected in otherwise healthy patients with unexplained new-onset focal recurrent auditory seizures which do not respond to antiepileptic drugs. The presence of anti-thyroid antibodies in the CSF supports this diagnosis." From the March 2017 issue of Epileptic Disorders (Auditory Seizures in Autoimmune Epilepsy: A Case with Anti-Thyroid Antibodies) I only bring this up because HASHIMOTO'S DISEASE --- an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid --- affects tens of millions of Americans.
- "Seizures are a frequent manifestation of autoimmune encephalitis. Although seizures are frequent in all types of autoimmune encephalitis, the risk for chronic epilepsy is dependent on the antigen." From the June 2017 issue of Current Opinions in Neurology (Seizures and Risk of Epilepsy in Autoimmune and other Inflammatory Encephalitis)
- "Epilepsy is recognized globally as one of the most common neurological diseases, characterized by seizures and cognitive impairment. With unknown causes, lots of epilepsy patients have a poor response to antiepileptic drugs and thus have to live a life with low quality. Accumulating evidences support the role of autoimmune-mediated factors in patients with antiepileptic-resistant seizures, which eventually help to crystallize the concept of autoimmune epilepsy. In this comprehensive article, we present an overview of some most common autoimmune antibodies believed to be potentially pathogenic for autoimmune epilepsies...." From the April 2017 issue of Frontiers in Neurology (Advances in Autoimmune Epilepsy Associated with Antibodies....)
- "Autoimmune neurological diseases are an important group of pathologies in neuropaediatrics. The central nervous system was considered to be an immunologically privileged organ, as it protects itself from the surroundings by means of the blood-brain barrier. In recent years, however, reports have been published of a growing number of disorders produced by antibodies that react against neuronal or glial proteins and give rise to a wide variety of clinical conditions (epilepsy, encephalopathy, movement disorders, etc.). There are a number of clinical conditions that are highly suggestive of an autoimmune pathology in which we do not find any specific antibodies." From the May 2017 issue of Revista de Neurologia (Autoimmune Pathology in Neuropaediatrics)
Although there were dozens of studies on this topic (maybe hundreds), the last three studies above brought up a point that you need to be aware of whether or not you have autoimmune epilepsy --- the idea that while scientists have figured out many of the auto-antigens in various autoimmune diseases (the tissues, cells, proteins, organs, glands, enzymes, hormones, etc) that your body decides it's going to make antibodies against and start attacking, they have not figured them out all of them. Why not?
Think for a moment about how many different specific proteins there are in the human body --- millions upon millions, with each one requiring it's own special test. Furthermore (and probably more importantly), just because they figure out what specific protein your body is attacking doesn't mean that there is a good medical solution (i.e. drug) for dealing with it. All you have to do is look at my posts on AUTOIMMUNITY to see that. Not surprisingly, the "go to" drugs of choice are IMMUNE-SUPPRESSANTS (drugs that try and slow down a run-away immune system --- America's number one form of medical therapy).
Last year, researchers at Mayo gave epileptics a combination of prednisone (a CORTICOSTEROID, which suppresses the Immune System) and Immunoglobulins. After this combination stopped the seizures in 10 out of 29 of the participants, and slowed them down in 8 others, they essentially concluded that if you are one of those people whose epilepsy is not responding to drug therapy, you had better suspect that it is Autoimmune. Here is part of the opening paragraph of Mayo Clinic's Autoimmune Neurology page
"Autoimmunity, a main component in nervous system disease, is a misguided immune response to the body's own organs. Neurological autoimmunity can target virtually any structure within the central or peripheral nervous system and often in a highly specific way... When the cell type that is targeted occurs in many different CNS structures, the syndromes that result may be diverse.... Cytokines, autoantibodies, and other immune factors culminate the disease process."
Could Gluten be a significant factor in this? I have already showed you that huge numbers of Autoimmune Diseases start with Gluten Sensitivity (HERE). I have also mentioned numerous times that the KETOGENIC DIET used to treat many people struggling with various forms of seizures (including Epilepsy) has been around for nearly a century. Furthermore, I have shown you the link between virtually all of the Neurological Diseases and Gluten (HERE). What more do you want? Folks; it's time to go GLUTEN FREE --- especially if you or a child has seizures of any sort.
"I had developed a problem in my left thumb. It would click at the joint when I tried to bend it, and finally got to the point where I couldn't bend it at all. When I would hit it or it would get bent involuntarily in day-to-day activities, the pain was so excruciating that I would nearly pass out. I had been to a member of the medical community for a workman's comp problem and asked what he thought about my thumb. Without hesitation he told me it was "Trigger Thumb" and I would have to have surgery to fix it.
I asked Dr. Schierling on my next visit, and he told me it was "DeQuervain's Syndrome", and that his Tissue Remodeling method of treatment would help. Since I was getting ready to leave on a trip, he did a very light treatment to see if it would help me. It did. It got me through my trip without pain. When I got back he did a more intense treatment. That's been several months ago, and I still have full use of the hand without pain. I have been going to chiropractors for just about 40 years and there is very seldom anything I have to see an MD about."
Hand, WRIST, and thumb pain are common --- dog common. Usually they are some form of TENDINOSIS. If you have CHRONIC PAIN, make sure to see if we can help before climbing on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND and going for NEEDLESS MRI'S or CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS. HERE are my Blog Posts on DeQuervain's Syndrome.
RUN TO HEALTH
(OR BETTER YET, SPRINT TO HEALTH)
But how can this be? Everyone has always been taught that Resistance Training (weightlifting) is what bulks people up, but that "Cardio" (swimming, biking, etc --- but particularly running / jogging) is what you do if you want to LOSE WEIGHT. The reality is that this idea has been on the way out for at least two decades. Cardio training is not the best or fastest way to lose weight or get in great physical shape, and the peer-reviewed scientific literature bears this out. The first thing I want to look at when it comes to Cardio Training (aka Cardiovascular Training) is that more is not better when it comes to your heart.
INTENSE CARDIO & CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
Dr. Joe Mercola, dealing with four scientific studies on Cardio Training and heart health says on his site that, "According to a study presented at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010 in Montreal, regular exercise reduces cardiovascular risk by a factor of two or three. But the extended vigorous exercise performed during a marathon raises cardiac risk by seven-fold! In a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, half of the older lifelong athletes showed some heart muscle scarring as a result, and they were specifically the men who had trained the longest and hardest. Published in the journal Circulation, an animal study was designed to mimic the strenuous daily exercise load of serious marathoners over the course of 10 years. All the rats had normal, healthy hearts at the outset of the study, but by the end most of them had developed "diffuse scarring and some structural changes, similar to the changes seen in the human endurance athletes." Yet another study showed that long-term endurance athletes suffer from diminished function of the right ventricle of the heart after endurance racing. They also had increased blood levels of cardiac enzymes, which are markers for heart injury, and 12 percent of the athletes had detectable scar tissue on their heart muscle one week post-race." The thing to take note of here is not that all cardio-style training is bad for the heart, but when done to excess, it can be very detrimental to heart health. How much is too much? That is a question that everyone needs to answer for themselves. I personally hate the fact that it took me a very long time to figure this out for myself. It is my belief that because Cardio Training can be so addictive, many people have difficulty answering this question honestly.
RUNNING & DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS
Another problematic area for the hardcore running crowd concerns potential DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS of the hips, knees, and spine. Although there are a number of studies saying that running does not cause Degenerative Osteoarthritis, there are several studies saying it does. Although getting out and moving is great arthritis prevention, here is what I know. Spending lots of time on concrete or asphalt is hard on joints --- particularly the three joints mentioned above. Ask anyone who lives or works on the stuff. Most people who run outdoors, tend to run on hard surfaces (not sure that gravel roads are any better). The more time you spend pounding the pavement, the more mechanical stress you put on these load-bearing joints. And although many people can handle this, many others cannot.
This is particularly true of people who are overweight. While there tends to be fewer runners in this category, because nearly 70% of our adult population is either overweight or outright OBESE, you will see a fair number of oversize runners. This is why for years I have been recommending that my patients who run find an area where they can run on grass (a football field, park, golf course, or even a pasture with a path mowed through it). Some municipalities actually have running trails covered with wood chips. Good shoes will help tremendously, but softer running surfaces can be a saving grace over the long haul. Now it's time to shift gears and deal with endocrine issues related to intense training or over-training.
Lets first look at a study from the September 2011 issue of the medical journal Psychoneuroimmunology (Elevated Hair Cortisol Concentrations in Endurance Athletes). Listen to the cherry-picked conclusions from the abstract of this article. "Engaging in intensive aerobic exercise, specifically endurance sports, is associated with HPA axis activation indicated by elevated cortisol levels. Hair samples were obtained from 304 amateur endurance athletes (long-distance runners, triathletes, cyclists) and 70 controls. Endurance athletes exhibited higher cortisol levels in all three hair segments compared to controls. Positive correlations between the cortisol concentration in the first hair segment and each indicator of training volume were found. These data suggest that repeated physical stress of intensive training and competitive races among endurance athletes is associated with elevated cortisol exposure over prolonged periods of time." In order to grasp the magnitude of the implications of this study, we need to have a cursory understanding of the HPA Axis.
Go back 17 years ago to the June issue of The Journal of Sports Science. They published a study called, "Oxidants, Antioxidant Nutrients, and the Athlete". The conclusions of the study as found in the abstract stated, "Strenuous physical exercise induces oxidative stress. Severe or prolonged exercise can overwhelm antioxidant defenses... Evidence for oxidative stress and damage during exercise comes from direct measurement of free radicals, from measurement of damage to lipids and DNA, and from measurement of antioxidant redox status, especially glutathione." Glutathione is probably the single most powerful anti-oxidant in your body, and other than a "recycler" product made by AE, there is no good supplement that I am aware of for replacing it.
Later that same year, the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness published a study called, Blood Free Radical Antioxidant Enzymes and Lipid Peroxides Following Long-Distance and Lactacidemic Performances in Highly Trained Aerobic and Sprint Athletes. Here were the study's conclusions. "Both strenuous long duration exercise and exhaustive sprint training overwhelm our capacity to detoxify ROS, producing oxidative stress." You need to be aware that oxidative stress leads to CHRONIC INFLAMMATION. Although most people think they know what Inflammation is, few have any real clue. This study showed that while both elite sprinters and elite distance runners had elevated inflammatory markers in their systems, the cardio athletes had double the amount of these same chemicals. In case you did not know it, one of the many health issues associated with Chronic Inflammation is Obesity (HERE).
Earlier this week, I had a conversation with a boy (a high school freshman) and his mother about his weightlifting schedule. It seems he has frequently been working out more than once a day, and some of these workouts were as long as 2.5 hours. No matter how you slice it, this is not good. According to virtually all the research coming out of the field today, we need to be doing higher intensity, shorter duration workouts. This is true of virtually all forms of exercise (including Resistance Training), and is one of the big reasons that Cross-Fit like exercise programs have become so popular. Many of these workouts are only 15 or 20 minutes long (some are shorter than that), and I do not think that any of their running workouts is farther than a mile. Most of their cardio comes from non-stop exercises or sprints. Which brings us to our next topic.
If cutting back on intensive Cardio Training (particularly running) is a good thing, what should a person replace it with. It is my belief that for those of us who are not professional or semi-professional athletes, most "running" can be replaced by Resistance Training and Sprints. I will talk about Resistance Training a little bit more shortly, but let's take a quick look at sprints (I will cover the research promoting sprinting sometime in the future). Sometimes you will see Sprint Training referred to as Interval Training, Burst Training, Explosiveness Training, or any number of other monikers. The method is simple. Find a grassy field (or you can do this on a treadmill in bad weather) and run sprints of a certain distance or duration. Walk for a certain amount of time during the recovery phase. And then do it again. You can run uphill, and walk down if you feel you need to crank things up. You can do 40 yard dashes, 100 yard dashes, or whatever distance you feel is best for you. You can take a few seconds, thirty seconds, or even more (if you need it), for recovering between sprints. If you want details, simply Google Weight Loss Sprints and start reading (there were close to a million hits).
My best guess is that Mark would agree with me that many of us can get away with this sort of lifestyle and serious over-training while we are young. The problem is, as we age, the damage from Oxidative Stress / Chronic Inflammation continues to accumulate. Couple this with a carb-loaded diet, and you have the makings of a proverbial "recipe for disaster" (Weight Gain, a crumbling HPA-Axis, Endocrine Dysfunction, Weakened Immune System, Diminished Sex Drive / Low Testosterone, etc). And here's the kicker. Although I certainly did not have most of the problems mentioned above (weight gain was my tipping point); until I was a few years into practice (mid 90's), I'm embarrassed to say that I actually believed I was doing things right. I was just following the advice of my instructors, the media, and the fitness gurus du jour.
I knew I was on to something when a patient came to me years ago insisting she could not lose weight no matter how hard she worked out. She was walking something like 12 miles a day and wanted to know if kicking it up to 15 miles a day might be the solution to her "problem". I cut her back to no more than an hour of walking a day, got her to lean more toward the LOW CARB side of things, and had her start doing 15 minutes of RESISTANCE TRAINING ON A BALL three days a week. The results were remarkable. Not only did this gal lose the excess weight she was trying to lose, within a matter of a couple of months her shape and overall muscle tone had improved dramatically, despite the fact she was exercising two or more fewer hours a day than she had previously been doing.
Over-training is something that for people who are really into fitness and exercise, often comes a bit too naturally. This is probably because it's easy to buy into the old adage that if a little bit is good, more must be better. And a whole lot must be extra super fantastic. One of my favorite stories of this less-is-more principle in action is that of THE WOMAN who lost 100 lbs in 100 days by simply going Low Carb and doing 2-3 15 or 20 minute KETTLE BELL SESSIONS a week.
If you follow similar protocols (with your doctor's blessing of course) and do not get great results, you probably have some sort of underlying metabolic issue going on. It could be that you are GLUTEN SENSITIVE or AUTOIMMUNE (two problems that are intimately related to each other). You may have LEAKY GUT SYNDROME or a NON-DIABETIC issue with INSULIN RESISTANCE or even HYPOGLYCEMIA. You may have already fouled up your ENDOCRINE / THYROID / ADRENAL SYSTEM in a sub-clinical manner. In other words, standard medical tests are telling you that everything is fine when it is obviously not. The bottom line is that with the proper approach, virtually all of these problems can improve or be completely resolved.
TRUSTING MEDICAL RESEARCH IS ABOUT
AS RISKY AS TRUSTING POLITICIANS
"Looking at the world's 50 largest drug companies, researchers found that 40% had at least one board member who held a leadership position at a U.S. academic medical center -- including medical school deans, chief executive officers, department chairs, and university presidents. The average annual compensation from the drug companies was $313,000, according to the paper published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association." John Fauber, a reporter for both the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today
Have you ever served on a board or committee? Sure you have. It's almost always a pain in the butt. And how much did you get paid for it? If you're like me; probably nothing. How would you like to make $313,000 (plus all travel / meal / lodging expenses) to serve on the board of a pharmaceutical company? But that's not all. Think about it like this. These aren't even jobs. These are part time gigs that consist largely of attending a few meetings a year held at major cities or tourist destinations in order to best determine how to spend / invest pharmaceutical industry money. The thing you have to remember is that the top brass for these institutions of higher learning also happen to be making most, if not all, of the budgeting decisions for their respective universities / hospitals / clinics. These heads of colleges ultimately decide which drugs / medical devices / equipment will be used or studied at their facilities. They even decide which drugs will be prescribed to the patients staying in their hospitals / clinics. And this is just the beginning.
Dr. Mary Sue Coleman (president of University of Michigan) has done even better in her relationship with Johnson & Johnson. Although she only made $276,000 for serving on their board last year, she is the proud owner of over 34,000 shares of their stock. Trading at nearly a hundred bucks a share, her piece of J&J was valued at just shy of 3.5 million dollars. Fortunately, university spokesperson, Kelly Cunningham, stated that, "The University of Michigan does not see President Coleman's service on the Johnson & Johnson board as a conflict of interest". That seems to go hand in hand with what Johnson & Johnson's proxy statement said about the University of Michigan ("Proxy Statements" are public statements required ahead of a corporation's annual meeting, when a firm is soliciting shareholder votes, helping to assess how management is paid, and / or revealing potential conflict-of-interest issues that could get them in trouble with auditors). Even though there were research grants and consulting fees paid from J&J to U of M, we can all rest better at night because according to Johnson, there were no, "direct business relationships" with the university. Thank goodness. I feel so much better about all of this now.
Bottom line folks; when you start reading some of my posts on the myth of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, you learn real quickly that things are not always as they appear. Take a few minutes to look at the article from JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) called Conflict of Interest Policies for Academic Health System Leaders Who Work With Outside Corporations. The problem is not really the money itself. I could not care less that these folks are making money hand-over-fist. Bully for them! The problem is that it is an obvious COI that taints every single aspect of the research coming from these facilities.
THE TRUTH ABOUT
STATIN DRUGS AND ERECTIONS
"In the cases reported to the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Centre, most men who had problems with sex drive began experiencing them the first week they started taking the statin drug." Robert Rister talking about a statin study in his article on Steady Health called, Statins, Cholesterol-Lowering Class of Drugs, Lower Male Sex Drive Too.
We know that Statins have plenty of side effects (take a look at the links above). Could one of their 'good' effects really be that they can help men who have PERFORMANCE ISSUES in the bedroom? If so, this would be news to me. I have been following the scientific literature pretaining to both SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION and Statins for many years, and have yet to see anything quite so optimistic as the spate of recent headlines promoting this latest study. In fact, over the course of the past decade, I have seen numerous doctors and studies touting the exact opposite.
A few years later came 2008's bombshell. Dr Beatrice Golomb (MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and director of the Statin Study Group at UC San Diego School of Medicine) published a freaky study citing nearly 900 peer-reviewed papers showing just how harmful Statin Drugs could really be. The meta-analysis (Statin Adverse Effects: A Review of the Literature and Evidence for a Mitochondrial Mechanism) was published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, and listed absurd numbers of side effect directly attributable to Statins. Of course, plenty of air-time was given to the all-to-common MUSCULAR PAIN associated with these anti-cholesterol medications. But numerous other studies were touting other less well-known side effects, including ALZHEIMER'S, NEUROPATHY, INSULIN RESISTANCE, DIABETES, TENDINOPATHIES / FASCIAL WEAKNESS. Oh; and let's not forget "Sexual Dysfunction" made the list as well. Unfortunately, Dr. Golomb's teams concluded that when it comes to Statins, "Physician awareness of such side effects is reportedly low".
The hits kept coming in 2010 when the Journal of Sexual Medicine (The Effect of Statin Therapy on Testosterone Levels in Subjects Consulting for Erectile Dysfunction) looked at 3,500 men and then came to some ugly conclusions. Listen to these words taken straight from the study's abstract. "Both total and calculated free testosterone levels were significantly lower in subjects taking statins. Our data demonstrated that statin therapy might induce an overt primary hypogonadism [shriveled testicles] and should be considered as a possible confounding factor for the evaluation of testosterone levels in patients with ED." Gulp! Web MD dot com actually carries this headline on their website, "Statins May Lower Testosterone & Libido. Men With Erectile Dysfunction on Statin Therapy Are Twice as Likely to Have Low Testosterone." But in all honesty, none of this should come as a surprise.
Cholesterol is the precursor for all the sex hormones, including Testosterone. The thing is, never forget that Testosterone is the hormone that not only creates and maintains the male sex drive, but the female sex drive as well. When you start tinkering with Cholesterol levels in an unnatural method (i.e. drugs), you are going to get some crazy side effects, including the potential inability to get an erection sufficient for sex.
The March 10, 2012 issue of The Morning Call (newspaper) had an article on Statin Drugs written by a knee surgeon. The article started out saying, "What does a knee surgeon know about statins' side effects? Plenty, after seeing scores of patients improve their memory, strength, vigor and sex drive after stopping these popular drugs." The author, Dr. Thomas Meade of Allentown, Pennsylvania went on to say that, "A recent Cochrane Review of many studies confirmed 1,000 people without heart disease had to be treated with statins to prevent one death. Therefore 999 people, paying $5 per pill, are not going to live one day longer, but they will enrich the pharmaceutical industry's coffers and are at risk for the many real side effects of stopping production of cholesterol — a wonderful molecule responsible for healthy cell membranes, sex hormones, nerve conduction and brain function, all of which contribute to life as we know it today. Statins are simply the most prescribed drug in the history of medicine and the most profitable, with annual revenues of $26 billion. Profits are so lucrative to "big pharma" that drug manufacturers have influenced most medical organizations and respected high-profile physicians to continue to look for every opportunity to exaggerate any new study that validates prescribing the highest dose of statins to an increasing patient population under the false assumption that it will improve their quality of life." Hopefully you caught those parts about Cholesterol and sex hormones / sex drive.
But now --- all of a sudden --- we are supposed to believe numerous headlines from around the country touting this study and the benefits of Statin Drugs in the bedroom? If you did not know better, you would almost think Statins were an aphrodisiac after reading some of these articles. Commenting on the study, Dr. Jeffery Kuvin of Boston's Tufts Medical Center chimed in, "Over the years it's become apparent that erectile dysfunction is an indication of decreased vascular health in men, and it's considered by many to be a significant cardiovascular risk factor." It's true. There is an intimate relationship between cardiovascular health and the ability to get and maintain an erection. My only question is whether or not taking a drug is the best way to solve the underlying reasons men have this problem. For some potential solutions to this issue, you can look at the two previous links or go HERE or HERE.
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
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Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
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The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
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