DIET OR EXERCISE
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AMERICA'S CRAZY VACCINATION SCHEDULE, MERCURY,
AND THE LINK TO NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES
Robert Jr. is one of America's leading environmental attorneys, who, interestingly enough, happens to be leading the charge against the way we do Vaccinations here in America. But make no mistake about it; he is not one of those crazy "Anti-Vaxxers". In fact, he is very much for government-mandated Vaccines. Huh? How can a person be pro-vaccination, but against it at the same time? Easy. Although he is not against Vaccines per se, he is very much against the Mercury that is used to "preserve" them via a product called Thimerosal.
In case you were not aware, MERCURY is the single most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet. Exposure to Mercury (Hg on the Periodic Table) can cause an array of physical symptoms, the majority of which happen to be neurological. How toxic is Mercury? In the video, Kennedy tells us that, "it is 1,000 times more toxic than lead". There have been any number of books written about Mercury (Thimerosal) in Vaccines, but the first one I read was 2005's Evidence of Harm - Mercury in Vaccines and the Autism Epidemic, A Medical Controversy by David Kirby. In similar fashion, we have RFK Jr's brand new Thimerosal - Let the Science Speak as well as the documentary that goes along with called Trace Amounts.
RFK's interview below with Bill Maher is truly amazing. Kennedy talks about the corruption in the CDC --- most particularly the part of the CDC that deals with Vaccines (probably even worse than the CORRUPTION SEEN IN THE FDA), and paints the organization, "as a cesspool of corruption". After watching this short video, you'll see why I continue to tell you that there is absolutely NO CREDIBILITY WITHIN MEDICINE'S BUREAUCRACY. But the aspect of his interview that I think we all need to pay attention to is the fact that he is using the very same mountain of peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CDC said "proved" there is no link between VACCINES AND AUTISM, to show that there is.
If you have children or grandchildren, I would beg you to pay attention to this issue. Americans are being bamboozled, and it's those same children and grandchildren (not to mention the average tax-paying citizen) who are paying the price. I'm in no way a fan of Maher (I will warn you that he drops his token "F-bomb" in this video), but kudos to him (he is extremely pro-vaccination) for allowing RFK to come on his show and talk about this issue that will increasingly affect each and every one of you in one way or another. Shucks; the powers that be (probably his advertisers) took the video down. Sorry.
ARE MANUAL THERAPISTS TREATING
TOO MUCH, TOO LITTLE, OR BOTH?
"I just want to tell you how refreshing it was to read your website! I started out as an exercise physiologist, and have been a PT now for 20 years. For years I have been explaining to doctors and reassuring patients that the bruising I cause with my treatments is OK and part of the process when getting rid of fascial adhesions. My patients have outcomes much better than those seeing other therapists. It’s sad because the majority of physical therapists do minimal to no hands-on anymore and I cringe when I watch their patients not get better. As horrible as it sounds, I tell my patients that it is like tenderizing meat! You have to break up the adhesions first if you are going to get anywhere with stretching........."
The concept of breaking the FASCIAL ADHESIONS before starting a STRETCHING PROTOCOL is of critical importance. It's also why TREATMENT MUST SOMETIMES BE HARSH. As for her "hands on" statement, I think that this is becoming the norm for most healthcare providers, and is something I hear from patients constantly --- particularly with orthopedists and neurologists. "I went to see the specialist, paid him $500 bucks, and all he did was talk to me for 5 minutes, make me bend over and try to touch my toes, and tap on my reflexes." In their defense, most healthcare providers are so busy DOING THIS, they no longer have time for their patients. Lisa went on to say that,
"You are also right that doctors don’t know. I have made so many people better who have been told by their doctors 'you have arthritis, you just aren’t as young as you were'. That’s a cop-out because most people can get excellent improvement with the right manual techniques and stretches. The excellent descriptions, pictures, stretches, and information on your website was a breath of fresh air! Finally someone who thinks and treats as I do. I Google information for my patients all the time but have never seen your website. Funny I found it because I was looking up effects of abdominal adhesions and how to keep them from returning. You have such an excellent description of fascia, I will be referring my patients to your website to help them understand and to look at your stretches. I never write on websites but I had to give you props for the excellent patient care professional it seems you are!"
Wow, thanks for the "props" Lisa. When it comes to breaking ADHESED FASCIA, bruising is something to be embraced (HERE). I recently saw an out-of-state patient who had been through 18 treatments of something supposedly 'similar' to what I do. I asked him, and he told me there was little or no bruising with any of these treatments. When this person left my office after his first and only visit to see me, his arms looked like they had been repeatedly run over by a bulldozer. You can read about his results HERE.
Patients are tired of DRUGS, and they are tired of excuses and "cop outs". People whose lives are being held ransom by CHRONIC PAIN, are after one thing and one thing only ---- relief. They want to live their lives on their terms, doing what they love to do, without pain. A bruise after treatment? Do you really think they care? Have you ever seen the bruises people have coming out of surgery? Bruise, schmooze! I've been doing this work for 15 of my 25 years in practice, and my guess is that Lisa would agree; people could not care less about a bruise because it's a means to an end --- the end of their Chronic Pain.
BACK TO THE QUESTION AT HAND
TOO MUCH TREATMENT OR NOT ENOUGH TREATMENT?
On the other hand, too few patients, like Lisa told us, are getting anything other than a minimal amount of "hands-on" treatment anymore. Instead they get things like MUSCLE RELAXERS, PAIN MEDS, NSAIDS, and CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS from their doctors, and modalities from their practitioners (ultrasound, TENS, electric stimulation, etc, etc, etc). And if they do get hands-on therapy, it's usually (back to Lisa again) not intense enough (her words, not mine). If you simply take a moment and study SCAR TISSUE, it's easy to see why treatment sometimes needs to be intense enough to cause bruising. Any treatment that is not intense enough to break said Scar Tissue, is sub-threshold. Lots of practitioners will tell their patients that a whole lot of very mild, "sub-threshold" treatment will eventually, over time, get through the Scar Tissue. In the majority of cases, it simply does not work that way. A whole lot of nothing is still nothing (HERE).
If you are wondering about the results seen with this approach, make sure and watch some of my VIDEO TESTIMONIALS. Pay attention and see that not only are these people getting fantastic results, they are typically getting them in a fraction of the amount of time.
HEARTBURN / ACID REFLUX DRUGS
MORE DANGEROUS THAN MOST PEOPLE REALIZE
"Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medications that are ubiquitous in a gastroenterologist's practice. There have been emerging concerns with reports of potential adverse effects associated with use of PPIs. In the United States, such reports have led the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue a number of broad-based product warnings, including all of the available PPI drugs either for prescription or over-the-counter purchase. These potential interactions have ranged from alteration of absorption of vitamins and minerals, metabolic effects on bone density, drug interactions, or alterations of intended effect, infection risk, and hypersensitivity response with consequent organ damage." The introduction of a 2013 study (Reported Side Effects and Complications of Long-term Proton Pump Inhibitor Use) from the medical journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
"Clinicians should appreciate the risk of acute interstitial nephritis during treatment with PPIs, monitor patients appropriately and discourage the indiscriminate use of these drugs." From the latest issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (Proton Pump Inhibitors and the Risk of Acute Kidney Injury in Older Patients: A Population-Based Cohort Study). "Studies have shown that once you’re on them, it’s hard to stop taking them. It's almost like an addiction" Dr. Shoshana J. Herzig of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, from Roni Caryn Rabin's June 25, 2012 article in the New York Times called Combating Acid Reflux May Bring Host of Ills.
It seems that the same study has shown a nearly 300% increase in hospitalizations for Kidney Failure in the elderly patients who take these drugs. Here's the scoop. If you are over 65 and don't take heartburn drugs, your chances of ending up in the hospital for Kidney Failure are 5.46 out of 1,000 (number one reason is NSAID use / abuse). Take the PPI's and you increase your chances to 13.49 per 1,000 people. I don't care who you are, that's a scary increase ---- especially when you consider that hospitalization for Kidney Failure is just the tip of the iceberg. Kidney Failure means that now you get to look forward to dialysis for the rest of your (shortened) life.
But for a moment let's forget about Kidney Failure and dialysis. Because these drugs are so popular (some estimate they are taken by nearly 10% of the adult population, and are said to be the third most commonly taken class of drugs in America), I want to spend a few minutes showing you the wide array of health problems that Proton Pump Inhibitors are associated with in the peer-reviewed medical literature.
- HEARTBURN AND ACID REFLUX: Wait a minute. I was under the impression that these drugs are prescribed to solve this problem? Correct. However, in the same way that headache medications cause large numbers of headaches via a process known as "REBOUND" (headaches caused by the medicine itself), there is a similar phenomenon with PPI's known as "Rebound Acid". A study (Proton-Pump Inhibitor Therapy Induces Acid-Related Symptoms in Healthy Volunteers After Withdrawal of Therapy) as reported in the July 2009 issue of Gastroenterology, concluded that, "PPI therapy for 8 weeks induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers after withdrawal." In case you were wondering; after factoring out the placebo effect, nearly 1/3 of the study's participants were affected.
- INFECTIONS: Contrary to popular opinion, we need plenty of really strong stomach acid for any number of reasons besides digestion (more on this shortly). Although I am not going to take time to list the myriad of studies here, be aware that the peer-reviewed scientific literature is associating PPI use with with increased chances of being infected by any number of bacteria, including H. PYLORI (the bacteria responsible for Stomach Ulcers), C. DIFF, PNEUMONIA, and several others. Couple the use of PPI's with ANTIBIOTICS and your odds of developing some sort of funky DYSBIOSIS skyrocket. All of this has to do with the fact that this class of drugs throws a monkey wrench in your MICROBIOME. This was seen in last year's study in the medical journal of the same name (Prolonged Use of A Proton Pump Inhibitor Reduces Microbial Diversity: Implications for Clostridium Difficile Susceptibility). While this study only looked at the effects of PPI's on C. Diff, once you realize that 80% of your Immune System is made up of the 500 to 2,000 different strains of "good" bacteria living in your Gut (HERE), it should become painfully obvious that this issue is far bigger than a single strain of bacteria.
- ANEMIA: This happens in at least two different ways. Firstly, you need strong stomach acid to digest protein. Despite what the vegan crowd will tell you, good ole red meat is one of the best sources of iron available. Besides this, you need strong stomach acid to ignite your body's intrinsic factor for vitamin B-12. A failure of either pathway leads to ANEMIA --- a deal-breaker as far as true recovery from chronic conditions is concerned.
- ALL MANNER OF MINERAL DEFICIENCIES, INCLUDING OSTEOPOROSIS: Minerals can only be absorbed in an extremely acidic environment such as the stomach. If you inhibit the amount or strength of the acid found there, you will inhibit your body's ability to absorb critical minerals --- even though your diet itself might contain plenty of said minerals. Again, this can lead to Anemia (see the previous bullet point), but is also a major factor in developing OSTEOPOROSIS. This is such a well known fact that our own FDA put out an official warning in March of 2011 (Possible Increased Risk of Fractures of the Hip, Wrist, and Spine with the Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors) stating that, "The available data show that patients at highest risk for fractures received high doses of prescription PPIs and/or used a PPI for one year or more. In contrast to prescription PPIs, OTC PPIs are marketed at low doses and are only intended for a 14 day course of treatment up to 3 times per year." As you'll soon see, few people take the OTC drugs in this class as suggested on the label.
- OBESITY: The truth is, just like SLEEP APNEA, having Heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease) is thought by most physicians and researchers to be a byproduct of OBESITY as well as our collectively crappy diets. However, we've known for a number of years that PPI's actually cause Obesity as well. This should not come as a big surprise once you realize that your weight is intimately related to the bacteria in your GUT, whether good or bad (HERE). No pun intended, but try this study on for size. The October 2009 issue of the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Long-Term Treatment with Proton Pump Inhibitor is Associated with Undesired Weight Gain) concluded that, "Long-term PPI treatment was associated with bodyweight gain in patients with GERD." How much weight gain? 71% of the test subjects gained an average of 6.2% of their bodyweight over an average of about two years time. Gulp!
- CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS: Can you say heart disease and stroke? A group of eight physicians and researchers came to the conclusion in last April's issue of Circulation --- the official journal of the American Heart Association (Proton Pump Inhibitors and Cardiovascular Risk) that, "chronic exposure to PPIs might be expected to impair vascular homeostasis, and potentially expose consumers to an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events. We will soon publish pharmacovigilance data regarding this question. The accumulating data raises a concern for the medical community and regulatory bodies regarding the cardiovascular safety of these agents." Good luck with that. This class of drug is such a huge moneymaker, don't expect the FDA to step in any time soon. By the way, I wrote about this phenomenon a couple of years ago (HERE).
- ANXIETY & DEPRESSION: Although I have not seen actual studies on this, these side-effects are listed on the "trust us" insert found with PPI's. Once you understand the relationship between GUT HEALTH AND BRAIN FUNCTION, it's easy to grasp why.
- CONSTIPATION: CONSTIPATION is one of the most common side-effects of PPI use, and is easy to comprehend, once you understand the relationship of good bacteria to intestinal motility (the ability of your body to "push" digesting food through the intestines).
- OTHERS: Believe me when I tell you that I could have included any number of other problems here. The truth is, I could have written a book. Again; it's not hard to understand why, once you realize how foundational DIGESTION is to health. There are so many body systems can go haywire without plenty of potent Stomach Acid. I don't care how good your diet is; if you fail to digest and absorb the nutrients in your food, it doesn't really matter. Which is exactly what will happen --- especially when it comes to protein --- if you are deficient in Stomach Acid.
WHAT TO DO WITH THIS INFORMATION ABOUT PPI USE
The idea that you have too much or too strong Stomach Acid, and that it's causing your problems, is rarely anything other than pure and unadulterated poppycock. In case you have not figured it out, you need strong Stomach Acid, and lots of it for digestion. A failure in this area leads to a failure to digest food --- particularly protein ---- properly. Instead of digestion, the food goes through a process similar to fermentation called putrefaction (can you say putrefy?). This is where the food sits in your stomach and churns, not really digesting, but instead rotting, and not being allowed to enter into the Small Intestine because it's not acidic enough. Even though the food is not being digested by Stomach Acid (Hydrocholric Acid or HCl), it is high in other sorts of organic acids. Two things happen in this case.
Firstly, the valve at the bottom of the stomach tends to stay shut. When sensors detect high enough levels of Stomach Acid in the digesting food, the valve at the bottom of the stomach opens and allows the bolus into the small intestine. If not, the food tends to stay in the stomach too long, churning up into the esophagus and burning people. Sometimes this problem is so severe, people will have a burn line (ring) around their mouth / lips.
Interestingly enough, if you start looking, it's easy to find any number of physicians and researchers who are raising red flags about these drugs. Unfortunately, as far as the general public is concerned, the warnings seem to be falling on deaf ears (or more likely, they are being drowned out by Big Pharma). Despite the astounding number of Americans taking drugs from this class (children and particularly infants are the newest and hottest market), research reveals that like most drugs, they are way over-prescribed. We can turn to the VA (Veterans Administration) for an idea of just how severe this problem of over-prescription really is.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine called Proton Pump Inhibitor Prescriptions and Subsequent Use in US Veterans Diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, concluded the following. "Many Veterans receive high total daily dose PPI prescriptions as initial therapy for a GERD diagnosis, and few patients have evidence for cessation or reduction of therapy." This begs the question of how high is high? Last May's issue of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research helped answer this by revealing that, "The quantity of initial PPI prescriptions provided to Veterans does not reflect the guideline recommendations for GERD management and could affect long-term use of these pervasive medications." In article carried by that same month in US Medicine: The Voice of Federal Medicine, the author of the previous study (Dr. Andrew Gawron) stated, "It seems that, once these veterans are prescribed a PPI, they are rarely taken off of it. Two years after their initial prescription, most are still on the drug."
If you are interested in getting off PPI's, you'll have to go about it systematically. As crazy as it might sound to you right now, one of the first things you'll need to do is acidify your stomach without acidifying your body. The acidifiers I currently use in practice are Raw Apple Cider Vinegar for mild cases (get it at any health food store), and Zypan, by STANDARD PROCESS for more severe cases. More than likely, you'll need to LOSE WEIGHT as well. HERE is a post to help with the whole process. Remember; the longer you are on these acid-blocking drugs, the greater the chances of developing severe, irreversible damage. And just for grins, why not ask your doctor some questions about the information found in this post before robotically filling your next prescription.
THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME SURGERY "FIXES" DALLAS WOMAN'S TOS,
BUT CAUSES MASSIVE PAIN AND SCAR TISSUE IN THE PROCESS
TWO VISITS SOLVE THE PROBLEM!
"issues that resulted in migraines from tightness in shoulder due to lifting, carrying something or sitting in front of a computer too long. The elbow, neck and shoulder (down the arm) area becomes inflamed / irritated and causes numbness to the hand / thumb. My main pain comes from the area where the rib was removed. The pain is extreme. I sit at a desk all day and my elbow will sometimes swell from a long day of work typing on my computer. The doctor thinks it could be scar tissue related to the surgery, and has discussed with me about having surgery to 'clean up' the area. I have declined the surgery for now."
And that's just for starters. She actually had two completely unnecessary surgeries before anyone figured out that her symptoms were being caused by TOS, and not something else. Believe me when I tell you that Patsy knows what it's like to ride the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND. After going to Physical Therapy for six weeks ("they said I have strength in all parts of the shoulder and no need to return"), a doctor specializing in MYOFASICAL SYNDROMES ("he could relive the pain for a few days by working on soft tissue, but would not last"), an Orthopedic Surgeon ("he suggested doing Botox to numb the area"), a Vascular Surgeon three different times ("he suggested surgery to remove the top fascia of the shoulder and clean the scar tissue. I have declined this for now also"), and any number of others, she decided to see if I could help. Although I believed her problem would respond to what I do, I NEVER MAKE PROMISES. Patsy decided to come up and see me, and the rest is history.
However, before we get to the video that Patsy sent me yesterday via email, I want to share with you the reason I am so high on Video Testimonials.
VIDEO TESTIMONIALS: THE TRUE DEFINITION OF HOPE
Don't get me wrong, giving people hope is not the only reason I put videos on my site. Part of it is educating the general public about what I do in my clinic. Because let's be honest with each other for a moment; how many of you would pay attention to my site (let alone find it) if it weren't for the numerous videos? They're a great way of letting desperate people dealing with Chronic Pain know that there is someone out there doing something RADICALLY DIFFERENT --- someone that may be able to help them with their particular CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROME. Plainly stated; they give people hope.
They are also a wonderful form of "evidence". With THE GOVERNMENT and BIG PHARMA teaming up to take over healthcare, the biggest catch-word of the day is "EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE". Without me going on a rant in this post, you can click on the link to see any number of reasons why this concept is largely a farce. although I truly appreciate seeing what the peer-reviewed scientific literature has to say about any number of health-related issues, evidence is real people with real problems (many for a real long time) really getting better and staying that way for long periods of time ---- maybe for the rest of their lives. I've found that there's no better way to let you see this 'evidence' than to give my patients a voice.
When I first met Patsy earlier this year, she was struggling to cope. Three surgeries and a botched rehab (not her fault) had left her with immense amounts of SCAR TISSUE in her neck, upper back, and TRAPEZIUS AREA. Despite going to specialist after specialist in the Dallas / Fort Worth area for the debilitating POST- SURGICAL CHRONIC NECK PAIN, she found relief in Mountain View, Missouri. Although she still has some tension in her trapezius muscle, Patsy has her life back. Although much of her life had been taken away by the surgery, there was one thing no one could take away from her ---- hope --- hope that someone could figure out what was causing her pain and fix it. It's what kept her going. Researching. Looking for answers. I'm going to let Patsy spread some of that hope with a video that comes straight from the Lone-Star state itself --- Texas.
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I apologize to both Patsy and my readers that the video is not right side up. Unfortunately, I'm not a techie, and have no earthly idea how to fix it. It doesn't really matter though. Take a couple minutes to listen to what this tough, classy woman has to say, and you'll see for yourself. It's a message of hope that's as real as it gets. For more videos, just visit THIS PAGE.
IS YOUR CHILD HAVING PROBLEMS WITH CHRONIC EAR INFECTIONS?
COME SEE DOCTOR SCHIERLING
After Stephanie's four year old daughter (she is six now) developed a CHRONIC EAR INFECTION, she turned to the internet for answers and found our site. Take just a moment to absorb this TESTIMONIAL that was given to me yesterday (I last saw her two years ago).
At four years old, my daughter "N" had developed the first ear infection of her life. After taking her to her pediatrician and getting put on antibiotics, the ear infection cleared up and I thought she was fine. But two days after her medicine ran out her ear infection returned. So back to the pediatrician I went. This happened five different times within a two month period, each time with the doctor prescribing a different antibiotic. After the fifth time, her doctor told me she was going to need tubes to get the ears to drain.
After searching Dr. Schierling's website and finding his information on ear infections, I set up an appointment and brought her in. He adjusted her twice --- a week apart. It totally cleared up her ear infection and she has not had one since. - Stephanie Hobson, Willow Springs, MO
Once people begin to understand that ANTIBIOTICS are one of the worst things that could possibly be put in their children (HERE), like Stephanie, they begin looking for alternatives. Not only do Antibiotics destroy GUT HEALTH that is so critical for maintaining overall health, but because 80% OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IS FOUND IN YOUR GUT, every round of Antibiotics weakens your Immune System, leaving you that much more susceptible to whatever infection happens to be coming down the pike. And when you / they get it, rest assured that the solution will be more of the same. Antibiotics. Isn't it time to break the vicious cycle and get healthy?
GOING GLUTEN FREE..... IS IT WORTH IT?
- GLUTEN FREE ISN'T NUTRITIOUS (AND MAYBE LESS SO): I can certainly buy this first point (and have actually written an article on it HERE). It's true because most people who go "Gluten Free" do so the wrong way. Processed food is processed food, whether or not it contains Gluten. If you are wanting to go Gluten Free, do an ELIMINATION DIET to find if you are sensitive. If so, don't run out and buy a whole bunch of Gluten Free products to take the place of the Gluten-containing products you dumped in your trash. The only real reason that anyone would avoid Gluten is because it can be a major cause of SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION. Following an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET such as Functional Neurologist, Dr. David Seaman wrote about in an issue of Practical Pain Management, is by far the best way to go about it. His advice? Eat vegetation or animals that ate vegetation.
- YOU'LL PROBABLY INCREASE YOUR EXPOSURE TO ARSENIC: This statement makes the assumption that if you go Gluten Free, you'll be consuming much more rice --- a grain which Consumer Reports did an article on back in 2012. In today's article they state that, "A 2009-10 study from the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 17 percent of an average person’s dietary exposure to inorganic arsenic comes from rice." Before leaping to conclusions, just realize that an Elimination Diet is necessary in order to determine if rice is reactive to your Immune System (it's one of the 40 or 50 GLUTEN CROSS-REACTORS). Furthermore, if you are going to consume rice, you need to find a good source.
- YOU MIGHT GAIN WEIGHT: Let me put it this way; if you are gaining weight on a Gluten Free Diet, you are doing something drastically wrong (see the first bullet point). Weight gain occurs because there is a, "tendency for gluten-free foods to have more calories, sugars, and fat than their regular counterparts." Again, this is only true if you are eating those Processed Gluten Free foods I warned you about. It's under this point that Consumer Reports takes on books like Wheat Belly --- the bloating and BELLY FAT that is so heavily associated with Gluten Sensitivity. One more time; crappy processed foods are crappy processed foods, whether or not they contain Gluten.
- YOU'LL PAY MORE: Once again, this is only true if you are playing the "SUBSTITUTION GAME". Far too often, people expunge one type of unhealthy food from their diet, only to replace it with something equally as cruddy, but not widely thought to be cruddy (my next post is going to address this issue in more depth). If you are doing Gluten Free the proper way (PALEO or similar), it is not going to cost more, although most of those who are SERIOUSLY ADDICTED TO PROCESSED FOODS will argue incessantly that it will.
- YOU MIGHT MISS A SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION: The author's reasoning on this point has to do with the difference between Celiac Disease and something called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). In this point, Consumer Reports warns that if people truly suspect Gluten is the culprit to their health woes, they should, "get a blood test to check for certain antibodies associated with celiac disease.... If it’s positive, then you should have an endoscopic biopsy of your small intestine to check for damage." But what if the test is negative, and you are still convinced Gluten is the culprit? After all, only about one in one hundred people have Celiac Disease --- an Autoimmune Disease whereby the body makes antibodies against and attacks its own Small Intestine. They mention IBS and the issue of FODMAPS, but fail to warn readers that both these problems, as well as NCGS, have the potential to be every bit as serious as full-blown Celiac Disease. Thus, we are erroneously led to believe that Celiac is far worse than NCGS. Not necessarily. All that the label "Celiac" tells us is that the small intestine is involved in an AUTOIMMUNE REACTION. When you begin to see how Gluten can effect the BRAIN and NERVOUS SYSTEM, you'll see just how serious it can be --- even in the absence of full-blown Celiac Disease. The truth is, you are far more likely to miss a "serious" health condition by not going Gluten Free.
- YOU MIGHT STILL BE EATING GLUTEN ANYWAY: There are any number of reasons that this could be true --- if you are going about "Gluten Free" the way that Consumer Reports recommends. For one, the peer-reviewed literature on the subject suggests that about 5% of all "Gluten Free" foods contain over 20 ppm (parts per million) of Gluten --- the FDA threshold. Then there's the issue of cross-contamination. This occurs when non-Gluten foods are processed in the same facilities as wheat, barley, or rye. It can also happen in the field itself if a bit of wheat gets into the oat field. Once more, if you follow my advice on how to go Gluten Free, you don't have to worry much about this point either way.
This article ends with the heading, "A Commonsense Way to go Gluten-Free". The authors reveal what they believe to be the "healthy" way to go Gluten Free is. Make sure to, "get your grains. Whether you’re on a gluten-free diet or not, eating a variety of grains is healthy, so don’t cut out whole grains. Replace wheat with amaranth, corn, millet, quinoa, teff, and the occasional serving of rice." All of these are Cross-Reactors. They might not be a problem for you. But if you really want to do Gluten Free the right way, you had better do an Elimination Diet to find out. And if you are one of the tens of millions of Americans who has issues with BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION, make sure that corn is not a staple. Not only is it virtually all GMO, but because for the past 50 years or more it's all been bred for high sugar content (think HFCS here).
POOR POSTURE AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO CHRONIC TRIGGER POINTS
COMBATING THE POSTURE OF AGE
I talk about it all day long to my patients. How best to deal with (or "resist") the posture of age. What is the posture of age you ask? It is simply having a stooped back and shoulders, with a chin that tends to find its resting point too close to the chest ---- something that in younger folks we refer to as "Poor Posture". Unfortunately, in older folks it's another one of those things that's considered normal. Common, yes. Normal; not on your life.
I have told you previously that POSTURE IS IMPORTANT. I've also discussed the necessity of having a lordotic curve (proper forward curve) in your neck (HERE, HERE, and HERE) --- something that few people have, and that fewer doctors / radiologists recognize as abnormal. While I am a huge fan of the DAKOTA TRACTION DEVICE, there is a simple ball exercise --- a stretch really --- that can help both the REVERSE CERVICAL CURVE as well as the posture of age.
It's this simple; if most people spend way too much time in the posture of age, we have to figure out a way for them to spend a bit of time counteracting or combating it. While INVERSION is great for any number of spinal issues, it's not going to do much for this particular problem. In order to work against this posture of age, you'll need an Exercise Ball.
- Make sure your EXERCISE BALL is "height appropriate". When you sit on it, your knees should be at approximately 90 degrees.
- While sitting on the ball, simply roll your butt down toward the ground and lean backwards until you are lying on the ball.
- Let your head go backwards into it's natural lordotic curve. Make sure to put your arms out like a crucifix or over your head like you would do if a train robber put his six gun in your belly (remember though --- you are lying on your back right now). This way you are stretching all the muscles of your anterior (front) neck, as well as your anterior shoulders, biceps, and chest muscles.
Now; just stretch. Don't do any SIT UPS OR CRUNCHES. Don't do any Reverse Planks. Just lay there and feel everything stretch (feel free to move roll around a bit on the ball while you are stretching). While there's not set time limit, try and do at least a minute (for those of you just starting out, you may need to do considerably less until you get used to it). Two or three minutes or more would be better. This is the kind of thing that is going to help you much more before the pain is raging (or better yet, before you even have pain); not just when those UPPER TRAPEZIUS TRIGGER POINTS are fired up and you are hurting.
If you have a job that entails lots of driving, sitting at a desk, hunched over a computer, or any number of other jobs, you may want to consider this simple routine. Also, if you are a person who likes to sew, knit, read (especially in bed with your head propped up), or have spent years doing too many situps, crunches, bench presses, pushups, arm curls, or exercises that build the front side of the upper body, while neglecting the back (hyper-extensions, the Roman Chair, etc, etc, etc) you'll need to do these as well.
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE, REAL HEALTH,
AND YOUR MICROBIOME
"Antoine Bechamp (1816-1908) coined the word mycozyma to describe what he felt were the basic building blocks of all organisms, even plants and rocks. He believed these basic organisms can change form from bacteria to viri to fungal forms, and back again, depending upon the terrain or environment inside a body. This is the basic theory of the microzyma according to Dr. Bechamp. Later, mainly in the early twentieth century, several other well-known doctors in many nations claimed to observe a similar phenomenon. These include Gaston Naessans, MD, Royal Rife, MD, Wilhelm Reich, MD, Gunther Enderlein (1872-1968) and others. Some gave the phenomenon different names. Gaston Naessans called them somatids, while Dr. Enderlin called them protits. The microzyma perform many roles in the body. The most important of these are: (1) To destroy competing microorganisms that otherwise would flourish in the warm, moist environment of the human digestive tract – both the small and large intestines. (2) To help digest and absorb our food. (3) To produce numerous chemical compounds that our bodies require. These include some of the vitamins, mineral compounds, and even others that have not been identified yet." MIT-educated physician, Dr. Lawrence Wilson (MD) from his article "Microzyma". BTW, you'll sometimes see this phenomenon called "Pleomorphism".
According to Kerry Sheridan's recent article, Remote Tribe's Antibiotic Resistance Concerns Experts, a nearly-unreached tribe found recently in the deep, dark jungles of Venezuela, showed that even though the inhabitants have the single most diverse MICROBIOME ever recorded (something we have only recently been interested in studying), they are carrying an immense potential for ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE. "What really surprised the team was the discovery that the tribespeople had nearly 30 antibiotic resistant genes that were never before known to science. Even more, these genes were resistant to some of the world's most recently developed synthetic antibiotics. 'It was alarming to us to find genes that would inactivate these modern synthetic drugs in the Yanomami population." But should we be surprised?
A normal and healthy Microbiome contains "bad" bacteria and fungi such as STREP, STAPH, C.DIFF, CANDIDA, H. PYLORI, and a host of others, as well as hundreds of strains of "good" bacteria. Unfortunately, what we have done in America (self included) is to label bacteria as "good" or "bad," when that's not really completely accurate. A diverse Microbiome is all about ratios. It's why taking lots of ANTIBIOTICS is bad for you (HERE). But it's also why taking LOTS OF PROBIOTICS can be bad for you as well. It makes sense that this tribe's genetic makeup would be such that it would "resist" substances that would potentially throw the Mibrobiome out of kilter. If you want to understand this concept better, read the material on my site lifted from DR. ART AYERS. Or better yet, visit his website, Cooling Inflammation.
Please understand that I am not saying in this post that Bechamp was correct. We all know that models, thought processes, and the way we understand the universe constantly change as scientific knowledge improves and increases. I am, however, saying that we are just beginning to understand the importance of GUT HEALTH in relationship to overall health, and that the "terrain" the germs live in (your body), plays a far bigger role than whether or not you were simply exposed to said germs (read the first link at the top of the page to better understand this statement). The bottom line is that if you want to get your house in order as far as your health is concerned, you cannot neglect your Microbiome. Period.
It does not really matter whether your problem is ENDOCRINE, AUTOIMMUNE, INFLAMMATORY, or one of the so-called GENETIC DISEASES; the foundational tenets of solving it (them) is virtually always the same. HERE is a starting point as far as fixing your Gut.
THE BIG INFLUENCE OF BIG PHARMA ON MODERN CORPORATE MEDICINE
Watch as comedian, John Oliver --- someone I had never heard of until I saw this earlier this morning --- covers any number of topics I've previously dealt with over the course of the last several years in my EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE COLUMN. Even though it's got a satirical flavor to it, Oliver's commentary is spot on as he reveals a few of the sordid details of the incestuous relationship between "Big Pharma" and Medicine.
If you do nothing else with this video, watch the very end of it; from the 15:20 mark. I promise that you will fall over laughing at the spoofed drug ad. By the way, just saw the latest stats for 2014 from Express Scripts. Drug spending was up a whopping 13% over the previous year, with specialty drugs up nearly a third (did you get a 31% raise last year?). If you enjoy this sort of thing, you may want to do some research on an older wonder drug, PROGENITORIVOX.
AND ITS NASTY EFFECTS ON YOUR THYROID
Dr. Philippe Granjean of Harvard University -- a physician with a specialty in environmental medicine who has done similar studies on Thyroid and Fluoride, not only said it was the biggest study of its kind ever, but that over eight thousand of England's medical clinics (over 99%) supplied data. After seeing this data, Dr. Travis Sheldon, a medical researcher and Professor of Health Services, Research, and Policy at the University of York no longer believes that water fluoridation policies are as "clear cut" as they used to be. Just how crazy are these conclusions? Listen and prepare to be shocked. And after you've read it once, read it two or three more times to let its sheer magnitude sink in.
"We found that higher levels of fluoride in drinking water provide a useful contribution for predicting prevalence of hypothyroidism. We found that practices located in the West Midlands (a wholly fluoridated area) are nearly twice as likely to report high hypothyroidism prevalence in comparison to Greater Manchester (non-fluoridated area). In many areas of the world, hypothyroidism is a major health concern and in addition to other factors—such as iodine deficiency--fluoride exposure should be considered as a contributing factor [in developing hypothyroidism]. The findings of the study raise particular concerns about the validity of community fluoridation as a safe public health measure."
But this battle is nothing new folks. If you go to the very first link on this page and look at the Periodic Table of Elements, you'll see another common Thyroid-destroying element that has been added to almost 100% of our water supply --- Chlorine. Believe me when I tell you that sooner or later a similar study is going to come out on this element, which is extremely similar to Fluoride. They are a problem because they are both so similar to Iodine --- an element needed by your Thyroid for proper function. In fact, it's not a secret (although the medical and dental communities would like it to be) that 60 years ago, Hyperthyroid Disease was "suppressed" by giving folks Fluoride to "kill" their overactive Thyroids.
Believe me folks when I tell you that Thyroid problems are just the tip of the water as far as Fluoride exposure goes. In both China and India, it has been linked to low IQ children (see last year's study called Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity, published in the oldest and most prestigious medical journal in the world --- The Lancet).
If you are interested in learning more about this nasty element, visit the FLUORIDE ACTION NETWORK. The FAN is not only made up of activists who are trying to sway public opinion on this topic, but any number of prominent scientists as well. Here's the rub. With our government almost rabidly touting Fluoridation of the water supply (see the CDC's Water Fluoridation Statistics), to admit they've been wrong or misguided concerning this subject would open the floodgates. What floodgates you ask? I believe it would force them to reexamine the way our nation does VACCINES.
You see, MERCURY makes Fluoride look like powdered sugar. It is the single most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet. And it's in any number of our Vaccines (read the previous link). Don't be afraid to talk to your lawmakers about both of these issues. While you are at it, figure out a way to get the Chlorine and Fluoride out of your drinking water ---- the quality of your life depends on it (ask anyone with a LOW-FUNCTIONING THYROID GLAND).
Don't plan on the CDC or FDA to ride in and save the day anytime soon. The CDC lists Fluoridation of our water supply as one of the top advances in public health of the twentieth century. And the FDA ---- well; if you simply click the link you'll realize that you can't trust anything they say about anything --- particularly if there's money involved. And all the while we continue to grow fat on that "homecookin" we oxymoronically refer to as EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
If you've already been diagnosed with (or merely suspect) THYROID PROBLEMS, it may be time to get proactive and take the bull by the proverbial horns. Sure; go see your doctor. But don't neglect to follow THESE easy to understand steps. Because most cases of Thyroid disease are AUTOIMMUNE, you have to deal with the underlying Immune System issue(s) or you'll end up with an array Autoimmune Diseases that will hunt you down like a hungry pack of wolves.
"Wheat-related disorders have become a growing area of clinical and scientific interest and can be categorized broadly as: autoimmune-mediated; allergic; and non-autoimmune/non-allergic conditions. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) present on this spectrum as disorders associated with adverse gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal manifestations following exposure to gluten and/or other wheat-related constituents. NCGS/NCWS is increasingly considered in patients with unexplained symptoms after the exclusions of celiac disease and wheat allergy. As objective diagnostic data and specific biomarkers are lacking, response to a gluten-free/wheat-free diet can confirm the presence of NCGS/NCWS. An association with irritable bowel syndrome has been detected, and the effects of other food components, such as fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols [FODMAPS], may contribute. Our organization and synthesis of extant knowledge pertaining to wheat-related disorders may advance current practice and research efforts toward an improved understanding of NCGS/NCWS as an evolving clinical entity." From this month's issue of Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Wheat-Related Disorders Reviewed: Making A Grain of Sense)
So who's right in this debate? Is it comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who, like great attorneys, has the uncanny ability (not to mention the video editing capabilities) to make people look really stupid --- something that is usually easy to pull off when dealing with lay-persons trying to discuss scientific subjects such as Gluten (or VACCINES)? Or is it the researchers, scientists, and physicians who seem to be telling us in mass that Gluten is a significant etiological / pathological component of 21st century disease? Both groups can't be right. In the words of Kimmel, someone in this debate is full of "bull_ _ _ _".
While it is certainly true that "Big Food" --- many companies who happen to be subsidiaries of "Big Pharma" --- is CASHING IN, and it seems that FODMAPS probably play a much bigger role than we initially thought, the cold hard truth is that Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) is as real as it gets. I would argue that all we have to do is go to the scientific, peer-reviewed literature to see this phenomenon in action. For instance, take a look at the abstract of a paper from a 2013 issue of the journal Nutrients (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: The New Frontier of Gluten Related Disorders) that was co-authored by 26 physicians and researchers from around the world
"An overlap between the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and NCGS has been detected, requiring even more stringent diagnostic criteria. Several studies suggested a relationship between NCGS and neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly autism and schizophrenia. Recent studies raised the possibility that, beside gluten, wheat amylase-trypsin inhibitors and low-fermentable, poorly-absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates [FODMAPS] can contribute to symptoms (at least those related to IBS) experienced by NCGS patients."
One of the things that I have tried to do in my numerous posts on Gluten, is to show you that large numbers of NCGS symptoms --- many scientists believe the majority of symptoms --- are characterized as "extra-intestinal". In other words, forget about the classic ("intestinal") signs of Gluten Sensitivity for a moment (bloating, gas, IBS, etc, etc); Gluten is causing an array of other problems ---- most of them categorized as NEUROLOGICAL, AUTOIMMUNE, or CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY (HERE and HERE are a couple examples). I want to touch on some of these today. For those who are interested, the GLUTEN-FREE DIET (GFD) I recommend is found by clicking the link.
Also be aware that Celiac Disease is an Autoimmune Disease whereby the body attacks it's own small intestine. If you have read THIS POST, you will realize that hundreds (maybe thousands) of Autoimmune Diseases start (or at least have a tendency to be started) via development of a sensitivity to Gluten. In other words, there are hundreds of potential Autoimmune manifestations of Gluten Sensitivity that can in no ways be described as Celiac Disease because they do not attack the small intestine. It is important to understand that the designation of "Celiac Disease" does not necessarily mean that one's Gluten Sensitivity is worse, it simply means that it is related to an Autoimmune attack on your small intestine (there are usually other manifestations as well). Here are the things being touted as not only related to Celiac, but to NCGS as well.
- TYPE I DIABETES: A study published a decade ago in Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (Gluten-Free Diet in Subjects at Risk for Type 1 Diabetes: A Tool for Delaying Progression to Clinical Disease?) showed that the Autoimmune Disease Type I Diabetes could potentially be prevented with a GFD.
- ALLERGIES, IBS, & ANEMIA: In 2011, the February edition of the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology carried a study called Occurrence of Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity in Patients with Allergic Disease. In this study, 262 ALLERGY suffers with, "gastrointestinal symptoms of obscure origin," were checked for (and declared clear of) Celiac Disease via several different methods, and then put on GFD's (these patients were found to have exceedingly high frequencies of "INFLAMMATORY ANEMIAS" as well). According to the study's results, "The positive patients, who, after the GS diagnosis, followed a GFD, exhibited control of symptoms as well as stabilization of the hematological parameters even if allergic manifestations were not abated". In other words, those who went off Gluten cleared up their Anemia and their GI Symptoms, regardless of what happened to their Allergies. Because SUGAR and other simple carbohydrates were not accounted for in this diet, best guess is that a PALEO DIET would have cleared the Allergies as well.
- FIBROMYALGIA: People who struggle with FIBROMYALGIA are notorious for having IBS symptoms. The November 2014 issue of Rheumatology International had a study on the subject called Fibromyalgia and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: A Description With Remission of Fibromyalgia. The medical community is bamboozled by Fibromyalgia because they have no idea what causes it or what to do with those who have it. This study admits this by revealing that, "Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome is a disabling clinical condition of unknown cause, and only symptomatic treatment with limited benefit is available". Because like most THYROID PROBLEMS it's an ENDOCRINE SYSTEM PROBLEM that many believe to be Autoimmune, it has long been suspected (at least by those into natural healing) to be related to Gluten. Twenty patients were determined by several methods not to have Celiac Disease and were then put on a Gluten Free Diet. After an average of 16 months, these patients were followed up. "Clinical response was defined as achieving..... remission of FM pain, return to work, return to normal life, or the discontinuation of opioids. This observation supports the hypothesis that non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be an underlying cause of FM syndrome."
- SCHIZOPHRENIA: Although there have been any number of studies over the past five or six decades showing a relationship between Gluten and Schizophrenia, a few months ago, the November 2014 issue of Schizophrenia Research carried a study done by a dozen researchers well known in the field (Gluten Sensitivity and Relationship to Psychiatric Symptoms in People with Schizophrenia). "Our study in 100 people with schizophrenia compared to 100 matched controls replicates a higher prevalence of gluten sensitivity........ in schizophrenia." These were not Celiac patients, but instead had NCGS.
- GUT DYSBIOSIS, DEMENTIA, ALZHEIMER'S, AND GENERALIZED NEUROLOGICAL DYSFUNCTION: A study was published several weeks ago in the medical journal CNS & Neurological Disorders Drug Targets (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Triggers Gut Dysbiosis, Neuroinflammation, Gut-Brain Axis Dysfunction, and Vulnerability for Dementia). In case you don't know your MICROBIOME and it's relationship to DYSBIOSIS, click the link. The author, Dr. Mak Adam Daulatzai, is an Australian MD (Neurologist) with two different Ph.D's, who says, "The non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder which is very common worldwide. The human gut harbors microbiota which has a wide variety of microbial organisms; they are mainly symbiotic and important for well being. However, "dysbiosis" - i.e. an alteration in normal commensal gut microbiome with an increase in pathogenic microbes, impacts homeostasis/health. Dysbiosis in NCGS causes gut inflammation, diarrhea, constipation, visceral hypersensitivity, abdominal pain, dysfunctional metabolic state, and peripheral immune and neuro-immune communication. Thus, immune-mediated gut and extra-gut dysfunctions, due to gluten sensitivity with comorbid diarrhea, may last for decades. The above pathophysiological substrate and dysbiosis are underpinned by dysfunctional bidirectional "Gut-Brain Axis" pathway. Pathogenic gut microbiota is known to upregulate gut- and systemic inflammation; they enhance energy harvest, cause obesity, insulin resistance, and dysfunctional vago-vagal gut-brain axis. Conceivably, the above cascade of pathology may promote various pathophysiological mechanisms, neuroinflammation, and cognitive dysfunction. Hence, dysbiosis, gut inflammation, and chronic dyshomeostasis are of great clinical relevance. It is argued here that we need to be aware of NCGS and its chronic pathophysiological impact. Therapeutic measures including probiotics, vagus nerve stimulation, antioxidants, alpha 7 nicotinic receptor agonists, and corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 antagonist may ameliorate neuroinflammation and oxidative stress in NCGS; they may therefore, prevent cognitive dysfunction and vulnerability to Alzheimer's disease." This study was essentially a quest to find drugs that do the same thing as a GFD or THIS weird treatment.
- AUTISM: Although there has been some similar studies on this topic, a not quite two year old study in the June, 2013 issue of the French medical journal PLoS One (Markers of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism) revealed something that parents treating their AUTISTIC CHILDREN naturally, have known for years. Rather than me tell you, I'll just give you the author's conclusions. "A subset of children with autism displays increased immune reactivity to gluten, the mechanism of which appears to be distinct from that in celiac disease. The increased anti-gliadin antibody response and its association with GI symptoms points to a potential mechanism involving immunologic and/or intestinal permeability abnormalities in affected children". The doubly interesting thing about this study is that besides NCGS, it mentions another entity that most of the medical community claims does not exist either ---- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (their word is Increased Intestinal Permeability / Permeability Abnormalities). This is why so many Autistic children have improved dramatically on the GAPS or Paleo Diet. To understand why, GO HERE.
- SKIN CONDITIONS: It's no mystery that numerous skin conditions are related to Gluten Sensitivity, including Dermatitis Herpetiformis, ACNE, ECZEMA, and any number of OTHERS.
- MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS: Although I've written about this at least a couple of times (HERE and HERE), a 2009 study from the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Gluten Sensitivity in Multiple Sclerosis: Experimental Myth or Clinical Truth?) helped shed further light on this topic. "The relationship of anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) and anti-tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG) antibodies to MS has been debated since the 1960's, when a correlation between wheat and rye (containing gluten) intake and the incidence of MS worldwide was reported....... Our findings support the associations between antibodies against gliadin and tissue transglutaminase to multiple sclerosis. A gluten free diet should be considered in specific cases of patients who present with gluten antibodies." Again; the majority of the people with Gluten Antibodies are dealing with NCGS as opposed to Celiac Disease.
- NUROPATHY / MYOPATHY / AND SIMILAR NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS: I tell all my patients that NEUROPATHY is largely related to two things --- Gluten and BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION; both of which can be dealt with via a Paleo Diet. Five years ago this month, Lancet Neurology carried a study led by the famous Gluten researcher, Dr. M Hadjivassiliou, called Gluten Sensitivity: From Gut to Brain. The conclusions stated, "Gluten sensitivity is a systemic autoimmune disease with diverse manifestations. This disorder is characterized by abnormal immunological responsiveness to ingested gluten in genetically susceptible individuals. Coeliac disease, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy [Gut issues], is only one aspect of a range of possible manifestations of gluten sensitivity. Although neurological manifestations in patients with established coeliac disease have been reported since 1966, it was not until 30 years later that, in some individuals, gluten sensitivity was shown to manifest solely with neurological dysfunction. Furthermore, the concept of extraintestinal presentations without enteropathy has only recently become accepted. In this Personal View, we review the range of neurological manifestations of gluten sensitivity and discuss recent advances in the diagnosis and understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neurological dysfunction related to gluten sensitivity."
- DEPRESSION: Plainly stated, DEPRESSION is directly linked to GUT HEALTH. Because Gluten is known to foul up Gut Health, it should come as no surprise that Gluten has likewise been related to Depression. The May 2014 issue of Alimentry Pharmacology & Therapeutics bore this out with a study called Randomised Clinical Trial: Gluten May Cause Depression in Subjects with Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity - An Exploratory Clinical Study. The researchers took 22 individuals with IBS that was controlled with a Gluten Free Diet. Unbeknownst to the subjects, Gluten was added to their diets. "Gluten ingestion was associated with higher overall depression scores compared to placebo. No differences were found for other STPI state indices or for any STPI trait measures. Gastrointestinal symptoms were induced similarly across all dietary challenges. Short-term exposure to gluten specifically induced current feelings of depression... Such findings might explain why patients with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity feel better on a gluten-free diet despite the continuation of gastrointestinal symptoms." In other words, even if a Gluten Free diet does not totally control GI symptoms, people feel better when they are off of it. I can totally vouch for this, both personally and professionally.
- ADD / ADHD: The truth is, this 2012 study from Psychiatric Quarterly (Neurologic and Psychiatric Manifestations of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity) could have been used to prove any number of "BRAIN-RELATED" health problems are related to NCGS. One of those it dealt with specifically was ADD / ADHD. "Both CD and GS [Gluten Sensitivity] may present with a variety of neurologic and psychiatric co-morbidities, however, extraintestinal symptoms may be the prime presentation in those with GS. However, gluten sensitivity remains undertreated and underrecognized as a contributing factor to psychiatric and neurologic manifestations. This review focuses on neurologic and psychiatric manifestations implicated with gluten sensitivity......" Did you happen to catch the part about "extra-intestinal symptoms"? It's like I told you in several previous posts. The latest research is saying that the majority --- some experts say as much as 80% --- of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity manifests with non-Gut symptoms.
- GLUTEN ATAXIA: This study looked at several neurological issues associated with NCGS. However, the one that caught my eye was something called "Stiff-Person Syndrome". Johns Hopkins University Medical School describes it thusly. "Stiff Person Syndrome (SPS) is a rare disease of the nervous system. Progressively severe muscle stiffness typically develops in the spine and lower extremities; often beginning very subtly during a period of emotional stress. An auto-immune component is typical and patients often have other auto-immune disorders. Symptoms usually begin in the mid-forties." Although this particular problem is rare, motion disorders of all varieties are not --- particularly PARKINSON'S DISEASE. Type in "Gluten Parkinson's" to the PubMed search and you'll find all sorts of interesting studies such as that found in the May, 2013 issue of Neurology (Transglutaminase 6 Antibodies in the Diagnosis of Gluten Ataxia) or Dramatic Improvement of Parkinsonian Symptoms after Gluten-Free Diet Introduction in a Patient with Silent Celiac Disease, from the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Neurology.
- MENIERE'S DISEASE: Meniere's is characterized by varying degrees of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) vertigo (dizziness / equilibrium issues) and HEARING LOSS. The August 2013 issue of the American Journal of Otolyrangology --- an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor's journal ---- (Ménière Disease and Gluten Sensitivity: Recovery After a Gluten-Free Diet) talked about the case history of a patient with NCGS, "with definite unilateral Ménière disease, osteoarthritis of the distal finger joints with mucous cysts and Heberden's nodes, and constipation with recurrent abdominal pain whose symptoms remitted after 6 months of a restrictive gluten-free diet". Interestingly enough, Gluten is known to have an affinity for contributing to Autoimmune attacks on the Cerebellum --- the part of the brain that controls postural spinal muscles and equilibrium --- a common factor in Gluten Ataxia as well as Vertigo.
- ENDOMETRIOSIS: This one is a true mind-blower. In December of 2012, the Italian medical journal Edizioni Minerva Medica's Minerva Chirurgica published a study called Gluten-Free Diet: A New Strategy for Management of Painful Endometriosis Related Symptoms? A collaboration between the Gynecology Department of Rome's Tor Vergata University and the General Surgery Department of the Villa Tiberia Hospital led to these conclusions. "Pelvic pain affects 4% to 39% of women and accounts for 10-40% of all outpatient gynecologic visits. The etiology of painful endometriosis-related has not been fully delineated. No studies have been published concerning gluten-free diet administered to achieved relief of painful symptoms endometriosis-related...... Two hundred seven patients with severe painful endometriosis-related symptoms entered the study. At enrollment time, the baseline values of painful symptoms were assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for dysmenorrhoea, non-menstrual pelvic pain, and dyspareunia." These 207 women were put on a GFD and checked one year later. "At 12 month follow-up, 156 patients (75%) reported statistically significant change in painful symptoms, 51 patients (25%) reported no improvement of symptoms. No patients reported worsening of pain. However, a considerable increase of scores for all domains of physical functioning, general health perception, vitality, social functioning, and mental health were observed in all patients. In our experience, painful symptoms of endometriosis decrease after 12 months of gluten free diet." I promote the GFD for women not only dealing with Endometriosis, but FEMALE PROBLEMS as well.
- BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION: We've known for a very long time that INSULIN RESISTANCE (Pre-Diabetes) and OBESITY (hyper-adiposity) are two of the myriad of health issues caused by INFLAMMATION. Truth be known, we've also known for quite some time that Gluten is terribly INFLAMMATORY for many individuals --- even in the absence of full-blown Celiac Disease. Thus, it stands to reason that Gluten could lead to TYPE II DIABETES. A June 2013 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (Gluten-Free Diet Reduces Adiposity, Inflammation and Insulin Resistance) revealed that a GFD helped deal with all of these. "Gluten-free animals showed a reduction in body weight gain and adiposity, without changes in food intake or lipid excretion. These results... are related to lipolysis [breaking down fat] and fatty acid oxidation [burning fat]. There was an improvement in glucose homeostasis and pro-inflammatory profile.... Moreover, intravital microscopy showed a lower number of adhered cells in the adipose tissue microvasculature [hardening of the arteries]. Our data support the beneficial effects of gluten-free diets in reducing adiposity gain, inflammation and insulin resistance. The data suggests that diet gluten exclusion should be tested as a new dietary approach to prevent the development of obesity and metabolic disorders." Less Inflammation? Less body fat? Better control of blood sugar? No drugs? What's not to love?
- CHRONIC PAIN: Chronic Pain is either directly or indirectly mostly the result of Inflammation (HERE). In fact, Inflammation is at the root of almost every single NON-GENETIC health problem you can name. A recent study published in the June 2015 issue of Food Chemistry (yes, it's out already) called Responses of Peripheral Blood Mononucleated Cells from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive Patients to Various Cereal Sources, revealed some interesting tidbits. "Results demonstrated that wheat protein induced an overactivation of the proinflammatory chemokine CXCL10 from NCGS patients, and that the overactivation level depends on the cereal source from which proteins are obtained.... This mechanism is activated to a greater extent by proteins from modern with respect to those extracted from ancient wheat genotypes." This is not much different than what I've shown you in THE PAST (or that DR. AYERS has discussed on his blog).
- A VARIETY OF INTESTINAL & EXTRA-INTESTINAL SYMPTOMS: In any number of my posts on Gluten, I've shown you that many of the symptoms of NCGS are extrintestinal (they occur outside of the digestive tract). A two month old study from the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects With Suspected Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial) is the final nail in the coffin for those who would deny NCGS exists. In this study, the authors enrolled, "61 adults without celiac disease or a wheat allergy who believed ingestion of gluten-containing food to be the cause of their intestinal and extraintestinal symptoms. Participants were assigned randomly to groups given either gluten or rice starch (placebo) for 1 week, each via gastrosoluble capsules. After a 1-week gluten-free diet, participants crossed over to the other group." Listen to what happened. "Intake of gluten significantly increased overall symptoms compared with placebo. Abdominal bloating and pain, among the intestinal symptoms, and foggy mind, depression, and aphthous stomatitis [recurrent oral cankers that affect nearly 1/3 of the population], among the extraintestinal symptoms, were significantly more severe when subjects received gluten than placebo. In a cross-over trial of subjects with suspected NCGS, the severity of overall symptoms increased significantly during 1 week of intake of small amounts of gluten." This study was huge in proving NCGS because the different groups "crossed over" to being more symptomatic or less symptomatic (or even asymptomatic) depending on whether or not they were consuming Gluten.
- OTHERS: All you have to do is go to the government's PubMed site and start searching "Gluten" (or NCGS) and whatever disease of health problem you are curious about. Prepare to be blown away by the amount of information you'll find. The truth is, not only could I have found dozens of studies to back some of my bullet points, but I could have had way more bullet points than I had. I'm frankly tired of typing. Hopefully you get the point.
Furthermore, removing Gluten from your diet is in no ways dangerous. When I see people decrying NCGS as stupid, faddish, or misguided, I have to laugh. You see; there's really no drawback to eating Gluten Free as long as you stay away from THESE PRODUCTS. The truth is that grains ---- particularly modern grains that are often GMO ---- are not nearly as healthy as we have been led to believe. A study (Nutrient-Dense Food Groups have High Energy Costs: An Econometric Approach to Nutrient Profiling) from the July 2007 issue of the Journal of Nutrition showed that while less expensive than WHOLE FOODS such as meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains came in last as far as nutritional density is concerned (and no; bread is not a good source of fiber ---- HERE).
Despite the fact that many people tout a Gluten Free Diet as unhealthy because it is cutting Gluten --- which some must believe to be an essential nutrient --- out of the diet, a recent study from a pediatrics journal --- Spain's Anales de Pediatria --- called Nutritional Assessment of Gluten-Free Diet. Is Gluten-Free Diet Deficient in Some Nutrient? had this to say about the subject. "The gluten-free diet has minimal deficiencies, similar to those present in the diet with gluten...." In other words, any nutritional deficiencies seen in the GFD were virtually the same as those seen in non-GF diets.
Don't kid yourself for even one moment about NCGS. It's not only real, for many it's an all too real, living, breathing, nightmare. If you have any sort of chronic health issue or unresolved CHRONIC PAIN, you should really contemplate doing a Thirty Day Elimination Diet as outlined in this post. It could be the step that changes your life, and worst case scenario, it's not going to hurt you. For more information about solving Chronic Conditions, HERE is a great starting point.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE LATEST GUIDELINES?
In the study, the authors were working from the knowledge that, "Low back pain is common, and injections with corticosteroids are a frequently used treatment option". The challenge was to look at 77 recent studies on the subject (2008-2014) and see if this option was even remotely effective for Low Back Pain. After all, CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS have played a major role in the medical community for half a century or more (you'll see just how big a role in a moment). The authors of this 251 page meta-analysis, "reviewed the current evidence on effectiveness and harms of epidural, facet joint, and sacroiliac corticosteroid injections for low back pain conditions." Did they find anything that might be considered important or newsworthy for those who struggle with Low Back Pain? We'll get to that, but let's first look at what these experts had to say about back pain in America.
- BACK PAIN IS COMMON: I knew this was true, but here is what the government says. "Low back pain is one of the most frequently encountered conditions in clinical practice. Up to 84 percent of adults have low back pain at some time in their lives, and a national survey of U.S. adults in 2002 found that over one-quarter reported low back pain lasting at least a whole day in the previous 3 months." In an age where 2/3 of our nation is OVERWEIGHT OR OBESE (not to mention massively INFLAMED), you know that this statistic is going to be significantly higher now than it was 13 years ago.
- CHRONIC BACK PAIN IS MORE LIKELY IN THE ELDERLY: "Although low back pain affects individuals of all ages, its prevalence peaks at 55 to 64 years of age and remains common in those 65 years of age and older." Unfortunately, because Medicare is like bank vault for unscrupulous healthcare providers (cha-ching), we frequently see the elderly being taken advantage of with batteries of UNNECESSARY TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS as well as UNNEEDED SURGERIES.
- IT'S NOT JUST A "PAIN" ISSUE: "Low back pain can have major adverse impacts on quality of life and function and is frequently associated with depression or anxiety." If you want to begin to grasp the intricacies of CHRONIC PAIN, just click the link. For information about Depression, you can go HERE.
- LOW BACK PAIN CARRIES MASSIVE COST: Much of this is on the shoulders of the public sector in the form of tax dollars. "Low back pain is also costly. In 1998, total U.S. health care expenditures for low back pain were estimated at $90 billion. Since that time, costs of low back pain care have risen substantially, at a rate higher than observed for overall health expenditures. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work or reduced productivity while at work, resulting in high indirect costs; this makes the total costs associated with low back pain substantially higher than the direct health care costs." Face it. Using statistics on cost that were current nearly two decades old is ridiculous. If my son tried to pull this off in his college courses, he would probably be repeating the classes. Suffice it to say that the cost of LBP in America today is going to run into the hundreds of billions.
- X-RAYS AND ADVANCED IMAGING RARELY PROVIDE VALUABLE DIAGNOSTIC INFORMATION: If you've read my post on ASYMPTOMATIC DISC HERNIATIONS you're already aware of this fact. When it comes to musculoskeletal problems that do not involve a possible fracture, diagnostic imaging rarely provides what I have always referred to as a "Ah Ha" moment. "In the majority (over 85%) of patients with low back pain, symptoms cannot be attributed to a specific disease or spinal pathology. Spinal imaging abnormalities such as degenerative disc disease, facet joint arthropathy, and bulging or herniated intervertebral discs are extremely common in patients with low back pain, particularly in older adults. However, such findings poorly predict the presence or severity of low back pain." This is a big reason that the vast majority of CT'S & MRI'S in this country are unnecessary.
- CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS ARE ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST COMMON TREATMENTS FOR MAJOR LOW BACK PAIN: Although other palliative therapies such as PAIN PILLS, MUSCLE RELAXERS, and NON-STEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATION DRUGS are exceedingly common, so are injections. "The most commonly used medications in back injections are corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and local anesthetics for analgesia."
- THE USE OF INJECTIONS IS INCREASING EXPONENTIALLY: "Between 1994 and 2001, use of epidural injections increased by 271 percent and facet joint injections by 231 percent among Medicare beneficiaries. Total inflation-adjusted reimbursed costs (based on professional fees only) increased from $24 million to over $175 million over this time period. More recent data indicate continued rapid growth in use of spinal injection therapies among Medicare beneficiaries, with an increase of 187 percent in use between 2000 and 2008. Despite these dramatic increases, use of injection therapies for low back pain remains controversial." I promise that the increase over the course of this study has been just as big or bigger (I'm not really sure why they do not have pre-2008 data on cost, even though that is the starting year for this meta-analysis). Which brings me to a whole other issue --- the issue of why this commonly used treatment remains controversial.
CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY AND CONSEQUENCES
OF CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS
Remember back when I showed you that studies can be purposefully set up to prove anything you want them to (HERE)? The same thing is true of studies with Spinal Injections of Corticosteroids. Listen to what the authors of this study admit to. "Trials of injection therapies have frequently focused on short-term outcomes related to pain, rather than longer-term functional outcomes." Case in point, here is what they said about a previous meeting back in 2009 whose results were carried in the medical journal Spine (Nonsurgical Interventional Therapies for Low Back Pain: A Review of the Evidence for an American Pain Society Clinical Practice Guideline). "A previous qualitative review conducted by our team and funded by the APS found fair evidence that epidural corticosteroid injections for radiculopathy are more effective than placebo interventions for short-term symptom relief, but not for long-term symptom relief......" It's easy to set up a study that shows short term relief.
I see lots and lots of people who get temporary relief from this commonly used therapy (anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks). I rarely if ever see people getting any sort of long term relief. This is spelled out by this most recent APS study. The back half of this study contains page after page after page charts of dozens upon dozens of specific categories of Corticosteroid Injections. Virtually all reveal that the, "strength of evidence (SOE): low". This is seen in the study's conclusions.
"Epidural corticosteroid injections for radiculopathy were associated with immediate improvements in pain and might be associated with immediate improvements in function, but benefits were small and not sustained, and there was no effect on long-term risk of surgery. Evidence did not suggest that effectiveness varies based on injection technique, corticosteroid, dose, or comparator. Limited evidence suggested that epidural corticosteroid injections are not effective for spinal stenosis or nonradicular back pain and that facet joint corticosteroid injections are not effective for facet joint pain."
This is exactly what I have been telling my patients for the past 25 years. These drugs might provide a bit of short term relief, but there is absolutely no long term benefit. And despite the study saying that, "Serious harms from injections were rare in randomized trials and observational studies," this sentence carries a qualifier ----- "Harms reporting was suboptimal (SOE: low)". Like I have shown you any number of times previously, adverse events, side effects, drug reactions ("Harms Reporting") are always UNDER-REPORTED; usually ridiculously so.
Furthermore, they were only looking at short-term adverse events. In other words, you get an injection and have an immediate reaction, you become a statistic. While that scenario is relatively rare, degeneration is not. You see; even if these drugs work to relieve your pain temporarily, any doctor worth his salt is going to tell you (warn you) that they just can't continue injecting you over and over with Corticosteroids. Why not? Because Corticosteroid Injections are massively degenerative. They destroy all the COLLAGEN-BASED tissues that make up the joint (BONES, cartilage, FASCIA, TENDONS, LIGAMENTS, MUSCLES, etc, etc, etc). In other words, every time you get a Corticosteroid Injection you are trading tomorrow for today. As far as other long-term consequences of Corticosteroids, they are nasty as well. Use Google to research this topic in depth if your doctor is trying to get you to agree to injections.
POLICY MAKING & DECISION MAKING
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
"Potential strategies to enhance the effectiveness of epidural injections would be to perform them using techniques shown to be more effective, or to selectively perform injections in patients more likely to benefit. However, our review found no clear evidence of greater benefits based on technical factors such as the specific epidural technique used, use of fluoroscopic guidance, the specific corticosteroid, the dose, or the number or frequency of injections."
When I was making notes for this post, I wrote "fricking absurd" next to the paragraph above. Think about it for a moment. No matter how many dozens (maybe hundreds) of different ways that doctors have tried to deliver these injections, research has shown that none of them work. Couple this with their long-term DEGENERATIVE qualities, and I cannot imagine why we are still having this discussion in the year 2015.
THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER MAMMOGRAM?
In the study, two doctors at Boston Children's Hospital, Ken Mandl and Mei-Sing Ong (Mandl is also a professor at Harvard School of Medicine) stated that, "There's a $4-billion problem, and it's $4 billion dollars being spent on two undesirable outcomes." The two undesirable outcomes they were talking about were those ugly twins I mentioned in the first sentence of this post. It is their belief that for the most part, "providers, patients, and their families" are failing to grasp the magnitude of this problem. The Overdiagnosis rate was over one in ten, which means that of the nearly 30 million women getting their BREASTS X-RAYED every year, over 3 million received "False Positive" diagnosis at a cost of nearly three billion dollars.
The shocker, however, were the statistics for DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ), where the rate of Overdiagnosis is 86%. In English, this means that for every 100 people diagnosed with DCIS, 86 of them did not have the problem ---- they were "False Positive". Gulp! Frith went on to write that, "For years, a DCIS finding automatically led to bilateral mastectomy. However, providers now realize that it often does not progress and sometimes is actually not even cancerous." And now we have celebrities like Angelina Jolie affecting public opinion by opting for a DOUBLE MASTECTOMY (not to mention a complete hysterectomy) just because SHE CARRIES A CERTAIN GENE.
Despite lots of discussion, there were no tangible recommendations by the study's authors other than the ultra-vague, "limiting screening to women for whom it clearly has a positive benefit-harm balancing". Unfortunately, not even these researchers could really say what this means. I realize you'll all be shocked, but as always, the reasons boil down to money. Listen to what Firth says about their conclusions. After sharing something that was likewise revealed in YESTERDAY'S POST ---- that the "status quo of current practices is so firmly entrenched" ----- Mandl states that because, "Any change in recommendation will shift the revenue one way or another..... that has to be an explicit part of the conversation." So, even though we have study after study after study on this topic by the research side of the medical community, the practicing side of the medical profession wants exactly what the research side says they shouldn't have --- largely because to follow their lead would drastically diminish income ("shift revenue"). And the CHASM continues to grow.
If you are interested in Cancer Prevention as opposed to Cancer Detection (not sure our medical system or government has figured out the difference yet), you might want to at least skim over THIS SERIES OF POSTS.
RELICS FROM A BYGONE ERA
One of the first things that Gold did was quote a statistic from a 2007 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine (Preventive Health Examinations and Preventive Gynecological Examinations in the United States). Although the ball had already been rolling concerning bailing on Annual Physicals, this was the study that pushed things over the edge when it comes to the way we think (or at least should think) about Annual Physical Exams (including ANNUAL FEMALE EXAMS). Here are a few excerpts from that study.
- Annual PHEs or preventive gynecological examinations (PGEs) (also called annual pelvic or gynecological examinations) are not recommended by major North American clinical organizations.
- Some observers have raised concerns that preventive visits are an inefficient use of physicians' time.
- Women receive a significant fraction of mammograms at preventive visits.
- Unnecessary laboratory testing is frequently ordered at these appointments.
Taken from the study above, Gold revealed that, "more than 44 million Americans are taking part in a medical ritual: visiting the doctor for an annual physical exam. But there's little evidence that those visits actually do any good for healthy adults." One of the many provisions of the Affordable Care Act is that it was supposed to make Preventive Health Examinations (PHEs) and Preventive Gynecological Examinations (PGEs) completely free of charge and not subject to deductibles or co-pays simply because they are believed to be critical to a healthy society.
A 2014 poll from Kaiser's Family Foundation (Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2014) showed that even though more Californians were against the ACA than for it, well over 90% of those polled believe PGE's and PHE's to be a good thing, and nearly two thirds went to their doctors or practitioners to get those free Annual Examinations (PGE's and PHE's). Stick with me and I will show you why this does not do what you have always been told it does --- save lives and prevent chronic illness.
Earlier I mentioned the word "prevention". The problem is that the medical community continues to confuse early diagnosis with PREVENTION, and then propagandizing it as the single biggest key to "curing" a wide array of physical ailments. This simply is not true. Maybe in the distant future, but not then and not now. It's part of what has made modern American healthcare A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING.
Although one of the arguments given in the article had to do with cost cost (annual physicals cost tens of billions of dollars a year), the main drawback has to do with something called "False Positives". False Positives are test results that say you have a disease when you really don't. This leads to something the medical community has named OVER-DIAGNOSIS & OVER-TREATMENT, which unfortunately leads to premature death far more often than most people are aware (HERE). It is virtually impossible to wrap your mind around the fact that annual physicals can cause more harm than good without understanding these two simple yet conncted-at-the-hip concepts. (A great piece on this topic is from last June's Journal of the American Medical Association ---- The $50,000 Physical).
Speaking of cost, although the article claims the average Annual Physical will run you in the neighborhood of $150.00, the internet is awash with examples that are much higher. One example came from the website CostHelper dot com (How Much Does an Annual Physical Cost?). It contained a common theme I saw all over the web while researching this post. It seems that many doctors are ordering tests that patients did not want or need as part of the physical. A woman from Reedly, California stated that, "The clinic made sign a letter saying I am responsible for all the extra costs that are not covered by my insurance, otherwise I don't get service. But the letter never gave me the choice to pre-approve tests or to verify if I can afford it." She was pissed (upset is not a strong enough word) because her "free" physical ended up costing her over $700.00.
Despite Gold's article revealing that since the 1980's there has been ample "EVIDENCE" showing that annual physicals are not all they're cracked up to be, the medical community at large continues to recommend them anyway ---- something I WROTE ABOUT a couple of years ago, after writing an article on the same topic we are covering today. The point is, this is nothing new even though most of you have never heard it before --- evidence was actually pointing this direction four decades ago.
Ignoring Evidence-Based practice in favor of something called EMINENCE-BASED PRACTICE is so common it could be considered the norm (HERE). Far too many physicians argue that patients (especially elderly patients) need the annual physical in order to get patients in their doors so they can recieve their VACCINES --- most particularly their FLU SHOTS. Let's be real for a moment. Flu Shots can be had almost anywhere, including Mal Wart or the franchised Pharmacies found on almost every corner of every major urban area. And if you CLICK HERE, current peer-review will let you in on yet another of medicine's dirty little secrets (that every doctor is or at least should be aware of) --- flu shots for the elderly are basically a placebo with side effects.
Below is the Annual Physical's "Top Eight" list taken from Preventive Health Examinations and Preventive Gynecological Examinations in the United States. Follow along as I pull back the curtain and show you what the Great and Powerful Oz really looks like.
- MAMMOGRAMS FOR WOMEN: If you are a woman, you need to read the earlier link about Overdiagnosis & Overtreatment. HERE is the scoop on mammograms and HERE is the lowdown on the Annual Female Examination as well.
- PROSTATE EXAMS FOR MEN: Same thing. A PSA TEST is no longer part of the normal Standard of Care for men for good reason.
- PAP SMEARS FOR WOMEN: The American Academy of Family Physicians says on their website, "Don't perform Pap smears on women under the age of 21 or women who have had a hysterectomy for non-cancer disease." Honestly, if you want to see the whole scoop, just Google "unnecessary PAP smears" and start skimming titles.
- CHOLESTEROL SCREENINGS: Why bother with screening when most doctors have already made up their mind about what to recommend? According to the latest research, doctors are pushing almost everyone to get on Statin Drugs (HERE and HERE). If you are interested in seeing some of the reasons you might not want to take statin drugs, HERE is a good place to start.
- SMOKING CESSATION: Noble sounding. Extremely ineffective and cost-inefficient. HERE is our information on smoking.
- WEIGHT LOSS COUNSELING: When is the last time a doctor provided any sort of meaningful counseling on WEIGHT LOSS aside from recommending WEIGHT LOSS DRUGS or BARIATRIC SURGERY (or EAT MORE AND EXERCISE LESS)? See the last bullet point below.
- EXERCISE COUNSELING: Other than a generic, "be sure to exercise Mrs Smith," when is the last time a doctor provided any sort of meaningful counseling on SPECIFIC EXERCISE PROGRAMS to their patients? Plainly stated, they don't.
- NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING: NUTRITIONAL COUNSELING from the average MD? Surely YOU JEST? Why not simply admit that 99% of the time, points 6, 7, and 8 are not occurring in any meaningful way in 99% of the medical clinics here in America? But when it comes to this particular bullet point, I simply want to laugh out loud. Mostly because the average doctor knows less than you do about nutrition, is withholding the truth, or outright lying to you (HERE and HERE). In fact, HERE'S how utterly simple it would be for the average physician to help their patients out in this department.
Case in point; Gold's article ends with an "encounter" (an Annual Physical Examination) between a Miami physician (Dr. Caruso) and his early 30's patient (Mr. Vega). The doctor paints a what-if scenario to make his case for the annual physical. The final sentence says that, "Vega did end up needing a little help -- he has a bad back that's landed him in the ER several times. Caruso was able to link him up with a back specialist to help him manage the problem." This is how skewed our system really is. What kind of "management" is a "back specialist" going to provide Mr. Vega in order to help him effectively "manage the problem"? You already know the answer to this. PAIN PILLS, MUSCLE RELAXERS, NSAIDS, CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS ---- and eventually SPINAL SURGERY. It's what back specialists do. Might there be a BETTER WAY?
A brand new article from this month's edition of JAMA (What Is the Right Number of Clinic Appointments? Visit Frequency and the Accountable Care Organization) might help shed some light on this topic. This study says that Americans, "make 1 billion visits to physicians’ offices every year." Note that this does not account for hospitalizations, which are an entirely other animal altogether. This is interesting in light of the fact that as a nation we are broke. No, that's not really true. We are officially 20 trillion dollars in the hole (unofficially more like 120 billion), and our government is finding it increasingly impossible to pay for your visits to the doctor, which cost, "nearly $600 billion" annually. Enter ACO's.
According to this study, "Since the Affordable Care Act mandated the creation of ACOs for Medicare beneficiaries in 2010, more than 600 public and private versions of the ACO have been created covering more than 18 million patients nationally." ACO's (Accountable Care Organizations) are groups of healthcare providers that provide care based strictly on the "BEST EVIDENCE". In other words, if you can't back it up with peer-reviewed research (as crooked as that research may be --- click the link), it's not happening. ACO's also get fined or paid at a lower rate when patients relapse or are readmitted to the hospital for the same problem(s) they went in for in the first place. Are ACO's good? Like so many other Orwellian-named governmental organizations, it might look good on paper. Unfortunately, reality is often 180 degrees different than UTOPIAN IDEAS.
Back in 2012, Dr. Harriet Hall of SCIENCE-BASED MEDICINE wrote that, "For a healthy, asymptomatic patient, the physical exam with the laying on of hands and stethoscope and other rituals is pretty much meaningless. If nothing is found, it can produce false reassurance. If something is found, it is not likely to prolong the patient’s life and it has a significant likelihood of leading to harm from unnecessary treatment or from a diagnostic cascade of tests, unnecessary surgeries, unnecessary expense, and unnecessary worry."
On February 1 of 2011, she wrote a book review that everyone would do well to at least skim. The book, Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health, explains why Annual Physical Examinations are more likely to kill you than to save you (a point that MY BROTHER --- an ER physician --- would heartily agree with). Despite that fact that the average American believes it's always good to discover health problems early, unless you are counting your doctor's bottom line, four decades of data have not borne this out (see my earlier link on "Prevention").
And lets be honest with each other for just a moment. What are Annual Physicals really? They certainly cannot be called "preventative" in any real sense of the word. Preventative Care is something you do for yourself --- not something your doctor does for you (HERE). Whether you are currently "sick" (you have overt symptoms) or not; if you are not taking care of yourself, sooner or later you will be "sick" --- officially.
When you think about it, it's not a surprise that Annual Physicals have been proven to be worthless and that as a nation, Americans are on the receiving end of WAY TOO MUCH HEALTHCARE. In far too many cases it's an endless cycle of a dog trying to catch his tail --- chasing symptoms and prescribing DRUGS --- drugs that cause reactions that are not reported to the proper reporting agencies about 99% of the time (HERE), always making Big Pharma look better and safer than it really is.
In fact, if you want to see how big a mirage drugs are as far as managing DISEASES OF LIFESTYLE are concerned (as well as what you could be doing to help your own cause), I would suggest you read THIS SHORT POST. And if you like our site, be sure and like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it's a fantastic way to reach the people you love and care about most.
A DECADE OF BUTT PAIN /SCIATICA/ PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME
FIBROTIC CONNECTIVE TISSUES AND CHRONIC PAIN
In my neck of the Ozarks most people either DEER HUNT, or have been exposed to it. If you've ever FIELD-DRESSED your own deer (or for that matter, butchered anything at all) you are familiar with Fascia. FASCIA is the clear, mucousy, cellophane-like membrane that is found under the skin. But not only does it cover muscles, groups of muscles, as well as groups of fibers within individual muscles, it covers (or becomes continuous with) nerve sheaths, bone sheaths, TENDONS, LIGAMENTS, and even organs. Fascia is loaded with MECHANORECEPTORS, and can actually act as ITS OWN NERVOUS SYSTEM ---- the very thing that makes it the most potentially pain-sensitive tissue in the body (HERE). Fascia's various functions within the body are so critical that from the time of DR. AT STILL (the father of Osteopathy), research is increasingly showing that large amounts of pain, sickness, disease, and disability, are related to it's dysfunction (HERE).
Even though it's referred to as "Deep Fascia," much of it is quite superficial (HERE). Because of this it is prone to sprains and strains, as well as bumps, bruises, and impacts of varying intensities (HERE). Because of the ACUTE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE that is associated with any amount of bodily injury, one of the first things that begins to occur post-injury is something called "Fibroblastic Proliferation".
Any time you see the word "blast" in biology, think 'builder'. In other words, Fibroblasts are cells that build fibers or fibrous tissue. Fibroblasts are the most commonly found cells in Connective Tissue. Their job is to manufacture and excrete the stuff that essentially makes up all tissue (including SCAR TISSUE) --- extracellular matrix (ECM) and COLLAGEN. Collagen is the most abundant tissue in the body, and plays a critical role in the healing of wounds or injuries. The Inflammatory Response turns FIBROBLASTS on to do their thing and heal your body by creating a scar.
The thing we always want to see with the formation of a scar (even if the Scar Tissue is microscopic) is "Functionality". The hope is that the scar heals more like well-combed hair than a hairball (HERE). If everything in the tissue is working as it should, even though it is still considered a scar, it is more flexible and elastic, with better strength. However, if the scar heals in a microscopically tangled, twisted, THICKENED, wadded up configuration, we tend to refer to this as FIBROSIS. Sometimes these scars (Fibrosis) are visible to the naked eye --- like that nasty cut on your arm from the bike wreck you had when you were 10 years old. More often than not, they are invisible --- even with commonly used ADVANCED IMAGING TECHNIQUES. This is because what I am describing is frequently happening in tissue that's as thin as cellophane.
The cellular matrix that makes up Fascia is like a three dimensional net, or wire webbing. Although extremely tough and flexible when healthy, when injured it begins to create excess cross-links. In other words, in order to get stronger, the web gets thicker. Stronger can be good, but in the body, there's always a trade off. Unfortunately, as the tissue thickens, it loses it's ability to stretch and elast. Once this happens, even though the Fascia is thicker, the loss of elasticity actually makes it weaker --- or at least more prone to injury (re-injury). It can no longer help muscles TRANSMIT LOADS AND FORCES as it should, and it cannot accurately transmit nerve-like impulses (see previous link on Fascia as a Second Nervous System). Plainly stated, a derangement of FASCIAL STRUCTURE (aka tensgerity) will sooner or later cause a subsequent loss of Fascial Function that can begin a catastrophic downhill spiral.
This tangle of thickened and inelastic tissue binds both the nerve and vascular tissues causing both pain and hypoxia (diminished OXYGENATION). If this sounds bad, it's because it is. Furthermore, this microscopically jumbled mass of tissue often becomes hypersensitized. According to famed neurologist and researcher Dr. Chan Gunn of the Seattle / Vancouver region, this tissue now has the potential to be over 1,000 times more pain-sensitive than normal tissue. This can lead to either Hyperalgia or Allodynia (HERE). The end result is CHRONIC PAIN and a medical community that rarely provides you any sort of meaningful information as far as what's wrong with you, or more importantly how to get your life back.
Instead you get drugs. And tests. And more drugs, and more tests. As you spin around and around on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, you begin to realize that your doctors not only don't understand what's happening to you, you get the impression they think you are malingering. Furthermore, you are told that the solution to your problem is things like PAIN MEDS, MUSCLE RELAXERS, NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory meds), and CORTICOSTEROID INJECTIONS. If this approach fails, you move to "Pain Management". Most "Pain Management" involves more of the same, only now they add things like burning out your nerves (RFA's) and surgically-implanted spinal cord stimulators to the mix. Gulp.
Sooner or later someone will diagnose you with DEPRESSION --- you know, the old Depression-is-causing-your-chronic-pain trick. You're given ANTIDEPRESSANTS and referred to a psychiatrist, who gives you all sorts of drugs as well. Those of you who have been down this road know that it is rarely beneficial or effective. You're at the end of your rope and you don't know what to do. Many of you are thinking more frequently about ending it all. The following is a letter I received this weekend from Australia.
Dear Dr. Schierling,
All day long I have this unbearable burning tingling sensation and if knocked or pushed in any way, the pain brings me to tears like a big baby. The tendons have me on the brink of mental madness from trying to cope with the pain, and not being able to explain to anybody at all just how much &^%@(#&$^ agony I'm in actually in doc. For a good 20 hours a day my pain level is 10 out of 10 and the other 4 hours it's 8 out of ten. Put it this way mate - if you can't help ease my pain , then I truly don't want to keep soldiering on anymore. Please forgive what I'm about to say doc but - I have seriously considered suicide as an option because my pain is beyond anything I care to live with. But then I look at my beautiful kiddies and pregnant wife and could never go thru with it. Though I truly truly can't go on like this too much longer. I thank god that I've found your website and I pray I get a return email from yourself or your secretary asap. I can not even pick up my babies anymore to give them a cuddle or show them my love. I'm tired of my non-understanding wife telling me to harden up and that my pain could not be as severe as I make out. So reluctantly I tell her to find herself and my babies a new man. One that can still work and make a living . One that can still hold her the way a wife needs to be held. One that can still pick up my babies and love them and hug them the way they deserve to be loved and cuddled.
As is frequently the case, I suggest taking matters into your own hands. The very first thing you must do is understand INFLAMMATION and its relationship to Fibrosis / Scar Tissue and Chronic Pain. I have written four (as in 4) articles on this relationship in the last four months (HERE'S A GOOD ONE). Click on the link and start reading. It is absolutely critical for you to get a firm handle on Inflammation if you hope to get out of pain and get your life back. Fail to control Inflammation and you'll have a difficult time with both your health and your WEIGHT. It always amazes me how many people --- no matter what their health problems are --- get dramatically better just from taking THIS FIRST STEP. But regardless, you can't stop here.
The second step requires restoring joint motion. For some of you this might be accomplished with some CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS and / or gentle massage or "MELT" therapy. For many -- no matter how clean and healthy your diet and lifestyle has become --- you'll have to GET AFTER IT in order to address said Fascial Adhesions and adhesed Connective Tissues that formed before these changes were made. Be aware that very frequently these restrictions can cause pain and symptoms in distant parts of the body. Furthermore, if your problem is CHRONIC NECK PAIN (rampant here in America) or some sort of RADICULAR PROBLEM (arm / hand issues), you'll likely need to work on restoration of your neck's NORMAL CURVE.
What are some of the many benefits of having Connective Tissue Adhesions and Fibrosis broken during our TISSUE REMODELING TREATMENTS?
- INCREASED MOBILITY: Not only is normal joint motion associated with less pain, it's associated with less DJD as well.
- STIMULATES LOCAL INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE: If you want to see the difference between the Chronic Inflammation that's ultimately responsible for virtually all NON-GENETIC health problems, and Acute Inflammation that's needed for tissue healing, THIS POST is a necessity.
- STIMULATION OF FIBROBLASTS: Once you "re-start" the healing process with Tissue Remodeling, we need Collagen. If you click on the previous link, you'll see that our method of breaking down Connective Tissue Adhesions is guaranteed to cause Fibroblastic Proliferation (HERE).
- RELEASING PERIPHERAL NERVES: If you have seen my tree limb analogy on my Chronic Pain Page, you can grasp how getting the smallest nerves entrapped in Scar Tissue could cause pain; and that freeing them could likewise help with pain and neurological function.
- NORMALIZATION OF MECHANORECEPTION: Mechanoreception plays a critical part in your overall health, and is one of the big reasons a growing number of scientists are exploring Fascia as the solution to all health problems. Not only does fouled up mechanoreception cause pain and Degenerative Arthritis, it causes disease processes as well (HERE).
- SETTLING THE NERVOUS SYSTEM: Research has shown that stimulation of certain types of nerve fibers inhibits pain by decreasing local muscle tone ---- something that might be of benefit for those struggling with CHRONIC TRIGGER POINTS or muscle spasms.
- CLEARING TOXICITY: Although it could certainly cause a HERXHEIMER REACTION, Tissue Remodeling helps get rid of the toxicity and by-products of cellular metabolism that according to research, tend to collect in loose Connective Tissues. In other words, loose Connective Tissues such as that found around the Fascia can actually act as a reservoir for such toxicity (HERE).
- A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE: Whether you chose to believe that people's moods and outlook on life change simply because they feel better (something that is definitely true) or because of the neurological effects of injury and Scar Tissue on Fascia, does not really matter. A quick peek at our TESTIMONIALS reveals that this approach is effective at providing improvement in quality of life a great deal of the time.
In modern science / medicine, everything is about division. Allow me to explain. We have divided and sub-divided the practice of medicine into any number of specialties and sub-specialties who each deal with a small segment of the body. While this can be quite effective some of the time, it also tends to cause tunnel vision. The example I used on my "Fascia Page" was that sitting too close to a movie screen (i.e. the front row) makes it difficult to see the bigger picture.
When we think of the human body or other living organisms in terms of "machinery" we are making a mistake. The body is a whole organism, and to continually look at it's various parts independently of each other can prevent one from ever getting the BIG IDEA. Tom Meyers of Anatomy Trains fame put it like this. "Fascia is the missing element in the movement/stability equation. While every anatomy lists around 600 separate muscles, it is more accurate to say that there is one muscle poured into six hundred pockets of the fascial webbing. The 'illusion' of separate muscles is created by the anatomist's scalpel, dividing tissues along the planes of fascia. This reductive process should not blind us to the reality of the unifying whole." (more on ANATOMY TRAINS)
To understand why I sometimes end up spending 2-3 hours with LONG-DISTANCE PATIENTS, you have to understand how FASCIA CONNECTS EVERY PART OF YOU TO EVERY OTHER PART OF YOU. If you want to understand this better, take a look at Meyers' MYOFASCIAL MERIDAINS or "Anatomy Trains". He coined this term to describe the manner in which Fascia and other Connective Tissues support the body and transmit loads and forces throughout.
AND THE HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS
The HYGIENE HYPOTHESIS says that in order for an Immune System to develop properly, it must be challenged by germs and disease. In other words, it must be trained for battle. When an Immune System is not given the chance to fight on its own due to medical advances like VACCINES and ANTIBIOTICS; even though you might be stopping acute diseases like Measles, WHOOPING COUGH, or Chicken Pox in their proverbial tracks, you are ultimately leaving the Immune System in a weakened state. We've known for a long time that a failure to be exposed to potential allergens when very young causes allergies as one gets older (HERE and HERE). According to the the Hygiene Hypothesis, the end-game of attempting to stifle acute diseases will be increased numbers of CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES and AUTOIMMUNITY. In America, these sorts of diseases could only be described as epidemic. Enter Dr. Terry Wahls.
Dr. Wahls grew up on an Iowa farm. After graduating from Drake University in 1976, she attained her MD degree at the University of Iowa's School of Medicine in 1982. She then worked in the residency program at Washington University's OB / GYN program at Barnes in St. Louis for a year, but transferred back to Iowa where she received her board certification in Internal Medicine. She practiced in Wisconsin as well as working as a professor at their medical school in Madison before moving back to Iowa to work as a professor at the University of Iowa's Medical School. Besides this, she is Chief of Staff for Ambulatory Care at the Veterans Administration at the Iowa City Medical Center. Fifteen years ago she was diagnosed with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.
It was Dr. Wahls who created the WAHLS PROTOCOL (essentially a PALEO DIET) to help those in similar situations (to see why Paleo works so well for virtually all "Chronic Conditions" just go HERE). She also does a great deal of work in the field of Functional Medicine, with an emphasis on METHYLATION PROBLEMS and Mitochondrial Function / Dysfunction ---- things that are virtually always seen in neurological problems, including AUTISM. Please take a couple of minutes to listen to her speak about the relationship between Vaccines, COMMON VACCINE ADJUNCTS, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES (click for a list), and the Hygiene Hypothesis.
When a conservative thinker with such a large audience begins actively (vigorously might be a better word) touting vaccinations not only via his magazine, but through his denomination as well, I have to wonder why. If you are concerned about further erosion of your ability to make your family's healthcare decisions, be sure to educate yourself and write your legislators.
SOLVING CHRONIC PAIN IN OUT-OF-STATE AND INTERNATIONAL PATIENTS
When it comes to health, Steve is a motivated individual. He just happens to be in a situation that many of us are likewise dealing with --- an accumulation of injuries caused by years of who-knows-what; sports, hunting in rugged terrain, work, etc, etc, etc. Today I received this unsolicited email from Steve, who has given me permission to share it with my readers. Although you may not know Steve, many of you have heard of his family's business --- particularly if you farm for a living --- Morton Buildings. If I'm not mistaken, they are the biggest manufacturers of metal barns (many of which double as homes) in the United States, and are located in Morton, Illinois.
Just over two weeks ago, I struggled in pain to get my luggage into my motel room prior to our appointment the following day. Especially the three to four steps down the stairs to the parking lot. This contrasts greatly to yesterday evening when I finished a two mile brisk walk punctuated with some short distance sprinting. After stretching, my knee felt better than it has in 7 months since the injury/aggravation. It is an understatement to say that I am thrilled to be able to get outdoors and walk/ run for a change. Most importantly, I have noticed gradual improvement in function on a daily basis.
At this point, I have started to do single leg exercise drills to restore muscle strength and balance to the affected leg [HAMSTRINGS / HIP FLEXORS AND QUADS / BUTTOCKS]. When I do feel discomfort, a stretching session relieves 90 percent of that discomfort. I still feel some tightness under the knee cap when I descend stair steps but the improvement has been significant. I will say that the ratio of pain relief per dollar spent makes my time spent coming to your clinic one of the best values in pain management I have ever experienced.
This was all accomplished during a two week period that I drove approximately 3,000 miles in a small company car, which usually exacerbates the pain and healing process. To say the least, I am very pleased about the results that you have helped me to achieve in my frustrating search to get back to 100%. I have some referrals that will be coming your way in the coming weeks.
I look forward to the progress that I will make over the coming weeks and keep you in the loop. Thanks, Stephen Fischer
If you have watched any of our VIDEO TESTIMONIALS, you may have already figured out that I'm on a mission. I have a laser-like focus in finding the root of your CHRONIC PAIN, and destroying it (thus, the name of my website). There are few things more satisfying than putting a GOLD BRICK in a patient's hands, and telling them it's theirs --- for keeps. I had a blast getting to know Steve as I worked on him, and look forward to our next visit. Because if everything goes as planned, I'll treat him early and then we'll spend the rest of the day RIDING OUR MOTORCYCLES IN ARKANSAS.
For those of you interested in what I do here in the office, THIS PAGE will answer virtually any question you can come up with.
THE PROBLEM OF ANTIBIOTIC
RESISTANCE AND SUPERBUGS
NO WORRIES: THE GOVERNMENT IS COMING TO THE RESCUE!
(Implementation of Executive Order 13676)
"Antimicrobial resistance is a world-wide problem and increases the difficulty of treating a variety of infections. Each day, every year in the United States, millions of Americans face a major threat from infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics." Dr. Steve Solomon from the November 10, 2011 issue of the CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog (Government Takes Action to Combat Antibiotic Resistance)
"Drug-resistant 'superbugs' may lead us into a post-antibiotic era, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden says. Frieden said if the current trends continue, 'the medicine cabinet may be empty for patients who need them in the coming months and years.' To avoid what Frieden calls a 'post-antibiotic' era, where none of the existing drugs work anymore and new ones haven't been approved, the CDC has created a four-step plan to stem the tide of antibiotic resistance." From the September 17, 2013 CNN article by Miriam Falco (CDC Sets Threat Levels for Drug-Resistant 'Superbugs')
"On Wednesday [a week ago yesterday], CDC director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, asked the House Committee on Appropriations for $283 million -- an increase of $264 million from last year -- to fight antibiotic resistance." From a recent MedPage Today article by Shannon Firth
"In the vast majority of cases where antimicrobials are used, the microorganisms have found a way to evade or resist the antimicrobial agent. Resistance occurs wherever antimicrobials are used -- in the community, on the farm, and in healthcare." CDC Director, Dr. Thomas Frieden speaking to the House Subcommittee on April 28, 2010
"In 1976, Stuart Levy of Tufts led perhaps the only prospective study to investigate whether small amounts of antibiotic use in livestock could lead to the spread of resistant bacteria to humans. His team began feeding tetracycline to some chickens on a small farm in Sherborn, Massachusetts, that had never before used antibiotics in animals. Within a week, tetracycline resistance appeared in the chickens’ gut bacteria, and then in untreated chickens in neighboring pens—and, a few months later, in the intestinal flora of the farmers. Even more alarming was the fact that with time, the tetracycline-resistant bacteria also developed resistance to other, unrelated antibiotics to which they had never been exposed." From last Spring's article by Katherine Xue (Superbug: An Epidemic Begins) in Harvard Magazine
Antibiotic Resistance is not only a problem in the United States, but around the world as well. However, like nearly all the CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES, it's a problem that is and continues to be largely self-inflicted. In other words, even though solving this problem is not rocket science, it has proven difficult (impossible might be a better word) because people (doctors included) don't really like to change their bad habits. But leave it to our government to figure out how to spend an additional 1.2 billion of your hard-earned dollars thanks to Barrack Hussein Obama's illustrious "National Action Plan to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria". The plan was released last week and contains some of the following highlights.
- CRITICAL ACTIONS BEING TAKEN: Thank goodness the government is taking "critical" actions. Not a bad idea considering that, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses each year in the United States. Antibiotic resistance also threatens animal health, agriculture, and the economy." The only problem is that we've been hearing this same old re-hashed rhetoric for years --- decades really. What would lead us to believe that Obama's plan is any different than those from any of the similar plans that came before it? Plainly stated; it's not. Just realize that this latest of his Executive Orders (# 13676) will involve more loses of your freedoms, bigger bureaucracy, more wasted tax dollars, and less common sense --- the anatomy of your typical GOVERNMENT-RUN PROGRAM.
- JUDICIOUS USE OF ANTIBIOTICS: Unless you've been living under a rock, you realize that ANTIBIOTICS are being over-prescribed. What most people do not realize, however, is the extent to which this over-prescription has been occurring. Depending on whose surveys or studies you choose to believe, as many as half or more of all Antibiotic prescriptions in the United States do not meet criteria --- I've seen some studies that put this number as high as 75%. Again; none of this is new information. I've been hearing this same thing for at least 25 or 30 years, although it is definitely getting louder. The problem is, when it comes to this issue, it seems like most of the practicing medical community is either deaf or listening to THUNDERSTRUCK on their headphones.
- STOP GIVING ANTIBIOTICS TO ANIMALS INDISCRIMINATELY: According to Obama's plan, the goal is to "eliminate the use of medically-important antibiotics for growth promotion in animals". What's scary is that few people are aware that Antibiotics are given to commercially-raised animals for the sole purpose of "growth promotion" --- i.e. making them fat (HERE). That's right folks; Antibiotics are given to the animals we consume because they foul up GUT HEALTH by creating an unhealthy MICROBIOME (the number and types of flora / bacteria in your digestive tract), which means you are likely to end up OBESE (HERE). The problem is that when you read the quote above, you realize that neither the FDA nor the USDA really care about eliminating Antibiotics from our food supply --- only the "medically important" Antibiotics (whatever that really means). Interestingly enough, Obama's plan mentions the possibility of using "PROBIOTICS" for solving diseases in animals --- but not for humans.
- PROMOTE INNOVATION: Who isn't for innovation? One of the things Obama's plan spells out is learning more about the microbiome. Fantastic! The problem is, much of the plan's innovation is geared not only towards making new Antibiotics, but new VACCINES as well ("increased antibodies"). They make no bones about this fact when they say (via a header) that one of the main goals of the plan is to, "Accelerate Basic and Applied Research and Development for New Antibiotics, Other Therapeutics, and Vaccines." We've already seen where the government is pushing heavily --- at the behest of Big Pharma --- to have large numbers of VACCINATIONS MANDATED ("Forced Vaccinations"). By the way, their stated goal for accomplishing this is to create two new products in the next five years to replace, "Antibiotics that lose their effectiveness for treating human disease". Trust me when I tell you that Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a far greater rate than two every five years --- and some that we are using, we shouldn't be; regardless of issues with resistance (HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE). And this doesn't even begin to touch the issue of "SUPERBUGS".
Oh; we might see some benefit from this latest of Executive Orders. But the reality is, aside from spending tax dollars on things we both should have been doing and claimed to have been doing for a very long time (and have known about for longer than that), Obama's plan is not going to accomplish much. I mean; for Pete's sake --- they don't even say anything in this post about the relationship between SUGAR AND INFECTION --- a heck of a problem considering our national explosion of DIABETES and METABOLIC SYNDROME.
Obama's plan says that, "the emergence of drug resistance in bacteria is undermining our ability to treat bacterial infections and perform a range of modern medical procedures". Really? Using the word "emergence" implies that this is a brand new problem. It's not. Realizing this means that if you expect more of the same-old-same-old from the government's "new" plan, then you won't be disappointed when that's all you get --- especially once you realize that this plan was essentially already in place (see CDC website Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 and this February's Antibiotic Resistance Solutions Initiative Costs $264M: A Comprehensive Response).
EHLERS-DANLOS SYNDROME AND TISSUE REMODELING
The most common type (Type III - Hypermobility) affects about 1 in 12,000 people, and is characterized by "double jointedness", loose joints, and a penchant for joint dislocations. These dislocations (the medical community often refers to them as "subluxations" which are different than CHIROPRACTIC SUBLUXATIONS) can occur for no good reason. In other words, trauma is not needed. If you understand the mechanism of DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS, you'll understand why these folks typically get it early in life --- along with the propensity to develop virtually every musculoskeletal problem on THIS LIST.
Interestingly enough, Ehlers - Danlos frequently goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed --- especially early in life --- with patients being told they have things like FIBROMYALGIA or DEPRESSION. In the same way that people with SEVERE FASCIAL ADHESIONS appear normal on imaging tests (see the TESTIMONIALS), so do those with EDS --- at least in their younger years. The result are individuals who appear normal on the outside, but have nothing to show for it as far as ADVANCED IMAGING is concerned. Thus, they are often branded --- again, at least at first --- as malingerers, hypochondriacs, or 'Depressed'.
I get tons of questions about whether or not I can help those with Ehlers - Danlos Syndrome. As long as it is Type III, the answer is "maybe". Follow normal protocol and send me a history via my CONTACT PAGE (example below). I have never treated anyone with any of the rarer forms of ED that entail more skin involvement (Type I & 2 are more common than the other rare forms, which are extremely rare).
Kathy Colón of the "West County" (Balwin) St. Louis area recently contacted me after a business associate told her of making the trip to MOUNTAIN VIEW (about 3 hours) to get help for the tissue problems he was having. This got Kathy's wheels turning and the following is our email conversations right up until today.
Sunday, January 25, 2015:
Dr Schierling, I have a condition called Ehler's Danlos Syndrome where almost every joint in my body subluxes and is painful. Over the last few years my pain has gotten increasingly worse. I have had multiple injections and surgeries in my hands and about 8 months ago, I had Tennis Elbow surgery on my right elbow. Unfortunately it hasn't helped like I hoped it would. As my EDS is progressing, I am having pain in other joints, mostly in my hands, elbows, hips and knees.
On top of having EDS, I was in 2 vehicle accidents within about 18 months of each other (rear ended both times while I was at a stop) and have been through many months of both Physical Therapy and Chirporactic care but am still suffering from neck and shoulder pain.
Last week, I had a consultant in my office, XXX XxXXXXX, and he mentioned you had done some work on him and really helped him out. I was hoping that you might be able to help me as well.
I would really love to hear back from you and am hoping my case is one that you feel your treatment might be able to help me. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Which type do you have Kathy? I re-read your history and saw that you are dealing with the effects of two car wrecks. I cannot really solve the EDS, but may be able to help you with the effects of the MVA'S. Sincerely, Dr. Russ
Sunday, January 25, 2015
I have type 3. Hypermobile type. Yes, the first accident was the worst as I was turned around, watching oncoming traffic so I got twisted up. I went through about 6 months of therapy and was rear ended again about 9 months after that. I was never healed from the first accident and it just got worse. I went to a chiropractor and she was able to help some but I still have a lot of pain in those areas. I understand you may not be able to help with the pain from EDS but would love to see if you could do anything for the whiplash effects I am still experiencing. Should I call for an appointment? Thanks so much!
Monday, January 26, 2015
A couple of questions first. How do you tolerate a massage --- especially a deep massage? What would happen to your neck if you were to get "hit" there? I certainly would not attack your problem as intensely as I did XXXX's, but I want to know what happens to you with things that would make other people bruise.
Monday, January 26, 2015
I am pretty good with massages unless they push really hard. I had a 6 month membership at a massage place and loved it when I could find the time to go. I don't bruise very easily at all so if I got "hit" in the neck, it would probably just hurt. Most of my subluxes are in my extremities. Fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Thanks! Kathy Colón
Monday, January 26, 2015
Hello Kathy, I would guess that I could help you with your neck pain. Just remember...... (HERE).
Sincerely, Dr. Russ
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Kathy came down from the St. Louis area with her husband for one of our early morning appointments. I not only had a blast meeting them and talking with them, but felt the appointment went very well and would bear much fruit. However, I never know until given some time. I had been wondering about Kathy, and when her consultant / business associate (XXXXX) called and made an appointment for this Friday, I emailed her.
Monday, March 30, 2015
Hello Kathy, I'm really curious. It's been two months; how have you done with treatment?
Monday, March 30, 2015
Dr Russ, I have been doing great! I kept waiting to contact you, thinking that the pain in my neck / shoulder was going to come back but it hasn't! My right elbow has been pretty good also. I still have some pain but it is much better than it was. My left elbow has gotten worse but you really didn't get a chance to work on that much at all. With EDS it is so easy to continually reinjure ourselves. I think with your technique, at least you can provide prolonged relief between injuries, if that makes sense. I would love to come back and get my left elbow and my hip worked on at some point. I am happy to be a reference if you need!! THANKS SO MUCH!! Kathy :-)
Tuesday (Yesterday), March 31, 2015
Fantastic Kathy! How about we save you a trip to Mountain View? You are welcome to come any time, or I will most likely be in the Antonia / Barnhart area [just south of St. Louis for those not familiar] over Memorial Day Weekend. I see lots of people while at my in-laws. It would save you a trip. BTW, I am in the process of writing a short post on EDS. As long as I do not use any personal information, would you mind me using our email conversations? (I would not use XXXXX's name either).
Sincerely, Dr. Russ
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
That would be great if you are coming this way! Definitely save me a spot! YES! You can absolutely use me in a post. You are welcome to use my name as well if you need. I don't mind. I look forward to it. See you soon!
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Thanks a ton Kathy, Be sure to take a look at today's Blog Post. Should be up by six or seven this morning. And if there is anything I can ever do for you or help you with, do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely, Dr. Russ
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