CHRONIC NECK PAIN FROM INJURED FASCIA
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WHY YOU HAD BETTER HAVE A "PLAN B" AS FAR AS ANTIBIOTICS ARE CONCERNED
Interestingly enough, BIG PHARMA is not doing much to bring new antibiotics to the table. Why not? Mostly because they are interested in high dollar drugs that people will either take for a lifetime or will spend hundreds of thousands on during the time they do take them (HERE). Currently, research shows that it takes at least a decade to bring a new drug to market. But that's just the beginning. Listen to Elizabeth Sukkar explaining this 'Catch-22' for the The Pharmaceutical Journal (Why are there so Few Antibiotics in the Research and Development Pipeline?)
"Although society wants pharmaceutical companies to research and develop new antibiotics, policy-makers do not want healthcare professionals to use them. In other words, products should sit on the shelf until they are really needed by patients because of the antimicrobial resistance problem through the imprudent use of antibiotics over the years. Furthermore, if antibiotics are used, they are generally used for the short-term, not like the long-term therapies that help bring in revenues for companies."
Think her take is an aberration? Do you wonder if this problem is really as big a deal as you've been hearing? Take a gander at a few of these CHERRY-PICKED tidbits and notice just how little things have really changed over the years (I was starting to hear about this phenomenon while in college at Kansas State University back in the 1980's).
"As of September 2017, an estimated 48 new antibiotics with the potential to treat serious bacterial infections are in clinical development. The success rate for clinical drug development is low; historical data show that, generally, only 1 in 5 infectious disease products that enter human testing will be approved for patients." From a 2014 issue of PEW (Antibiotics Currently in Global Clinical Development)
"The current crisis in antibiotic R&D is attributed to an industry pipeline with few late-stage candidates capable of combating the emergence and spread of novel, drug-resistant bacterial strains." From the press release for 2008's book by Dr. Leslie Pray (Antibiotic R&D:Resolving the Paradox between Unmet Medical Need and Commercial Incentive)
"New antibiotics are badly needed but have been seen as rather unsexy by big pharma over the past few decades because of the relatively poor return on investment in comparison with other fields, where approved products can command much higher prices." Richard Staines writing for PharmaPhorum in Feb of this year (EU Must do More to Promote Antibiotic R&D)
"The pipeline for new antibiotics remains perilously weak, largely because of issues with the current business model around their development. September marks 90 years since Fleming discovered Penicillium on petri dishes in his London lab. Only through scientific persistence and collaboration did that serendipitous find become a miracle medicine. Success sparked a short-lived golden-age of antibiotic discovery which petered out within two decades. Of greatest concern, there have been no innovative treatments for the most serious, Gram-negative, superbugs since 1962." Dr. Tim Jinks from the March 15, 2018 issue of The Telegraph (New Thinking is Required to Create Desperately Needed New Antibiotics. We Must Act Now)
"Antibiotic resistance has been a problem since the 1940s, but for most of that time, whenever bacteria defeated one drug, there was always a better one to take its place. It took until about the year 2000 for antibiotics manufacturers to become so discouraged by the pace of resistance and the price of developing new compounds that they decided, en masse, to leave the business. Antibiotic resistance kills 23,000 Americans each year and possibly 700,000 people around the globe. Once bacteria run through the drugs we’ve got now, we haven’t got any more." From a two year old issue of National Geographic (Millions Injected Into Push for New Antibiotics)
"There's a dire need for new drugs to fight the growing menace of superbugs, but few are in the works. What's going on here? Between the time penicillin was discovered in 1928 and the 1970s, 270 antibiotics were approved — a robust arsenal of powerful drugs that kept almost all bacterial infections at bay. But since then, research into new antibiotics has declined dramatically. The last truly new class of antibiotics that made it through approval was discovered more than 30 years ago.... Today, just five of the top 50 big drug companies are developing new antibiotics. The timing couldn't be worse." From a November 2016 issue of AARP (Where are the Antibiotics?)
"Concern continues to grow over the emergence of bacteria resistant to current antibiotics. Things are getting so alarming that political leaders such as President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and outgoing UK Prime Minister David Cameron have made antibiotic resistance a top healthcare priority in their respective countries. Despite this crisis, many major pharmaceutical companies--the very organizations best poised to help solve this challenge--remain on the sidelines. With such an obvious medical need, why are these companies shying away from committing R&D resources to this fight? The answer lies in pharma’s business model. Companies thrive by growing their product sales. But, from a financial perspective, the potential market for new antibiotics is lackluster at best." From John LaMattina's June 2016 article in Forbes (A Proposal To Spur Pharma R&D Investment Into Antibiotics For 'Superbugs')
"Numerous major international and national initiatives aimed at financially incentivising the research and development (R&D) of antibiotics have been implemented. However, it remains unclear how to effectively strengthen the current set of incentive programmes to further accelerate antibiotic innovation. This study finds that incentive programmes are overly committed to early-stage push funding of basic science and preclinical research, while there is limited late-stage push funding of clinical development. Moreover, there are almost no pull incentives to facilitate transition of antibiotic products from early clinical phases to commercialisation." From the November 2017 issue of the Journal of Antibiotics (Incentivising Innovation in Antibiotic Drug Discovery and Development: Progress, Challenges and Next Steps)
"When we hear talk of courses of antibiotics costing thousands of dollars, we should begin to wonder how we will ensure access and stewardship for such an innovation pipeline. Antibiotics fare much worse than other therapeutics areas when it comes to the R&D pipeline, with only a 7 percent of yield for promising leads, compared to 80 percent yield in all therapeutic areas." Catherine Saez writing for the May 24, 2017 issue of Intellectual Property Watch (Antimicrobial Resistance Needs New R&D Models)
Before we leave this topic, I need to ask the John-Q casual reader a question regarding antibiotic safety. Just how safe (or dangerous if you want to look at it that way) are antibiotics --- a known SUPPRESSOR OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM and DESTROYER OF GUT HEALTH (the most important aspect of your overall health)? Unbeknownst to the average person, the way our society uses antibiotics makes them not only a killer and huge destroyer of our collective health (HERE are dozens of ways they can wreck your health), it's been predicted that within a decade they will be KILLING MORE PEOPLE THAN CANCER (currently our nation's number one leading cause of death) --- a disease that they actually cause (HERE). And really; let's all be honest with each other for a moment. This issue isn't going away even if we do come up with a couple of new ANTIBIOTICS. Why not?
Because in similar fashion to the way that the government always wants more of your money but has not shown an iota of responsibility in spending it; until we see that the practicing medical community is actually willing to follow THE GUIDELINES and not prescribe these drugs except in life-or-death cases, we've done nothing but move the apocalypse needle back a decade or so.
The point of today's article is to get you to once again realize that your health is up to you. In fact, if you were aware of THIS ONE SIMPLE FACT, you wouldn't likely need (or more accurately, feel you need) the antibiotics you are taking anyway. If you know people who could benefit from the totally free information provided on our website, be sure to spread the wealth. The easiest way to reach the individuals you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK.
SYSTEMICALLY ADHESED FASCIA AND CHRONIC NAUSEA
And while he had made some headway, physical traumas he had had endured in his childhood left him not so much with chronic pain but with chronic nausea that he felt was the result of severe all-over FASCIAL ADHESIONS (never discount fascia as a potential cause or contributing factor of almost any physical issue you care to name --- HERE). When it comes to people with SYSTEMIC FASCIAL ADHESIONS I'm very choosy about whom I treat. Why? For the simple reason that most of these cases have underlying causes, many being based in underlying AUTOIMMUNITY or other CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE PROCESSES. Gus convinced me that this was not the case with him and came out and spent a couple of weeks with us from San Fran. The improvements he made were astounding.
Rather than letting me tell you about it, I'll let Gus tell you. BTW, if you know people in similar situations, be sure and get this information in front of them. Besides forwarding them the link, one of the best ways to reach the folks you love and care most about is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK. I enjoyed our time together Gus and wish you the best! Oh; if your reading this and want to see more of these sorts of videos, be sure and take a look at some of the HUNDREDS OF OTHERS I have on my site.
CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN AND PARKINSON'S DISEASE
WHAT ARE THE COMMON DENOMINATORS?
When you see the term "Parkonsonism," it is not the same as Parkinson's Disease, but is instead referring to a distinct set of symptoms that are ubiquitous to over 25 neurodegenerative diseases. These symptoms include various sorts of tremors, diminished ability to move, rigid, tense, or spastic muscles, and various forms of balance / stability problems and DISTORTED PROPRIOCEPTIVE ABILITIES or kinesthetic sense (people cannot tell where their body is at in space) which, while not VERTIGO, can in some ways act similarly. I mention all this because a couple of months ago the journal Frontiers in Neurology published a study by a group of rehab specialists and neurologists called What If Low Back Pain Is the Most Prevalent Parkinsonism in the World?
While the title alone should make one stop and think for a moment, it's what's inside the study that BEING A CHIROPRACTOR, literally stopped me in my tracks. "Low back pain (LBP) has a point prevalence of nearly 10% and ranks highest in global disease burden for years lived with disability; Parkinson’s disease ranks in the top 100 most disabling health conditions for years lost and years lived with disability. Recent evidence suggests that people with chronic, recurrent LBP exhibit many postural impairments reminiscent of a neurological postural disorder such as Parkinson's."
Essentially, these doctors are making the point that not only is Chronic Low Back Pain the number one disability-causing health problem on the planet, it has many characteristics that make it 'Parkinson's-like'. On top of this, even though there is pain with Parkinson's, it is rarely talked about nor is it the focus of treatment. The authors went on to discuss the fact that even though care given by rehab specialists to patients with Parkinson's is geared toward retraining and improving gait, posture, and balance, when it comes to LBP the focus is more about managing said pain and / or addressing flexibility and strength issues. Which brings us to the gist of their study.
Although they would never say they are the same thing (in similar fashion to the way that a growing part of the medical community is referring to Alzheimer's as Type III Diabetes --- HERE), the authors clearly stated that with both conditions, "the motor impairments seem more alike than different." Their point? They believe that patients with chronic LBP should be treated with some of the Parkinson's rehab and vice versa. "Overall, the similarities of LBP and PD in postural impairment and associated neurophysiology suggest it may not be so implausible to consider LBP as an axial parkinsonism, rendering it the most prevalent parkinsonism in the world." Suggestion; if you or a loved one has Parkinson's or chronic LBP, forward them this post so that they can read the study themselves.
Although there are many who debate it (for instance Time ran a 2016 story titled The Role of Boxing in the Death of Muhammad Ali Remains Unclear), studies on HEAD INJURIES --- particularly repeated head trauma --- as a risk factor for Parkinson's abound. Ali last fought in 1981 (he lost), and by 1991, the journal Movement Disorders had published a study whose title tells you all you really need to know; Head Trauma as a Risk Factor for Parkinson's Disease. The March 2015 issue of Neurobiology of Aging (Head Trauma in Sport and Neurodegenerative Disease: An Issue Whose Time has Come?) had this to say on the subject....
"A number of small studies and anecdotal reports have been suggested that sports involving repeated head trauma may have long-term risks of neurodegenerative disease. There are now plausible mechanisms for these effects, and a recognition that these problems do not just occur in former boxers, but in a variety of sports involving repeated concussions, and possibly also in sports in which low-level head trauma is common. These neurodegenerative effects potentially include increased risks of impaired cognitive function and dementia, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis."
With what we are learning about the seriousness of head injuries from FOOTBALL, HOCKEY or even SOCCER (can anyone say CTE?), we can't possibly be surprised that boxing or other full contact sports such as MMA affect the brain similarly. But.... What if I told you that boxing --- or at least training like a boxer --- has been shown to be an effective treatment for Parkinson's? Back in 2011, the journal Physical Therapy (Boxing Training for Patients with Parkinson Disease: A Case Series) said this of 2-3 sessions per week of boxing training for those dealing with Parkinson's.
"The 90-minute sessions included boxing drills and traditional stretching, strengthening, and endurance exercises. Despite the progressive nature of PD, the patients in this case series showed short-term and long-term improvements in balance, gait, activities of daily living, and quality of life after the boxing training program. A longer duration of training was necessary for patients with moderate to severe PD to show maximal training outcomes. The boxing training program was feasible and safe for these patients with PD."
In 2013, Neurorehabilitation (Community-Based Group Exercise for Persons with Parkinson Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial) showed something similar. Compared to individuals who were doing TRADITIONAL STRENGTH AND CARDIO TRAINING, along with balance training (A GREAT TOOL TO ADD TO ANY PROTOCOL), "Only the boxing group demonstrated significant improvements in gait velocity and endurance over time with a medium between-group effect size for the gait endurance. Both groups demonstrated significant improvements with the balance, mobility, and quality of life with large within-group effect sizes. While groups significantly differed in balance confidence after training, both groups demonstrated improvements in most outcome measures. Supporting options for long-term community-based group exercise for persons with PD will be an important future consideration for rehabilitation professionals."
And while there is evidence from peer-review that programs like "ROCK STEADY" are working, there are literally mountains of anecdotal evidence from the tens of thousands of people who are already doing this very thing --- training as boxers for the express purpose of kicking Parkinson's ass. And honestly, what have you got to lose?
These are training sessions, not fights. In other words, you don't have to worry about getting hit. And not only can you do these workouts corporately, they could easily be modified and done on some level with a partner at home, with a minimal investment in equipment or space. If you know or love someone with Parkinson's (or it runs in your family like it does mine --- HERE) be sure to share today's post with them. And since Parkinson's is an autoimmune disease, be sure to at least browse my 'UNIVERSAL CURE' POST as well. The best way to reach the people you love and care about most? FACEBOOK, of course (just tag them).
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SYSTEMICALLY TETHERED FASCIA
A CASE HISTORY
As far as my LONG-DISTANCE PATIENTS are concerned (HERE is another example of an LDP), I'm amazed at how many of them have been intensely working on their overall health in trying to battle whatever problem they are battling. Although I have shown you any number of CASE STUDIES in the past, this one is a bit different because it's S's journey to find a solution. By the way, thanks for letting me publish this S; I promise that someone somewhere will be helped.
Hello Dr. Schierling,
I wanted to share my story with you because I know you will find it intriguing. I found your website shortly after I cracked my own mystery and was seeking help to untwist me. Twenty six years of issues. Symptoms piling up and becoming difficult to live with. I managed to work, then have 4 children and work more, but energy is low, autoimmune issues and vertigo so it's a little more interesting. I had a strong feeling that it was all physical, but couldn't put my finger on it.
4.5 years ago I started a physical treatment that shed a big light on what was going on. But it had no source or reason behind it. Treatment focused on my upper back, right shoulder and hand that had muscle atrophy (top part, I was compensating with the bottom. In fact I was compensating throughout my whole body, with different directions...). It included deep, extra deep tissue massage, to break the inflammation out of the sleeping muscles. (maybe a coma would be a better word), electric pulses to restart muscle movement and laser to wake up the nerves. 3 months into a 3 times a week very painful treatment, I started feeling the pain. Pain I didn't have for years in some parts of my body. It was mostly discomfort and tightness everywhere.
This treatment made me make a list of all my issues. I created a table, chronologically sorted, of everything I remember about my body. 3.5 pages of them [She attached this record which included things like AUTOIMMUNITY, MIGRAINE HEADACHES, A MOTORCYCLE CRASH (WHIPLASH) EAR INFECTIONS, SEVERAL SURGERIES (including the appendectomy, which caused an ABDOMINAL WALL ISSUE), several SHOULDER INJURIES, LOW BACK PAIN, VERTIGO, CHRONIC NECK PAIN, FIBROMYALGIA, numerous FOOD INTOLERANCES ---- and this is just hitting some of the high points].
I also saw a Visceral Osteopath that mentioned the word fascia as related to internal organs being pulled. Nice ah? I was thinking about my appendectomy scar (1992) as a possible source for my issues, and there it was - I googled "fascia appendix scar" and wow.... It explained how my chronic neck pain and pulling sensation I was having are related to that painful scar. Yes after all these years it still hurts sometimes.
Since the article I found was related to craniosacral , I tried that. It made a minor change but nothing major. I went to a functional medicine doctor, she helped me find I have a slight leg length discrepancy (6mm). Wearing my orthotics for 3 months made my BPPV [vertigo] go away since my head wasn't constantly trying to sync with my hips. I was able to lie down without the spinning room... But my left ear balance nerve has 54% damage, so I still get dizzy and ears popping.
October 2017 I saw a physiotherapist in Israel during a family visit, who specializes in fascia - he does fascial manipulation. He recommended this treatment for me. During the treatment I found that not only the appendectomy scar is pulling my right side, but the bunion surgery I had on my left foot (8 months after appendix, at the age of 17!) is pulling down on my left. Did I say twisted? The treatment is slowly helping me gain more movement range, I stretch a lot and hope to have a straight back and normal metabolism, normal gut, normal skin... maybe just normal.
I would love to get your feedback and to send your my famous list...which my practitioner was very impressed with. So I'm pretty proud I was able to find the cause and treatment. I'm hoping it's the right one. It feels like it.
What do I have to offer you S? Other than the information in the links I provided, it's important to remember that breaking adhesed fascia is similar to playing a certain old-fashioned carnival game (HERE). There is a threshold that must be reached to break SCAR TISSUE. Fail to reach this threshold and you have done nothing to truly help the patient beyond making them feel good for the brief time they were on your table.
One of the major difference I noticed in what you've been doing and what I do in my clinic is the length of treatment time. Don't get me wrong, I have had people that I have done significant work on. However, not only is that not the norm, but people know within a treatment or two whether or not what I do is going to work (HERE). By the way, don't be afraid to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it's a fantastic way to reach those you love and care about most with information that could potentially be transformational for them.
GENERALLY REGARDED AS SAFE
WHY G.R.A.S IS AN OUTDATED CONCEPT
As far as the FAA was concerned for food manufacturers, getting grandfathered in on the GRAS list (Generally Regarded As Safe) was everything. As long as a food additive was in wide use prior to 1958 with no known side effects or dangers, it made the list. For instance, this meant that things like salt and pepper were on the list. But it also meant that TRANS FATS, MSG, and any number of funky additives (nitates, nitrites, BHA, etc, etc) made the list as well. Although it's possible to remove things from this list that was originally about 700 substances long, it's not easy (why do you think it took until 2015 to remove trans fats?), and new foods are being added all the time, with less regulatory oversight than you might think. Hopefully this is changing.
Days ago, the journal Pediatrics published a position paper by the American Academy of Pediatrics titled Food Additives and Child Health, which questioned the way we've been doing GRAS. Here is the opening paragraph.
"Today, more than 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added to food and food contact materials in the United States, either directly or indirectly, under the 1958 Food Additives Amendment to the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Many of these were grandfathered in for use by the federal government before the 1958 amendment, and an estimated 1,000 chemicals are used under a 'generally recognized as safe' (GRAS) designation process without US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Yet, suggested in accumulating evidence from nonhuman laboratory and human epidemiological studies is that chemicals used in food and food contact materials may contribute to disease and disability. Children may be particularly susceptible to the effects of these compounds, given that they have higher relative exposures compared with adults (because of greater dietary intake per pound), their metabolic (ie, detoxification) systems are still developing, and key organ systems are undergoing substantial changes and maturation that are vulnerable to disruptions."
The gist of this study is that because we know more now than we did six decades ago when the original rules were written, there needs to be some re-testing performed. Why? because in a table of "foods" that were listed under GRAS, many are considered to be or cause (I am quoting here) "OBESIGENIC / ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS, OXIDATIVE STRESS, IMMUNOSUPPRESSION, THYROID DISPRUPTORS, CARDIOTOXIC, CARCINOGENIC, and issues with NEURODEVELOPMENT". And that's just for starters. And while toxic chemicals are not good for anyone, children, without fully developed detoxification systems (BIOTRANSFORMATION SYSTEMS) get the short shrift. The paper ends with a list of things you can do to help your family avoid exposure.
Is this call to action going to go anywhere? Not if the bigs have their way (Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Chemical / Big Oil, etc). That's why it would be a good idea to contact your elected representatives on this issue ("some recommendations could be accomplished by the FDA, whereas others may require congressional action to change the current law"). At the very least, make sure people learn about this issue by helping it make the rounds on FACEBOOK. Thanks!
WHY SHOULD YOU WORK TO AVOID BACK SURGERY / BACK INJURY?
THE THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA
The TLF is a girdling structure consisting of several aponeurotic and fascial layers that separates the paraspinal muscles from the muscles of the posterior abdominal wall. The superficial lamina of the posterior layer of the TLF (PLF) is dominated by the aponeuroses of the latissimus dorsi and the serratus posterior inferior. The deeper lamina of the PLF forms an encapsulating retinacular sheath around the paraspinal muscles. The middle layer of the TLF (MLF) appears to derive from an intermuscular septum that developmentally separates the epaxial from the hypaxial musculature. This septum forms during the fifth and sixth weeks of gestation. The paraspinal retinacular sheath (PRS) is in a key position to act as a ‘hydraulic amplifier’, assisting the paraspinal muscles in supporting the lumbosacral spine. This sheath forms a lumbar interfascial triangle (LIFT) with the MLF and PLF. Along the lateral border of the PRS, a raphe forms where the sheath meets the aponeurosis of the transversus abdominis. This lateral raphe is a thickened complex of dense connective tissue marked by the presence of the LIFT, and represents the junction of the hypaxial myofascial compartment (the abdominal muscles) with the paraspinal sheath of the epaxial muscles. The lateral raphe is in a position to distribute tension from the surrounding hypaxial and extremity muscles into the layers of the TLF. This complex composite of fascia and aponeurotic tissue is continuous with paraspinal fascia in the thoracic and cervical regions, eventually fusing to the cranial base. Numerous trunk and extremity muscles with a wide range of thicknesses and geometries insert into the connective tissue planes of the TLF, and can play a role in modulating the tension and stiffness of this structure
Although this is a lot to digest, I want you to take away three main concepts: firstly, that the Thoracolumbar Fascia is intimately related to structures as distant as the CERVICAL FASCIA. Secondly, "what is traditionally labeled as TLF is in reality a complex arrangement of multilayered fascial planes and aponeurotic sheets". In other words, the Thoracolumbar Fascia is made up of at least three large layers of fascia and "APONEUROSES" that are not strictly attached together, but actually glide on each other. Or at least they should glide on each other in people not struggling with chronic low back pain (take 10 seconds to play THESE VIDEOS side by side in order to see the difference in the TLF of those with low back pain -vs- those without). And thirdly, fascia is used as a leverage tool to gain mechanical advantage for both movement and structural support (FASCIA IN BIOMECHANICS).
Thanks to our national OBESITY EPIDEMIC, the fact that we are the INFLAMMATION NATION (which always ends up causing scar tissue and fibrosis --- HERE), too much sitting and staring at screens, sedentary lifestyles, spending way to much time on CONCRETE or other hard surfaces, etc, etc; not only are back problems common, but back surgeries are common as well. This most recent study (Acute Surgical Injury Alters the Tensile Properties of Thoracolumbar Fascia in a Porcine Model), published in the October 2018 issue of Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, came to some conclusions which, if you've been following research on the TL spine, will not surprise you.
In this study, pigs were used because their Thoracolumbar Fascia has been shown to "produce similar results to those observed in humans". It's now common knowledge that injured fascia (it doesn't matter how the fascia is injured --- acute, chronic, surgical, etc) becomes thickened and dense (HERE and HERE). Controls were compared to pigs with "microsurgically induced local injury," with only one side of the TLF of the experimental group of pigs being 'injured'. After a healing process, tissue was harvested from the "noninjured side of vertebral level L3-4 in pigs randomized into either control or injured groups." What did the team discover?
After putting the harvested tissues through a wide range of intricate tests to check the biomechanical integrity of the TLF, it was determined that the uninjured side of the experimental group's thoracolumbar fascia had "more tissue stiffness, less energy dissipation, and less stress decay [it took longer for the injured TLF to dissipate the energy it could dissipate]." Bottom line, the authors stated that "These findings suggest that a focal thoracolumbar injury can produce impairments in tissue mechanical properties away from the injured area itself. This could contribute to some of the functional abnormalities observed in human LBP." Bear in mind that while the "injuries" for this study were created surgically, the gist of the study was not necessarily surgery but back injuries in general.
I realize that in some cases surgery is inevitable --- I get it. However, studies like this show that disruption of the fascia can screw people up in ways that no one (particularly those in the surgical field) was thinking about just one short decade ago. And here's the kicker --- creating problems in the Thoracolumbar Fascia can mimic signs of disc problems (chronic severe pain and SCIATICA), the very reason people tend to have surgery in the first place. Listen to this piece taken from the 2015 book, Nerves and Nerve Injuries: Pain, Treatment, Injury, Disease and Future Directions (Vol 2).....
"The superior cluneal nerves arise from the dorsal rami of the first three levels of the lumbar spine. There are typically three superior cluneal nerves.... The medial superior cluneal nerve arises from the L1. The intermediate superior cluneal nerve arises from the L2 and the lateral superior cluneal nerve arises from the L3. Each of these pass through the psoas major muscle and then the paraspinal muscles to run in the plane between the quadratus lumborum muscle and the anterior layer of the thoracolumbar fascia. They then pierce the inferior aspect of the latissimus dorsi muscle and travel through the thoracolumbar fascia before crossing the posterior iliac crest."
I show you this because PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME is frequently mistaken for disc herniations (MOST OF WHICH ARE HARMLESS ANYWAY). Furthermore, PS is frequently not recognized for what it really is, CLUNEAL NERVE ENTRAPMENT. Where could the three cluneal nerve branches become entrapped? As you saw in the quote above, the TLF would be the most likely culprit (see link). There are two ideas I want you to take away from this study.
The first is that as you learn more and more about FASCIA, you start to see why years ago Dr. Langevin (a Harvard-trained neurologist and renowned acupuncturist) was already saying that problems in the fascia are at the very root not only of pain, but of sickness and disease as well (HERE). Secondly, there are action steps you can be taking to either avoid ending up with serious back issues, or just as importantly, taking control of your life if you've already had a back surgery.
Although I would strongly suggest you talk to your physician before reading any further, THIS POST ON THE THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA happens to have a list that could help you in this endeavor --- a list that is actually a specialized portion of THIS LIST. If you like what you are seeing on our site, be sure to spread the wealth by showing us some love on FACEBOOK. And for those of you who consider yourself "fascia hounds," you might want to take a look at our FASCIA SUPER-POST --- it contains all 175+ posts I've written on the subject neatly categorized for easy access.
QUICK AND AMAZING RESULTS TREATING A PERSON WHO STRUGGLED WITH DECADES OF CHRONIC BACK AND NECK PAINRead Now
CHRONIC BACK & NECK PAIN: RESULTS RULE
A VIDEO TESTIMONIAL
Dean has dealt with CHRONIC BACK & NECK PAIN, in his words, since he was 15 years old. After treating him for the first time back in the winter (yesterday was either his second or third visit), I asked if he would be willing to do a video for us, talking about his experience here. He agreed, and although he didn't think he did a good job (he walked away from the camera at the end saying "that was stupid"), his testimonial is anything but.
In fact, Dean did an excellent job of conveying what sets our clinic apart from so many others --- the fact that we work to solve people's chronic issues QUICKLY. No games. No sales pitches or pre-pays. And no long care plans. Just click the link to see what I'm talking about. What's doubly crazy about Dean's story is that his wife actually came in first and got even better results than he did (we'll try and get a video up next week).
If you know someone who who is struggling with chronic pain; someone who needs to see this or OTHER SIMILAR, for Pete's sake, get it in front of them! One of the easiest ways to reach the people you love and care about most is by liking, sharing, or following us on FACEBOOK. Oh; be sure to catch Dean and some of our unnamed friends from On Time (V & S, we love you) speaking about the scourge of human trafficking at Timber Ridge Baptist Church in Marshfield (HERE).
THE SACROILIAC JOINT
A COMMON CAUSE OF PAIN IN THE HIP, BUTT, AND PELVIS
The Sacroiliac Joint is just that ---- an articulation between the sacrum (tailbone) and the illiacus / illium (the bones you put your hands on when you put your hands on your "hips"), which looks like an earthquake fault on either side of the Sacrum. When the SI becomes dysfunctional, the end result is usually local pain (pain as the SI joint). However, because such a huge percentage of the body's muscles attach to the pelvic girdle, it's not uncommon to get an array of symptoms that can be confusing because they are distant to the sacroiliac.
If you stand up and feel at your belt line just above and lateral to the very tip top of the crack of your rear end, you will notice a bony bump on either side. These are the Sacroiliac Joints (SI's), and the bony bumps are called the PSIS's (Posterior Superior Illiac Spine's). Sacroiliac Joints are incredibly strong because they are held together with lots and lots of heavy duty ligaments that cover both the outside of the joint, front and back, as well as the inside of the joint. Because of the great number of ligaments, sprains and strains of the SI are common.
Pictured below are the ligaments that cover the SI Joints. The huge ligament at the lower portion of the sacrum (the sacrotuberous ligament that runs from the sacrum to the ischial tuberosity or "butt bone" / sits bone) is so strong that in over 50% of the population there are actually large muscle groups that anchor themselves to it --- namely the long head of the hamstring muscle. This means that chronic hamstring problems can contribute to chronic pelvis or sacroiliac problems and vice versa.
Bear in mind that because PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME and sacroiliac problems can look so similar to each other (they both cause SCIATICA as well), they are frequently mistaken for DISC HERNIATIONS or DEGENERATIVE DISCS. Part of this confusion is created by the fact that if you were to shoot lumbosacral MRI's of the adult population --- 50-75% of these MRI's will show both degeneration and disc herniation ---- even though they have zero pain or symptoms (HERE). Even though he was specifically talking about SHOULDER / ROTATOR CUFF PROBLEMS, this is what led history's greatest sports surgeon, Dr. James Andrews, of Birmingham, Alabama to proclaim, "if you want an excuse to do surgery, just do an MRI."
Due to abnormal gait patterns, old injuries, falls, pulled hamstrings, obesity, sedentary lifestyles, hormonal changes, poor posture, pregnancies, or just plain being female (yep; on top of everything else, women get the short end of the stick with sacroiliac problems as well), the SI joints can begin moving and functioning improperly. Bear in mind that there are several disease process that can also result in sacroiliac dysfunction (Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, etc). These are not the thrust of this article.
Although there are plenty of people whose SI problem creates a sharp and severe type of pain, a far more common scenario is having a dull, nagging ache in the area of the buttock and PSIS. In my experience, the majority of these cases are relieved with activity and movement (walking, stretching, horseback riding, etc) ----- while sitting or lying down often seems to make it worse. As is the case with virtually any joint dysfunction, the longer it goes on, the greater the chances of wearing the joint and developing JOINT DEGENERATION. It's a particularly big deal because loss of normal joint function causes deterioration, and deterioration causes loss of normal joint function.
The medical community's "Gold Standard" for diagnosing a chronic sacroiliac problem is to put injections into the SI joint (often guided by a CT SCAN) and see if it relieves the pain. If so, you can officially say that you have an SI problem. For the record, this is yet another arena where numerous studies have shown that diagnostic imaging does not correlate well to patient symptoms (HERE).
One quick note; in similar fashion to piriformis syndrome, SI problems do not respond to Spinal Decompression Therapy. I bring this up because along with CLUNEAL NERVE ENTRAPMENTS, they are frequently mistaken for disc issues because they are ONE OF THE MANY POTENTIAL CAUSES OF SCIATICA, and also happen to be a common cause of BUTTOCK AND / OR HIP PAIN as well.
PELVIC TORQUE SEEN VIA X-RAY
Part of the reason I spent today discussing the SI joint is because this problem is so common (it's not terribly uncommon to see people resorting to braces and SI belts). Furthermore, I see many people struggling for years --- sometimes decades --- with what's been labeled as an SI problem. Be aware that it is ultra common for these to actually be caused by FASCIAL ADHESIONS in the muscles that anchor to the pelvic girdle (HIP FLEXOR included). If you aren't sure what's going on with your SI, come see me and let's see if we can get it figured out.
What separates my clinic from many others is that I don't mess around --- in most cases you will know in a single visit if I can help you with your pain --- even if your particular issue is long-standing and chronic (HERE). And if your problem is chronic, I may recommend some ancillary forms of treatment that you can do on your own to help balance your core and reduce the flood of inflammation that's likely contributing to your pain and dysfunction (HERE). If you know someone who could benefit from the work we do here, be sure and forward this information to them. And don't be afraid to show us some love on FACEBOOK either, as it is a great way to reach those you love and care about most.
ANTIBIOTICS AND THE BROKEN RECORD
DON'T TAKE ANTIBIOTICS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM, DON'T TAKE ANTIBIOTICS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM, DON'T TAKE ANTIBIOTICS - YOU DON'T NEED THEM.....
I realize that antibiotics can and do save lives. However, the antibiotics prescribed in America in non-hospital settings have nothing whatsoever to do with saving lives. The harsh reality is that every time you take antibiotics, you set yourself up for the next round of antibiotics. How so? Because 80% of your immune system resides in your Gut in the form of bacteria. Kill these bacteria and you end up not only with immune system dysfunction (yes, antibiotics are heavily linked to AUTOIMMUNITY), but you are more likely to wind up with an array of nasty health issues, including asthma, allergies, obesity and cancer (HERE).
Yet another study (this one from yesterday's issue of JAMA Internal Medicine --- Comparison of Antibiotic Prescribing in Retail Clinics, Urgent Care Centers, Emergency Departments, and Traditional Ambulatory Care Settings in the United States) gave us still another taste of just how screwed up things really are in the arena of antibiotic prescription.
"Only 60% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions dispensed in the United States are written in traditional ambulatory care settings ('medical offices') and emergency departments (EDs). Antibiotic prescriptions were linked to 39% of 2.7 million urgent care center visits 36.4% of 58,206 retail clinic visits, 13.8% of 4.8 million ED visits, and 7.1% of 148.5 million medical office visits. Among visits for antibiotic-inappropriate respiratory diagnoses, antibiotic prescribing was highest in urgent care centers."
How bad was the "inappropriate" antibiotic prescription issue in the urgent care setting? If you were given antibiotics, which as you can see above, 4 of 10 patients were, nearly 1 in 2 was by definition, unnecessary (the ED was 25%). Again, this shows that despite decades of attempting to educate both physicians and the general public about this issue, the message continues to hit a brick wall.
"Previous work [LAST YEAR] demonstrated that in the 2010-2011 period at least 30% of antibiotic prescriptions written in physician offices and EDs were unnecessary. The finding of the present study that antibiotic prescribing for antibiotic-inappropriate respiratory diagnoses was highest in urgent care centers suggests that unnecessary antibiotic prescribing nationally in all outpatient settings may be higher than the estimated 30%."
Look folks, it's 2018, and if you're taking antibiotics for non-life threatening issues (colds, FLU, upper respiratory infections which are virtually 100% viral, SINUS INFECTIONS, etc) --- EVEN "RARELY" --- stop it already! And if you are living the HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE on top of taking said antibiotics, you are providing the fuel for both the infection and the subsequent dysbiosis that's sure to follow (HERE). Looking for a better way? Want to get off the medical merry-go-round and start taking control of your life? HERE IS THE POST for you. And if you appreciate this sort of information, be sure to share it with those you love and care about most via FACEBOOK.
FLU VACCINES AND NARCOLEPSY
Since this is old news, why did the July 5 issue of STAT act like it wasn't via the title of their article, A Stubborn Medical Mystery: Was Pandemic Flu Vaccine Tied to an Increase in Narcolepsy Cases? "Nearly a decade on from the 2009 influenza pandemic, scientists are still trying to solve what is proving to be an intractable medical mystery: Did some of the vaccines used to protect against the new flu virus trigger an increase in narcolepsy cases?" Sorry folks, the only mystery is the precise mechanism; not that it actually happened.
And while Branswell's article did not provide the mechanism itself, which remains unknown, it did discuss the reason it happened --- vaccine adjuvants (this particular one was Adjuvant AS03). VACCINE ADJUVANTS (the majority of which are made from various forms of ALUMINUM) are, by definition, neuro-inflammatory (their purpose is to create inflammation in order to do something I have warned about repeatedly --- "BOOST" the immune system; something which invariably leads to autoimmunity). Hypothesized mechanisms were strep infections (in similar fashion to PANDAS and OTHERS) as well as the flu itself --- giving the shot to people who are already dealing with a low-grade sub-clinical infection.
Bottom line, the 2009 "pandemic" turned out to be a fizzler --- a dud of massive proportions, hyped by the powers that be (GOVERNMENT, PHARMA, those who create GUIDELINES, etc) to create fear that this would be LIKE THE PANDEMIC OF WWI. What happens when the next pandemic flu season hits?
I've already shown you (HERE) that the dirty little secret in the medical field is that between 100 and 200 people (last year was 200) must be vaccinated against the flu to prevent a single case. A single case! And that's for the normal flu; it's much worse with pandemic flu because the virus will already have been circulating for who-knows-how-long before a vaccine can even be created. For those of you still getting your flu shots, you might want to at least skim some titles of my dozens of POSTS ON THE SUBJECT. And don't forget to check out our FACEBOOK PAGE while you're at it.
WANT TO MAKE SOME REAL MONEY AS A PHYSICIAN?
GET YOURSELF ON A COMMITTEE THAT CREATES MEDICAL GUIDELINES
"There’s Plavix, a tried-and-tested blood thinner, that prevents clot formation; the generic version of the drug costs as little as 25 cents a pill. And there’s Brilinta, a newer medicine that is also effective in clot prevention; it costs about $6.50 a pill — 25 times as much. Brilinta is admittedly more effective than Plavix — by all of 2 percentage points. In a yearlong trial of 18,600 patients, 10 percent died from vascular causes, heart attack or stroke on Brilinta, while about 12 percent on Plavix. How much should clinicians be the gatekeepers for cost, such as when weighing the small absolute advantage of ticagrelor (Brilinta) over clopidogrel (Plavix)?" Siddhartha Mukherjee from the April 3 2018 issue of the New York Times (Can Doctors Choose Between Saving Lives and Saving a Fortune?)
"Common side effects of Brilinta include: bruising, bleeding more easily, nosebleeds, headache, dizziness, cough, nausea, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, back pain, low blood pressure, fatigue, and chest pain. Tell your doctor if you experience serious side effects of Brilinta including severe bleeding or uncontrollable bleeding, shortness of breath, colored urine (pink, red, or brown), red or black stools (looks like tar), coughing or vomiting that produces blood or blood clots, or vomit that looks like coffee grounds." From the Brilinta warning label --- Common Adverse Events (RxLists)
It seems that since the physicians creating medical guidelines must declare any conflicts of interest, pharma has created a unique little work-around by taking a "pay later" approach, sometimes shelling out millions (that would be 1,000,000 plural) of dollars after the research has been validated and the drug has been approved. What are these individuals "officially" paid for after the fact? Almost always they make their money by "advising" or "consulting" industry or in similar fashion to certain politicians, by giving short speeches to select groups for exorbitant fees.
"For example, those companies paid or reimbursed cardiologist Jonathan Halperin of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City more than $200,000 for accommodations, honoraria, and consulting from 2013 to 2016. During that period, Halperin got $7500 from AstraZeneca to study Brilinta, and the company separately declared nearly $2 million in “associated research” payments tied to him. Brilinta fits a pattern of what might be called pay-later conflicts of interest, which have gone largely unnoticed—and entirely unpoliced. In examining compensation records from drug companies to physicians who advised FDA on whether to approve 28 psychopharmacologic, arthritis, and cardiac or renal drugs between 2008 and 2014, Science found widespread after-the-fact payments or research support to panel members. The agency's safeguards against potential conflicts of interest are not designed to prevent such future financial ties. Other financial support from the drugmaker or key competitors included consulting, travel, lectures, or research. FDA did not publicly note those financial ties."
How crazy were the financial ties? Get this, Science investigated 107 doctors who were on specific committees charged with creating guidelines (remember that these guidelines frequently and specifically promote certain drugs or devices as the "standard of care"). Although a substantial number received ten grand or so, a quarter got over 100 grand, with seven raking in more than a million bucks apiece. Here is what is even crazier. The process has essentially become a bidding war. The top 17 "earners" took in over $300,000, with the money not only paid by the drug makers, but by competitors. In other words, they are being paid by both sides; the manufacturer to OK their drug, and their competitor not to. And none of the monies are being paid up front where the FDA might notice (not that they would care), but after the fact, usually in the same or following year.
Here's what's funny about this whole sordid affair. The doctors who are engaging in this --- typically the medical community's mouthpieces --- have said repeatedly that the money does not affect their decisions. Not surprisingly, studies have shown the opposite (HERE is one example). Honestly, it's why an increasing number of elite and renowned scientists, physicians, and researchers are saying that it's becoming impossible to trust anything coming out of the field of peer-reviewed medical studies (see EBM link in first paragraph).
If you are truly interested in getting healthy and staying that way, your doctor can't help you. Why not? Doctors are not in the business of helping you get healthy, they are in the business of disease management (HERE). Got DIABETES? They are not sharing THIS INFORMATION with you. Got CANCER? Why in the world would they not tell you about THIS simple fact that has been common knowledge for over 85 years? The harsh reality is that there is one and only one person who can help you get healthy, and you already know that person extremely well (hint; look in the mirror).
What I would like to do now is follow the money trail and history of Brilinta. Manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, Brilinta was approved by the FDA in 2011 after being "fast-tracked," but not before hitting a roadblock and first being rejected in 2010. What was it about that one year that made so much difference in the approval process? The July 27, 2010 issue of Motley Fool (an online journal for investors) let readers know in Brilinta? I Think Not: AstraZeneca's New Blood Thinner is Far From Brilliant, which stated, "The FDA's documents on AstraZeneca's Brilinta were far from brilliant for the drugmaker... The data from clinical trial patients in the U.S. were troublesome, with U.S. patients experiencing a worse outcome than those seen abroad... Tomorrow, the FDA will ask the panel of outside experts if they think the disparity was due to chance or some other factor that's unique to the U.S.... AstraZeneca needs a blockbuster to deal with looming patent expirations, but I don't think Brilinta is the gleaming light that's going to save the British drugmaker." In a similarly-timed article from The Guardian (AstraZeneca Blockbuster Brilinta Fails to Win FDA Approval), we learned that "the FDA requested more analysis of existing clinical trials data." In other words, there were some 'questions' about the veracity of the study. Stick around and you'll wonder why there weren't more.
"AstraZeneca last fall acknowledged the U.S. Justice Department was probing its controversial late-stage study of the blood thinner Brilinta, but was circumspect about what might have set off the investigation. But according to The Wall Street Journal, it might stem from a complaint filed by Victor Serebruany accusing AstraZeneca of rigging the Brilinta study so that it appeared to outperform the competition. The court records in Dr. Serebruany's complaint are sealed, but The Journal has reviewed documents from the case and spoken with sources familiar with it. Some of his allegations are similar to others that have been made against the study, including those published by two scientists from Charles University in Prague. They pointed out that almost half of the favorable results for Brilinta were drawn from just two countries, Hungary and Poland. They also said that reporting on cardiovascular events appeared to favor Brilinta, to the point that some possible cardiovascular events or deaths were deleted or softened. The trial has also drawn criticism because in the U.S. portion of the study, Brilinta did not perform as well as Plavix, the drug to which it was compared. AzstraZeneca's drug was linked to a 27% greater incidence of vascular deaths, heart attacks and stroke in that portion of the study." From Eric Palmer's Feb 3, 2014 article in Fierce Pharma (Wall Street Journal: Scientist's Lawsuit Accuses AstraZeneca of Fudging Brilinta Study)
Although Brilinta was eventually approved by the FDA, Dr. Victor Serebruany, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins University, began making accusations of his own. Along with a pharmacist, Dr. James J. DiNicolantonio, they responded to a series of public communications with a letter to the editor in the July 2013 issue of the journal Stroke. By June of 2017, Serebruany had, along with five other researchers, published a study in the American Journal of Medicine titled Excess Ticagrelor Mortality in the Food and Drug Administration Adverse Event Reporting System: Time to Recount PLATO Trial Deaths. He explained the team's findings several weeks earlier in the March 30 issue of the Atlas of Science (Higher Ticagrelor Mortality in the FDA Adverse Event Repository: Time to Stop TV Ads?). For the record, FAERS is the Federal Adverse Event Reporting System. Also, although this piece was comparing apples to apples (the AE's for all drugs are underreported), you should be aware of the magnitude of this problem ---- studies have repeatedly shown that just over 1% of all pharmaceutical AE's are ever reported to FAERS (HERE), and are likely even worse for VAERS.
"The numbers matter. In the PLATO trial, ticagrelor was associated with 89 less vascular deaths and 107 less all-cause deaths than clopidogrel, allegedly representing an 18% mortality reduction. In FAERS, however, the latest evidence for 2015 alone indicates that the rate of ticagrelor deaths was about 40% higher when compared to clopidogrel, and almost tripled when compared with prasugrel (Effient).... This is especially concerning, because the latest evidence failed to confirm PLATO 'mortality benefit,' since even a favorable trend was lacking in all post-PLATO outcome-driven trials (PEGASUS, PHILO, SOCRATES, and EUCLID). Finally, there are no reason(s) to believe that FAERS reporting has been biased towards ticagrelor, hiding unreported death cases for prasugrel or clopidogrel. Indeed, some cases are missing from FAERS, but the reporting here trends of death distribution will remain the same. Regardless, the consistency and magnitude of excess deaths after ticagrelor suggests that the excess mortality signal is real."
Dr. Serebruany's critiques are certainly brutal, but are they legit? Probably. Maybe. Who really knows? I say this because Serebruany also happens to be the lead author of study published in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Disease (Ticagrelor and Heart Surgery Controversy: We May Have Better Antiplatelet Options). The point of this (ahem) "study" was not only to disparage Ticagrelor (Brilinta), but to pump his own drug, Vorapaxar (Zontivity), which had gained FDA approval two years prior. In the section labeled Conflicts of Interest, we learn that Dr. S holds the patent on Vorapaxar. "Dr. Serebruany is listed as an inventor for the issued US patent (7,842,716) assigned to HeartDrug™ Research." Furthermore, we see that he had also "received compensation for the issued U.S. Patent 11/996,380 on prasugrel assigned to Lilly." So; who can you really trust when it comes to your healthcare? How about YOUR GRANDMOTHER!
What else can I tell you about Brilinta? For one, the SOCRATES study mentioned above showed just how poor the drug really is. Ben Adams, writing for the March 23, 2016 issue of Fierce Biotech (AstraZeneca Suffers a Setback as Trial Shows Brilinta 'No Better than Aspirin' for Stroke), summarized it by saying (CHERRY-PICKED), "AstraZeneca took a major hit today after it released data showing the pill did not help stroke patients any better than a drug first discovered in the 19th century. Brilinta did not fare well and missed its primary endpoint of time to first occurrence of any event from the composite of stroke (ischemic or hemorrhagic), heart attack and death. This means that a 40-cent tablet--first sold by Bayer in 1899--was just as good at helping patients as AZ's new drug that costs around $7 (before discounts) per daily treatment." What's just as interesting for people who believe regular use of aspirin is safe is that in this study aspirin actually had a worse side effect profile than the prescription drug.
For those of you who have never heard the term, "Data Mining," is the name given to the common practice of using statistical analysis by high-powered computers to to churn into a data set and almost magically prove almost anything imaginable. For instance, just yesterday I learned that the moon really is made of green cheese. An interestingly titled article by John Carroll from last August's issue of Endpoints News (AstraZeneca Researchers Plumb Positive Data to Back Extended Use of Brilinta) said it best. "After suffering back-to-back clinical failures last year that forced AstraZeneca to finally back off its projection of a brilliant megablockbuster future for Brilinta, the struggling pharma giant has come up with a positive batch of data that could persuade physicians to extend its use among high-risk heart patients." I really hope you like green cheese.
I suppose, however, that the real test of a drug like Brilinta is what real-life patients think of it. I took a quick peek at the website, Ask A Patient (Drug Ratings for Brilinta) and saw that on a scale of 1 to 5, 52 people had rated Brilinta an average of (gulp) 1.6. The one and only perfect score (five) came from a 38 year old who had just suffered a heart attack and been on the drug for --- I'm not making this up folks --- one day. Lots of nasty side effects listed and no one had been on the drug long term; most under a year.
If you are truly interested in getting off the medical merry-go-round, taking your life back, and beginning the process of restoring your your health (cardiac health included), there are some steps you might consider taking (HERE). Start by creating a WRITTEN PLAN using material I give out to all my patients completely free of charge (HERE are my online patient handouts). And if you feel that this information should be seen by the rest of the world, do your part by spreading the word on FACEBOOK. Liking, sharing, or following is a great way to reach those you love and care about most.
FDA ISSUES NEW SET OF WARNINGS ABOUT FLOUROQUINOLONE ANTIBIOTICS
DON'T GET FLOXED!
The most common problem associated with the fluoroquinolones is being "floxed", which entails MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION and metabolic dysregulation, often to the point that tendons no longer work properly, potentially leading to tendon degeneration and rupture. Although sometimes reversible, this problem can be crippling, and like other forms of adverse drug events (ADRS), is far more common --- probably two orders of magnitude (100 times) more common --- than we are being told by the powers that be (HERE). To drive this point home, there is a "black box" FDA warning for this particular problem that has been changed (strengthened) on two different occasions, warning users that this connective tissue damage can be permanent.
Although the labels of fluoroquinolone antibiotics carry many other warnings (warnings that have been steadily diversifying and intensifying for the past decade), including NEUROPATHY and other nerve diseases, a new one was issued on Tuesday of this week concerning their association with mental health side effects, and stating that they may cause, "disturbances in attention, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment and delirium." The FDA was not finished. They issued a second warning for this class of antibiotic concerning HYPOGLYCEMIA, which stated in tautological fashion that they are associated with, "instances of hypoglycemic coma where users of fluoroquinolones experienced hypoglycemia."
What should you do if you want to keep you and your family off of antibiotics, not just the fluoroquinolones? Firstly remember that they are rarely needed. My four kids (their ages added together is 70) have never had an antibiotic, and neither have my wife or I since we were young. Secondly, remember that most infections are viral in nature and do not respond to antibiotics, which is why even though they are frequently prescribed for such, they are not recommended for upper respiratory infections, colds, FLU, SINUS INFECTIONS, etc. Thirdly, it is critical to understand that what you eat is making you or breaking you because SUGAR FEEDS INFECTION. And lastly, 80% of your entire immune system lives in your Gut (HERE). Every time you take an antibiotic you are destroying your immune system, which means you'll soon be sick again, with your doctor suggesting -- you guessed it --- more antibiotics.
It's important to understand that ANTIBIOTICS are actually a form of IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPRESSION that you will pay the price for using in any number of ways, including increased risk of AUTOIMMUNITY. If you are interested in seeing a simple and completely free protocol to help you begin the journey of taking your life back, be sure and check out THIS POST. And as always, if there are people you love or care about who need this information, reach them by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK --- and then tag them.
THE TRUTH ABOUT NSAIDS AND PREGNANCY
Just days ago, the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology published a shocking study by the Kaiser Permanente healthcare system titled Use of Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs During Pregnancy and the Risk of Miscarriage. I've shown you some of the previous studies associating NSAIDS with almost any problem you can imagine, including cancer (HERE and HERE). Now, we have yet another study linking this class of drug (in SIMILAR FASHION TO FLU SHOTS) to miscarriages. That's right folks, the idea that NSAIDS are related to miscarriage is not a new concept.
"Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs are among the medications most widely used by pregnant women, and previous studies have reported an increased risk of miscarriage that is associated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use during pregnancy. Although the findings have not always been consistent, there is a well-established mechanism for the association: nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs inhibit the production of prostaglandin, which is essential for successful embryonic implantation. Abnormal implantation increases the risk of miscarriage"
Why are NSAIDS popular and "widely used" among pregnant women? Easy; women been told for decades that this class of drugs is safe for them to take when they are 'with child'. As always, I'm curious to see what sort of schizophrenic advice our government and medical community have been giving on this topic.....
- "Prescription NSAIDs and the risk of miscarriage in the first half of pregnancy: Examples of prescription NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, and celecoxib. We evaluated research studies published in the medical literature and determined they are too limited to make any recommendations based on these studies at this time." From the FDA's web page on the topic titled, FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA has Reviewed Possible Risks of Pain Medicine Use During Pregnancy
- "Pain relievers from the class of medications known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) won't increase a pregnant woman's risk of miscarriage, according to a new study." From a 2014 article by that pinnacle of medical truth, WebMD (NSAIDs Won't Raise Miscarriage Risk...)
- "NSAIDs given to pregnant women cross the placenta and may cause embryo-fetal and neonatal adverse effects, depending on the type of agent, the dose and duration of therapy, the period of gestation, and the time elapsed between maternal NSAID administration and delivery. These effects derive from the action mechanisms of NSAIDs (mainly inhibition of prostanoid activity) and from the physiological changes in drug pharmacokinetics occurring during pregnancy. Increased risks of miscarriage and malformations are associated with NSAID use in early pregnancy. Conversely, exposure to NSAIDs after 30 weeks' gestation is associated with an increased risk of premature closure of the fetal ductus arteriosus and oligohydramnios." From a 2012 issue of Current Drug Metabolism (Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs in Pregnancy: Impact on the Fetus and Newborn)
- "To date, studies have failed to show consistent evidence of increased teratogenic effects in either humans or animals following therapeutic doses during the first trimester." From a 2010 issue of the Canadian Family Physician (Treating Pain During Pregnancy)
- "An analysis of 50 pregnant patients who overdosed on ibuprofen revealed no evidence of fetal abnormalities." From the American Family Physician (Over-the-Counter Medications in Pregnancy)
- "NSAIDs should generally be avoided in pregnancy." From the Family Practice Notebook
- "If a woman takes a NSAID the risk of miscarriage is still very low." An official statement from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that less than 10 percent of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration have enough information to determine their risk for birth defects. NSAIDs are used to treat inflammation, control pain and reduce fever. Drugs like aspirin (Excedrin, Bayer), naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) are common NSAIDs. Do not take NSAIDs unless prescribed specifically by a doctor." From Texas A&M's Vital Record (Are Over-the-Counter Drugs Safe During Pregnancy?)
- "There is not enough information to support the negative effects of NSAIDs during pregnancy." From a 2008 issue of Rheumatologia (Systematic Review: Is the Use of NSAIDs Safe During Pregnancy in Women With Rheumatic Disease?)
- "Cat's foot iron claw, Neurosurgeons scream for more. At paranoia's poison door. Twenty first century schizoid man." King Crimson from 1969's 21st Century Schizoid Man (Epitaph)
Although I could have gone on forever, let's clear up the double-mindedness once and for all (after all, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways). NSAIDS are bad news if you are pregnant, and furthermore this has been a known fact for quite some time. This study went on to say that, "After we controlled for confounding (maternal age, previous miscarriage, multivitamin use, caffeine drinking, and smoking during pregnancy), nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use around conception was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage with a dose-response relationship." How bad was it?
Compared to controls, women who took NSAIDS during pregnancy were (gulp) 60% more likely to have a miscarriage, with almost 1/4 of the women taking anti-inflammation meds miscarrying in the first half of their pregnancy. And while other studies have shown that the miscarriages were related to consuming NSAIDS during the first trimester, this study showed that the problem was most severe when the drugs were taken around the time of conception. Oh; not surprisingly, the more drug you took, the greater your chances of miscarrying. Besides the obvious, why is this such a big deal?
Firstly, because as I showed you above, numerous medical mouthpieces continue to tell the public that these drugs are safe to take during pregnancy. Secondly, many of those who are warning women on some level, are doing it with a wink. In other words, it's almost like people are covering their hind ends with the warning and then going on to tell their female patients not to worry about it because the odds of miscarriage or birth defects are so low.
I completely understand why a woman might want to take a pain / anti-inflammation medication at some point in their pregnancy. My advice is to stay far away from these since every study coming out on virtually every drug shows them to be more dangerous than the study published before it, with NSAIDS being no different. To look at it another way, ask yourself why of so many of the drugs given the stamp of approval by OUR TRUSTY FDA are pulled off the market within a decade or so of approval? Hint; reading a few of our posts filed under EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE will give you the answer.
A year ago in May, JAMA pointed this out with a study titled Postmarket Safety Events Among Novel Therapeutics Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration Between 2001 and 2010. Of the 222 medications approved, "There were 123 new postmarket safety events (3 withdrawals, 61 boxed warnings, and 59 safety communications)." Writing about this study for CNN, Jen Christensen wrote (she was quoting here), "The key message with all new drugs and technology is that there is an ongoing learning process that will continue through the lifetime of the drug.... There is nothing to be alarmed about with this." Translation: when it comes to prescription and non-prescription medications, the consumer IS ULTIMATELY THE GUINEA PIG!
A 2016 study from BMC Medicine (Post-Marketing Withdrawal of 462 Medicinal Products Because of Adverse Drug Reactions: A Systematic Review of the World Literature) spelled this out via its title (the number 462 only counts drugs pulled from the market through 2014). My advice to you, whether pregnant or not? It's simple; if you don't really have to, don't take drugs. Drugs mess people up whether pushed or prescribed, in ways that scientists may never figure out.
When it comes to successfully addressing INFLAMMATION, an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET is one of the foundational aspects of THE PROTOCOL I give struggling patients to help them start the process of taking their lives back. Oh; and if you liked this post (especially if you have friends or loved ones who are or may become pregnant), an easy way to reach others is via FACEBOOK.
A quick warning for those women who are avoiding NSAIDS but have been told that Tylenol (acetaminophen) is safe to use during pregnancy; I would suggest you do some more research. First, Google "Tylenol ADHD" and then realize that acetaminophen taken by women during pregnancy is actually associated with autism as well as many other issues (HERE and HERE).
THE STRAIGHT SCOOP ON FLUORIDE
"The American Association for Community Dental Programs' primary goal is to support the efforts of those serving the oral health needs of vulnerable populations at the community level. In view of our commitment to preventing oral diseases and improving access to services for the public, we read with interest Grandjean and Landrigan's Review on neurobehavioral effects of developmental toxicity.... No credible scientific studies show a relation between fluoride consumption and IQ levels; however, several have shown that fluoride ingested at recommended levels is not harmful... Unfortunately, Grandjean and Landrigan's Review has been aggressively and improperly used by anti-fluoridationists to frighten the public about the effects of fluoridation, a well-established public health measure that has been shown to be cost-effective and safe." A response by dentists in Lancet Neurology (Neurodevelopmental Toxicity: Still More Questions than Answers) to the above-mentioned study.
"In 2006, two researchers, Philippe Grandjean and Philip Landrigan, conducted a review of existing studies and posited that certain industrial chemicals could contribute to neurobehavioral effects. It appears that they have updated their 2006 work..... The causes of neurobehavioral disorders like autism, attention deficit disorder and childhood brain development are topics that unquestionably deserve further study and review. However, this report has several serious flaws that undermine its credibility and usefulness in advancing understanding of these important issues. First, the report ignores the fundamental principles of exposure and potency. In other words, the authors disregard important factors like how chemicals are used, whether children are actually exposed to them, at what level they are exposed and for how long....." From American Chemistry dot com (Authors Ignore Fundamental Principles of Science in Lancet Paper, Opt for Alarmism)
"False: Studies — even ones published in prestigious journals — do not themselves 'declare' or 'classify' anything as a neurotoxin; governmental organizations, using published research and other data, make determinations about a chemical’s danger and regulate it accordingly. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of chemicals approved as non-toxic under the Toxic Substances Control Act, and they regulate standards for levels of human-made and natural contaminants in water under the Safe Drinking Water Act. For food or cosmetic products, the Food and Drug Administration makes similar determinations under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act." From Snopes (Did a New Study Officially Declare That Fluoride Is a Neurotoxin?). Do you trust our government or any of their alphabet soup of watchdog organizations (FDA, CDC, EPA, NIH, etc, etc)?
"Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants....."
While five of the six are not well known by the general public (most probably have not heard of them or like me, couldn't spell them if offered a million bucks), fluoride is not only known by everyone, it's known because it's supposed to be healthy; protective against DENTAL CARIES (the medical word for cavities). Because of this, it's not only well known, but found in virtually all commercial toothpastes as well as the drinking water in most American municipalities. The American Dental Association's official statement on fluoride (ADA Fluoridation Policy: American Dental Association Supports Fluoridation) contains this snippet...
"The American Dental Association unreservedly endorses the fluoridation of community water supplies as safe, effective and necessary in preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association's position since policy was first adopted in 1950."
This begs the question; what brought us to this point? What brought us to the point where fluoride is thought of as a necessity --- particularly in light of the explosion of the the neurological developmental issues that were specifically mentioned earlier; AUTISM and ADD/ADHD? Sort of like my post on THE FLEXNER REPORT (and with many of the same actors), fluoride's history is full of intrigue, deception, corporate greed, and CYA, mostly from the manufactures of ALUMINUM --- a massively neurotoxic element in and of itself. Follow along as I take you on a short journey through the history of fluoride.
FLUORIDE'S "OFFICIAL" HISTORY
"The answer came when McKay and Dr. Grover Kempf of the United States Public Health Service (PHS) traveled to Bauxite, Arkansas --- a company town owned by the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) --- to investigate reports of the familiar brown stains. The two discovered something very interesting: namely, the mottled enamel disorder was prevalent among the children of Bauxite, but nonexistent in another town only five miles away."
The history went on to talk about research by Dr. H. Trendley Dean, head of the Dental Hygiene Unit at the National Institute of Health as pertaining to dental caries and the famous Grand Rapids, Michigan fluoridation experiment (it was said to have cut the rate of dental caries in children by over half). The authors concluded by lauding the benefits of fluoridation as one of the great medical achievements of the modern era and referring to it as "a giant scientific breakthrough that promised to revolutionize dental care, making tooth decay for the first time in history a preventable disease for most people."
Sounds great --- all warm and cuddly --- one of those feel-good stories you tell your children around the campfire (cough cough, as you wonder why if fluoride is so good, why do so many people have such bad teeth?). In the immortal words of the late Paul Harvey, "and now it's time for the rrrrrrest of the story." As I've shown you in scores of posts filed under the oxymoronical title of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, money rules. When you let big business do their own research, whether it's Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Big Chemical, Big Seed, Big Ag, etc, etc, etc, the one constant that you can hang your hat on is that it cannot be trusted. Period.
What's arguably worse, however, is why. The watchdog agencies created by the government to keep an eye on the "Bigs," have themselves been bought and paid for by industry (HERE). For example; even though it was on their website a few years ago, the CDC's statement ("In children younger than 8 years of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources-water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinse, or other products-contributes to enamel fluorosis.") is nowhere to be found --- it's been removed. Thus, we can't be surprised that the actual history of fluoride is far different than the NIH's history. I'm going to give you the condensed version in a moment, but before I do, I want to briefly discuss what fluoride is, what it does, and how it works.
"Children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses also indicated inverse associations [higher fluoride, lower IQ]..... The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment." From the October 2012 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives (Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis). This is the 27-study meta-analysis that Drs. Grandjean and Landrigan largely based their conclusions from and were so roundly criticized for.
"Choi and senior author Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health, and their colleagues collated the epidemiological studies of children exposed to fluoride from drinking water. The China National Knowledge Infrastructure database also was included to locate studies published in Chinese journals. They then analyzed possible associations with IQ measures in more than 8,000 children of school age; all but one study suggested that high fluoride content in water may negatively affect cognitive development. The average loss in IQ was reported as seven IQ points for commonly used IQ scores. Some studies suggested that even slightly increased fluoride exposure could be toxic to the brain. Thus, children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas. The children studied were up to 14 years of age, but the investigators speculate that any toxic effect on brain development may have happened earlier, and that the brain may not be fully capable of compensating for the toxicity. 'Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,' Grandjean says. 'The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.'" From the Harvard School of Public Health News (Impact of Fluoride on Neurological Development in Children). This article is addressing the previous study as it was a joint effort by researchers from China and Harvard.
"NTP is currently conducting a systematic review to evaluate potential neurobehavioral effects from exposure to fluoride during development that includes consideration of human epidemiology, additional experimental animal studies, and mechanistic data." From our own government's National Toxicology Program
Beyond that, we see that it does not take very much to have an effect (not only on your teeth, but on your brain and THYROID as well). "Fluoride occurs naturally in our environment that we consume it in small amounts." Great to know, but what is a small amount and is naturally-occurring fluoride the same fluoride that's found in toothpaste or industrial waste? A very short and simple explanation of the difference in types of fluoride (all forms of fluoride are not the same) can be found HERE.
Although most municipalities are still fluoridating water at between 1 and 1.2 parts per million (ppm), according to the July 2015 issue of Government Health Reports (U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries) "PHS now recommends an optimal fluoride concentration of 0.7 milligrams/liter (mg/L)," meaning that we've been using significantly more fluoride than necessary. When you watch the videos of the barrels of fluoride being dumped into the Grand Rapids water supply just before the end of WWII, it sort of makes you wonder what sort of dose those children were getting.
HOW DOES FLUORIDE WORK?
"Acute toxicity can occur after ingesting one or more doses of fluoride over a short time period which then leads to poisoning. Today, poisoning is mainly due to unsupervised ingestion of products for dental and oral hygiene and over-fluoridated water." From the Materia Sociomedica study below
WARNINGS: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed get medical help immediately or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Do Not Swallow, Supervise children as necessary until capable of using without supervision. Use a pea-sized amount in children under six years old.
Knowing that fluoride is really a topical treatment ("In the last 30 years, studies have shown that the maximum anti-caries benefits of fluoride are primarily through topical use and direct contact on the tooth surface") why would it be recommended for the water supply? Easy; the purpose is to create blood levels of fluoride so that all bodily fluids, saliva included, contain fluoride, which then "bathes" the teeth in fluoride. What should blood levels of fluoride be? This study (remember that it's a pro-fluoride study) said that blood levels should never be over .06 ppm, with a normal or targeted range of .01 ppm. This means that if your municipality is fluoridating the water supply at 1-1.2 ppm (standard), it's not only as much as double the latest recommendations, it's at least 100 times higher than targeted blood levels. It's important to grasp, however, that topical is not the only way that fluoride works to prevent caries.
According to this study, even though the most important effect of fluoride is related to preventing demineralization of the hydroxyapatite of the enamel layer, like it's close relative chlorine (they are both HALIDES that live in the same row on the Periodic Table and are known destroyers of thyroid function) it also has antimicrobial effects. "It has also been proposed, that the fluoride ion can affect the physiology of microbial cells, which can indirectly affect demineralization. Fluoride ions affect bacterial cells through several mechanisms, one of them being a direct inhibition of cellular enzymes." For the portion of the population who is overly GERM-PHOBIC, this might sound wonderful. But for those who grasp the importance of the MICROBIOME as related to overall health, you can see how this could be problematic in more ways than one (see renowned dentist, DR. WESTON PRICE'S work).
THE HISTORY OF "MEDICINAL / THERAPEUTIC" FLUORIDE
There are two things I want you to remember as you follow along. The first is that in similar fashion to most neurotoxic substances, the effects are largely accumulative. Secondly, the form of fluoride added to the water supply is not the same as the mineral found naturally in our environment. Watching Bryson's short documentary (The Fluoride Deception --- 1st video, second row) was both eye opening and unnerving --- particularly in light of what we know about Evidence-Based Medicine in general (be sure and watch him reveal the INVISIBLE & ABANDONED studies --- studies that were buried by industry).
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MORE ON THE SUGAR-FEEDS-CANCER CONNECTION
For those of you who are up on DR. OTTO WARBURG'S Nobel Prize winning work, the news that SUGAR FEEDS CANCER is old hat. For the rest of you, hold on tight and enjoy today's short ride. Two days ago Mike Wehner wrote an article called Ketogenic Diet Could Give New Cancer-Fighting Drugs a Big Boost, in which he stated....
"The drugs in question work by targeting the PI3K enzyme which has been linked to cancer mutations. The drugs showed promise early on but have fallen short of lofty expectations, and now scientists think that combining the drugs with a ketogenic diet might be the real answer. 'Any drug that targets PI3K may not be effective unless patients can maintain low blood sugar levels through diet or medication,' Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D, lead author of the study, said in a statement. 'We demonstrated that if we keep insulin down with the ketogenic diet, it dramatically improves the effectiveness of these cancer drugs.'"
What does this really mean? Firstly, it means that in all reality, the PI3K inhibitors that a decade ago were touted as the latest in a long line of failed "miracle drugs," are little more than STONE SOUP. If they don't work in the absence of a KETOGENIC DIET, let's be honest with each other --- they don't work. It's the diet that's doing the heavy lifting here. When you stop LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE, you dramatically reduce insulin production, one of the most anabolic hormones (makes you bigger) on the planet, thus reducing your body's ability to grow tumors or cancer (or for that matter, ADIPOSE TISSUE).
The thing, however, that should leave you questioning everything you are being fed regarding EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, is that even though everything in this post is common knowledge, not only among the scientific medical community, but among a significant percentage of the lay population as well, the heaviest of the heavy hitters in cancer treatment (Mayo, MD Anderson, Johns Hopkins, etc) still maintain via church-like 'statements of faith' on their collective websites that sugar does not feed cancer --- so eat up (HERE)!
It's one of the myriad of reasons that I have been recommending various forms of LOW CARB DIETS (particularly PALEO and KETOGENIC) for nearly two and a half decades. And cancer is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what eating clean and watching junk carbs and SUGAR can do for you. It also happens to be why this way of eating anchors my popular SOLVE YOUR OWN HEALTH PROBLEMS post. Since most of you reading this know someone who could benefit from this information, why not pass it along to them. The best way to reach those you love and care about most? Try liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK.
DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS FROM DOCTORS
It seems that on the first day of summer, former FDA commissioner, Dr. David Kessler gave a speech talking about OBESITY as related to diet in which he admitted that the medical profession (he's an MD) has failed in this arena. "Is a calorie a calorie? Can I eat unprocessed meat? What's going on in my brain? I think we have failed the American public when it comes to giving them basic information. If diet and exercise were the answer, we'd all do it and there wouldn't be a problem."
One of the attendees, Dr. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and public health at New York University, said something about Kessler's lecture that I told you was the case a couple of years ago --- that as far as our national health is concerned, things really went south in the 1980's (a great decade for music, but a terrible decade for nutrition --- HERE). She and Kessler both mentioned specific things that occurred in the 80's that they believe led to the quandary we're in today.
- Over-production of food by farmers
- Wall Street profit mongers
- Deregulation of marketing
- Junk food became far more common
I'll not get into the reason this meeting even occurred in the first place (two senators were present -- a Republican and Democrat --- to debate their idea of how to solve the healthcare crisis -- something I declared to be a pipe dream a couple years ago thanks to our collective diets and addiction to junk foods of all sorts (HERE), but I feel that they really missed the boat on this one. Allow me to throw in my two cents.
First, the comments as is often the case, were not only better than the article itself, but showed just how much division there is within the profession on this subject (it appears that much -- maybe most -- of the medical profession is still stuck on the guidelines that were created in the 1980's and based on the food pyramid). You know; lots of talk about not eating any SATURATED FAT, EGGS, BUTTER, RED MEAT, etc.... Unfortunately, even though it was brought up by a commentor, no one really addressed the elephant in the room --- the fact that our government, via guidelines that were bought and paid for by industry research years ago (HERE, HERE and HERE are examples), is the party most responsible for a large part of the national health train wreck we see today (such as the fact that men are increasingly turning into women and women are increasingly turning into men --- HERE).
Secondly, if we cannot yet answer the question of whether a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, it's no wonder we have problems in this department. MICROBIOME aside, carbs and blood sugar are what most regulate our metabolism. It's why CERTAIN HIGH FAT DIETS help sick people get their blood work in order while allowing them to lose weight --- a fact that cardiologist, Robert Atkins, was talking about half a century ago. It's also why THIS BREAKFAST, which as far as I can tell is still being suggested by our government under their still-recommended DASH program, is almost unbelievable. Almost.
One of the commenters suggested that we should do away with government guidelines / recommendations concerning diet. Honestly, this would not be going far enough. I am of the opinion that not only have government guidelines brought us the obesity epidemic with all it's trappings (T2D and a myriad of others, including CANCER), they brought us the opioid epidemic as well (HERE). The unfortunate truth is that most GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES are bought and paid for by special interests and industry (see our posts on EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE if you feel I'm being too harsh in this assessment).
And lastly; to Kessler's point that if diet and exercise were the solution, everyone would do it --- I must disagree. Thanks to the fact that studies have shown that junk food, heavily processed food, and junk carbs / sugar are more addictive than hard drugs (HERE), our younger generations are becoming junkies, in many cases, before their first birthday. Couple this with a life lived electronically / sedentarily (HERE), and you have a recipe for disaster that is not going away anytime soon --- especially not because the government may or may not decide to create still another guideline.
Lastly, one of the article's commenters mentioned environment as a factor in the obesity epidemic. I can't argue, particularly with him specifically mentioning GLYPHOSATE. But it certainly doesn't stop there. The numbers of CHEMICALS and TOXIC METALS people (especially kids) are exposed to today is off the chart, with the absurd number of vaccines being promoted today being a significant contributing factor in this exposure (HERE).
In my clinic, I try and keep things simple. Although diet is not the chief thrust of WHAT I DO HERE, I can't ignore it. If you are inflamed, you sabotage every aspect of your health. Diet is the lowest of the low-hanging fruit as far as controlling INFLAMMATION is concerned. And because inflammation always leads to fibrosis (HERE), you are going to cause yourself both pain and an early death if you fail to answer Kessler's questions correctly (HERE). The handout I give my patients points them in the right direction (HERE), with dietary information on the top row. It also contains THIS POST, which is full of ideas to help you start taking your life back. And if you appreciate our work, be sure to like, share, or follow on FACEBOOK as it's a great way to reach those you love and care about most.
SOLUTIONS FOR CHRONIC HEADACHE AND MIGRAINE?
"In the long run people seem to consolidate into a positive or negative path. There were fewer people "in the middle" who didn't change. Most people either improved (64-67%) after one year or got worse (7-9%). 15% reduced their attacks by approximately 10-50%, 7% of people reduced their attacks by half, 24% reduced their attacks by more than half, and 18% of people experienced a full remission in migraine -- it eliminated their migraine attacks. The results are very encouraging, but in reality it is hard to know for sure because people generally prefer sharing good news rather than bad news. The self-selection bias is creates a problem for reliable data. A more robust clinical trial is needed. Some people may also argue that there is a strong placebo effect which may explain the strong early results that you've probably seen on social media. This is certainly a very real possibility. However it is worth mentioning that, placebo or not, the results are there."
Firstly, even though the work I do goes far beyond (HERE), I'm the world's biggest fan of the PLACEBO EFFECT. Secondly, the results are encouraging. With 2/3 of the respondents showing improvement --- about half of those by 50% or more --- this is certainly something to take a closer look at. The bigger question, however, is why. Why does the Daith Piercing work?
In my last post I discussed Chinese acupuncture in relationship to fascia (HERE). A sub-specialty of acupuncture holds that there are points on the ear that correspond to all areas of the body (this is known as auriculotherapy). The Daith is said to pierce an area of the ear that specifically affects the large intestine (we talked about acupuncture and the large intestine yesterday as well). Why might this be a big deal? For those of you who are up on GUT HEALTH, you already know at least part of the answer. 80% of your body's immune system is housed in Gut; most of that in the form of BACTERIA living in the large bowel (HERE).
Last November, a team of seven German and Italian researchers teamed up to publish Daith Piercing in a Case of Chronic Migraine: A Possible Vagal Modulation in the journal Frontiers in Neurology. Once you understand the Vagal effect (CNX --- Cranial Nerve 10 --- the Vagus Nerve) of the Daith on the para-sympathetic nervous system (WHAT HAPPENS IN VAGUS DOESN'T STAY IN VAGUS), it will start to make a bit more sense --- especially considering the huge number of people living their lives in a state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE (especially true of migraine sufferers). Before warning of the potential dangers of a Daith (infection was the biggest) and the fact that they cannot recommend it because there simply are not enough studies out there, these seven neurologists posited why the piercing works for some people.
"We can speculate a vagal modulation as the action mechanism of daith piercing: a nociceptive sensory stimulus applied to trigeminal and vagal areas of the ear can activate ear vagal afferents, which can modulate pain pathways by means of projections to the caudal trigeminal nucleus, to the locus coeruleus and to the nucleus raphe magnus."
By stimulating the sensory portion of the Vagus Nerve via stimulating the outer portion of the ear (I've seen this done with acupuncture needles, electricity, staples, piercings, LASERS, teishin, and an array of other methods), the result is stimulation of the caudal trigeminal nucleus (mostly sensory cells that make up the largest of the nuclei of the 12 cranial nerves) and the lucus coeruleus (an important region for regulating CELLULAR HOMEOSTASIS as well as modulating stress, panic, and wakefulness). However, the part of this cascade that grabbed my greatest attention was the fact that the nucleus raphe magnus (NRM) is stimulated via this pathway. Listen to what a popular online encyclopedia says of the NRM....
"It seems to participate in the endogenous analgesia system. The main function of the nucleus raphe magnus is mostly pain mediation; it sends projections to the dorsal horn of the spinal cord to directly inhibit pain. The nucleus raphe magnus releases serotonin when stimulated. Raphe-spinal neurons project to enkephalin releasing interneurons..... The periaqueductal grey matter, an area of the brain involved in mediating analgesia, sends efferent connections to the nucleus raphe magnus when it is stimulated by opiates (endogenous or otherwise). Electrical stimulation of the PAG produces analgesia, as well as administration of morphine to the PAG or nucleus raphe magnus. Similarly, afferent fibres from the spinothalamic tract synapse at the periaqueductal grey matter. This in turn is linked to the nucleus raphe magnus, which when stimulated directly inhibits pain fibers in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, thus alleviating pain. All of this seems to indicate that the nucleus raphe magnus is part of the endogenous opiate system, and acts to inhibit pain in the spinal cord."
Although there's a lot of technical 'stuff' here, remembering a couple simple facts can help us figure out the message the authors are conveying. Firstly afferent nerves are generally sensory (they receive impulses) and efferent nerves are generally motor (they are carrying impulses away). The spinothalamic tract carries sensory input from the skin to the thalamus. One of the results is not only increased production of SEROTONIN, but that several different mechanisms in this pathway inhibit or alleviate pain impulses.
Interestingly, I found a study on a device called the NEMOS (Treatment of Chronic Migraine with Transcutaneous Stimulation of the Auricular Branch of the Vagal Nerve: A Randomized, Monocentric Clinical Trial) that was published three years ago this month in the Journal of Headache and Pain that instead of using a Daith, used electrical stimulation. The authors concluded that "29.4% of the patients in the 1 Hz group had over 50% reduction in headache days." Not bad for a small device that essentially clips to and electrically stimulates the area where the Daith Piercing is done.
So, although there is not enough hard science for your doctor to suggest you get an ear piercing for possible relief of chronic migraine headaches, the evidence is starting to trickle in empirically (it's always been there anecdotally). Be aware that there are other (very easy) ways to stimulate the CNX (Vagus Nerve) as well --- see my earlier link. Also be aware that there are a MYRIAD OF REASONS people get migraines. For ideas on ways to deal with any number of chronic conditions (headaches included), be sure to check out my "UNIVERSAL CURE" post. And if you know someone who could benefit from this information, by all means send it to them (FACEBOOK is a great way to reach them as well).
ADHESED FASCIA CAN ENTRAP NERVES IN THE
THUMB AREA LEADING TO PAIN IN OTHER PLACES
It is not only the Source Point for the large intestine meridian, it's the Command Point for the head and face --- important if you deal with GUT HEALTH ISSUES or with SKULL OR FACE PAIN. In fact, most of you have heard that if you rub this point it can help relieve a HEADACHE. Not only is this true for many people (try it), but it's a point that can be used for pain anywhere in the body (WARNING: Do Not Stimulate This Point if You are Pregnant as it's used in Chinese acupuncture to induce labor).
A brand new study published yesterday by German and Canadian researchers in the Scandinavian Journal of Pain (Pain in the Hand Caused by a Previously Undescribed Mechanism with Possible Relevance for Understanding Regional Pain) shows yet again how related FASCIA is to any number of anatomical or physiological subjects. In this observational study, a group of people with pain on the ulnar side of their hand (the karate chop or pinky side) were found to have increased sensitivity in the area of LI4 --- the opposite side of the hand.
When the doctors injected LI4 they noted that all the patients got better, indicating a "possible entrapment of a terminal branch of ulnar nerve piercing the fascia in the first interphalangeal webspace". In other words, these people had restricted fascia in the tissue between their thumb and pointer finger that the authors found to be irritating the other side of the hand via a process of NERVE ENTRAPMENT.
This is not only part of the reason that acupuncture has proved effective for any number of problems over the course of thousands of years, it also helps explain why DRY NEEDLING (needling without injecting anything) has proved helpful for various sorts of MYOFASCIAL PROBLEMS AND TRIGGER POINTS as well. If you read any of DR. LANGEVIN'S WORK (she is a neurologist and researcher at Harvard), you have at least some degree of understanding of why this might be the case. And if you are appreciating the free information on our site, be sure to take a look at our FACEBOOK PAGE and show us some love while you're there.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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