FIBER & RESISTANT STARCH
TENDINOSIS OR FASCIAL ADHESIONS?
(DOES IT REALLY MATTER?)
"The concept is that there is a loss of inflammatory response and chronic scar formation with fascia and tendon injuries. The proper terms for such injuries are fasciosis and tendinosis rather than the more commonly used terms of fasciitis and tendonitis. In fasciitis and tendonitis cases, there is good blood supply to the problematic region but there is an inflammatory response that is painful. In fasciosis and tendinosis issues, the fascia and ligament have a decrease in inflammatory response, a reduction in the growth/healing factors and a chronic scar formation that prevents the healing process." Dr. Babak Baravarian from the May 2009 issue of Podiatry Today
If you have read my MAIN PAGE or BLOG POSTS on Tendinosis, you already realize that there are many experts saying that Tendinitis (the word 'itis' means 'Inflammation') does not exist --- or if it does exist --- is extremely rare. What is common, however, is something called Tendinosis. But who really cares whether a person is dealing with an 'osis' or an 'itis'? In other words, isn't it just a word game --- a matter of semantics that doesn't really mean anything? No it's not. Sit up and pay attention as I show you why.
According to an online Medical Dictionary, the suffix "osis" means, "a diseased or abnormal condition; an increase in a pathologic condition; production of an abnormal substance; increased production of a normal substance; a derangement of". When it comes to Tendons or FASCIA (the membranous cover of muscles, organs, and other tissues), even though most of the problems found in these two tissues are believed to be more along the lines of an "osis," they are usually treated as an "itis". In other words, even though the peer-reviewed literature says otherwise, these problems are almost always diagnosed as Inflammatory conditions and subsequently treated as such --- with ANTI-INFLAMMATION MEDS and CORTICOSTEROIDS. But is this the best option? Listen to a bit more of what Dr. Baravarian; a UCLA-affiliated foot doctor, has to say.
"It is ironic that we usually try to treat such issues on the acute (fasciitis/tendonitis) cases with rest while we try to treat the chronic issues (fasciosis/tendinosis) with cortisone injections. This does not make sense as an anti-inflammatory injection such as cortisone has a better chance of working in the acute phase when there is still an inflammatory process that is working. With chronic injuries such as Achilles tendinosis and plantar fasciosis, cortisone injections do not help very much. There is no inflammatory process with these injuries and the injection only works via the trauma caused by the needle, resulting in an inflammatory response in the designated area."
Although Dr. Baravarian is speaking here about the foot, he could be talking about almost any part of the body. What is extremely intriguing is the fact that the Cortisone Injection itself is not only not beneficial, it's actually harmful --- extremely harmful as shown repeatedly in peer-review (HERE). The healing properties of the injection come about not from the medication, but from the INFLAMMATORY PROPERTIES OF THE NEEDLE that induces healing via the creation of an inflammatory response.
There are many different techniques that have the potential to create such an inflammatory response --- a response that is both necessary and vital for healing to take place (remember, it's too much inflammation that causes problems with the healing process). Acupuntcture is thought to do similar, as does the technique known as "Dry Needling" (see previous link). In this case, the physician takes a fairly heavy gauge needle and uses it to repeatedly puncture whatever area he is treating. Prolotherapy works by creating an inflammatory response with sugar water injections (HERE is a possible mechanism for creating such a response). Our SCAR TISSUE REMODELING is designed to work in similar fashion (HERE are some pictures of the local inflammatory response). CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS may even do this on a small scale as does STRETCHING & EXERCISE. Among other things, these are all designed to create some degree of FIBROBLASTIC RESPONSE.
You must understand a couple of things here. When I say that Tendinosis is not an "Inflammatory" problem (HERE), what I mean is that it is not creating its own Inflammatory response. I do, however, believe that in many cases, SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION has the ability to create, cause, or worsen local "non-inflammatory" problems. Let's put this in practical terms as far as helping suffering people is concerned. If we can create a LOCAL Inflammatory response, while inhibiting SYSTEMIC Inflammation, the odds of licking the sorts of problems commonly found in (LIGAMENTS, TENDONS, MUSCLE, and FASCIA) increases dramatically. Beyond our Tissue Remodeling Treatment, HERE are is a post that might be of benefit as well.
Oh, and as to the "does it really matter?" quote from the top of the page; it doesn't. The problem will be dealt with the same, whether it's Fascial or Tendinous.
THE TRUTH ABOUT
Testosterone has been used by athletes for decades. Bodybuilders, football players, swimmers, baseball players, and even golfers have used steroids to gain a competitive edge. Don't kid yourself --- these drugs work (can anyone say Barry 'Bison Head' Bonds?). Synthetic forms of Testosterone increase both strength and muscle mass while helping drop body fat. On top of that, they dramatically aid in recovery and healing times. And I don't suppose I need to mention the fact that supplemental Testosterone has that almost magical quality of being able to bring back a man's ability to perform the bedroom heroics of his youth. Thus, it's not surprising that Testosterone is Ponce de León's elusive "Fountain of Youth". But not surprisingly, there's a dark side to this class of drug.
SIDE EFFECTS OF EXOGENOUS TESTOSTERONE
We have known about the side effects of supplemental (exogenous) Testosterone for decades. Once again, most of this knowledge comes from the field of athletics. According to the article in Time, there are 7.5 million American men taking exogenous Testosterone. Every single one of the bullet points below comes straight from the peer-reviewed scientific literature. I must, however, warn you that the studies on Testosterone are all over the place. Von Drehle writes that, "no matter what you think of testosterone therapy, some scientist somewhere has data to back you up.... Trusting testosterone to relieve men of aging amounts to a massive science experiment. There is so little agreement about T therapy that doctors dispute even the most basic concepts... A treatment that is benign when used briefly might become toxic with long use." Ah, the joys of EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
- HEART ATTACK / STROKE / BLOOD CLOTS / HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE / CHOLESTEROL ISSUES: Some of this is due to the fact that steroids cause increased red blood cell production (polycythemia), which can thicken the blood. You can find more information on CHOLESTEROL and BLOOD PRESSURE by simply following the links.
- PROSTATE CANCER: Far more common than CANCER are symptoms of Prostate Inflammation --- the feeling like you constantly have to go pee even though your bladder is not even close to full. You dribble and then go back and do it again in 20 minutes.
- SLEEP APNEA: HERE is more information on Sleep Apnea.
- FEMALE BREASTS: Athletes and bodybuilders call these "bitch tits", although the official name of the problem is gynomastia.
- ACNE: This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to skin problems, as Testosterone is notorious for causing SKIN CONDITIONS of all kinds. Interesting article on ACNE.
- DIZZINESS / LIGHTHEADEDNESS:
- MOOD SWINGS / RAGE / DEPRESSION / ANXIETY / PARANOIA: Having been a weightlifter for three decades, I can assure you that with those on Testosterone, these are seen as "normal". HERE is some good information on Depression.
- BALDNESS: Too many of us men are already fighting this problem. Is it really worth it?
- GENERALIZED HORMONAL DISRUPTION: One of the most common is that taking Testosterone short circuits your body's negative feed back loop. Allow me to explain.
From the final bullet point above, you'll notice that taking exogenous Testosterone throws a monkey wrench in the feedback loop that regulates your own body's Testosterone production. A commonly known side effect of athletes who take steroids is that their testicles shrink / shrivel / atrophy. This is because when you take exogenous Testosterone, your body senses it has plenty of it, and shuts down its own (endogenous) production. In other words, your body tells its testicles to stop making sex hormone because it already has plenty. This means that the longer you take Testosterone, or the more Testosterone you take, the less your own body is going to produce. It's one of the body's numerous "Negative Feedback Loops". Bodybuilders and athletes have "tricks" to restart endogenous Testosterone production (the one I am most familiar with is injectable HCG --- remember the HCG diet from a few years back?). Trust me when I tell you that going this route involves putting substances into your body that could in no ways be described as 'harmless'.
WHAT CAUSES LOW T TO BEGIN WITH?
As usual, everyone (both doctors and patients) wants to deal with the symptom (Low T) and forget about the underlying cause(s). That's right; even though men are usually told that their low Testosterone levels are due to the number of birthdays they've had or BAD GENETICS, this is simply not true in most cases. Some of the most common causes of Low T are intimately related to each other.
- EXPOSURE TO ESTROGEN-MIMICKING HORMONES: There are a wide array of chemicals which are known as XENOHORMONES because they have the ability to act as Estrogen in both women and men (HERE).
- HYPOGONADISM: Although there are many different diseases that could cause a person to fall into this category, the numbers are minor compared to the next three.
- PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: HERE'S the link. Enough said.
- BELLY FAT: I have previously informed you just how nasty a problem BELLY FAT is (HERE also), and is intimately related to the next bullet point.
- BLOOD SUGAR METABOLISM ABNORMALITIES: When you're living THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE, it not only puts you at risk for health issues like Belly Fat and DIABETES, it puts you at risk for almost every health problem you can imagine --- particularly those of a hormonal nature like "Low T". And guess what boys and girls --- sugar is what turns men into women and women into men (HERE).
Interestingly enough, these last two points are not only arguably the top two causes of not only Male Sexual Dysfunction, but Female Dysfunction as well (HERE). The cool thing is, once you understand how it all works together, you are going to attack it like almost any other health problem (HERE). You can choose to deal with the symptom ("Low T") and take exogenous Testosterone in the form of creams, injections, pills, etc. Or you can deal with the underlying cause of your Low T, and get healthy in the process.
HUMANS AS CARNIVORES
"Plants are mean and sneaky. They are natural organic chemists and make the nastiest toxins on earth. Never trust a plant. Eat them at your peril… or because they taste good." Dr. Ayers from his blog Cooling Inflammation (Phytochemicals, Natural Antibiotics and Antioxidants).
"Thanks for this post. I'm another carnivore who found great health benefits to avoiding plants. After eating low-carb for three years I saw some improvements, but when I went "zero-carb" (all meat) four years ago, my health improved spectacularly. I've often speculated that the problem with the regular low-carb diet wasn't so much that it still had too much carbohydrate, but that I'm somehow more sensitive than the average person to plant phytotoxins"
Furthermore, we know that some NEUROLOGICAL / AUTOIMMUNE problems will "spontaneously" resolve (or at least improve) when all carbohydrates are removed from the diet. The classic example of this is EPILEPSY. Rather than me spending an inordinate amount of time talking about this phenomenon, I thought I would just let you read Dr. Ayers' article for yourself (HERE). Please note that while I am not advocating this approach, it is an interesting option to contemplate for those of you struggling with Chronic Conditions.
WHAT IS THE BEST CALCIUM SUPPLEMENT?
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation (they say that 1 in 6 Americans are suffering with the disease --- 54 million), Osteoporosis is, "a disease of the bones. It happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, your bones become weak and may break from a minor fall or, in serious cases, even from simple actions, like sneezing or bumping into furniture. If you look at healthy bone under a microscope, you will see that parts of it look like a honeycomb. If you have osteoporosis, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much bigger than they are in healthy bone. This means your bones have lost density or mass and that the structure of your bone tissue has become abnormal. As your bones become less dense, they also become weaker and more likely to break". But this definition itself begs the question of why some people lose bone or fail to make new bone?
WebMD lists a number of causes of Osteoporosis. Among these are DECREASED ESTROGEN in women, DECREASED TESTOSTERONE in men, other HORMONAL IMBALANCES, SMOKING, too much drinking, lack of Vitamin D, a sedentary lifestyle, various medical conditions (diseases), THYROID PROBLEMS, or a lack of Calcium in the diet. What's the most common solution to Osteoporosis? Treating it as though the last thing on the list were the most important. People are first told to take CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS and then when they don't work, to take BISPHOSPHOFONATE DRUGS (Relafin, Fosomax, Evista, Boniva, etc). The problem is, these drugs are actually known to cause Osteoporosis instead of correct it. But how can that be? I'll get there in a moment.
- It allows nerves to fire
- It allows muscles to contract
- It allows blood vessels to constrict
- It allows blood to clot
- It helps balance pH (it is a powerful alkalizer)
- It affects the permeability of the cell membrane
I know; your doctor told you to take more Calcium so that you don't become one of those fracture statistics from earlier in the post. But what is the truth here? Listen to what Dr. Levy says about the scientific evidence for using Calcium to prevent Osteoporosis. "Placebo-controlled, long-term, large population studies that specifically investigate the isolated use of Calcium and its impact on bone fractures in osteoporotic patients are decidedly lacking. Calcium supplementation dies not prevent bone fractures. Adding dietary and / or supplementary calcium does not diminish fracture risk". Gulp! In fact, just the opposite is true.
Levey goes on to say that, "Calcium excess in the body has been found to increase all-cause mortality and to literally be the most significant marker for increased cardiac risk (Coronary Artery Calcium Score)". And to top it all off, he tells us that, "the chronic release of calcium from osteoporotic bone to the rest of the body not only accelerates heart disease, but all diseases, resulting in significantly decreased longevity". Dr. Levy proceeds to hit us over the head with a statement that should leave all of us pondering something we've been beat over the head with our whole lives.
When it comes to bone, there are two cells I want you to be aware of; Osteoblasts and Osteoclasts. Osteoblasts are bone builders. The Osteoclasts take the oldest, most worn out and brittle bone, and break it down so that it can be reused --- recycled it you will, into new and healthy bone by the Osteoblasts. I have been telling patients for at least 15 years that the "Bone-Building" drugs mentioned earlier in this post, do what they are advertised to do --- they increase bone density. But they do it in such a fraudulent and deceptive manner that these drug's labels carry warnings that they do not diminish the risk of fracture. How in the world can this be? How can a drug increase bone density, yet not decrease one's chances of fracture ---- which is probably the only reason that most women who take these drugs would do so? Allow me to explain.
These drugs work because they inhibit Osteoclastic function. In other words, bone density is increased because the old, worn out bone is not allowed to be broken down and recycled into new and healthy bone (the entire process breaking down and building up is known as "Bone Remodeling"). But here's the rub. Drugs that diminish Osteoclastic function automatically diminish Osteoblastic function as well. This means that when you discuss the results of your bone density test with your doctor, who becomes overtly excited because it has improved, you can see that their excitement is misguided. About five years ago, people started hearing isolated warnings that being on these drugs for more than 1-3 years could present problems. Dr. Levy says it this way......
"There are several factors that contribute to osteoporotic conditions but there is one that is responsible for the lions share of bone loss. It initiates and severely worsens an imbalance in the bone remodeling cycle and it prevents incorporation of calcium into the bone matrix."
It would seem logical that instead of doing things that inhibit either Osteoclastic or Osteoblastic activity, we need to be asking ourselves what can instead be done to increase the bone's Osteoblastic activity. The method that Dr. Levy chiefly promotes for accomplishing this is supplementing with Vitamin C. In one of his final chapters (The Cause of All Disease: A Unified Theory), Dr. Levy talks about Vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant and proceeds to say that, "The cause of all disease is excess oxidative stress in the extracellular space as well as inside the cells. Excess oxidative stress is invariably caused by toxins and / or a decreased presence of antioxidants.... The ability of vitamin C to effectively neutralize a wide range of toxins has been very clearly established in the scientific literature, even if that ability remains to be appreciated, understood, and appropriately utilized by most physicians." That, my friends, is a powerful statement. As a Cardiologist, Levy understands both physiology and the scientific literature. And as an attorney, he understands the implications of making overarching statements without anything solid to back it up. But here is where I start to ask some questions.
For almost two decades now, I have chiefly been a WHOLE-FOODS kind of guy. In other words, I not only want to consume as much of the foods that I eat in a natural, organic state, I want my NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS to be like that as well. One of the oldest Nutritional Supplement companies in the US is Standard Process in Palmyra, Wisconsin. If you want to understand the difference between Whole Food Supplements and FRACTIONATED CHEMICAL SYNTHETICS, click on the previous links. There is even a section on Vitamin C. When doctor Levy talks in his book about routinely using mega-doses of Vitamin C (as much as 200,000 mg in IV's, and sometimes tens of thousands of mg oral), it makes me wonder. I am not saying that there is never a time or place for using synthetic C as a drug --- I would wholeheartedly agree that there is. I do, however, wonder what the consequences of using such heavy doses of synthetics are --- especially when used on a regular basis?
BUILDING AND MAINTAINING STRONG, HEALTHY BONES
- AVOID DRUGS, SMOKES, AND ALCOHOL: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption speak for themselves. However, when I talk about drugs here, I am talking mostly about prescription drugs. Not only do the so-called Osteoporosis Drugs cause Osteoporosis, but a plethora of other drugs do as well. Some of the chief of these are the ACID-BLOCKERS given for stomach problems.
- DEAL WITH THE UNDERLYING HORMONAL FACTORS: I probably do not have to tell you that this bullet point covers a lot of ground. I mentioned some of these factors earlier in the post. Rest assured that one of the biggest factors in this category is dealing with BELLY FAT. Yes, I realize that some of you who are dealing with hormonal issues are thin as a rail, but just listen for a moment. If you will realize that LIVING A HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE is at the root of many (if not most) of your hormonal problems, changing the way you eat becomes doable. And while I am talking about sugar; if you are still drinking SODA, stop it already! Your body will use the most readily available buffer against its incredible acid content --- Calcium from your bones.
- ENGAGE IN SOME SORT OF RESISTANCE TRAINING: Working your muscles intensely against resistance has long been known to be a powerful stimulator of Osteoblastic activity. If you are one of those people who is seriously into cardio, you may want to browse THESE POSTS. If you can't, WBV is a fantastic alternative.
- TAKE THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS: I could not leave without mentioning Vitamin C. Vitamin D is another (without Calcium). One of the primary tools I use in my clinic is CALCIFOOD. It is the only raw bone-meal supplement I am aware of, and it flat out works.
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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