CHIROPRACTIC MAINTENANCE ADJUSTMENTS,
ANDROPAUSE & INFLAMMATION
ANDROPAUSE & BLOOD SUGAR
"The most common cause of erectile dysfunction (ED) is penile vascular insufficiency. This is usually part of a generalized endothelial dysfunction and is related to several conditions, including type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and obesity. These conditions underlie the pathophysiology of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Hypogonadism, or testosterone deficiency (TD), is an integral component of the pathology underlying endothelial dysfunction and MetS, with insulin resistance (IR) at its core."
Here is another problem for the aging male. Because most testosterone is bound to SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), and because free or unbound hormone is the hormone that really matters no matter what hormone we are talking about, the fact that as males age, testosterone is much more likely to be bound to SHBG, creates a situation where we automatically have less "usable" T. And then there's the issue of aromitization.
Aromatase (aka estrogen synthase) is the enzyme that catalyzes androgens into estrogens. While a certain amount of this is good, normal, and necessary, just remember that either of the two factors above (inflammation or insulin resistance, not to mention obesity) automatically upregulates aromatase activity, causing increased levels of estrogen in males, which actually restarts the cycle since abnormal ratios of sex hormones are themselves inflammatory.
It's a big part of why I recently wrote the crazy-interesting article about SUGAR'S ABILITY TO TURN MEN INTO WOMEN AND WOMEN INTO MEN. Men who are over-aromatizing are going to have characteristics typically thought of as female --- excess fat on hips / butt, over-emotional, hot flashes or sweating for no good reason, moobs (man boobs), etc. Just be aware that there are a myriad of other characteristics of the Andropause, many of them easy to confuse with other problems.
- ANDROPAUSE IS LINKED TO OTHER "GERIATRIC" SYNDROMES: In the March 2013 issue of the journal Maturitas (A View of Geriatrics Through Hormones. What is the Relation Between Andropause and Well-known Geriatric Syndromes?), researchers linked Andropause to, "frequent geriatric syndromes such as falls, osteoporosis, cognitive and mood disorders, anemia and cardiovascular disease." Authors of the 2012 study in Minerva Medica (Andropause -- Androgen Deficiency of the Aging Male: Diagnosis and Management) let readers know that, "it is a pathological syndrome and should not be viewed simply as a stage in physiological aging." I would agree. While I undoubtedly see Andropause looked at by a segment of the medical community as a meal ticket (a billable ICD-10 CODE), these authors are right; it is pathological. Most people have gotten far too used to the idea that we men are supposed to fall apart and not be able to "get it up" after a certain age.
- ANDROPAUSE IS LINKED TO ANEMIA: We know that women get anemia due to the amount of monthly bleeding they do over their lifetimes, and that said anemia can be a deal-breaker as far as solving chronic health issues is concerned (HERE). What many don't realize is that hormonal issues (in this case Andropause) are sometimes associated with anemia in males as well. A Dutch journal that I will not even attempt to pronounce, let alone spell, published a study in 2012 called Unexplained Anemia in Men: Be Aware of Hypogonadism. The authors concluded that, "Testosterone exerts anabolic effects in multiple organ systems; in bone marrow it potentiates the stimulatory effect of erythropoietin on erythropoiesis. Primary hypogonadism frequently occurs in elderly patients, while secondary hypogonadism is frequently seen in middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity." In other words, as your male hormones slide south, it not only affects your sex life, it affects your organ systems as well.
- ANDROPAUSE LINKED TO AUTOIMMUNITY: Take a gander at this amazing study from the November 2013 issue of Clinical Immunology (Autoimmune Diseases and Reproductive Aging). "Testosterone’s impact on the immune system is, on aggregate, anti-inflammatory. Studies of autoimmune disease onset and course during reproductive transitions such as puberty and pregnancy have highlighted the modulatory role of gonadal hormones. In men, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and multiple sclerosis (MS) are associated with lower androgen levels." The thing is, while RA, MS, and LUPUS are some of the bigger-name heavy-hitters in the AUTOIMMUNE FAMILY, there are about a jillion others (HERE) --- thousands of them unnamed simply because no one has figured out the auto-antigen or how to test for it yet. By the way, this study was mostly about women and the increase in autoimmunity seen after menopause (testosterone is diminished in aging women as well as aging men, and happens to also be the driving force in women's libido, unless there are pathological amounts present due to PCOS, which effectively squelches female sex drive).
- ANDROPAUSE LINKED TO TYPE II DIABETES: There is no possible way we could be surprised by this bullet. For instance, we already know that if 55% of the adult population of California has either diabetes or pre-diabetes, it's likely that most of the rest of the nation is even higher (HERE). A study from the British journal Diabetic Medicine (Andropausal Symptoms in Men with Type 2 Diabetes) reiterated this connection when it concluded five years ago this month that, "The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was higher [worse] in patients with neuropathy than without. The Self-Rating Depression Scale was higher [worse] in patients with advanced retinopathy. The International Index of Erectile Function was lower [worse] in patients with advanced retinopathy and nephropathy. The International Index of Erectile Function was lower and the International Prostate Symptom Score was higher [both worse] in patients with cardiovascular disease than without. Our data demonstrated that men with Type 2 diabetes have higher prevalence of andropausal symptoms, especially those with diabetic complications." But you already knew most of this (HERE and HERE) since the majority of health issues --- particularly ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS --- get started thanks to our bodies not being able to keep up with the mass quantities of sugar and processed carbs we continue to foist on ourselves.
- ANDROPAUSE LINKED TO TYPE II DIABETES PART II: Want to see the whole thing working together to create a nightmare? A 2008 issue of The Aging Male (Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism in Type 2 Diabetes) put this whole scenario together when stating in the abstract (cherry-picked) that, "Recent work shows a high prevalence of low testosterone concentrations in type 2 diabetes. This is associated with obesity in patients with type 2 diabetes. C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations have been shown to be elevated in [these] patients and are inversely related to plasma testosterone concentrations. This inverse relationship between plasma free testosterone and CRP concentrations in patients with type 2 diabetes suggests that inflammation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this syndrome. This is of interest since inflammatory mechanisms may have a cardinal role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Low testosterone concentrations are also related to an increase in total and regional adiposity." Once you see how adipose tissue (fat) acts as its own hormone-producing endocrine system (HERE), you start to see how freaky this whole thing becomes, rolling down the hill like a snowball gathering size and speed. By the way, in the decade since this study was published, there have been dozens of others, all coming to similar conclusions.
- ANDROPAUSE LINKED TO OSTEOPOROSIS: Although we don't typically associate problems like OSTEOPOROSIS with men, you need to remember that osteoporosis is not a female issue, but an "inflammatory" issue (HERE), that is greatly fed by sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. A year ago this month, the Journal of Postgraduate Medicine bore this out in a study called Severity and Pattern of Bone Mineral Loss in Endocrine Causes of Osteoporosis as Compared to Age-related Bone Mineral Loss. The authors concluded that, "A large number of endocrinopathies are known to be associated with impaired bone health." After listing some of these (THYROID ISSUES, both kinds of diabetes, problems associated with the HPA-AXIS, etc), the authors suggested Calcium with Vitamin D as a solution. Before following this advice, make sure to learn about the absolute very best calcium supplement available anywhere (HERE).
- ANDROPAUSE LINKED TO HEART / CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS: If, as we saw earlier, it's true that lower levels of androgens lead to systemic degradation of all organs and organ systems, it would make sense that the heart and blood vascular systems would be included in this list. Not only did a study from a 2015 issue of Andrology reveal that we could actually use testosterone levels to "predict major adverse cardiovascular events during long-term follow-up," but a 2011 study published in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology stated that, "increasing data has emerged that revealed the effects of low levels of androgens on cardiovascular disease progression. As an example, low levels of testosterone have been linked to a higher incidence of coronary artery disease". In an article titled The Male Andropause, Charles Evans (MD / Ph.D) put it this way. "It is now well accepted that women’s risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and cardiac events increases after menopause. New evidence suggests that a similar phenomenon occurs in men as their testosterone levels diminish with age. Research thus far point to a strong association between low-testosterone levels and an increase in cardiovascular risk in men." Be aware that there are lots of studies linking heart and cardiovascular issues to "Low T". Also be aware, however, that there are likewise lots of studies linking supplemental testosterone to cardiovascular problems as well.
- ANDROPAUSE LINKED TO NEUROLOGICAL AND NEURO-ENDOCRINE DEGENERATION: The long title of this study from the November 2015 issue of Hormones and Behaviour (The Endocrine Dyscrasia that Accompanies Menopause and Andropause Induces Aberrant Cell Cycle Signaling that Triggers Cell Cycle Reentry of Post-mitotic Neurons, Neurodysfunction, Neurodegeneration and Cognitive Disease). Endocrine dyscrasia is an age-related dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and is associated with abnormal neurological function as well as neurodegenerative changes in the brain. "Sex hormones are the physiological factors that regulate neurogenesis during embryogenesis and continuing through adulthood. These hormones support the formation of brain structures such as dendritic spines, axons and synapses required for the capture of information (memories)." Without getting into incredible detail, suffice it to say that inflammation commonly seen in Andropause leads to the changes that leads to cognitive dysfunction, an inability to concentrate, and even dementia. It's not a coincidence that Alzheimer's Disease is actually known in the medical research community as TYPE III DIABETES. Think I'm exaggerating the link between Alzheimer's and Andropause?
- ANDROPAUSE SPECIFICALLY LINKED TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: This link is not new information. The February Y2K issue of PNAS showed via the study's title (Testosterone Reduces Neuronal Secretion of Alzheimer's β-amyloid Peptides) that male sex hormone is preventative against the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer's. And while there are literally scores of similar studies, a 2005 issue of the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (Effects of Testosterone on Cognitive and Brain Aging in Elderly Men) concluded that, "evidence suggests that testosterone loss may be a risk factor for cognitive decline and possibly for dementia. Conversely, the maintenance of higher testosterone levels either endogenously or through exogenous supplementation may prove beneficial for cognitive and brain function in elderly men." Because exogenous testosterone has proven dangerous and rife with SIDE EFFECTS, increasing your own "endogenous" testosterone is definitely the way to go. Here is another having to do with MICROGLIAL CELLS from the May 2009 issue of Neurologic Clinics (Age and Neuroinflammation: A Lifetime of Psychoneuroimmune Consequences). "The literature indicates that the innate immune cells [Glial Cells] of the brain become more reactive with age. Although it is unclear how glia reactivity increases, emerging evidence suggests these alterations allow exacerbated neuroinflammation and sickness behavior following peripheral immune activation. This amplified or prolonged exposure to inflammation in the brain may impair neuronal plasticity and underlie a heightened neuroinflammatory response in the aged that also may lead to other neurobehavioral impairments such as delirium, depression, and, potentially, the onset of neurologic disease." Neurologic disease? Can anyone say Alzheimer's? Unfortunately, it's only one of many.
- ANDROPAUSE IS LINKED TO POOR BLOOD FLOW TO THE BRAIN: One of the classic signs of Andropause is sexual dysfunction. For twenty years now, men (and probably in many cases, their wives) have been enamored with Viagra or similar type drugs --- drugs that increase blood flow, allowing impotent men to have sex while under its effects. Unfortunately, diminished blood flow is another fact of aging, but a fact that also happens to be heavily associated with inflammation-associated issues as well. The April 2009 issue of Brain Research (Resting Cerebral Blood Flow, Attention, and Aging) showed that, "Aging is accompanied by a decline of fluid cognitive functions, e.g., a slowing of information processing, working memory, and division of attention. This is at least partly due to structural and functional changes in the aging brain. Although a decrement of resting cerebral blood flow (CBF) has been positively associated with cognitive functions in patients with brain diseases" Several months later, the August issue of the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry (Longitudinal Study of Chronic Depressive Symptoms and Regional Cerebral Blood Flow in Older Men and Women) concluded that, "Late-life depression is associated with alterations in regional cerebral blood flow... Higher average depressive symptoms were associated with longitudinal CBF decreases..." This means that the next bullet should come as no surprise either.
- ANDROPAUSE IS LINKED TO DEPRESSION: A year and a half ago, the December issue of Aging, Clinical, and Experimental Research asked a question via the title of a study; Are Andropause Symptoms Related to Depression? Their conclusions? Not only was it related, but the authors said that, "Based on our results, there is a direct association between andropause symptoms and depression, where the increasing Aging Males Symptoms Scale score corresponds with the severity of depression." The point here is that you can never forget that Depression is yet another of the numerous diseases that fall under the umbrella of inflammation (HERE and HERE).
I could go on, but hopefully you are getting the point. Andropause is one of those physiological realities that we cannot completely get away from. However, we can certainly buffer it's effects. This raises the question of what it takes to turn this mess around (or better yet for you young bucks, prevent it before it starts)?
CONVENTIONAL AND NON-CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT OF ANDROPAUSE
"The promise of testosterone therapy may seem enticing, but there are a lot of misconceptions about what the treatment can and can't do for you. As you get older, testosterone therapy may sound like the ultimate anti-aging formula. Yet the health benefits of testosterone therapy for age-related decline in testosterone aren't as clear as they may seem. Testosterone therapy has various risks. For example, testosterone therapy may contribute to sleep apnea — a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, cause acne or other skin reactions, stimulate noncancerous growth of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and growth of existing prostate cancer, enlarge breasts, limit sperm production or cause testicle shrinkage, and increase the risk of a blood clot forming in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis), which could break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism)" From the Mayo Clinic (Testosterone Therapy: Potential Benefits and Risks as You Age)
"In the United States, approximately 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men experience sexual dysfunction. It is not surprising that testosterone, primarily used to treat sexual problems, is being prescribed more often than in the past; a 500 percent increase in sales has been documented from 1993 to 2001. However, testosterone therapy is controversial." From a position paper by the American Family Physician (Testosterone Treatments: Why, When, and How?)
"Record numbers of men are turning to testosterone replacement therapy to increase energy levels, muscle mass and sex drive. However, boosting levels of the manly hormone can cause serious health risks, including heart attack, stroke, prostate cancer and even death. Drug companies heavily market their products promising men increased vitality, strength, sex drive and an overall better quality of life. The reality, however, is that testosterone therapy can cause a number of health complications that, some doctors say, might not be worth the benefits. Studies and clinical trials have linked the drugs to heart attacks, blood clot injuries, stroke and an increased risk for prostate cancer, among other health reactions. Evidence from published studies and expert input from an advisory committee prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require labeling changes to reflect some risks associated with use of testosterone products. Still, critics say even more warnings about side effects are needed." From Drugwatch dot com (Testosterone Therapy Side Effects)
This is particularly problematic once you realize that most of the bullet points mentioned earlier cause Low T as a secondary function --- as a side effect. Primary Hypogonadism (men whose testicles cannot make enough testosterone due to primary problems with the pituitary, hypothalamus, FSH, LH, or receptor site issues) is much more rare when compared to the scenario(s) we've been describing (Secondary Hypogonadism). This is almost exactly what I showed women concerning HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY (HRT) just a few short weeks ago. Although there has been a huge and ongoing battle about whether or not testosterone prescriptions (pills, patches, injections, lotions, etc) cause major side-effects, there are a few studies that settle this issue for me.
By anyone's definition, supplemental testosterone use has exploded over the course of the past two decades. While there are certainly times that medical testosterone can be a godsend, as in the case of primary hypogonadism above, there are numerous warning signals that this therapy is not all it's been made out to be --- particularly for the general population of AGING MALES. This fact is verified by a 2013 issue of the journal Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America (Reproductive Aging in Men)
"Aging in men is associated with a decrease in serum testosterone levels. The practicing endocrinologist is frequently consulted for consideration of testosterone therapy in older men with late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) [secondary hypogonadism], a condition that many clinicians fail to distinguish from organic hypogonadism [primary hypogonadism]. Recent data using syndromic definition show that only 2% of 40-80-year-old men have LOH [primary hypogonadism]."
A study from a 2012 issue of Gender and the Genome (Testosterone Replacement Therapy in Reversing “Andropause”: What Is the Proof-of-Principle?) verifies what I've been telling you about simply prescribing men going through Andropause testosterone. "Testosterone replacement therapy is often equated with the macho male physique and virility and is viewed by some as an antiaging tonic. The growth in testosterone's reputation and its increased use by men of all ages has seemed to outpace the scientific evidences." There are so many factors to think about and deal with concerning Andropause, that simply supplementing with hormone is not going to address. While will undoubtedly see some benefits, this approach has a potential dark side to it --- especially once you consider that there are still no long-term safety studies out there.
This was reiterated yet again just months ago, with the publication of February's issue of Rejuvenation Research (Testosterone Replacement Therapy: The Emperor's New Clothes). I'm sure everyone remembers the children's story of the Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. To make a long story short, a couple of clever swindlers took the emperor for a whole lot of cash by telling him they could make him beautiful new clothes that were, "invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid". Wanting to find out who these people were in his kingdom, the emperor took the bait. When on public parade in front of his people one day, with everyone oohhing and aahhing about the beauty of the his "clothes," an innocent little boy cried out the truth; "But he hasn't got anything on" with the rest of the population soon following suit. Just how "naked" is prescription testosterone given for Andropause?
"Testosterone levels decrease steadily and continuously during aging, ultimately resulting in late-onset hypogonadism. Treatment of this condition might mitigate most symptoms; however, testosterone replacement therapy should be prescribed only in selected patients and it should not be considered as an anti-aging treatment. In recent years, different authors have questioned health risks associated with testosterone treatment; while position statements from many scientific societies seem to be reassuring, the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning in regard to the possible side effects of this therapy."
The final straw for me, however, was a study published in the May 2015 issue of the American Journal of Men's Health (High Estrogen in Men after Injectable Testosterone Therapy: The Low T Experience). "Testosterone replacement improves quality of life and is aromatized in men in adipose tissues to estrogen. Hyper-estrogenism is believed to be harmful to male sexuality." This, folks, is the a definition of an oxymoron if I've ever seen one. I've already shown you that the aromatase enzyme converts testosterone to estrogen. I've also shown you that obesity is not only inflammatory, it tends to increase with age because men automatically get more inflamed as they get older. Unfortunately, adipose tissue (fatty tissue --- which can act as its own endocrine organ -- HERE) also increases aromatase activity. So in essence, the testosterone in older and heavier men with THE INFLAMMATORY PROBLEMS ON THIS LIST, has a much higher probability of ending up being converted to estrogen. GULP! What might be a better option?
First off, realize that there is a possibility you have a problem with your PITUITARY or HYPOTHALAMUS. If this is the case, you might need to try a FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGIST to see if it is possible to jump-start those systems. Secondly, there are a wide variety of supplements available, some of which have been shown to be effective via peer-review (emphasis on "some" as most "Testosterone Boosters" are high-priced crap. If you are really interested, talk to my friend Dr. Eric Serrano over at Mountain Dog Diet). Thirdly, there are some cool glandular products like STANDARD PROCESS'S Symplex M, that actually help rebuild the testes as opposed to simply "boosting" testosterone levels (or at least claiming to do so). And lastly, but most importantly, if you really want to get a handle on Andropause as it relates to all systems in your body, you'll have to change your wicked ways. Wicked ways?
You're going to have to kick your SUGAR / CARB ADDICTION. And many of you are going to have to stop lying to yourself --- telling yourself that it's OK to eat a ton of crap since you are young and thin (hey; I used to be young and thin -- HERE). You're going to have to change your approach to what what you eat. For those who say they can't do this, ask yourself a few tough questions. Is not giving up (insert your poison-of-choice here --- sodas, ice cream, beer, chips, Ding Dongs, TWINKIES, etc, etc) worth not having energy to do almost anything beyond coming home from work, plunking down in your easy chair, and crashing in front of the TV for the evening? Is it worth not being able to concentrate enough to carry on a conversation, do your office work, or solve a crossword puzzle? Is it worth being fat and out of shape? And maybe most importantly of all, is it worth not being able to have sex with your wife? If continuing in your current lifestyle is more important than grabbing life by the --- well; balls --- then by all means, continue on. If not.....
If you are looking for a change --- a real change (AN EXIT STRATEGY if you will), and not just another drug to mask another symptom, HERE is the protocol for you. Heck no, it's not a fool-proof or cure-all. I never said it was. However, this simple protocol addresses most aspects of male health and virility at their root level. If you are interested in getting your life, health, strength, stamina, cognitive function, and BEDROOM PROWESS back, at least take a few minutes to read the post. The cool thing is that I'm not even selling you anything. It's just information, and completely free information at that. But nonetheless, information that you could use to change your life!
A STEP-WISE APPROACH TO SOLVING YOUR
CHRONIC HEADACHES AND MIGRAINE HEADACHES
After describing the myriad of symptoms that migraineurs may struggle with (including an array of GI and neurological issues), the author gets down to the nitty-gritty. What everyone who deals with CHRONIC HEADACHES or MIGRAINE HEADACHES (both of which are commonly associated with CHRONIC NECK PAIN) wants to know is what can be done to get rid of these vile creatures? To get there it's important to understand some of the triggers. According to this article, "the most common triggers are stress, weather changes, perimenstruation (near that time of the month), missing meals, bright lights or sunlight, under- and oversleeping, food sensitivity, perfume, cigarette smoke, exercise, and sexual activity. Some foods can be headache triggers...." It's a heck of a list and great information to know. If people can avoid the triggers, they will ultimately end up with fewer headaches. But what about treatment itself? Some of the things specifically mentioned by this specialist -- neurologist Larry Robbins of the Chicago area --- include (in no particular order)......
- EXERCISE / YOGA / PILATES
- DEEP BREATHING
- RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
- PHYSICAL THERAPY
- BITE SPLINTS
- AVOIDING CERTAIN FOODS (MSG, ASPARTAME, alcohol, cheese, citrus, sour cream, yogurt, cured meats, and nuts / nut butters are those he mentioned, and will be found on almost anyone's list. There are any number of others.)
- SLEEP HYGIENE
- WEIGHT LOSS
- NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBS
- TRANSCRANIAL MAGNETIC STIMULATION (TMS)
- NON-INVASIVE VAGAL NERVE STIMULATION (VNS)
- DRUGS (Although there were dozens upon dozens of drugs mentioned by name, Dr. Robbins did not emphasize drugs as a first choice --- "We want to minimize meds... The goal is to decrease head pain, while minimizing medications". He also spent a good deal of time discussing rebound headaches aka Medication Overuse Headaches or MOH. Unfortunately, he also said that, "Polypharmacy is common in migraine prevention.")
Allow me to add my two cents to this list with a bit of explanation here and there. I am putting them in the order that I feel would be most helpful most of the time (at least for the first four bullets on the list). Of course everyone is different, so nothing is set in stone. And while there are individuals out there (KERRIE SYMES for instance) who, no matter what they do, have severe headaches each and every day of their lives, for most of you there is hope.
- TISSUE REMODELING: If you have SCAR TISSUE and / or RESTRICTED FASCIA, it's important to realize that even though there are ways to image it (HERE for instance), standardized testing will not reveal the problem (HERE). This means that all of these other approaches that involve restoring movement in some form or fashion, be it chiropractic, stretching, yoga, PT, etc, etc, etc, will likely be compromised. Trying to stretch MICROSCOPICALLY TETHERED TISSUES --- particularly if there is any degree of severity --- can be a deal-breaker. It simply will not work, and in many cases will make people worse (HERE and HERE). Also be aware that in many cases this bullet point must be approached as if you were playing a carnival game (HERE). Check out the short video of a woman who had seven decades of daily migraine headaches before coming in for treatment (HERE).
- CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS: I realize I'll be called a "homer" for putting adjustments near the top of the list, but that is where they belong. If coupled with TISSUE REMODELING, the very cool thing is that if adjustments are going to help, you will know quickly --- one, maybe two treatments. Not the let-me-adjust-you-fifty-times-and-we'll-move-on-from-there approach seen in way too many clinics (HERE). If traditional CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS don't work, upper cervical specific can likewise be a great option (Blair, Atlas Orthogonal, etc), as can be cranio-sacral work. These first two bullets will immediately help rule out a "MECHANICAL HEADACHE -VS- A CHEMICAL HEADACHE". The bottom line is that I cannot begin to tell you the number of headache sufferers I have been able to help in the 25 plus years I've been in practice --- usually as a last resort; often after they had spent years (not to mention lots of money) trying everything under the sun. The beautiful thing is that when it comes to these first two bullets, no one -- and I mean no one -- makes things easier for the patient than I do (HERE). Period.
- ELIMINATION DIET: This is a bullet that anyone who has even the smallest of health issues should do anyway. If food sensitivities are contributing to your problem, a properly-done ELIMINATION DIET will help you figure out what food(s) you are sensitive to. Although this author said that, "foods tend to be overemphasized" as far as triggering chronic headaches, I feel he is underestimating this aspect of the problem. LEAKY GUT SYNDROME is highly related to problematic foods, and when it comes to neurological issues, few foods are more problematic than GLUTEN. Besides, it's not like it's a reach to mention Gut Health and Migraine Headache in the same sentence (HERE).
- SOLVE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR ISSUES: No, I am not merely talking about keeping your blood sugar within the range that the chart says is "normal," I am talking about keeping it level all the time, not bouncing it around, and not continually stressing your sugar-metabolizing machinery. The best way of eating for most people will entail meals that look something like THIS. And because there are so many neurological issues surrounding migraines (Dr. Robbins had a page full of them), you might want to try KETOGENIC as well. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have been to any number of specialists for their chronic headaches, and no one has ever told them that REACTIVE HYPOGLYCEMIA might be a prime culprit. BTW, if you take care of this bullet point and the previous, WEIGHT LOSS will likely take care of itself. If it does not, you have some source of OCCULT INFLAMMATION driving problems in your body (possibly including headache).
- YOGA / STRETCHING / EXERCISE: Great stuff, but trying to stretch without making sure that you aren't loaded with FASCIAL ADHESIONS can be an exercise in futility, no pun intended (see earlier links under "Tissue Remodeling"). And while I certainly could have thrown THIS POST in with the second bullet on this list, because the SCM MUSCLES are so crazy related to TRIGGER POINTS (not just of the SCM itself, but of the LEVATOR SCAPULAE), not to mention related to neurological issues of all sorts (including headaches), you may need to address it as well. It's one of the many reasons I am such big a fan of EXTENSION THERAPY.
- MAKE SURE YOUR BODY'S DETOX PATHWAYS ARE UP TO SNUFF: Toxic exposure of all kinds is a massive problem around the world, and related by numerous studies to chronic headaches. For any number of reasons, far too many people are being exposed to external toxins such as GLYPHOSATE or ALUMINUM, cannot get rid of excess hormones such as ESTROGEN (true for too many males as well), or are not dealing well with chemicals in their food supply. A failure to BIOTRANSFORM toxicity into a form that the body can get rid of can make things extremely difficult for the chronic headache sufferer. What this means is that both your liver and GUT will need to be working optimally.
- ACUPUNCTURE: Cool stuff and I used to do a lot of it back in the day (I was certified by the late Dr. Jon Sunderledge back in '90 or '91). It's another method of treatment with a big potential upside that won't make you worse.
- FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGY: The brain and nervous system are by far the most complicated of the body's various systems (the ENDOCRINE SYSTEM would come in second). Thus, neurologists are some of the smartest people you'll find in the medical field. If you have gross pathology causing your headaches (tumors, aneurysm, serious neurological diseases such as MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS), they'll find it and make the proper diagnosis. The problem is that because the kinds of headaches we are now talking about --- the kinds that don't respond well to mechanical or chemical interventions --- are "FUNCTIONAL" as opposed to pathological, the average neurologist (I would not characterize the author of this article as "average") unfortunately have little to offer by way of treatment besides drugs, which you've been trying lots of for years. Neurological Migraines are where a good CARRICK-TRAINED Functional Neurologist frequently shines.
- OTHERS: Honestly, there are too many others to mention. For instance, I recently had a local patient who despite anything that either myself or anyone else has ever done, could not make a dent in her headache problem of almost four decades. She saw DR. RAMAN in the KC area, and within a week, was 70% better. The point? I truly believe that there is a solution out there for everyone; it's just a matter of finding it. Our basic protocol for helping people solve their chronic pain, chronic illness, and unbridled inflammation can be found HERE.
AMERICAN MALES ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY FEMINIZED
SPERM COUNTS HIT ROCK BOTTOM
"Among Western studies, the mean sperm concentration declined, on average, 1.4% per year with an overall decline of 52.4% between 1973 and 2011. Trends for total sperm count and sperm concentration were similar, with a steep decline among Western studies, corresponding to an average decline in mean total sperm count of 1.6% per year and overall decline of 59.3%."
Look folks, if you did not grasp the magnitude of what this short paragraph is saying, read it until you do. In the 38 years of this study, sperm counts in Westernized nations (North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand) decreased by 60% (from 99 million sperm per cc in 1973, to 47 million sperm per cc in 2011). Before I tell you why this is happening, I want to show you why these authors (using peer review of course) believe it is a far bigger deal than simple fertility. According to their research, "Sperm count is of considerable public health importance for several reasons." Some of these include...
- Low sperm count is linked with all cause morbidity and mortality (illness or death for any and all reasons)
- Low sperm count is associated with cryptorchidism (undescended testicle(s)), hypospadias (the urinary opening is not at its usual location), and testicular cancer
- Low sperm counts are causing an economic burden that is, according to these authors, "high and increasing"
- Low sperm counts reflect the effects of modern living (diet, weight, smoking, environment, toxic exposure, stress, etc, etc)
First, while we are certainly talking about males and sperm counts here, make no mistake about it --- the very same factors that are affecting males are equally affecting females (probably affecting them worse), adding to what's becoming an EPIDEMIC OF INFERTILITY. Secondly, the causes of this mess can be broken down to two main reasons.....
- BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION / OBESITY: The Westernized world has been increasingly LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE since the commercial milling of grain became widely available in the early 1900's. The end product is that a recent study of California --- the land of perpetual sunshine, warm temperatures, and fresh fruits and vegetables --- showed that well over half the population was pre-diabetic / insulin resistant. Not surprisingly, THIS FACT, along with BURGEONING AMOUNTS OF BELLY FAT, are at least a big part of why men are ending up with low sperm counts and women are ending up with PCOS --- the number one female hormonal problem in America, as well as number one cause of infertility. In fact, the problem is so widespread I recently wrote a well-received but shocking post called SUGAR AND JUNK CARBS ARE TURNING MEN INTO WOMEN AND WOMEN INTO MEN.
- POLLUTION / TOXICITY / ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS: In my recent post called BALANCING FEMALE HORMONES NATURALLY, I showed you how benzene, one of the world's most common industrial chemicals, looks suspiciously like estrogen. And that's just for starters. Men and women alike are being bathed in a sea of estrogen-mimics (herbicides, pesticides, and a myriad of toxic substances) and ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CHEMICALS that are fouling up our collective hormonal systems in ways we can't even begin to imagine (there are literally hundreds of freaky studies on what this is doing to the animal kingdom, not to mention humans). And while it's easy to pick on nasty habits like SMOKING, some of the worst of this pollution is completely self-induced, coming from sources like PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (particularly HERE men) and especially VACCINES.
So, not only has this dramatically affected sperm counts and fertility, but research has shown that it is affecting TESTOSTERONE LEVELS as well (increasing them in women and decreasing them in men - see my earlier link) --- undoubtedly a significant reason for the explosion of gender dysphoria being seen in Westernized nations. Bottom line? None of the underlying factors associated with low sperm counts have gotten better in the last decade, and many have gotten worse --- some of them (HERE and HERE for instance) much worse.
The good news is that the two points above (particularly the first) are fairly easy to address. Solving the first bullet is usually a matter of breaking through the barrier of SUGAR / CARB ADDICTION and figuring out how to control systemic, diet-induced, INFLAMMATION. And while the second issue is tougher to deal with, it's certainly not impossible by any means (HERE). And if you are looking for a potential solution to your chronic pain and chronic illness (as well as your chronic lethargy), take a look at THIS POST.
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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