HIGH FREQUENCY X-RAY
DR THOMAS LEVY
DR MERCOLA & KULACZ (DDS) ON ROOT CANALS
DR HAL HUGGINS (DDS)
WANTING TO LOSE WEIGHT IN 2017?
THEN DON'T FOCUS ON WEIGHT LOSS!
If we only look at those who are overweight or obese, we are talking about 70% of all Americans. If we add it those who are "Skinny Fat" (MEDICALLY OBESE, NORMAL WEIGHT), we end up closer to 80%. Think about this for a minute folks. Four out of five Americans are either overweight or at least APPEAR SO FROM LOOKING AT THEIR BLOOD WORK. This is a huge problem with serious consequences not only for health, but for all of life as well. That's why I created this simple list of tricks that will help you get healthy, and in the process, lose the excess weight and keep it off.
- DON'T FOCUS ON CALORIES: If you are wanting to lose excess weight and keep it off for the rest of you life, do not (I repeat, DO NOT) focus on calories. CALORIES have been shown by those in the know to be almost meaningless as far as weight loss is concerned. Case in point, the KETOGENIC DIET, which is typically high in both calories and SATURATED FAT, and will literally melt the pounds off of you and help put your blood work in order. Counting calories is a good way to fail over the long haul.
- BREAK YOUR ADDICTION(S): Although there are any number of things people can get addicted to here in America (HERE are a couple of them), what I am really talking about here are SUGAR / CARB ADDICTIONS. For 95% of the sugar addicts reading this, there is really only one way you are going to break free. Click the link for half a dozen articles on the topic.
- GO PALEO: Why does the PALEO DIET (there are lots of similar versions) work so well as far as solving weight issues is concerned? Plainly stated, it controls inflammation like nothing else I've seen (HERE). This is a particularly big deal once you realize that OBESITY is one of the many health problems categorized as "inflammatory" (HERE are some others). Thus, a Paleo Diet, after an initial ELIMINATION DIET, will not only control the inflammation causing (or at least contributing to) your weight issues, it will help control the inflammation causing your chronic illness and chronic pain (HERE). Two very big birds killed with one small stone.
- EXERCISING? FOCUS ON STRENGTH AND STABILITY: Quite possibly, the stupidest articles I come across (usually in women's magazines) are the ones discussing how many hours of "X" kind of exercise will be required to burn off the calories from eating a ______________ (insert your JUNK FOOD of choice here). Forget about working out harder so you can eat whatever you please. The most valuable quality of a good exercise program is that it's not only effective, but can be done in less than a half hour at home, if home is where you would rather work out. It also needs to create (or at least maintain) muscle mass as opposed to destroying it as hardcore cardio training can do (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE). The cool thing is that YouTube is absolutely loaded with short workouts of varying intensities for varying needs that fill this bill. And as I always try and get across to my patients and readers, when it comes to losing weight, diet is infinitely more important than exercise --- I don't care what anyone tells you (see previous bullet).
- PARTNER UP: Do you have a good friend (HERE) or a spouse (CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AT THE END OF THIS POST) who shares the same health goals as you do? Having an accountability partner will not only keep you motivated, it will help keep you on track --- keep you from FALLING OFF THE WAGON and help you back on when it invariably happens.
I fully realize that some of you reading this have chronic health-related issues that will need to be dealt with prior to starting a regimen like this. Take some time to see what that might entail (HERE). Also critical is realizing that because so many Americans take so many drugs (HERE), it is often messing them up in ways that neither they nor their doctor can grasp, creating an inability (impossibility might be a better word) to lose weight. ANTIBIOTICS and ANTIDEPRESSANTS are just two examples of dozens.
CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE
CAUSES & SOLUTIONS
"Gray matter [brain] volume deficits have been identified in cognitively impaired patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The present study confirmed that brain structural changes were present in stable COPD patients with subclinical [minimal / invisible] cognitive impairment." From this month's issue of Neurotoxicity Research
"Aging is a progressive degeneration of the tissues that has a negative impact on the structure and function of vital organs. Many of the changes that occur in the lungs with normal aging, such as decline in lung function, increased gas trapping, loss of lung elastic recoil, and enlargement of the distal air spaces, also are present in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD has been considered a condition of accelerated lung aging. Increasing age leads to elevated basal levels of inflammation and oxidative stress (inflammaging)......" From this month's issue of the Annals of the American Thoracic Society
- COPD IS INFLAMMATORY: C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is one of the best blood markers of inflammation. A brand new study from the International Journal of COPD (COPD Assessment Test Score and Serum C-Reactive Protein Levels...) revealed that, "In stable COPD patients, serum CRP levels were independently associated with total CAT score and CAT components [both measurements of COPD] related to respiratory symptoms, confidence leaving home, and energy." Inflammation is a group of chemical compounds manufactured by your immune system in response to tissue damage (please note that said tissue damage can occur in any number of ways --- HERE are the three main categories). The inflammatory mediators mentioned in several COPD studies include many I've talked about on my site (HERE), TNF-α, IFN-γ, MMP-6, MMP-9, CRP, IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, and others. Not only do these dramatically diminish the size of the airway via swelling, but even worse, they diminish it chronically as inflammation always leads to increased fibroblastic activity, ramped up fibrinogen production, and eventually something called "Fibrosis," which happens to be the leading cause of death in America (HERE). Because the last quote below the pic above mentions OXIDATIVE STRESS, it's important for you to grasp this concept as well since it is related (HERE also).
- PARENCHYMAL DESTRUCTION: Parenchyma is a rather vague term used to describe the functional part of a tissue or organ as opposed to its structural portion. It is this feature of COPD that is said to make breathing so difficult. Although it might not feel this way, people with COPD can get lots of air into their lungs; they can't get it out. The alveolar sacs in the lungs, where O2 is exchanged for CO2 and vice versa, lose their ability to stretch and elast, kind of like a balloon that has been repeatedly over-inflated. Over time they lose their elasticity, which hinders the ability to push air out. Furthermore the lung's smaller airways actually collapse on themselves when a person with COPD exhales. These two factors leave an abnormal amount of air trapped in the lungs in perpetuity. I've heard people describe breathing with COPD as taking the biggest breath you could possibly take, and then breathing through a straw (try it, but make sure to pinch your nose). This excessive amount of residual air in the lungs constantly pushes outward, frequently causing the characteristic signature of COPD --- particularly emphesyma --- a humped back and pigeon breast.
- INCREASED MUCOUS PRODUCTION & CHRONIC COUGH: The cells on the inside surface of the airways are covered with cilia; tiny hair-like filaments that wave back and forth helping to move solid particulate matter and mucous out of the lungs and into the throat, where it can either be swallowed or expelled (spit out). Due to any number of factors (chiefly smoking), not only are the cilia damaged / destroyed, but the cells themselves can be damaged to the point they must be replaced. The body tends to replace these with goblet cells (goblet cells secrete "gobs" of mucous). As you might imagine, this is yet another way that airflow is compromised, leading people to paroxysmal coughing fits as they try to expel this junk from their shrinking airways. This feature of COPD is usually referred to by the medical community as "Chronic Bronchitis".
Ultimately, these folks can't breathe and are left to the treatments prescribed by their physicians. The first line of defense are the bronchodilators commonly used to treat people with ASTHMA. Because asthma is not considered one of the diseases that makes up COPD, these are not very effective. Next comes CORTICOSTEROIDS, which work by suppressing the immune system, thereby suppressing inflammation. While these drugs certainly work on some level, their effects are short-lived and they have many harsh side-effects, including OSTEOPOROSIS. This is especially problematic for individuals already dealing with COPD-associated hyper-kyphosis (humpback).
It goes without saying that folks with COPD end up on oxygen, with many having surgery. Because hyper-inflation is the common denominator with COPD, the most common surgery involves removing stretched out lung tissue, which makes it more difficult for the lungs to become over-inflated. Some even get lung transplants, which create their own unique set of problems (survival rate is about 50% at five years). The real question that most of you need to be asking is whether or not there is anything you, the suffering patient, could be doing to help yourself beyond standard medical fare?
- EXERCISES: Let me start by saying that most people with COPD are to at least some degree, exercise intolerant. I am not talking here about intolerance to things like running two or three miles, but walking down the hall. There are any number of YouTube Videos loaded with fantastic information about specific breathing exercises --- DIY respiratory therapy if you will. Beyond that, regular physical exercise has been shown by research to be extremely beneficial for people with COPD and should be done to tolerance (make sure to add some sort of strength regimen to counteract the steroids --- HERE). I am a huge fan of things like Yoga and similar that will help keep the rib cage mobile (HERE'S another) . One I often recommend for people is to get a bar and hang. This is not INVERSION, but simply taking hold of something overhead and stretching your rib cage out by hanging some or all of your weight. Speaking of weight...
- MAINTAIN A NORMAL WEIGHT: Obesity is a significant factor in one's ability (or inability as the case may be) to breathe. We see this in SLEEP APNEA as well as asthma. Obesity also happens to be, right along with COPD itself, another of the myriad of diseases caused by inflammation. This means that you need to....
- CONTROL INFLAMMATION: While this is certainly easier said than done, it may not be as difficult as you think. If you have not stopped smoking, by all means do so. And make doubly sure you deal with THIRD HAND SMOKE by giving your house a total top-to-bottom cleaning (this will help with air quality as well by dealing with known irritants such as BLACK MOLD). Beyond this, as you know I'm a stickler for the PALEO DIET because of it's amazing ability to control inflammation. Be aware, however, that there are any number of things that can drive inflammation and any number of ways to help control it (HERE is a great general resource).
- USE THE WEB TO YOUR ADVANTAGE: As I researched this post, I saw lots and lots of interesting, non-invasive, non-pharmacological methods of addressing COPD on the internet. Use the internet to your advantage and create a written plan for addressing your problem. Just remember to work the plan.
- CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS: Last but not least, I have to mention that for many individuals with COPD, CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS are a godsend. Although there is certainly a neurological connection for explaining this (see link), mostly it's because the adjustments help keep the thoracic cage from locking up so badly as it over-expands due to the constant pressure of hyper-inflated lungs. As big a fan as I am of adjustments, working your plan means you'll need fewer of them.
THE LOWDOWN ON CHILDHOOD EAR INFECTIONS
WHAT DOES THE MOST CURRENT RESEARCH SAY TO DO?
"Over 2 million American children experience fluid in the middle ear each year, often following a cold or an acute ear infection. The American Academy of Pediatricians estimates $4 billion are spent in the U.S. for diagnosing and treating fluid in the ear each year. However, the fluid most often disappears of its own accord and does not lead to acute ear infections. Also, antihistamines and antibiotics have little effect on the condition and do not help prevent delays in learning or language and speech development. According to the recommendations made by the AAP, the only treatment middle ear fluid warrants is watchful waiting..." Cherry-picked (as are all my quotes) from Harvard Medical School's article, New Guidelines for Treating Ear Infections
"Treating kids' ear infections used to be pretty straightforward: Your pediatrician simply handed you a prescription for an antibiotic. Maybe your child is now so familiar with "the pink stuff" that she can practically measure it into the dispenser herself. And you probably know a kid who got multiple ear infections that left his ear so clogged with fluid that it wouldn't drain, so he got ear tubes. Recent research suggests that drugs and surgery are overused. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), now has guidelines that recommend fewer medical interventions for ear infections. There's been a major shift in thinking. Here's the advice you're likely to get from your pediatrician these days -- and why it's best for your child. Let's watch and wait." Richard Laliberte from Parents Magazine (The New Ear Infection Rules)
"The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines for identifying and treating a common childhood ailment that can cause a lot of misery -- the ear infection. The group encourage[s] observation with close follow-up instead of antibiotic treatment for many children, including some under the age of 2 years. Between a more accurate diagnosis and the use of observation, we think we can greatly decrease the use of antibiotics.... There are different stages of ear infections, and making the diagnosis can be tricky. Because the diagnosis isn't always easy to make, the AAP offers detailed treatment suggestions, encouraging observation with close follow-up...." Frem Serena Gordon's article on WebMD called Kids' Ear Infections: New Guidelines for Treatment
The updated guidelines from March of 2015 state, "The most important diagnostic feature for AOM (Acute Otitis Media [an ear infection]) noted in the new guideline is a bulging or full tympanic membrane [ear drum]. Because of the inflammation in the middle ear space during AOM, typically the TM becomes thickened and nontranslucent or completely opaque. Acute otitis media is not associated with inflammation. Redness of the TM is not generally a valuable diagnostic sign of AOM. The 2013 AAP guideline recommends high-dose amoxicillin for 5 to 10 days as the treatment of first choice in most patients. We have recently shown that repeated antibiotic treatment does not change the mix of pathogens causing AOM, but it significantly increases the proportion of strains that display amoxicillin resistance." Sound confusing? Could be why so few doctors follow current guidelines. What do I mean? I promise that if you take your child to the average physician and tell him or her that they've been crying and tugging at their ear, 99 out of 100 times you'll walk out with a scrip. Why is this such a big deal?
For one, antibiotics don't really solve the problem over the long haul as shown by the statement above concerning pathogens and resistance. In other words, while they might kill the current infection, they leave the patient (in this case a child or infant) prone to repeated infections, as well as a huge array of potential problems. Although there are any of numbers of reasons for this, the elephant in the room that the guidelines failed to address is that the VAST MAJORITY OF ONE'S IMMUNE SYSTEM is made up of the bacteria residing in one's Gut. This means that each and every time your child takes an antibiotic, they might (due to ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE, the emphasis is on might) be killing the bacteria being blamed for said ear infection. What's indisputable is that these same antibiotics are wreaking havoc, weakening, and actually destroying the immune systems of the children taking them, leading to a myriad of problems, including cancer (HERE). Which makes the brand new study from the New England Journal of Medicine all the more relevant.
Twenty physicians and researchers working at Pitt (Shortened Antimicrobial Treatment for Acute Otitis Media in Young Children), divided babies into two groups --- one getting five days of antibiotics and five days of placebo, the other getting ten straight days of antibiotics. The conclusions were as follows. "Among children 6 to 23 months of age with acute otitis media, reduced-duration antimicrobial treatment resulted in less favorable outcomes than standard-duration treatment; in addition, neither the rate of adverse events nor the rate of emergence of antimicrobial resistance was lower with the shorter regimen." Even though the current guidelines recommend shorter treatment duration with antibiotics, it's not working out too well on many different fronts.
The point is this folks; it's taking longer and longer regimens of stronger and stronger antibiotics to knock out simple childhood ear infections. The hard reality is that this conundrum has been largely caused by physicians that have been ignoring their own research (not to mention ignoring their own guidelines) for decades --- HERE --- something I spoke at length about YESTERDAY concerning several other health guidelines. But there's good news for those of you who have lived this nightmare.
There are a couple simple adjustments (finger pressure to the atlas as well as the ears themselves) that will solve the majority of childhood ear infections --- even the mean and nasty / severe / ugly ones that no one else has been able to touch (CRAZY MAD VIDEO TESTIMONIALS). Knowing how bad antibiotics are for your children (THE FACT THEY CAUSE OBESITY is one of many reasons); doesn't it make sense that you would do whatever it takes to keep them off this class of drug? Fortunately for you, my site has many pieces to this puzzle. Below are just a few....
FOR ALMOST 100 MILLION AMERICANS, DIABETES IS KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR
SO WHY DOES THE SO-CALLED EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE CONTINUE TO SAY DIETARY CARBOHYDRATE AND SUGAR CONSUMPTION IS NOT A PROBLEM?
What conclusions did this latest study from the Annals offer? After looking guidelines from nine different organizations that all, "advocated for reduced intake of nonintrinsic free or added sugars and/or decreased consumption of foods and beverages high in refined sugars, and recommendations provided specific sugar intake limits," the authors concluded that none were really valid because the, "quality of evidence supporting recommendations was low to very low. Guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations. Public health officials and their public audience should be aware of these limitations." But it didn't end there.
The authors went on to argue that on top of the poor evidence, they couldn't be trusted because, "most of the guidelines either did not provide a statement about funding and its influence in the process of guideline development or failed to state conflicts of interest of authors or the guideline panel." CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Really? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Guess who sponsored this particular study? Can anyone say Coca Cola? That's right folks; they, along with the numerous other soda, candy, and junk food manufacturers that are members of the Technical Committee on Dietary Carbohydrates of the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (essentially a lobbying organization), funded a study published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal --- a study telling MD's that there is no reason to recommend that people consume less sugar. Listen to these authors lather the butter, while defending their 'neutrality' in the matter...
"ILSI North America is a public, nonprofit foundation that provides a forum to advance understanding of scientific issues related to the nutritional quality and safety of the food supply by sponsoring research programs, educational seminars, workshops, and publications. ILSI North America receives 60% of its financial support from its more than 400 industry members. The funding source had no role in the interpretation of data, manuscript review, or publication decisions."
This, folks, is the definition of a joke. Science has shown us repeatedly that the last sentence of the quote above is never true. Ever (HERE). And what exactly was the purpose of their research anyway? Wasn't this essentially the modus oporandi Big Tobacco used forty years ago --- paying scientists for studies to discredit any research showing their product in a bad light (THE INSIDER)? JUNK FOOD? JUNK SCIENCE? What's the difference as long as everyone's making money? The thing is, junk science from the sugar industry has been the status quo for at least six decades --- since Ancel Keys infamous and discredited 'Seven Nation's Study' from 1956 (HERE).
Please note that this is not similar to the "junk science" seen with FLU VACCINATION RESEARCH. This is more like what we saw with the growing number of scientists pointing out that the RESEARCH ON DIETARY FAT continues to be based on junk science and false premises. Truthfully, it's probably quite similar what we have seen as far as CHOLESTEROL GUIDELINES, ANTIBIOTIC GUIDELINES, CORTICOSTEROID GUIDELINES and ANY NUMBER OF OTHER GUIDELINES are concerned. Never forget folks, it's all about the money. Maybe there was a time when this wasn't the case, but today it's an indisputable, cold, hard fact --- even if the authors of this study try and convince you otherwise. Follow the links and you'll see that "Medical Guidelines" are frequently created by the highest bidder.
WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL?
CAN ANYONE SAY "DIABETES EPIDEMIC"?
I guess I could say the same thing about dental carries (CAVITIES). Since virtually everyone has at least one or two, they could almost be considered "normal". Usual? Undoubtedly. Normal? No way. A brand new study in JAMA Internal Medicine (Prediabetes Risk in Adult Americans According to a Risk Test) stated that, "We estimated the proportion of the adult, nondiabetic US population that would be classified as being at high risk for prediabetes." How bad was it? According to this study, of the 125 million adults in America, about 30 million have full-blown diabetes, while about 2.5 times that number ---- approximately 75 million --- have pre-diabetes. That works out to nearly 85% of all American adults having significant sugar dysregulation issues. Throw in HYPOGLYCEMIA --- an early step in the path toward diabetes --- and you'd get several million more.
The same issue of JAMA IM carried an editorial letter (The Medicalization of Common Conditions) that arguing against such labels as pre-diabetes, stating, "We suggest a better approach to preventing the epidemic of obesity and its multiple health-related complications is emphasis on healthful diet, weight loss when appropriate, and increased physical activity at all levels—by schools, the medical profession, and public health and governmental agencies." The problem is, as I have shown you any number of times (I am not even going to take the time required to plug in the links here as there are so many), this approach is not working, and it's not working for many different reasons. I believe most can be filed under one of the bullets below
- PARENTS HAVE STOPPED BEING PARENTS: I've talked about this at length in the past, but when parents allow their children from very young ages to spend every spare moment in front of a screen (HERE), with little or no exercise, physical exertion, chores, or responsibilities, bad outcomes of all sorts are on the horizon. This bullet almost always goes hand-in-hand with the next.
- SUGAR & JUNK CARB ADDICTIONS: As crazy as it sounds, the average teen is getting the majority of their calories from --- soda (HERE). And for those who don't believe SUGAR / CARB ADDICTIONS are real, just talk to a dozen random people about giving it up for a month. For the record, while I am a huge advocate of EXERCISE (a great way of reducing INSULIN RESISTANCE), what you eat is infinitely more important as far as solving this problem is concerned.
- DIABETES IS NOT REALLY A "BLOOD SUGAR" PROBLEM: I have seen lots and lots of people doing fairly strict LOW CARB DIETS (which I have recommended to my patients for over two decades), but can't seem to get their blood sugar under control. There is always a reason for this. Diabetes is not (I repeat, not) caused by consuming too much sugar and simple carbohydrate. It is caused by inflammation. This is why I do whatever I can to get my patients to understand the SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS OF INFLAMMATION. For instance, Cardiometabolic Syndrome is frequently caused by dysbiosis, which is almost always the result of taking antibiotics (HERE, HERE, HERE, or HERE) or other drugs with SIMILAR EFFECTS. Believe me when I say that there are any number of other potential causes. It's why it's not terribly uncommon to see PEOPLE OF NORMAL WEIGHT who are either diabetic or pre-diabetic.
The really cool thing about these bullets is that they can be solved. I have created a post showing you how to address both the common and uncommon potential causes of inflammation in your life, which will help you address your blood sugar dysregulation issues. I don't charge a nickel for it, and am not pushing tons of NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS as the cure.
Rather than jump right in and start today (after all, you are standing at ground-zero of the annual holiday sugar holocaust), spend some time reading and learning. You'll quickly see that I'm not into "medicalizing" problems in an attempt to push more drugs --- especially drugs that don't work (HERE). It's important because if you don't grasp the devastating effects of DIABETES, you will likely die a slow, miserable death.
And if you are interested in seeing a similar study that was done a number of years ago that came to very different conclusions about sugar consumption as related to diabetes than the one we discussed today, HERE it is.
DEATH BY SCAR TISSUE (FIBROSIS)
HOW MANY OF YOU REALIZED THAT SCAR TISSUE IS AMERICA'S #1 CAUSE OF DEATH?
Although I use the term "Scar Tissue" with my patients because it's easy for them to understand and already holds certain connotations, the medical community uses the word "Fibrosis". No matter what anyone tells you, these are the same entities (HERE). And while Scar Tissue is responsible for any number of chronic pain syndromes (HERE), how shocking would it be to learn that it is America's number one cause of death as well? Enter Dr. Thomas Wynn.
Dr. Wynn is a respected and highly decorated senior researcher for the NIH. He is a microbiologist and director of their Immunopathogenesis Section. Although his primary specialty has to do with specific inflammatory reactions caused by specific kinds of PARASITES, his real area of expertise is researching the INFLAMMATION / FIBROSIS CONNECTION. According to the NIH website, Dr Wynn's job is to figure out, "the mechanisms of fibrosis." The reason for his quest is simple --- finding a compound that can be turned into a blockbuster drug for getting rid of Scar Tissue, but sparing normal tissue. What do we currently use right now? According to Wynn, "Although fibrogenesis [the genesis or 'birth' of fibrosis] is increasingly recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality, there are few—if any—treatment strategies that specifically target the mechanisms of fibrosis." Why is this important to know?
When Wynn uses terms like morbidity and mortality, he means disease and death. I've already mentioned some of the heavy-hitter diseases in the top paragraph, but as for death, can Scar Tissue really cause death? Not only does it cause death, it causes it on a scale grander than you could have ever imagined. Dr. Wynn minces no words when he states via his NIH bio that, "nearly 45 percent of all deaths in the developed world are attributable to fibroproliferative disorders." In other words, out of the 2,626,418 deaths that occurred in the United States in 2014, approximately 1,180,000 were the direct result of fibrosis.
The truth is, this number is probably low since the stats are two years old. Face it; people have not gotten healthier --- less inflamed --- over the course of the past couple of years. Secondly, if you understand the basics of the process, you have a better chance of saving yourself from the possibility / probability of a long, drawn out, and miserable death. You see, it's not so much that people are, as JT sang about almost three decades ago, 'DYING YOUNG', it's that people are dying after years --- sometimes decades --- of misery and suffering. It's a scenario that drug companies absolutely love because it usually means that people are on lots of drugs for a very long time (HERE).
If you are tired of being not only being BIG PHARMA'S lackey (Webster's: "servile follower"), but their lunch ticket as well, it might be in your best interest to understand a single paragraph written under Dr. Wynn's biography. We'll get there, but first you need to grasp a couple of essentials as we move forward.
WHAT IS FIBROSIS AND HOW DOES IT KILL YOU?
"The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the non-cellular component present within all tissues and organs, and provides not only essential physical scaffolding for the cellular constituents but also initiates crucial biochemical and biomechanical cues. Although, fundamentally, the ECM is composed of water, proteins and polysaccharides [long chains of sugar molecules], each tissue has an ECM with a unique composition and topology. Moreover, the ECM is a highly dynamic structure that is constantly being remodeled. Through these physical and biochemical characteristics the ECM generates the biochemical and mechanical properties of each organ, such as its tensile and compressive strength and elasticity, and also mediates protection by a buffering action that maintains extracellular homeostasis and water retention. Acute injury activates the fibrogenic machinery and induces wound healing.
In a healthy tissue, once the wound has been repopulated [with collagen and ECM], strict feedback mechanisms are initiated that ensure restoration of tissue. Under extreme conditions, such as repeated injury, these aberrant conditions promote chronic vascular remodeling and enhanced ECM crosslinking that eventually leads to aberrant fibrosis and an inability of the tissue to heal properly. This aberrant wound healing scenario is characterized by the altered mechanical stability and reduced elasticity that is typical of scarred tissue. In extreme cases, a chronic wound can also promote a tumor."
Did you catch all this? Scar Tissue is bad news that can lead not only to chronic pain, but to sickness, disease, and death. It does this by creating a microscopically "crosslinked" HAIRBALL-LIKE WEB OR NET of aberrant collagen and ECM. This web not only causes mechanical restriction, but THICKENED TISSUE IS WEAK as well as hypoxic, effectively acting to choke off the blood supply via entangling and then strangling the capillary beds, which causes low OXYGEN levels and pain, as well as an impaired ability to heal. The important thing to remember is that this process can occur anywhere in your body, including organs. But all of this begs yet another question --- what sort of "injury" or "insult" causes said fibrosis?
In his NIH bio, Wynn nibbles around the edges of this question by revealing that said "injuries" can occur in a variety of manner. "Fibrotic tissue remodeling is the final common pathological outcome of many chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases." In his scientific paper he goes on to spell it out in no uncertain terms. "Fibrosis is the end result of chronic inflammatory reactions induced by a variety of stimuli including persistent infections, autoimmune reactions, allergic responses, chemical insults, radiation, and tissue injury". In other words, his list covers the brunt of the THREE BULLET POINTS I dealt with recently. Of these, the easiest to control comes from the "chemical insults". The truth is, the average American is chemically insulting their body on an almost hourly basis via the garbage we continue shoving into our collective pie holes --- especially this time of year as the HOLIDAY SEASON is upon us.
The secret to stopping fibrosis is stopping inflammation. Wynn tells us why in his NIH bio. "When the wound-healing response is well organized and controlled, the inflammatory response resolves quickly, and normal tissue architecture is restored. However, if the wound-healing response is chronic or becomes dysregulated, it can lead to the development of pathological fibrosis or scarring, impairing normal tissue function and ultimately leading to organ failure and death." Death? Because the first step in "Death by Fibrosis" is the creation of an inflammatory response, the next question that needs answered is.....
WHAT IS INFLAMMATION?
Inflammation is difficult to address properly because it is needed for your body's normal, everyday, healing processes ("synthesis of extracellular matrix components like collagen is an indispensable and, typically, reversible part of all wound-healing responses"), but these processes can, and often do go plumb haywire ("normal tissue repair can evolve into a progressively irreversible fibrotic response if the tissue injury is severe or repetitive or if the wound-healing response itself becomes dysregulated"). Which brings us to still another question; how does the healing process get derailed to the point where it becomes pathological? Much of it revolves around the fact that everything you do is either driving or squelching normal FIBROBLASTIC ACTIVITY within the body.
WHEN INFLAMMATION BECOMES A PATHOLOGICAL PROCESS
CAN FIBROSIS BE REVERSED?
Because a pathological fibrotic process is, at least in most cases, a normal healing process gone out of control, stopping it can prove difficult. Everything that might be driving the process of inflammation must be addressed. But clicking the link shows that the medical community is, BY AND LARGE, not interested in dealing with inflammation's number one cause -- poor diets. They are far more interested in dealing with inflammation via drugs, or via some sort of yet-to-be-discovered drug that can break down Scar Tissue, while leaving the healthy tissue untouched. Unfortunately, Dr. Wynn reveals in his NIH bio that so far, this has proved to be a pipe dream. "Few—if any—treatment strategies specifically target the mechanisms of fibrosis." So what has the medical community done? They've simply moved upstream from dealing with fibrosis to deal with the cause of fibrosis --- inflammation. The conundrum here is similar to that seen in fibrosis --- that inflammation is a vital part of normal immune system function and intercellular communication, as well as being intimately involved in your body's minute-by-minute healing processes.
Don't get me wrong; suppressing various inflammation pathways is often quite effective --- at least as far as short term symptomatic relief is concerned (NSAIDS for instance). The problem is that the drugs that do this best have side effects that are often MUCH WORSE AND MUCH MORE FREQUENT than we have been led to believe by our doctors or the TV COMMERCIALS we all seem to trust so much. These drugs have an accumulative effect on the various cells, organs, and tissues in the body (particularly the heart, kidneys, and liver). And when we move up to the heavy-hitters that actually suppress the immune system itself, things have the potential to get downright ugly.
These "uglier" drugs include CORTICOSTEROIDS and the recycled chemotherapy drugs from the 1960's (TNF-α Inhibitors) whose generic names end with "mab" such as Humira or Remicade, or etanercept (Enbrel). I would never argue that this class of drugs does not work; they often work like magic. Just understand that their side effect profile can be rather severe due to the fact they are strenuously and aggressively suppressing one's own immune system (Solomon's study in Arthritis and Rhematology stated that, "there is concern that therapy with TNF inhibitors might predispose patients to adverse effects related to impaired immunity, including an increased incidence of infections and/or cancer." Here's my simplest take on the whole mess.
If you haven't already done it, change the way you eat. But please hear what I am saying. The point is not to suggest that AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET is going to solve all cases of fibrosis. It's to let you know that because it has the potential to dramatically aid most of you who try it in one way or another (it's the lowest of the low-hanging fruit), it's never a bad option for whatever ails you. But remember; diet is not the only way to get inflammation under control --- not by a long shot.
I've shown you SOME OF THE MIRACLES that can occur when people with chronic diseases and autoimmunity realize that they can actually start blocking the process of fibrosis by inhibiting inflammation at its source(s) (HERE). The end result is that they not only feel better, their body starts to work more like it should again. And while it might be tough (even impossible) to reverse fibrosis in say the heart, it is much easier to reverse the process in the musculoskeletal system. Because so many painful conditions have FIBROTIC FASCIA or FIBROTIC TENDONS as part of their pathology, dealing with them IN A MECHANICAL FASHION can often prove EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE. Part of this is because as opposed to organs, they are usually SUPERFICIAL ENOUGH to be accessible enough to treat.
---- The cold is biting, through each and every nerve and fibre --- my broken spirit is frozen to the core. You must be joking, you don't know a thing about it. You've got no problem, I'd stay right there if I were you.
---- I got it harder; you couldn't dream how hard I got it... Stay out of my shoes, if you know what's good for you. The heat is stifling; burning me up from the inside. The sweat is coming through each and every pore. Don't want to be here no more. Don't wanna be here no more.....
Wouldn't it be good to be in your shoes, even if it was for just one day.
Wouldn't it be good if we could wish ourselves away.
Wouldn't it be good to be on your side, the grass is always greener over there.
Wouldn't it be good if we could live without a care.
- Wouldn't it be Good? by Nik Kershaw from his 1984 album, Human Racing
"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." The Apostle Paul speaking in Hebrews 13:5
He told me that when he started work back in the very early 1970's; when he saw his teachers in the summertime, they would excitedly express to him that they could hardly wait to get back into the classroom and get started again with their students. They loved doing what they were trained to do, and knew that they were truly making a difference in the lives and futures of children. By the time he finally hung it up for good, he said that it was common for teachers to come to him saying they had x number of years to go until retirement and couldn't do another. What's changed? For starters......
Teachers are no longer allowed to discipline students. Parents do less and less to get their children ready for school (i.e. knowing basic phonics skills, writing, and numbers by the time they start kindergarten). Teachers are buried under mountains of worthless, idiotic, and time-consuming paperwork. Thanks to TV, computers, cell phones, YouTube, etc, children have shorter and shorter attention spans. We've dumbed down our educational system with government programs like "No Child Left Behind" and similar. School lunches that used to be home-cooked, are now open-a-can-and-heat (not to mention kids are stoked out on SUGAR & JUNK CARBS like never before). More kids that ever are dealing with a wide array of ADDICTIONS. Lawyers hover like vultures, looking for i's that weren't dotted or t's that weren't crossed. The bottom line is that things aren't like they used to be, and virtually all of it COMPOUNDS THE AMOUNT OF STRESS that everyone working in our public schools systems has to deal with each and every day. The result of all this? Teacher burnout.
Lest you think this post is all about teachers, hold on to your horses. This same phenomenon has affected just about everyone from business owners, to farmers, to engineers, to truck drivers, to dispatchers, to manufacturers, to foresters, to social workers, to soldiers, to heavy equipment operators, to LEO's, to builders, to doctors --- especially doctors.
People have a tendency to look at other people's jobs --- no matter what it happens to be --- and think to themselves, "Wow, I would love to have a job like that. I could make a boatload of money and not really have to work very hard. Not to mention, I think I could do it better than they do it." Rarely do people have a clue about what goes on behind the scenes of said job, or what it took to get there. If you've ever looked at a doctor and wanted to swap places with them, this post might make you think twice. For various reasons, mostly involving mountains of red tape and paperwork, the majority (that, folks, is at least half) of all physicians hate their jobs and would quit tomorrow if they could afford to do so (HERE).
"Burnout among U.S. physicians is getting worse. The study conducted by Mayo Clinic researchers in partnership with the American Medical Association compared data from 2014 to metrics they collected in 2011 and found that now more than half of U.S. physicians are experiencing professional burnout. Burnout manifests as emotional exhaustion, loss of meaning in work, and feelings of ineffectiveness. What we found is that more physicians in almost every specialty are feeling this way and that’s not good for them, their families, the medical profession, or patients. Evidence indicates that burnout leads to poor care, physician turnover and a decline in the overall quality of the health care system. In 2014, 54 percent of responding physicians had at least one symptom of burnout."
And here's the kicker. The newest of these stats is almost three years old. I promise that things haven't gotten better in the last thousand days. Even though they are not working longer hours, doctors are increasingly burned out and DEPRESSED about their professional situation. These same doctors are continually browbeat to improve their efficiency. But how in the world are they supposed to be more efficient when they are spending two to three times as many hours on paperwork as they are on patient care (HERE)? Plainly stated, they can't. They hate their jobs (at least they hate their jobs under the current situation) because they spend all their time being government statisticians, unable to do what they have been highly trained to do --- take care of patients. The call went out for solutions.
These solutions, of course, were to be "EVIDENCE-BASED," and were supposed to change both the system itself as well as the environment that physicians work in. The cavalry arrived to save the day in the form of even more bureaucracy. THIS RIDICULOUS CHART is a prime example, and will shock you with it's utter complexity. Most recently, the medical information daily, STAT, came up with a list of eight things to help solve this problem --- even though they themselves didn't seem convinced it could get the job done. Despite the fact that their ideas aren't all bad, many are pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking, while others (value-based care for instance --- a system where doctors get paid according to how healthy their patients get and stay) rely on unmotivated patients for their income. In other words, far too many patients care more about their Doritos, Cheetos, and frozen burritos (not to mention their sodas, frappes, concretes, and lattes) than whether or not their physician is getting paid. I think taken as a whole, it proves that we are largely barking up the wrong tree.
Physicians can't force patients to be healthy. Doctor's offices are choked with people who, for the most part, take little or no responsibility for their health, and have little motivation for doing so. One of the best examples I can think of is our national epidemic of TYPE II DIABETES. Physicians certainly can't keep up with it --- particularly as they start treating a generation of young people who would rather spend time on Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram, than time OUTDOORS, with THE FAMILY, or at THE GYM. And this doesn't even begin factoring into the equation the huge segment of our population living on various form of junk food (USUALLY BY CHOICE). Furthermore, talk to any physician and they'll tell you that the DRUGS they're prescribing for most diseases aren't working (again, DIABETES is a great example of this -- or HERE). In fact, in quiet moments of truth, many will actually admit that the drugs are actually making the problem worse (HERE).
If you are wanting to get off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, it can be done. But no one can do it for you. Even though everyone is looking for that magic pill that's supposed to help them get healthy and stay that way --- it doesn't exist. Your doctor can't make you healthy. The cool thing is, I've given you a protocol that will help the biggest majority of you not only lose the excess weight, but CONTROL YOUR INFLAMMATION, get out of pain, and help you solve your chronic health conditions (SEX LIFE INCLUDED) along the way. You'll find it near the end of any of the links in this paragraph.
REVISITING THE INFLAMMATION / FIBROSIS (SCAR TISSUE) CONNECTION AS THE SOLUTION TO CHRONIC PAIN AND CHRONIC DISEASERead Now
FOR THOSE STRUGGLING WITH CHRONIC PAIN AND / OR CHRONIC DISEASE
INFLAMMATION & FIBROSIS
THE FORMER ALWAYS LEADS TO THE LATER
"Nearly 45% of all deaths in the developed world are attributed to some type of chronic fibroproliferative disease [fibrosis]. Fibroproliferative diseases, including pulmonary fibrosis, systemic sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular disease, progressive kidney disease, and macular degeneration, are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality and can affect all tissues and organ systems. Despite its enormous impact on human health, there are currently no approved treatments that directly target the mechanism(s) of fibrosis. Damage to tissues can result from various acute or chronic stimuli, including infections, autoimmune reactions, and mechanical injury. Although initially beneficial, the healing process becomes pathogenic if it continues unchecked, resulting in substantial formation of permanent scar tissue. Pathogenic fibrosis typically results from chronic inflammatory reactions — defined as responses that persist for several weeks or months and in which inflammation, tissue destruction, and repair processes occur simultaneously." Dr. Thomas Wynn from The Journal of Clinical Investigation (Common and Unique Mechanisms Regulate Fibrosis in Various Fibroproliferative Diseases). The good news for those of you struggling with chronic pain or chronic illness is that the author goes on to say that there is an, "emerging paradigm that fibrosis is a reversible process."
- MECHANICAL CAUSES: This category contains things like POOR POSTURE, FORWARD HEAD POSTURE, WHIPLASH, SPORTS INJURIES, or many of the items found HERE.
- CHEMICAL CAUSES: This could be anything from exposure to chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, BPA, MEDICATIONS (even OTC medications), cleaning products / beauty products / pesticides / herbicides (HERE), CIGARETTES, lead, MERCURY, ALUMINUM, TOO MUCH ESTROGEN, GLUTEN or similar food sensitivities, along with too many others to even contemplate.
- STRESS: Stress can come in many forms. It can be either mechanical or chemical, but it can also be emotional. It can be dietary as well (usually ADDICTIONS to JUNK FOOD and CARBS). Stress can lead to ADRENAL FATIGUE, which can wind up throwing people into CENTRAL SENSITIZATION (FIBROMYALGIA is in this category). The end result is almost always some sort of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE.
Inflammation is the name given to the hundreds of chemical mediators that act as the body's cellular messengers for the purpose of healing damaged tissue. The body doesn't really care how the tissue injury occurred (or in many chronic cases, is ongoing), but will do what it takes to heal it by manufacturing and releasing the chemicals (inflammation) to do so. The thing to remember here is that while a certain amount of inflammation is needed, anything over that amount causes a wide variety of problems. Although the list of potential problems caused by unbridled inflammation are virtually limitless, one sticks out above the rest due to it's penchant for causing pain, sickness, disability, and death, all on a grand scale (the quote at the top shows that it causes almost half of all deaths). We are talking about Fibrosis.
I have shown you any number of times (HERE is the best example), that too much or too many of the chemical mediators needed to heal damaged tissue (INFLAMMATION) always leads to formation of the Scar Tissue that the medical community refers to as "FIBROSIS". Thus, it should be fairly clear that we are not only talking here about the SCAR TISSUE that I deal with all day long in my clinic as far as solving CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES is concerned. We are talking about the microscopic adhesions that form the foundation of virtually every single disease process you can name (and hundreds more you can't).
Bottom line, inflammation kills via a process of your body weaving microscopic webs that ensnare and entangle cells, tissues, and organs, preventing them from moving, gliding, or functioning biochemically as they should. For those of you who think I'm "whistlin Dixie," this post is for you. Follow along as I prove this to you this from the peer-reviewed literature of the past two or three months (all quotes are cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space). Which is exactly why you should be living an ANTI-INFLAMMATORY LIFESTYLE --- even if you are healthy. Especially if you are healthy! Taking your health for granted because you are free of symptoms today, can inhibit your body's ability to fight off or heal whatever life decides to throw at it tomorrow.
INFLAMMATION ALWAYS LEADS TO FIBROSIS
THE PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH FROM THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS
WEED, INFLAMMATION, & FIBROSIS: The November issue of the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology carried a fascinating study called Cannabinoids, Inflammation, and Fibrosis, which compared the anti-inflammatory abilities of NSAIDS to WEED. The study revealed that, "Cannabinoids apparently act on inflammation through mechanisms different from those of agents such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). As a class, the cannabinoids are generally free from the adverse effects associated with NSAIDs. Their clinical development thus provides a new approach to treatment of diseases characterized by acute and chronic inflammation and fibrosis. Several cannabinoids may be considered candidates for development as anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic agents. Of special interest is their possible use for treatment of chronic inflammation, a major unmet medical need." As you wind your way through today's post, pay close attention to how many mainstream journals are running trials on various herbs, plants, and botanicals as alternates to pharmaceuticals.
GENERALIZED INFLAMMATION, FIBROSIS AND DISEASE: Less than a month ago, Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology published a study called Purinergic Receptors: New Targets for the Treatment of Gout and Fibrosis. This study showed that, "Extracellular ATP [energy] release by activated or necrotic [dead or dying] cells may activate various purigenic receptors and especially P2X7R. P2X7R is known to regulate the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which permit the release of IL-1β, a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine. The P2X7R/NLRP3 pathway is involved in many inflammatory diseases, such as gout, and in fibrosis diseases associated with inflammatory process, liver or lung fibrosis." Bottom line, researchers are looking for various compounds to be patented as blockers of this pathway that could be sold for huge profit at drugstores.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE: The October issue of Gastroenterology (Mechanisms, Management, and Treatment of Fibrosis in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases) concluded that, "In the last 10 years, we have learned much about the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of intestinal fibrosis in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Just a decade ago, intestinal strictures were considered to be an inevitable consequence of long-term inflammation... IBD-associated fibrosis was seen as an irreversible process that frequently led to intestinal obstructions requiring surgical intervention." Unfortunately, even though things are improving, this sort of fibrosis is still largely irreversible via medications (HERE). Case in point, a study from October's issue of the American Journal of Physiology Gastroenterology & Liver Physiology (Hydroxylases Regulate Intestinal Fibrosis....) which concluded, "Fibrosis is a complication of chronic inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition which has limited therapeutic options." There were also several studies discussing various compounds to block the body's inflammatory pathways. Last month's issue of Crohn's & Colitis (Genetic Deletion of Tissue Inhibitor of TIMP-1 Alters Inflammation and Attenuates Fibrosis) revealed that, "Increased levels of tissue inhibitor (TIMP-1) have been detected in both inflammatory and fibrotic lesions in Crohn's disease.... Chronic inflammation and fibrosis were associated with an increase in TIMP-1."
ABDOMINAL ADHESIONS: Pirfenidone is an anti-fibrotic drug that works by down-regulating the production of growth factors and pro-collagen substances. In a study from August's issue of the Journal of Investigative Surgery (Effect of Pirfenidone on Vascular Proliferation, Inflammation and Fibrosis in an Abdominal Adhesion Rat Model), the authors started out by subjecting three groups of female rats to a model that is known to create abdominal adhesions. The rats were treated in various ways by the drug Pirfenidone. Not that I'm really interested in this drug, but we learned that, "Intraperitoneal administration of pirfenidone compared to oral administration was more effective in reducing tissue levels of inflammatory markers." Why did this matter to the authors? Because Inflammation always leads to Fibrosis! "Pirfenidone is an effective agent on the prevention of postoperative vascular proliferation, inflammation and fibrosis in scarred tissue." By the way, I get lots of questions about POST-SURGICAL SCAR TISSUE. The real question that needs to be answered as related to this particular bullet is whether it's in the ABDOMINAL WALL OR ABDOMINAL CAVITY.
SYSTEMIC SCLEROSIS A.K.A SCLERODERMA: Scleroderma is one of the Autoimmune Diseases my sister cured herself of (along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, something similar to Lupus, and two others --- HERE). It is an all over fibrosis, that causes a wide variety of pain syndromes and organ problems. Last month's issue of the American Journal of Physiology (Transforming Growth Factor β... Inflammation and Pulmonary Fibrosis) concluded that, "TGF-β signaling ["inflammation"] affects pulmonary abnormalities... that manifests three important lung pathological features: fibrosis, inflammation, and vascular remodeling." A study from the October issue of the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology (Th17 Cells and IL-17 Promote the Skin and Lung Inflammation and Fibrosis....) concluded that the TH-17 SYSTEM, "participates in the pathogenesis of skin and lung fibrosis by enhancing fibroblast proliferation and cytokine [inflammation] production." HERE is information about fibroblasts (scar tissue / collagen forming cells) as related to this subject. Not surprisingly, two weeks ago the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy (Intestinal Dysbiosis is Common in Systemic Sclerosis....) related it all to GUT HEALTH and something called DYSBIOSIS. "Recent evidence suggests altered microbiota composition, commonly referred to as dysbiosis, has been shown to induce and modulate systemic inflammation in rheumatic diseases and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. In the field of rheumatology, intestinal dysbiosis has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren’s syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis. In Scleroderma, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth [SIBO] is a well-described complication associated with GI dysmotility, GI discomfort, and malnutrition. Dysbiosis was more severe in patients with elevated serum markers of inflammation. We suggest that an aberration of the intestinal microbiota may contribute to the development of systemic inflammation and fibrosis." October's issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (Glycyrrhizin Ameliorates Fibrosis, Vasculopathy, and Inflammation...) looked at the effects of licorice root as a solution to this problem. "Systemic sclerosis is a multisystem inflammatory and vascular disease resulting in extensive tissue fibrosis. Glycyrrhizin, clinically used for chronic hepatic diseases and itching dermatitis, modulates the pathological processes of inflammation, vasculopathy, and fibrosis in human diseases. These results indicate that glycyrrhizin ameliorates dermal fibrosis through the inhibition of fibroblast activation [fibrosis]."
METABOLIC SYNDROME: Metabolic Syndrome, more commonly referred to as Cardiometabolic Syndrome or Pre-Diabetes, is absurdly out of control here in America (HERE). Characterized by having two of seven distinct entities (HERE), this problem potentially affects all organ systems. The September issue of Obesity Science & Practice (Highly Purified Eicosapentaenoic Acid Ameliorates Cardiac Injury and Adipose Tissue Inflammation...) showed how PFGO (my clinic's number one selling product) can prevent both inflammation and fibrosis. "The present study has here shown that EPA attenuated adipocyte hypertrophy [fat cell growth] and inflammation in visceral fat [fat around organs] as well as fibrosis, diastolic dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation in obese rats. The beneficial effects of EPA on the heart are likely due to reduced cardiac oxidative stress and inflammation." The September issue of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology dealt with the DIABETES DRUG Gemigliptin, saying that it, "ameliorated inflammation and fibrosis through suppression of oxidative stress." In a similar study from October's issue of Medical Hypothesis, a drug originally made from flowers (Colchicine) specifically for people who don't tolerate NSAIDS, was tested on people with Metabolic Syndrome. Authors concluded that, "it appears to exert an anti-inflammatory, anti-fibrotic, and immuno-modulatory effect". How effective are these and similar drugs at actually solving Metabolic Syndrome? Despite what these last two studies are saying, unfortunately not too (see previous link).
FULL-BLOWN DIABETES: Truth be known, for all intents and purposes, if you have pre-diabetes you are a functional diabetic. So it's no surprise to see that this month's issue of Pharmacology and Therapeutics dealt with the issue in a study called Cardiac Oxidative Stress in Diabetes: Mechanisms.... What is the mechanism for developing diabetes? In a study that addresses AGES, Vascular Complications of Diabetes....., we saw yet again that, "cardiac oxidative stress is associated with increased cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy, and reduced cardiac performance and contractility, leading to severe cardiac dysfunction and potentially fatal cardiac events. It occurs under conditions of excessive synthesis of reactive oxygen species [FREE RADICALS]. The ensuing activation produces inflammation, fibrosis, and further oxidative stress, which itself causes DNA and membrane damage." The October issue of Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy published as study showing that one way to halt this damage was via a Chinese herb known as Dendrobium Officinale Kimura. The authors concluded that this herb, "possesses cardioprotective potential against diabetic cardiomyopathy, which may be due to the inhibition of oxidative stress, cardiac lipid accumulation, pro-inflammatory cytokines and cardiac fibrosis." Needless to say, there were several similar studies talking about inflammation and fibrosis the liver, lungs, and other organs as related to diabetes (HERE is my article on Fascia as related to Diabetes).
HEART: Bear in mind that a myocardial infarction (MI) is the medical way of saying "Heart Attack". Last month's issue of Arthritis Care and Research (Magnetic Resonance-Detected Myocardial Inflammation and Fibrosis in Rheumatoid Arthritis....) concluded that, "Myocardial dysfunction and heart failure are increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). These data suggest that MR findings indicating myocardial inflammation/fibrosis are correlated with RA disease activity and alterations in myocardial structure known to associate with precede clinical heart failure." The November issue of Inflammation published a study on inflammation and fibrosis as it relates to heart attacks, saying that, "Inflammation has been implicated in myocardial infarction. MDM2 associates with nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-mediated inflammation. MDM2 inhibition reduced cardiac dysfunction and fibrosis after MI." Just a couple of weeks ago, the British Journal of Pharmacology published a similar study called SITA Reduces Inflammation, Fibrosis and Preserves Diastolic Function...... In this study we saw that, "SITA positively interferes with inflammatory-related endothelial dysfunction and fibrosis... Myocardial levels of pro-inflammatory TNF-α, IL-6 and MCP-1 were reduced. The markers of oxidative and nitrosative stress were decreased. Moreover, increase of collagen deposition and activation of pro-fibrotic signaling, that lead to elevated myocardial stiffness, were attenuated by SITA." Last month's issue of the Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology carried research that dealt with a substance called Galectin (a group of proteins characterized by the way they bind to sugar) as it relates to monocrotaline (a toxic plant constituent that poisons livestock and humans through the ingestion of contaminated grains and other foods, which causes an array of heart problems). "Galectin-3 (Gal-3) plays a critical role in vascular inflammation and fibrosis. The role of TGF-β1 in mediating pulmonary vascular fibrosis is well documented; thus, we suspected that Gal-3 could be an important factor in TGF-β1-induced fibrosis in pulmonary fibroblasts." What are FIBROBLASTS? Click for the answer (blasts are "builders," thus fibroblasts build fibrous tissue. This is fine and is necessary for healing as long as there is not too much inflammation in the system, which always ends up causing fibrosis.
LUNGS / ASTHMA: This month's issue of the American Journal of Respiratory, Cell, and Molecular Biology published a study about the way that inflammation causes fibrosis after chronic UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS. "NFkB is a major controller of pulmonary fibrosis, a finding that has potentially important relevance to airway remodeling produced by repetitive viral infections" This is a huge deal once you understand how important NFkB really is. According to Wikipedia it's, "a protein complex that controls transcription of DNA, cytokine production and cell survival. NF-κB is found in almost all animal cell types and is involved in cellular responses to stimuli such as stress, cytokines, free radicals, heavy metals, ultraviolet irradiation, oxidized LDL, and bacterial or viral antigens. NF-κB plays a key role in regulating the immune response to infection." Another study from the same issue of the same journal looked at similar compounds concluding, "that the redistribution of SOD3 as a result of the R213G SNP protects mice from bleomycin-induced fibrosis and secondary pulmonary hypertension by improved resolution of alveolar inflammation." Interestingly enough, when researching this post I found numerous studies on the anti-inflammatory herb curcumin. Last month's issue of Inflammation carried a study which concluded, "Pulmonary fibrosis is associated with irreversible, or partially reversible, airflow obstruction and ultimately unresponsiveness to asthma therapies such as corticosteroids. Intranasal curcumin, an anti-inflammatory molecule, has been found effective in allergic asthma." Wow! Why has it been effective? "Curcumin significantly inhibited airway inflammation and pulmonary fibrosis. These results suggest that intranasal curcumin regulates airway inflammation and remodeling in chronic asthma." Another study with curcumin, this one from the November issue of Pharmacological Research (Curcumin Use in Pulmonary Diseases) revealed that, "Over the last several decades, the therapeutic properties of curcumin have slowly been elucidated. It has been shown that curcumin regulates transcription factors (NF-kB), cytokines (IL6, TNF-alpha), adhesion molecules (ICAM-1), and enzymes (MMPs) that play a major role in inflammation and cancerogenesis. These effects may be relevant for several pulmonary diseases that are characterized by abnormal inflammatory responses, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary fibrosis, and acute lung injury. Furthermore, some preliminary evidence suggests that curcumin may have a role in the treatment of lung cancer." speaking of Cancer as related to fibrosis (we already know Cancer is considered an "INFLAMMATORY DISEASE")........
CANCER: Because CANCER is running rampant in the United States, it pays to understand its link to inflammation and fibrosis. The November issue of Cancer Letters revealed how intimate the relationship via its title, G Protein-Coupled Estrogen Receptor Deficiency Accelerates Liver Tumorigenesis by Enhancing Inflammation and Fibrosis. Earlier this year, the Soviet journal Molekuliarnaia Biologiia (S100A4, A Link Between Metastasis and Inflammation) concluded that, "Chronic inflammation is acknowledged to be a hallmark of neoplasia - both in cancer initiation and metastasis progression [spreading to other areas within the body]. Here we summarise data suggesting that S100A4 is а trigger of the cascade events that establish an inflammatory milieu and provide a potent flame for primary tumour growth and especially for its metastatic dissemination. This protein is also involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, fibrosis, and other disorders. Therefore, we suggest that S100A4 is a common pro-inflammatory factor involved in the pathogenesis of diverse diseases including cancer." This next study looks at the whole inflammation / fibrosis / cancer link as it pertains to a tropical flowering plant called Plumbago Genus. October's issue of Oncotarget revealed that, "Results shown that plumbagin increased survival rate, reduced liver congestion and inflammation, and remarkably diminished liver fibrosis and inflammation in the chronic liver injury model. Plumbagin may be a powerful drug candidate to protect the liver from acute and chronic damage by inhibiting inflammation and collagen production [fibrosis]."
OBESITY: OBESITY is yet another of those common health issues that falls under the category of "Inflammatory". Last month's issue of Scientific Reports (A High-Fat High-Sucrose Diet Rapidly Alters Muscle Integrity, Inflammation and Gut Microbiota...) concluded something we are already largely (no pun intended) aware of (HERE), "Abnormal muscle repair is defined by sustained muscle fibrosis, which interferes with the appropriate healing of muscle tissue. We show that intramuscular fat, fibrosis, and the number of pro-inflammatory cells increased by day three and was sustained across twenty eight days of high-fat high-sugar feeding compared to control-diet animals. This muscle wasting includes both intramuscular adipose [fat] accumulation and muscle fibrosis, and moreover, intramuscular fat and inflammatory cell accumulation is associated with the onset of insulin resistance. Adipose tissue lipid storage is altered with obesity, and adipose tissue fibrosis is considered a hallmark of metabolic alterations. Moreover, insulin resistance is reported to be a consequence of human adipose tissue fibrosis." Did you catch that? Read it again carefully if you didn't. Although intimately related to each other, Insulin Resistance occurs long before diabetes or even pre-diabetes (HERE). The important point to remember here is that not all fat is created equal (HERE). Because dietary fat can either drive inflammation or squelch inflammation, it would be interesting to see this study repeated with a wide variety of dietary fats. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF DIETARY FAT --- make fat your friend!
POST-SURGICAL DISC PROBLEMS: Earlier this year, an issue of the Annals of Neuroscience published a study called Experimental Model of Intervertebral Disk Mediated Postoperative Epidural Fibrosis. In this study, we learned that, "It is known that scar tissue is always formed as a physiological reaction to any surgical intervention in response to the surgical trauma. However, the intensity and duration of this process may be different and depends on many factors. Postoperative epidural fibrosis after lumbar discectomy is its most common and at the same time controversial issue. Epidural fibrosis has been described in 24-38% of patients with failed back surgery syndrome. Re-operations, aimed at scar resection are difficult and ineffective and have higher risk of complications. Data analysis shows that there are different inflammatory substances involved in formation of scar adhesions after spinal surgery, and various degrees of peridural fibrosis are detected. In addition, it is known that the tissue of degenerated nucleus pulposus can maintain a state of chronic inflammation in spinal canal and nerve roots, membranes of spinal cord and epidural adipose tissue, and it causes reactive changes therein which leads to development of scar adhesions [fibrosis]. Intervertebral disk tissue is avascular; it is formed separately from the immune system and possesses antigenic properties. The destruction of intervertebral cartilage triggers the cascade mechanism of cellular immunity, which leads to formation of anti-disk antibodies. Antigen-antibody complexes stimulate the production of pro-inflammatory substances (cytokines, prostaglandin) and proteolytic enzymes (proteases, collagenases) that induces progressive degeneration of the intervertebral disk and adhesions development with other structures of the spinal canal." Pay attention because in the same way that tissue from INJURED BRAIN is attacked as "foreign" once it's displaced into the bloodstream, so can the disc's inner jelly (NUCLEUS) be likewise attacked. In either case, the result is an AUTOIMMUNE REACTION. This is why the protocol I will show you at the end of the post can dramatically and often times rapidly help many of you struggling with disc issues.
SPINAL CORD INJURY: You need to know a bit about GLIAL CELLS for this bullet. A month ago today, Brain Research carried a study called Curcumin Inhibits Glial Scar Formation by Suppressing... Inflammation and Fibrosis. The authors concluded, "Spinal cord injury leads to glial scar formation by astrocytes, which severely hinders neural regeneration. Curcumin can inhibit glial scar formation. We found that curcumin and... could inhibit astrocyte activation through suppressing NF-κb signaling pathway, which led to down-regulate the expression of chemokines MCP-1, RANTES and CXCL10 [inflammation], thus reducing the inflammation in the glial scar. Curcumin reduced α-SMA (an important symbol of fibrosis) and inhibited glial scar formation by regulating fibrosis. This study confirmed that curcumin could reduce the expression of intracellular and extracellular glial scar components through dual-target regulating of both inflammation and fibrosis." Looks to me like you should be thinking about adding "The Yellows" (circumin, boswellia, tumeric, etc) to your nutritional regimen.
SCOLIOSIS: This amazing study done on fish (Unilateral Perivertebral Fibrosis Associated with Lordosis, Kyphosis and Scoliosis (LKS) in Farmed Chinook Salmon...) was carried in the October issue of Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. "Radiography and histology were used to quantify lordosis, kyphosis and scoliosis (LKS) and perivertebral fibrosis... The most frequent histological finding was unilateral perivertebral fibrosis that often resulted in separation or loss of myocytes [muscle cells]. Histology of other tissues revealed multifocal inflammation within muscle, peripheral connective tissues and myocardium. In this study, LKS was consistently and significantly associated with perivertebral fibrosis, suggesting that perivertebral fibrosis is an important process in the development of LKS." This is not surprising considering that farmed salmon is raised in warm waters and fed grain (both skew the fatty acid profile away from OMEGA THREE), while wild cold-water salmon are loaded with naturally occurring (anti-inflammatory) Omega-3 fatty acids. Cold water is what causes high Ω-3 fatty acid profiles. Could something similar be occurring in humans? Probably on some level. Considering that the average American is consuming about 1/30th the amount of Ω-3's they should be, it makes sense.
SHOULDER INJURIES: Less than two weeks ago, the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery and Research carried a study on shoulder problems. In it they concluded, "We hypothesized that a rat shoulder contracture model using immobilization would be capable of producing effects on the glenohumeral joint similar to those seen in patients with frozen shoulder. Infiltration of inflammatory cells was found in the synovial tissue until 2 weeks after immobilization. However, inflammatory cells were diminished and fibrosis was dominantly observed in the synovium and subsynovial tissue 3 weeks after immobilization. Our study demonstrated that a rat frozen shoulder model using immobilization generates the pathophysiologic process of inflammation leading to fibrosis on the glenohumeral joint similar to that seen in patients with frozen shoulder." Although I treat tons of SHOULDER PROBLEMS very successfully, I don't have the rapid (often times instant) results with frozen shoulders. By the way, the "official" name of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome is Adhesive (adhesion = fibrosis) Capsulitis (itis = inflammation). Thus, it's fibrotic change occurring deep down in the joint's ligamentous capsule.
MICROBIOME MODULATES BOTH INFLAMMATION AND FIBROSIS: On Pearl Harbor Day, the official journal of the American Heart Association (Circulation) carried a study called High Fibre Diet and Acetate Supplementation Change the Gut Microbiota and Prevent the Development of Hypertension and Heart Failure. The authors concluded that, "Dietary intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with lower incidence of hypertension, but the mechanisms involved have not been elucidated. We found that high consumption of fibre modified the gut microbiota populations and increased the abundance of acetate-producing bacteria. Acetate had similar effects and also markedly reduced renal fibrosis. Transcriptome analyses showed that the protective effects of high fibre and acetate were accompanied by the down-regulation of cardiac and renal Egr1, a master cardiovascular regulator involved in cardiac hypertrophy, cardiorenal fibrosis and inflammation." If you are interested in the relationship of one's MICROBIOME to inflammatory and autoimmune illnesses, as well as chronic pain, just follow the link.
BPA CAUSES BOTH INFLAMMATION AND FIBROSIS: BPA is a highly toxic chemical found in plastics, similar synthetics, the lining of food cans (huh?), and any number of other sources. Trust me when I tell you it's bad news (among other things, it's a hardcore XENOESTROGEN). This month's International Journal of Experimental Pathology confirmed this with a study called Inflammation, Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis Cascade Implication in Bisphenol A-induced Liver Fibrosis.... Authors concluded that, "Bisphenol A (BPA) is a key monomer in the production of plastics. Inflammation and oxidative stress are closely linked with liver fibrosis... In addition, there was inflammation, oxidative stress, reduction in glutathione [a powerful antioxidant] and apoptosis [cell death]. Thus, the mechanism by which BPA induced liver fibrosis seems to be related to stimulation of the inflammatory response..." This, folks, is downright freaky!
SLEEP APNEA: Most commonly the result of obesity, SLEEP APNEA is in the news again; this time in a study published in the November issue of the Journal of Biomedical Research (Chronic Intermittent Hypoxia Induces Cardiac Inflammation and Dysfunction...). The authors determined that, "Chronic intermittent hypoxia is considered to play an important role in cardiovascular pathogenesis during the development of sleep apnea. Chronic intermittent hypoxia disrupted normal arrangement of cardiac fibers and increased Sirius stained collagen fibers [fibrosis]. The expression levels of hypoxia induced factor (HIF)-1α, NF-kB, IL-6, and matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP-2) [inflammation] were significantly increased in the hearts exposed to chronic intermittent hypoxia. In conclusion, the left ventricular function was adversely affected by chronic intermittent hypoxia, which is associated with increased expression of HIF-1α and NF-kB signaling molecules and development of cardiac inflammation, apoptosis and fibrosis."
KIDNEY INJURY AND / OR KIDNEY DISEASE: A few months ago, the journal Mediators of Inflammation published a study called TGF-β1/Smads and miR-21 in Renal Fibrosis and Inflammation. For the record, both the substances in the title would be classified as "inflammation". This study did as good a job as I've seen of showing that fibrosis is always the end-product of inflammation, and that it can be deadly. "A link between renal inflammation and fibrosis is well established. Renal fibrosis, irrespective of its etiology, is a final common stage of almost all chronic kidney diseases. Increased apoptosis [cell death] and inflammatory cell infiltration characterize the injured kidney. The importance of fibrotic diseases rises in a global awareness, as approximately 45% of all deaths in the Western world are related to various forms of fibrosis. Fibrosis develops in response to injury, when the normal wound-healing process is dysregulated and pathologically sustained. Excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) is a hallmark of all fibrotic diseases as ECM accumulation replaces functional tissue with a scar and this process alters organ physiological function and leads to its failure." I could have come up with dozens of other studies in this area of the kidneys, but we'll call it good with this one.
LIVER: Honestly, there were so many (hundreds) of studies linking Inflammation to Fibrosis in the liver, I am barely touching on this bullet considering I could have written volumes from what came out in the past weeks alone. Last month, the World Journal of Gastroenterology published a study that said, "Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common comorbidities associated with overweight and metabolic syndrome. Importantly, NAFLD is one of its most dangerous complications because it can lead to severe liver pathologies, including fibrosis. The major risk factor that defines the prognosis of all chronic liver disease, including NAFLD, is fibrosis. It is becoming increasingly clear that these diseases are the result of the same underlying pathophysiological processes associated with metabolic syndrome, such as insulin resistance, chronic systemic inflammation and dyslipidemia." The February 2017 issue of Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering (yes, it's already out) stated in the first sentence of its abstract that, "Fibrosis is the formation of excessive fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue, which occurs in reparative process or in response to inflammation. Fibrotic diseases are characterized by abnormal excessive deposition of fibrous proteins, such as collagen, and the disease is most commonly progressive, leading to organ disfunction and failure" The September issue of the Journal of the Science of Food Agriculture looked at pomegranate juice's ability to stop or at least slow down both inflammation and fibrosis. "The high-fat, high sugar diet plus pomegranate juice group had significantly lower hepatic steatosis, ballooning, lobular inflammation and portal inflammation; lower hepatic pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic gene expression."
What does all of this mean to you, the patient who is struggling with CHRONIC PAIN or Chronic Illnesses, including autoimmune diseases or funky neurological problems? It means that you can't go another day without addressing your inflammation / fibrosis. Which raises the question of how best to go about accomplishing this. My suggestion is to start with the short, simple post I created for this very purpose. Consider it my Christmas gift to you since I'm providing it to you free of charge. It's easy to follow and cheap to implement (HERE IT IS).
CDC CONTINUES TO BROWBEAT CITIZENS
TO GET THEIR ANNUAL FLU SHOTS
FLU VACCINES IN PREGNANT WOMEN
"My name is William Thompson. I am a Senior Scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where I have worked since 1998. I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed." From the press release from Thompson's attorney's website (Morgan / Verkamp). This, folks, is the very nature of INVISIBLE & ABANDONED RESEARCH, and because there was huge amounts of such in the Cochrane Reviews, it should not be trusted as much as it has been. A decade after publishing, Thompson admitted the fraud but sought whislteblower status after conversations he was having with a colleague were secretly recorded.
Case in point, a German study published in BMC Public Health exactly one year ago this month (Skewed Risk Perceptions in Pregnant Women: The Case of Influenza Vaccination) that revealed, "overall, [only] 10.9% of women were vaccinated against seasonal influenza during pregnancy...." Why so few? Because, "the risk of vaccination was perceived higher than the risk of the disease." Although we need to be seriously asking ourselves why this is -- especially in a European socialist country where that flu shot won't cost you a nickel --- we need to realize that this mode of thinking is not uniquely European.
Just last month, the Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology Canada published a study called Attitudes and Beliefs of Pregnant Women and New Mothers Regarding Influenza Vaccination in British Columbia. Home to Vancouver, I would have to believe that BC women (not to mention Canadian women in general) are a fairly intelligent lot. So why is it that this study showed that, "influenza vaccination rates among pregnant women in Canada are consistently very low"? Again, this is in a country where there is NOPE (No Out of Pocket Expense) for doctor visits or vaccinations. Although American vaccination rates are somewhat higher, we have a similar situation here in America --- a situation that the government is trying desperately to remedy at any cost (see quote at the top of the page).
The Centers for Disease Control wants to see at least a 70% vaccination rate among all American citizens. As of the end of November we are hovering about thirty points below that. It begs the question; if the FLU SHOT is so grand, then why are the vaccination rates so low? And even more importantly, if the majority of pregnant women really do perceive the flu vaccine to be more harmful than the disease itself, why in the world would they even think of getting a flu shot in the first place? There's only one real reason, and that would be fear.
Our government and Big Pharma (OFTEN ONE AND THE SAME) have colluded to prey on pregnant women, telling them that BECAUSE IT'S THE WORST FLU SEASON EVER --- AGAIN, she and / or her baby could could get sick and die with the flu --- or at the very least, require hospitalization (HERE). Because life can sometimes be rough, anything is possible. But I'VE ALREADY SHOWN YOU that according to hundreds of medical studies, flu vaccines are a farce for the general adult population as well as for both children (HERE) and the elderly (HERE). Isn't it time we take a hard look at the dangers of vaccinating pregnant women with a vaccine that is at best, worthless as far as preventing the flu is concerned, and at worst, dangerous for both mom and baby?
The CDC propagates not only the fear of the flu virus, but the "fact" that only they have the answers, when they state, "Pregnant women are at high risk of serious influenza (flu) illness including some that might result in hospitalization (like pneumonia). Pregnant women who get flu might be more likely to have certain pregnancy complications. Additionally, babies younger than 6 months also are at high risk of serious flu illness but are too young to be vaccinated. The best way for pregnant women to protect themselves from the flu is to get a flu shot. A flu shot has been shown to protect pregnant women from flu illness. Additionally a flu shot given during pregnancy has been shown to lower risk of flu illness and flu-related hospitalizations in their infants for the first several months of life." Truthfully, I'm not sure that there is one sentence in this paragraph that is true, so today we are going to pick at it a bit.
When it gets right down to it, I suppose that pregnant women are, at least to some degree, at risk for almost anything and everything, including the flu. At least that's what we have been led to believe anyway. Think for a moment how many products warn us, "not recommended for pregnant women" (flu vaccine inserts all reveal that, "there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women"). But what's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, when it comes to pregnant women, the flu, and the vaccines that are supposed to prevent it?
An editorial by Dr. Margaret McCartney in the October 2014 issue of the British Medical Journal (What Use is the Flu Vaccine?) shed some more light on this question by exposing the flu vaccine for the hoax it is. "For each healthy adult, a Cochrane review found that vaccination saved an average of just .04 days off work [19 minutes] and concluded that no evidence supported it as a routine public health measure. So, why are we vaccinating so many people in whom we have no proof that it works? Treating children is one thing; treating adults like children is quite another. Flu vaccination is offered millions of times every year at huge cost; given so much uncertainty, this policy is impossible to justify." It's important to remember that the study McCartney is citing here (Vaccines to Prevent Influenza in Healthy Adults) stated in its second sentence that, "The target populations were healthy adults, including pregnant women and newborns."
In this meta-analysis of the peer-reviewed literature on the subject (the data from over 250 studies was crunched, including looking at nearly ten million people and over 1.3 million mother / child pairs), the authors stated, "The preventive effect of influenza vaccine on healthy adults is small: 71 people would need vaccination to prevent one case of influenza. Vaccination shows no appreciable effect on working days lost or hospitalisation. The protection against flu-like symptoms that is given by the administration of influenza vaccine to pregnant women is uncertain or at least very limited; the effect on their newborns is not statistically significant." Why does the flu vaccine show so poorly at doing the very thing was created and designed to do in the first place? Probably because most of the viruses that cause "flu-like symptoms" (often referred to as ILI or "influenza-like illness") are not flu and thus not protected against by the vaccine.
The biggest trial of it's kind in Cochrane's massive meta-analysis was the state of California's Kaiser Permanente study of nearly 50,000 pregnant women that was published in the American Journal of Perinatology (Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy in Preventing Hospitalizations and Outpatient Visits for Respiratory Illness in Pregnant Women and Their Infants). This study saw a grand total of 9 women hospitalized for flu or flu-like symptoms (which in the absence of a confirmational test, is likely not the flu). That calculates out to be slightly less than one in 5,000 women. And the kicker is, none of them died. All 9 recovered completely. The author's conclusions?
"Hospital admission with a principal diagnosis of influenza or pneumonia was an extremely rare event for the women in the study population. Women who received influenza vaccine
during pregnancy had the same risk for ILI visits compared with unvaccinated women. We also found no difference in the risk of outpatient visits for vaccinated and unvaccinated women. Hospital admissions for influenza or pneumonia for women in the study population were quite rare and no women died of respiratory illness during pregnancy. Infants born to women who received influenza vaccination had the same risks for influenza or pneumonia.
Maternal influenza vaccination was also not a significant determinant of risk of ILI outpatient visits for infants, nor did it significantly affect the risk of otitis media visits. Influenza vaccination during pregnancy did not significantly affect the risk of cesarean section, adjusting for the woman’s age. It also did not affect the risk of preterm delivery. In this study, we were unable to demonstrate the effectiveness of influenza vaccination with data for hospital admissions and physician visits. Hospitalizations for respiratory illness were uncommon in both vaccinees and nonvaccinees."
Despite the fact that women might be slightly more susceptible to catching the flu than the general population (debatable at best), is injecting them with a vaccine that according to CDC contains an array of toxic compounds; FORMALDEHYDE, THIMEROSAL (mercury), ALUMINUM, and several other components, make any sense? As you should be starting to see, it's a misguided attempt to prevent a disease that for the most part, isn't really a disease at all.
Listen to what Dr. Kelly Brogan MD / BS in Neuroscience (Cornell and MIT respectively) writes in her recent article Is the Flu Vaccine the Solution or the Problem? "Does the flu vaccine work? The frank efficacy of the flu vaccine has been called into question by the only meta-analytic authority, the Cochrane database. Most salient to this discussion within the Cochrane review on flu vaccines in healthy adults is this passage: 'Over 200 viruses cause influenza and flu-like symptoms, producing the same symptoms (fever, headache, aches, pains, cough and runny noses). Without laboratory tests, doctors cannot distinguish between them as both last for days and rarely lead to death or serious illness. At best, vaccines may only be effective against influenza A and B, which represent about 10% of all circulating viruses.' Clearly, validated conclusions from the most credible evidence-based organizations reveal it is nearly impossible to prove that flu vaccines protect against influenza."
Here's what's funny about this whole matter (not funny ha ha, but funny in a sick and twisted sort of way). It's no secret that BIG PHARMA'S appetite for money is insatiable. No matter how much they have, it's never enough. And make no mistake about it, money is the one and only reason they are in existence; not "helping people" as they often claim. Money is why they continue to con (BRIBE) lawmakers into passing legislation that forces pregnant women to get flu shots (that's right folks --- FORCES). If this next section doesn't make you rethink your choice to get a flu shot while pregnant, nothing will.
MERCURY, FLU SHOTS, AND PREGNANT WOMEN
WHAT'S THE TRUTH?
"Thimerosal is a mercury-containing compound that prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria and fungus. It is used as a preservative for flu vaccines in multi-dose vials, to keep the vaccine free from contamination. Thimerosal is also used during the manufacturing process for some vaccines to prevent the growth of microbes." Please note the antibiotic-like properties of mercury, and realize that one of the hallmarks of AUTISM is dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability aka leaky gut syndrome (HERE) --- in other words, a fouled up Gut. "In 1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was required by law to assess the amount of mercury in all the products the agency oversees, not just vaccines. The U.S. Public Health Service decided that as much mercury as possible should be removed from vaccines, and thimerosal was the only source of mercury in vaccines. Even though there was no evidence that thimerosal in vaccines was dangerous, the decision to remove it was a made as a precautionary measure to decrease overall exposure to mercury among young infants. This decision was possible because childhood vaccines could be reformulated to leave out thimerosal without threatening their safety, effectiveness, and purity. Today, no childhood vaccine used in the U.S.—except some formulations of flu vaccine in multi-dose vials—use thimerosal as a preservative. Mercury is a metal found naturally in the environment. High amounts of methylmercury can harm the nervous system."
Because this statement sounds phony and contrived --- almost like someone has something to hide --- let's delve into the matter and see what's really going on with regards to mercury as it relates to the Flu Vaccine. For starters, we are told repeatedly that vaccines do not contain that evil and dangerous methylmercury, but ethylmercury, which is safe because it's supposeldy relatively inert and easily excreted by the body. Before we tackle this specific issue, let me hit you with a few mercury facts
Mercury is the most toxic non-radioactive element on the planet --- 500 times more toxic than lead. Read that sentence again and let it really sink in. Because despite what you are being told by the government, it's in your Flu Shots in the form of something called Thimerosal. I would argue that along with ANTIBIOTICS, thanks to Thimerosal, vaccines are doing a pretty good job of messing up our collective health over the long haul (HERE & HERE are the mechanisms). Much of this is because the Thimerosal-Free flu vaccine is anything but. Before I show you how this is possible, let me briefly show you some of the flimsy evidence used to create our current flu vaccination guidelines for pregnant women.
Back in May of 2004, a group of MD's and Ph.D research types got together and created a document called Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Among other things, we learned that, "Rates of infection are highest among children, but the risks for complications, hospitalizations, and deaths from influenza are higher among persons aged over 65 years. Deaths from influenza are uncommon among children with and without high-risk conditions. A study that modeled influenza-related deaths estimated that an average of 92 deaths occurred among children aged under 5 years annually during the 1990's." Bear in mind that not only does this average out to less than ten per year, most of these deaths occur in children living with "high-risk conditions". But what about pregnant women?
The authors started out the pregnancy section by talking about Flu Pandemics from a centruy and sixty years ago respectively. "Influenza-associated excess deaths among pregnant women were documented during the pandemics of 1918--19 and 1957--58." While this statement is certainly true (millions died in the WWI PANDEMIC), comparing pandemic flu vaccines to seasonal flu vaccines tells us nothing whatsoever about either, as they are as different from each other as night and day. The authors do, however, go on to give us their recommendations for inoculating pregnant women against the flu. "Because of the increased risk for influenza-related complications, women who will be pregnant during the influenza season should be vaccinated. Vaccination can occur in any trimester. Researchers estimate that an average of 1--2 hospitalizations can be prevented for every 1,000 pregnant women vaccinated." In other words, one or two hospitalizations prevented per thousand women inoculated. Are you kidding me? How pathetic --- particularly when it comes to exposing women and their unborn children to mercury. But it gets worse.
Because mercury is so toxic (the huge drinking-water crisis in Flint, Michigan was over lead and not mercury), we would assume that when the government tells us that certain vaccines --- especially those manufactured for children --- do not contain mercury, they don't contain mercury. Period; end of story. Not only is this not the case, it is often times far from the case. Much of this has to do with the fact that when Flu Vaccines are manufactured, they are typically manufactured with mercury. The mercury is then chemically removed from the vaccines that are to be designated "'Mercury Free". Unfortunately, this removal process doesn't work so well, leaving significant amounts of mercury behind, clinging to the proteins in the vaccine.
According to the EPA's CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (it's a short easy-to-read chart), the amount of mercury considered to be safe in drinking water is 2 parts per billion (2 ppb). If it's 100 times that (200 ppb), the organization considers it "toxic". There is no argument that the flu vaccines with Thimerosal contain 25,000 - 50,000 ppb of mercury (as of a few years ago, the most common vaccine was on the high end of this figure). However, as shocking as it may sound, the "Mercury Free" flu vaccines typically contain between 300 and 600 ppb of the neurotoxic element.
Interestingly enough, ingesting mercury-tainted fish has been compared by Thimiserol proponents to receiving mercury-containing vaccines. This is a terrible analogy, as vaccines are given in a manner that purposefully bypasses most of the body's normal defenses, being injected directly into the blood. But maybe, just maybe, none of this discussion has gotten to the real root of the issue. I would argue that people (including those in government) are largely failing to ask the biggest and most important question of all. Has the flu vaccine truly made our collective health better? The brilliant and relentless Barbara Loe Fisher of the National Vaccine Information Center spells it out for us in a well-documented article called Vaccination in Pregnancy: Is It Safe?
"Women having babies are dying of heart failure, high blood pressure and stroke, infection of the blood, diabetes and blood clots in greater numbers because the maternal death rate in America has been climbing since 1987. We now rank a dismal number 50 in maternal mortality in the world, which is worse than that of most European countries and some countries in Asia and the Middle East. Equally shocking is the fact that the U.S. now has the highest first day infant death rate of all industrialized countries and ranks number among nations in infant mortality. Preterm birth rates have increased 36% since the early 1980’s and 6 out of every 1,000 babies born alive in America die before their first birthday.
Birth defects, chromosomal damage, premature birth, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome are the leading causes of death for about 23,000 newborn infants every year, with half of those deaths occurring on the first day of life. A baby born in America is twice as likely to die within the first 24 hours as babies born in the European Union. Public health officials also can’t figure out why so many infants and children in America are plagued with brain and immune system problems. The unprecedented, unexplained chronic disease and disability epidemic has gotten worse in the past three decades – with 1 child in 6 now learning disabled; 1 in 9 suffering with asthma; 1 in 50 developing autism; and millions more suffering with severe food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease and other chronic illness."
And this doesn't even begin to touch on the terrible health of our adult population (HERE). It all begs the question of what to do to protect your health and the health of your unborn baby from the flu. Firstly, don't panic if you happen to get sick. Not only have I shown you that flu morbidity / mortality --- particularly for pregnant women and their babies --- is massively overblown, but that most of you who think you know what flu is, clearly don't (HERE). Secondly, realize that vaccinations can actually put you at risk for developing ILI or flu-like symptoms. Not only have I shown you that having a flu vaccination each year, weakens its effectiveness (HERE), but there are actually studies where vaccinated individuals have been shown have a greater chance of coming down with what we would functionally refer to as "The Flu" (ILI).
One of the many Oxford Journals (Clinical Infectious Diseases) published a study a few years back whose title lets the cat out of the bag (Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated With Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine). We know that not only are flu-like illnesses far more common than the flu, but when compared to the flu, they have the potential to be just as severe or worse (even though being vaccinated against the flu does not protect against these other viruses). That's why this study --- a study that showed a 440% increase in ILI (influenza-like illness) after being vaccinated against the flu --- concluded that, "In the prepandemic period of our study, we did not observe a statistically significant reduction in confirmed seasonal influenza virus infections in the vaccinated recipients. We identified a statistically significant increased risk of noninfluenza respiratory virus infection among vaccinated recipients, including significant increases in the risk of rhinovirus and coxsackie / echovirus infection." This helps explain why I continue to beat the drum of GUT HEALTH for all things having to do with the IMMUNE SYSTEM.
I showed you earlier in the post a mechanism whereby the flu vaccine destroys Gut Health. But what if people in general --- and especially pregnant women --- were to take steps to improve their collective Gut Health, and what would doing so look like? Firstly, people would have to give up THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE as this is what feeds bad bacteria, creating a wide array of problems related to dysbiosis (HERE). Secondly, people should not be taking any meds that aren't keeping them alive (HERE). This is nothing more than standard advice given to pregnant women for decades. And lastly, realize that improving your Gut Health improves your immunity against the flu. The proof?
Two years ago this month, the medical journal Letters in Applied Microbiology published a Japanese study on PROBIOTICS called Effects of Probiotic Lactobacillus Brevis KB290 on Incidence of Influenza Infection Among School Children that was done during, "the epidemic of influenza in Tochigi prefecture". In this study the authors looked at several thousand students from 15 area schools, dividing them into four groups related to whether or not they were vaccinated against the flu, and whether or not they consumed a probiotic-laced liquid yogurt / keifer drink on a daily basis containing the common commensal gut bacteria, Lactobacillus Brevis KB290. The results are as follows. "There were no adverse events associated with consuming the test drink. consumption of the test drink containing KB290 was not found to enhance the effect of vaccination. The reduction in the incidence of influenza by KB290 consumption was especially remarkable in unvaccinated individuals. This is believed to be the first study to show a probiotic food reducing the incidence of influenza in schoolchildren, although further studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the probiotic strain KB290." But that's not even the biggest part of story.
Of the non-vaccinated group, almost 30% of the non-probiotic group were diagnosed with flu sometime during the year. However, that dropped to just over 16% in the non-vaccinated, probiotic group --- a 50% reduction just from taking probiotics. What's really cool, however, is what was seen in the vaccinated group. Just under 20% of the non-kiefer drinkers were diagnosed with flu, while only 15% of the probiotic group were diagnosed similarly. That means that in the two probiotic groups, there was virtually no difference whether you were vaccinated or not --- the probiotic was equally powerful preventing the flu in both groups.
This is why MY RETURN-TO-HEALTH PROTOCOL (MANADORY DISCLAIMER: not all information may be suitable for pregnant women), revolves around Gut Health and controlling INFLAMMATION. If you are interested in getting your health in order before you get pregnant and preventing the flu naturally, the first link in this paragraph is a great place to start. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'm smart enough to realize that dealing with MICROBIOME ISSUES is far better for you (not to mention your unborn baby) than being injected with mercury, aluminum, and other nasties!
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM
THE SCHIERLING KIDS & TUX
MAY YOU AND YOURS HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!
CHRONIC SHOULDER PAIN SOLVED IN ONE VISIT
SHOULD I TEST OR SHOULD I ACT?
The question I want to ask today is whether those who are chronically ill need to start out with a bunch of "functional" testing, or could they possibly jump right in and attack their problems on their own? DR. KEN SHARLIN, a medical doctor, neurologist, expert in Functional Medicine, and certified Wahls practitioner from Ozark, Missouri, helped answer this question in a recent blog post from his site.
The Wahls Protocol uses functional medicine principles and a specific Paleo diet to address autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. But in reality anyone can use the principles of the Wahls Protocol to address their health regardless of their diagnosis.
DR. TERRY WAHLS is an Iowa physician who was diagnosed with MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS back in Y2K. Her condition was so severe that by 2003 she needed a tilt / recline wheelchair to get around. After deciding she would attack this beast naturally; rather than taking lots of "iffy" and expensive nutritional supplements (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE), she radically revamped her eating habits, consuming what could essentially be called a PALEO DIET. The result? She all but totally cured her MS. The truth is, there are any number of similar protocols out there that will do essentially the same thing (MY SISTER USED THE "IT STARTS WITH FOOD" AUTOIMMUNE PROTOCOL after I told her she needed to go Paleo). The point here is not exactly what Paleo Diet you use, but that you get started right away (be aware that your doctor might not be on board, and if this is the case, you might need to find another doctor).
Sure, you can go see a Functional Medicine specialist and get tested right off the bat. The truth is, it's not really a bad idea. There are scores of really cool tests out there that can provide an almost unlimited amount of information about your health. For instance, there are any number of inexpensive blood tests not typically done in routine panels. You can find several labs doing complete GI / stool exams that provide info on DYSBIOSIS, CANDIDA, PARASITES, SIBO, LEAKY GUT, etc, etc. There are tests for MOLD SENSITIVITY. There are almost unfathomable numbers of food sensitivity tests from a variety of labs. CYREX even offers panels for various autoimmune diseases along with their food sensitivity testing. Urine (O.A.T) can also be invaluable as far as metabolic testing is concerned.
Functional testing can reveal whether your mitochondria are working correctly, see if you are METHYLATING properly, whether or not you are managing OXIDATIVE STRESS, or how loaded with NEUROTOXIC METALS you might be (I prefer Hair Analysis to provocative testing). There is also a vast array of blood and spit tests to determine whether or not your ENDOCRINE SYSTEM and hormones are functioning properly. There are also tests to tell you whether your stomach is being attacked by H. Pylori, typically caused by your stomach not making enough strong acid (A VERY COMMON PROBLEM).
And to top it all off, every passing year leaves us with a plethora of new genetic tests (not quite as important as once believed once you begin to understand the simple concept of EPIGENETICS). The truth is, in this day and age there is a test for almost everything. And for many of you, a FUNCTIONAL NEUROLOGICAL EXAMINATION might prove critical as well. None of this even begins taking into account that the ABSURD NUMBER OF DRUGS YOU ARE TAKING might be a significant part of your problem as well (not that I am telling you to stop taking them; that's your doctor's job).
The bottom line; it's fairly easy to find a Functional Medicine specialist who will run you through lots of tests --- maybe lots and lots of tests. The thing you have to remember is that these tests are rarely covered by health insurance. In other words, you'll be paying out of pocket. So....... Although you may very well end up needing some testing, why not start this little shindig on your own? Here's what's so awesome about making up your mind to tackle this thing now. With the holiday season in full swing, you can wait until the New Year to start your new way of living (or you COULD SIMPLY GET STARTED TODAY). For many of you, the first and hardest thing will be conquering your SUGAR / JUNK ADDICTION.
The next step will be an ELIMINATION DIET, followed by some sort of Paleo or even KETOGENIC DIET, depending on what your chief problems are. If you are wanting to do a cleanse, I'm a fan of the Master's Cleanse (sometimes called the Lemonade Cleanse). You'll have to address your GUT HEALTH issues as well, and maybe even consider an FMT. Fortunately, I have given you a generic protocol for getting most of these things done (HERE). Consider it an early Christmas gift from me to you. Does it encompass everything you could possibly need or run into? Probably not. But for many of you --- quite possibly the majority of you --- it's a fantastic starting point that has the potential not only to turn your life around, but save you a bundle of cash in the process.
It's kind of like the story of STONE SOUP. Sure, you could go through thousands of dollars worth of testing. But in many cases, after doing so you are going to get the same essential advice I am providing you today free of charge. Worst case scenario, you don't improve as much as you wanted, realizing that testing might be in your cards. And face it, you aren't going to get worse by eating a diet based on WHOLE FOODS.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE CLINICALLY?
- Not only is FASCIA the most abundant connective tissue in the body, it is arguably the single most pain-sensitive as well.
- FIBROSIS / MICROSCOPIC SCAR TISSUE can be over 1,000 times more pain-sensitive than normal tissue (HERE).
- Fascia cannot be properly imaged with standard advanced imaging techniques such as high frequency x-rays, CAT SCANS, or even MRI.
The authors of the latest issue of Practical Pain Management (The Perfect Storm: Chronic Pain, Inflammation, and Dysfunctional Sleep) give a bit different version of the "perfect storm," saying that, "Disordered sleep, inflammation, and chronic pain --- known in pain circles as the perfect storm --- has gained recognition as a triad disorder. Fragmented sleep, inflammation, and chronic pain are all disorders that are disruptive to wide ranges of the ability to process pain." In fact, the authors go as far as saying that, "When all three occur together, this trifecta of pain conditions becomes a distinct core disease, which experts call central sensitization syndrome (CSS)." Frankly, this is rather scary because as you will soon see, Central Sensitization is serious, ugly, and potentially permanent stuff!
When I've spoken of AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES in the past (click the link for a list of them), I've talked about the way they tend to travel in packs, like wolves. The thing to remember here is that autoimmunity is not so much a problem with the organ, tissue, or enzymes being attacked by your body's own immune system, but a problem with the immune system itself that's gone rogue and doing the attacking. Thus, once you have one, you are just as likely to end up with a half dozen. Or more. And when it comes to CENTRAL SENSITIZATION, the authors similarly talk about a number of related problems that, "travel in herds" along with. Naturally, this begs the question; what do these herds look like?
- ALTERED ENDOCRINE & IMMUNE ACTIVITY: These two cannot really be separated as you can see from my post called ENDOGUT. The Gut contains about 80% of your body's immune system (HERE), while the endocrine system controls things like your THYROID and BLOOD SUGAR REGULATION among others.
- ALTERED AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM ACTIVITY: Even though the Parasympathetic Nervous System has the potential to go haywire, for the most part we are talking here about SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE, meaning that the body remains in some degree of "fight or flight" mode all the time. It's tough to sleep when your body is being adrenalized to exhaustion.
- MIGRAINE HEADACHES: Lots of information on MIGRAINE HEADACHES.
- TMJ / TMD: These are the disorders / pain associated with the jaw (TMJ).
- IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME: IBS is an autoimmune disease characterized by alternate bouts of diarrhea and constipation, often in the same day. Not only is it intimately related to FODMAPS, but you must be aware that virtually all Autoimmune Diseases are related to gluten on some level (HERE).
- FIBROMYALGIA: I have lots of information on both ADRENAL FATIGUE (which could just as easily been filed under the first bullet) as well as FIBROMYALGIA itself.
And this is where it all gets very interesting. I would argue that Sympathetic Dominance (SD) is the number one cause of sleep disorders --- particularly insomnia. SD's chief biomarker (maybe its only real biomarker) is HEART RATE VARIABILITY, which is itself known to be a byproduct of inflammation. What is inflammation? It would behoove you to become intimate with inflammation (HERE), considering it is the ROOT CAUSE OF ALMOST EVERY MAJOR DISEASE PROCESS, including all the heavy hitters (CANCER, HEART DISEASE, ARTHRITIS, DIABETES, AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, etc, etc). Be aware this is true despite the fact that your doctor is still coddling you by telling you that your problems are all genetic (HERE).
I am more convinced than ever that the best way to address inflammation is by a combination of DIET and GUT HEALTH. I have seen many cases of these very problems either fixed or dramatically improved, simply by making the proper lifestyle changes. But what about those problems that are purely (or at least mostly) mechanical --- PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME for instance? The FASCIAL SYSTEM will need to be addressed. And the beautiful thing is, even if doing so does not solve your problem, unlike the vast majority of medical interventions, it won't make you worse (HERE). Just remember that because inflammation always leads to Fibrosis / Scar Tissue, a failure to address root causes of inflammation can lead to continued build up of soft tissue adhesions (HERE).
The article on the opposite page in PPM (Multimodal Approach to Physical Therapy for Chronic Pain) provides a glimpse into the sort of treatment that the medical community is using for those with CSS and other similar chronic pain syndromes. Besides mentioning things like LASER THERAPY, soft tissue mobilization, and EXERCISES THAT INVOLVE BOTH STRENGTH AND RANGE OF MOTION, (yoga would fit in here as well) the author says that, "those of us who deal with chronic pain have realized that with straight physical therapy, there's something missing". Although the author believes that this "missing link" is something called CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), I'm at a loss to see how any of this, if one is not making significant changes to one's diet, will prove truly effective over the long haul when it comes to addressing the root of the problem --- inflammation.
Bottom line, if you believe what these authors are saying, their "triad" (sleeplessness, pain, and inflammation) means you are essentially finished. The only real hope you have is to do palliative treatments (treatments to try and make you feel better for a while), which, while they might diminish the pain temporarily, don't really address the underlying cause of said pain. I would argue that while this "trifecta" is not in any ways a good sign, if you click on the next link below, you'll begin to see a ray of hope ---- that there are actually some empowering steps that you can take help you get your life back, and that this triad does not necessarily mean you have CSS.
CAN YOU HELP ME?
What WRITING BLOG POSTS ABOUT PS did was start bringing all sorts of crazy cases (not crazy people, but hardcore cases) out of the woodwork. Pelvic floor injuries, a variety of wild anomalies (mostly involving unusual bifurcations in either the sciatic nerve or the piriformis muscle), and any number of problems that were almost impossible to understand in light of the difficulties in imaging the area with MRI --- the most common standardized test used today.
Because of what I've seen clinically, I would argue that incidence of Piriformis Syndrome is far underestimated. And because I've helped many people with Piriformis Syndrome, not a day goes by that I do not get at least a handful of emails from people wondering if I can help their particular problem (HERE). About the only thing I can promise these people is that they will know after ONE TREATMENT whether or not my approach is going to help. To the best of my knowledge, I've never had anyone get worse.
What's interesting is how many of the people I specifically tell I can't help are upset at me. Bottom line, I really don't want you making a trip to see me if I don't think there is a good chance I can help. On the flip side of this coin, I've had a significant number of people who I was not convinced I had the solution for, make the trip anyway and end up getting better. So when you write to me and I reply that I'm not really sure whether I can help or not, I'm simply trying to be truthful.
The thing that has left me most puzzled about the whole process is how the problem starts to begin with. Although I see people whose PS began with a horrendous injury (HERE for example --- read the comment), as often than not, the people developing this problem are athletic and take extremely good care of themselves (ASIDE FROM SOME SERIOUS OVERTRAINING). I light of what we know about imaging tests for both degenerative discs and herniated discs (HERE and HERE), I've often wondered why Piriformis Syndrome often starts "out of the blue" in a person's thirties or forties. With the advent of MRN, newer ULTRASOUND TECHNIQUES, and different kinds of EMG's, we will probably have some answers to this in the next decade or two.
SEE THIS MOVIE TODAY IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE SO
Having read any number of books on the battle for Okinawa, including Feifer's brilliant TENNOZAN, rest assured that this movie was not exaggerating how severe things were for our troops as they got closer and closer to Japan proper. After bringing the greatest naval brigade in the history of the world to Okinawa, and off-loading thousands upon thousands of US soldiers who essentially cut the final island standing between the Allies and the Japanese mainland in half (initially there was no resistance), the war to take the island's ends became the most brutal and bloody in the history of the brutal and bloody South Pacific campaign.
Called the "rain of steel" by the entrenched Japanese, the battle for Okinawa was fought against an enemy that would not surrender no matter what. Thus, our troops were forced to capture and hold ground inch by bloody inch, all while our navy was under constant attack from Japan's "divine wind" (Kamikazees). With places like Sugar Loaf and Shuri Castle already etched into the lore of the United States Marine Corp, it's easy to add THE MADEA ESCARPMENT (Hacksaw Ridge) to the list. But this movie was about something much bigger than war, it was about the courage, the resiliance of the human spirit, and one man's resolve to stay true to himself, his wife, and his God, no matter the cost (I was fortunate enough to have known many veterans like this, including PB).
The story revolved around the life of Private Desmond Doss (February 7, 1919 – March 23, 2006), a young man (unfortunately today we typically refer to his age group as "boys" --- HERE) who became our nation's first conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. In a day and age where it's normal to hear stories of college-aged students looking for 'safe spaces,' coloring books, ice cream cones, puppies to pet, and counselors; all because their candidate lost an election; or our standing president nominating celebrities, movie stars, sports heroes, billionaires, and similar, for an award that is supposedly the civilian equivalent; this story stands out as a breath of fresh air. I would put the quality of this movie right up there with Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, or the story of the battle for Guadalcanal, The Thin Red Line.
FLU VACCINATION MANDATE
AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR SOON-TO-BE
SECRETARY OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES
DR. TOM PRICE: GEORGIA ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON
As a supporter of individual rights when it comes to healthcare, I need to bring an important matter to your attention. As you know, annual flu vaccinations, despite a near-zero rate of efficacy, have been mandated for each and every American healthcare worker (doctors, nurses, food service, janitors, maintenance, IT, techs, management, etc, etc). Here in the United States, public health decisions are supposedly made according to the "Best Evidence". If this were really the case, you wouldn't be receiving a letter about a forced intervention that has performed as poorly as the Flu Vaccine has.
I've gathered the pertinent research on this topic to show legislators just how ineffective the flu vaccine really is at preventing the flu, then compiled it into one place (HERE). According to a recent Cochrane Review of dozens upon dozens of studies, "The preventive effect of parenteral inactivated influenza vaccine [flu shots] on healthy adults is small: 71 people would need vaccination to prevent one case of influenza". As a physician yourself, you should already be aware of this.
America's Flu Vaccine Mandate is a horrendous taxpayer expense that does little more than line the pockets of big pharma and the bureaucrats who pushed it. After reviewing the summary of the peer-reviewed literature that I've provided for you, please consider repealing this legislation. The same should also be done for our fighting forces, as all active-duty military, National Guard, and students at schools on military bases, have also recently seen the annual flu vaccine mandated. Thank you.
Dr. Russell S. Schierling
Mountain View, Missouri
I would ask my readers to help this letter make the rounds on FACEBOOK, as well as contacting your legislators and HHS. If this kind of thing is not stopped, it's only a matter of time before we will all be forced to bend over for whatever vaccines the government deems necessary for you and your children. Trust me when I say it could mean scores of them (HERE).
TYPE II DIABETES
WHY CAN'T WE SEEM TO GET IT UNDER CONTROL?
I'm not quite sure what it takes to get across to people that blood sugar dysregulation, whether blood sugar values are HIGH or LOW, is bad news. In fact, because of EPIGENETIC FACTORS, blood sugar is intimately (causally) linked to more chronic health problems than any other single factor. A while back (HERE) I showed you how in sunny California, a state where people have year-round sunshine and easy access to fresh FRUITS & VEGETABLES, over half the adult population is either diabetic or pre-diabetc (which for all intents and purposes, is a functional diabetic). I can't even begin to imagine what those numbers might look like here in Missouri. So, why can't we get this problem under control?
Whenever governments decide to get involved in the business of healthcare, especially when said healthcare is being provided mostly for CHRONIC CONDITIONS, bad outcomes seem to be the norm (HERE). I would argue that one of the many ways this occurs is by stripping away personal responsibility and destroying incentive --- in this case, destroying any sort of financial incentive people might have to get healthy and stay that way. Case in point is a study that came out earlier this week in PLoS One Medicine (Lifestyle Advice Combined with Personalized Estimates of Genetic or Phenotypic Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and Objectively Measured Physical Activity).
Researchers from Cambridge University put several hundred "healthy" middle aged individuals into two different groups. In the first group, they gave generalized information about the seriousness of TYPE II DIABETES. In other words, a doctor actually sat down with them for a heart-to-heart about the seriousness of diabetes. This must surely be beneficial in light of the fact that I have told my readers over and over and over again ---- that virtually all health problems either begin with or are fed by blood sugar dysregulation and the mass quantities of inflammation that flows from like lava flowing from Mt. Kileaua (HERE). But this second group was even more intriguing --- way more intriguing.
The doctors running the study not only gave people in this group face-to-face advice about the seriousness of diabetes, but they went a step further. They gave them a precision genetic risk estimate of their chances of developing the disease as they got older. "Evidence from randomized controlled trials shows that positive changes in health behavior can significantly reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes among those considered high-risk. However, translating these findings into preventive strategies has proven difficult, as it requires motivation of individuals to adopt and maintain changes in physical activity and diet. Risk of type 2 diabetes is also influenced by genetics. Estimates [for developing Type II Diabetes] were framed in comparison to the average risk within each participant’s age and sex-specific group, and participants were told what percentage of the study sample had a risk estimate higher, lower, and equal to their own. Each piece of information was represented using a visual scales."
The testing for this group was extensive, using everything from detailed health questionnaires, blood chem labs, BMI, the Cambridge Diabetic Risk Score, family history, physical activity, diet, as well as some of the same testing methods used by companies who offer genetic testing kits to the general public. After adjusting for numerous confounders (CHOLESTEROL, BLOOD PRESSURE, etc), guess what the researchers discovered? None of it mattered. It didn't make a lick of difference what the doctors did, there were, "No significant differences observed between trial groups. The interventions had no effect on physical activity within subgroups defined by age, body mass index, physical activity, self-reported diet, self-reported weight, self-rated health, behavioral intention, perceived risk, anxiety, worry, or receipt of a high or low risk estimate." In other words, the doctors running the study and providing the recommendations may as well have been spitting into the wind.
This is exactly why, as I have shown you, we don't need more healthcare. Healthcare --- or more appropriately named; "sickness" care ---- does nothing as far as PREVENTION is concerned. In fact, more often than not, rather than lighting a fire underneath individuals as a motivation to get healthier and prevent future disease and disability, their "insurance" (in this British study, the word signified nationalized healthcare) actually seems to act as a health inhibitor. Allow me to prove this via something I've heard it time and time again in my clinic.
I go to give someone THIS HANDOUT loaded to the gills with potentially life-changing information (all 100% free), and what do I get? "Naw doc, don't bother giving me that. It'll only end up in the trash can anyway. I don't really care about all that taking care of myself stuff. It's too much bother. Besides, I've got good insurance. If I get sick I just go to the doctor and get some medicine. It's easier that way." And the truth is that I'm just as likely to hear this from a millionaire, as someone working their butt off for minimum wage. It's why I continue to tell anyone who will listen that our current system of American healthcare (as well as the healthcare in much of the rest of the westernized world) is completely UNSUSTAINABLE. This is becoming more apparent as many European countries increasingly adopt an Americanized way of eating (processed foods, junk food, and fast foods).
What's pretty awesome, however, is that for those of you who are motivated; you can turn your lives around and actually get healthy. In a big way. Trust me on this one: If you can hang on for just one week and start breaking through the almost universal CARB & SUGAR ADDICTION that plagues people struggling with blood sugar dysregulation, the whole process will get way easier. All you have to do is have a plan and stick to it. Does it work? READ THIS and you tell me. What have you got to lose? Face it; what you're currently doing sure isn't working for beans. The doubly cool thing for those of you with blood sugar issues is that EVIDENCE-BASED DIABETIC TREATMENT METHODS are an integral part of our HEALTH PROTOCOL. And it's all free. It's kind of like giving you a GOLD BRICK. All you have to do is reach out and take it.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration