HIGH FREQUENCY X-RAY
DR THOMAS LEVY ON ROOT CANALS
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).
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