Month: October 2012

Dr. Glenn Hyman back from surgery, Denver Chiropractic Center’s awesome Halloween idea, and this week’s 1-Page health news

I (Glenn) want to apologize for being unavailable last week from Monday through Wednesday. I had surgery on Monday and was required to take a few days to recover before going back to work. (I actually went back Thursday before I was supposed to. Don’t tell.) I’ll have more to say about this in the near future, but for now, just know that I am back and ready to help you.

Best Halloween idea I’ve ever heard of:

I got this one from a patient years ago: The Halloween Goblin. In order to cut down on how much junk the kids get in relation to Halloween, we offer them the opportunity to pick out a few pieces from their Halloween bounty, and then trade the rest to the Halloween Goblin for a toy. They simply leave the candy on the porch, and the toys magically appear the next day. We’ve been doing this for 5 years now and it works great. I don’t have a problem with the candy per se, but it’s the way it tends to hang around the house that I don’t like. The Halloween Goblin takes care of that. The key is giving the kids the option to participate instead of forcing it on them.

And here is this week’s 1-Page Health News.

Mental Attitude: Benefits of Green Tea. Previous studies have shown that green tea consumption aids in both weight loss and lowering cholesterol levels. Green tea is full of anti-oxidants and has also been known to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, depression symptoms, wrinkles, the risk of high blood pressure. Green tea also benefits diabetics because it slows the rise of blood sugar after eating. A new study reveals that it may also benefit memory and spatial awareness. (Note: Green tea decaffeinated with CO2 retains as much as 95% of the original anti-oxidant levels. If the ethyl acetate process was used, only about 30% of the anti-oxidants will be retained.) Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, September 2012

Health Alert: $750 Billion Lost A Year! America’s health care system is inefficient, suffers from data overload, and is both complex and costly. Each year, $750 billion (roughly $.35 per dollar spent) is wasted nationwide on inflated administration costs, fraud, and pointless services. These problems can also result in needless patient suffering and deaths. Institute of Medicine. September 2012

Diet: Anorexia. Patients with anorexia have trouble accurately judging their own body size, but not the bodies of others. In a test, when asked if they could pass through a doorway, anorexic patients felt they could not pass through the door even when it was easily wide enough. However, anorexic patients were more accurate at judging others’ ability to pass through the doorway than their own. The study also found a correlation between the perception of the patients’ own ability to pass through the aperture and their body size prior to becoming anorexic, suggesting that the patients may still think of themselves as their previous size. PLOS ONE, August 2012

Exercise: The Elderly. The benefits of exercise are positive for all seniors, including those who are considered frail. The advantages appeared after just three months and included increased cognitive and physical abilities, as well as increased quality of life. Journals of Gerontology, August 2012

Active Rlease Technique / Chiropractic: Lack of Motion. A joint that is not mechanically stimulated will atrophy, leading to degeneration. However, even passive motion (ex: someone else bending your leg for you) is beneficial to cartilage regeneration. (Our work at Denver Chiropractic Center is all about improving joint mobility). Arthritis Care and Research, 2006

Wellness/Prevention: Coconut Oil and Tooth Decay. Digested coconut oil is able to attack the bacteria that cause toothdecay. The study found that enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibits the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans (an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay). Society for General Microbiology, September 2012

Quote: “Ouch.” ~ Glenn Hyman, after surgery.

Fibromyalgia and Food

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder that affects everyone a little differently. Therefore, promoting a one diet approach for every FM patient doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, according to Ginevra Liptan, MD, medical director of the Frida Center for FM in Portland, OR, it is clear that what is included in a diet vs. what is eliminated makes a big difference for many FM patients. It has been reported that 42% of FM patients surveyed indicated their symptoms worsened after eating certain foods. Here are some recommendations about diet to consider:

  1. Pay attention to how food makes YOU feel. Many FM patients have sensitivities to particular foods, but this is highly variable from person to person. Sensitivity to MSG, certain preservatives, eggs, gluten, and dairy are quite common. Keep a daily food journal for at least 2 weeks and write down the foods eaten and any associated symptoms like headaches, indigestion (irritable bowel syndrome irritation – IBS), or fatigue.
  2. Try Eliminating Certain Foods. Many FM patients have irritable bowel symptoms, and using an elimination diet can help determine which foods to cut out. Try it out for no less than 6-8 weeks in order to get the best results. Then, add it back into your diet and pay attention to how it makes you feel. The most commonly eliminated foods are dairy and gluten and the most common improvement is in fatigue reduction and reduced IBS symptoms like bloating and constipation.
  3. If you think you might have food sensitivities or allergies, talk with us. Sometimes it is best to obtain an evaluation from an allergist for food allergy testing. Dietitians can also assist in assuring that you don’t eliminate essential nutrients when foods are eliminated from the diet.
  4. Make it easier to Eat Healthy. Everyone, including the FM sufferer, should try to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains (if not gluten sensitive), and lean meats or protein. A well balanced diet will give you more energy, which in turn, can improve your overall health. When pain and exhaustion are present, choose healthy foods that do not require a lot of preparation such as buying pre-washed vegetables, or purchase pre-prepared foods like beet salad and quinoa.
  5. Use Food to Help Fight Fatigue. Consume foods in a way that increases energy levels and prevent fatigue. Anecdotally, FM patients have reported that eating small meals frequently vs. restricting themselves to 3 meals a day can keep blood sugar levels more even and prevent the “hypoglycemic lows.” A snack high in protein around 3pm can prevent mid-day fatigue.  Make sure your breakfast includes some protein and whole grains (again, assuming there is no gluten sensitivity). Focus on getting enough sleep and staying active during the day as these can also prevent fatigue during the day.
  6. Check on Your Supplements. Some supplements have significant side effects and can interact with medications. Talk to the prescribing doctor or pharmacist about this. For example, antidepressants and certain supplements can interact.
  7. Focus on Your Overall Well-Being. A multiple approach to managing FM symptoms works better than a single approach. Things like yoga, massage, and deep breathing exercises, as well as routine chiropractic treatments can improve the overall quality of life. Increasing the quality of life is the ultimate goal for managing the FM patient. Going to bed at a consistent time, not eating too late, and exercising regularly are key components.

Back from The Secret Race and Denver Chiropractic Center’s 1-page Health News

I (Glenn) am back in the office after taking last week to hang out with the family while the kids are on fall break. We went to the zoo, the Mint, the Pumpkin Patch, etc.  In addition to that, I managed to read Tyler Hamilton’s book, The Secret Race. Hamilton opens the door on the shocking world of doping in competitive cycling. As a summary – they all did it, and they did it a LOT, including Lance. If you have any interest in cycling, this one is worth reading.

Here’s this week’s 1-Page Health News.

Mental Attitude: Cannabis and IQ? A recent study indicates that daily cannabis use by teenagers (< 18 years old) results in neuropsychological decline, which persists even after they stop smoking. The group also had IQ scores that were 8 points lower than their counterparts who never smoked or started. (a good reason to vote NO on legalizing marijuana). Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, September 2012

Health Alert: Bad Medicine? Approximately one in five prescriptions to elderly people are inappropriate. Some of the medications with the highest rates of inappropriate use were the antihistamine diphenhydramine, the antidepressant amitriptyline, and the pain reliever propoxyphene. PLOS ONE, September 2012

Diet: Chocolate? Chocolate may be beneficial for reducing stroke risk in men. Flavonoids found in chocolate may decrease blood concentrations of bad cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. Flavonoids, a group of polyphenolic compounds known to have beneficial biochemical and antioxidant effects, appear to protect against cardiovascular disease through antioxidant, anti- clotting and anti-inflammatory properties. Men who ate the largest amounts of chocolate (63 grams – a third cup of chocolate chips – per week) had a 17% lower risk of stroke than men who never, or very rarely, ate chocolate. Also, for each additional 50 grams of chocolate consumed per week (a quarter cup of chocolate chips), there is a fall in stroke risk of about 14%. Many researchers maintain it is dark chocolate that is good for the heart, but about 90% of the chocolate intake in this study was milk chocolate. Karolinska Institute, August 2012

Exercise: Lack of Exercise As A Medical Condition? According to physiologist Michael Joyner, M.D., “physical inactivity is the root cause of many of the common problems that we have.” These problems include obesity, diabetes, joint damage, and high blood pressure. If lack of exercise (deconditioning) was treated as a medical condition, then perhaps more patients and doctors would see exercise as a treatment that should be considered first for many medical complaints. Mayo Clinic, August 2012

Active Release Techniques: What Causes Pain? One possibility is joint pain due to inflammation of tissues between and around the joints. As a person ages, or with trauma (old or new), their joints lose flexibility. As muscles and ligaments tighten and shorten, inflammatory chemicals can become trapped. Over time, the joint complex can degenerate and osteoarthritis may develop. Physical Exam Spine and Extremities, Hoppenfeld

Wellness/Prevention: TV Time? 31% of US children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Reducing TV viewing may be an effective strategy to preventing excess weight gain among adolescents. In this study, there was a clear association with reduction in TV hours and decreased weight gain over one year.Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, September/October 2012

Quote: “Anger dwells only in the bosom of fools.” ~ Albert Einstein

Denver Chiropractic Center’s 1-Page Health News

Mental Attitude: Violent Images? People who watched more than four hours of TV a day relating to the 9/11 attacks and Iraq War coverage were more likely to report both acute and post-traumatic stress symptoms over time. According to study author Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD, “[It’s] important for people to be aware that there is no psychological benefit to repeated exposure to graphic images of horror.” (Stick to comedy and sports.) Psychological Science, September 2012

Health Alert: Bad Belly Fat! People with a high waist-to-hip ratio (those with big bellies, but a normal body mass index score)

are 2.75x more likely to die from a cardiovascular event. Mayo Clinic, September 2012

Diet: Junk, TV, and Income. Preschoolers from low-income neighborhoods and kids who spend more than two hours a day in front of a TV or video-game console have at least one thing in common: a thirst for sugary soda and juice. 54.5% of 4-5 year olds from poorer neighborhoods drank at least one soda per week, compared to 40.8% of kids from higher socioeconomic backgrounds. Preschoolers from low-income areas also drank less milk and consumed more fruit juice, which, like soda, is linked to rising sugar intake. Researchers found similar drinking habits among preschoolers who spent more than two hours of “screen time” per day watching TV or playing video games. Kids from poorer neighborhoods sat in front of screens more often, and drank larger volumes of sweetened beverages. Just 30% of children ate recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, and only 23.5% consumed the recommended amount of servings of grain products. University of Alberta, August 2012

Exercise: Exercise and Cancer Recovery? Studies have shown the powerful effect exercise can have on cancer care and recovery. For patients who have gone through breast or colon cancer treatment, regular exercise has been found to reduce recurrence by up to 50%. Mayo Clinic, September 2012

Active Release Technique What Causes Pain? One possibility is nerve pain. When a nerve becomes “pinched,” compressed, or inflamed due to an impinging or muscle or spinal disk, the nerves that innervate the spine can become injured. This mechanism can lead to a radiculopathy, where pain radiates down your arm or leg.

Physical Exam Spine and Extremities, Hoppenfeld

Wellness/Prevention: Drink Water! Water is your body’s principle chemical component and makes up 60% of your body weight. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose, and throat tissues. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, and even mild dehydration (as low as 1-2% loss of normal water volume) can drain your energy and make you tired. Institute of Medicine

Quote: “Great ideas originate in the muscles.” ~ Thomas A. Edison