Who’s Watching out for your Kids?

If you are a parent, or if you are a child, you should be aware that what you eat and drink can have a significant effect on your health. Are watching out for the health of your children?energy drinks

One study showed that between 2009 and 2011 there were 4854 calls to poison control centers regarding energy drinks. 51% of these calls were involving children. Another study shows the link between energy drinks and cardiac events among teens. This study recommends that teens consume no more than one 250 ml energy drink per day and not before or during sports or exercise. A 2016 study showed that 18-40-year-olds who drank energy drinks had a significant increase in their QTc interval, which is a marker of abnormal heart rhythm risk. Abstract.

But in the United States, where the consumption of energy drinks has been linked to multiple deaths, there remains little regulation of the products.

The drinks first hit the market as “dietary supplements” under the Food and Drug Administration, a classification that allowed makers to sell the products without revealing the ingredients — generally exceedingly high levels of caffeine and sugar, with additives like taurine, guarana, or ginseng.

Since entering the U.S. market in the late 1990s, they’ve exploded in America, yielding $25 billion in sales in 2016 alone. One of the fastest-growing beverage markets, experts now say the energy-drink segment is projected to reach $84.8 billion by 2025.

Red Bull, the first energy drink in the U.S., dominates the market, followed by Monster, and then smaller brands like Rockstar and Nos. With brightly colored ads and labels, the companies have been criticized for gearing their marketing to kids. Although the companies deny targeting youth, a 2014 study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that teenagers watched 30 percent more Red Bull and five-hour-energy ads than adults.

As the drinks began to take off in America, the negative health effects in the demographic guzzling them — namely, kids — began to skyrocket. As early as 2005, a toxicologist tracked 4,500 caffeine-related calls to poison control, half of them for people under the age of 19.

According to “The Caffeine Informer”, here are the Top 14 Dangers of Energy Drinks:

Cardiac Arrest
Headaches and Migraines
Insomnia
Drug Interaction
Addiction
Risky behavior
Jitters and Nervousness
Vomiting
Allergic Reactions
High Blood Pressure
Niacin Overdose
Stress Hormone Release

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a clinical report warning pediatricians that energy drinks were “never appropriate” for kids, pointing to “harmful effects” on the “developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems” in children and adolescents who consume high levels of caffeine.

In 2013, it looked as though the days of unregulated energy drink use among kids might be numbered. In “The Use of Caffeine in Energy Drinks,” 18 doctors, researchers, and public health experts from across the United States called on then-FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to put pressure on Red Bull, Monster, and others to label their products and require that they provide evidence that the drinks are safe for kids.

Instead, as reported by the New York Times that year, the companies simply changed the classification of their products from dietary products to beverages. The change included a concession by energy-drink makers — in that beverages must include the caffeine count — but offered a bigger reward for them: Because their products were now considered drinks, they would not have to disclose potential injury or death related to their consumption.

The following year, the World Health Organization released a study stating that “increased consumption of energy drinks may pose danger to public health, especially among young people.” The authors suggested that countries regulate the levels of caffeine in the drinks, as well as create rules against young people buying them. “There is a proven potential negative effect on children [and] there is the potential for a significant public health problem in the future,” the authors concluded.

Since then, despite increasingly troubling reports, little has been done to curb the use of them in this demographic. Today, kids of all ages have free rein to consume drinks with sky-high levels of caffeine, with just one having the equivalent of 15 sodas. The effects, in some cases, still prove deadly. Education is vital towards protecting the health of your children and you!

News of the Weird

I just read an article I saw came across as a feed in BuzzFeed titled, “27 Pillboxes and organizers that will make your life so much easier.”drugs

As I skimmed the article and read the comments below it, I was saddened by several thoughts. One is the realization that this article may be read by millions of people who take multiple medications every day. Two is that I began thinking of the opiod epidemic sweeping our country, and how for so many people, this is their reality. Just last week, I read an article that drug manufacturers over the last decade shipped over 20 million pain pills to two pharmacies in a town in West Virginia of just under 3000 people. That’s over 6,666 pills per person. Now I understand the need for new and larger pill boxes.

Bear with me as a I share some of the normalization of our country’s drug crisis. One of the cases comes with inspirational sayings, such as “everything’s going to be OK.” Actually everything’s NOT going to be OK!  According to the CCHR, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 65 high profile cases of mass shootings/murder have been committed by individuals under the influence of these drugs, including the recent Las Vegas mass shootings, the worst mass shooting in US history.

Another pill box says in large letters, “Arsenic – Poison”, with a skull and crossbones. I believe the thinking is that you do not want someone to take your drugs, so the sign implies “keep out!”. Once again, I do not really get the humor intended.

Lastly, there is the essential “Smiling Cat Face” pillbox, just to keep things light. The reality is the overdosing of Americans is a serious matter. According the the National Institute of Health, accidental overprescription drug deaths and incorrect prescription medication deaths are now the THIRD leading cause of death in this country, after heart disease and cancer. Almost a million people a year are dying unnecessarily.

What are your options? For starters, know that you have the power to heal from the inside out. You were created with an inborn intelligence that is working 24/7 to help every muscle, organ, system, tissue and cell properly communicate with your brain. Stresses, which are comprised of physical, emotional, and chemical, will prevent your body from optimally communicating with your brain, which happens trillions of times every second of your life. Medications are a chemical stress which make it harder for your inborn intelligence to work the best it can. Why create blockages in your Nervous System pathway which makes it harder for your to function and heal optimally? Chiropractic is the worlds’ largest DRUGLESS profession.

Why spend your hard earned money on something so unneccessary as pillbox with cute sayings or a cat face? As you’re now regaining your health the natural way, why not spend your money on a new pair of hiking boots or a new bike helmet? Now that’s a great investment! If someone you know and care about is heading down a path of dependency on drugs and medication, please show them that you care about them and tell them about healthier ways to improve their health and life.

 

Will you be Part of this Epidemic?

If you’ve been following the recent news stories and research, you know that Opioid use is becoming more and more rampant.

Here are some facts:drugs

1 The US consumes more than 80% of the global Opioid pill production even though it has less than 5% of the world’s population.

2 In 2015, almost 40% of Americans were using prescription painkillers. 1

3 100 million people are estimated to suffer from chronic pain in the US. 2

4 Nearly ½ of all US Opiod overdose deaths are due to prescription opiods. 3

Why are Opiates addictive?

Opiates can be found in several widely-used drugs including: heroin, morphine, codeine and hydrocodone. Opiates create artificial endorphins in the brain -which produce in the early stages of use warm, good feelings in the user. But over time, opiates trick the brain into stopping the production of these endorphins naturally. At this point, the only way an opiate addict can experience positive feelings is by using the drug in question. This process is the reason why opiates are so addictive.

Why has Opiate addiction increased drastically in the last 10 years?

Here’s the generally accepted theory-

Starting in the late 1990s, a handful of pharmaceutical corporations promoted prescription opiates as the solution to America’s physical pain. Large numbers of people then started to take these drugs — and because Oxycontin and Percocet and the rest have such powerful chemical hooks, many found themselves addicted. Doctors in many parts of the world — including Canada and some European countries — prescribe more powerful opiates than their peers in the United States. If what we’ve been told is right, they should become addicted in huge numbers. But this doesn’t occur. The Canadian physician Gabor Maté argues in his book “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” that studies examining the medicinal use of narcotics for pain relief find no significant risk of addiction.4

Here’s a second theory that makes more sense to me –

Opiate use is climbing because people feel more distressed and disconnected, and are turning to anesthetics to cope with their psychological pain.

Addiction rates are not spread evenly across the United States, as you would expect if chemical hooks were the primary cause. On the contrary, addiction is soaring in areas such as the Rust Belt, the South Bronx and the forgotten towns of New England, where people there say they are lonelier and more insecure than they have been in living memory.

So if you agree with the second theory, opiate use is increasing because people feel more distressed and disconnected.

Wow! If this is the case, and you are faced with the choice of becoming more distressed and disconnected and becoming addicted to opiates OR choosing to become MORE connected and less distressed, which would you choose?

If your answer is #2, then please, if you know someone who is distressed and disconnected from an inability to adapt to their accumulated physical, chemical and emotional stress, let them know they have healthier options! You could very well help save the life of someone you know and care for.

Thanks for taking a major step towards becoming more connected and less distressed about your health and life.

1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Results From the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed

2 Tables. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.pdf. Published September 2016. Accesssed March 27, 2017.

3 Opioid Data Analysis. Opioid Overdose. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/analysis.html. Accessed March 27, 2017.

4 http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-hari-prescription-drug-crisis-cause-20170112-story.html

Grass or Weeds?

Sunday, I finished up a job I started a few weeks ago, pulling the weeds from my front lawn. My lawn is filled with Bindweed, which you probably have seen on your lawn or other lawns. It is a viny weed with small white Morning Glory flowers, and it spreads everywhere.weeds

As I continued to pull the Bindweed up, I was amazed at how much of my lawn was covered in it. After an hour or so of pulling it out, I noticed a few differences:

  1. There was no more Bindweed in my front yard.
  2. My grass, which was green to the eye before, was now browning.

Why was that?

Probably because the weeds were killing the life from my grass, and also because the seemingly green color of my lawn was actually WEEDS!

Fortunately, after a nice watering, the green color came back to my grass, but this exercise got me thinking.

The Bindweed was choking off the life to my grass. As a result, my grass was losing its color and turning brown.

However, I was not able to perceive the deterioration of the HEALTH of my grass until I REMOVED the force that was choking off the life, the Bindweed.

Once I removed the interference, and added some water, the LIFE and HEALTH of my lawn began to return.

Does this sound familiar?

How about, the continued physical, emotional, and chemical stress that you experience over the course of your life (Bindweed), begins to choke off the life within you (Brown Grass).

When the interference or subluxation is removed (Bindweed), you begin to heal better and function better physically, emotionally, and psychologically (Green Grass)

Said a different way, have you ever taken notice that something does not seem right with your health or your life, and then you notice it more and more, and wonder, “When did this start? I don’t remember when it started but now it’s happening all the time and I am concerned about it. Same with my grass. I did not notice the Bindweed until it became more prevalent in my lawn and I saw all the white flowers, and then when I removed it all I saw how it had affected the health of my lawn.

Moral of the story:

Don’t wait until the Bindweed takes over the health of your lawn.

Don’t wait until symptoms, illness, and disease take over YOUR health and life.

Your health is your MOST important asset. Remove the interference to health, and let your body function and heal itself better than it could before.

Please feel free to share with those you know whose life has become filled with Bindweed.

Steve Kerr says, “Stay away from Back Surgery”

Yes, I am a sports junkie, and there is much to gleam from the world of sports. If you do not follow pro basketball, the Golden State Warriors were crowned NBA Champions Monday night, but head coach Steve Kerr is not in a celebrating mood, and it’s because of his back and what’s followed since the back surgery that he got back in the summer of 2015.steve kerr

Here’s the problem that Kerr has been dealing with since his first back surgery: leaking cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Your brain and connected spinal cord are pretty sensitive. Therefore, the brain and spinal cord sit in a “balloon” filled with clear fluid, called CSF, that cushions and protects these vital structures. This CSF bath helps ward off nasty microbes too. Normally the “balloon” membrane keeps the CSF from leaking out, but if this membrane is punctured, during an accident or surgery for example, then the CSF is no longer contained.

CSF leaks are not pretty and can cause all kinds of problems. This is because the leaks change the pressure in the “balloon” so that the brain and spinal cord are no longer cushioned quite the same way. Messing with the brain and spinal cord can literally mess you up, but you know that, that’s why you’re here! Common problems are headaches, nausea, vomiting, neck or shoulder pain and stiffness, and balance problems. Such leaks can affect your senses, impairing your hearing and sense of smell or making you extra-sensitive to light and sound. You can have strange tastes in your mouth or ringing in your ears. The CSF can make its way into your nose, ear, sinuses or other parts of your body. The symptoms can be debilitating and obviously prevented him from coaching effectively and enjoying his amazing life, coaching the best team in professional basketball.

The problems started around when the Warriors won the NBA championship in June 2015. He had suffered a ruptured disk in his back and then underwent surgery. After the surgery, he began experiencing CSF leaks, which led to another surgery later that year. The second surgery did not successfully correct the problem. Since then, Kerr has gone through a wide range of attempts to ease his symptoms, ranging from different medical treatments to yoga to meditation to marijuana.

To date, nothing has really worked. After the first surgery, Kerr started suffering from a leak of cerebrospinal fluid. Since then, Kerr has been going back and forth among different health specialists (including a second surgery later in 2015), trying to deal with the leaking cerebrospinal fluid that has occurred since his first back surgery. Although CSF leakages can occur spontaneously, based on reports, the timing did seem to coincide with the first surgery. In fact, Kerr told the Washington Post, “I can tell you if you’re listening out there, stay away from back surgery. I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab. Don’t let anyone get in there.”

If all you Have is a Hammer, Everything is a Nail

Although this has historically been the rallying cry for chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and more, now the American College of Physicians is joining the ranks. In new guidelines published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, on Monday, February 13, 2017, they stated, “Opiods – one of the most commonly prescribed medications for pain relief and a source of increasing addiction and death – should only be considered for chronic back pain when other alternatives – natural and prescription – don’t work.

Even acetaminophen, which includes the brand name Tylenol, is no longer recommended for acute lower back pain relief, due to a 2014 study in the journal The Lancet that showed it was no more effective than placebo. 1drug addiction

Would you believe lower back pain is the most common reason non-cancer patients are prescribed opiods? Experts believe it is a common gateway to opiod addiction as well as transitioning to heroin! This is the conclusion of Steven Atlas, director of practice-based research at Massachusetts General Hospital, who authored an editorial accompanying the American College of Physicians guidelines. 2

Let’s see…You have a couple of options for lower back pain. One, you can start on a prescription of opiods, which have been proven to be a gateway to opiod addiction, leading to heroin, or you can use a safe and effective method such as chiropractic to find the cause of what’s causing your body to malfunction. Seems like a no brainer to me. I wonder why the American College of Physicians has taken so long to come to the conclusion that opiods are not the logical step towards correcting back pain. It’s not recent news that opiod use or even prolonged acetaminophen use is damaging to your health. I always come back to the theory that if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything else is a nail. Meaning, if a patient presents with a pain, (nail) you need to hit it with a hammer (drugs, surgery).

Everything is not a nail. A headache is not neck pain, which is not difficulty sleeping, which is not lower back pain, which is not anxiety, you get my point. You are very smart. Your body is very smart. It has an inborn intelligence, that helps guide you through good health and poor health. Symptoms are the way your smart body tells you something is not right and needs to be changed. Symptoms are not the way your body tells you it wants to become an opiod or heroin addict!

Listen to your innate intelligence. You are not a nail. You do not need a hammer. Maybe you are a screw or an eye hook. Hammers cannot solve every problem. If you or your friends and family have not found the right tool to solve your problem, give me a call!

1 http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2463257

2 Wall Street Journal Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Life and Arts section

Fear or What?

Do you have your “go to” guy or gal, where you go to get knowledge, perspective, and motivation? I’ve had many mentor types in the past, and my current guru is Tim Ferriss. If you have not heard of Tim, he is the author of “4- Hour Workweek”, “4-Hour Chef”, and 4-Hour Body”. I am currently reading his latest, “Tools of Titans”.  I also subscribe to his weekly Podcasts. He interviews the latest and greatest in the fields of technology, health, wealth, and life. You should check him out.fear-love

In one of his recent Podcasts, he reviewed some of the major impacts on his life in 2016. One of them was a series on Oprah. I’ve done the backtracking to spare you the details, but the core of the message was a guest offering the idea that there are only two emotions, love and fear. If you have studied psychology, Paul Ekman identified six basic emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) and Robert Plutchik eight, which he grouped into four pairs of polar opposites (joy-sadness, anger-fear, trust-distrust, surprise-anticipation).

Here is the quote I dug up from Elisabeth Kübler-Ross:

“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It’s true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it’s more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They’re opposites. If we’re in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we’re in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.”

For the last few weeks, I have been playing with the concept of living with only two emotions. If I am not in love, then I am in fear. It really does not matter if fear takes the form of anger, anxiety, or hate. If it all comes from the true emotion of fear, then I am better off living from a place of love. Who wants to be in a place of fear? When I come from a place of love, I may feel happiness, peace, or joy, but for me, let’s cut to the chase. Life is much simpler when I have a choice of two. Tonight, I took my daughter to dinner, her choice was Smashburger or Chipotle. Keep it simple.

How would your life be different, easier, and clearer if there were only two choices for every emotion you experience? Could you live your life complete by choosing between love and fear? I know it seems easy as an impulsive response, but when you look at the extended menu, it may be easier to say I’m angry or disgusted. There’s a lot of juice in that when you are in that state, and there may be lots of power if you stay in that space. However, if you trade the anger or disgust for fear that may put you in a less empowering position. It can be a raw feeling to either be in fear or love, but there’s a lot of excitement in experiencing that shift.

What do you say? Give it some thought, give it some practical experience, and let me know what you think. I’m interested in hearing your experience.