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!

Why Shoulder that Burden?

Shoulder pain is common. If fact, it’s highly likely that many of you reading this currently have or have had a shoulder injury, as studies suggest that about 90% of us will tear our rotator cuff, labrum, and/or capsule at some point in time during our lives. So why is this so common? More importantly, what can be done about this?

The reason for the high prevalence of shoulder pain is due to the anatomy of the shoulder. The shallow “socket” allows for the shoulder’s great range of motion, but with this excellent mobility comes a decrease in stability, as a joint can’t be BOTH stable AND highly mobile. 
So from a prevention standpoint, consider the following: 1) Don’t reach into the back seat to lift your heavy briefcase or purse to the front seat. 2) Take “mini-breaks” when working overhead. 3) Follow an exercise program that maintains strength in your shoulders. 4) Get help when you know the task you’re about to attempt is going to be a challenge. This list could go on and on but the last point is crucial: don’t feel insecure about asking for help with difficult tasks! As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
An important goal regarding recovery from a shoulder injury involves restoring the joint space between the ball and socket joint and the “roof” of the shoulder or acromion process (or “acromiohumeral distance”, or AHD). A shoulder impingement injury typically occurs when this space is reduced, resulting in a tighter fit that pinches pain-sensitive structures when one attempts to raise their arm up over their head.
To reduce impingement, try the popular “pendular exercise” by holding a 5-15 lbs (2.26-6.80 kg) weight so that the arm swings loosely like the pendulum of a clock. The weight pulls the shoulder joint open, reducing impingement. Another exercise is gripping the seat of a chair while leaning to the opposite side (focus on relaxing the shoulder while leaning) to open or separate the joint. If these exercises are not helping, the problem could run deeper. If you or someone you know experiences chronic shoulder pain, suggest they schedule a chiropractic assessment, to see if chiropractic care can help correct the problems.

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

How Good of a Manager are You?

Whether it is down to work pressure, money worries or relationship troubles, most of us experience stress at some point in our lives. In fact, around 75% of people report experiencing moderate to high levels of stress over the past month. It is well known that stress can cause sleep problems, headache and raise the risk of depression. Here are some important ways in which stress can affect your health.

It is our response to this fight-or-flight response that determines our ability to successfully adapt, and thus, our ability to be healthy.stress free

“Stress is caused by the loss or threat of loss of the personal, social and material resources that are primary to us. So, threat to self, threat to self-esteem, threat to income, threat to employment and threat to our family or our health,” Stevan Hobfoll, PhD, the Judd and Marjorie Weinberg presidential professor and chair at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, and member of the American Psychological Association (APA), told Medical News Today.

Stress levels ‘too high’ in Americans

An annual survey by the APA, completed by 3,068 adults in the US during August 2014, revealed that the primary cause of stress among Americans is money, with 72% of respondents reporting feeling stressed about finances at some point over the past month. Of these, 22% said they had felt “extreme stress” in the past month as a result of money worries.

The second most common cause of stress among Americans was found to be work, followed by the economy, family responsibilities and personal health concerns.

On a positive note, average stress levels among Americans have decreased since 2007. On a 10-point scale, respondents rated their stress levels as 4.9, compared with 6.2 in 2007. However, the APA say such levels remain significantly higher than the 3.7 stress rating we consider to be healthy.

I know that when I ask new patients about their recent stress levels, a typical rating is anywhere from 6-10 with 10 being the worst, so if 3.7 is considered healthy, you need to develop the strategies to be able to ADAPT more successfully, as opposed to having less stress.

“[Last] year’s survey continues to reinforce the idea that we are living with a level of stress that we consider too high,” says Norman B. Anderson, CEO and executive vice president of the APA.

The surprising health implications of stress

“Stress is significantly associated with virtually all the major areas of disease,” Prof. Hobfoll told MNT. “Stress is seldom the root cause of disease, but rather interacts with our genetics and our state of our bodies in ways that accelerate disease.”

Some of the more well-known implications of stress that you may have experienced include sleep deprivation, headaches, anxiety and depression. But increasingly, researchers are uncovering more and more ways in which stress can harm our health. 

Heart health

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), stress can influence behaviors that have negative implications for heart health.Heart attack

One study found stress could increase heart attack risk by 23%.

Have you ever arrived home after a stressful day at work and reached for that bottle of wine? Many people have.

In January 2015, MNT reported on a study that found working long hours was associated with risky alcohol use, which the study researchers say is partly down to the belief that “alcohol use alleviates stress that is caused by work pressure and working conditions.”

Diabetes

You may be surprised to learn that stress has been associated with increased risk of diabetes. In January last year, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women with symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – a condition triggered by very distressing events – were more likely to develop diabetes than those without PTSD.

Periods of stress increase production of the hormone cortisol, which can increase the amount of glucose in the blood – a potential explanation for why stress has been linked to higher risk of diabetes.

For people who already have diabetes, stress can lead to poorer management of the condition. As well as interfering with stress hormones and increasing blood glucose levels, the American Diabetes Association note that stressed patients with diabetes may be less likely to take care of themselves.

“They may drink more alcohol or exercise less. They may forget, or not have time, to check their glucose levels or plan good meals,” states the organization.

Alzheimer’s disease

While the exact causes of the condition are unclear, past studies have suggested that stress may contribute to its development.
A study found that for seniors with mild cognitive impairment, anxiety could speed up progression toward Alzheimer’s.

In March 2013, MNT reported on a study by researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, which found high levels of stress hormones in the brains of mice were associated with large amounts of beta amyloid plaques – proteins believed to play a role in Alzheimer’s.

Fertility

Approximately 1 in 8 couples in the US have problems getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. Increasingly, researchers are suggesting stress may be a contributing factor.

In May 2014, a study published in the journal Fertility and Sterility that found stress in men can lead to reduced sperm and semen quality, which may negatively affect fertility.

How can you protect against stress-induced health problems?

Self talk, meditation, therapy, exercise, diet improvements are all great ways to protect against stress induced health problems. My recommendation?

Get yourself under Network Care stat! Or if you are currently under care, make a commitment to continue improving your health. Research regarding atients under Network Care have shown over time the ability to have:

  • A greater ability to adapt to stress
  • Better ability to recover
  • Easier to implement diet and exercise programs
  • More eager to meditate

Doesn’t it make sense that the more you can affect your master control system, your Nervous System, the healthier you can be, and safeguard to the best of your ability, the BEST ways to adapt to STRESS.

 

When a Herniated Disc is not a Herniated Disc

Physicians, neurosurgeons, and orthopedics alike have for years provided the recommended treatment for a herniated disc – Surgery. By the way, there’s no way I could have become a neurosurgeon – I can’t even look at pictures like this!surgery

Recently, I came across an article from my friend, Dr. Danny Knowles, on research being done on Disc Regeneration, rather than Degeneration. The study, which was completed by Ming Zhong, MD, among others, published in Pain Physician, January 2017, found that lumbar disc herniation (LDH), a common disease, treated conservatively, frequently results in spontaneous resorption of the herniated disc.  Their results represent the pooled results from 11 cohort studies. The overall incidence of spontaneous resorption after LDH was 66.66%. That means over 66% of Lumbar disc herniated resolved on its own, using conservative methods.

Just think of how many people choose more aggressive methods to remedy Disc Herniations. A quick check of surgical methods for lower back disc herniations revealed over six different types of surgical procedures. I have seen over the years how my patients with herniated discs respond favorably to non invasive chiropractic care. Once again, chiropractic care does not “fix” a herniated disc, any more than chiropractic “fixes” headaches, neck pain, sleeping problems or anxiety.

However, if your Nervous System, THE most important part of you, the part of you that controls and coordinates EVERY function in your body, is not functioning at its optimal level, thereby creating subluxations that affect your body’s ability to heal itself, then you will have a more difficult time healing from a problem such as a disc herniation. The better your Nervous System functions, the better your opportunity to heal.

Surgery certainly has its place in the medical world. The question that needs to be asked is, what are you giving up in the long term for a questionable short term gain? Keeping your NeuroSpinal system healthy helps you experience more of what you want in your life: freedom, joy, movement, increased function, and greater adaptability. If someone you know and care for is experiencing disc herniations or health challenges in general, please let them know they have choices. While you are doing that, please pass my name along so they can make a better educated choice on the options they have.

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