Incontinence Hotline, Can you hold please?

Many of you have seen the signs in the office mentioning, "natural in-fertility treatments as well as women's pelvic health, coming soon!".  Well, it is here!  I have recently completed a 20 hour course in gynovisceral manipulation (pelvic organ manipulation).  This blog post will be more for women who are not looking for fertility help but more pelvic help, specifically incontinence. 

Urinary incontinence: is the involuntary leakage of urine.  In simple terms a person urinates when they do not want to!

This can be caused from many things but the most common is giving birth to 1 or more children.  I know many of you reading this are shaking your head in agreement!  An estimated 30% of women between the ages of 30-60 are thought to suffer from it. 

Additional causes: Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause (due to decrease in estrogen causing muscles to become weaker), a hysterectomy, age and obesity.

In my experience this seems to be way more common than an estimated 30%.  Many of you know I do crossfit.  I can't tell you how many times I have heard my fellow crossfit ladies say they have urinated on themselves during a workout, especially when it involves jumping rope!  I can't forget all the other times we are waiting on those same women as they run to the bathroom right before the count down starts to start the workout. 

I know many of you have sneezed, coughed or even laughed while reading this blog and experienced exactly what we are discussing!  It is okay!  Nothing to be ashamed of! With that being said, incontinence is not normal and it can be treated with a non-invasive approach!   

The treatment will take about 60 minutes and it is all external (meaning I will not be invading your private space like your gynecologist does every year!).  The amount of treatments will depend on how your body heals and reacts.  You may only need 1 session or you may need 6!  I recommend scheduling at least 2 sessions no more than a week apart to start with.  After the first treatment we will have a better idea of how your body will tolerate the treatments.  I know many of you will ask, this is a non-covered service.  What does that mean?  It means your health insurance does not cover it and we will not bill it to you insurance.  For additional information on pricing and or scheduling, give us a call!  I look forward to helping you be more confident in your bladder control!

In-fertility blog will be coming soon!  We are currently scheduling consultations and treatment for both!

 

 

The Many Benefits of Magnesium Oil

If you have been into the office recently then you’ve probably noticed that Dr. Iman has started selling her homemade magnesium oil (for only $10!!). Could you be benefitting from adding magnesium oil into your daily life? Magnesium has countless uses and benefits that many people are unware of. If you suffer from reduced energy, muscle pain/tension, arthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, migraines, menopause/PMS or hypertension…just to name a few, then the addition of magnesium oil could be beneficial for you!  

Compared to an oral magnesium supplement, magnesium oil is applied transdermally. It bypasses the digestive system and goes directly to the cells that need it via the bloodstream. This approach results in a much more rapid and effective solution to increasing magnesium levels. A book titled, Transdermal Magnesium Therapy by Mark Sircus, OMD, explains in-depth the mechanism of magnesium and its numerous health benefits.  

Magnesium works in multiple ways to relieve pain in the body. First, transdermal magnesium therapy increases the amount of magnesium located between the cell membranes and extracellular fluid. This leads to the blockage of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor site which prevents central sensitization of the spinal cord, hence relief from pain. On the other hand, magnesium does not only block the pain, but also helps in reducing the causes of the pain in the first place. These causes include: inflammation, cell wall rigidity, lack of ATP/energy, or lack of enzymes. Magnesium is known to proactively reduce all of these pain causing issues.  

Magnesium also allows for reduced muscle tightness and spasms, along with an increased stress response which helps to ease the incidence of insomnia and allow better sleep. Improved stress response can be attributed to magnesium oil's natural ability to increase DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), also known as the youth hormone. According to MagnesiumOil.com, low levels of DHEA are associated with the development of major health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, infections, and degenerative diseases. 

For more information on other uses of magnesium oil please reference the links at the bottom of this blog! Here is a list of some additional benefits of magnesium oil that weren't covered in this blog post, but are definitely worth mentioning: 

 

  • Increases energy by greater production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) in cells 

  • Relaxes muscles/Reduces muscle tension 

  • Boosts vitality, endurance and strength 

  • Improves cardiovascular/Heart health (relaxes cardiac muscle) 

  • Relieves pain, including chronic pain 

  • Ideal for arthritis/fibromyalgia/joint pain 

  • Improves health of skin and mucous membranes 

  • Eases headaches and migraine headaches 

  • In sports medicine—replenishes magnesium levels for energy (combats fatigue and soothes pain and sore muscles) 

  • Total body tonic—revitalizes and rejuvenates body (provides rapidly absorbed magnesium to restore levels needed for optimal cell and physiology and function) 

  • Improves mood and reduces stress 

  • Increase memory and cognitive functions 

  • Boost immune system 

  • Improve assimilation of calcium/builds stronger bones  

  • Balances calcium and magnesium levels in cells  

  • Proven antimicrobial and antiseptic 

  • Raises DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) levels naturally 

  • Eases menopause and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) 

  • Supports healthy libido (and endocrine system) 

  • Anti-aging, rejuvenating, revitalizing 

  • Keeps cell membranes flexible  

  • Controls cholesterol production and prevents overproduction of cholesterol in the body  

  • Regulates blood sugar levels—needed for insulin production, transport and function in cells  

  • Supports antioxidant systems 

https://www.activationproducts.com/blog/top-10-benefits-of-magnesium/ 

https://www.activationproducts.com/blog/magnesium-spray-works-better-than-oral-supplements-experts-say/  

http://www.integratedhealth.com/hpdspec/magnesium-oil.html#many 

http://www.magnesiumoil.com/magnesium-health/sleep 

Nutrition and Fertility

Nutrition is often seen as something that expecting mothers emphasize most after conception, but it is just as important prior to conception! If a women is deficient in nutrients prior to conception then the baby could be at risk for less than optimal health. Ideally, one should begin their fertility diet six months prior to conception. The fertility diet is nutrient-dense and has certain do’s and don’t’s that you will want to follow as strictly as possible to optimize your results. This diet can help to regulate your cycle and allow mothers to become pregnant naturally.

What to Eat:

  • Raw, pastured dairy

  • Whole eggs, egg yolks (pastured)

  • Pastured meats with fat

  • Healthy fats: coconut oil, butter, tallow, lard

  • Leafy greens

  • Fruits and vegetables (preferably organic)

  • Properly prepared whole grains

  • Fermented foods

  • Water or pregnancy tea

What NOT to Eat:

  • Artificial sweetners

  • Preservatives

  • MSG

  • Vegetable oils, margarine

  • Canned/processed foods

  • Propylene glycol

Changes to diet can help to treat anovulation and other ovulatory disorders and help to regulate PCOS. If you’re having issues conceiving then making changes to your diet could be the answer. The food you eat today can impact the health of your egg 90 days from now, so feeding your body correctly is crucial!

Written by Jennifer Scanlon, student intern.

If you are struggling with infertility and you have not changed your diet then you need to start here!!  Dr. Iman will be taking appointments for infertility consultations and treatments starting summer/fall 2017.  Feel free to reach out now with concerns you may have.  Lets work together to prepare your body to conceive naturally!

Breastfeeding and Chiropractic Care

It is common knowledge that breastfeeding a child has a number of benefits not only for the baby, but for the mother as well. Unfortunately, a lot of women experience difficulty breastfeeding and in turn get frustrated and soon after abandon breastfeeding altogether. What a lot of people don’t know is that a chiropractor can solve these issues and get these women back on the right track.

During delivery trauma occurs which can cause limited movement of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and other biomechanical injuries to the spine and cranium. These injuries can lead to tight muscles and reduced mobility in the child’s joints. The inability to open their mouth wide enough to encompass the entire nipple can default in compensating motions which can inflict pain to the mother. Frustration with poor latching and painful attempts can lead to the mother giving up on breastfeeding.

Bringing your child to a chiropractor after birth for adjustments and soft tissue work will allow these injuries and tight muscles caused by delivery to be relieved and the newborn will be able to create a successful breastfeeding relationship with the mother. It is shown that after chiropractic care an infant’s ability to latch and suckle efficiently is improved, as well as pain and injury to the mother during breastfeeding is reduced significantly. Most of these injuries can go undetected by hospital personnel and lactation specialists, but a chiropractor is well informed of the trauma caused by delivery and can make your breastfeeding experience much more pleasant.

Written by Jennifer Scanlon, our student intern!

If you are local to our practice I would love to help with your breastfeeding needs!  If you are not local you can visit www.icpa4kids.org to find a pediatric chiropractor near you!  If chiropractic care for your new born scares you, please rest assured, it is extremely gentle!  Many of my newborn patients sleep through the entire spinal evaluation and adjustment.

If after evaluation and treatment of your newborn, you are still having some issues we would be happy to get you in contact with Thrive Birth Services of Delmarva, Stephanie Amsel.  Steph is their lactation consultant and she is absolutely amazing!  She is full of knowledge and I have no doubt with the combination of chiropractic care and help from Steph, your breastfeeding struggles will be resolved and you can enjoy the bond a mother and baby have while breastfeeding.

 

 

Dry Needling

What is Dry Needling you ask! No, it is not acupuncture or in anyway like it other than the needles we use.  The technique of dry needling uses small sterile acupuncture needles that are placed directly into trigger points otherwise known as knots in your muscles!

Definition

Direct quote from Dr. David Fishkin. the man that introduced me to this technique and taught me how to safely perform dry needling on my patients.

"Myofascial trigger point dry needling (MFTrPDN) is a treatment to restore proper function to abnormally behaving muscles. Nodules, or knots, and tight bands that develop in the muscle create localized pain or send pain signals to other locations. The affected muscles become locked and cannot function normally, which restricts movement and causes chronic pain.

Nodules develop from overuse, trauma, poor posture, lack of exercise, sleep disturbances, vitamin deficiencies, joint arthritis or nerves compressed at the spine and other locations. These painful areas contain biochemicals that cause pain to the local nerves and decreased oxygen flow, or ischemia, which causes the muscle fibers to lock.

Of the many treatment methods applied to painful muscles, none are quite as effective – fast acting and long lasting – as MFTrPDN. It short-circuits the vicious pain cycle in a very direct way that other methods cannot accomplish. The muscle contracture releases to its normal length, circulation is improved, swelling receded and the pain-causing biochemicals disperse, eliminating their noxious effect on local nerves.

Dry needling utilizes sterile, thin monofilament needles, and relief is often rapid with a reduction in pain and improved function."

Who Benefits

I have used dry needling for a variety of conditions and symptoms.  I have found that migraine patients see great improvement and often complete resolution after dry needling and adjustments.  Athletes, of all variety from swimmers to crossfitters, powerlifters, golfers and so on experience great results with not only pain but range of motion and flexibility after a few sessions of dry needling.  Once a soon to be mom has reached full term during her pregnancy, dry needling can bring a great deal of relief to their low back discomfort.  This is just a short list of examples of the benefits of dry needling and who can benefit from the procedure.

What To Expect

You will be positioned in a comfortable position on the chiropractic table with the area being treated exposed only.  The area will then be wiped down with alcohol.  As stated early, the needles used are individually wrapped in sterile ackages.  Each needle is in its own separate clear plastic tube.  The needles will be inserted one at a time.  During the process you MAY feel a burning sensation or an achiness with possible radiating but in general the technique is very tolerable.  Once a few needles have been placed in position the general feedback is usually "This isn't as bad as I thought!"  The needles stay in 5-10 minutes before they are removed.  Each patient is given literature with all the possible and common symptoms that could come up and instructions for after care.  Drinking water is key to removing the toxins, that were released with the break down of the trigger points. from the system to prevent any soreness after!   

Most insurance companies cover the procedure!

 

Sunblocks and Sunscreens, Helpful or Harmful

In 1938, chemist Franz Greiter developed the first sunscreen, and in 1944 airman Benjamin Greene, who later became a pharmacist, developed his own version to protect soldiers fighting in the South Pacific from sunburn. Since then it’s been considered a necessity for anyone going out in the sun for any length of time. But is this really a necessity or is it doing more harm than good?

The History of Sunscreen

Franz Greiter developed the first sunscreen, Gletscher Crème, after allegedly getting sunburned, and then created the company Piz Buin, which is still a well-known marketer of suncreen products. However, Benjamin Greene’s product, Red Vet Pet was more widely used. Short for Red Veterinary Petrolatum, Red Vet Pet was similar to petroleum jelly in consistency, red in color and hardly effective.

The concept of the “Sun Protection Factor” or “SPF” originally credited to Franz Greiter, supposedly helped determine which sunblock or sunscreen would be best for use based on the measurement of effectiveness when applied at an even rate of 2 milligrams per square centimeter of skin. Controversy still exists over the accuracy of this rating system and whether or not the rate of application truly represents the actual use.

With the more widespread use of sunscreens came the development of water proof or sweat proof products and eventually the claim that sunblocks and sun-screens are the ultimate protection against most forms of skin cancer.

Chemical Dangers

Created to block out the UV-B ray or ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, sunscreens were originally designed solely to protect the skin from being burned utilizing different chemicals.

These chemicals include Oxybenzone, Methyl anthranilate, Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide among others. Chemicals approved for use within the European Union and other parts of the world that have not been tested include but are not limited to: 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, Tinosorb M and S, Uvasorb HEB and Isopentenyl-4-methoxycinnamate.

Adverse health effects have been associated with some synthetic compounds in sunscreen, and in 2007 the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a concern regarding oxybenzone (benzophenone-3). There were two studies, the first of which “detected the chemicals in greater than 95% of the 2000 Americans tested,” and the second study revealed that mothers with high levels of oxybenzone were more likely to give birth to underweight baby girls.

The Problem

The original idea to block the UV-B rays that cause sunburn may have been a sound one but, as with most chemical options, it failed to take into account any possible consequences.

While sunscreens and sunblocks are protecting the skin from being burned by UV-B rays, they are not blocking UV-A rays which penetrate the skin more deeply and actually cause melanoma. Research has shown that even SPF 35 sunscreens, applied correctly and in the right amount, do not effectively block out harmful UV-A rays.

In other words, sunscreens and sunblocks can actually increase your risk of cancer. First, as was just stated, by blocking out some of the sun’s harmful rays but not all of them. Second, the sensation of being burned is stunted, typically resulting in a longer amount of sun exposure, which means more exposure to the harmful UV-A rays that cause melanoma. Finally, sunscreens and sunblocks do not allow the body to absorb the sun’s rays and produce Vitamin D.

Vitamin D and Sunshine

The most powerful and natural vitamin D is produced by the body when in direct sunlight, preferably the noonday sun for about 10-20 minutes a day or until the skin begins to turn a light pink. Despite the hype about the sun’s rays being dangerous and cancer-causing, the fact is that we cannot be healthy without regulated and regular doses of natural direct sunlight.

While vitamin D supplements do exist these tend to be a much weaker variant called D2. The most powerful vitamin D is D3 and it is this variant that is produced by the body, when in the sun, and has been found to be a natural cancer preventative.

In 2007, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin D cut the risk of several types of cancer by as much as 60% but it’s important to understand they were using a natural supplement of vitamin D3, which is available in stand-alone dietary supplements.

Additionally, a study published in the UK Times in 2009 reported that “mothers given ten times the usual dose of vitamin D during pregnancy had their risk of premature birth reduced by half and had fewer small babies,” as well as a 25% reduction in infections.

Of course, as with all vitamin supplements, it is best to purchase them from a reputable supplier and not over the counter at a department store or corner drug store. Not all vitamin D supplements are created equal and, as previously stated, your best and most natural source will be 10-20 minutes in the sun.

Sunlight Dangers

Understandably, it will be difficult to put aside 50 years of indoctrination. Having been told repeatedly that the sun’s rays cause cancer, sunburns will result in deadly melanoma and it’s child abuse to let your children play in the sun without sunscreen, the concept of throwing away the sunscreen can be a bit overwhelming. Yet, the facts are clear, the creators of sunblocks and sunscreens failed to consider the consequences of their actions.

In 2002, 50% of all cancers in the United States were skin cancers. That works out to about 1.1 million cases of diagnosed skin cancer in one year. Considering the prevalence of sunscreen propaganda for the last 50 years it’s safe to assume that most of those 1.1 million people were wearing sunblock or sunscreen so it’s equally safe to assume that sunscreen is not the ultimate protection against skin cancer.

Internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, Dr. William Grant, has stated that about 2,000-4,000 IU a day of vitamin D can help reduce cancer risk by up to 50%. He has also determined that up to 30% of all yearly cancer deaths could be prevented with higher levels of vitamin D. That equates to 2 million deaths worldwide and 200,000 in the U.S. alone.

Exposure Wisdom

Rather than slathering a toxic concoction of chemicals on your children, consider limiting sun exposure to spans of 10-20 minutes at a time. When limits cannot be set, be sure to wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing as lighter-colored fabrics will reflect the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them. Also, hats with a wide brim will protect both the face and the back of the neck.

When swimming, always have children wear a thin light-colored t-shirt over their swimsuits. This will protect their shoulders and chest from over-exposure to the sun, as these are the areas most likely to burn when in water. 

Symptoms of Spinal Misalignment

The human spine consist of 24 movable bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are connected and cushioned by intervertebral disc made of a special type of cartilage. Intervertebral disc provide spacing for the spinal nerves to exit between openings in the posterior joints of the spine. These openings are called intervertebral foramina. The disc along with the posterior joints of each vertebrae are responsible for the flexibility of the spine. Spinal misalignments called subluxations can cause changes in the function of the disc and posterior joints. These changes can alter the shape of the disc and the intervertebral foramina where the delicate spinal nerves exit. The result is irritation to the spinal nerves that send and receive information between the body and the brain. The areas listed below are directly or indirectly controlled by the spinal nerves and may cause malfunction represented by the following effects.

The Cervical spine consist of 7 vertebrae with spinal nerves traveling to the face, ears, eyes, tongue, sinuses, eustation tubes, vocal cords, pharynx, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, neck muscles and shoulders. Possible effects of malfunction are: headaches, nervousness, insomnia, colds, fatigue, allergies, sinus trouble, runny nose, earache, pain around eyes, acne, pimples, throat conditions, stiff neck and upper arm pain.

The Thoracic spine consist of 12 vertebrae with spinal nerves traveling to many of the internal organs, the arms, wrist and hands. Possible effects of malfunction are: asthma, cough, pain in lower arms and hands, allergies & heartburn. Conditions affecting the following organs: heart, lungs, gall bladder, liver, kidneys, pancreas, adrenals, small intestines and lymph system.

The Lumbar spine consist of 5 vertebrae with spinal nerves traveling to the abdomen, large intestines, appendix, sex organs, uterus, bladder, prostate gland, legs, ankles, feet and muscles of the lower back. Possible effects of malfunction are: constipation, colitis, diarrhea, cramps, painful or irregular periods, bed wetting, painful knees, backache, leg cramps, weakness in the legs.

The sacrum is the base where the spine rest, and is part of the pelvis. Pelvic mis-alignment can cause changes along the entire spine. Connected to the sacrum is the coccyx, commonly called the tailbone. The spinal cord is covered by a thin membrane that attaches to the coccyx. This membrane extends the entire length of the spinal cord and continues to cover the brain. Changes that occur during pregnancy or falls can alter the position of the coccyx, possibly changing the tension on this membrane. Ask your Doctor of Chiropractic about the symptoms listed and many other conditions that could be caused when there are spinal misalignments.

Chiropractic is based on the scientific fact that your body is a self-regulating, self-healing organism. These important functions are controlled by the brain, spinal cord, and all the nerves of the body. The skull protects the delicate tissues of the brain. The moving bones of the spine protect the vulnerable communication pathways of the spinal cord and nerve roots. If the nervous system is impaired, it can cause malfunction of the tissues and organs throughout the body. Doctors call this the Vertebral Subluxation Complex.

Chiropractors work by restoring your own inborn ability to be healthy. When under proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help remove interferences to your natural state of being healthy. A common interference to the nervous system is the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system. With improved spinal function there is often improved nervous function. A Doctor of Chiropractic can help remove interferences that may be impairing normal health. Since the primary focus of your care is improved nervous system function, chiropractic can have a positive effect on many health conditions not normally thought of as "back" problems.

Pediatric Prescriptions

With an increase in available diagnostics, and the number of medications available to treat every possible disease increasing exponentially, it shouldn’t be any surprise that the number of prescriptions being written for both adults and children have risen dramatically over the past several years.

A professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Tom Wells, encourages healthier diet and exercise before drugs. Obesity is the largest cause of high blood pressure, diabetes and many other conditions in children, but only about 10% of families will adhere to his diet and exercise recommendations.

So Young and So Many Pills

In December of 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported the latest findings by Medco Health Solutions Inc. which determined that roughly 1 in 4 children and 30% of adolescents between the ages of 10 and 19 are taking a medication for a chronic condition in the United States. Nearly 7% of those are on two or more such drugs according to the company’s research for 2009. Dr. Robert Epstein, chief medical officer at Medco, said that these results were “shocking” to the company.

It was determined that the total number of prescriptions or refills dispensed to children and teens were the following (from most to least): asthma drugs 45,388,000 (children 0-9 years 28,252,000, 10-19 years 17,136,000); ADHD drugs 24,357,000 (children 0-9 years 7,018,000, 10-19 years 17,339,000); antidepressants 9,614,000 (children 0-9 years 1,026,000, 10-19 years 8,588,000); antipsychotics 6,546,000 (children 0-9 years 1,396,000, 10-19 years 5,150,000); antihypertensives (a treatment for high blood pressure) 5,224,00 (children 0-9 years 1,819,000, 10-19 years 3,405,000); sleep aids 307,000 (children 0-9 years 14,000, 10-19 years 293,000); non-insulin diabetes 424,000 (children 0-9 years 30,000, children 10-19 years 394,000); statins (a treatment for high cholesterol) 94,000 (children 0-9 years 11,000, 10-19 years 83,000).

From statins to sleeping pills, it’s clear that many of the drugs that were once considered necessary for adults only are being prescribed to children. IMS Health, a research firm, provided The Wall Street Journal with figures that confirmed this fact. Researchers believe that this rise may be caused by doctors and parents becoming “more aware of drugs as an option for kids” but the problem remains that many of these drugs have not been tested specifically for the pediatric population.

Danny Benjamin, a Duke University pediatrics professor, is specifically concerned about the well established drugs since the pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to test them. “We know we’re making errors in dosing and safety,” he said, and has suggested that parents themselves need to take the time to research any new medications suggested by their pediatricians. This can be done by reading labels, going to the FDA website, looking for current research at www.pubmed.gov and collecting clinical guidelines from groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Growing Problem

It appears that the growing childhood obesity problem could be partially to blame for these alarming statistics.

For instance, drugs used to lower cholesterol were taken by ten to nineteen year olds at a rate 50% higher than a decade ago. The concern with this is that these drugs are associated with weight gain and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes; meaning that the cure could actually exacerbate the problem.

Additionally, the researchers at Medco believe the obesity epidemic could be to blame for the greatest spike in prescriptions over the nine year span considered in the report. There was a 147% increase in the number of children being prescribed proton pump inhibitors, which are treatments for heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

The Medco report noted, “The increases in prescription drug use by children for chronic conditions could fuel significantly higher health care costs as those young patients enter adulthood.” However, perhaps the bigger concern should be that many of these drugs have not been tested and no research exists to tell parents what can happen when they are taken regularly from childhood into adulthood.

Growing Concern

The Medco report also indicated that ADHD treatment use is on the rise with 13.2% of the prescription drug benefit dollars spent in this area. However, the greatest concern could be the spike in use of atypical antipsychotics. Normally used to treat schizophrenia, these drugs have been recently prescribed to children for a variety of psychiatric disorders.

“Atypical antipsychotics are extremely powerful drugs that are being used far too commonly – especially in children – given their safety issues and side effects,” according to Dr. David Musina, a specialist in mood disorders and national practice leader of the Medco Therapeutic Resource Center for Neuroscience. He further noted that they are being prescribed for depression and anxiety, “for which there is not good evidence that they are an effective treatment and yet we’re exposing children to the possibility of extreme weight gain that could lead to a host of health problems, including diabetes.”

Medco also noted in their report that since the FDA issued a suicide warning in 2004 for certain antidepressants, there has been a 23% drop in children taking these pharmaceuticals. However, the FDA has expanded to pediatric patients the indications for many new antipsychotics, including: Abilify, Zyprexa and Seroquel, which specifically has the listed side-effects of “signs of diabetes” and “large or rapid weight gain”.

World Wide Problem

As with most trends in the U.S., other countries like Canada, the U.K. and Australia tend to follow suit. For instance, despite the guidelines set forth by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, the number of prescriptions written in the U.K. for Ritalin is up 33% and, in Canada, the use of ADHD drugs increased almost 50% between 1999 and 2004, according to IMS Health Canada. Although no current figures are available, there are very real concerns regarding the continued rise in the number of prescription drugs being given to Canadian children.

Big Bucks

National Center for Health Statistics reports that the percentage of Americans taking at least one prescription drug each month increased from 44 to 48% from 1999 to 2008. Those taking two or more increased from 25% in 1999 to 31% in 2008 and, in that same time period, the percentage of Americans who took five or more prescription drugs per month increased from 6% to 11%. So, is it any wonder that almost $300 billion is spent in the U.S. each year on pharmaceuticals?

The bigger problem could be that it is impossible to find any record of what portion of that amazing dollar amount is being spent on prescriptions for children, although a Medco study in 2002 reported that spending on prescription drugs for those under 19 grew 28% in 2001. Yet, despite being unable to find out exactly how much American’s are spending to drug their children, we do know that last year the pharmaceutical industry spent $189 million dollars lobbying congress and other important law makers to pass legislation that has allowed for pmore advertising and the increased amount of drugs available on the market.

In Summary

Prescription drugs have their place, but what parent wants to see their child begin to rely on chemicals so early in life? Many of these drugs are attempting to treat conditions that could be related to small lifestyle changes. The number one reason for the growing use of pharmaceuticals is that we are not living a wellness lifestyle that includes healthier nutrition, exercising and decreasing stress for ourselves and our families.

Picking your Prenatal Wellness Team

If you are expecting a baby then you probably have a lot on your mind. While it is the most natural thing in the world, having a baby has become an industry of products and recommendations; and you may be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the choices. Unfortunately, no one can make those choices for you, but your Chiropractor can help you make informed decisions.

Your Doctor of Chiropractic

A properly functioning spine and nervous system is an important part of a wellness pregnancy. In addition to the noticeable changes your pregnancy will cause your body, pregnancy can also cause subtle changes in the musculoskeletal system; changes your Chiropractor is able to detect and correct.

The position of your growing baby will cause your center of gravity to shift and your spine will naturally alter itself to accommodate this change. As a result, you may experience low back and pelvic pain. The increase in hormones during pregnancy can also cause muscles, ligaments, cartilage and even bones to “soften” and become more pliable. Pelvic bones may even become displaced or fixated. Since your hips will need to spread to accommodate the delivery of your baby, fixated pelvic bones can lead to complications during delivery.

It's especially important during pregnancy for nerve impulses to flow from your brain to all the parts of your body. A slightly out-of-place vertebra can create nerve irritation, which can and will interfere with your body's communication system. By using special or modified techniques during your pregnancy, your Family Wellness Chiropractor can restore the function of your nervous system, improving your overall wellness and increasing your comfort during your pregnancy and delivery.

In fact, research has proven that:

  • 84% of pregnant women treated by Chiropractic care received profound relief from low back pain

  • Women who received Chiropractic care had nearly a 25% reduction in the average labor time verses the “generally accepted average labor time”

  • With women who had given birth in the past, that number rose to 33%

  • Postpartum pain was relieved in 90 of 120 moms that received regular Chiropractic care

During your pregnancy, your Doctor of Chiropractic can do the following:

  • Correct vertebral misalignment and relieve nerve interference with gentle adjustments.

  • Help ensure that pelvic bones are properly aligned, contributing to a shorter and easier delivery.

  • Re-establish the natural position and mobility of the joints.

  • Provide freedom from interference of normal nerve energy.

  • Decrease the likelihood of your fetus being in the wrong position during the last trimester

More than just a treatment for low back pain, many mothers have come to recognize the vital role that Chiropractic care plays in a healthy pregnancy, reporting back to their Chiropractors that regular spinal adjustments helped them feel healthier during their pregnancy, decreased morning sickness, facilitated shorter labor and delivery times, and increased an overall sense of well-being.

A Midwife or A Non-Invasive Ob/Gyn

The term natural childbirth has become subjective – it depends with whom you’re talking. A woman who delivered her baby vaginally in a hospital without the assistance of an epidural may claim to have chosen natural childbirth; but only the woman who had her baby at home with only a midwife and her family nearby would be telling the complete truth.

The term “natural childbirth” encompasses a variety of methods. In the Lamaze method, natural childbirth means the laboring woman consciously participates in the birth while medical techniques are applied freely as considered necessary.

The Bradley method focuses on avoiding pain medication but is open to medical intervention if necessary; but others do not consider it natural childbirth unless it occurs at home without any medical intervention.

Whatever your desire it’s important to make sure that your care provider is in agreement with your wishes. While the medical community claims that they will support your decisions the facts say otherwise.

Efforts have been made to educate and inform women about healthier deliveries since the 1970’s but, despite how it looks, the situation hasn’t changed:

  • Studies have shown that it’s possible to keep cesarean sections down to between 4% and 8% of deliveries and yet they’ve risen to almost 25%

  • Epidurals are being given during almost 75% of all deliveries

With medical personnel convinced that they’re doing the “right thing” it’s almost impossible to have natural childbirth in a hospital. That’s why so many women are choosing homebirths or birthing centers where their choice to have a natural childbirth will not only be accepted but encouraged.

Despite rumors to the contrary, home births are no more dangerous than a hospital birth; in reality, they may be safer since a home birth setting allows the care providers to engage in nutritionial and health education while eliminating exposure to anesthetics that interfere with neonatal neurological development, and to bacteria or viruses that flourish in a hospital. A home birth also means less disruption of bonding for the mother, baby and the rest of the family.

Before you make your delivery decision, ask your Family Wellness Chiropractor for a list of local midwives and non-invasive obstetrician/gynecologists. Explore your options and make an informed decision.

Doula or Dontcha?

The word “doula” is derived from the Greek word for the most important slave or servant in the household who helped the lady of the house with childbearing. Today, the word has come to refer to “a woman experienced in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to the mother before, during and just after childbirth.”

If you are considering using a doula remember that an experienced doula:

  • Recognizes birth as a life experience that the mother will always remember

  • Stays by the side of the laboring woman through the entire labor and assists in preparing for and carrying out the parent’s plans for the birth

  • Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures, an objective viewpoint and assistance in getting the information an expectant mother needs to make good decisions

  • Perceives her role as one who nurtures and protects the woman's memory of her birth experience

With the recognition of their important contribution to the improved physical outcomes and emotional well being of mothers and infants, the acceptance of doulas in maternity care is growing rapidly.

In Summary

Pregnancy can be the most exciting time of your life, but concern about making the right decisions can tarnish the glow. Speak with your Doctor of Chiropractic today, if you’re pregnant or considering conceiving. Just as the decision to use a doula, midwife or OB/GYN can affect your overall childbirth experience, so can your nutrition, exercise and spinal health.

http://www.icpa4kids.org/research/chiropractic/pregnancy.htm

Fevers, good or bad?

When your child gets a fever it is a good thing. It is their body’s way of fighting the infection (bacteria or virus). The body speeds up the metabolism to increase their heart rate and blood supply where it is needed, producing more white blood cells to devour pathogens, and increasing antibody responses to infection. A fever helps the body eliminate toxins and waste through mucus. Mucus is made up of white blood cells that contain the toxic residue. So when your child has a runny nose or coughing up mucus they are excreting the toxins from their body that are trapped in the white blood cells. If you were to give your child a decongestant or cough suppressant you are not allowing the child’s body to get rid of the mucus containing the toxins. Antibiotics can also suppress your child’s healing process and weaken the immune system along with Motrin or Ibuprofen (a known gut irritant) and Tylenol (a known liver/kidney toxin) to decrease their fever. Every time your child gets a cold and the immune system is allowed to work properly it makes your child’s immune system stronger.

Other benefits of a fever are more antibodies which are cells trained to specifically attack the exact type of invader that your child’s body is suffering from, it increases interferon production which blocks the spread of viruses to healthy cells, increases white blood cell mobilization and creates an inhospitable environment for invading microbes that cannot survive with an increased temperature. Six things you need to monitor closely when your child has a fever are:

  • Dehydration, pinch the skin on the top of your child’s hand and see how fast it retracts

  • Is your child lethargic or up and playing

  • Change in mental status

  • Urinary complaints

  • Trouble breathing

  • Ear discharge

Give your child clear liquids. Don’t give them drinks with high contents of sugar. If they are dehydrated give them pedialyte, water, broths or teas. A fever slows down digestion so if your child has an appetite give them fruits and vegetables, soups or just broths. Things that are easy to digest. Give them fresh whole foods keep them away from starches, sugar, dairy and processed foods, they place a burden on their immune system and create more of a toxic environment. If your child’s fever continues to increase or just not going down no matter what you do, try to make a warm, tepid bath for them to soak in. Make sure they get plenty of rest. They may seem lethargic or tired that is because their body is working overtime to carry out the functions of healing. You will need to seek medical attention if your child starts having any of the six conditions listed above. Use common sense. If your child is in severe pain, limp and unresponsive or has not improved within 3 days of treatment then you definitely need to seek medical attention. Another thing to add is if your child’s temperature is over 104 degrees and steady seek medical attention.


 

Artificial Sweeteners & More

With worldwide obesity rates doubling in the past three decades, is it any surprise that artificial sweeteners have been gaining popularity? Beginning with the creation of saccharin, “sugar substitutes” have become the answer to a dieter’s prayer. Have your cake and eat it too, it’s a dream come true. Or is it?

Aspartame – NutraSweet or Equal

This sugar-substitute was discovered in 1965 by accident while chemist, James Schlatter, was testing an anti-ulcer drug. Aspartame gained FDA approval in 1981 and was approved for use in carbonated beverages in 1983 where it is most commonly found now as the primary sweetener for most diet sodas.

This chemical accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA and has been linked with serious medical reactions. Researchers and physicians studying these reactions have concluded that the following chronic illnesses can worsen when ingesting aspartame: brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

The most popular of all sugar-substitutes, aspartame is found in over 6,000 food items on grocery store shelves, many of which you would never expect to contain this chemical: yogurt, chewing gum, energy bars, gelatin snacks and more.

Sucrolose – Splenda

In 1976, this sugar-substitute was discovered by Tate & Lyle scientists who were working with Queen Elizabeth College when a young chemist incorrectly thought a researcher told him to taste the powder they were working with and discovered that it was incredibly sweet; as much as 600 times sweeter than standard table sugar.

Sucrolose is advertised as being made from sugar and so has avoided the “bad press” that comes with being a chemical, when in fact it’s exactly that, a chemical. Created by a patented chemical reaction (chlorination process) that, in simplified terms, removes three molecules of hydrogen and oxygen (or hydroxyls) and replaces them with chloride, sucrolose is a manufactured product.

Dr. Mercola says that sucrolose bears more chemical similarity to DDT (a banned pesticide) than it does to sugar, and since the resultant product does not exist in nature and was never intended to be consumed, our bodies don’t know what to do with it once it’s ingested.

Research has said that it’s “safe”, and McNeil Nutritionals claims that it’s not digested or metabolized by the body so it has no calories. But the latest research is showing that up to 15% is absorbed in the digestive system and into fat cells.

Saccharin – Sweet and Low

Discovered in 1879 by the researchers at Johns Hopkins University, saccharin was a “boon to food

manufacturers and consumers, especially those with diabetes” as it sweetened foods without causing a glucose reaction. After World War II and on into the 1960’s, when interest in weight control developed, saccharin became even more popular.

It was only a short time later that saccharin became a health concern and a study in 1977 determined that it was causing cancer in lab mice. This resulted in a cancer warning being added to all items that contained this chemically produced sweetener. However, recent studies have been published claiming that those lab results were inaccurate or over-exaggerated and suddenly saccharin is deemed “safe”.

However, according to a report written in 1997 by the Center for the Science in Public Interest (CSPI), removing saccharin from the list of potential carcinogens is a mistake; the main concern being that doing so gives the public a “false sense of security.” The CSPI report states, “If saccharin is even a weak carcinogen, this unnecessary additive would pose an intolerable risk to the public.”

Agave

The next sugar-substitute to hit the shelves is agave and it’s possible that it’s just as bad for you as chemically created sweeteners. Made from the same plant as tequila, this syrup is generally not made from the sap as is commonly believed, but is usually made from the pineapple-like root bulb using a process very similar to how cornstarch is converted to high-fructose corn syrup.

Once processed, agave has such a high fructose content that it’s almost as bad for your body as high-fructose corn syrup. Although agave has become popular in the past few years as a “natural” sweetener, the question still arises, what is the source? If it isn’t the sap taken directly from the leaves, then it should be considered unhealthy.

Natural Sweeteners

Although it’s best to leave things in its natural state, there might be times that you would like to sweeten something or perhaps you want to bake and need a good sugar substitute. For those times, many wellness practitioners would recommend Stevia.

The most natural of all low-calorie sweeteners, this plant is found in South America and has been used in Paraguay for centuries and Japan for decades. As with all sweeteners, the difference is where and how it’s produced.

Be sure to purchase all natural Stevia and avoid name-brand products (such as, Truvia, Merisant, Pure Via, etc.) as they are typically processed.

Natural sweeteners are generally anything that is found sweet in its original form and will not require a chemical reaction to make it so. This would not include “corn sugar,” which is just another name for high-fructose corn syrup and is not natural or healthy.

In Summary

Eating items that are chemically created is generally not a good idea. For example, sucrolose is created by chlorinating a sugar molecule. In nature, chlorine is found primarily as a component of salt and can be ingested as sodium-chloride. But by itself, or chemically attached to what’s left of sugar once the hydroxyls are removed, that’s another story.

Artificial (chemically created) sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucrolose have been reported to cause various adverse reactions such as the following:

  • Headaches

  • Migraines

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Dizziness

  • Blurred vision

  • Seizures

Furthermore, research is showing that while our taste buds may be fooled by the sweet tasting but calorie-free treats we’re allowing ourselves, our brains might not. Studies have shown that it’s possible that consuming low-calorie sweeteners may actually cause weight gain by confusing the body’s ability to estimate caloric intake and resulting in overindulgence later.

The unavoidable fact is that a diet rich in whole, living foods is the only way to ensure that you are eating healthy and living well. A good rule of thumb is, if it tastes sweet but has no calories or carbs, you can assume that it’s chemically-created-sweetness and should be avoided.