Concussion

Concussion has been reported to be the most common youth ice hockey injury. It represents more than 15% of all injuries in 9 to 16 year old players and close to 25% of injuries among male high school players. The report of injuries is estimated at a mere quarter of all concussions that occur!
A study in the Journal of Pediatrics this month, found that young adolescent male ice hockey players had a significantly increased risk of prolonged post-concussion symptoms compared to older players. These studies performed in both Boston and Rhode Island Hospitals found that the younger the player (the lighter and least sexually mature) the longer the recovery. On average younger players took 40% longer to recover compared to the more physically mature players. In addition, the study demonstrated an increased probability of experiencing prolonged concussion symptoms among lighter weight males. These findings further suggest that adolescents may have longer recoveries from concussions than adults.
These findings simply intensify the necessity for better mandates on education and awareness of concussion management among our young athletes. Research also highlights the risk of younger lighter players “playing up” to superior teams.
Sadly under reported and under treated concussion can have devastating effects on the young brain that carries into adulthood. Common Medical treatments include acetaminophen, opiates, reduction in screen time and rest. For longer term symptoms stimulants, antidepressants and mood stabilizers.
When looking closely at the anatomy and physiology of concussion, the traumatic force causes a “metabolic problem” an increased need for energy in the form of glucose/sugar. This glucose, if present is used to repair the brain; However evidence suggests this is not at optimal function in an adolescent brain.
After an immediate event offer glucose to the brain, perhaps by way of pineapple or orange juice. Within 24 hours have a chiropractic adjustment to maximize oxygen flow to the brain and accelerate healing! Protect the brain with “Mighty Mind” (sold at the FWC). Mighty Mind contains the ONLY form of magnesium that crosses the Blood Brain Barrier to assist in healing. Brain healing requires elevated magnesium and the Brain magnesium levels are low during the first 4 days post-concussion! The brain needs rest! Weeks of rest, the younger the brain the more rest it needs, this is usually in the form of no screens, homework, or stress (your local provider should be advocating for our athletes in very specific terms for coaches and schools).
As a parent, coach, advocate, politician or community citizen, it is all of our responsibility to insure the brain health of our community! Talk about it, raise awareness of it and treat it!

Backpacks or Back Pain?

 

dock pack.jpgSo quickly, it seems, the summer is nearly over and soon children will be back to school.  Along with brand new school clothes, come new backpacks soon to be filled, or over filled with school supplies.  It’s safe to say most students won’t be thinking about back and neck pain, but that’s what they risk if their backpacks are too heavy or are not carried properly.

If a backpack is carried improperly or is excessively heavy, it can result in the severe back and neck pain, neck or back injury, poor posture and generalized fatigue.  Excessively heavy back packs may harm muscles and joints as well, compounding, serious fatigue to the child’s body.  Though books are essential for learning, carrying them, should not affect physical well being..

Heavy backpacks may be more than just an annoyance for students.  Studies show an overloaded backpack forces the child to compensate by leaning forward to balance the load, creating potential health problems if the backpack is over weighted and hanging too low. This action can cause kids to hunch forward, putting an awkward strain on the shoulders, spine, and muscles.  This is no laughing matter, it has been reported that most students in The US carry school backpacks.  Stress and strain to their bodies resulted in over 7,000 emergency room visits in 2006 and approximately half of the injuries reported occurred in children 5 to 14 years old.  NPR reported that over 65% of all adolescents’ visits to a health care provider were due to back pain.

According to a study conducted by UC Riverside, the prolonged strain of the backpack weight can result in long term injuries. The study involved 3,500 students between 11 and 15 years old.  64% of the students reported back pain and 21% said that the pain lasted for more than six months.  Another recent study found that backpack use significantly altered head-on-neck posture in every age group studied. This finding was most pronounced in younger students.  In a survey of the orthopedists, 58% had said reported seeing patients complaining of back and shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks. More than 70% of the orthopedists surveyed indicated that heavy backpacks can become a clinical problem in school-age children if not enough attention is made to decrease some of the weight being carried in the packs. Research tells us that the earlier children are diagnosed with back pain the longer in life they are affected.

As a rule the total weight of a backpack should not exceed 10-15% of a child’s total body weight.  So if your child weighs 50 pounds their backpack should not weigh more than 5-7 pounds- that includes the backpack and all of its contents.  Parents can also teach their kids to carry the backpack correctly, by using both the straps.

To reduce injuries or pain resulting from back packs, students can increase muscle strength and endurance, making back pain is less likely. Purchasing a backpack that has straps that go around the hips to keep the weight away from the back, also help balance the “load” and distribute the weight more evenly and also reduce injury. Backpacks should never hang more than four inches below the child’s waistline. Backpacks should be smaller than the child’s back. Straps should be padded and used at all times to avoid an uneven pull on the back.Proper positioning of a backpack is in the center of the back. Adjust the straps and use the middle waist belt if available to keep the backpack from hanging too low. It should rest between or below the shoulder blades. Using a chest strap helps distribute the weight evenly across the back.  Packs should not go below the lumbar spine.

Some easy and practical tips to reduce injury are:

1. Keep extra books and notebooks at home.  So there is no need to lift extra weight.

2. Always wear backpack on both the shoulders. Carrying backpack on one shoulder can put the pressure on one side of the body and can cause injury.

3. Wear both straps of the backpack at all times, this distributes the weight load evenly so well aligned posture is encouraged and facilitated.

4. Avoid carrying backpack for a long time.

5. If the backpack is very heavy, use the belt that will save from back problem.

6. Buy a backpack with wide well padded straps, and a chest strap that can distribute equal loads.

7. Use the bag with wheels if backpack is too heavy.

8. Avoid buying a backpack that in itself has a lot of weight.

9. Encourage kids to use lockers at school if available.

10. Lobby for less homework so books can stay at school.

11. Visit your local Chiropractor for wellness checks and symptom management.

12. Watch body mechanics putting on and taking off the backpack. Avoid twisting and bending together at the waist. Swinging the weight to get the backpack on is a sign it is too heavy.

13. Weigh backpacks regularly and “clean them out” often to avoid carrying additional unneeded weight.

The American Occupational Therapy Association has named September 19 as National School Backpack Awareness Day.  This organization educates communities on proper backpack ergonomics. The theme is, “Pack It Light, Wear It Right!”  Back to school is a fun and exciting time in a child’s life…make is a safe and pain free one too.

#backpacks, #chiropractic, #posture

Foods that should be included in a healthy diet, that will keep you healthy, & happy for 100 years!

Always remember a key to a healthy diet is selecting the highest quality least altered food we can find. The most optimal selections are Organic, Local and harvested at the peak of freshness. However reality exists and we do the best we can!

Take a look at some of the best researched foods to be included in a healthy diet that are the most nutrient dense selections with the highest benefits for our bodies….

Gold Kiwis – one of the best heart healthy foods, packed with more polyphenols, a type of powerful antioxidant per serving than green kiwis, apples, white grapefruits, and oranges!

Purple Potatoes- Purple potatoes contain high concentrations of a variety of antioxidants, including phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and carotenoids, according to researchers which help to keep cells working optimally and reduce damage.

Chocolate- Good news for chocoholics! The flavonoids in dark chocolate can be included in a healthy diet to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, decrease LDL cholesterol oxidation, and increase HDL cholesterol, says a Harvard University study. And one square of dark chocolate is 12 calories, but be sure to choose 70% or darker chocolate because the research shows lower percentages of chocolate do not carry the same benefits.

Red meat-Red meat has gotten a bad rap over the years because some cuts of beef are loaded with saturated fat.  BUT 100%  Grass fed beef has been shown to reduce the risk for heart disease and provide the body with a healthy source of protein. 4 ounces of lean beef each day had a 10 percent decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol by one research study. Beef liver is one of the leanest beef products available, and it’s packed with nutrients, so why not give it a try?

Wild Caught Shrimp- raises HDL (good) cholesterol and reduces triglycerides (a type of fat found in blood), resulting in a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Just remember to skip butter and deep-frying, both of which can add a load of saturated fat to an otherwise healthy low calorie food.

Tomatoes- these ruby gems are delicious and packed with multiple nutrients, especially lycopene. The body does not produce lycopene naturally, but studies have shown that a diet rich in lycopene can lower the incidence of many chronic conditions such as cervical dysplasia and a variety of cancers. Studies indicate that people with more lycopene in their body fat suffer fewer heart attacks than those who do not have lycopene in their body fat.  Other foods high in lycopene include watermelon, pink grapefruit and guava.

Eggs- studies have shown that 25 pastured eggs can have great health benefits! they raise good cholesterol (HDL) and provide cells with necessary protein and B vitamins. Be careful of your source! Your breakfast scramble should only include the freshest of eggs, as eggs lose ½ of their nutrients within 24 hours of being laid…note that store bought eggs are, on average 2 weeks old at purchase.

Kale ON! Doesn’t every healthy diet include Kale? Well why not? Where else would you find one single food packed with so many nutrients, vitamins and that tastes great? Of course remember to always buy organic because the bugs love kale as much as humans do! Always wash your kale even if packages as “triple washed”

And here are a bunch of foods to avoid!

Skip the soy..over processed junk food that can raise inflammation levels (including cholesterol and blood pressure) in the body,  wreak havoc with a female cycle and the thyroid!

Avoid the sugar and sugar substitutes they cause oxidative- stress, damage to your cells and immune system making you crave it, clog your arteries and gain weight; research shows optimal weight is a prognosticator of longevity and sugar works against that!

Of course there are many other foods that should be included in your 100 years, this is just a short list of delicious selections, that along with your lifestyle care can make your diet rich and delicious!

For more information on how to heal from within and prepare recipes including these nutritional gems check out my book

Concussion and the Female Brain

It has been well researched that male and female brains are different. Now research is explaining that concussions are a very different experience in a female brain. In a concussion the female brain has a 44% greater rate of acceleration increasing the incidence of concussion. There are also differences in neck circumference, girth and length as compared to males of the same age.

Female hockey players have the highest incidence of concussion and are concussed at 3 times the rate as male FOOTBALL players of the same age. Female lacrosse players come in second, however female lacrosse is a NON-CONTACT sport (their incidence is the same as male lacrosse which is a contact sport), this means that these women do not wear any protective gear to prevent or reduce the incidence of concussion. Girls’ Soccer comes next and is the second OVERALL in all youth sports. Softball and baseball have equivalent rates even though they are very different sports. Showing overall girls take a “bigger hit”.

Another difference between male and female athletes , is females report more concussion symptoms than their male counterparts, their symptoms last longer and have 4 times the migraine incidence than males of the same age!

SO why is this the case??

In a menstruating female (please note, girls as young as 6 can have hormonal fluctuations that would put them at the same risk as their older counterparts that have a menstrual bleed), hormones play a role in concussion pathology. If a girl sustains a concussion in the first two weeks of her menstrual cycle, when progesterone is high, there is a sharp, abnormal drop in progesterone and a sharp abnormal rise in cortisol. Progesterone withdrawal leads to headache, dizziness and nausea, and elevated cortisol, which can contribute to leaky gut. Then Estrogen levels will then slowly increase abnormally, which acts on the trigeminal vascular complex (the migraine pathway) it is apparent that female physiology would account for higher incidences of concussion symptoms and longer times for recovery in female athletes.

Unfortunately, ACL (anterior cruciate ligament of the knee)  injuries are also more common is women. This is well reported due to posture and anatomy related to center of balance and hip structure. Approximately 85% of all ACL injuries are the result of a previous concussion. The ACL ligament is the stabilizer in the “righting reflex” (The righting reflex, is a reflex that corrects the orientation of the body when it is taken out of its normal upright position). When a concussion goes untreated the righting reflex is impaired as it initiated by the vestibular system in the brain.

SO how do you heal from a concussion??

First of all, keeping the body in optimal condition with a healing diet free of chemicals, artificial hormones, unnecessary pharmaceuticals & preservatives, drinking purified water, getting proper sleep, proper & safe exercise, and stress management will reduce help keep the body in optimal form and reduce the recovery period should a concussion occur.

Secondly, learn your sports teams’ concussion protocol (most have an outdated version of this) and watch your child during practices and games. You know her best and you can best protect her if you see her take a hit that looked harder than she anticipated.

If a concussion Happens

1) Immediately after a possible concussion offer something with natural sugar to the athlete. Sips of fruit juice or gummy bears (that is glucose and gelatin/collagen) flood the brain with immediate sugar to eliminate the build up of concussion containing neuro-chemicals.

2) Report the incident to your family physician as millions of concussions go undiagnosed and can lead to long term, or permanent symptoms for your child.

3) Take her to the chiropractor! Be sure you find a doctor certified in an updated concussion treatment protocol that include a test at baseline (this should be done before the incident. Kids in general should be under some form of maintenance chiropractic if they are playing sports. Many Chiropractors do a baseline test for concussions at the beginning of each school year)

4) Heal the gut! Estrogens cause leaky gut simply by the nature of the hormone! High cortisol, low progesterone and elevating estrogens is a leaky gut trifecta! Consider using specific strains of probiotics, immunoglobulins, or collagen to help heal and seal the gut.

5) Constantly check in with your athlete, ask she how she is feeling, sleeping and recovering. It is common to have “regressions” in healing with concussion recovery. Stay the course and know healing is possible.

In closing, Concussions are a very common sports injury. There are marked differences in how females and males exhibit symptoms. Keeping this in mind will help our daughters play their favorite sports healthy and injury free.

 

 

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3858400/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24396327

Folate doesn’t cause Autism but folic acid might

folate-vs-folic-acid-1Naturally occurring folate, which is a water-soluble B9 (as found in leafy greens), is an important part of a healthy diet. Folate deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, infertility, heart attack, stroke, ulcers, macrocytic anemia, and other illnesses. Additionally, folate is critical for fetal development, and especially important for pregnant women. Folate aids in neural tube development, and can prevent severe birth defects of the spinal cord and brain.
Folic acid, is a synthetic form of folate manufactured in a lab..like pharmaceutical drug and is the form found in many fortified and enriched foods, and in multi-vitamins and of course in poor quality prenatal vitamins. A Norwegian study published last month found that heart-disease patients whose diets included folic acid fortification and supplementation were 43% more likely to die of cancer. Equally alarming is the study that found that folic acid supplementation by pregnant women increases the risk of childhood asthma by 26%…and now autism. Still other studies have linked folic acid supplementation to prostate and colorectal cancers.
Approximately 10 years ago most principled supplement companies made the leap to toss all folic acid from supplements and switch to MethylFolate. MethylFloate is the bioactive form or usable form of folate, the form the cells need to make energy and repair DNA, the same kind of DNA that parents give to their offspring. In the presence of a MTHFR MUTATION, the inability of the body to convert pharmaceutical folic acid to useable folate creates inflammation in the body and blocks up the pathways for the body to BE ABLE to utilize the nutritious form of folate. When this happens in the body, cells do not form properly and a deficiency ensues. Folate plays a critical role in formation of the spine of a fetus. When folate levels are low in a pregnancy, the fetus has a much greater risk of being born with spina bifida, or other neural tube defects; or more commonly a lip or tongue tie, or any other disorder that affects the undifferentiated cells in the “midline” during embryonic development.
Sadly many medical providers have used the terms folic acid and folate interchangeably. THEY are NOT the same. They do not react in the body the same and they do not produce the same outcomes. Many of the recent studies to associate correlation between autism and FOLIC ACID have mis- used the word folate. Have we gotten so far away from healing that now we should tell patients to STOP EATING GREEN VEGGIES…well I hope NOT? For many years I have urged patients to avoid supplements contain any sort of synthetic form of any vitamin. Whole foods and whole-food based supplements are the only places to get the nutrients and antioxidants that our bodies so desperately need.
The top 5 folate-containing green vegetables
• spinach
• romaine lettuce
• asparagus
• mustard greens
• collard greens

At this point, the recent study about Folate/folic acid and the correlation to autism, the evidence is extremely premature. However this study brought to light that blood tests done around the time of birth found that about 10 percent of mothers had excessively high levels of “folic acid/folate” and/or vitamin B12 in their blood. Interestingly this number correlates approximately with the number of women affected with homozygous c677t MTHFR (2 copies of the mutation or 10% function of the enzyme). Those people had an increased risk of having a child who would later be diagnosed with ASD. The findings have not been peer-reviewed or published in a journal; and is being presented at a conference this week. At the very least the media is focusing attention on this very important subject. We know the research will now focus on the distinction between folate and folic acid.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22648721

#mthfr #drkendrabecker #ilovewatchingyouheal

Extra Chromosome & Absent Enzyme; A look at Down Syndrome and MTHFR

Down Syndrome is a genetic mutation identified by an extra 21st chromosome. MTHFR is a genetic mutation identified by the absence of a vital enzyme essential for folate metabolism. There is an intimate connection between these 2 conditions, and by identifying MTHFR in children with Down Syndrome risks for many co-morbid conditions can be reduced or eliminated.
Contributing Factors
Environmental and Maternal Disposition. There has been recent research showing there is a higher incidence of children with Down syndrome born to mothers that are positive for MTHFR. Multiple polymorphisms were identified in this study which simply correlates the association. Practically speaking MTHFR mutations are seen in elevated levels in autism, spina bifida, fetal cardiac defects and Down syndrome. However, to solely implicate genetics in any medical condition is bad medicine. The environment plays such a large role in influencing our genes. Because of the role that MTHFR plays in folate metabolism and Homocysteine metabolism this association bears regard and acknowledgement.
It has been well researched that Children with Down Syndrome have higher incidences of:
Midline Development Issues
Heart defects. Almost one-half of babies with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease, the most common type of birth defect. MTHFR mutations are associated with a higher incidence of Heart Defects. MTHFR effects “midline development” the heart is an organ that develops form the midline in utero.
Hypothyroidism. Occurs more often in children with Down syndrome than in children without Down syndrome. Close evaluation of thyroid health, diet, supplements and possibly medication can assist in balancing this condition. Again, the thyroid is developed from the “midline” embryonic tissue. The same layer that is effected by the presence of MTHFR mutations. Research shows us children with Down syndrome are born to mothers with MTHFR mutations themselves. Genetics, and an extra chromosome leads to a much higher incidence of hypothyroidism.
Dental problems. Children with Down syndrome generally have a higher palate. This changes the landscape of the mouth and jaw and can cause teeth and speech development that differs from what is expected. Gum disease, is also very common. Gum Disease is well studied as a problem with digestion, bacteria imbalance and nutrient deficiency. MTHFR mutations are closely correlated with dental problems. Again, the gums and teeth develop from the “midline” during pregnancy. MTHFR mutations cause an “inefficiency” of folate metabolism. When this system is impaired the body uses additional vitamins and minerals (stored in the teeth and bones) to properly run its cycles. If nutrient levels are lower that the body’s demand the teeth and gums will suffer.
Sense Organs Issues
Vision problems. More than 60% of children with Down syndrome have vision problems. MTHFR defects can affect the eye. The vessels of the eye are so small that any kind of inflammation or excessive toxicity can “get stuck” in the small vessels of the eye and effect vision.
Hearing loss. About 75% of children with Down syndrome have some hearing loss, sometimes because of problems with ear structures. Children with Down syndrome also tend to get a lot of ear infections, due to narrow canals and anatomic variation which should be watched closely. MTHFR is more highly associated with sensory issues associated with hearing impairments.

Immunity and Blood Issue</strong>s
Infections. Kids with Down syndrome are 12 times more likely to die from untreated and unmonitored infections compared to kids without Down syndrome. The Immune system develops differently in kids with Down Syndrome, which can cause problem with immunity. This poses challenges with children and the current immunization schedule. In children with impaired immunity, vaccines can cause unanticipated reactions, which can lead to further health concerns. MTHFR and its ability to metabolize folate plays an intimate role in the immune system. These mutations can cause reduced immune function, bone marrow suppression and the inability to produce proper components of the immune system.
Blood disorders. Are common in children with Down syndrome. There is a 10 to 15 higher incidence of developing leukemia. Kids with Down Syndrome are at higher risk for a diagnosis of anemias of all kinds (low iron, low B12, high red blood cells, etc.). MTHFR is the enzyme that controls folate (B9) metabolism, however proper signaling of methylation, the pathway signaled by the MTHFR enzyme also requires proper interface with B!2 and B6, without these other B vitamins the pathway operates ineffectively and can further problems with anemias of all kinds.
Structural Issues
Hypotonia (poor muscle tone). Poor muscle tone and low strength is a common contributor to “delayed” milestones in Children with Down Syndrome. Low Tone can also effect nursing, swallowing, speech development, constipation and coordination.

Many of these problems can be addressed with skilled providers educated in the specificity of Down Syndrome Concerns. MTHFR pathways assist to eliminate toxins in the body. The benefit of an efficient elimination system means the body reduces its exposure to toxins and therefore reduces its potential for disease. Keeping MTHFR in good working order helps the body better balance muscle and strength development as well as reduce the problems associated with low tone.
Atlantoaxial Instability. Is present in 20% of children with Down syndrome. This is associated with an increased incidence of spinal cord injury and should be evaluated by a skilled provider for the best course of treatment. MTHFR is not associated with Atlantoaxial instability, however it is well reported that individuals with MTHFR have a higher incidence of damage to ligaments and tendons when ingesting “floxin” antibiotics. This should be thoroughly researched by any provider prescribing antibiotics to children with Down syndrome.
Digestion Absorption and Elimination
Digestive problems. Digestive problems in kids with Down syndrome, range from structural defects in the digestive system, food sensitivity or food allergy, and food aversions or addictions. Due to the metabolic and genetic components with Down syndrome very specific diets can be recommended and useful for a lifetime of healthy digestion, assimilation and weight balance. The research shows that approximately 80% of individuals with MTHFR have food allergy or food sensitivity. Remember that individuals with MTHFR have a harder time with detoxification where as individuals with Down syndrome have an impaired immune system.
Celiac disease. Is very common with Down syndrome. Celiac is an immune and gastrointestinal inability to digest the protein found in wheat and other grains containing gluten. Gluten should be completely avoided throughout a lifetime, this can be of benefit for a host of conditions that are associated and co-diagnosed along with Down syndrome. Individuals diagnoses with MTHFR have a 60% incidence of having Celiac disease as well. This is an important screening for all kids with any sort of immune dysregulation. Kids with Down syndrome can be susceptible earlier and with more severe symptoms.
Mental & Emotional
Mental health and emotional problems. There is a very high incidence of anxiety, depression, perseveration, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder associated with Down syndrome. Individuals with MTHFR have higher incidence of anxiety, and depression. In some cases, the proper balance of specific B vitamins can improve symptoms in a very short timeframe avoiding medication and its problematic side effects.
Sleep disorders. Many children with Down syndrome have disordered sleep. This can be due in part to obstructive sleep apnea, narrow structures in the head and neck, food sensitivities or side effects of medication. MTHFR mutations can certainly cause issues with sleep. When folate metabolism is impaired a dysregulation in the body occurs. Also, effecting sleep can be B12 levels which can cause bedwetting, anxiety and restlessness

In conclusion Down syndrome and MTHFR are closely related and treating and supporting proper functioning of the MTHFR enzyme can dramatically improve outcomes or assist to avoid complications kids with Down syndrome may occur in their lifetime.
________________________________________
1. Bull, M. J., & the Committee on Genetics. (2011). Health supervision for children with Down syndrome. Pediatrics, 128, 393–406. [top]
2. So, S. A., Urbano, R. C., & Hodapp, R. M. (2007) Hospitalizations of infants and young children with Down syndrome: Evidence from inpatient person-records from a statewide administrative database. Journal of Intelle
3. Hardy, O., Worley, G., Lee, M. M., Chaing, S., Mackey, J., Crissman, B., et al. (2004). Hypothyroidism in Down syndrome: screening guidelines and testing methodology. American Journal of Medical Gen
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/pdf/nihms-259545.pdf
5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110863015000889
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807890
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168164/
8. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/4/429.long

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Lung infections and MTHFR; Chiropractic can help!

 

 

It has been widely reported that individuals with MTHFR are more susceptible to asthma and other lung infections. In the winter, particularly in New England bronchitis and pneumonia is rampant, even among our kids. Conventional medicine offers little to support these kids and usually leads them down a road of more steroids and antibiotics, increasing susceptibility.

Sadly, we know that many classes of antibiotics given to individuals with MTHFR can leave kids with more symptoms than when they were initially seeking treatment. Steroids, lifesaving in many cases, are often over- prescribed, assaulting immunity in our youth, and leading them down a road that requires steroids as their only treatment.

Chiropractic has been a mainstay in medicine for nearly 150 years. However in many cases, families believe that chiropractic is for “back pain” or “after a car accident”, yet the research shows us that chiropractic is very effective for many, many acute medical conditions as well!

The lungs have an extensive supply of nerves that communicate with them.  What would happen if there was interference with communication to the lungs? It may lead to respiratory problems, bronchitis or respiratory infections.  Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic care and improved respiratory function, breathing difficulty and bronchitis.

The premise of chiropractic is wellness and true prevention. So, the idea is we don’t get sick at all when under chiropractic care; however, stress, mal-adaption and dis-ease can set in to all of us!

Studies have shown chiropractic care is safe and effective, meaning proper adjustments can restore health sooner and more effectively than other modalities.  Especially in the presence of shortness of breath, asthma, allergies, coughing and hiccups!

One of the biggest symptoms that young children experience with pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis is air hunger. Air Hunger is the feeling that “you are running out of air”, it is part of the process of healing the lungs after an infection and it can last a few weeks! There is little conventional medicine can do     for this symptoms, but chiropractic can make a big difference.   In discussing such cases, the term “somatic dyspnea” is suggested to denote air hunger or shortness of breath related to somatic dysfunction.  Somatic dyspnea is a condition, which may accompany other causes of dyspnea (lung pathology, psychogenic or “functional” causes etc.)or can exist alone. There are multiple studies that prove, this symptom of air hunger was alleviated or abolished following the correction of vertebral subluxation complex or other somatic dysfunctions, aka, a chiropractic adjustment.  The response to chiropractic adjustments is sometimes so dramatic and rapid that patients may have an emotional response to taking their first FULL breath in a while!

The take home message is, first of all conventional therapies are useful in acute life threatening conditions or episodes. Secondly, individuals with MTHFR are likely more sensitive to everything; drug dosages, dis-ease, imbalance and environmental change. Thirdly, chiropractic is more than just for back pain; it’s useful in many acute conditions and can restore health and balance safely and effectively. Lastly, take care of your body, watch for signs of dis-ease, imbalance and illness and address them immediately!

Don’t make chiropractic or holistic medicine your “last resort “make it your first stop to better health!

 

 

 

 

 

Chiropractic adjustments of the cervicothoracic spine for the treatment of bronchitis with complications of atelectasis.  Hart, D.L. Libich, E, Ficher R. International Review of Chiropractic, 1991; Mar:31-33.

Chiropractic management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Masarsky CS, Weber M. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1988; 11:505-510.

Adjustive osteopathic manipulative treatment in the elderly hospitalized with pneumonia: a pilot study. Noll DR, Shores J, Bryman PN, Masterson EV. Journal Of The American Osteopathic Association 1999; 99(3): 143-6

Somatic Dyspnea and the orthopedics of respiration.  Masarsky CS, Weber M Chiropractic Technique, 1991; 3:26-29

Specific upper cervical chiropractic care and lung function.  , R Abstracts from the 13th annual upper cervical spine conference, Nov 16-17, 1996 Life College, Marietta, Georgia.  Pub in Chiropractic Research Journal, Vol. 1V, No.1, Spring 1997 p.27 (also Kessinger R; Changes in pulmonary function associated with upper cervical specific chiropractic care J Vertebral Subluxation Research 1997; 1(3):43-9.

 

Antibiotics and The Gut…again.

In society today antibiotics are overly prescribed. Most patients receive the advice to “take all medication as prescribed” however, in some cases that not be the case. It is ALWAYS imperative to discuss with the prescriber when changing a treatment plan but there may be more occasions than not, to discontinue antibiotics before the “last pill was taken”.

The failure of the medical community to appropriately utilize antibiotics in the 20th century has left us with many antibiotic resistant microbes plaguing patients at younger and younger ages.  Many prescribers prescribe to a “quick fix medicine” and in many cases abused and misused antibiotics in the name of “protocol”.  Of course this comes back to the fundamental disconnect between pharma and health. So it is imperative patients and parents advocate for themselves in these sorts of situations.

Antibiotics, like food are broken down and digested by the body. Long term or frequent use of antibiotics alter the proper digestive bacteria in the gut and reduce the digestion and assimilation of these pharmaceuticals. This means that active and Un-Metabolized antibiotic by-products, which retain antimicrobial activity, will be excreted into the environment compounding our issues with antibiotic resistance.  Even though an antibiotic is prescribed an for 7 days, does not mean that “bad bacteria” are only exposed to it for 7 days; normal gut flora (and potentially the pathogen) will continue to be exposed to the antibiotic and it’s by- products for some time after completion of therapy. The US contributes more than 17,000 tons of antibiotics into the environment every year in the United States alone (80% for agriculture, 20% for human use).

Compounding this issue is the antibiotics found in our food. This too builds resistance to microbes and accelerates the problems with prescribing. Be a savvy consumer and choose with your dollars. Buy local, organic and avoid processed or packaged products. Ultimately your gut and the rest of your body will thank you for it.

There is a time and place for all things medical, however the research over and over has shown that antibiotics as a first line of treatment may not be as effective or useful as previously revealed. Any and all pharmaceuticals will disrupt normal function of the gut, temporarily or permanently. Be sure to utilize them wisely and replete the gut with beneficial probiotics after use, discuss with your provider the shortest most optimal course of action for your condition and your lifestyle.

For more information and healthy recipes to heal the gut check out my book

 

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/871856?src=WNL_infoc_161120_MSCPEDIT_TEMP2&uac=127670EJ&impID=1238355&faf=1

http://dhs.unr.edu/Documents/dhs/chs/NVPHTC/The%20New%20Antibiotic%20Mantra%E2%80%94%E2%80%9CShorter%20Is%20Better%E2%80%9D.pdf

Warrior or Worrier? The truth about COMT

 

Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of several enzymes that degrade catecholamines such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. In humans, catechol-O-methyltransferase protein is encoded by the COMT gene. COMT is mostly found in the peripheral nervous system, and less significantly found in the Central Nervous System, and found in the highest concentration in the liver.

 

There are 2 types of COMT expression, the warrior and the worrier.

 

Warrior

Generally have a higher IQ

do better on tests

better toxin elimination

higher estrogen elimination

higher incidence of ADHD

Higher pain tolerance

Normal magnesium levels

Normalized B12 and folate levels

Even tempered

Worrier

Slower estrogen elimination and estrogen dominance
Lower pain tolerance

Increased probability of addiction and anorexia

PMS worse in females

Enhanced response to stimulants

Red face after exercise & Decreased Sweating

Lower Mg levels

Lower Intracellular b12 and folate

Prone to mood swings and mania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMT is the enzyme that allows you to spare the “feel good hormones” dopamine and nor-epinephrine. If this enzyme is completely blocked mood swings and addiction can occur. Keeping the gut healthy with probiotics and a good diet assures proper conversion of the amino acids needed to manufacture quality neurotransmitters. Lots of antibiotics and processed food can impair digestion and create impairments in conversion and manufacturing.

One of the most important jobs that COMT has, is to degrade dopamine, in the brain, where it is broken down by MAO (monoamine oxidase). MAO is Another important snp/gene that encodes an enzyme partially responsible for the metabolism of several neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. The monoamine oxidase family of enzymes, metabolize monoamines (neurotransmitters and neuromodulators consisting of a single amine).

COMT is the enzyme that introduces a methyl group to the catecholamine, which is donated by S-adenosyl methionine (SAM). Any compound having a catechol structure, like catecholestrogens and catechol-containing flavonoids, are substrates of COMT. This is why individuals with a COMT mutation are considered estrogen sensitive and estrogen dominant.

By discussing and understanding the biochemistry and intricacies of the COMT enzyme we can begin to see the problems with it when individuals have missing or reduced functioning.

COMT mutations cause great difficulty with detoxing. COMT pathways toss out good and bad minerals indiscriminately leaving low level magnesium (among others), an essential mineral to uptake b12 properly.  B12 levels can be supplemented with success using lithium orotate, please check with a provider about dosing. Supplementing with lithium to enhance transport may in fact cause a b12 deficiency if its not done properly.

Individuals with a COMT mutation are generally volatile susceptible to depression, mood disorders and issues with toxicity.  This means be mindful of your stress and moods and put some supports in place during times of physical and emotional stress. Addiction is common with individuals carrying this SNP too, I highly recommend early and often discussions around drugs, alcohol and other addictive substances or behaviors.

 

COMT mutations can make people sensitive to phenols. Phenols are found in purple and red foods, such as strawberries and red grapes, these slow the function of the enzyme further. When the COMT enzyme slows there can be mood swings, insomnia or anxiety. Symptoms of people with phenol sensitivities are heat intolerant suffer from headaches and insomnia.

 

In a nutshell, individuals with COMT mutations require individualized, targeted treatment and should be addressed on all facets of wellness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autism and the other A’s (allergies, asthma and atopy/eczema)

the-atopid-triad

Why is it that many autistic children struggle with a lot of other “A”s?

  • Statistics show 25% of kids with autism has asthma too.
  • Statistics show 60% of kids with autism has eczema too.
  • Statistics show 8% of kids with autism has anaphylactic allergies and 40% have seasonal allergies.

Although there are multiple mechanisms for these conditions individually, the focus for this article is the global impairment of the immune system that predisposes kids with autism to other conditions.

The research shows that autistic kids are overburdened with all kinds of immune imbalance. This immune system imbalance initiates improper reactions to toxicity and how the body attempts to make every effort toward elimination (of toxins). Autistic kids have impaired detox mechanisms and altered methylation pathways, which are integral for detox of harmful substances the body comes in contact with frequently. Methylation is an important step in the detoxification of the body, and requires active forms of certain B vitamins in order to function optimally. When methylation is impaired detoxification is impairs and the body is overburdened, sending out signals that the immune system must be prepared for attack. “Attack Mode” for the immune system causes a overwhelming immune response to a normal circumstance.

Allergies…It is not biologically normal to react to food. Food is nourishment and provides the body with essential building blocks for all components to body function. When the body starts to react to its environment (and food) MAST cells are released. MAST cells release histamine, a chemokine that activates gut and brain neurotransmitters resulting in an “ITCH”. Histamine’s job is to activate white blood cells (WBCs) to stop foreign invaders, but when histamine is released by MAST cells that are activated in the absence of pathogens, the body begins fighting its environment. This rebellion causes global histamine imbalance in the body which sends the “ITCH” everywhere!

Imagine if you had an itch in your brain or gut that you couldn’t scratch..that’s how I imagine autistic kids feel every day!

When histamine is high, life altering symptoms can occur, and let’s not discount that histamine has a very vital job in the immune system, but;

  • If histamine is high in the skin >> eczema
  • If histamine is high in the lungs >> asthma
  • If histamine is high in the brain >> mood changes
  • If histamine is high in the gut >> allergies

STOP THIS MADNESS and heal the gut!!

  • Start by removing any chemicals or foods that trigger imbalance.
  • Consider probiotics (but discuss which strains or formulations are best for you).
  • Consider the removal of any and all potential allergens like molds, yeasts, preservatives, chemicals and sugars (which paralyze the immune system, later causing an over shoot and furthering improper balance), for the environment. Of course in most cases this cannot be done overnight but slowly phasing out will improve symptoms quickly!

Once the body is healed, as each healing process is different; many previously offending agents may be able to be reintroduced back into the environment! Make simple and effective changes, support body balance and start your healing today.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24997632

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/721702_2

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/912781-treatment#d10