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!

hippocrates

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!

asthma-and-chiropractic-upper-cervical-14

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Torticollis and MTHFR

left-torticollis-in-infant

Torticollis, or wryneck, literally means “twisted neck” in Latin. A common transient condition found often, in individuals who have slept in the wrong position. A chiropractic adjustment or extra minerals can typically alleviate this type of torticollis. In newborns, torticollis can happen due to positioning in the womb, after a difficult childbirth or because the infant is trying to compensate for a tongue tie while nursing. This is called infant torticollis or congenital muscular torticollis. The use of forceps or vacuum devices to deliver a baby during childbirth also makes a baby more likely to develop torticollis, as in a    C-section delivery, an emergency, or precipitous delivery. Also having the genetic polymorphism, MTHFR can prone a baby to have a congenital tongue or lip tie, and increase the incidence of torticollis; this causes the baby to develop “compensation” to allow for nourishment through breastfeeding. Compensation may be in the form of a neck twist in order to develop a proper latch, for nourishment.

Torticollis is relatively common in newborns. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop a head tilt, the most common visible sign, along with tongue tie and a diagnosis of MTHFR.  Torticollis develops in utero or over time due to pressure on a baby’s sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM). This large, rope-like muscle runs on both sides of the neck from the back of the ears to the collarbone. Extra pressure on one side of the SCM can cause it to tighten, making it hard for a baby to turn his or her neck.

torticollis-and-chiro

What to look for:

  • The head tilts in one direction
  • Preference to looking at you over one shoulder instead of tracking with the eyes
  • Difficulty breastfeeding on one side (or prefers one breast only)
  • Frustrated when unable turn the head completely
  • Positional plagiocephaly (flattening of the head one side) from lying in one direction all the time
  • Does not tolerate tummy time or gets stuck in the same position
  • Development of a small neck lump, which is similar to a “knot” in a tense muscle.

Even though over 45,000 infants are born with congenital torticollis in the US each year, there is little conventional medicine has to offer. Torticollis causes painful, involuntary spasms, impedes normal growth and development, and disturbs vision. The conventional medical approach to correct torticollis often involves invasive and painful procedures and treatments. Fortunately true healing can occur.

liptie

Best tips for quick healing of Torticollis:

  • Infant torticollis is often associated with subluxation of the upper cervical spine. So find a qualified pediatric chiropractor who can do an adjustment on your baby
  • Soft tissue therapies can often produce a rapid solution in many cases of infant torticollis
  • Be sure to get a proper diagnosis. Untreated torticollis can be misdiagnosed as reflux, colic, allergies, and fussiness
  • Be sure to evaluate and treat MTHFR and other genetic concerns that may predispose a baby to tight or pulled muscles, tongue ties, or any other conditions that may affect feeding

Always remember healing is possible, trust your instinct, it’s your baby and keep asking questions until you get the answers!

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

A Dozen Metabolic Boosters (and Stuff that can cause weight gain)

Every cell in your body plays a role in energy metabolism. The faster your basal metabolic rate, the more calories you burn.  There are ways to speed it up and to slow it down.

Here are 12 things sure to slow you down.

  1. Eating Inconsistently At Odd Times From Day To Day-Researchers suspect that eating at the same times every day trains the body to burn more calories between meals. Eat frequent, consistently sized meals to avoid binges and feel happier. Research from Liverpool John Moores University found that women who fluctuated between low- and high-calorie meals were less happy with their bodies than those whose plates packed a similar number of calories from meal to meal.
  2. Pesticides-Organochlorines (chemicals in pesticides) can interfere with your body’s fat process and make it harder to lose weight, according to a Canadian study. Researchers found that dieters who ate the most toxins experienced a dip in metabolism and had a harder time losing weight. Opt for organic fruits and veggies as often as you can.
  3. Dietary Toxins in Processed Foods-MSG, harmful fatty acids and toxic preservatives and emulsifiers weaken the thyroid reducing metabolism up to 70% in the long-term. With sustained exposure to the chemical preservatives develop significant abdominal weight gain, early insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Reducing exposure to dietary toxins, sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed foods will keep your metabolism sharp.
  4. Drinking Water Containing Fluoride and Chlorine-Both chemicals in treated water supplies also interfere with normal thyroid function. If your thyroid is sluggish, your metabolism slows down and even becomes dysfunctional. Drinking fluoridated and chlorinated water supplies will guarantee at least some dysfunction in metabolic processes. Drink filtered water whenever possible. If you are not sure what is in your water run a comprehensive water test like    
  5. Not Getting enough sleep -Sleep deprivation reduces the amount of energy your body uses at rest, according to the German and Swedish researchers. Stay away from alcohol, fatty foods, coffee and chocolate at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  6. Pharmaceuticals-The most popular medications in the world including antacids and drugs for diabetes, cholesterols and high blood pressure, all interfere with critical metabolic processes which dramatically reduce energy expenditure.
  7. Eating Too Little– When you skimp on calories, your body switches into starvation mode, slowing your metabolic rate to conserve the fuel it’s got. You will never increase your metabolism by dramatically curbing your calorie intake. Always eat often and make good food choices!!
  8. Lacking Protein– Make sure protein is a component in every meal. It assists your body in maintaining lean muscle. Add a serving, like 3 ounces of fish, 2 tablespoons of nuts daily. Research shows protein can up post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35%.
  9.    Vitamin D is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue.
  10. Sitting Too Long– It takes only 20 minutes in any fixed position to inhibit your metabolism. A research study has discovered that sitting for long periods increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and death regardless of physical activity.                                                                                                                                                         11 Disrupting Circadian Rhythms–  Your internal clock directly controls the part of your cells that keeps your metabolism working optimally. But when you disrupt your so-called circadian rhythm — by crossing time zones, for instance — your cells don’t function the way they should and your metabolism suffers.      12 Dehydration– All of your body’s cellular processes, including metabolism, depend on water. If you’re dehydrated, you could burn up to 2 percent fewer calories.

Metabolism boosters

  • Water ..1/2 oz per pound of body weight surely will boost your caloric intake
  • Hot peppers- including spicy peppers into foods help lose weight
  • Parsley- works like a diuretic
  • Grapefruit- helps with a gentile liver cleanse. Be careful with medications it can interfere with some meds
  • Garlic- boosts immune system and clears out mucus
  • Chia seeds- work like detox for the intestines
  • Chocolate—helps support happy hormones in the brain
  • Cinnamon- stabilize blood sugar and has anti inflammatory aspects
  • Melon- stabilizes blood sugar
  • Almonds- full of vitamin b which helps boost metabolism and helps stabilize blood sugar
  • Lemon- helps clear toxins and mucus from cells in the gut
  • Sweet potato- metabolism booster

BONUS) Coconut Oil- yummy delicious fat and helps mobilize fat out of the cell..yes this oil actually HELPS you lose weight

As humans we have the ability to support or impair our health. The beauty of human resilience is if you make any of these changes today you will begin to see results!

For more information on healthy eating and recipes 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

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

What a post-partum mom really wants when you visit her and her baby

dsc00968

Truth is visits from well-meaning family and friends are always welcome! It’s the unsolicited advice or subtle (pressured) offers to hold/ care for the newborn we could all do without. Research has shown us time and again that the first weeks of life are critical for bonding, proper milk supply and post-partum recovery of the mother.

The best things we can do for mom and her new baby is:

1) Take their other kids somewhere. Older siblings are usually under stimulated by the daily goings on of a newborn. So take the other children for as long as you can, and bring them back exhausted and fed.

2) Feed the mama! Remember she is constantly feeding another human! Be sure to check with here to see if there are particular things she is or isn’t eating. Be sure the dish is disposable or a gift. Post-partum moms do not have the best memory capacity.

3) Collect some cash or a gift card for cleaning services! Who has time for cleaning after you have just spawned a human from your loins! Find a trusted service or person to do the job! Worth every cent!

4) Offer to watch the baby while mom naps or showers. Both those items become scarce in the immediate post-partum period. A few minutes of your time are a huge gift to a tired or smelly mama!

5) Help to recognize signs of postpartum depression. “Baby Blues” can last 6 weeks, anything beyond that that could be cause for concern should be addressed and guided to the proper provider. As you all know regular chiropractic has been shown to reduce post-partum depression. Be Sure to on the lookout for tell-tell signs that mama might be struggling.

6) Invite mamma and baby to get out of the house. We all know what kind of Olympic sport it is to get a newborn fed, changed and clothed to get out; help her get a change of scenery, even if it is only a short walk around the block.

7) Offer to run errands for her, do her grocery shopping in person or online, pick up a few items at the coop, grab that homeopathic for the baby’s prickly stomach (remember #6) it is likely she will gladly accept the help.

8) Make a sign for their door that says “Baby Sleeping” or “please come in..and do some laundry” in early postpartum days sleep is precious get any and all you can! And avoid being disturbed by the UPS guy or the neighbor’s kids who want to play.

Truth is we have all been there and we all need the help. This is an amazing way as women we can support each other and grow together. When mama is recovered she will be ready to help you with your bundle of joy!

First Foods for Babies with MTHFR

 

In conventional medicine there is a gross disconnect between our health and our food.  It is always important to remember each and every thing we consume affects us in some way. This is ever so apparent in our babies, who have immature detoxification systems and immune systems. So why is the “general consensus” to offer complex nutrient poor foods, often times before the baby is even ready to digest them?

First foods are so important for baby! But “offering food before age one is just for fun” which means that the bulk of nutrients for babies under 1 year of age should be from breast milk (The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then concomitantly with nutrient dense food until the age of 2). Formula in many cases poses a problem for families affected by MTHFR, as most formulas are fortified with folic acid. Folic acid should be avoided in all individuals with MTHFR, since individuals with MTHFR lack the proper functioning of their enzyme to properly convert the synthetic folic acid into usable folate for the cells.  

Always look for signs of readiness in a baby to be sure their digestive system is ready for food.

A-Baby-Sitting

Be sure baby is:

        • sitting up nearly unassisted
        • Has teeth or is actively teething
        • Shows an interest in food or chewing
        • Has begun to develop a pincer grasp

Some of the best recommendations for first food are avocado and sweet potato. Avocado is a folate rich food, which helps the body methylate properly. Generally parents will alternate these foods for up to 3 months before introducing other foods. When a baby is teething or gets a cold they may lose interest in food and prefer to just nurse for a while. If baby is voracious and very interested in food then parents may consider advancing the diet slowly.

General rules of thumb for food introduction include:

  • Introduce one food at a time with at least a week in between new foods.
  • Be an example for your baby by also choosing these foods or offering them off your plate so baby feels included.
  • Start with Orange veggies followed by Yellow veggies followed by green veggies; fruits can be introduced as well after this time, avoiding the most acidic fruits such as oranges.
  • Of course, when the time is right lots of green, folate rich veggies can be delicious and nutritious for baby, Folate stores help the body methylate properly, reducing the complications with MTHFR.                                                                                                                 squash

Most babies tolerate high quality meats and fish with scales by around a year of age, which is perfect timing as iron stores drop as baby lays down muscle and brain tissue quickly during development; This can lead to a diagnosis of anemia.

With MTHFR food introduction may be a bit more complicated if a tongue tie has gone undiagnosed. These babies may show little interest in food or eat a lot and then appear to be in distress. It is always wise to have a tongue tie issue assessed and addressed as early as possible. Remember, tongue tie and lip ties are midline defects, defects that should be “prevented” with proper folate dosing, however in individuals with MTHFR, or who have been counselled that folic acid and folate “are the same” may experience these issues with a higher incidence; people with MTHFR have trouble converting their folate into a useable form.

In general supplements are not recommended for babies under the age of 2, however speak with your provider about individual needs.

What foods to avoid?

  1. Avoid offering any processed foods, many of which have added synthetic folic acid.  Instead eat  and offer whole foods to your baby with no added chemicals or preservatives.
  2. Avoid using plastics if possible, BPA is banned in baby products but that doesn’t mean it disappeared. It has been found in breast milk in multiple scientific studies.
  3. Babies with MTHFR often get diagnosed with reflux and are prescribed proton pump inhibitors, this depletes minerals, vitamin d and essential Vitamin B12 absorption. Visit your local chiropractor to get adjusted or visit your local holistic provider to have baby evaluated.
  4. If you do not have a MTHFR mutation but your baby does, parents should avoid synthetic folic acid and processed foods too. Folic acid can functionally cause you to have all the same problems as someone with a MTHFR mutation.

In closing, our genes (or mutations) do not define us; nothing beats a good diet, exercise, quality sleep and kindness, show this to your kids and your parenting investment will be returned in spades….

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime 

 

Migraine Headaches & MTHFR

kid_migraine

If you or your family member sufferers from migraines it is important to look at the triggers and links for optimal treatment.

A headache can come on at any time and for a number of reasons. However, People who suffer from migraines experience much more complicated symptoms that are often debilitating. Aside from pain, migraines often bring on nausea, vomiting, visual, light and sound sensitivity. Migraines can start as early as 5 years old and can be triggered by foods, stress, hormone changes, chemicals and the environment.  A number of studies have implicated genes such as MTHFR in migraine headaches.

MTHFR also affects the characteristics of migraine symptoms. One study found that having 2 copies of c677T was associated with migraine with aura and one-sided headache, yet, one copy of c677T was associated with “physical activity and stress as a migraine trigger.” The researchers also found there is tremendous difference in symptoms between men and women. Males with 2 copies of c677T, for example, were more prone to bilateral headaches while the females with one copy of c677T experienced symptoms of nausea and odor aversion more frequently. These studies conclude that there is an overwhelmingly higher incidence of migraine in patients with a MTHFR mutation than without one.

Other gene SNPs associated with migraine headaches includes MTHFR, KCNK, TRPV, and HCRTR. Yet, MTHFR C677T is the most studied in relation to migraines. When an individual is diagnosed with a vascular type of migraine it is highly correlates with c677T and elevated homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine, can inflame the inner lining of the nerves and blood vessels, which can contribute to migraines.  Another other concern with migraine and MTHFR is the increased incidence of stroke and cardiovascular compilations. Carrying a MTHFR mutation can also predispose the brain to being more sensitive to changes in weather, neurochemical production and have impaired detox capability, all of these can make a brain more sensitive and prone to migraine.

Some easy tips to treat migraine include:

  • Avoid any food triggers such as preservatives, chemicals, dyes, aged foods (with mold or fungus), gluten and dairy proteins; all of these can be neurotoxic to the brain. The diet should be followed for 3 months before any result is evaluated.
  • Get tested for MTHFR and manage the mutation properly with a qualified provider, individuals with MTHFR OR Migraine are not candidates for hormonal contraception or treatment and should avoid this trigger.
  • Individuals with MTHFR may have elevated homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is also found in individuals with migraine. One study proved lowering homocysteine levels through vitamin supplementation reduced migraine disability. Speak to your provider about testing and management.
  • Check your blood sugar, highs and lows with blood sugar can trigger a migraine, keep your eating consistent and check out my book for more recipes.
  • Make sure sleep is adequate, the body needs rest and relaxation; avoid TV, blue lights or screens in the bedroom.
  • Consider chiropractic the research is overwhelming in success of treatment of migraine.
  • Detox the house, be sure there aren’t chemical triggers or chemicals triggering the migraine in your home. Consider natural cleaners, natural products and testing on water and paint for toxicity or chemicals.
  • Fix the gut. Using quality probiotic and fish oil can be very helpful in reducing triggers, inflammation and increasing oxygen to the brain. Ask your provider about the highest quality supplements and be sure they come from a reputable source or they could do the opposite in your body.
  • For children, allow them to be a part of their healing, talk to them about health and nutrition, and model healthy choices for them, explain the disease process and how to reduce the incidence.

Remember healing takes time, migraine can feel very isolating, get help, get support and get better!!

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714533