Monthly Archives: September 2013

Optimum Nutrition for Kidney Stones

326750_highChanging your diet can reduce the risk of stone recurrence. Although an individualized dietary prescription needs to be tailored according to stone type or urinary risk factors, almost all stone-formers should benefit from increased fluid intake and a diet containing 800 to 1200 mg of calcium; reduced amounts of sodium and animal protein; and higher intake of fruits, vegetables, and grains (excluding the high-oxalate ones). Reduced sugar intake, such as with the Mediterranean diet, is also recommended.

Chiropractic and routine obstetric care

267128_highMusculoskeletal pain in pregnant women is common and is frequently viewed as short-lived and temporary.  Most women report either low back pain (LBP) or pelvic pain (PP) during pregnancy and up to 40% of patients report pain during the 18 months after delivery.  A study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that including chiropractic interventions with standard obstetric care for low back and pelvic pain in mid pregnancy benefits patients more than standard obstetric care alone. The benefits derived are both subjective and objective. Patients perceived less pain and disability and an overall global improvement in daily activities. Their physical examinations revealed improved range of motion, stability, and less irritation at the lumbar and pelvic joints.


Chiropractic and better brain function?

275287_highPatients with subclinical neck pain have altered brain activation patterns (cerebellum). The cerebellum’s best-known functions are in coordinating motor activities and learning new motor skills (such as learning to ride a bike). A recent study has found that chiropractic treatment of the neck in a group of subclinical neck pain patients leads to a pattern of brain activity from the cerebellum that is more similar to a non–neck pain, healthy group of participants. These findings suggest that normalizing sensory input from the neck (by way of chiropractic treatment) may have restored a more correct internal body schema that allowed correct sensorimotor integration and normalized motor output. Additionally, the authors of the study suggest that improving neck dysfunction through chiropractic treatment may improve upper limb task performance and execution.

Migraine Headaches and Magnesium

475545_highMagnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral and has been recognized as a cofactor for greater than 300 metabolic reactions in the body. It has been reported that about 60% of adults in the United States do not consume the RDA for magnesium. Magnesium deficiency has been associated with a number of chronic diseases, including migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s diseases, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Migraine sufferers may develop magnesium deficiency due to genetic inability to absorb magnesium, inherited renal magnesium wasting, excretion of excessive amounts of magnesium due to stress, low nutritional intake, and several other reasons. There is strong evidence that magnesium deficiency is much more prevalent in migraine sufferers than in healthy controls. Because of these findings, it has been suggested that treatment with at least oral magnesium is warranted in all migraine sufferers.

‘Follow your gut’ for better health

748593_highHumans live in a biosphere where microbes are everywhere and have existed and evolved over billions of years. The intestinal tract of humans is home to a complex microbial community estimated to contain approximately 100 trillion cells, exceeding the number of human cells by a factor of 10!  This microbial community, which is predominantly bacterial is referred to as the gut microbiota. It’s clear that our gut bacteria are related to health outcomes…and what we eat has a great effect on our gut bacteria profile. Diets that have a high proportion of fruit and vegetables and a lesser amounts of meat are associated with a highly diverse microbiota which is healthy. Our consumption of processed foods, widespread use of antibiotics and disinfectants and our modern lifestyle have imbalanced our ancient gut microbiome.  Imbalances in gut microbiota are associated with numerous disorders, such as immune disorders, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, diabetes, and brain disorders (the functional status of the gut is always related to the condition of brain). Improving gut health will involve a healthy diet, coping with stress effectively, exercise, and better regulation of glucose levels.  Not surprisingly, supplements such as probiotics and pre-biotics when administered in adequate amounts, have been shown to provide additional health benefits.

Recovered from back pain?

Trunk neuromuscular alterations have been found in those with chronic low back pain, but are responses altered in those deemed recovered following an injury? Coordinated trunk muscle responses are deemed important for normal spinal function, but there are no studies of temporal patterns early after a low back injury. Recent research found that despite the perception of readiness to return to work and low pain scores, the timing and amplitude of muscle activation patterns were altered in these low back pain patients indicating that differences exist compared to a non-low back injured group. Perhaps this is a reason why some with low back pain end up re-injuring themselves. Apparently lack of pain does not equal recovery or proper function. So what can be done? For one thing, evidence indicates that chiropractic care can reduce symptoms while improving musculoskeletal function. Also, exercise training leads to improved balance and neuromuscular control.

Fever myths

317587_highTraditionally, fevers have been treated aggressively as if fevers were bad and lowering fever was somehow beneficial to the patient. There is no evidence that fever itself worsens the course of an illness or that it causes long-term neurologic complications. Rather, quite the opposite is true.  How treatment of fever with antipyretics became so widespread remains an enigma of medicine. In the current era of “evidence-based medicine,” it is incredible that the treatment of fever continues with no scientific or clinical basis.  Therefore, unless it can be shown that the patient has a situation in which fever is potentially detrimental, patients should be allowed to have the benefits of fever. The primary goal of treating the febrile child should be to improve the child’s overall comfort rather than focus on the normalization of body temperature. Perhaps in the future, patients admitted with no fever or hypothermia will be placed on a hyperthermia blanket to increase their body temperature to optimize host defenses.

Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes

336123_highOnce in a while, people suggest that fruits are ‘bad’ if you have type 2 diabetes. On the contrary, it seems that eating whole fruits as opposed to fruit juices have a beneficial effect on diabetes. Fruits are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that may have beneficial health effects. Evidence strongly suggests that consuming more fruits and vegetables could contribute to treatments for conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity, and to the prevention of these diseases. Greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk.

Exercise in the prevention of dementia

888619_highDementia, a major cause of disability and institutionalization in older people, poses a serious threat to public health and to the social and economic development of modern society. Effective pharmaceutical treatment of dementia is currently unavailable. However, evidence suggests that increases in physical activity may prevent dementia and can reduce the risk of cognitive impairment in old age. Research results concerning the effect of exercise on muscles, heart, bones and brain show there is not one safer and least expensive way to maintain an individual’s health and independence. Additionally, even though the biological clock cannot be stopped, life style changes, such as stress management, healthy eating habits and adoption of physical activity, can slow down the aging process.