The Role of Diet in ADHD…

Due to concern about the side effects and the long-term use of medications typically prescribed to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), there is an increasing demand for alternative forms of treatment for patients with the condition, with dietary medications and supplementation showing promise.

ADHD

Research has shown that deficiencies in zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, glutathione, and/or omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to oxidative stress and altered neural plasticity needed for brain development and healing. For children with ADHD, this can manifest as poor concentration and memory and learning challenges.

Hypersensitivity to foods and/or additives can increase inflammation in the blood, which presents in children as atopy (hereditary allergy like asthma, hay fever, or hives), irritability, sleep issues, and prominent hyperactive-impulsive symptoms. Studies have demonstrated that taking a probiotic can help manage inflammation, which may benefit children with ADHD as well.

The link between ADHD and food additives including (but not limited to) preservatives, artificial flavorings, and colorings has been debated for decades. A 2007 Lancet publication reported that sodium benzoate and commonly used food colorings may exacerbate hyperactive behavior in children under the age of nine. A 2010 follow-up study concluded that children affected by these types of additives may share common genetic factors.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) and phospholipids are both essential for normal neuronal structure and function, of which diet is the only source of these important nutrients, especially during critical periods of development (childhood). Dietary deficiency early in life has been reported to increase the risk of developing ADHD signs and symptoms.

Past studies have established the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between the omega-3 vs. omega-6 fatty acids in one’s diet to reduce systemic inflammation. When the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 becomes too high (3:1 is favorable), it’s considered a risk factor for ADHD.

Diets low in protein and high in carbohydrates (refined carbs/sugar) are also a well-known risk factor for developing ADHD because the amino acids that make up proteins are essential for our body to manufacture neurotransmitters.

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Knee Pain – Do I Need a Replacement?

About a quarter of adults experience frequent knee pain, which results in limited function, reduced mobility, and impaired quality of life. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common cause of knee pain in those over 50 years of age, and it is the #1 reason for total knee replacement (TKR). The rate of TKR in the United States and the United Kingdom has increased substantially in recent decades, which many have written off as a consequence of our aging populations. But is that really the case?

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One study reviewed long-term data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) and the Framingham Osteoarthritis (FOA) study. The research team concluded that advancing age is indeed a factor behind the increase in TKR since the 1970s, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The researchers also found that obesity is a risk factor for symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee, and as you know, obesity rates have skyrocketed in the last four decades.

So, what can be done to reduce your risk for a total knee replacement? There isn’t anything you can do about getting older, but there’s a lot you can do to maintain a healthy weight. Begin by switching to a more anti-inflammatory diet such as the Mediterranean diet or the Paleo diet. You don’t have to change everything you eat all at once. Start by eating an extra serving of vegetables and one less serving of processed food a day. As you notice yourself starting to feel better, it will give you the confidence to make further dietary modifications.

Because the primary way for the cartilage in your joints to get nutrients is through movement, you’ll need to become more active. Increase the number of steps you take per day and raise the intensity over time. You should also engage in balance and strength training exercises.

Of course, you’ll also need to ensure your knee isn’t subjected to abnormal movements both above and below that can compromise the tissues that make up the joint. For example, ankle pronation can overload the medial compartment of the knee. Similarly, a problem in the hip, pelvis, or lower back can also place stress on the knee, which can impair its function. That’s why doctors of chiropractic evaluate the whole patient to identify any and all contributing factors to a patient’s chief complaint. Otherwise, the patient may not experience a satisfactory outcome.

 

This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a health care professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.

ADHD and Chiropractic Care?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a controversial diagnosis, as there are no clear objective clinical tests that can establish whether or not a patient has the condition. ADHD belongs to a spectrum of neurological disorders with no physiological basis (no clear lab tests exist) and often include other conditions such as learning disabilities, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or Tourette’s syndrome. Early-onset mania or bipolar mixed state can be difficult to differentiate from ADHD or they may co-exist with ADHD.

To complicate matters with regard to diagnosing ADHD, some kids may simply be at the high-end of the normal range of activity or have difficult temperaments. Poor attention may be caused by altered vision or hearing, seizures, head trauma, acute or chronic illness, poor nutrition, insufficient sleep, anxiety disorders, depression, and/or the result of abuse or neglect. Various drugs (such as phenobarbital) may interfere with attention ADHDas well.

Since the 1990s, the number of prescriptions to treat ADHD has skyrocketed 700%, possibly due to the increased awareness of the symptoms associated with ADHD and/or an increase in the diagnoses for ADHD, often demanded by frustrated teachers and/or parents. The classic medical model has embraced the use of Ritalin (methylphenidate) to treat ADHD. For parents who would like to explore other avenues of treatment, what can Chiropractic offer?

In a recent study involving 28 children aged 5-15 years with a primary diagnosis of ADHD, investigators randomly assigned 14 participants to a spinal manipulation (SM) group with conventional care and the other 14 to a control group (conventional care only). The researchers found the patients in the SM group experienced better outcomes based on several assessments and that a larger scale study would be necessary to verify their findings.

Nutrition may also have a role to play in the management of ADHD. In a 2015 study, researchers provided Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (a probiotic) to infants at six months of age and then followed them for the next 13 years. At age 13, six of the children in a placebo group had been diagnosed with either ADHD or Asperger syndrome while none of the kids in the probiotic group had been affected by either condition. The researchers concluded that probiotic use early in life may reduce the risk of neuropsychiatric disorder development later in childhood.

Ending Pain and Staying Healthy Is a Surprisingly Small Thing…

Here’s something interesting. Do you know how much money American Airlines saved in 1987 by eliminating ONE olive from each salad they served in first class?

You’ll never guess.Single-olive

$40,000!

Amazing, isn’t it? And if you translate that amount to today’s dollars—it would be a lot more!

You want to know what else is interesting and quite amazing? If you do, listen to this: It is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which basically means three quarters of the country does not drink anywhere near enough H20.

And check this out—it is also estimated that in 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak it is often mistaken for hunger. And even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism by as much as 3%. And there’s more…

One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters in a University of Washington study. But that’s not all! Lack of water is the number one trigger for daytime fatigue. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen.

As a quick aside related to computers—in 2006 one in eight people showed signs of being addicted to the Internet! Can you imagine? (And that was before smartphones and social media really hit the scene.)jyh63rhks5g3na9dsnhu-1-800x445

BACK TO WATER… SOME ESTIMATES SAY DRINKING FIVE GLASSES A DAY CAN DECREASE THE RISK OF COLON CANCER BY 45%, SLASH BREAST CANCER BY 79%, AND DECREASE YOUR CHANCES OF GETTING BLADDER CANCER BY 50%.

So what’s the point of all these interesting facts? Is all this just to get you to drink more water? Hardly…

Listen… although it’s obvious you should be drinking plenty of water—the REAL take home message here is: small things done consistently over a long period of time can have a major impact on your health and life.

Let’s face it. One olive is not a big thing. But removing just one from the in-flight salad meant $40,000 over the course of a year. Just five glasses of water a day might save you from one of those deadly conditions listed above.

And here’s something else you may find important: regular Chiropractic care may have a BIG impact on your life. How, you ask? If you came to us in pain and we helped you… it might stop your original condition from coming back. And not only that—just one visit per month may help you live a healthier, more pain-free life… in many ways.

Those olives and glasses of water add up and have a huge impact over time. So do Chiropractic treatments, even though they may be tough to actually measure.

Here’s one more interesting fact if you’d like to lose weight: Banging your head against the wall burns 150 calories an hour! Yeah… you’re right… there’s probably a better way… 🙂

Fibromyalgia & Nutrition

What Is The Most Current Theory of Fibromyalgia?

Today, we look at fibromyalgia in a completely different way. There used to be little or no way to “see” this condition as anything other than 18 tender points in a doctor’s examination. (Which is silly, because fibromyalgia patients are sore everywhere!) Today we know that fibromyalgia patients show the following:
• Elevated inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and especially IL-17.
• Neuroimaging of the brain shows altered brain structure and disrupted white matter.
• Endothelial dysfunction disturbing blood vessels
• Sympathetic nervous system dominance
• HPA axis disturbance causing low pituitary and adrenal response to ACTH and cortisol
• Small fiber polyneuropathy is distal body joints are a driver of pain signals
• Non-restorative sleep
• Association with pathogens such as hepatitis B or C, HIV, cocksackie B, parvovirus, and Borrellia.
• Evidence of cell mitochondrial dysfunction

Science refers to fibromyalgia (FMS) as a mosaic disease, in other words, it is a condition that stems from a specific group of any or all causes. All the conditions in this group are part of Central Sensitivity Syndrome (CSS) or the Neuroinflammation Mosaic. Other conditions in the same mosaic include migraine headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, TMJ Disorder and others. Every patient’s mosaic is a little different so the approach to care has to be unique to each patient.css

What Does Research Tell Us From Previous Nutrition Studies about FMS?

There are very few studies that give us much information about FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome). Two studies from Spain found that there was “remarkable clinical improvement is FMS patients on a gluten-free diet” 1,2 This is consistent with the newest information that says that immunity, infection and inflammatory processes are a driver of CSS. In a random controlled trial in 2013 it was found that 300 mg/day of magnesium for 8 weeks reduced tender points, sensitivity and depression.3

How Do You Address the Four Areas of The Fibromyalgia Mosaic?

1. Immune/Infection/Inflammation: In any inflammatory condition we want to rule out any type of chronic infection causing ongoing chronic inflammation. Many patients with CSS suffer from gut inflammation due to poor gut bacterial balance (dysbiosis). Probiotics may give temporary relief to gut issues that lead to a leaky gut allowing bacteria and proteins to enter the bloodstream uninvited. To control inflammation herbs such as boswellia, turmeric and ginger will lower inflammatory cytokines. Strengthen the immune system with herbs like echinacea and astragalus. Green tea will upregulate your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants (Nrf2 cycle). One area with fibromyalgia that has been shown to help is to add these 5 things to your regular diet to manage inflammation, increase dietary nitrates, and reduce oxidative stress:

a. Boost dietary nitrate by juicing or baking beets and eating them.spoon
b. Increase cocoa intake (dark chocolate 85% or higher) rich in polyphenols
c. Increase berries and cruciferous vegetables for anthocyanins.
d. Eat ½ to 1 clove a day of raw crushed garlic in your food for the hydrogen sulfide.
e. Increase your use of herbs and spices, especially green tea, turmeric and ginger.

f. (Bonus) There was “remarkable clinical improvement” with patients who went on a gluten-free diet.4

2. Endocrine/HPA Axis Support: With fibromyalgia there is a loss of the normal stress response, disturbed sleep patterns and fatigue. The stress response of the body is mediated by the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. (HPA Axis) Cortisol is the stress hormone created by the adrenal glands. With dysfunction the adrenals will benefit from adrenal tonic herbs like licorice and rehmannia. Whole food vitamin C is critical for adrenal function. Some herbs help the HPA axis better adapt to stress. They are called adaptogens. Ashwaganda and Rhodiola are two such herbs. Herbs that support sleep like valerian root and kava are also helpful.

3. Mitochondrial Support: 20% of all the mitochondria in the body are found in the brain. Magnesium is a mineral that is very important to energy production in the mitochondria. Tension-HeadacheHerbs and herbal extracts such as gingko, hawthorn and resveratrol are supportive of normal mitochondrial function.


4. Brain/Nervous System Support
: Two areas of concentration are important to support the brain; microcirculation and central sensitivity pain. Gingko is known to improve microcirculation in the brain. One of the key features of fibromyalgia is chronic pain. For peripheral pain (pain in the extremities) the best herbs are celery seed, boswellia, turmeric and willow bark. For pain related to the brain and spinal cord herbs such as California poppy, Jamaica dogwood and corydalis are herbs known to help.

You can now understand that fibromyalgia is NOT a figment of science’s imagination, but a real condition with real solutions… and that chiropractic, nutrition and herbs can serve as a solution.

1. Isasi C, et al. Rheumatol Int 2014;34(11):1607-1612
2. Rodrigo L, et al. Arthritis Res Ther 2014;16(4):421
3. Bagis S. et al. Rheumatol Int 2013;33(1): 167-172
4. Isasi C, Colmenero I, Casco F, et al. Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatology International. 2014;34(11):1607-1612.

Whole Grain Truth

Who Sounded the Alarm When the Refining of Grains Began?

In the 1920’s when the refining of wheat flour began to catch on with the American public many doctors tried to warn the public of the nutritional dangers of refining whole grains. One doctor, Dr. Royal Lee, a dentist and an engineer, set out to create a home electric flour mill so the every family could have whole grain with all its nutrients, fresh with their meals instead of buying the lifeless refined grain. That wheat grinder is still available today and Dr. Lee went on to develop a company in 1929 that still makes quality whole food supplements.

In the 1930’s another dentist Dr. Weston Price gave up his dental practice to travel the world and study the nutritional habits of indigenous cultures throughout the world. One of the things that Dr. Price noted in his studies of isolated, so-called “primitive” peoples was that when white flour and other devitalized foods were introduced into these communities, rampant tooth decay and diseases of every sort soon followed.

What Happens to Whole Grains When they are Refined?

What happens to whole grains when we refine them? During the industrial revolution we learned that whole grains go rancid faster than refined versions due to the fat content. If we mill the bran and germ away from the grain it makes a product that won’t spoil. Thus, food processors started preserving grain shelf life by stripping away the bran and germ. That doesn’t seem so bad… remove some parts and now it will last a lot longer on the shelf and we can always keep a bag of the flour in the pantry that never goes bad, right? Here’s grainsthe part we forgot to tell you… what’s gone is the germ which is where all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients are, and the bran which is the fiber that aids in digestion. What’s still left over is the endosperm which is all starch. (Code for a whole bunch of sugar) Refined grains like white flour, white rice, bread, and pasta, are all endosperm, as the refining process strips away the bran and germ and all the nutrients they contain. Even though many refined grains are “fortified” with synthetic vitamins and inorganic minerals, fortification cannot replace all the lost nutrients. Additionally refined grains are digested and absorbed very quickly by the body, which can be rough on blood sugar levels and insulin levels.

Why Eat Whole Grains?

• Whole grains contain bran and fiber, which normalize blood sugar and insulin levels.
• Fiber helps move waste through the digestive tract.
• Whole grains are a good source of B vitamin and E vitamin complexes.
• Whole grains contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) which can be cancer protective.
• Whole grains contain essential minerals such as magnesium, selenium and copper.

Astragalus, a Superfood

What is Astragalus and What Does It Do?

Although relatively unknown in the West, Astragalus root has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine; and to great effect. Researched since the early 80’s, Astragalus has been shown to increase the number of hunter T-Cells, leukocytes and interferon in the blood, all of which help to inhibit foreign substances and disease.

U.S studies have also shown that Astragalus is an ‘adaptogenic’ herb, which means it has the ability to promote homeostasis or to stabilize physiological processes. In the case of Astragalus it is an adaptogen for the immune system.

astragalus_slices_21402-product_2x-1437761941Astragalus has the ability to seek out rogue cells, viruses, bacteria and other pathogens that may invade the body. Due to this, Astragalus has also been shown to boost the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in cancer patients.
In one Italian study breast cancer patients were given a combination of Astragalus and Ligustrum herb. Overall, the results showed a startling reduction in mortality from 50% to 10%. This herb is revered for its ability to boost the immune system. When cancer patients undergo chemotherapy, most often, the drugs used cause the body to produce less red and white blood cells. This makes cancer patients more susceptible to infection and general illness that can quickly become serious. Astragalus enables the body to boost its white blood cell count, produce more antibodies and natural killer cells, strengthen its antiviral immunity, and increase the production of interferon.

Based on research conducted at the University of Houston, the use of astragalus enhances the ability of T-cells and natural killer cells to destroy tumors. It activates interleukin-2, which kills cancer cells and helps relieve the side effects of chemotherapy such as immunosuppression, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, and overall weakness.

There are many other reasons that you might want to take Astragalus. These may include, but are not limited to:

• Reduces metastatic spread of cancer thus increasing survival rates
• Helps with heart disease and high blood pressure by helping to dilate arteries
• Reduces inflammation
• Aids digestion
• Improves liver function
• Boosts the immune system in many different ways
• Minimizes the side-effects of chemotherapy
• Used for centuries as a treatment for allergies, colds, flus and respiratory conditions
• Anemia
• Has been used successfully in kidney disease