Vitamin K and Your Healthy Lifestyle

Foods like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach are particularly plentiful in Vitamin K. So if you follow our recommended Diet, you likely don’t need to worry about getting enough.

Vitamin K is another nutrient we don’t frequently hear much about.

That is unless, of course, you suffer from Afib or a clotting disorder. But more on that story later!

Like all vitamins, a deficiency here can kill us! You see vitamin K gets is name from a German word for coagulation (Koagulationsvitamin). The reason is, without proper levels of Vitamin K, we could bleed to death!

Like all nutrients, there is so much more. Vitamin K1 occurs naturally in green plants. Foods like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach are particularly plentiful. So if you follow our recommended Diet, you likely don’t need to worry about getting enough.

Good dietary intakes of green leafy vegetables and this supplement they contain are associated with less risk of diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.

Exceptions or those at risk for deficiency are those patients with bowel disease, alcoholism, or long-term antibiotic usage which can kill normal bacteria in our bellies.

In humans, K1 is converted to, and then stored as, K2. There are also several other forms—some are even used used in medicine for treating bone loss.

The three major areas Vitamin K has a role in are blood clotting (coagulation), helping the maintenance of normal healthy bone, and in normal blood vessel health. Bone health is of particular concern as we age. We do know that patients with osteoporosis or thinning of the bones have low levels of Vitamin K2.

The one area that concerns patients more than others with vitamin K is that its intake in your diet needs to be limited if you take Coumadin. Coumadin (Warfarin) is the drug given as a blood thinner when patients suffer from conditions like the heart disorder atrial fibrilation. Afib, as it is called, is common in diabetics

As a side note, lots of the preventive diet and nutrition strategies we discuss can benefit—and possibly prevent—Afib in the first place.

There are newer blood thinning drugs without Vitamin K interactions, but some of them are far riskier than the time-tested drug Warfarin.

So, now you know the essentials. But we have not heard the last on Vitamin K and good health, I am sure!

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today or simply leave your info HERE and we’ll call you ASAP!

Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution

The next time you have a headache…

Or indigestion…

Or even muscle cramps or twitching…

Go online and “Google” any of those terms and see what you come up with. I’m willing to bet you’ll be terrified by the results.

For headache you’ll see anything from brain tumor to bleeding in the brain to meningitis and encephalitis.

Indigestion will lead you to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, cancer, or even abnormality of the pancreas or bile ducts.

And muscle cramps or twitching will run the gamut from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Your search will also give you the more common reasons for any of these symptoms.  Many people latch on to the more dramatic reasons and begin living like every day is their last.[1]

Others will downplay symptoms, assume that they have something simple to treat and go to the corner drug store and buy whatever over the counter remedy “seems” to treat their symptoms.

Either of these reactions could be courting disaster.  Especially if you have a condition that can lead to more serious complications.  Delaying medical treatment may lead to severe lifelong ailment that could destroy your quality of life.

Expecting the Worst

If you fall into the “I know I’m dying” category, you will probably begin doctor shopping.  Going from specialist to specialist looking for someone to confirm the worst.  Even beyond the physical damage the stress of this process can do to your body, your emotional well-being is destroyed.

You live day to day expecting the worst with the specter of the Grim Reaper hanging over your shoulder.  That is no way to live.

The first thing you need to do is make appointment with your primary care provider.  Tell them your symptoms and let them do some diagnostic testing.  If the results warrant it, they will get you started on a treatment protocol to not only alleviate your symptoms but treat the root cause of your medical problem.  Our treatment protocol includes nutrition counseling, diet planning, stress management techniques, and hands on adjustment to properly align your nervous system.

If you actually do have a serious condition, the earlier you start this process, the better off you’ll be.  The earlier you receive appropriate treatment, the less your chances of developing permanent issues.

Ignoring the Obvious

The other end of the spectrum is the patient who does their own research, opts for the condition easily treatable with over the counter meds, and puts off seeing a specialist until their symptoms are much worse.

Let’s take the muscle twitching or cramping symptom as an example.  Yes, this could be caused by overworking the muscle or even a vitamin deficiency.   Either of those are easy to fix. But what if it’s something more serious?

If the condition lasts longer than a few days, you need to see your healthcare provider. For instance, you could have a condition leading to peripheral neuropathy.  Failing to treat the underlying cause quickly can lead to lasting nerve damage, muscle degeneration, and ultimately, even amputation of the affected limb.[2]

Cyberchondria vs. Informed Caution

Before you think we’re advocating running to the doctor every time you have a hang nail, that is definitely not the case.  We’re not advocating the spread of Cyberchondria[3] (i.e., the rising epidemic of online diagnosis and treatment), just asking that you approach any medical condition with informed caution.

An informed and educated patient is a gift for any physician.  Informed patients are much more likely to participate in their own care and keep their physician apprised of any changes in their condition.  That’s a win for both sides.

Instead of using the internet as a tool to diagnose (or, in many cases, misdiagnose) your own conditions, choose to use it as a means of educating yourself enough to provide your health care provider with all the information he needs to accurately and quickly diagnose your illness.

You’ll be making your life, and your healthcare provider’s life, much easier.

Call us today at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation.

Learned Helplessness: A Pill for This And A Pill For That

I once the opportunity to film a video and write an article about “learned helplessness”. Learned helplessness was discovered many years ago, as a response by animals that are under tremendous stress. In a nutshell, this is a behavioral response that occurs when animals or in fact people believe there is no way out of their current situation.

Unfortunately, too much of drug advertisements and naming of this syndrome and that syndrome, a pill for this and pill for that mentality has led many patients to believe they have 10 more things wrong with them. And the reality is so often many conditions for which patients are treated have single underlying causes!

These could include things like acute infection, inflammation, elevated blood sugars, and perhaps even genetic disorders. More often than not, it is simply the accumulation of years of poor health habits.

But all of this consumer direct drug advertising helps make patients both consciously and unconsciously feel out of control. This is not healthy, not by a long shot.

No this is not to say that sometimes multiple medications are not necessary.

I’m more specifically talking about patients who self-medicate and will present with perhaps up to five or more prescription medications and then 15 or more dietary supplements, home remedies etc. I am not exaggerating.

It is not at all unusual for patients to literally bring half filled shopping bags into the office full of bottles, tubes, and creams.

Now some of this is certainly a byproduct of the times we live in, with poor access to qualified healthcare professionals. The problem is, when we feel helpless, we tend to reach in numerous different directions instead of focusing on one at a time.

When we feel empowered, we make different choices. We have a focus, purpose, and direction. This is why we strongly recommended patients take a very hard look at everything they are doing, and why, on their journey back to health. This is also why investing in some confident professional guidance can go along way towards restoring your mental, physical, and emotional health.

Please call us to schedule a visit at 781-659-7989 today!