How Inflammation, Diet, and Lifestyle May Cause Alzheimer’s or Dementia

We already know from existing research the recipe that leads to Alzheimer’s risk.

Data coming from the Canadian Study of Health and Aging found that aging in general, fewer years of education (less brain exercise), and the apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele (gene) were significantly associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Other research has shown that heavy smoking and drinking speed the onset of Alzheimer’s. A sluggish thyroid also increases the risk.

On the other hand the Canadian researchers found that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, limited red wine consumption, coffee consumption, and regular physical activity were associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

There are many great anti-inflammatory nutrients that readily replace the concept of drug use, including the grape seed extracts of red wine (which have been shown to reduce Alzheimer’s plaque formation).

Natural vitamin E at the dose of 2000 IU per day has been shown to extend the life of Alzheimer’s patients by two years. DHA and folic acid have been shown to be protective against Alzheimer’s. Moderate coffee intake has a brain-activating effect, which would be synergistic with learning or other forms of constructive brain exercise that help keep your brain cells fit.

Physical exercise is proven to elevate levels of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) vital for your brain to withstand stress and inflammation and keep your brain cells living longer in a healthier condition. The common theme is that using your brain constructively helps keep it fit and factors that induce brain inflammation, of which there are many, send you in the wrong direction.

Besides the above, obvious factors that cause brain inflammation include a lack of sleep, emotional stress, physical exhaustion, cell phone use, and a poor quality diet. This means that there will never be a specific cause of Alzheimer’s identified, other than the idea that too much inflammation combined with genetic weaknesses will lead to the problem. Too much inflammation is the common theme behind all nerve-related diseases, heart disease, and cancer. Thus, the manifestation of various shades of cognitive decline will be common in the overall population and progression into full Alzheimer’s, compared to some other serious problem, will depend on genetic weak spots.

For example, healthy children of Alzheimer’s patients have adverse changes in their brain structure before any symptoms appear. The greater the amount of inflammation, combined with an individual’s ability to tolerate inflammation, will determine the age of onset.

Recently researchers did autopsies on the brains of individuals who maintained sharp memory into their 80s. Those with sharp memory compared to the brains of those with “normal aging” had far less brain tangles. Thus we see a sliding scale of tangles, going from virtually none in true health, to the common averages of “normal aging,” down into the diseased ranges of cognitive decline, and eventually into Alzheimer’s. With this understanding, “normal aging” can be seen as abnormal from an optimal health point of view. Such brain tangles are driven by inflammatory processes.

The Immunization-Alzheimer’s Controversy

The adjuvants used in vaccines (putting the mercury issue aside) are intentionally highly inflammatory so as to provoke a more active immune response to the weakened pathogen. The fact that American children are the most vaccinated in the world at such an early age, when their brains are setting up shop, runs the high risk that vaccinations will “train” nerves to become more hyper-active to future inflammatory stress of any kind.

Such issues would be magnified if a child had a history of stress in the womb, stress as an infant (unstable environment), poor nutrition in the womb or early life, other health problems as an infant, or has family-related gene weaknesses predisposing to Alzheimer’s (or any other nerve-related disease for that matter). These massive numbers of early vaccinations could easily set the stage for early onset Alzheimer’s.

At this point there is absolutely no science that refutes this theory, and plenty of science to predict it.”

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule a nutrition or functional medicine evaluation or to talk with our staff direct!

*Excerpted from Natural News On Line

Functional Health: Alcohol and Chronic Pain

Functional Health: Alcohol and Chronic Pain

One of the most serious—but rarely discussed—conditions resulting from extended alcoholism is chronic pain.  Medical science generally accepts that excessive use of alcohol can cause, or exacerbate, chronic pain symptoms. Unfortunately many people turn to alcohol as a way to cope with chronic pain symptoms.

Because of the areas of the mind and body targeted by the alcohol, it is common for alcoholic chronic pain sufferers to exhibit outward signs of intoxication even when sober, such as slurred speech, stumbling gait, and clumsiness.

If you frequently drink alcohol, let your doctor know! Generally, a pattern of heavy alcohol use for a period of ten years or more will be accompanied by symptoms.  Further, alcoholics typically exhibit erratic eating habits, resulting in poor overall nutrient intake, and the damage to organs reduces the absorption of nutrients from food, causing the individual further medical complications and pain.

The first order of business, of course, is to bring your drinking and nutrition problems under control!  If your alcohol consumption is not severely limited and adequate nourishment is not supplied, additional treatments will be futile and your symptoms will almost invariably compound.  Beyond this, treatment will seek three main goals:

  • To control symptoms
  • To maximize and restore function (quality of life)
  • To prevent further injury to the patient

Most treatments address these three tenets simultaneously.  Pharmaceutical treatments include the use of painkillers, either prescription strength or over-the-counter (such as analgesics).  Your doctor will probably recommend the lightest use of pain medication possible; this is very important if you, as an alcoholic, have a propensity for substance abuse.  During a period of withdrawal, you are especially vulnerable to new addiction.  Be aware of this danger, and monitor use of any medications very carefully.

Because of the underlying nutritional deficit, you may also benefit from a system of nutritional supplements and multivitamins.  Consult a dietician or your healthcare provider to ensure the proper replenishment of nutrients necessary to prevent or minimize your chronic pain symptoms.

Establishing healthier habits (which are themselves advisable for all any patient) can be instrumental in replacing the drinking routine that caused or exacerbated the problem with a healthier routine that may help decrease your chronic pain symptoms.

Although your chronic pain may be permanent, your prognosis can be very good if you are able to replenish your nutrition and stop drinking.  You probably won’t see substantial recovery from chronic pain symptoms for several months.  But, you’ll see subjective improvements in lifestyle and health almost immediately when you quit drinking, as a result of general detoxification.

It is vital to your quality of life that you find help!  Contact us right away—we are ready to give expert, judgment-free guidance to help you adjust your lifestyle and stop symptoms of chronic pain in their tracks.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

What’s Vitamin B9? The Story of Folic Acid

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you probably know all about folic acid.

For some time now, it’s been added to pre-natal dietary supplements because it is helpful to prevent certain birth defects. The story of folic acid is much more than this.

Folic acid is a nutrient that is taken in by our diets and converted into active forms. The active forms interact in a variety of functions in the human body, and animals.

For neuropathy or chronic pain patients, it is critically important because deficiency can exacerbate their symptoms.

Folic acid is critical for normal repair of our body’s cells. It is a key nutrient in DNA synthesis and repair. It’s also necessary to prevent anemia or low red blood cells.

Some of the other signs that can occur in deficiency or low levels include mental health changes like depression, fatigue, and like many of the other B vitamin deficiencies, sores around the mouth and tongue.

Folic acid is so important that is one of the key nutrients that we check as part of the routine neuropathy evaluation. You may also remember, vitamin D and B12 are usually checked on a regular basis too in patients over the age of 50. This is something that should be repeated at least annually.

Although folic acid has low toxicity, we never recommend self-diagnosis or supplementation without a blood test. The reason for this is that taking this supplement can actually mask vitamin B12 deficiency. Both vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies cause serious illness and damage to the nervous system.

If you are following our recommended diet, deficiency is unlikely. Folic acid is really available in leafy greens and other vegetables including asparagus, lettuce, and legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.

Fruits, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, as well as bananas and pineapple juice are all good sources.

Because folic acid can break down in excess heat and sunlight, good food storage and preparation is critical.

So, now you know much more about this very essential nutrient. Be sure to include some of the aforementioned key sources in your diet daily! Your body will thank you!

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

Chiropractic Treatment: Chronic Back Pain

If you suffer from chronic back pain you’ve probably heard that saying “when your back hurts, your whole body hurts” more times than you can count.

And more than likely you know someone who has had or is thinking about having back surgery. If you’re reading this that someone might even be you. If so, you have a lot of company.

Back pain contributes $128 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) to medical costs every year.  And it’s responsible for 100 million days off work.

If you’ve been suffering with back pain long enough, chances are really good that a doctor has recommended some kind of back surgery.  The surgery most commonly performed these days is spinal fusion surgery.

Of course, sometimes there is no alternative.

But, before you go under the knife, there are a few things you should know about spinal fusion.

What is Spinal Fusion?

Spinal fusion[1] is a type of surgery that joins or fuses two or more vertebrae in the back.  It’s a very serious surgery.  The vertebrae are fused using bone from the pelvic bone or from a cadaver.  Metal implants are used to hold the vertebrae in place until new bone grows between them to bridge the gap between them.

You will be in the hospital anywhere from 2 to 5 days and your recovery period is going to be about 12 weeks if you don’t experience any complications.

What’s Your Prognosis after Fusion?

Statistically, not the greatest.  In fact, you could be much worse off than you would be with a more conservative treatment.

In a study[2] conducted of 1450 people suffering from low back pain, 725 were treated with spinal fusion and 725 followed the more conservative route with physical therapy and exercise.

Check out these numbers for the people with spinal fusion:

  • 25% returned to work after 2 years (as compared to 67% of the non-surgical patients)
  • 11% were permanently disabled (compared to 2% of the non-surgical group)
  • Almost 85% of the spinal fusion patients continued using prescription painkillers (compared to 49% of the non-surgical patients) and the surgical patients increased their use of opioid painkillers by 41%.
  • 36 % of the spinal fusion patients suffered complications (meningitis, kidney failure and death)
  • 27% had to have another surgery
  • The spinal fusion group missed a total of 1140 days vs. 316 days in the non-surgical group

And The Alternative?

This same study found that the best treatment for back pain focused on physical therapy to increase flexibility and strength and an exercise program to improve the overall health of the patient. 

Our clinic and specialists adhere to a highly specialized protocol for the treatment of patients suffering from chronic pain. Our treatment protocol includes physical therapy, manual manipulation of the spine and skeletal structures combined with a unique NDGen spinal protocol developed in our clinics. Most often, we’ll instruct you in exercise, massage, diet, and nutrition counseling and other treatments combined specifically for each individual patient.

Most clinicians agree, barring a neurosurgical emergency that you should give your body a chance to heal itself slowly. Completely explore all your options before you let anyone do surgery on your back.  Given the right treatment in the hands of a trained specialist, you might be surprised at how much better your back and neuropathy symptoms feel without the risk of complications caused by an invasive back surgery.

And for a lot less than the $80,000 average cost for spinal fusion surgery.

Please call us at 781-659-7989 to schedule an evaluation!

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[1] www.webmd.com/back-pain/spinal-fusion-arthrodesis

[2] http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=650089

Functional Health: Coping With Chronic Pain

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, you’re not alone; over 86 million Americans are afflicted by this debilitating condition, according to webmd.com.

Basically, there are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is short-lasting, typically going away as soon as your body heals itself. Chronic pain, on the other hand, lasts for upwards of 6 months after the injury has healed.

John J. Bonica, an anesthesiologist who is known as the founding father of the pain field, describes chronic pain as “a pathological process that causes continuous pain” or pain that recurs at regular intervals for several months or even years.

To make matters worse, sometimes chronic pain sufferers have no idea what is causing their pain. This situation is compounded in situations where we unable to diagnose the problem correctly, leaving the patient and loved ones often wondering if it’s all in their heads. Because of this, low self-esteem, anger and depression often coincide with physical discomfort in a combination that can severely inhibit your daily activities.

Fibromyalgia is a common chronic pain condition that includes pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, fatigue and tender joints that experience pain upon even slight pressure. Fibromyalgia isn’t life-threatening, and your symptoms will often vary, often getting worse after strenuous activity, stress, and weather changes, among other factors. Unfortunately, though, the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia probably won’t ever disappear completely.

  • Other chronic pain conditions include carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis.
  • As many sufferers know, chronic pain is often resistant to medical treatments.
  • The key to relief is in effective pain management.

Get support and Explore Treatment Options

Chronic pain sufferers who are surrounded by healthy loved ones may start to feel resentful in their loneliness, but joining a support group filled with other chronic pain sufferers is a powerful coping mechanism.

You’ll feel less alone and will most likely benefit from hearing how others have learned to cope with chronic pain, maybe even picking up a few helpful tips. You might also gain a few lifelong friends. At the very least, regular support group meetings will give you something to look forward to (remember the distractions mentioned above?).

You should also be aware, we have made great strides in our office in chronic pain management.

Nutrition and lifestyle interventions as well as new treatment modalities are allowing our patients to minimize drug use and live happier, more fulfilled lives!

Consider manual therapy as a treatment option.

Quite simply, manual therapy is a treatment that is performed manually by your chiropractor, not by a machine or other device.

Common manual therapy options include:

  • Massage, which can relax stiff muscles, improve poor circulation, and ease soft tissue pain often experienced by chronic pain sufferers.
  • Mobilization, a technique that twists, pulls, or pushes joints into position through the use of slow, measured movements. This technique helps with flexibility and alignment, in addition to easing pain by loosening tight tissues around sore joints.
  • Manipulation uses more rapid movements to move the bones and joints into their rightful positions.

The treatments above are just a sampling of the techniques we can use to help ease your pain.

Please, Call us today @781-659-7989 to learn more treatment options that might be right for you, a friend or loved one!

You’ll be glad you did!

Functional Health: Chronic Pain and Dehydration

If you already suffer from chronic pain becoming even slightly dehydrated make you feel a whole lot worse.

Almost invariably when we see a new chronic pain patients in our practice when we discuss health habits, we find more often than not, failure to drink adequate amount of water is almost universal.

Why would not drinking enough water tend to cause more widespread and pains? There are several reasons and the answers are not complicated.

You see the vast majority of our body is made of water. Blood and all the critical fluids, keep us functioning like well-oiled machines.

Our kidneys and brain and all our vital organs use these fluids to communicate and also perform daily purification’s.

But yet most of us don’t pay nearly enough attention to this key fact.

So rather than going through our days drinking fluids, most especially water that will keep our blood and fluid volumes high, we tend to over consume caffeine and worse yet soft drinks and perhaps even alcohol which depletes our water reserves even further.

If we don’t drink enough water we can suffer an impaired ability of our vital organs like kidneys and liver to help our bodies rid ourselves of toxic wastes.

Our toxic wastes can make us stiff sore and uncomfortable.

If you already suffer from chronic pain becoming even slightly dehydrated make you feel a whole lot worse.

So how much water do to drink? In the absence of kidney or heart disease the proverbial eight glasses a day is about right.

A more accurate consumption is approximately half your body weight in ounces in a 24-hour period. This is not 100 percent accurate but it’s a darn good approximation.

There are others of course factors, which may require more or less water consumption.

This of course includes how much you perspire, the outside air temperature, and yes even the humidity.

So for example, if you weigh 200 pounds you’d be consuming approximately 100 ounces of water during the course of the daily 24-hour periods.

That may sound like a lot, but it’s under a gallon in 24 hours.

As always you need to work with your doctors on your own personal medical issues you have questions or concerns about.

You may want to ask for the simple blood tests, which measure your electrolytes and relative hydration.

Working together maintaining adequate hydration can help you suffer less chronic pain!

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