Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: October 2010 Health Newsletter

October 2010 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Inflammation: Enemy #1
» Arthritis Affects More Than 20 Percent
» Too Few Eat Enough Whole Grains
» Three Meals Better For Weight Loss
» Is Pain Your Obstacle to Fitness? Chiropractic Can Help

Inflammation: Enemy #1

 In providing a wide range of therapies for a broad scope of conditions in the last 15 years, one thing has become overwhelmingly clear to me: Inflammation is at the root of all diseases. Many of you will likely find this statement hard to believe, but it is nevertheless a medical fact that is supported by a plethora of medical research.

Inflammation is the process whereby the immune system releases chemicals in a specific area of the body, such as in the case of an injury. Typically this process is a normal and healthy function, necessary for the healing response. However, this inflammatory process is often excessive and counterproductive or even out of place. An example of the latter is in the case of coronary artery disease (yes, heart disease is likewise an inflammatory process). Another disadvantage of inflammation is that it causes the sensitization of nerve endings in tissues that results in pain. Short-term pain can be beneficial because it alerts you to a potential problem and a resulting change in behavior (eg. limping when you sprain your ankle). However, if inflammation is unchecked, chronic pain will result even when the area is already healed. Fibromyalgia is an example of chronic pain-signaling in the absence of injury (yes, fibromyalgia is an inflammatory-based pain process. Google "neurogenic inflammation and fibromyalgia" if you are doubtful).

My point in discussing this: If you diminish your body's ability to generate inflammation, you will decrease your risk of all disease. All disease. This includes Alzheimer's disease, asthma, heart disease, fibromyalgia, diabetes, menstrual pain, osteoporosis (yes, osteoporosis), autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, Multiple Sclerosis--even cancer. The amazing thing is that the type of inflammation involved in all of these seemingly unrelated diseases is exactly the same! And the wonderful thing is that the prevention and treatment is likewise the same!

Our bodies regulate inflammation via "chemical mediators". Chemical mediators, such as cytokines, prostaglandins, and leukotrienes, are made from the types of fats we eat on a daily basis. "Good" fats, such as omega-3, produce chemical mediators that inhibit inflammation. "Bad" fats, such as omega-6 and arachidonic acid, result in the production of mediators that promote inflammation. A healthy diet is one that has a balance of these good and bad fats. In other words, a ratio of 3:1 of omega-6 to omega-3 fats. Additionally, high calorie diets and diets that rely heavily on grains and vegetable oils contribute to inflammation. Another problem with high calorie diets, especially when the calories are from starches and grains (this includes whole grains!) is the deposition of fat around the mid-section.

Body fat that accumulates in the belly, known as visceral fat, does not act like other body fat deposited in the limbs and the hips. Abdominal fat becomes a "secondary endocrine organ" due to the fact that this fat secretes a host of chemicals--just like other endocrine glands such as the thyroid or the adrenal glands. None of these chemicals are beneficial. In fact, these chemicals will cause insulin resistance, a condition that allows blood sugar to elevate thereby damaging all organs, as well as contribute to increased inflammation. Losing abdominal body fat is the single most important thing a person can do to improve health and prevent disease!

What can you do? Have a thorough diet history taken and analyzed to determine if you are eating in a way to prevent the aforementioned conditions and change your diet accordingly. Also, have blood testing conducted to check hsCRP (a blood marker of the amount of inflammation you have), hemoglobin A1c (a 3-month check of blood sugar), and lipids (assist in identifying insulin resistance).

Author: Nicholas R. LeRoy, DC, MS
Copyright: Nicholas R. LeRoy, DC, MS 2009

page toppage toppage top

Arthritis Affects More Than 20 Percent

What limits mobility, causes pain, affects more than 20 percent of the population and costs the U.S. $128 billion annually? Arthritis does, according to a newly released U.S. government report. Data from the government survey from 2007 through 2009 found close to 50 million people had been diagnosed with arthritis by their doctor. At an almost 30 percent rate of arthritis were the obese and those who exercised less, smoked more and had lower levels of education. By definition, arthritis is injury and inflammation of the joints. This causes pain, swelling, stiffness and limited motion. Doctors of chiropractic are experts at treating the many joints of the body in order to restore motion and nutrition to the joints, thereby reducing inflammation, stiffness and pain. One of the most common forms of treatment utilized by the chiropractor is the adjustment or manipulation of the joints. If you are suffering from pain, stiffness or swelling of one or more joints, schedule a consultation or examination from your local chiropractor today to see of chiropractic can help.

Source: Reuters. October 7, 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

page toppage toppage top

Too Few Eat Enough Whole Grains
We're eating far too few whole grain foods according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. In fact, data from the report indicates that less than 5 percent of those surveyed ate the recommended 3 servings of whole grain foods daily. Whole grains are those foods made from the entire kernel of grain including the outer grain covering that is typically removed during processing as in the production of white flour.  Those eating higher quantities of whole grain foods have been shown to have lower incidences of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity as well as certain types of cancer. So when choosing breads, pastas and cereals, opt for those made from whole grain instead of those made from processed flours.

Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association. October 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

page toppage toppage top

Three Meals Better For Weight Loss

Despite the common belief that eating more frequent smaller meals throughout the day is better for weight loss, a new study reveals three larger meals per day appears to be more effective. In the study, researchers found those who consumed three low-calorie, high-protein meals daily felt more satisfied and less hungry compared to those consuming six meals daily. Also, those consuming higher protein diets (25 percent of total calories from protein) felt fuller throughout the day compared with those consuming lesser amounts of protein (14 percent of total calories from protein). Researchers stated that smaller more frequent meals didn’t seem to be as effective for appetite control. Having ones appetite under control is critical for anyone attempting to restrict calories and experience effective, healthy long-term weight loss.

Source: Obesity. September 16, 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

page toppage toppage top

Is Pain Your Obstacle to Fitness? Chiropractic Can Help

Are aches and pains getting in the way of your weight loss goals? Your local doctor of chiropractic can help. This fall, doctors of chiropractic across the country will highlight how they can help patients focus on getting past the roadblocks to fitness and better health during National Chiropractic Health Month. The theme for the 2010 observance is “Why Weight? Get Healthy!”

More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to CDC statistics, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and some types of cancer. However, many people are unaware that even modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of a person’s total body weight, could improve blood pressure as well as blood cholesterol and blood sugars levels. That’s only 10 to 20 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.

Yet losing weight can be a struggle, and many people wonder where to begin. The answer for some may be in the office of a doctor of chiropractic (DC). “Diet pills and extreme diets do not offer long-term solutions,” says Dr. Rick McMichael, president of the American Chiropractic Association. “Doctors of chiropractic, on the other hand, offer natural approaches such as exercise, diet and hands-on care to help keep you active and able to achieve your weight-loss goals in the short term, and also help you maintain your fitness level and thereby avoid some chronic conditions down the line.”

Consultation with a DC is particularly important when you consider that the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system—osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain and joint pain—often cause overweight people to avoid physical activity and exercise when they need it most.

If you’re carrying more weight than the load-bearing structures of your body—spine, legs, etc.—can handle, there’s going to be pain, loss of movement and degeneration in the joints. Particularly if you’re carrying most of your weight in your abdomen, the low back and the spine will need to work harder to hold you upright. This adds extra stress and tension on your muscles, which in turn creates stiffness.

Sponsored by ACA, National Chiropractic Health Month is held each October. The event helps raise public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and its natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and wellness.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: American Chiropractic Association. October 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010

page toppage toppage top

Articles 1-5 of 5 << first < previous next > last >