Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Are Free Radicals and Anti-Oxidants All About?

What Are Free Radicals and Anti-Oxidants All About?

We hear a lot about free radicals and anti-oxidants. You may be wondering what the fuss is all about and whether it merits any action on your part. Free radicals are chemicals in our bodies that behave like a tightly wound spring with a hair trigger, just ready to be set off. When they go off and “unwind,” they transfer their energy to other molecules, essentially winding up those molecules’ springs. And this can progress into a chain reaction. The problem is that the process of winding and unwinding damages the molecules. They no longer perform the function the body needs them to perform. Even worse, they can become toxic to the body.

Free radicals are a normal part of metabolism. Our bodies are designed to produce them and to manage them safely. Anti-oxidants are chemicals our bodies use to snuff out the energy of free radicals and prevent chain reactions. But our bodies were designed hundreds of thousands of years ago, and times have changed. In modern society, we produce free radicals at a rate that overwhelms our pool of anti-oxidants. Without enough anti-oxidants to absorb the free radicals’ energy in a safe way, they cause chain reactions and create a lot of damage at the molecular and cellular level. It’s the kind of damage that, over time, weakens our tissues and organs and leads to degenerative diseases, like hypertension, arthritis and cancer.

We can protect ourselves in two ways: by limiting exposure to free radicals and by increasing the availability of anti-oxidants. Free radicals are produced by; excessive exposure to the sun (avoid that), pollutants and toxins in the air, water and food we eat (limit those), heavy exercise and stress (manage that). As you can see, we cannot fully escape the sources in our lives.
We can, however, do a lot to increase our pool of anti-oxidants. Food is the first line of offense. Whole, plant-based foods (unprocessed or minimally processed) such as grains, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unrefined oils are terrific sources of anti-oxidants. Rather than trying to cherry pick, it’s easiest to simply eat a varied diet rich in whole foods. The more richly colored a food, the better. So with vegetables, choose dark greens, yellows, oranges, reds and purples.
Finally, you can also boost your anti-oxidants with four vitamins and minerals supplements. They are vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and selenium. You can purchase them as single supplements or in a multi vitamin and mineral.

The effects of these harmful radicals are one of those things that in the short term will go unnoticed. But slowly building over the years, they can be the cause of serious degenerative diseases that can be very difficult to reverse. Make anti-oxidants part of your life. Taking action is easy and the time is now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chiropractic Frequently Asked Questions

What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
I would look for providers that have advanced post graduate degrees such as Diplomates of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics, Board of Chiropractic Radiologists, Board of Chiropractic Sports Practitioners or Board of Chiropractic Neurology.  These individuals have an additional 3 years of training beyond their chiropractic education.

If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
I would identify practices that perform a thorough evaluation and only complete x-rays to identify fractures, tumors, arthritis or infections.  They do not take x-rays to locate vertebral subluxations (vertebrae out of place or repeat x-rays).  Once your condition has been identified and diagnosed a 1-3 month treatment plan is recommended. It is very difficult if not impossible to know what treatment would be needed 4-5 months out.

What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
What is your educational background?  How long have you been in practice at your present location?  How often do you treat patients with my complaints or condition?

Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
My work stands out because of the 25+ years of experience in the chiropractic and 15+ years in the acupuncture profession.  In addition our office provides a multidiscipline approach to your health to include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, Pilates, physical therapy, nutritional, Chinese herbal medicine and homeopathy.

What do you like most about your job?
What I enjoy most about my job is helping patients with difficult to treat conditions.

What questions do customers most commonly asked you?  What’s your answer?
One of the most commonly asked questions is do you think you can help relieve my symptoms. I answer with let’s determine the cause of your condition and then I will let you know if I can help you or would you have better results with a different type of practitioner.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It is never too early to learn the brittle facts about Osteoporosis

Most commonly effecting postmenopausal women, osteoporosis can also be found in older men. Primary osteoporosis typically results from falling levels of estrogen and progesterone in postmenopausal women. Other diseases that may cause osteoporosis include diabetes, some forms of hyperthyroidism and certain chronic lung diseases. Excessive use of Prednisone or alcohol, as well as a lack of calcium, protein or the lack of vitamins D and C in one’s diet is also contributing actors. Research indicates that other factors leading to osteoporosis include poor absorption of calcium, vitamin D or protein as the result of various intestinal disorders. Dangers may be lurking around the corner if you drink excessive amounts of caffeine or phosphates found in soda pop, as they tend to promote calcium excretion in the urine exacerbating the disease. Smoking is yet another culprit known to increase bone loss.

What happens to the body?
Osteoporosis is actually a thinning of bone with loss of the protein matrix as well as a loss of calcium. Most commonly, the bones in the spine, hips, lower legs and hands are affected. Early symptoms include a loss of height and some bone pain. Some of the patents symptoms may include hip fractures or a collapse of vertebrae. Remember how fragile Grandma used to be? Some fractures may even occur spontaneously or with minimal force, such as a minor slip over a step.

Prevention and Treatment
Prevention and treatment both include hormone replacement of estrogen and progesterone. If a patient is not blessed with good genes, this treatment approach may even be started before the onset of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy, such as Premarin or Provera stimulates new bone formation. The side effects can include an increased risk of blood clots, uterine and breast cancer as well as an aggravation of migraines, fibroids, endometriosis, asthma and gallbladder disease. You should discuss the potential risks and side effects of treatment with your doctor before starting on any hormone replacement. The treatment medication list can also include Alendronate (Fosamax) and Calcintonin (Miacalcin). These two medications can be taken individually for patients who need to avoid the increased risks as a previously mentioned. Or, Fosamax or Miacalcin can be taken in combination with hormone replacement in situations where osteoporosis is more severe.

There is a natural way to prevent and treat osteoporosis including a diet high in calcium, magnesium and vitamins D and C. We also suggest supplementing the diet with 1500 mg of calcium and 750 mg of magnesium per day for women and 1000mg mg of calcium half as much magnesium per day for men. Tell your tummy to smile as there are foods that are considered good for you – foods that are high in calcium include almonds, salmon, yogurt, broccoli and other dark green vegetables. Magnesium is found in the same calcium rich foods mentioned above as well as in beets and whole grain wheat and rye. Both men and women should consume 1000mg of vitamin D and 500-1000mg of vitamin C each day to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Treatment and prevention include the following vitamins and minerals: manganese (2mg), boron (2mg), vitamin A (10,000 I.U.), vitamin E (400mg) and zinc (50mg) each per day. Individuals who have difficulty digesting food, have excessive bowel gas or lack hydrochloric acid and should supplement their meals with digestive enzymes and betaine HCL. This is important to digest protein and absorb calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.

If a natural hormone replacement therapy is your preference, you should eat products daily that include soy milk, tofu, soy nuts and soy flour. Also, consider two daily applications of wild yam cream on the skin as well as oral ingestion of evening primrose oil and lecithin to provide the natural estrogen and progesterone you need without the side effect of drugs.

Exercise your options. Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, tennis, stair climbing and light weight lifting have proven beneficial in preventing osteoporosis. While non-weight bearing exercises are good for the heart, they provide little benefit in preventing osteoporosis. Instead, walk 45 minutes five times a week for prevention and treatment. For prevention, light weightlifting should focus on the spine, hips, knees and shoulders. During treatment, osteoporosis patients should avoid placing excessive stress on the spine and hips.

More prevention tips. Avoid high-heeled shoes. Make sure all rugs mats are secured to the floor to prevent slips and falls. Make sure you have hand rails on staircases and in bath area near the tub.