Testimonial -Ruth Eckert

I first started seeing Dr. Melinda in early 2015.  Before that, I saw a chiropractor in St. Joseph & an acupuncturist in Overland Park.  I had heard wonderful things about Dr. Melinda – and it turns out they are all true!  At my first visit, Dr. Melinda took a great amount of time to go over my medical history, which at that time included numerous prescriptions for allergies and a history of lower back, neck and daily facial pain.  Dr. Melinda gave me my Wellness Plan at my second visit and suggested trying the Paleo food plan – she thought I may have food allergies in addition to seasonal allergies.

After several chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture sessions, plus converting to the Paleo lifestyle, I was able to stop using numerous nasal sprays & other prescription medicines. I now know what my “trigger” foods are, and I feel great!  My  allergist & ear/nose/throat doctors are amazed that I am no longer visiting them several times a year for infections.  Both have told me they are encouraging their other patients to try chiropractic and acupuncture.  My previous chiropractor had told me I have arthritis in my lower back – but after Dr. Melinda’s adjustments I rarely have any lower back pain.

If anyone is skeptical about trying acupuncture – give it a try!  It is painless – and I consider it a 20 minute nap.

Ruth Eckert

Testimonial – Ruth Finnegan

Around 34 or 35 weeks, my lower back began to hurt terribly. I couldn’t sleep in my bed, couldn’t bend over, couldn’t lift things. It was even hard to sit in a chair. My midwife recommended that I see a chiropractor. I was very hesitant, because I had never been to one before and was under the mistaken impression that once you see a chiropractor, you have to keep seeing them forever. The pain got to be so bad that I broke down and made an appointment with Dr. Melinda. What a good decision it turned out to be!
I’m a huge fan of holistic and natural medicine. So,  when I walked in to the office the day of my appointment and saw essential oils on the counter,  I was greatly encouraged and my hesitation about seeing a chiropractor lessened.  Dr. Melinda was,  from the start, warm and inviting.  Her demeanor was calm and caring and she put me immediately at ease. She was interested in a complete picture of my health and the cause of my back pain. We spoke about diet, exercise,  treatment options, pregnancy, and more. I really felt as though she not only wanted to take care of my back issue, but also to make sure that I was living well. She made it clear that her goal was to fix the real problem so I didn’t need her any more. I loved the honesty of that attitude and her whole body approach to her work.
The adjustment was so easy for me as a patient.  She explained everything before she did anything and talked me through it as she worked.  She warned me that I would be sore the next day, and sure enough, I was.  I thought perhaps the treatment hadn’t worked.  But, by the following day, I was totally pain free and have been ever since!
I am so glad that I decided to make that appointment.  I highly recommend Dr. Melinda any chance I get.  I’m so grateful that she made my last few weeks of pregnancy bearable!
– Ruth Finnegan

photo via http://newwavecarlsbad.com/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy-in-carlsbad/

Testimonial – Lofy Family

While I (Emily) was pregnant with Ella, I had looked into some chiropractic care for myself as I neared the end of my pregnancy. I had gotten several recommendations from people about Dr. Melinda, so I had planned to schedule an appointment with her towards the end of the pregnancy to make sure everything was lined up correctly before labor. However, Miss Ella had other plans, and decided to show up before I could do any of that! After Ella was born, we started noticing some signs of acid reflux, including severe projectile vomiting, which was so scary to watch. We had heard of people bringing their newborn babies to a chiropractor for adjustments, which makes sense when you think about how crunched up they are in the womb and the stress they undergo during labor and birth, so after a very friendly and informative discussion with Dr. Melinda outside of her practice one day, we decided to set up an appointment and give it a try.

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The day of Ella’s first appointment, we were very ready to have Dr. Melinda do some adjustments on her. She was projectile vomiting a couple times a day and was quite fussy. Dr. Melinda was so gentle with her! She held her for part of the adjustment, made sure that Ella could see me throughout the whole appointment, and explained everything as she worked. We brought our son with us to each adjustment as well, and Trusted Care’s awesome office manager, Erin, was wonderful at keeping him entertained and occupied during Ella’s appointments! It’s such a great feeling to know that you’re respected and appreciated as a patient there.  In fact, Dr. Melinda even gave me a follow up call the day after Ella’s first adjustment to make sure she was doing well!

Ella had about five adjustments with Dr. Melinda, and we have seen such great improvement! After the first adjustment, Ella no longer experienced projectile vomiting. Her breathing was also improved, along with an exceptional ability to move gas out of her body quickly (the girl burps like it’s her job!). Our son experienced terrible acid reflux during his whole first year of life and the only treatment we sought for him was medication. Ella showed similar symptoms to his right away, but she is a completely different baby, and so much of that I think is due to the treatment she received from Dr. Melinda.

Testimonial – Myra Harwood

Growing up on the farm I always wanted to be out working with my older brother and my dad. I was also very competitive in sports. Both of those things meant various injuries to my joints and my back. When I was about 22, I suffered a significant injury to my right leg, hip and lower back while serving in the Navy. Additionally, I have been a nurse for over 25 years and we all know the work of a nurse takes it’s toll on the back, knees, hips and shoulders. After years of punishing my body I came to a point that I could no longer do the work I loved in the ER. It was simply too painful to continue. I had been to various chiropractors for 30 years. I had done physical therapy and had my back and hip injected but nothing worked long term. I also suffered from headaches and seasonal allergies that have gotten worse each year. Much to my dismay, in 2010 I had to take a nursing job that did not involve all the physical work as well as a job that could accommodate my absence due to severe headaches that occurred at least monthly.

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In August of 2014 a friend told me about Dr. Melinda at Trusted Care Chiropractic. I made the appointment that changed my life. First I was welcomed in like a dear friend by Erin. Then Dr. Melinda took an extensive health history. Then she performed a physical evaluation unlike any I had ever had before. Dr. Melinda developed a holistic plan of healing, recovery and maintenance for me and we set to work. I had chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture treatments and exercises to do at home. I was also encouraged to eat better, stay well hydrated and walk every day. The positivity in the office really makes me want to do better and be better! Plus they work very diligently to get everyone worked into appointments.

By December of 2014 I was able to return to the ER full time! I can meet and exceed all the physical demands of the job. I rarely have a headache! On those rare occasions the headaches are not nearly as intense, they are no longer accompanied by debilitating nausea and they may last an hour or so, not up to an entire day. My hip pain has been completely resolved and my back is better than it was in my 30s! I continue to get adjusted and receive acupuncture about every six weeks. The treatment I receive at Trusted Care Chiropractic has given me back the job I love and tremendously improved the quality of my life! I will always be grateful to Dr. Melinda.

– Myra Harwood

 

The Most Important Vitamin

The genome centric lifestyle and what nutrients our bodies require to maintain our self-healing and self-regulating properties has been the foundation of this blog series to date. Most of the nutrients that our bodies need can be found in the foods that we eat, however, over time, the human species has become deficient in three key essential nutrients. Those being Omega-3’s, Vitamin D and probiotics.

Vitamin D, the focus of this blog post, is a hormone produced in the body via exposure to Ultraviolet B radiation and cannot be produced without exposure to the sun. According to a study done by Vicente et al, well over half of the human population is deficient in Vitamin D. Even those in sunny climates rarely get enough sun exposure due to modern clothing and sunscreen application. It is not necessary to tan or burn your skin to get vitamin D. You only need to expose your skin for around half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight is dependent on the time of day, where you live in the world and the color of your skin. The more skin you expose the more vitamin D is produced. In short, the amount of vitamin D you get from exposing your bare skin to the sun depends on:

  • The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day.
  • Where you live – the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round.
  • The color of your skin – pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins.
  • The amount of skin you expose – the more skin your expose the more vitamin D your body will produce.

For more information on Vitamin D and proper exposure visit the Vitamin D council website listed below. As you can see, depending on the color of your skin, where you live in the world and the time of day you are outside, you may be deficient in Vitamin D and require supplementation. 

vitaminD

Vitamin D is crucial in virtually every human function, including growth and development, brain and nerve function, emotions and behavior, maintenance and repair of skin and bones, regulation of healing and inflammation, cholesterol levels, digestion, heart function, immune function, vision, vitamin production, digestive system function, cardiovascular health, etc.

According to the Vitamin D Council, conditions associated with Vitamin D deficiency include cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other endocrine diseases, infections and autoimmune disorders, mental health and learning disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders including autism and multiple sclerosis, dental caries and periodontal disease, respiratory diseases such as asthma and allergies, skin disorders, and women’s health issues such as low fertility and PCOS. Phew! And the list goes on!

AUTOIMMUNE AND PAIN

Signs of Vitamin D deficiency are different from person to person, but most include altered moods and/or depression, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, chronic illness, frequent infections. “The active 1,25(OH)2D form of vitamin D is a potent modulator of inflammation, and may play a role in turning off chronic inflammatory response.”  Knowing this, Vitamin D should be recommended for anyone and everyone, but especially clients with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or chronic musculoskeletal pain. Stewart Leavitt, Ph.D. states that “some researchers have found that vitamin D deficiency occurs in up to 85% of chronic musculoskeletal pain cases, especially those involving the lower back.”

CANCER PREVENTION

Vitamin D-sensitive cancers are responsible for 257,000 deaths in 2007 – 46% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2007 according to Jemal A, et al. Colon cancer could be reduced by 50% with vitamin D levels maintained above 34ng/ml and breast cancer could be reduced by 50% with vitamin D levels maintained at 52ng/ml. Even if cancer runs in your family, you can limit your risk through enlisting a lifestyle of wellness, including, but not limited to, Vitamin D supplementation. It all goes back to the principles of epigenetics – we can determine the expression of a gene via our environment. Every MD, DC, DO, ND, PA, NP, etc. should be recommending vitamin D to each and every one of their clients! It is our responsibility as health care practitioners to give our clients the resources they need in order to prevent disease, not just treat disease following diagnosis. We have to demand better from our health care professionals. 

COLD AND FLU PREVENTION

In study performed by Aloia, J et al., taking 800 IU/day of VItamin D reduced the incidence of cold/flu by 70%, and decreased incidences of cold/flu by almost 100% for those taking only 2.000IU/day of Vitamin D. In children taking 1,200IU/day of Vitamin D during the winter time, 67% were less likely to contract Type A influenza. 

PREGNANCY AND INFANTS

Women should be supplementing Vitamin D during pregnancy. Vitamin D does not pass the placental barrier well, so it is even more important that the mother be sufficient in Vitamin D. Pregnant women who are sufficient, not only help the direct health of their child, but they also have lower rates of preterm labor, preterm birth and infection, with the greatest effects being when women take 4,000IU daily.

 

The aggregation of these studies helps show just how important Vitamin D is for the human species. Depending on the color of your skin, where you live in the world and the time of day you are outside may require supplementation. It is involved in just about every process in the body. Having Vitamin D, along with Omega 3’s gets us another step closer to ideal epigenetic fitness.

 

References

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/

  1. Vincente Gilsanz et al. Vitamin D Status and its Relation to Muscles Mass and Muscle Fat in Young Women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2010
  2. Stewart Leavitt, Ph. D. Vitamin D – A Neglected ‘Analgesic’ for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Pain Treatment Topics June 2008
  3. Von Essen, MR et al. Vitamin D controls T cell antigen receptor signaling and activation of human T cells. Nature Immunology 2010, 11, 344-349
  4. Aloia, J et al. Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D. Epidemiology and Infection 2007, Vol 135 (7) pp. 1095-1098
  5. Jemal A, et al. Cancer statistics, 2007. Ca Cancer J. Clin. 2007 Jan- Feb; (1) : 43-66
  6. Cannell et al. 2008 Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin A Toxicity, Frequent Respiratory Infections, and the Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 117 (11) : 864-870
  7. Pedersen LB, et al. 1, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 reverses experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by inhibiting chemokine synthesis and monocyte trafficking. J Neurosci Res 2007; 85: 2480-2490.
  8. Garland CF et al. What is the dose-response relationship between vitamin D and cancer risk? Nutr Rev 2007;65;s91-s95
  9. Boxer RS, Dauser RA, Walsh SJ, et al. The association between vitamin D and inflammation with the 6- minute walk and frailty in patients with heart failure. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2008;56:454-461.
  10. Al Faraj S, Al Mutairi K. Vitamin D Deficiency and chronic low back pain in Saudi Arabia. Spine 2003; 28: 177-179.
  11. Lee P, Chen R. Vitamin D as an analgesic for patients with type 2 diabetes and neuropathic pain. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168 (7): 771-772.
  12. Munger, KL, Levin Kl, Hollis BW, et al. Serum 25- hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. JAMA 2006;296: 2832-2838.
  13. Wagner CL et al. Vitamin D supplementation during Pregnancy Part 2 NICHD/CTSA Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT): Outcomes. PAS 2010; Abstract 1665.6.

 

http://multiple-sclerosis-research.blogspot.com/2014/04/vitamin-d-and-human-health.html (image)

 

The Omega Dilemma

Throughout this wellness blog series, the genome centric lifestyle and what nutrients our bodies require to maintain its self-healing and self-regulating properties have been the main focus. Most of the nutrients that our body needs can be found in the foods that we eat, however, as our food supply has become industrialized and commercialized, our meat and produce have consequently become deficient in many nutrients, but most importantly, in three key essential nutrients: Omega-3’s, Vitamin D and probiotics.

In this blog, we are going to specifically look at Omega-3s. Humans genetically require sufficient amounts of pre-formed EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily from wild game such as deer, grass fed beef, free range chicken and wild fish, such as salmon. Industrial and commercial farming techniques feed livestock soy, wheat and corn, which are foods that wild animals did not regularly consume until commercial farming existed, leaving our livestock practically devoid of omega-3 fatty acids and heavy on omega-6 fatty acids. Thus, the omega-6 intake is 11x that of omega-3, whereas the ideal human intake should be much more balanced. This leads to an imbalanced fatty acid state, increasing inflammation of the bodily systems (6).

Therefore, if you are eating wild deer, grass fed beef, free range chicken and wild fish (not farmed and not frying it!), you more than likely do not need to supplement omega-3s (7). For the rest of us, we must supplement or else symptoms of nutrient deficiency begin to manifest.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that play a critical role in virtually every human function including: growth and development, brain and nerve function, emotions and behavior, maintenance of skin and bones, regulation of healing and inflammation, cholesterol levels, digestion, heart function, immune function, vision, etc.

OMEGA 3 IN INFANTS AND CHILDREN

A Purdue University study, by Stevens et al, showed that kids low in Omega-3 essential fatty acids are significantly more likely to be hyperactive, have learning disorders, and to display behavioral problems (10).

omega3Specifically, DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) is essential for the growth and development of the human brain and nervous system in infants with deficiencies associated with fetal alcohol syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, cystic fibrosis, unipolar depression, and aggressive hostility along with cognitive decline during aging and onset of sporadic Alzheimer disease (11). The inclusion of plentiful DHA in the diet improves learning ability, whereas deficiencies of DHA are associated with deficits in learning.

Another study looked at the levels of DHA found in the umbilical cord blood at birth, in the mother’s blood and in breast milk during pregnancy found that higher levels of DHA improved various measures of infant growth and development. During the last 50 years, many infants have been fed formula diets lacking DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids leading to many of these preventable diseases and disabilities. Thus, the best source of DHA for infants is found in mother’s milk, signifying the importance of breastfeeding until the child can start eating more solid foods that have Omega 3’s present.

OMEGA 3 IN ADULTS

DHA is also required for the maintenance of normal brain function in adults with decreases in the brain associated with cognitive decline during aging and with onset of sporadic Alzheimer disease. With the leading cause of death in western nations as cardiovascular disease, epidemiological studies have shown a strong correlation between fish consumption and reduction in sudden death from myocardial infarction. Patients with cardiovascular disease or Type II diabetes are often advised to adopt a low-fat diet with a high proportion of carbohydrate. However, a study with women shows that this type of diet actually increases plasma triglycerides and the severity of Type II diabetes and coronary heart disease!

The following is a list of diseases that can be prevented, resolved, and/or lessened with ingestion of Omega-3 fatty acids (2):

  1. Coronary heart disease
  2. Type II Diabetes
  3. Autoimmune disorders (lupus, nephropathy, psoriasis)
  4. Crohns disease
  5. Cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate
  6. Mild hypertension
  7. Rheumatoid arthritis

Because Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients, they are involved in almost every process in the body, whether directly or indirectly. In fact, Omega-3 fatty acids are 44% more effective than statin drugs in reducing death from cardiac events (9)!

For those supplementing with flax or other plant sources. Omega-3s via flax seeds are not a sufficient form of the human requirement. Humans are genetically incapable of properly converting LNA or ALA Omega-3 (plant fatty acid) to EPA and DHA (animal fatty acid) (8). We have been genetically designed to ingest pre-formed versions of DHA and EPA from other animals that do have the capabilities of converting plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids into animal sources. This is why they are considered essential nutrients. Thus, eat only grass fed, all natural, wild meat or supplement. These are the best foods to get proper doses of omega-3s (7).

When it comes to supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, it is imperative to buy a quality form, one that is contaminant free, with a manufacturer and distributor dedicated to quality and purity. If your fish oil tastes like fish or you belch fish after ingestion, you do not have a high quality omega 3 supplement. You are throwing your money away.

Resources:

http://www.innatechoice.com/viewvideo.cfm?id=77F127DA-D29B-45AD-6A4569B61555AE52&return=http://www.innatechoice.com/

http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gina_Muckle/publication/5571038_Beneficial_effects_of_a_polyunsaturated_fatty_acid_on_infant_development_evidence_from_the_inuit_of_arctic_Quebec/links/5443fa160cf2a6a049ab067d.pdf

http://www.krill-oil-changes-lives.com/benefits-of-omega-3.html (image)

  1. Robert S. Goodhart and Maurice E Shils. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease 6th ED. (1980). Lea and Febinger. Philadelphia.
  2. Conner, W. E. Importance OF N-3 fatty acids in health and disease. Am J Clin Nutr, 2000 71(1): 171S-175S
  3. Farzaneh-Far et al. Association of Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Levels with Telomeric Aging in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease JAMA. 2010; 303(3):250-257.
  4. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomed Pharmacother. 2002;56;:365-379
  5. Harmon, K Diets Low in Omega-3 Linked to Depressive Behavior in Mice. Scientific American Jan. 2011.
  6. Eaton, Eaton & Konner. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: A twelve year retrospective on its nature and implications. Eur J. of Clin Nutr. 1997: 51; 207-216
  7. Eaton et al. The return of n-3 fatty acids into the food supply. land based animal food products and their health effects. 1998 World Rev. Nutr. Diets. Vol 83, 12-23
  8. Gerster, H. Can Adults adequately converts alpha- linolenic acid (18:3n-3) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22;6n-3)? Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1998. 68(3):159-73.
  9. Studer et al. 2005 Effect of Different Antilipidemic Agents on Mortality: A systematic review. Archives Internal Medicine. April 11, 725-730
  10. Stevens, LJ et al Omega-3 fatty acids in boys with behavior, learning, and health problems. Physiol Behav. 1996 59(⅘) 915-920.
  11. Horrocks, L.A. & Yeo, Y.K. (1999) Health benefits of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) Pharmacol Res. Sep; 40 (3): 211-25

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine…”

As soon as we sit down to do their Wellness and Prevention Plan, many of my clients start talking about how many “supplements” they are taking. Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B’s are usually in the conversation. Put bluntly, this is not supplementation. This is nutraceutical therapy and there is a big difference between the two, although the nuance is not popularly recognized.

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Nutraceutical and/or nutritional therapy fall within the allopathic, disease/treatment paradigm. A vitamin, mineral, or nutrient is prescribed to a patient based on signs and symptoms of a disease or illness. Many of these nutrients are readily found in the diet, as long as the person is eating what they are supposed to (i.e. genome centric). These treatments are individualistic, based on the individual’s diagnosis and generally used for a limited time.

As nutraceutical therapy is to the disease/treatment paradigm, supplementation is to the wellness/prevention paradigm.  Hippocrates once said, “Let food thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” That mantra has become harder and harder to live by due to industrialization and commercialization of our food sources. True supplementation, as opposed to nutraceutical therapy, focuses on providing the sufficient amount of an essential nutrient which is not readily available in the human diet. Any vitamin, mineral, and/or nutrient that our genome requires used to be found in our diet. Some such vitamins, minerals, or nutrients are no longer part of a regularly accessible diet or environment, hence the need for supplementation.

An essential nutrient is based on the genetic requirement of that species. Every member of that particular species requires the same essential nutrients, not just for a short period of time, but for life. Can you think of any nutrient that one giraffe needs more than another giraffe? Is there any member of a species in the animal kingdom that has different nutritional needs than another member of its own species? Why would it be any different for the human species?

Essential, in biochemical terms, means that this specific nutrient cannot be produced by the body, therefore it must be ingested or absorbed from the environment, by every member of that species, for life. True supplementation is not  individualistic, like nutriceuticals, but rather, is species specific and species wide. One species, one diet.

There are only three essential nutrients that require supplementation when following a genome-centric nutritional plan: omega-3, vitamin D, and probiotics.

Although rare given our widespread industrialized food production processes, there are some humans who may ingest plenty of omega-3, vitamin D, and probiotics naturally to avoid some or all supplementation. In the next few weeks we will discuss these occasions, as well go into detail as to how important these essential nutrients are for disease prevention.

http://www.innatechoice.com/viewarticle.cfm?id=0D5B2CAB-A1FF-D8C7-F1F6993DA64D1052&return=/articles.cfm&ref=&plid=

http://bonfirehealth.com/essential-supplementation-fish-oil-omegas-probiotic-efa/ (image)

Inflammation Nation

The last blog, “One Species. One Diet.” focused on the necessity of certain foods and the optimal diet for the human species. This blog expands on that concept by revealing the top inflammatory foods that contribute to chronic disease.

The root of all disease is inflammation, thus we need to find ways to decrease the amount of inflammation in the body. One of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation is by adjusting the foods that we eat. Although foods with gluten and dairy may have some beneficial nutrients in them, the anti-nutrient properties of these foods are much more significant, leading to an increase amount of inflammation in the body.

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Gastrointestinal food allergies present during early childhood with a diverse range of symptoms. Cow’s milk, soy, and wheat are the three most common gastrointestinal food allergens (6). These issues lead to a number of issues in not only kids, but manifest into inflammatory issues in adults as well.

Gluten has been a buzzword for several years now, bringing trend diets and the predictable backlash into the cultural mainstream. Some people have gone so far as to try the diet for some time only to find, after completing the blood test, that no such allergy exists. Being intolerant to gluten is a pure yes/no diagnosis, however being sensitive to gluten is not. Gluten sensitivity is a spectrum, ranging from no issues to Celiac. Research estimates that 18 million Americans have a gluten sensitivity. That is six times the amount of Americans who have celiac disease.  Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have a prevalence of extraintestinal or non-GI symptoms, such as headache, “foggy mind,” joint pain, and numbness in the legs, arms or fingers. Symptoms typically appear hours or days after gluten has been ingested (1).

Dairy is also not necessary in the human diet. Nearly 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy (7). No other mammal on earth consumes breast milk past infancy and humans are the only animal in nature to drink another animal’s milk. Unless you are of Scandinavian background, specifically Swedish, you more than likely have some sensitivity to dairy. Evidence from international, case-control, and cohort studies suggests that men who avoid dairy products are at lower risk for prostate cancer incidence and mortality, compared to others (9). So, what dairy substitute calcium sources are most healthful? A moderate amount from a variety of plant sources seems to be best. There’s plenty of easily absorbable calcium in dark leafy greens, such as bok choy, kale, mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens, as well as broccoli, dried beans, figs, several tree nuts, and almond milk. Plus, these foods contain other cancer-fighting nutrients that just aren’t present in dairy products.

Soy and refined sugars are also among the leading causes of inflammation in the body, mostly due to the amount of compound modification during processing. Soy, in its natural form, is a phytoestrogen – estrogen coming from a plant source. Some research suggests that soy may be beneficial in health, while others suggest that the hormonal properties of soy may interfere with the endocrine system leading to complications. My single biggest concern with soy is the prevalence of genetic modification. A brand new study published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Agricultural Sciences revealed that genetically engineered soy (the GMO) increases levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and decreases glutathione, an important anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification (9).

Refined sugars are the worst of the inflammatory foods. They have been linked to not only obesity and Type II Diabetes, but also non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, heart disease and even cancer. High intake of refined sugars leads to disruption of insulin, a key growth hormone, that can lead to diabetes and cancer. There is a direct correlation between the rapid expansion of refined sugars in the American diet and the rate of obesity, heart disease and certain cancers.

The correlation between obesity and disease with the consumption of things like refined sugar, grains and processed vegetable oils is very clear. We have evolved to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. When your diet is centered around basic foods like veggies, fruits, quality sources of protein and natural fats, there’s no need to count calories (or “points”). These foods will nourish you and naturally make you feel satisfied making you less likely to over-eat. More importantly, you become healthier as your body begins to learn how to run on this better source of fuel for energy rather than relying so heavily of sugar.

One of my favorite quotes is by Heather Morgan, MS, NLC “Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.” We are what we eat, literally. It’s time we give our bodies what they need, not what our brain craves.

  1. http://www.celiaccentral.org/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity/introduction-and-definitions/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705319/
  3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/19/is-milk-bad-for-you_n_5311851.html
  4. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/18/the-milk-myth-what-your-body-really-needs.aspx
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26122781
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26022877
  7. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance
  8. http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/milk-consumption-and-prostate-cancer
  9. http://www.integrativesystems.org/systems-biology-of-gmos/

One Species. One Diet.

In previous posts, this blog series introduced the basic concept of epigenetics and how diet can impact the expression of genes in different people. The post that follows discusses what type of diet is ideal based on the human species and our genes.

In order to figure out the optimal diet, we must first identify the species under consideration within the animal kingdom. Every member of each species require the exact same nutrients. For example, all dogs in the dog species, since they have the exact same genetics, will require the same nutrients. If they didn’t have the same genes, then they wouldn’t be the same species. And the same goes for giraffes, bears, bumblebees, and every other species of animal on the earth. Why would it be any different for humans? Humans are an animal species that follow the same biological and physiological laws as any other animal on earth. Thus, determining which diet is best for humans has nothing to do with allergy testing, blood testing, metabolic type, blood type, hair color, gender, height, race, or religion. These things may affect beliefs and behaviors but they do NOT determine our genome, thus they do NOT determine which nutrients we require as a species.

The next step is to determine which nutrients are required based on genetic requirement. Our species requires nutrients from free-range, organic, grass (not grain or soy) fed meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and water. Therefore, no grains, refined sugar, soy, or dairy are necessary. We are not genetically equipped to process anti-nutrients like gluten (grains) or to consume most dairy products, especially if pasteurized. Nearly 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy. That being said, Daniel Liebermann, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard, explains that through the evolution of the human genome over the past 8,000 years, the lactose tolerance gene has gone from near zero percent of the Northern European population to almost 100%, just due to exposure. If you come from Northern European descent (mostly Swedish), you may well digest whole, unpasteurized dairy rather well. Even so, do not mistake mere tolerance for genetic necessity in the human species.

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If this is true, then why are there so many different kinds of diets? What about the food guidelines we learned in school? Why have we been told by nutritionists, doctors, school nurses, teachers and even the government that grains and dairy are necessary parts of our daily diet? I remember in grade school learning about the food pyramid and going home to make 6 grilled cheese sandwiches, thinking I was being healthy! I was getting all 12 servings of grains and 5-6 servings of dairy, all in one sitting! My teacher would be so proud! However, I was wrong. My teacher was wrong. The pyramid was wrong.  Why? It comes down to three things: lack of science, lack of asking the right questions, and an abundant influence by multi-national food corporations. Dr. James Chestnut, a doctor of chiropractic and lecturer who has been studying human wellness and prevention for over 25 years tells us that:

“…paradigm also has a great deal to do with it.  Most nutritional recommendations are either based on what keeps someone alive or what can improve the health of someone who is very sick rather than what is required to express health potential. Many different diets can make very sick people a little less sick by making them a little less toxic and a little more sufficient but only the correct diet for the species can allow the expression of health potential and maximize the prevention of nutritional-related illness.”

Next week, we’ll look more into certain inflammatory foods and the impact of anti-nutrients on the body. Below are more links on the genome specific lifestyle.

http://www.innatechoice.com/viewarticle.cfm?id=822096CE-A5E5-6F58-207C62A6FF149753&return=/articles.cfm&ref=&plid=

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/17/story-human-body-daniel-lieberman-review

http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lactose-intolerance

http://bonfirehealth.com/living-genetically-congruent-lifestyle-basics/

http://bonfirehealth.com/healthiest-life-hunter-gather-ancestry/

http://www.allouteffort.com/2014/06/the-alarming-diabetes-food-pyramid.html (image)

Take Control of Your Genes

Last week, this blog presented the concept of epigenetics and how our life choices can affect our genes. Not only do our choices affect us, but they may also affect the genetics of our offspring. Along our sequences of DNA are the recipes for optimal human survival. Humans have different requirements for living than a lion or a bumblebee, yet all animals follow the same biological laws. According to biological law, the nutrients necessary to thrive as humans, or any animal for that matter, can be found on the genes. So what are these genetic requirements and what exactly do we as humans need? Much can be learned by looking at the diet of humanity’s ancestors. Although our ancestors may have died from acute diseases, chronic diseases did not exist. Hygiene may have been poor in these early humans, but they did practice ideal movement and nutrition. The evolution of the human diet over the past 10,000 years has shifted from diets high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats and seafood to processed foods that are high in sodium, hydrogenated fats and low in fiber. These new dietary changes full of inflammation and antinutrients have negatively affected dietary parameters, resulting in an increase in obesity and chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, and cancer. the_evolution_of_man The top killers in the U.S. are chronic diseases, with heart disease leading the way. Although modern medicine has found ways to combat many acute diseases, we are still lagging on ways to combat chronic diseases. Five of the top ten leading causes of death in the U.S. are chronic disease related, with the top three being only chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease). According to the research 90%-95% of cancers are preventable, including breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular! Diet is just one of the most critical, yet often overlooked, prevention tools we can use. The foods we consume affect the expression of our genes through DNA methylation. DNA methylation is the addition of a methyl group, or a “chemical cap,” to part of the DNA molecule. In theory, a cancer gene can be “turned off” from attachment of a methyl group. Where are many of these methyl groups found? Fruits and vegetables of course! Familiar nutrients like folic acid, B vitamins, and SAM-e are key components of this methyl-making pathway. Diets high in these methyl-donating nutrients can rapidly alter gene expression, especially during early development when the epigenome is first being established. Thus, you can literally prevent cancer cells from reproducing with every vegetable you eat! Many times the reason that offspring develop the same diseases as their parents is not because of genetics, but because offspring tend to grow up in the same environment and learn the same behaviors as their parents. Kids learn how to eat, how to move, how to think from their parents. Genetics and family history can no longer be an excuse for people with chronic disease or chronic pain.  If a parent is unhealthy, the odds are their offspring will be unhealthy as well. If you want to interrupt the cycle of disease in your family, change the environment your family is living in and start to notice the changes. Rather than focusing on calorie intake and weight loss, shift your focus to a more genome centric lifestyle. Focus on foods that our body and genes require. In doing so, your results may not be instant, but the impact will be sustainable and long lasting. You will begin to notice your clothes fitting looser, your cravings subsiding, increasing energy levels, and quicker immune responses. Most importantly, you can improve quality and quantity of life by preventing chronic disease. Next week, we’ll go into more detail about what our bodies need to live a genome centric lifestyle. Below are more links to learn more about the genome-centric lifestyle as well as articles and research that support it. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/06/16/u-s-healthcare-ranked-dead-last-compared-to-10-other-countries/ http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jmf.2008.0268 (abstract) http://www.livescience.com/37703-epigenetics.html http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/nutrition/ http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/404465/your-genomic-diet/ http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm http://preventcancer.org/prevention/preventable-cancers/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

Epigenetics

Have you ever wondered why some of your family members develop chronic diseases or cancers while others do not?  Or why identical twins are not exactly identical? The answers to these questions are not completely answered by modern medicine. New research is showing that expression of our genes comes down to the food we eat, the thoughts we think, and the environment we live in. This is a form of biology known as epigenetics.

Epigenetics was first published by Dr. Bruce Lipton, a research scientist and former professor at the University of Wisconsin. He shares his revolutionary findings in a growing field of epigenetics in his book, “The Biology of Belief.” Using a simple petri dish filled with stem cells, Dr. Lipton showed that the health of these cells were influenced by the medium (a.k.a. environment) they were exposed to.

Epigenetics means “above” or “on top of” genetics. It refers to external modifications to DNA that turn genes “on” or “off.” These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but instead, they affect how cells “read” genes. Every living organism on earth has it’s own specific genome. This is an organism’s complete set of DNA, including genes, found in every single cell of that organism. Each individual DNA sequence is a conglomeration of their parents, yet unique to that individual. According to Dr. Lipton’s research we may not have control of our genetics, but we can control how they’re expressed.

So what are these environmental factors that can affect the expression of our genes? Simply put, they are the “choices” we make in life. What we think, how we feel, foods we eat, relationships we make, how stressed we are, etc… All of these things influence our perceptions of the world and thus how we express our genes.

What’s more, your genes aren’t just expressed through what you eat, what you drink, or how much you exercise. According to epigenetic principles, your genetic expression might also be associated with your parents’ behavior. What your mother ate, how much your father drank, and even what your grandmother smoked may affect your genetic expression. Thus, the expression of your kids’ own genes may be shaped by the choices you make and environment you live in.

epigenetics

An example of this was an observed in the Netherlands.

Towards the end of the Second World War, something unprecedented happened in modern Europe: a famine. The Allies’ attempt to push across the Rhine in September 1944, had failed. The Nazis had blocked towns across the western Netherlands for over six months, leading to food shortages. This became known as the Dutch Hongerwinter. Each person only had 580 calories of food per day. Over 22,000 people died from malnutrition, and thousands of babies were born underweight. (paraphrasing Chris Bell’s Telegraph article)

When researchers analyzed the Dutch medical records decades later, they noticed that the infants who survived were more prone to health problems. But they also found a curious anomaly. These children’s own children – born years later, and well fed – were also underweight. The famine had, it seemed, “scarred” the victims’ DNA. (paraphrasing Chris Bell’s Telegraph article)

This emerging research on epigenetics highlights why it is so important to make choices with wellness in mind. Life is not completely predetermined by our genes. Genes are no longer a crutch or an excuse. Just because your father had heart disease or your mother had diabetes, doesn’t mean that you have to. The environment you place yourself in and the corresponding affect on your genes is what determines our life outcomes. And not just our life outcomes, but the life outcomes of your children and grandchildren.

In the following weeks, we will discuss how to change our environment for better outcomes based on actual human genetic needs.

http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/epigenetics/conditioninfo/Pages/impact.aspx

http://www.livescience.com/37703-epigenetics.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jess-ly/can-we-change-our-genes_b_6306046.html

http://www.theguardian.com/science/occams-corner/2014/apr/25/epigenetics-beginners-guide-to-everything

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/10369861/Epigenetics-How-to-alter-your-genes.html

http://blog.reliv.com/nutrition/qa-with-dr-alfredo-galvez/ (photo)

Testimonial

leg-pain“In July of 2013 I injured my right leg, causing extreme pain which affected its use. I received advice, care, encouragement, exercises, and understanding from many sources. With time, I walked better but still with a random pain.

In January 2014, I returned to Trusted Care to see Dr. Melinda. As we talked and I shared my story of continued minor pain, she carefully explored and found it’s location. I was so excited because I knew she had it! She explained what it was and what needed to be done. From my treatments, I’m beginning to use my leg with no pain, a positive I questioned would ever happen.

I learned much during this time. I’m so appreciative to Dr. Melinda for her continued effort and time to work with and heal my pain.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

– Becky Reynolds

Image from http://mnphysicalmedicine.com/category/leg-pain/

The Problem With Counting Calories

In American culture, we have become so focused on counting calories that we don’t pay any attention to what we are actually putting into our bodies. We’re all guilty of it. We see those yummy packaged cake rolls that say “50% fewer Calories” or that cereal bar with the “light” frosting, or only “100 calories”. This seems too good to be true! I can eat my favorite guilty pleasure foods without increasing my calorie count?! Why not!?

Sadly, it’s far too good to be true. Where you gain in one area, you sacrifice in another, and with these types of “calorie-saving” foods, you sacrifice REAL nutrition.

Humans didn’t even start counting calories until we started processing our foods. There was no need. Even 40 to 50 years ago we were still eating REAL food, not synthetic, processed “food”. For those of you who like numbers and charts, below is a link from businessinsider.com showing 11 charts comparing the consumption of food over the past 50+ years. My favorite chart is the last one – #11. It links the start of the obesity epidemic to the publishing of low-fat dietary guidelines. We ate food that was digestible by our bodies and obesity was not an issue. As soon as we started processing and adding refined sugars to our food, the rate of obesity, heart disease and certain cancers increased. Our bodies are not meant to eat these processed, boxed, fake foods! According to Joe Rigonlas:

“The correlation between obesity and disease with the consumption of things like refined sugar, grains and processed vegetable oils is crystal clear. Simply put, we have evolved to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. When your diet is centered around basic foods like veggies, fruits, quality sources of protein and natural fats, there’s no need to count calories (or “points”). These foods will nourish you and naturally make you feel satisfied making you less likely to over-eat. More importantly you become healthier as your body begins to learn how to run on this better source of fuel for energy rather than relying so heavily of sugar.”

Counting calories will work to an extent, but if you want to drop the size of your waist, and build a sustainable, healthy lifestyle, you must first drop the processed foods. I tell all my clients to get rid of the scales and stay away from “diets”. You aren’t likely to succeed with them and even if you do, you’ll likely struggle to maintain that combination of weight and lifestyle. If you are serious about getting healthy, start by eating REAL food. Below is a diagram called the “Real Food Pyramid” that shows what your daily food consumption SHOULD be. Your body will pay it forward by trimming inches from your waist, giving you more energy, and putting you in a better mood!

Paleo-Food-Pyramid (1)

I tell my clients to give yourself a 30 day trial when making a significant lifestyle change. That’s how long it takes to “retrain the brain” and build new habits. Be patient with yourself and know it’s okay if you falter at first – but stick with it and you’ll see the results you desire.

So stop. Stop counting those calories. Throw out the weight scale and start eating REAL food.

http://commack.patch.com/groups/joe-rignolas-blog/p/bp–dont-count-your-calories-make-your-calories-count-4a6201f4

http://www.businessinsider.com/whats-wrong-with-the-modern-diet-charts-2014-2

Fat Myths

Everything you think you know about fats is probably wrong… so forget what you thought you knew! For so long we’ve been told that fats are bad, that they cause heart disease, and that they make us fat. In reality, most fats are good for you, decrease your risk of heart disease and will help trim the waist!

fats-3As most of us correctly know, some fats are better than others. What a lot of us don’t know is that many of the “fatty” foods that we have been told NOT to eat are actually nutritious and essential to bodily health. Fats are vital in the making of vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which are necessary for maintaining healthy skin, promoting proper eyesight, brain development in babies and children. In fact,  our brains are 65% fat! When it comes to losing weight, fats help us reach satiety, meaning you actually feel full when you’ve had your fill. They can also help curb those overpowering cravings!

A trick that really helped me to stop the sugar cravings was to eat a handful of tree nuts, such as almonds, cashews, macadamia, and pistachios. They are a filling snack and after eating them, I didn’t crave the sugar anymore!

Not shown on the “Fat Facts:” chart above are the dreaded trans fats. If listed, they would be labeled “bad for you”. These are the fast, deep fried, guilty pleasure foods that should be avoided, such as potato chips, donuts, french fries, just to name a few. These are the fats that lead to heart disease and obesity.

6a00e39823747b88330148c6c3c180970cSaturated fats seem to get a bad rap when it comes to nutrition, but there are actually some saturated fats that are fine to eat in moderation. When it comes to saturated fats, you must look at the source (see “Which to Eat” diagram to the right).  Just like in humans, animals store toxins in their fats. Thus, animals raised commercially, those given steroids and antibiotics, will store these toxins in their fats, making them less healthy than the animal fats of grass-fed, organically raised animals. If the meat you eat is grass-fed and/or organic, there is not much to be concerned about when eating the animal fat.

To sum this up, do not fear fats! They are an essential part of a healthy diet as humans and necessary for good health. Always know the source and try to keep your fats of choice clean, unprocessed and free of steroids or antibiotics. Following these guidelines should help you choose wisely when it comes to fats. Good luck and remember, DON’T FEAR THE FATS!

Next week, I will be expanding on this fat topic and talking about how to make your calories count when it comes to healthy eating! Below are links to give you more information on good and bad fats.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/good-fats-bad-fats

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/

Graphic 1: http://colorsnspirits.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/fats-3.jpg

Graphic 2: http://www.windycitycrossfit.com/.a/6a00e39823747b88330148c6c3c180970c-pi  via http://www.balancedbites.com

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

Until just recently, if you exercised for at least 60 minutes a day, you were considered physically active. Now, new research suggests it is entirely possible to meet current physical activity guidelines while still being incredibly sedentary. Furthermore,  that simply the act of excessive sitting increases your risk of disease and even death, even with regular exercise. In the same way that smoking is bad for you even with regular exercise, so too is the simple inaction of sitting.

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal cholesterol levels, and increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. One recent study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day in front of the TV with those who logged more than four hours a day of recreational screen time. Those with greater screen time had:

  1. Nearly 50% increased risk of death from any cause!

  2. 125% increased risk of events associated with cardiovascular disease, such as chest pain (angina) or heart attack!

I think it’s clear that sitting for too long is bad for us, but with many desk jobs or jobs that require a lot of driving or flying, what are we to do? What options do we have?

Here are some ideas to help:

  1. Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch.

  2. If you work at a desk for long periods of time, try a standing desk — or improvise with a high table or counter.

  3. Walk laps with your colleagues for meetings rather than sitting in conference rooms.

  4. Make sure to take “standing breaks” every 30 minutes throughout the day.

  5. Walk around your house during the commercials of your favorite television show.

Movement is the key to health. Breaks, even as short as one minute, can make drastic changes in how you feel and prevention from a number of illnesses.

So stand up already!

Sources and More Info:

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/page/national/the-health-hazards-of-sitting/750/

http://www.runnersworld.com/health/sitting-is-the-new-smoking-even-for-runners?page=single

http://www.mayoclinic.org/sitting/expert-answers/faq-20058005

New Year’s Resolution Got You Down?

We are just three weeks into the new year and I find myself wondering how many of us have sustained our new year’s resolutions, even for this short time? A study from the University of Scranton showed that 92% of people do not keep their New Year’s Resolution. “That means that only 8% of people who make resolutions actually keep them—only 8%! And of that 8%, only 46% of people keep their resolutions for longer than six months.” *

It’s pretty clear we could all use a little help when it comes to our efforts for personal betterment in the new year. Here are a few simple ways to get started again and improve your chances for sticking it out this second (or third) time around:

  1. Ask yourself:

*Is my goal realistic?

*Can I measure this goal to see my progress?

*Is my goal achievable?

*Is my goal logical – does it make sense for me?

If you answer “no” to any of these questions, then your goals need to be revised. Without a “yes” to each of these, your goals will be counter productive by negatively affecting your self-esteem and self-confidence. Trust me, you will need both your self-esteem and self confidence to be soaring in order to successfully and persistently pursue your goals.

  1. Now, take some time to rewrite your goals, making sure you are able to answer “yes” to each of the questions above.

  1. Lastly, review your goals with someone else. Someone who can verify that these goals are realistic, measurable, achievable and logical. Having another perspective can help clarify your goals. Not only should this person be a support system for you, but they should also be there to hold you accountable. If these goals are something you’re serious about, you’ll need support and accountability to stay on track for the long haul.

Following these few simple steps can help put you in the 8% of successful resolutions. One of my favorite quotes is an old chinese proverb that provides a beautiful metaphor for this exact topic:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”

Do not give up on the goals that you started January 1, simply begin them anew today.

 

* http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/simple-steps-to-keeping-new-years-resolutions-011414

Chiropractic and Reduced Labor Pains

Rather than being wholly excited about the upcoming birth of their little one, many pregnant women develop anxiety over the act of giving birth. What if there were a way to help decrease not only the pains of labor, but the duration of labor? Regular chiropractic adjustments throughout the pregnancy have been found to not only decrease labor pains and labor time, but also helped mothers in their third trimester carry their baby more comfortably.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, along with reduced labor times and pain, chiropractic care throughout the pregnancy helps to maintain a healthier pregnancy, control symptoms of nausea, relieve back, neck and joint pain and also prevent a potential cesarean delivery. There are no known contraindications of chiropractic during pregnancy.

While all chiropractors are trained in the treatment and care of pregnant women, some take a particular interest in prenatal and postnatal care, including Dr. Melinda. She has gained close to 200 extra hours outside of the standard chiropractic education curriculum to specialize in prenatal, postnatal and pediatric care. If you are interested in how chiropractic can benefit you throughout your pregnancy, stop by the office at 310 Commercial Street, Atchison KS or call 913.367.5103 for more information! Below the photo are a few links to give more information on chiropractic during pregnancy.

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/chiropracticcare.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2647084/

http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=85

http://www.amplifeied.com/Post/chiropractic-during-pregnancy-has-been-shown-reduce-labor-times/da710f1b-3f81-427d-85e7-fa8bc378354a (photo)

 

Diet & ADHD

More children in the U.S. are being diagnosed with ADHD than ever before — 10.4 million in 2010 — a 66 percent increase since the year 2000! *

The majority of these millions of children will be prescribed mood altering drugs by default, some of them as young as four years old.

With growing concerns of over-diagnosis and the impacts of mood altering drugs on children and teenagers, many parents are now looking for non-drug treatment options. In a previous post, I discussed how chiropractic could potentially benefit kids diagnosed with ADHD and today I will introduce another effective non-drug treatment: diet.

So many of the “foods” (I put quotations around “food”, because is it really food that we now feed children?) are now processed and packaged in factories where scientists have manipulated the chemical composition to improve shelf life, injected artificial dyes to improve eye appeal, and inserted artificial flavors to create addictive tastes. Most “food” has become so processed that regular people stumble to pronounce more than a few items on the product ingredients list. For example, the ingredients list from a package of Wonder 100% Whole Wheat bread:

  

All kids, and especially those who are hyperactive, need real, nutritious food. I encourage parents when going to the grocery store to stay to the outside edges of the store – that’s where you find the real food: fruits, veggies, proteins, and nuts.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing food for your kids:

1. At the grocery store – stay to the outside!

2. Stick to foods with 10 or fewer ingredients

3. Understand and be able to pronounce all the ingredients.

Remember, even if you don’t feel like you can follow all these guidelines right away, know that just following one of them is greatly helping you, your child, and your entire family!

A healthy diet is important for everyone, but for children experiencing symptoms of ADHD, improving the nutritional value of their diet can help improve behavior at home, in school, and in their interactions with other children and adults.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”

Hippocrates

Below are links that provide more information on what diets are appropriate for kids with ADHD, along with peer reviewed research on ADHD and diet.

ADHD & Diet – WebMD

ADHD & Diet – A Collection of Research 

*Huffington Post Article on ADHD Diagnosis Patterns

The Paleo Challenge

I frequently see clients who ask,  “What can I do to help myself lose weight?”

My response, “Go paleo.”

Or they may ask, “What can I do to help with my digestive system?”

Go paleo.

Help with food allergies?

Go paleo.

Help improve my mood and have more energy?

Go paleo.

The paleolithic diet, abbreviated paleo diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era before the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.

Put most simply, the idea is to eat what our ancestors ate thousands of years ago.

Meaning…

NO: grains, legumes, dairy, refined salt OR sugar, and processed oils.

YES: fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, veggies, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts

Before I decided to take the paleo challenge, I was working out and I thought I was eating healthy – a bowl of cereal for breakfast with 2% milk, a turkey sandwich loaded with veggies for lunch, and a light pasta dish for dinner (notice all the grains), yet I felt stuck at the weight and size of clothes I was at. Then I took the challenge. And wow what a change! After just a few weeks I had lost a size, had more muscle definition and had more energy. I also noticed I wasn’t as bloated, my digestion regulated and I was more focused at school and with clients.

I am very weary of calling this a diet – to me diets are fads that run their course and eventually fall out of favor. Rather, going paleo is a lifestyle change. One must be mentally prepared to change their lifestyle in order for this way of eating to be successful.

To learn more about going paleo and the pros and cons of going paleo, check out these websites. Also, included is a website to one of my good friends in Kansas City who is a personal paleo chef who can help keep variety in your meals! Enjoy!

Pros and Cons of Paleo
Caleb Summers – Personal Paleo Chef
Delicious Paleo Recipes:

Boneless Pork Short Rib Breakfast Tacos

Sweet Sexy Wings

Coffee Marinated Steak Fajitas

Cinnamon Caramel Brownie Fruit Dip

Acupuncture Testimonial

“I had spent almost two years with Achilles tendon and calf pain, which prevented me from doing many things I loved.  It was a constant nagging pain that I had resigned myself to having to live with… then I met Dr. Melinda.  She told me about acupuncture treatments and her belief that she could improve my situation. After treatment from Dr. Melinda my pain is gone.  I have started running again, something I didn’t think I’d be able to do.  Dr. Melinda took the time to fully understand my situation, did an excellent job of explaining the process and made sure I was comfortable and relaxed as she worked.  Dr. Melinda’s acupuncture treatments are amazing and my quality of life has dramatically improved.”

 –Karla Kautz