Thursday, November 19, 2015

Think Again Before You Reach For That Hot Dog Or Breakfast Meat

It's well-established that food processing and food additives can create health hazards, and processed meats are no exception. Processed meats are those preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or the addition of chemical preservatives.

This includes bacon, ham, pastrami, salami, pepperoni, hot dogs, some sausages, and hamburgers (if they have been preserved with salt or chemical additives) and more. Previous studies have linked processed meats such as sausages, hot dogs, and sandwich meats to an increased risk of cancer, male infertility, and early death.

For example, a 2007 analysis by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) found that eating just one sausage a day may raise your risk of bowel cancer. Specifically, 1.8 ounces of processed meat daily – about one sausage or three pieces of bacon – was found to raise your likelihood of the cancer by 20 percent.

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has long recommended avoiding processed meats entirely for this reason. The institute explicitly warns that that "there is no safe threshold" for eating processed meats. It also recommends limiting red meat to a maximum of 18 ounces per week, to avoid raising your risk for colorectal cancer.
Processed Meats Now Classified As Group 1 Carcinogen
After reviewing some 800 studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO), also recently concluded that processed meat can cause colorectal cancer in humans, classifying it as a Group 1 carcinogen.

"IARC classified processed meat as 'carcinogenic to humans' on its group one list along with tobacco and asbestos, for which there is 'sufficient evidence' of cancer links. Each 50-gram (1.8-ounce) portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent, the agency estimated. A 50-gram portion would be the equivalent of eating one hot dog or two slices of bacon. Americans eat about 21.7 grams of processed pork per day, according to a 2011 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey."

When it comes to CAFO meats and processed meats, the latter of which contain a number of potentially harmful food additives, the cancer link may actually be due to the way such meats impact your gut flora. We also know that glyphosate can have a significantly detrimental impact on healthy gut bacteria, and CAFO animals are typically fed grains contaminated with glyphosate. This affects not only the animals' health, but your health as well.

In Health, 
Dr. Brad Niewierowski

Source: Processed Meats Declared Carcinogenic  November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Are You Dealing With Chronic Fatigue?

According to the Solve ME/CFS Initiative (SMCI), about 1 million Americans suffer from CFS, and the syndrome disproportionally strikes more women than men. The Institute of Medicine estimates the prevalence of CFS may be as high as 2.5 million, with 84 to 91 percent of them being undiagnosed.

Symptoms characteristic of CFS include the following. As you would expect, these symptoms correlate with many other diseases and conditions, making a correct diagnosis notoriously difficult to obtain. Since there's no known cure for CFS, all treatments are currently directed at relieving these symptoms.
  • Extreme fatigue and weakness, difficulty maintaining upright posture, dizziness, balance problems, and fainting
  • Post-exertional malaise, lasting 24 hours or longer
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  •  Sore throat, swollen glands, and periodic fevers and chills
  • Chronic headaches
  •  Brain fog, cognitive dysfunction, and/or lack of concentration
  •  Insomnia, and/or unrefreshing sleep, night sweats
  • Irritability, depression, and mood swings 

Chronic fatigue syndrome is undoubtedly a challenging condition, but there is hope. A number of different lifestyle changes have been shown to increase your chances of recovery, including the ones covered in this article:
·       Exercising according to your ability, with a focus on increasing the amount of exercise you can handle. Research shows that a combination of aerobic activity and strength training can improve pain and fatigue symptoms. Gentle exercise such as yoga can also be an excellent part of your exercise program – and yoga benefits the mind as well as the body.
·       Supplementing with nutrients important for cellular energy synthesis, such as ubiquinol and D-ribose, as well as supplying your body with the basic vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet.
·       Eating foods rich in glutathione precursors, and foods high in sulfur and/or selenium to encourage glutathione production. The American Healthcare Foundation presents a valuable summary of the benefits of glutathione in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. Its primary value is its ability to promote healthy immune system function. And, while it has nothing to do with the generation of cellular energy per se, it helps eliminate toxins that can disrupt cellular energy synthesis. Its antioxidant capacity also helps prevent or reduce the pain response.

These are just a few steps that may help in the battle of fighting chronic fatigue. However, many other factors need to be considered such as blood sugar management, thyroid function and the state of your adrenals. Proper evaluation of these systems are necessary to understand the full picture of what is actually driving the chronic fatigue. If you would like to have an assessment and understand what state your body is in so that you can get the proper help, please give our office a call for a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors.

In Health, 
Dr. Brad Niewierowski 


Source:  Energy Boosting Strategies That May Help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  November 13, 2015


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Maintaining a Healthy Neck for Life (Part 2)

As was discussed in the first article, keeping your neck healthy is critical for proper overall health throughout your lifetime. From a neurological and functional perspective, the seven pairs of cervical nerves that branch off the spinal cord and travel between the joints in the neck control much of the information and activities of everything above the shoulders and for our upper extremities. This includes controlling muscles of the face, neck and arms as well as having input with our hearing and vocal capabilities. Through those nerves we also receive input to and feedback from some very important glands that help us regulate processes all throughout our body, namely the pituitary and thyroid glands. Therefore, we need to do all we can to keep discs, muscles, bones and joints as healthy as possible so that the nerves can be free to communicate without interference.

Proper alignment of the spinal joints in the neck and ensuring that they are all moving through their full ranges of motion is a must. If the spinal joints get stuck and don't move properly, they can irritate nearby spinal nerves as the muscles try force movement of the joints. If the joints move too much, spinal bones can also press against the nerves that run near them and cause compression. Either scenario can cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness or organs that are under/overactive. In these cases, alignment and motion must be restored and inflammation reduced. In most cases if pain is present (which is a first sign that nerve irritation is occurring) the first step would be to apply cold to the affected area. Not only will this help with the pain since ice has an analgesic effect on the nerves, but it will also decrease the swelling and inflammation, which usually prolongs the recovery time and sustains the pain since the swelling will continue to put pressure on the injured tissues. After that, chiropractic adjustments will help restore proper alignment in the neck and keep the joints moving freely with one another, reducing the chance of further nerve irritation. Your doctor will help explain to you whether these issues are due to recent injury or are the result of stresses and traumas that have gone on in the neck for longer periods of time.

Another way to minimize your risk of neck problems is through proper sleeping posture. Most people are best served by avoiding sleeping on their stomachs. When you sleep this way, you will typically have your neck in a rotated and extended position for hours while you are sleep. This results in one side of the neck being stretched and twisted while the other side is compressed. Normally we will go through those motions briefly in the average day, but this would be like walking around half the day looking over your shoulder. (Try it one day if you don’t believe this could be damaging to the neck.) Ideally we should be sleeping on either our backs or sides, but with certain criteria. On your back should be with only enough pillow or support under the neck to keep the head in a neutral position centered over the shoulders, same as if you were standing. Too many pillows will cause the head to be in the forward position similar to what was mentioned with poor posture above. If you sleep on your side, use enough pillows to keep the head, neck and back all in a straight line. Say you are lying on your right side. You don’t want too many pillows so that the head is bending to the left or a flat pillow/too few pillows so that your head is bending to the right. People with broader shoulders may need 1 or 2 pillows to fill the gap between head and mattress; children generally only need one.

Taking a little extra time to make sure posture is ideal, whether it be while you are asleep or awake, will go a long way to determining whether the neck is in good shape as you age or if you are setting yourself up for neck pain or conditions like degenerative arthritis as a result of increased stress on the joints. Some changes do become irreversible, so prevention is the key.

In Health, 

Dr. Brad Niewierowski 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Maintaining a Healthy Neck for Life (Part 1)

On the topic of healthy aging, this article will begin to address proper care and maintenance for the neck. While it may seem like a relatively small part of the body, it holds major importance as it serves as the first “passageway” of information from the brain to all parts of the body. In order for the brain to effectively do its job and maintain proper control and regulation, this flow of information and nerve energy must be allowed to proceed uninterrupted. Many times there will be issues arising from the neck, such as spinal misalignments, inflammation or degenerative joints, that have the potential to interfere with this transmission and as a result, nerve communication will be less than optimal or possibly greatly reduced. Maybe there is minor irritation on the nerves at the top of the neck near the base of the skull and we get a headache or experience dizziness or sinus problems. Or, if we have a disc bulge or degeneration and the nerves become compressed or “pinched”, it can result in loss of communication from the brain and then muscles can become weak or paralyzed and organs can malfunction. Therefore, it is critical that we strive to maintain optimal health in the neck, or cervical spine, as it relates to our nerves, joints and discs.

Probably the biggest contributor to the health (or lack of) of your neck will be your posture over the course of a lifetime. When we are first growing and developing in the womb, we are in the fetal position with the neck bending in a forward position (it’s kind of cramped in there) and the spine in essentially a large C-shaped curve. After birth when we have more space to move around, the spine can now straighten out and we then proceed to develop new curves, the first being in the neck. As muscles develop and strengthen, babies lose their “wobbly head” as their spine gains more stability. Once they start raising their head and looking up and around while lying on their stomachs, they now begin to develop a curve in the neck opposite that of the fetal position and this is supposed to be maintained through the rest of life. What we see in practice though is that if proper posture is not maintained, this will set the stage for degeneration and irreversible changes in neck structure. Many patients will point out that they “don’t want to be like grandma” or the little old man or lady that is stooped over and has the “hunchback” appearance. Believe it or not, posture will be the major contributing factor in cases like that.

So what is correct neck posture? When looking from the front or back, we should see that the ears are level and there is no tilt to the left or right. From the side we should see that the center of the ear is over the top point of the shoulder and there is a visible curve in the neck. If not, then the first order of business is to do what mom and all those teachers told us to do: sit up straight! It is all too easy to spend numerous hours throughout the day with our heads forward or bent down, looking at cell phones, at our desks or computers, preparing food, or just relaxing with poor posture. When we do that day by day, week by week and year by year, we reinforce the changes that lead to loss of the proper curve and the problems that follow. To correct it, we need to engage the muscles in the back of the neck and make sure the ones in front aren’t overly tight. While sitting or standing against a wall, focus on drawing the head straight back (not bending back) so that it is centered over the body. Hold for a few second, relax, and then repeat for several repetitions. Stretching the neck in all directions is also important, holding for 15-20 seconds as you look left and right, bend to the left and right and bend forward and back. Hunched posture also leaves the muscles of the chest chronically tight so find a door frame or outward corner of a wall, place the forearm flat against it and slowly rotate the torso away from the arm to get a good 20 second stretch in the chest and front shoulder muscles. Repeating these simple steps on a daily basis, in addition to watching your posture, will go a long way in helping maintain the health and integrity of your neck for a lifetime. Next time we will discuss further strategies to keep you centered, balanced and optimally healthy.

In Health, 

Dr. Brad Niewierowski

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Foods that Surprisingly Have More Sugar than Doughnuts

The American Heart Association and the World Health Organization recommend limiting your daily added sugar intake to nine teaspoons for men and six teaspoons for women. It's a good common practice to limit daily fructose intake to 25 grams or less from all sources including fruit for all genders. The average American, however, consumes around 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which is more than three times the recommended amount.

There is no doubt that the overconsumption of sugar is fueling the obesity and chronic epidemics we’re currently struggling with.

Here are a list of foods that actually higher amounts of sugar than doughnuts.
·      Starbuck’s Caramel Frappucino
·      Jamba Juice Banana Berry Smoothie
·      Odwalla Superfood Smoothie
·      Kraft French Style Fat Free Dressing
·      Snapple Peach Tea
·      Craisins Dried Cranberries
·      Naked Pomegranate Blueberry Juice
·      McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal

For more information on making the right choices and reducing disease call us at (210) 468-1891 for a free consultation.

In Health, 

Dr. Jacob Torres