Food Myth Series

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Over the next few weeks we will be addressing some common food myths that, frankly, drive us a little bit crazy when we hear them. Hopefully we are able to clarify some common misconceptions regarding diet and how what you eat affects how you feel and perform.

We are always open to discussion and want to hear any food myths you have heard in your travels that made you go “What?”.

So, without further delay, food myth #1:

Eating Fats Is Unhealthy

Generations of now adults have been brainwashed into believing that fats = getting fat by the Canada Food Guide. This is simply not the case. While some fats are unhealthy, plenty more have benefits that you won’t find elsewhere. A lower calorie eating plan that includes healthy fats can help people lose more weight than a similar diet that’s low in fat, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Fats make food taste better, keep you fuller and help prevent overeating.

It is true that fats have more calories per gram than proteins and carbs but those calories come with health benefits that the others don’t. Healthy fats like the ones found in salmon, olive oil, nuts and avocados are key to several healthy living goals including:

1. They are a major fuel source for your body (meaning they provides a lot of calories) and are also the main way you store energy.
2. You need fat to help you absorb certain nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and antioxidants (like lycopene and beta-carotene).
3. Fats are important in giving your cells structure.
4. Omega-3 fats, a type of unsaturated fat, are important for optimum nerve, brain and heart function.

One type of fat you don’t need? Trans fats, an artificial kind of fat found in partially hydrogenated oils and a main ingredient in the food frying process (delicious, yes, but very unhealthy).

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So there you go, a quick overview of why fats are important in every healthy diet. Come back next week for more food myth-busting.

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The Best Diet For Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia (FM) and its cause remains a mystery, but most studies suggest that FM is NOT the result of a single event but rather a combination of many physical, chemical, and emotional stressors.

The question of the month regarding the BEST FM diet is intriguing since one might assume that the many causes should mean that there isn’t one dietary solution. But is that true? Could there be a “best diet” to help ease the symptoms from such a multi-faceted disorder?

Certainly, healthy eating is VERY important for ALL of us regardless of our current ailment(s). Obesity is rampant largely due to the fact that 60% of the calories consumed by the “typical” American center around eating highly inflaming food that include those rich in Sugar, Omega-6 oil, Flour, and Trans fats (“SOFT” foods, if you will!). Obesity has been cited as “an epidemic” largely due to kids and adults becoming too sedentary (watching TV, playing on electronic devices, etc.) and eating poorly.

Perhaps the BEST way to manage the pain associated with FM and to maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index, or ratio between height and weight) is to substitute ANTI-INFLAMING foods for those that inflame (or SOFT foods).

You can simplify your diet by substituting OUT “fast foods” for fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. So there you have it. It’s that simple. The problem is making up your mind to change and then actually doing it. Once these two things take place, most everyone can easily “recalibrate” their caloric intake and easily adapt.

Not only have studies shown that chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes significantly benefit by following this simple dietary shift, but so does pain arising from the musculoskeletal system! This is because the human body is made up largely of chemicals, and chemical shifts are constantly taking place when it moves. If you reach for an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen and it helps, it’s because you ARE inflamed and the drug reduces the pain associated with that inflammation. This is an indication that an anti-inflammatory diet WILL HELP as well (but without the negative side effects)!

The list of chronic conditions that result in muscle pain not only includes FM but also obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes. Conditions like tension-type and migraine headaches, neck and back pain, disk herniation, and tendonopathies and MANY more ALL respond WELL to making this SIMPLE change in the diet. For more information on how to “DEFLAME,” visit http://www.deflame.com! It could be a potential “lifesaver!”

Fibromyalgia Diet?

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Folks suffering with fibromyalgia (FM) commonly complain that certain foods can make their symptoms worse. How common is this? One study reported 42% of FM patients found that certain foods worsened their symptoms!

Because FM affects each person differently, there is no ONE FM diet or, “…one size fits all” when it comes to eating “right” for FM. Patients with FM usually find out by trial and error which foods work vs. those that consistently don’t. However, remembering which foods do what can be a challenge so FIRST, make a three column FOOD LOG with the following headings: BETTER, NO CHANGE, WORSE. This will allow you to QUICKLY review the list as a memory refresher.

According to Dr. Ginevra Liptan, medical director of the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia (Portland, OR) and author of Figuring Out Fibromyalgia: Current Science and the Most Effective Treatments, there are some common trends she’s observed through treating FM patients. Here are some of her recommendations:

PAY ATTENTION TO HOW FOOD MAKES YOU FEEL: It is quite common to have “sensitivities” to certain foods, but this is highly variable from person to person. Examples of problematic foods/ingredients include: MSG (commonly used in Chinese food), other preservatives, eggs, gluten, and dairy. Dr. Liptan HIGHLY recommends the food journal approach! She also recommends including a note about the type of symptoms noticed with each “WORSE” food, as symptoms can vary significantly.

ELIMINATE CERTAIN FOODS: If you suspect a certain food may be problematic, try an elimination challenge diet. That means STOP eating that food for six to eight weeks and then ADD it back into your diet and see how you feel. Remember, FM sufferers frequently have irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, and this approach can be REALLY HELPFUL! Food allergies may be part of the problem, and your doctor may refer you for a consult with an allergist and/or a dietician. They will also discuss the “anti-inflammatory diet” with you.

EAT HEALTHY: In general, your diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Pre-prepare food so you have something “healthy” to reach for rather than a less healthy snack when you’re hungry and tired. Consider “pre-washed” and pre-cut up vegetables; try quinoa rather than pasta. Consume anti-fatigue foods and eat multiple small meals daily vs. one to two large meals. Protein snacks (like a hardboiled egg or oatmeal – GLUTEN FREE) help a lot! Eat breakfast and include protein. Also, GET ENOUGH SLEEP (at least seven to eight hours and be consistent)!

SUPPLEMENTS: Consider a good general multi-vitamin, calcium and magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, and Co-Enzyme Q10. There are others, but this represents a great place to start. Remember to check any medication you may be taking with these/any suggestions before taking supplements!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

Diet & Fibromyalgia

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Fibromyalgia (FM) is a common condition that affects about five million Americans, often between ages 20 and 45 years old. FM is very difficult to diagnose primarily because there is no definitive test like there is for heart, liver, or kidney disease. Equally challenging is the ability to effectively treat FM as there are frequently other conditions that co-exist with FM that require special treatment considerations. Typically, each FM case is unique with a different group of symptoms and therefore, each person requires individualized care.

Fibromyalgia symptoms can include generalized pain throughout the body that can vary from mild to severely disabling, extreme fatigue, nausea/flu-like symptoms, brain “fog” (“fibro-fog”), depression and/or anxiety, sleeping problems and feeling un-refreshed in the mornings, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, morning stiffness, painful menstrual cramps, numbness or tingling (arms/hands, legs/feet), tender points, urinary pain or burning, and more!

So, let’s talk about ways to improve your FM-related symptoms through dietary approaches. When the FM symptom group includes gut trouble (bad/painful gas, bloating, and/or constipation), it’s not uncommon to have an imbalance between the “good” vs. the “bad” bacteria, yeast, and problems with digestion or absorption. Think of management as a “Four Step” process for the digestive system:

1.  REMOVE SENSITIVITIES: Consider food allergy testing to determine any foods the FM patient has a sensitivity for. Frequently, removing gluten, dairy, eggs, bananas, potatoes, corn, and red meat can benefit the FM patient. The use of anti-fungal and / or anti-bacterial botanicals (as opposed to drug approaches such as antibiotics) can be highly effective. A low allergy-potential diet consisting of fish, poultry, certain vegetables, legumes, fruits, rice, and olive and coconut oil is usually a good choice.

2.  IMPROVE DIGESTIVE FUNCTION: The presence of bloating and gas is usually indicative of poor digestion, and the use of a digestive enzyme with every meal can be highly effective!

3.  RESTORE THE “GOOD” BACTERIA: Probiotics (with at least 20-30 billion live organisms) at each meal are often necessary to improve the “good” gut bacteria population, which will likely also improve immune function.

4.  REPAIR THE GUT: If the gut wall is damaged, nutrients like l-glutamine, fish oils, and n-acetyl-d-glucosamine may help repair it.

This process will take several months, and some of these approaches may have to be continued over the long term. Doctors of chiropractic are trained in nutritional counseling and can help you in this process. As an added benefit, many FM sufferers find the inclusion of chiropractic adjustments to be both symptomatically relieving and energy producing.

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!

Kids Who Garden Eat Healthier Later in Life.

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Letting kids help in the garden may promote lifelong healthy eating habits. Researchers surveyed over 1,300 college students and found that students who gardened as a child and continue to do so ate 2.9 cups of fruits and vegetables daily—about a half a cup more than their peers who never gardened.

Lead author Dr. Anne Mathews adds, “We found that if your parents gardened but you did not, just watching them did not make a difference in how much fruits and vegetables you eat in college. Hands-on experience seems to matter.” The authors suggest that schools offer gardening lessons to expose young children to the activity, which may encourage students to maintain healthy eating habits later in life.

Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, September 2016

What is wrong with my shoulder?

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Shoulder pain is a REALLY common problem that can arise from many causes. There are actually several joints that make up the shoulder, so shoulder injuries can be quite complex!
Probably the most common source of shoulder pain arises from the muscle tendons and the bursa—the fluid-filled sacs that lubricate, cushion, and protect the sliding tendons near their attachment to bone. The rotator cuff is made up from a group of four muscles and their connecting tendons. Typically, when the tendons tear, the bursa swells and “impingement” occurs. When this happens, it’s very painful to raise the arm up from the side.
The term “strain” applies to injuries of the muscles and tendons and are classified as mild, moderate, or severe (some refer to this as first, second, and third degree tears), depending on the amount of tissue that has torn. Overexertion, overuse, sports injuries, dislocation, fracture, frozen shoulder, joint instability, and pinched nerves can all give rise to shoulder pain.
The diagnosis of what’s actually causing a patient’s shoulder pain is often determined by the history of how the injury occurred, or the “mechanism of injury.” This is followed up by measuring the range of motion and performing provocative tests to see which positions bother the shoulder the most. A doctor may use X-rays to assess for fracture/dislocation and an MRI to assess muscle tendon tears, labral tears (a rim of cartilage surrounding the glenoid fossa or cup of the ball & socket joint), and other soft tissue injuries.
People with jobs that require heavy lifting or repetitive pounding (carpenters and jack-hammer operators, for example), who play sports such as football and rugby, and those who smoke, have diabetes, and/or an overactive thyroid are at higher risk of injury. Because the shoulder joint is normally not very stable, MANY people tear their rotator cuff or injure their shoulder during their lifetime. One study found 17% of participants had full thickness rotator cuff tears (as opposed to partial tears). The researchers reported that age was an important determinant, as the incidence of full tears was only 6% in those less than 60 years old vs. 30% in those over 60! So obviously, this IS NOT an injury limited to the younger active person!
Outside of a medical emergency, patients should always try non-surgical treatment options first. Doctors of chiropractic offer the shoulder injury patient a non-surgical option that emphasizes exercise and self-management strategies in addition to manual manipulation, mobilization, and more. The most important message is BE PATIENT as these usually take time to manage, often up to a year.

Which Low Back Pain Treatment Is Best?

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For patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP), treatment guidelines recommend a non-surgical approach as the FIRST-LINE treatment. Ideally, the goal would be to avoid an initial surgery unless it’s absolutely indicated. That means, unless there is loss of bowel or bladder control or retention (which represents a medical emergency) or if there is progressive neurological motor and sensory loss, one can safely avoid surgery and conservatively manage the condition.
Interestingly enough, a systematic review of the results from three randomized controlled studies carried out in Norway and the United Kingdom found the outcomes or results between the surgical fusion vs. non-surgical treatment of patients with cLBP showed NO DIFFERENCE at an 11-year follow-up!
Studies have shown chiropractic to be highly beneficial for acute and chronic low back pain cases.

 

In one study, researchers reviewed data on 72,326 cLBP patients in the Medicare system who received one of four possible treatment combinations between 2006 and 2012: 1) chiropractic only; 2) chiropractic followed by conventional medical care (CMC); 3) CMC followed by chiropractic; 4) CMC alone.
The research team found that chiropractic care alone (group 1) resulted in the lowest costs, and these patients had lower rates of back surgery and shorter episodes of care.
The group receiving CMC alone (group 4) had the highest costs, with the second and third groups being similar—both costing less and being more effective than CMC alone.
The conclusion of the study reads, “These findings support initial CMT [chiropractic manipulative therapy] use in the treatment of, and possibly broader chiropractic management of, older multiply-comorbid cLBP patients.”