Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Omega-3, -6 levels linked to bowel health

Increased intakes of omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid may double the risk of ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, says a Pan-European study.

On the other hand, the highest intakes of omega-3 were associated with 77 per cent reduction in the risk of the disease, according to findings of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) with 203,193 men and women published in Gut.

Read here for sources of Omega-6:

Omega-3, -6 levels linked to bowel health

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Vit D-curcumin combo offers brain health potential

Vit D-curcumin combo offers brain health potential

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Blood Pressure Reduction Through Chiropractic

Good Morning America news story about a medical study indicating the reduction of blood pressure from one chiropractic adjustment.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Ankles: A Balancing Act

Ankles sprains are the most common injury for physically active people. Professor Jay Hertel of the University of Virginia demonstrates four balancing exercises to strengthen ankles.

Balance training is a supremely low-tech but increasingly well-documented approach to dealing with unstable ankles.

Here's the key paragraph in the article:

Why should balance training prevent ankle sprains? The reasons are both obvious and quite subtle. Until recently, clinicians thought that ankle sprains were primarily a matter of overstretched, traumatized ligaments. Tape or brace the joint, relieve pressure on the sore tissue, and a person should heal fully, they thought. But that approach ignored the role of the central nervous system, which is intimately tied in to every joint. “There are neural receptors in ligaments,” says Jay Hertel, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Virginia and an expert on the ankle. When you damage the ligament, “you damage the neuro-receptors as well. Your brain no longer receives reliable signals” from the ankle about how your ankle and foot are positioned in relation to the ground. Your proprioception — your sense of your body’s position in space — is impaired. You’re less stable and more prone to falling over and re-injuring yourself.
It's all about the nervous system and central integration. The human body is a receptor based system. Information is received from sensory stimulii which includes balance and sense of position in space. That information is sent to the CNS, the spinal cord and brain, for processing and motor output. With less or aberrant info coming in there will be less or aberrant info going back to organs, joints, and other body structures. Weakness and instability will lead to more weakness and instability as the body tries to compensate in order to maintain balance both structurally and functionally. Professor Hertel mentions ligamentous receptors but there are also receptors worth mentioning in the joints and muscles. The excercises he reccomends are very advanced and at the same time relatively low tech. They demonstrate a real understanding of anatomy, physiology, and neurology.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Patients Not Informed of Abnormal Lab Results

A study published last month in the Archives of Internal Medicine reveals primary care practices sometimes do not inform patients of abnormal lab results or do not keep a record of the patient being informed. About 1 of every 14 abnormal tests was not reported to the patient.

I tell all my patients to request a copy of their lab results and have the doctor review it with them. It's pretty easy to determine if one of your readings is too high or low because it will fall outside the normal ranges and appear in a separate column or will be highlighted. Make sure you understand what that means.

My own mother was a victim of non-disclosure of her lab results. The tests showed a high probability of aggressive cancer. Her doctor told my brother, a physician, that everything was alright and he took the doctor's word for it. More than a year passed and indeed an aggressive cancer spread throughout my mother's body. By the time surgery and chemo were scheduled it was really too late to stop it. We only found out the truth about the lab results by accident.

This is why I always reccomend that my patients actually see their results and discuss them with the doctor. You must insist upon it! It could save your life.