Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Fibromyalgia and Food

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a disorder that affects everyone a little differently. Therefore, promoting a one diet approach for every FM patient doesn’t make a lot of sense. However, according to Ginevra Liptan, MD, medical director of the Frida Center for FM in Portland, OR, it is clear that what is included in a diet vs. what is eliminated makes a big difference for many FM patients. It has been reported that 42% of FM patients surveyed indicated their symptoms worsened after eating certain foods. Here are some recommendations about diet to consider:

  1. Pay attention to how food makes YOU feel. Many FM patients have sensitivities to particular foods, but this is highly variable from person to person. Sensitivity to MSG, certain preservatives, eggs, gluten, and dairy are quite common. Keep a daily food journal for at least 2 weeks and write down the foods eaten and any associated symptoms like headaches, indigestion (irritable bowel syndrome irritation – IBS), or fatigue.
  2. Try Eliminating Certain Foods. Many FM patients have irritable bowel symptoms, and using an elimination diet can help determine which foods to cut out. Try it out for no less than 6-8 weeks in order to get the best results. Then, add it back into your diet and pay attention to how it makes you feel. The most commonly eliminated foods are dairy and gluten and the most common improvement is in fatigue reduction and reduced IBS symptoms like bloating and constipation.
  3. If you think you might have food sensitivities or allergies, talk with us.Sometimes it is best to obtain an evaluation from an allergist for food allergy testing. Dietitians can also assist in assuring that you don’t eliminate essential nutrients when foods are eliminated from the diet.
  4. Make it easier to Eat Healthy. Everyone, including the FM sufferer, should try to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains (if not gluten sensitive), and lean meats or protein. A well balanced diet will give you more energy, which in turn, can improve your overall health. When pain and exhaustion are present, choose healthy foods that do not require a lot of preparation such as buying pre-washed vegetables, or purchase pre-prepared foods like beet salad and quinoa.
  5. Use Food to Help Fight Fatigue. Consume foods in a way that increases energy levels and prevent fatigue. Anecdotally, FM patients have reported that eating small meals frequently vs. restricting themselves to 3 meals a day can keep blood sugar levels more even and prevent the “hypoglycemic lows.” A snack high in protein around 3pm can prevent mid-day fatigue.  Make sure your breakfast includes some protein and whole grains (again, assuming there is no gluten sensitivity). Focus on getting enough sleep and staying active during the day as these can also prevent fatigue during the day.
  6. Check on Your Supplements. Some supplements have significant side effects and can interact with medications. Talk to the prescribing doctor or pharmacist about this. For example, antidepressants and certain supplements can interact.
  7. Focus on Your Overall Well-Being. A multiple approach to managing FM symptoms works better than a single approach. Things like yoga, massage, and deep breathing exercises, as well as routine chiropractic treatments can improve the overall quality of life. Increasing the quality of life is the ultimate goal for managing the FM patient. Going to bed at a consistent time, not eating too late, and exercising regularly are key components.

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

Is Exercise Making Your Back Problem Worse?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I was recently surfing around the internet and found something very interesting. I typed in “back pain cure” and got thousands of matches. Which I found interesting… because…
If there actually were so many “cures”, there wouldn’t be anyone left with any pain!

But we all know most of these “cures” are coming from opportunity seekers just trying to separate you from your money.The first thing that’s a dead give-away is when someone offers a cure for ALL back pain.Just like there is no ONE magical diet that works for everyone…there is no ONE solution for ALL cases of back pain.

Back pain can be complex, have more than one cause and, therefore, need more than one solution/treatment. For example – I came across one web site that claimed he had the ultimate cure for back pain. This guy had supposedly cured his own back pain with a “special” set of exercises. Exercises, he claimed, would cure everyone’s back pain. Exercises he would give you – for a hefty price!

I did a little Google search and found this guy had also suffered with carpal tunnel syndrome…and had found the cure…which he sold. He also suffered with headaches…that he cured…and sold the cure. Then there was his shoulder pain cure…I think you get the point.

Just for kicks, I ordered this guy’s “special” exercises. What a joke. They were nothing more than a mix of 6th grade gym class exercises with a few wrestling stretches. Attempting to do some of these “special” exercises, if you have a herniated or bulging disc, could leave you crippled on the floor.

And that’s the problem with most people pushing exercises as a cure for back pain…They think all back pain is caused by weak or inflexible muscles.

Which may be PART of the problem… but… if you have a herniated or bulging disc… that is NOT where you should start.

Look at it like this: If the front end of your car goes out of alignment – what happens to your tires? They wear unevenly, right? So what do you do? Do you drive your car a special way to try to fix the alignment? Do you work on the parts of your car supporting the alignment? Or do you get the alignment fixed?

The same is true with your back pain. When you have a herniated and/or bulging disc, your spine is injured and does not work properly. The more you use it, the more abnormal stress is put on your spine and discs, and the more damage you will cause. Exercise will NOT fix a herniated disc! But, if you are treated on the spinal decompression system and the herniation is healed PROPERLY… then… and only then… does it make sense to exercise to strengthen and stretch the area.

And here, one last thing to think about: If exercise cured backs… why do so many world class and professional athletes suffer with back pain? Just something to think about. I guess these elite athletes don’t know the “special” exercises I bought on the internet!

Can This Vitamin Cut Your Risk Of The Flu By 42%? The best part is – you do not even have to take this vitamin to get the benefits! Find out how.

Monday, June 18th, 2012

There is no doubt about it that getting the common cold is no fun. And coming down with the flu can be a real nightmare! No one wants to miss work or school and have to deal with a fever, chills, headaches, body aches and just plain misery for a week or so (or even longer if you do not take care of yourself).

Here’s something very important most people do not understand: It is must easier to prevent the flu (or any sickness or disease) than it is to treat it. You’ve heard the quote: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” But, for most people, it’s nothing more than lip service. It’s just human nature. When you are sick and you feel terrible, you say you are never going to let “this” happen again. You are going to eat right, exercise, etc. But, as soon as you feel like you’re back to your old self, you start acting like your “old self.” Don’t feel bad… just about everyone does it that way… except for the people who almost never get

Let’s face it, ALWAYS eating right; getting proper rest, reducing stress and so on in today’s society is nearly impossible. That’s why you should always make the effort to do your best and to find small, but powerful, things that can help you in a big way.

For a while, some medical experts have ranted and raved about Vitamin D and its positive effects on health, and more and more research is being published that makes it look like they’re right. For example, Dr. Joseph Mercola writes, “According to the findings from a 2010 study that didn’t get any widespread attention, vitamin D is a highly effective way to avoid influenza. “In fact, children taking low doses of Vitamin D3 were shown to be 42 percent less likely to come down with the flu. “The randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study included 430 children aged 6-15, who were followed between December 2008 and March 2009. “Half were given 1,200 IU’s of vitamin D3 daily, while the other half received a placebo. “Influenza strains were determined through lab testing of nose and throat swabs. “Eighteen of the children taking vitamin D contracted influenza Type A, compared to 31 children in the placebo group.
“Type B influenza rates were unaffected by vitamin D use, however, the illness resulting from
Type B influenza strains is typically milder than Type A. “Considering the fact that influenza was reduced by 42 percent at a dose of just 1,200 IU’s a day, it’s possible that even better results might be obtained with higher dosages—depending on just how deficient you are to begin with, of course, because it’s not really the dosage that matters; it’s the amount of vitamin D in your blood.”

One huge thing to understand here is that the study isn’t just referring to “Vitamin D,” it’s referring to Vitamin D (3). So, if you are going to take a Vitamin D supplement, it should be for
Vitamin D (3)… and it is always recommended you consult with a qualified physician who is an expert on nutrition and up on current research. A lot has recently changed about what researches and scientist know about nutrition, not to mention what was taught in school 10 or 20 years ago!

But, here’s something else that is important and often very misunderstood: The best possible source of Vitamin D does not come in the form of a dietary supplement. The best source is the SUN.

Wait, isn’t sun exposure bad? Doesn’t it cause skin cancer? The first thing to understand is that “sun exposure” is not bad. Too much sun exposure is bad. Water is not bad for you but drinking too much water can kill you. Simply because drinking too much is bad for you does not mean you should not drink any. The same is true for the sun. Everyone is different but everyone needs the proper amount of sun to maximize their health potential. You should get regular amounts of sunlight but NEVER enough to burn you. Since skin types vary, as does the sun’s strength in different geographic locations, there is no “formula” to follow. Once again, seeking advice from a physician well educated on this subject is a must. Getting no sun is not good, but you don’t want to get too much, either.

Popular Obesity Surgery Worse Than They Thought

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

As a chiropractor in San Diego, I regularly help patients with nutrition for losing weight and I also encounter patients that undergo weight loss surgery. Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. BMI is calculated from a person’s weight and height, and provides a reasonable indicator of body “fatness” and weight categories that may lead to health problems. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes.


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States. In 2009, only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-three states had prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; nine of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30%.”


Obviously, obesity is a big problem, but, what if a treatment is worse than the “Disease?” This may be the case, according to a study on the long-term effects of laparoscopic gastric band surgery. Researchers of the study, published in the Archives of Surgery, said, “The bands eroded in almost one in three patients. Sixty percent had undergone additional surgery, including 17 percent who went on to have gastric bypass.” Researchers concluded the adjustable gastric band surgery, which is growing in popularity in the United States, “appears to result in relatively poor long-term outcomes.”


A related article in The New York Times added: The results “are worse than we expected,” said Dr. Jacques Himpens of the European School of Laparoscopic Surgery and St. Pierre University Hospital in Brussels, lead author of the new study. Dr. Himpens advised those considering gastric band surgery not to “nourish exaggerated expectations,” adding that “anyone who has had the procedure should see a care provider on a regular basis and be vigilant about signs of infection or band erosion.”


Is there a better solution? Once again, research has shown there are almost always unwanted side effects to every drug or surgery. So, the question becomes – is the potential benefit worth that negative side effect? But, an even smarter question is – is there an all natural alternative that does not come with the same inherent risks of drugs and surgery? In this case, the answer for many people is… YES!


For many people, obesity and weight problems can be accomplished by permanent lifestyle changes. In other words, finding what foods work for your body chemistry, eating those foods, and exercising correctly for the rest of your life. This may seem like a daunting task, but the alternative is chilling. As research shows, quick fixes tend to lead to more problems. Nothing in life worth having comes without a price. To achieve real health, the price is putting in the effort to eat right, exercise, reduce stress and keep your body working properly.

How To Maximize Your Results From Working Out

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

According to a Study published in the Journal of Physiology on November 1, 2010, “A fat-rich energy dense diet is an important cause of insulin resistance.”

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas and it helps the cells of the body absorb glucose. When people are insulin resistant, their muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin. As a result, their bodies need more insulin to help glucose enter cells. The pancreas produces more and more insulin until it basically gets worn out and starts to fail. This can lead to diabetes.

How is this all linked to exercise? According to the study’s author, “This study, for the first time, shows that fasted training is more potent than fed training to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during hyper-caloric fatrich diets.”

In other words, the best time to work out seems to be on an empty stomach, which is usually first thing in the morning. Working out in the morning also has some additional benefits. Generally after working out in the morning, the day seems to be more productive. And of course it’s always great to start off the day knowing that you got a healthy workout out of the way.

New Century Spine Centers in San Diego has regular healthy classes monthly at their Mission Valley location. To register, contact them at 619-630-9153. The classes are free of charge but you must be pre-registered to attend. They go over great stretches, exercises and more. This is a class you won’t want to miss.

Childhood Obesity Linked To Health Habits

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

According to an article in Science Daily, the study suggests unhealthy habits are feeding the childhood obesity trend. “For the extremely overweight child, genetic screening may be a consideration,” says study senior author Kim A. Eagle, M.D., a Cardiologist and a Director of the U-M Cardiovascular Center. 1,003 Michigan 6th graders were examined, obese children were “more likely to consume school lunch instead of a packed lunch from home and spend two hours a day watching TV or playing a video game.

Childhood obesity has TRIPLED in the U.S. in the last 30 years, and obesity among U.S. children ages 6-11 has gone from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. “For the rest, increasing physical activity, reducing recreational screen time and improving the nutritional value of school lunches offers great promise to begin a reversal of current childhood obesity trends.”

Forty-five percent of obese students always ate school lunch, but only 34 percent of non-obese students ate school lunch. According to the Science Daily article, researchers found that 58 percent of obese children had watched two hours of TV in the previous day, compared to 41 percent of non-obese children.

Significantly less obese kids exercise on a regular basis. Fewer kids took physical education classes or were a member of a sports team. In the study, 15% of the students were overweight, but almost all had unhealthy habits. Over 30% drank regular soda within the previous day, less than 50% remembered eating two servings of vegetables in the same time period, and only 30% said they exercised for 30 minutes for 5 days during that week.

According to the American College of Preventative Medicine, heart disease and diabetes are two of the most common preventable chronic diseases. Both have their preventable causes in what we eat and how much we exercise, and both start from the habits we obtain in childhood. As adults, we can change these habits any time we want and live a longer and healthier life just about instantly, but children need guidance to make the same healthy choices. One of the biggest take home messages (besides realizing that it’s habits making us overweight — not just our genes) is that almost all the students can drastically improve their diet and exercise, not just the 15% who are obese.

Which Exercise Is Best For Losing Weight?

Sunday, February 13th, 2011
Most people already know the importance of exercise for a healthy life, but still fail to get started with a proper regime and routine for themselves. It is a well documented and well accepted fact that exercise is vital and essential for ensuring that all bodily systems and functions work properly. People who do not exercise on a regular basis suffer from various ailments and diseases as they grow older, and also have to face the problem of obesity.
So what exactly is it about exercise that makes possible all these wonderful benefits, especially when it comes to burning fat. We need energy to move and stay alive. It is the basis for all the things we do. The energy source supplied to your body comes from the foods we eat, which fall into three types: carbohydrates, protein and fats. For these food to function as energy, they must first be converted into a form the body can use, namely adenosine triphosphate or ATP. Our body needs a continuous supply of ATP in order to perform any type of physical activity. It can get the ATP from three sources: your muscles, aerobic metabolism, and anaerobic metabolism.
There are 2 kinds of cardio exercises: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic (fat burning process which uses carbohydrates, fat and oxygen to produce the ATP) exercise are activities such as jogging, speed walking, bicycling, swimming or any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended amount of time. Aerobic exercise causes your body to start the beneficial process of aerobic metabolism. This process uses the fat stored in your body, therefore starting the desired state of fat burning.
Anaerobic exercise on the other hand, uses anaerobic metabolism, which is fat burning process in the absence of oxygen. One common anaerobic exercise that most people recognize is resistance training which can be defined as any exercise in which force must be applied to move an external object. The first type of resistance training that comes to mind for many is of course weight lifting. However, the use of one’s own body weight, thera-bands and isometrics are also forms of resistance training. Resistance training helps you burn fat when anaerobic metabolism uses carbohydrates to create ATP, during your resting period. Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the minimum caloric requirement needed to sustain life when at rest and can be responsible for burning up to 70% of the total calories expended. This value varies, however, and is dependent on such factors as genetics, gender, age, diet and exercise.
Where resistance training plays a part in this process pertains to your lean body mass. Lean body mass burns more calories than the fat on your body. Resistance training builds more lean mass such as muscles and as a result increases your BMR. If you ever saw the headline “Burn Fat While You Sleep” and the product doesn’t involve drugs, then this in all likelihood is what they’re referring to. So if you want to burn fat while you sleep, you need to perform resistance exercises to build more lean muscle mass.Lose weight. Visit

The Lazy Person’s Way To Weight Loss. Study Says: SLEEP MORE To Drop Pounds!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Are you lazy? Come on. You can admit it and it will be our little secret! Well, even if you aren’t “lazy,” I’m sure you look for the quickest and easiest way to get things done. For example, if you had these two weight loss programs – that work equally as well – which one would you pick…

(1)You have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. every day and run 5 miles, then you eat almost nothing for breakfast, then almost nothing for lunch, then you work out like a dog for 2 hours after work, and eat a teeny tiny dinner. Then, you go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow. And you do this every day. Or…

(2) You take a pill, sleep late… and wake up skinny. Obviously, you’d probably choose #2. Any sane person would – as long as the “pill” was safe. Anyways, you get the point. Well, there is no “pill” that works like that. But, a study has just been published that claims sleeping is a very important part of weight loss.

In fact, research from the University of Chicago showed dieters who slept for 8.5 hours lost 55 percent more body fat than dieters who slept only 5.5 hours. The authors of the study stated, “Lack of sufficient sleep may compromise the efficacy of typical dietary interventions for weight loss and related metabolic risk reduction.”

Researchers think sleep may affect levels of a hormone called ghrelin. Increased levels of this hormone have been shown to increase appetite and increase fat retention. The subjects in this study who slept less claimed to be hungrier than those who slept more. According to the study’s authors:“Together, these results suggest that the loss of sleep at times of limited food intake amplifies the pattern of ghrelin associated changes in human hunger, glucose, fat utilization, and energy metabolism.” It should be noted the sample size in this study was small and further research on this subject is needed to make definitive conclusions.

Do You Know The Two Times You Should Not Eat Sugar?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Do you know the two times you should not eat sugar? If you do not, eating sugar at these two times of the day can strain your system and wreak havoc on your strength, fitness and health. In just a moment, you will discover these two very important times. But first, here’s some important news about… Common Over The Counter Medications And Brain Damage… According to a July 13, 2010 issue of Neurology, drugs called anticholinergics block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, and are widely-used medical therapies. They are sold over the counter under various brand names such as Benadryl®, Dramamine®, Excedrin PM®, Nytol®, Sominex®, Tylenol PM®, and Unisom®. Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil®, Detrol®, Demerol® and Elavil® are available only by prescription.

Older adults most commonly use drugs with anticholinergic effects as sleep aids and to relieve bladder leakage problems. Researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine conducted a 6 year study with 1,652 African-Americans over the age of 70 with normal cognitive function. Results: “We found that taking one anticholinergic significantly increased an individual’s risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and taking two of these drugs doubled this risk. This is very significant in a population, African-Americans, already known to be at high risk for developing cognitive impairment,” said Noll Campbell, PharmD, first author of the study.

Dr. Campbell is a Clinical Pharmacist with Wishard Health Services. “Simply put, we have confirmed that anticholinergics, something as seemingly benign as a medication for inability to get a good night’s sleep or for motion sickness, can cause or worsen cognitive impairment, specifically long-term mild cognitive impairment which involves gradual memory loss. As a geriatrician I tell my Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center patients not to take these drugs and I encourage all older adults to talk with their physicians about each and every one of the medications they take,” said Malaz Boustani, M.D., IU School of Medicine Associate Professor of Medicine, Regenstrief Institute Investigator and IU Center for Aging Research Center Scientist.

Now for… The Two Times NOT To Eat Sugar… When you work out, exercise triggers the release of human growth hormone (HGH). If you consume a high sugar meal or high sugar sports drink within 2 hours of your workout, you will seriously diminish the release of HGH. This is important because the HGH release helps in fat burning for 2 hours after you work out. An important note: Research has shown eating carbohydrates after a workout starts the protein synthesis recovery process faster. There are several studies involving young cyclists who compete for several days back-to-back, and quick recovery is their priority, not maximizing HGH. The second time NOT to eat sugars if you want to maximize HGH is 90 minutes before bed. Here is why: HGH is dependant on sleep and a major hormone surge occurs during the first 30-70 minutes of sleep. If this sleep is disrupted, the hormone surge can be dramatically reduced. Carbohydrates can disrupt this HGH output because carbohydrates stimulate the production of insulin… which reduces HGH. So, according to HGH magazine, if you want to maximize HGH output, do not eat carbohydrates 90 minutes before you go to sleep.

San Francisco Bans Certain Soda From Vending Machines

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

If you want to buy a Coke, Pepsi or Orange Fanta from a vending machine on city property in San Francisco… you can’t. That’s because Mayor Gavin Newsome, under an executive order, has banned non-diet sodas, sports drinks and artificially sweetened water. Fruit and vegetable juice must be 100% juice and diet sodas can be no more than one quarter of what the vending machine offers.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports this is the Mayor’s effort to combat obesity and promote health. The Mayor’s administration points to a study linking soda with obesity. One recent UCLA study showed adults who drink at least one soft drink a day are 27% more likely to be obese than those who do not. One had to wonder: What will be banned next?