Wellness – PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX https://www.pushasrx.com Chiropractic Science & Functional Fitness Tue, 04 Aug 2020 23:25:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 https://i2.wp.com/www.pushasrx.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/IMG_8806_500_x_500.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Wellness – PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX https://www.pushasrx.com 32 32 111105572 What is the Role of Glutathione in Detox? https://www.pushasrx.com/what-is-the-role-of-glutathione-in-detox/ Tue, 04 Aug 2020 23:20:13 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25843 What is the Role of Glutathione in Detox? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Antioxidants like resveratrol, lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin E can be found in many foods. However, one of the most powerful antioxidants is naturally produced by the body. Glutathione is known as the “master antioxidant”. Many foods have some glutathione but it is ultimately broken down by digestion before it can be properly used. Research studies […]

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What is the Role of Glutathione in Detox? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Antioxidants like resveratrol, lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin E can be found in many foods. However, one of the most powerful antioxidants is naturally produced by the body. Glutathione is known as the “master antioxidant”. Many foods have some glutathione but it is ultimately broken down by digestion before it can be properly used. Research studies have found that dietary glutathione isn’t associated with glutathione in the blood. As previously mentioned, glutathione is naturally produced by the body. But, if your capacity to do so is affected, it can cause a variety of health issues.

 

Glutathione is essential for liver detox or detoxification. Unlike other ways in which we can detox the body, scientists have demonstrated the benefits of glutathione for detoxification. It’s also necessary for healthy immune function and antioxidant defenses against free radicals. Glutathione deficiency is associated with health problems from overtraining to HIV/AIDS. In the following article, we will look at the role of this well-known amino acid in detox or detoxification. Glutathione is made up of three essential amino acids, including L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine. It is responsible for:

 

  • Promoting liver detox or detoxification before bile is released
  • Reducing harmful components and toxins, such as peroxides
  • Neutralizing free radicals and other chemicals or substances
  • Cleaning out the body and supporting the immune and nervous system

 

What is Glutathione Responsible for in Detox?

 

Glutathione is essential for liver detox or detoxification. Glutathione binds to harmful components and toxins before they’re eliminated which is an important step in getting them out of your body. Glutathione may also be very essential for helping your body eliminate harmful components and toxins found in the food you eat and the environment. By way of instance, one research study found that in people who eat a lot of fish, the total amount of mercury in their bodies was associated with genes that regulate glutathione levels in the blood. The more glutathione people made, the less amount of mercury they had.

 

Glutathione is found in every cell and tissue of the body. However, concentrations are seven to 10 times higher in the liver than anywhere else in the body. That’s because the well-known tripeptide plays a fundamental role in the Phase II liver detoxification pathway. The Phase II liver detoxification pathway is the process of metabolizing molecules that need to be eliminated from the body. Glutathione commonly binds to these molecules to eliminate them from the body. Glutathione ultimately has the capacity to bind to harmful compounds and toxins, flagging them as hazardous.

 

This helps eliminate chemicals and substances, scientifically known as xenobiotics, which weren’t produced in the body. And it can identify drugs, environmental pollutants, or any number of chemicals and substances. It’s important that glutathione binds to these harmful compounds and toxins before they can bind to important cells and tissues. But the detox process isn’t complete. The next step is to turn the harmful compounds and toxins into a form that can be further metabolized and/or eliminated. Glutathione plays a role in turning fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins so you can eliminate them from your body. The Phase II liver detoxification pathway involving glutathione plays physiologically essential roles in detox or detoxification. Without it, you’d probably be filled with hazardous material.

 

In conclusion, glutathione is essential for liver detox or detoxification. Glutathione is made up of three essential amino acids, including L-cysteine, L-glutamic acid, and glycine. Unlike other ways in which we can detox the body, scientists have demonstrated the benefits of glutathione for detoxification. As previously mentioned, it’s also necessary for healthy immune function and antioxidant defenses against free radicals. Glutathione deficiency is associated with a variety of health problems. In the article above, we looked at the role of this well-known amino acid in detox or detoxification.

 

 

Glutathione is an essential antioxidant for liver detox or detoxification, regulating inflammation, and supporting healthy immune function. But it’s not like other nutrients where you can eat more of it to take advantage of its health benefits. Instead, the important part about glutathione is supporting your body’s natural ability to produce it on its own. Think less “glutathione supplement” and more “eating your broccoli and moderate exercise” to help your body cleanse and protect itself against harmful components and toxins as well as bacteria and viruses. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Protein Power Smoothie | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

 

Protein Power Smoothie

 

Serving: 1
Cook time: 5 minutes

 

• 1 scoop protein powder
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 kiwi, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of cardamom
• Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency

 

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately.

 


 

Cucumbers | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

 

Cucumber is 96.5% Water

 

Because they’re so naturally high in water, cucumber is also very low in calories. It only has 14 calories per 100g (3.5oz). That means you can nibble on it all day without worrying about your waistline.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Paleo Leap Staff. “Glutathione: the Detox Antioxidant: Paleo Leap.” Paleo Leap | Paleo Diet Recipes & Tips, 1 Feb. 2017, paleoleap.com/glutathione-the-detox-antioxidant/.
  • Ask The Scientists Staff. “Glutathione – The Amazing Detoxification Molecule You Might Not Know.” Ask The Scientists, 19 Dec. 2019, askthescientists.com/qa/glutathione/.
  • Dr. Judy. “Glutathione: The Detox Boss.” Vitality Natural Health Care, 14 Apr. 2018, vitalitywellnessclinic.com/detox-immune-system/glutathione-the-detox-boss/.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

The post What is the Role of Glutathione in Detox? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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Protein Power Smoothie | El Paso, TX Chiropractor KEEtKDB9DQNCiGncSZI5Hjl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBXEejxNn4ZJNZ2ss5Ku7Cxt.jpg 25843
What are the Phases of Liver Detoxification? https://www.pushasrx.com/what-are-the-phases-of-liver-detoxification/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:33:29 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25833 What are the Phases of Liver Detoxification? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

People are exposed to toxins, such as pesticides and air pollutants in food and the environment, on a regular basis. Meanwhile, other toxins are produced in the body through normal functions and microbes. That’s why it’s fundamental to support the liver, one of the major detoxification systems in the body. If the liver isn’t working […]

The post What are the Phases of Liver Detoxification? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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What are the Phases of Liver Detoxification? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

People are exposed to toxins, such as pesticides and air pollutants in food and the environment, on a regular basis. Meanwhile, other toxins are produced in the body through normal functions and microbes. That’s why it’s fundamental to support the liver, one of the major detoxification systems in the body. If the liver isn’t working properly, harmful compounds can start to pile up in the cells and tissues, leading to a variety of health issues. Liver detoxification is a two-step process that converts fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins that the body can eliminate accordingly.

 

In the following article, we will discuss the importance of liver detox, what happens in the two phases of liver detoxification, and how you can support liver detox to promote overall health.

 

The Importance of Liver Detox

 

The liver is responsible for the detoxification of all of the harmful compounds and toxins that the body is exposed to on a regular basis. Moreover, it’s fundamental to eliminate these from the liver and the rest of the body regularly to tremendously reduce their negative effects. If toxins start to pile up in the cells and tissues of the liver, it can potentially lead to liver damage as well as a variety of other health issues. By way of instance, toxins are associated with obesity, dementia, and even cancer. And they are also believed to be a factor in chronic health issues, such as fibromyalgia.

 

There are two main ways that the body eliminates toxins. First, fat-soluble toxins are metabolized in the liver to make them water-soluble. Then, water-soluble toxins are sent directly to the kidneys where these are eliminated in the urine. Another of the body’s safeguards against harmful compounds is that the blood collected from the gut goes to the liver first. The blood from the gut may be especially high in toxins if a person has a leaky gut. Through the detoxification of toxins first, the liver can considerably reduce the number of toxins that reach other organs, such as the brain and heart.

 

Phases of Liver Detoxification

 

The liver is one of the main detoxification systems in the body. Detoxification or detox in the liver is separated into two categories. They are known as Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification pathways.

 

Phase I Liver Detoxification Pathway

 

The Phase I liver detoxification pathway is the first line of defense against harmful components and toxins. It’s made up of a collection of enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 family. The enzymes help neutralize substances, such as caffeine and alcohol. They offer protection by converting these toxins into less harmful components. However, if the byproducts of the Phase I liver detoxification pathway are allowed to pile up in the liver, they can damage DNA and proteins. It is ultimately the role of the Phase II liver detoxification pathway to make sure that those toxins do not pile up in the liver.

 

Phase II Liver Detoxification Pathway

 

The Phase II liver detoxification pathway neutralizes the byproducts of the Phase I liver detoxification pathway as well as that of other remaining toxins. This is done by metabolizing fat-soluble toxins in the liver to make them water-soluble so that they can be eliminated from the body. This process is known as conjugation. Glutathione, sulfate, and glycine are the primary molecules responsible for this process. Under normal conditions, Phase II liver detoxification pathway enzymes produce low levels of glutathione. Under times of high toxic stress, the body increases glutathione production.

 

 

We are exposed to toxins like pesticides and air pollutants in the food we eat as well as in the environment every day while other harmful compounds are produced by microbes through normal functions in the body. It’s essential to support liver function because it is our main detoxification system. If the liver isn’t working properly, toxins and harmful compounds can start to pile up in the liver which can eventually cause a variety of health issues. The phases of liver detoxification are a two-step pathway that converts fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins that the body can eliminate accordingly. In the article above, we discussed the importance of liver detox, the phases of liver detoxification, and how you can support liver detox to promote overall health. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Ask The Scientists Staff. “Liver Detoxification Pathways.” Ask The Scientists, 30 Jan. 2019, askthescientists.com/qa/liver-detoxification-pathways/#:~:text=liver%20detoxification%20pathways.-,Phase%20I%20Liver%20Detoxification%20Pathway,toxins%20into%20less%20harmful%20ones.
  • Watts, Todd, and Jay Davidson. “Phases of Liver Detox: What They Do & How to Support Them.” Phases of Liver Detox: What They Do & How to Support Them – Microbe Formulas™, 24 Jan. 2020, microbeformulas.com/blogs/microbe-formulas/phases-of-liver-detox-what-they-do-how-to-support-them.
  • DM; Grant. “Detoxification Pathways in the Liver.” Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 1991, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1749210/.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

The post What are the Phases of Liver Detoxification? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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Image of zesty beet juice. Image of carrots. 25833
What are the Main Detoxification Systems? https://www.pushasrx.com/what-are-the-main-detoxification-systems/ Wed, 29 Jul 2020 23:07:22 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25813 What are the Main Detoxification Systems? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

The body is capable of eliminating harmful components generated by the production of toxic metabolites and the ingestion of toxic substances. When these overwhelm the organs of detoxification and excretion, the body can store these chemicals in the connective tissues. Detoxification is essential for the restoration of the body’s regulatory mechanisms in order to improve […]

The post What are the Main Detoxification Systems? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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What are the Main Detoxification Systems? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

The body is capable of eliminating harmful components generated by the production of toxic metabolites and the ingestion of toxic substances. When these overwhelm the organs of detoxification and excretion, the body can store these chemicals in the connective tissues. Detoxification is essential for the restoration of the body’s regulatory mechanisms in order to improve function. In the following article, we will discuss what is detox and how each of the organs of detoxification is responsible for the proper functioning of the organism in general, among other fundamental tasks.

 

Liver

 

The liver performs a variety of fundamental tasks, including digestion and hormonal balance. It’s considered to be the body’s main detoxification system. Several functions of the liver include:

 

  • removing harmful compounds like food additives, toxic medications, and excess hormones, etc.
  • extracting waste material from the bloodstream and transforming them so that they can be excreted by the kidneys or intestines
  • eliminating toxic metabolites and other waste products from intestinal fermentation and putrefaction
  • a source of Kupffer’s cells which filter and eliminate foreign invaders, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and cancerous cells

 

Kidneys

 

The kidneys help to purify the blood from harmful compounds, including food additives, toxic medications, excess hormones, and other chemicals, by extracting them from the bloodstream and eliminating them through the urine. For proper filtration of the blood, an individual’s blood pressure and volume should be stable. Furthermore, proper hydration is essential for proper kidney function.

 

Intestines

 

The gastrointestinal tract is also responsible for the detoxification and excretion of harmful compounds. Throughout the different phases of digestion, harmful compounds are extracted and excreted by the liver into the bile and finally into the small intestine in order to continue through the intestinal tract to be eliminated in the stool. In the final phase of digestion, anything that can still be utilized in the colon, such as fiber, is ultimately broken down further with the help of the gut microbiome and it is transported to the liver for detoxification. The intestines are another essential detoxification system.

 

Respiratory Tract

 

The respiratory tract, including the lungs and the bronchi, eliminates harmful compounds in the form of carbonic gas. It may also excrete phlegm. Constant irritation by foreign invaders, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and cancerous cells, can cause the alveoli to act as an emergency exit for toxins that the liver, kidneys, and the gastrointestinal tract did not succeed in eliminating. These harmful compounds are transported by the bloodstream towards the lungs and bronchi where they are coughed up as phlegm. This phlegm consists of waste resulting from insufficient digestion and excretion.

 

Skin

 

The skin is the largest organ of protection and defense. It plays a fundamental role in the elimination of harmful compounds and it can help with kidney function. It evacuates waste products in the form of “crystals” that are soluble in liquids and are then eliminated in the form of sweat through the sweat glands. Crystals are the residues of the metabolism of foods that are high in protein, such as legumes, eggs, dairy products, fish, meats, and cereals. These may also result from an excess of refined sugar. Other types of waste products and harmful compounds are excreted in the form of rashes.

 

Lymph System

 

Finally, the lymph system is another main detoxification system. Lymph fluid allows waste products to leave the cells and be carried away to the bloodstream. Lymphatic capillaries are responsible for the defense of the body and purification of the body fluids to maintain its proper functioning. Other sites of lymphocyte production are the spleen, the thymus, etc. If foreign invaders enter into the body, the production of white blood cells increases rapidly and proportionally to the intensity of the aggression. The lymph nodes that are closest to the site react first to defend and protect the body.

 

 

The body is capable of eliminating harmful components generated by the production of toxic metabolites and the ingestion of toxic substances. When these overwhelm the organs of detoxification and excretion, the body can store these chemicals in the connective tissues. Detoxification is essential for the restoration of the body’s regulatory mechanisms in order to improve function. In the following article, we will discuss what is detox and how each of the organs of detoxification, including the liver, kidneys, intestines, respiratory tract, skin, and lymph system, is responsible for the proper functioning of the organism in general, among other fundamental tasks. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Issels, Ilse Marie. “Information on Detoxification and the Organs That Remove Toxins.” Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology, 22 May 2015, issels.com/publication-library/information-on-detoxification/.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

The post What are the Main Detoxification Systems? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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Image of zesty beet juice. Image of carrots. 25813
What is the Role of a Detox Diet? https://www.pushasrx.com/what-is-the-role-of-a-detox-diet/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 23:15:36 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25797 What is the Role of a Detox Diet? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Most detox diets are normally short-term diet and lifestyle modifications made to help eliminate toxins from your body. A common detox diet may include a period of fasting and a diet of fruits, vegetables, juices, and water. A detox diet may also include teas, supplements, and enemas or colon cleanses. According to healthcare professionals, the […]

The post What is the Role of a Detox Diet? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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What is the Role of a Detox Diet? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Most detox diets are normally short-term diet and lifestyle modifications made to help eliminate toxins from your body. A common detox diet may include a period of fasting and a diet of fruits, vegetables, juices, and water. A detox diet may also include teas, supplements, and enemas or colon cleanses. According to healthcare professionals, the role of a detox diet is to rest your organs, stimulate your liver function, promote toxin elimination, improve circulation, and provide healthy nutrients. Detox diets are recommended due to possible exposure to harmful compounds like heavy metals and pollutants.

 

Detox diets are also believed to help improve a variety of health issues, including digestive problems, bloating, inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and chronic fatigue. However, there currently aren’t enough research studies on detox diets in humans and those that exist are considered flawed. In the following article, we will discuss the role of a detox diet on health and wellness.

 

Potential Benefits of a Detox Diet

 

Healthcare professionals have attempted to demonstrate the exact mechanisms in which detox diets can help eliminate toxins from your body. As a matter of fact, because of the current lack of research studies on detox diets in humans, there is currently little to no evidence which even demonstrates if detox diets can remove any toxins from your body as most of these rarely specify the type of harmful components they aim to remove. Moreover, your body is capable of cleansing itself through sweat, urine, and feces. Your liver also makes toxins harmless and then releases them from your body.

 

However, there are several harmful components that aren’t easily removed by these processes, including persistent heavy metals, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and organic pollutants (POPs). These generally accumulate in fat tissue or blood and can take an extended period for your body to flush them. These harmful compounds are generally limited or removed in commercial products today.

 

Detox diets may also have other possible health benefits and these can also help encourage the following, including:

 

  • Avoiding processed foods
  • Eating nutritious, healthy whole foods
  • Exercising regularly and sweating accordingly
  • Drinking juices, teas, and water
  • Losing excessive fat; weight loss
  • Limiting stress, relaxing, and getting good sleep
  • Avoiding dietary sources of heavy metals and POPs

 

Following these guidelines is generally associated with improved health and wellness, regardless of whether you’re following a detox diet.

 

Bottom Line

 

Many detox diets are typically short-term diet and lifestyle changes made to help eliminate toxins from your body. A well-known detox diet may include a period of fasting and a diet of fruits, vegetables, juices, and water. A detox diet may also include teas, supplements, and enemas or colon cleanses. According to healthcare professionals, the role of a detox diet is to rest your organs, stimulate your liver function, promote toxin elimination, improve circulation, and provide healthy nutrients. Detox diets are recommended due to possible exposure to harmful compounds like heavy metals and pollutants.

 

Detox diets are also believed to help improve a variety of health issues, including digestive problems, bloating, inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and chronic fatigue. However, there currently aren’t enough research studies on detox diets in humans and those that exist are considered flawed. In the article above, we discussed the role of a detox diet on health and wellness.

 

 

Detox diets are made to help eliminate toxins from your body. A detox diet may include fasting, followed by a diet made up of fruits, vegetables, juices, and water. A detox diet may also include teas, supplements, and enemas. The role of a detox diet is to help your organs rest, promote liver function, support toxin elimination, improve circulation, and to offer various healthy nutrients. Detox diets are recommended when a person has been exposed to harmful compounds like heavy metals and pollutants. Detox diets are also believed to help improve digestive problems, bloating, inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, obesity, and chronic fatigue, among a variety of other health issues. However, further research studies are still required. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Bjarnadottir, Adda. “Do Detox Diets and Cleanses Really Work?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 10 Jan. 2019, www.healthline.com/nutrition/detox-diets-101.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

The post What is the Role of a Detox Diet? appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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Image of zesty beet juice. Image of carrots. 25797
Good Foods to Help Promote Longevity https://www.pushasrx.com/good-foods-to-help-promote-longevity/ Wed, 22 Jul 2020 22:54:22 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25738 Good Foods to Help Promote Longevity | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

The foods we eat can have the potential to be beneficial or harmful to our health. Poor nutrition can cause a variety of health issues, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, proper nutrition can make you feel energized, reduce your risk of health issues, as well as help maintain and regulate a […]

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Good Foods to Help Promote Longevity | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

The foods we eat can have the potential to be beneficial or harmful to our health. Poor nutrition can cause a variety of health issues, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, proper nutrition can make you feel energized, reduce your risk of health issues, as well as help maintain and regulate a healthy weight. If you want to promote longevity, you have to fuel your body with good foods. In the following article, we will list several good foods that can ultimately help promote longevity by also helping to improve overall health and wellness.

 

Cruciferous Vegetables

 

Cruciferous vegetables have the unique ability to change our hormones, trigger the body’s natural detoxification system, and even reduce the growth of cancerous cells. These must be chewed thoroughly or eaten shredded, chopped, juiced, or blended in order to release their beneficial properties. Sulforaphane, found in cruciferous vegetables, has also been found to help protect the blood vessel wall from inflammation that can cause heart disease. Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli are several of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.

 

Salad Greens

 

Raw leafy greens have less than 100 calories per pound, which makes them the perfect food for weight loss. Eating more salad greens has also been associated with the reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and several types of cancers. Raw leafy greens are also rich in the essential B-vitamin folate, plus lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that can help protect the eyes. Fat-soluble phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, found in salad greens like lettuce, spinach, kale, collard greens, and mustard greens also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

 

Nuts

 

Nuts are a low-glycemic food and a great source of healthy fats, plant protein, fiber, antioxidants, phytosterols, and minerals, which also helps to reduce the glycemic load of an entire meal, making them an essential part of an anti-diabetes diet. Regardless of their caloric density, eating nuts can help promote weight loss. Nuts can also reduce cholesterol and help reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

Seeds

 

Seeds, much like nuts, also provide healthy fats, antioxidants, and minerals, however, these have more protein and are rich in trace minerals. Chia, flax, and hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fats. Chia, flax, and sesame seeds are also rich lignans or breast cancer-fighting phytoestrogens. Moreover, sesame seeds are rich in calcium and vitamin E, and pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc.

 

Berries

 

Berries are antioxidant-rich fruits that can help promote heart health. Research studies where participants ate strawberries or blueberries daily for several weeks reported improvements in blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol, and even signs of oxidative stress. Berries also have anti-cancer properties and have been shown to help prevent cognitive decline associated with aging.

 

Pomegranate

 

The most well-known phytochemical in pomegranates, punicalagin, is responsible for more than half of the fruit’s antioxidant activity. Pomegranate phytochemicals have anti-cancer, cardioprotective, and brain-healthy benefits. In one research study, older adults who drank pomegranate juice daily for 28 days performed better on a memory test compared to those who drank a placebo beverage.

 

Beans

 

Eating beans and other legumes can help balance blood sugar, reduce your appetite, and protect against colon cancer. Beans are an anti-diabetes food that can help promote weight loss because they are digested slowly, which slows down the increase of blood sugar after a meal and helps prevent food cravings by promoting satiety. Eating beans and other legumes twice a week has been found to decrease the risk of colon cancer. Eating beans and other legumes, such as red beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and split peas, also provides significant protection against other cancers.

 

Mushrooms

 

Eating mushrooms regularly is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. White and Portobello mushrooms are especially beneficial against breast cancer because they have aromatase inhibitors or compounds that inhibit the production of estrogen. Mushrooms have shown to have anti-inflammatory effects as well as provide enhanced immune cell activity, prevention of DNA damage, slowed cancer cell growth, and angiogenesis inhibition. Mushrooms should always be cooked as raw mushrooms have a potentially carcinogenic chemical known as agaritine that is significantly reduced by cooking.

 

Onions and Garlic

 

Onions and garlic provide cardiovascular and immune system benefits as well as provide anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects. These have also been associated with a lower risk of gastric and prostate cancers. Onions and garlic are known for their organosulfur compounds which help to prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens, decreasing cancer cell growth, and blocking angiogenesis. Onions and garlic also have high concentrations of health-promoting flavonoid antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory effects that may help provide cancer prevention.

 

Tomatoes

 

Tomatoes are rich in a variety of nutrients, such as lycopene, vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, and flavonol antioxidants. Lycopene can help protect against prostate cancer, UV skin damage, and​ cardiovascular disease. Lycopene is better absorbed when tomatoes are cooked. One cup of tomato sauce has about 10 times the amount of lycopene as a cup of raw, chopped tomatoes. Also keep in mind that carotenoids, like lycopene, are best absorbed when accompanied by healthy fats, so enjoy your tomatoes in a salad with nuts or a nut-based dressing for extra nutritional benefits.

 

 

The foods we eat can have the potential to be beneficial or harmful to our health. Poor nutrition can cause a variety of health issues, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile, proper nutrition can make you feel energized, reduce your risk of health issues, as well as help maintain and regulate a healthy weight. If you want to promote longevity, you have to fuel your body with good foods. Good foods can also help reduce inflammation associated with a variety of health issues, including joint pain and arthritis. Healthcare professionals, such as chiropractors, can offer diet and lifestyle advice to help promote health and wellness. In the following article, we will list several good foods that can ultimately help promote longevity. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Joel Fuhrman, MD. “10 Best Foods You Can Eat to Live Longer and Stay Healthy.” Verywell Health, 6 June 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/best-foods-for-longevity-4005852.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

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Can You Change Your Epigenetic Clock? https://www.pushasrx.com/can-you-change-your-epigenetic-clock/ Tue, 21 Jul 2020 22:26:41 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25730 Can You Change Your Epigenetic Clock? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Aging is a natural part of life and it can’t be stopped. Or at least, that’s what we used to think. Researchers at Intervene Immune, Stanford, the University of British Columbia, and UCLA believe that our epigenetic clock can be changed, suggesting that there may still be ways for humans to live longer. In the […]

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Can You Change Your Epigenetic Clock? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Aging is a natural part of life and it can’t be stopped. Or at least, that’s what we used to think. Researchers at Intervene Immune, Stanford, the University of British Columbia, and UCLA believe that our epigenetic clock can be changed, suggesting that there may still be ways for humans to live longer. In the following article, we will discuss the findings associated with epigenetics and aging.

 

What is the Epigenetic Clock?

 

The epigenetic clock is a measurement of biological age that can be used to estimate the chronological age of humans or other organisms by testing several patterns of DNA methylation. Although the age estimated by the epigenetic clock frequently correlates with chronological age, it is not fully understood if DNA methylation profiles in the epigenetic clock are directly associated with aging.

 

For many years, researchers have observed age-related changes in gene expression and DNA methylation. However, the idea of using an “epigenetic clock” to be able to estimate chronological age by testing several patterns of DNA methylation was first proposed by Steve Horvath where it gained popularity after his 2013 research study was published in the journal Genome Biology.

 

Epigenetic clocks are used in forensic studies to determine the age of an unknown person through blood or other biological samples at the scene of a crime and in diagnostic screens to determine increased risks for diseases associated with aging, including a variety of cancers. Epigenetic clocks can also highlight whether several behaviors or treatments can affect epigenetic age.

 

Does Epigenetic Age Correlate with Chronological Age?

 

The main reason that epigenetic clocks and DNA methylation are used to estimate the chronological age of humans or other organisms is that they correlate very well with the chronological age in the subjects tested. The first research study on the epigenetic clock that Steve Horvath published in 2013 included 353 individual CpG sites identified from previous research studies.

 

Of these sites, 193 become more methylated with age and 160 become less methylated, which leads to the DNA methylation age estimate that is used to determine the epigenetic clock. Throughout all outcome measures, including all ages of subjects, Horvath observed a 0.96 correlation between the epigenetic age he calculated and the true chronological age, with an error rate of 3.6 years.

 

Current epigenetic clocks are also being evaluated to help further improve age prediction as well as the diagnostic and/or prognostic abilities of these tests. Further evaluations using NGS approaches ultimately have the potential to improve epigenetic clocks, making them more comprehensive by extending the evaluation of DNA methylation sites to all CpG sites in the genome.

 

Can We Change Our Epigenetic Clocks?

 

Research studies have demonstrated that cancer can change the epigenetic clock. These observations suggest that the epigenetic clock can change under certain conditions. Therefore, it is possible that the epigenetic clock can be manipulated through changes in behavior or treatment strategies to slow it down or potentially reverse it, allowing humans to live longer and healthier lives.

 

 

Researchers believe that our epigenetic clock can be changed. In the following article, we discussed the findings associated with epigenetics and aging. The epigenetic clock is a measurement of biological age that can be used to estimate the chronological age of humans or other organisms by testing several patterns of DNA methylation. The main reason that epigenetic clocks and DNA methylation are used to estimate the chronological age of humans or other organisms is that they correlate very well with the chronological age in the subjects tested. Current epigenetic clocks are also being evaluated to help further improve age prediction as well as the diagnostic and/or prognostic abilities of these tests. Research studies have demonstrated that cancer can change the epigenetic clock. Therefore, it is possible that the epigenetic clock can be manipulated through changes in behavior or treatment strategies to slow it down or potentially reverse it, allowing humans to live longer and healthier lives. By changing our epigenetic clocks, healthcare professionals may also be able to regulate age-related health issues, such as inflammation and joint pain. These could potentially be helpful for chiropractic care, an alternative treatment option that uses spinal adjustments to carefully restore the alignment of the spine. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Active Motif Staff. “Can You Really Reverse Your Epigenetic Age?” Active Motif, 1 Oct. 2019, www.activemotif.com/blog-reversing-epigenetic-age#:~:text=Epigenetic%20clocks%20are%20a%20measure,certain%20patterns%20of%20DNA%20methylation.
  • Pal, Sangita, and Jessica K Tyler. “Epigenetics and Aging.” Science Advances, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 29 July 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966880/.
  • Matloff, Ellen. “Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall: The Epigenetics Of Aging.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 25 Jan. 2020, www.forbes.com/sites/ellenmatloff/2020/01/24/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall-the-epigenetics-of-aging/#75af95734033.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

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How Nutrition Affects Health and Longevity https://www.pushasrx.com/how-nutrition-affects-health-and-longevity/ Mon, 20 Jul 2020 23:10:56 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25722 How Nutrition Affects Health and Longevity | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Research studies have demonstrated the fundamental role of nutrition in health and longevity. The standard American diet, which is generally high in fat and sugar, has been associated with a variety of health issues, including obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, these health issues can lead to kidney disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s […]

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How Nutrition Affects Health and Longevity | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Research studies have demonstrated the fundamental role of nutrition in health and longevity. The standard American diet, which is generally high in fat and sugar, has been associated with a variety of health issues, including obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, these health issues can lead to kidney disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. “Unfortunately, the type 2 diabetes curve is going in the wrong direction, and we’re living longer as well,” stated Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “So we have an aging population that’s more and more obese, and has more and more hypertension.” In the following article, we will discuss the effects of good nutrition on overall health, wellness, and longevity.

 

A healthy diet ultimately includes:

 

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese
  • Skinless poultry
  • Salmon and other fish, such as trout and herring
  • Nuts and beans
  • Whole grains
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils, such as olive, corn, peanut, and safflower oils

 

Calorie Restriction and Longevity

 

According to several research studies, nutrition, and specifically restricting calories, has been associated with aging itself. In the 1930s, research studies in a wide variety of research models, including yeast, drosophila and c. elegans (laboratory fruit flies and nematodes), rats, and inbred mice, demonstrated a connection between a limited-calorie diet and extended life span. Researchers today are starting to take these research studies to the next level by evaluating how different individuals respond to different calorie intakes in order to demonstrate the physiological and genetic variations associated with health and longevity. However, because it’s difficult for humans to follow any type of calorie-restricted diet, it’s impossible to determine lifelong results and further research studies are still required.

 

On the other hand, mice can ultimately provide further evidence due to their significantly short life span (average two years), as well as due to the ability to control every aspect of their laboratory environment, including diet. JAX Professor Gary Churchill is one of the architects of a special type of mouse colony known as Diversity Outbred (DO). As a result of the careful, cross-breeding of genetically defined inbred strains, these mice demonstrate the type of random-looking genetic variation you’d find in the general human population. “Several calorie-restricted mice in the DO population have lived incredibly long life spans,” stated Churchill, “several have even reached almost five years of age,” which is the equivalent of a human living about 160 years, according to research studies.

 

Churchill has also separated DO mice into several groups given different diets and calorie restrictions throughout their life span. Control animals are typically on an ad libitum (“all-you-can-eat”) diet. Several mice are given food daily but at a reduced amount. Fasting animals are given food ad libitum on most days but spend a period of time each week with no food access. All mice receive frequent and extensive physical evaluations to collect data that can later be associated with how long they live. And, because the genomic sequence of every mouse is well-known, overlaying the physiological data can ultimately help provide further unprecedented insights into the genetic impact of nutrition, diet, and calorie restriction on overall health, wellness, and longevity, among further evidence.

 

“Although it is understood that several animal models, like the inbred C57BL6/J mouse strain, can benefit from caloric restriction, there is also evidence which demonstrates that the effects can be different depending on the genetic makeup of the animal,” stated Churchill. “The same will probably be true for most people: caloric restriction may be beneficial for one person but not for another. Until researchers understand these individual differences, healthcare professionals must be very cautious about recommending nutritional and dietary changes to people.” Understanding how nutrition affects the genetic components of health and longevity can eventually lead to treatments that may ultimately help reverse the negative effects of poor nutrition, including health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

 

 

Research studies have found the important role of nutrition in longevity. The standard American diet, which is high in fat and sugar, is associated with many health issues, including obesity and type 2 diabetes which may lead to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. Furthermore, several research studies have also found that nutrition, and specifically calorie restriction, is associated with aging. In the article above, we discussed the evidence showing the effects of good nutrition on health and longevity. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Peterson, Joyce Dall’Acqua. “Exploring the Diet-Life Span Connection.” The Jackson Laboratory, 15 Nov. 2017, www.jax.org/news-and-insights/2017/november/diet-and-longevity#.
  • Donovan, John. “Eating for Longevity: Foods for a Long, Healthy Life.” WebMD, WebMD, 13 Sept. 2017, www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/longevity-foods#1.
  • Fontana, Luigi, and Linda Partridge. “Promoting Health and Longevity through Diet: From Model Organisms to Humans.” Cell, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 26 Mar. 2015, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4547605/.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

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Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness https://www.pushasrx.com/chiropractic-childrens-health-wellness/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 01:48:51 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25611 11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness

Chiropractic adjustments for children’s health is nothing new, but it could be something new for parents. Do children really need chiropractic adjustments? Chiropractic physicians, also known as DC’s provide techniques and treatments that pediatricians don’t offer. Chiropractors offer non-invasive options, before referring an individual to a pain specialist that might only prescribe medication/s and surgery. […]

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11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness Chiropractic adjustments for children’s health is nothing new, but it could be something new for parents. Do children really need chiropractic adjustments? Chiropractic physicians, also known as DC’s provide techniques and treatments that pediatricians don’t offer. Chiropractors offer non-invasive options, before referring an individual to a pain specialist that might only prescribe medication/s and surgery. The body’s central nervous system controls everything. Birth itself can be physically traumatic for some infants. Therefore, receiving an adjustment can improve neurological input and correction, allowing for healthy development.  
11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness
If involved in sports or some type of physical activity, chiropractic helps recovery from injuries progress faster and is less traumatic than disruptive therapies like pain-meds or surgery. Chiropractic medicine takes into account the entire person when there is an adjustment/correction in one area, it supports and corrects the other areas. Depending on the chiropractor, other techniques and specialties like acupuncture, craniosacral, nutrition, and more could be incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan. Here are a few ways chiropractic can benefit children’s health.

Non-invasive

Chiropractic treatment is holistic and non-invasive. For children’s health, adjustments help with proper growth and development by removing or limiting digestive issues like:
  • Nursing
  • Re-flux
  • Colic
  • Constipation
Other issues for where pediatric chiropractic care can be utilized include:
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bed-wetting
  • Colds
  • Ear infections
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism
11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness
 
However, unlike adults, children, and especially infants, chiropractic medicine focuses on mobilization that places a lower amount of pressure on the area, rather than manipulation associated with chiropractic for adult treatment that places more pressure on the area being adjusted.

Nutrition

Parents who are considering chiropractic treatment for their children’s health and wellness should also expect nutritional health coaching for optimal health. Chiropractors go through extensive training in nutrition and are qualified to offer nutritional plans that are part of the treatment. Proper nutrition is important for everyone’s health. But for children who are growing and developing, it is essential that they get the nutrients they need for optimal spine health and development. Some foods and food additives can cause behavioral issues. These foods include:
  • Dairy
  • Artificial colors
  • Sugar
  • Preservatives
  • Other food allergens
Chiropractors can help parents and caregivers by testing and identifying behavioral triggers whose root cause could be nutritional that is improper or deficient for children’s health.  
 

Wellness Philosophy

Educating parents and families about the benefits of proper nutrition and fitness are essential for children’s health and wellness. Families need to follow the principles of:
  • Eating whole foods
  • Junk food minimalization
  • Electronic device limits
  • Playing/exercising regularly
These are strategies that will reduce childhood obesity that is causing a range of problems for health care like Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Excess weight in young children and if it goes on for a long time creates a higher chance of earlier death in adulthood. From a psychological perspective, it is important to understand that during childhood kids can develop a negative body image, leading to low self-esteem, and causing depression. This can lead to serious mental health issues.

Safe

Overall, chiropractic care for children is safe and highly effective. Children typically have a positive response or no response. If you’re considering chiropractic for your child, there are many resources to help make an informed decision. For more information, visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association to find a chiropractor.

Personalized Medicine Genetics & Micronutrients

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*

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11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness 11860 Vista Del Sol Ste. 128 Chiropractic and The Benefits for Children’s Health and Wellness 25611
Understanding HIV/AIDS and Opportunistic Infections https://www.pushasrx.com/understanding-hiv-aids-and-opportunistic-infections/ https://www.pushasrx.com/understanding-hiv-aids-and-opportunistic-infections/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2020 22:50:42 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25554 Understanding HIV/AIDS and Opportunistic Infections | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Infections can happen to any individual given specific circumstances, however, infections occurring in HIV/AIDS patients are more commonly referred to opportunistic infections or OIs.   HIV/AIDS severely dampens the immune system of the patient, making it less able to fight off infections. It wipes out the white blood cells that eliminate an infection. Specific types […]

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Understanding HIV/AIDS and Opportunistic Infections | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Infections can happen to any individual given specific circumstances, however, infections occurring in HIV/AIDS patients are more commonly referred to opportunistic infections or OIs.

 

HIV/AIDS severely dampens the immune system of the patient, making it less able to fight off infections. It wipes out the white blood cells that eliminate an infection. Specific types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms, which do not commonly result in infections in individuals who are healthy can make those with weak immune system sick. This exposes them to the dangers of suffering from opportunistic infections (OIs). OIs are severe infections that affect an individual due to his or her weak immune system.

 

The strength of an individual’s immune system with HIV can be estimated through the T cell count, which is also referred to as the CD4 count. When the T cell count is under 200 cells per microL, it means that the individual condition has deteriorated to AIDS and, thus, he or she faces the risk of suffering from opportunistic infections. Nevertheless, a lot of opportunistic infections can be inhibited when the individual is placed on specific antibiotics and anti-fungal medications. HIV medications can also enhance the T cell count and reduce the risk of the individual suffering from opportunistic infection. This can normally be minimized when the individual is given continual therapy. Opportunistic infections are generally less widespread and less severe in healthy people.

 

What is an Opportunistic Infection (OI)?

 

Opportunistic infections (OIs) are the types of infection that commonly develop in individuals with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems. Individuals with weak immune systems are mostly HIV patients and patients receiving chemotherapy treatments.

 

OIs are normally caused by a lot of germs which include viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Germs that cause OIs can be transmitted through various ways including the air, the saliva, semen, blood, urine, poop of an infected person or through contaminated food and water.

 

Individuals who are more at risk of suffering from OIs are those with their CD4 count below 200, but you can contract some OIs when your CD4 count is less than 500.

 

OIs are not as widespread now the way they were when HIV and AIDS first originated, due to the fact that a better treatment is now available which minimizes the quantity of HIV in an individual’s body and this increases the immune system. Nevertheless, a number of people with HIV still develop OIs due to the fact that they were unaware that they were infected with the HIV virus for a good number of years after their infection. Individuals who know that they have HIV, but who are not receiving the antiretroviral treatment (ART), will still be infected by OIs. Individuals who have AIDS, but who are not taking medication for the prevention of OIs, can also suffer from OIs.

 

The best way to stay clear of opportunistic infections is to stay in care and get your lab tests carried out. This will help your doctor and other medical teams know when you may be facing the risk of OIs and ensure that they are prevented. Most opportunistic infections can be prevented by taking additional medications.

 

There are different types of OIs. This includes the following amongst others:

 

  • Bacterial infections like tuberculosis and similar disease, Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC)
  • Viral infections like cytomegalovirus (CMV) and hepatitis C
  • Fungal infections such as yeast infections, cryptococcal meningitis, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia(PCP) and histoplasmosis
  • Parasitic infections like crypto (cryptosporidiosis) and toxo (toxoplasmosis)
  • Having HIV/AIDS and complications from common illnesses like flu.
  • Salmonella infection
  • Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection. This is a viral infection that can result in a sore mouth and face
  • Salmonella infection a bacterial infection that affects the gut.
  • Candidiasis (or thrush). This is a fungal infection of the mouth, esophagus, or vagina
  • Toxoplasmosis (TB). This is a parasitic infection that can have a harmful effect on the brain.

 

You can avoid being infected by taking medication for your HIV/AIDS. Taking HIV medications prevents HIV from injuring and weakening your immune system. Due to the fact that HIV medicines are now extensively used in the United States, the number of people who develop OIs has drastically reduced. You can also limit your exposure to causative factors by engaging in safe sex, washing your hands thoroughly and frequently, and cooking your foods properly.

 

Why Do HIV/AIDS Patients Get OIs?

 

As soon as an individual is infected with HIV, the virus starts to multiply and begins to injure the individual’s immune system and immune function. A weak immune system makes it difficult for an individual’s body to ward off HIV-related OIs.

 

HIV medication inhibits the capacity of HIV to cause damage to the immune system. However, if the individual does not take the medication, HIV will gradually be destroyed by the immune system. Most OIs, for instance, the ones that contain specific forms of pneumonia and tuberculosis (TB), are taken as AIDS-defining conditions. AIDS-defining conditions are infections and cancers that are life-threatening in individuals suffering from HIV.

 

Prevalence of OIs in People with HIV/AIDS

 

OIs were formally the leading cause of death among individuals with HIV before the advent of medications used in the treatment of HIV infection. Now that HIV medicines are very widespread in the US, the occurrence of OIs among aids patients has been reduced. HIV medications reduce the ability of HIV to damage the immune system and by so doing, it impedes the occurrence of OIs.

 

Prevention of Opportunistic Infections

 

The best ways to prevent yourself from becoming infected with an OI are to start medical care and to take HIV medications according to the doctor’s prescription. Sometimes, your doctor will also recommend drugs specifically for the prevention of specific types of OIs. When you take your HIV drug, you can reduce the amount of HIV in your body and this would, in turn, increase your immune health and prevent you from being infected by OIs.

 

It is particularly significant that you go through standard check-ups. While you go, remember to go with all your medications and take the drugs according to the recommended dosage and time. You may have to take HIV medications for the length of your life. Other things you can also do to improve your immune function and minimize opportunistic infections include the following:

 

  • Use condoms every time you have sex and in the correct manner to limit your exposure to sexually transmitted infections.
  • Don’t share tools for drug injection with anyone. Blood infected with hepatitis C can stay in syringes and needles after they are used and the infection can be transferred from one user to another user.
  • You need to get vaccinated with a suitable vaccine. Your medical teams will advise you on the best vaccine to take.
  • Limit your contact with germs that cause OIs. For instance, germs that cause tuberculosis are found in the poops, saliva, or on the skin of animals.
  • Be cautious with things you eat and drink. Avoid eating undercooked eggs, unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheeses, unpasteurized fruit juices, or raw seed sprouts. Avoid drinking water that is not treated, like water from lakes or rivers. Depending on your country, tap water is also not safe for drinking. Make use of bottled water or water filters.
  • If you are visiting abroad ensure that the food and water you eat and drink will not make you sick.
  • Find out from your doctor other safety precautions you need to take at work, at home, and while on a holiday trip to ensure you stay safe.

 

Treatment of Opportunistic Infections

 

There are various medications to treat HIV-related OIs. These include antiviral, antibiotic, and anti-fungal medication. The type of drug you will need to take depends on the particular OI.

 

As soon as the OI is effectively treated, an individual may continue to use the same medication or extra medication to inhibit the reoccurrence of OIs. An OI can be a severe medical condition that may be difficult to treat. The development of an OI possibly implies you have a weak immune system and that you are not putting your HIV properly in check. This is why it is essential to take your medication according to the prescription and book appointments with your doctor for routine checks to minimize the spread of the virus. This also ensures that you keep your immune system healthy.

 

Understanding Common Opportunistic Infections

 

HIV and Rheumatic Disease

 

Rheumatic diseases that are linked with HIV affect individuals of all age groups. However, they are more common among individuals between twenty to forty years of age. An individual may contract HIV-related rheumatic diseases before being infected with HIV. The signs and symptoms of rheumatic diseases, their treatment, and HIV infection can all have common characteristics. The majority of people with HIV-related rheumatic diseases get better after several HIV treatments.

 

Several older medications for HIV and AIDS can cause joint and soft tissue ache and muscle weakness. Others are associated with metabolic bone disease. Many people with HIV experience musculoskeletal issues with pain affecting the joints, muscles, and bones. HIV infection can result in rheumatic (joint and muscle) which can include joint pain, arthritis, muscle pain, weak spot, and exhaustion.

 

However, it is not every muscle, bone, and joint complaint experienced by people who have HIV come from HIV. Some of them occur due to other reasons. It can also come with supplementary articular symptoms, like uveitis or eye inflammation, which may also exist in individuals with HIV who are suffering from arthritis. Occasionally, the individual starts to experience these symptoms before observing the HIV signs.

 

HIV-associated rheumatic diseases are diseases of the joints and muscles that affect an individual with HIV infection. It can result in aching and inflammation. Pain in the joints, soft tissues, adjoining joints, and muscles are frequently the foremost symptoms experienced by 5% of HIV positive patients.

 

Less widespread rheumatic diseases that can be experienced by individuals suffering from HIV are:

 

  • Infection of the joints also known as septic arthritis, muscles infections known as myositis and infection of the bones known as osteomyelitis.
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Polymyositis or irritation of muscles
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Vasculitis or swelling of blood vessels

 

Individuals with HIV may experience joint, soft tissue, muscle, or bone issues from the medication they are taking for the management of HIV. These include things like gouty arthritis, tenosynovitis, inflammatory myopathy or muscle disease, osteonecrosis, osteoporosis, and lipodystrophy or atypical fat circulation. Nearly all the issues are connected with taking drugs that are no longer prescribed as the first set of treatments by experts. It is progressively more uncommon to experience these types of side effects with the drugs that are presently prescribed by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Even when the proper medication is used, the individual may experience Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. As the CD4 T cells start to recuperate their number and function, individuals infected with HIV may experience overpowering systemic inflammatory reactions together with fever, malaise, and deterioration of formerly affected organ systems.

 

Causes of HIV-Associated Rheumatic Diseases

 

HIV-related rheumatic illnesses can be experienced by both males and females, irrespective of their ages and their ethnic background. Widespread risk factors of HIV infection include unprotected sex and the administration of IV intravenous medication with shared needles. There are many reasons why individuals with HIV experience rheumatic disease. The infection can be due to direct cause, while some can also be caused by other viruses or bacteria.

 

Diagnosis and Treatment of HIV-Related Rheumatic Diseases

 

HIV-related rheumatic diseases can be treated with the use of antiretroviral drugs. The combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) use started in the mid-1990s. cART is frequently referred to as the “cocktail” of HIV medications due to the fact that it is the unification of up to three HIV medications. This treatment has tremendously increased the symptoms of HIV, in addition to the ones that affect the joints and the muscles.

 

the cART has minimized the number of HIV patients that suffer from a rheumatic disease. And when they do get one, it is much easier to treat. The majorities of HIV patients respond very well to regular treatments. This is a combination of pain relief medications and anti-inflammatory medicines given to reduce inflammation, aching, and fever.

 

Individuals who respond poorly are prescribed medications that repress their immune system. They may also require physical therapy to alleviate symptoms, avoid deforming their joints, and improve their function.

 

How to Prevent HIV-Related Rheumatic Diseases

 

Most factors that increase your risk of suffering from HIV also increase your risk for HIV-related rheumatic disease. To minimize your risk of suffering from the two diseases, you should engage in safe sexual practices. If you are HIV infected, you need to take your medication as the doctor prescribed. Again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that individuals with HIV go for HIV routine screening in all healthcare settings for individuals between the age of thirteen and sixty-four years old. Specific groups ought to be more concentrated upon such as seniors with an active sex life together, pregnant women that are mostly less than 24 years, and men who engage in sexual activities with fellow men.

 

How to Manage HIV & Rheumatic Diseases

 

Individuals with HIV who have money to pay for cART and whose body can tolerate them commonly live longer. Nevertheless, HIV-related rheumatic disease can result in uneasiness, weakness of the muscle, and impaired function. To stay healthy as an HIV patient apart from taking your medication as prescribed, you must also eat a balanced diet and engage in proper exercise. If you experience weak joints or pain or weakness of the muscles while you take HIV drugs, take the medication to your doctor, and have a thorough review of the medications you are taking. Find out if any of the symptoms you are experiencing is a result of the medication you are taking.

 

Toxoplasmosis in HIV-Infected Patients

 

Toxoplasmosis is an infection that is experienced by people all over the world. It is usually caused by a Toxoplasma parasite that infests the individual without resulting in any serious symptoms. Nevertheless, the parasite sticks with the individual’s body and can result in a severe brain infection among people suffering from HIV/AIDS.

 

Individuals that are diagnosed with HIV are usually recommended to go for a blood test to check if they have been infected by the Toxoplasma parasite before that time.

 

Toxoplasmosis is the most widespread central nervous system infection experienced by people diagnosed with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), especially those of them that are not being given suitable prophylaxis. The Toxoplasmosis infection is spread all over the globe and transmitted by the intracellular protozoan parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. Individuals with a healthy immune system that are suffering from standard toxoplasmosis are normally asymptomatic and dormant infection can stick with the individual all through his or her life. However, in individuals with a weak immune system, particularly people suffering from AIDS, the parasite can become activated again and result in disease, especially when his or her CD4 count measures lower than 100 cells per microL.

 

Epidemiology

 

If the T count of a patient with AIDS is below 100 cells per microL, the individual is recommended to take preventive treatment. There are some antibiotics used to prevent PCP. These antibiotics can also be used to prevent Toxoplasma. The likelihood of reactivated toxoplasmosis emerging among AIDS patients who have a CD4 count less than 100 cells per microL, who are toxoplasma seropositive and are not being given efficient prophylaxis or antiretroviral therapy is as large as 30%. This reactivation normally takes place in the central nervous system (CNS). 

 

Transmission

 

Human beings normally get the infection by eating infectious oocysts, normally from soil or cat litter infected with catlike poops, or non-properly cooked meat from an animal that is infected. If an individual swallows T. gondii oocysts, the parasite raids the intestinal epithelium and circulate all through the body. Afterward, they encyst into any form of composite cell and remain inactive inside the tissues of the individual all through the person’s life.

 

How Common is the Infection?

 

The spread of the infection caused by T. gondii differs greatly across different countries of the world and the range differs roughly by 11% in the United States to over 80% in some European, Latin American, and African nations. Generally, the seroprevalence of antibodies to T. gondii amongst HIV-infected individuals is similar to the rate of seropositivity in the general population and is not related to possessing a cat. Nevertheless, the prevalence may be associated with age. For instance, a research study with HIV-infected women in the United States found that individuals 50 years old or younger are probably going to be more seropositive compared to younger women.

 

Blood Test and Prevention

 

If the result of the blood test indicates that the individual has not previously contracted the toxoplasmosis infection, it is very essential for the individual to stay away from such environment that would expose him or her to the infection.

 

Causes and Sources

 

The widespread sources of the parasite are raw or uncommon meats like lamb, beef, pork, or venison meats; cat stool, and soil.

 

Prevention

 

The preventive methods an individual infected with HIV, who have not been exposed to Toxoplasma in the past, include the following:

 

  • Avoid eating raw or uncommon lamb, beef, pork, or venison. Meat that is pink in color shows that it is not properly cooked. The interior temperature of the meat must be up to 165ºF and above.
  • Do not change your cats litter by yourself. If no one is around to assist you, make use of hand gloves and wash your hands properly afterward to ensure that they don’t touch your hands. Also, try to avoid touching wandering cats.
  • Wash hands after farming.
  • Always wash your hands and cooking worktops after preparing raw meat or poultry.
  • Always wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly if you want to eat them raw.

 

HIV and Hepatitis B

 

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that is caused by a virus known as Hepatitis B virus (HBV). When an individual is infected with both HIV and HBV, it is referred to as HIV/HBV coinfection. Individuals with HIV/HBV coinfection ought to be treated for the two-health condition. The abbreviation HBV can be used to represent the virus or the disease itself.

 

HBV can either be a quick-fix or acute condition or a long-term illness which can be chronic.

 

  • Acute HBV condition can exist for less than six months after an individual is exposed to HBV. Acute HBV can deteriorate to chronic HBV, although this is not always the case.
  • Chronic HBV is a lifelong disease. Without treatment, chronic HBV can cause liver cancer or liver damage that leads to liver failure. HBV is a contagious disease that can spread from person to person.

 

Transmission of HBV

 

HBV is transmitted through contact with the blood, semen, or other body fluid of an individual who has HBV. In the US, HBV is most commonly dispersed through sexual activities.

 

HBV can also be dispersed through the following methods:

 

  • By using the needle or other tools used for drug injection which has been used for an individual with HBV
  • By using razors, toothbrushes, or related materials that has been used by an infected person.
  • From an unintended puncture or cut from an HBV-infected needle or other pointed materials
  • Congenitally through a mother to her baby during childbirth

 

Connection Between HIV and HBV

 

HIV and HBV both can be dispersed through the following ways: semen, blood, or other body fluids of an infected person. Thus, the key risk factors for HIV and HBV are equivalent: having unprotected sex and medical treatments that involve the use injection medicines.

 

It was found by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that roughly 10% of individuals with HIV in the United States also suffer from HBV. Infection with both HIV and HBV is known as HIV/HBV coinfection. Chronic HBV worsens faster and easily deteriorates to cirrhosis, which is the final stage of liver disease and liver cancer in individuals suffering from a combination of HIV and HBV coinfection. However, chronic HBV doesn’t seem to cause HIV to increase faster in individuals with HIV/HBV coinfection.

 

Prevention of HBV Infection

 

The best prevention method for HBV infection is through the hepatitis B vaccine.

 

CDC recommends that individuals with HIV, and those at risk for HIV, get the HBV vaccine or the combination of the two hepatitis A virus [HAV]/HBV vaccine. The housemates and sexual partners of individuals living with HBV need to also be vaccinated. HIV patients can also prevent infection from HBV through the following:

 

  • Make use of condoms during sex to lesson HBV infection risk and risk with other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and syphilis.
  • Avoid using injections. However, if you must, avoid sharing needles, syringes, or other tools use in injecting medications.
  • Don’t share toothbrushes, razors, or other personal materials that may be infected by the blood of the person suffering from HB.
  • If you are getting a tattoo or body piercing, ensure the instruments you are using are sterile.

 

Why People with HIV Must be Tested for HBV

 

All people infected with HIV ought to be tested for HBV. Testing for HIV can discover HBV infection even when an individual has no symptoms of the disease.

 

There are many forms of blood tests that can be conducted for HBV. The outcome of the different tests has a different significance. For instance, a positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) test outcome is used to indicate that an individual has acute or chronic HBV and can transfer the virus to others.

 

Why HBV Therapy is Essential for HBV/HIV Coinfected Patients

 

  • Liver disease may deteriorate faster in individuals co-infected with HBV/HIV and could result in severe liver disease impediments like cirrhosis and liver cancer at early ages.
  • Once HIV patients co-infected with HBV start to take antiretroviral therapy their risk of developing hepatotoxicity is increased more than in individuals who only have HIV alone.
  • Hepatitis B in HIV-infected patients has a close link with a lower CD4 T-cell count than HIV-monoinfected individuals.

 

It has not yet been discovered scientifically whether hepatitis B results in an increase of the HIV disease or if hepatitis B changes the response of HIV patients to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Nonetheless, when the individual starts the ART therapy, he or she could face the risk associated with a higher risk of liver inflammation in coinfected individuals, which usually results in ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase) flickers or an increase in liver enzymes. This may reproduce both an immune response against hepatitis B and/or drug toxicity.

 

Symptoms of HBV Infection

 

Many people with acute HBV don’t experience symptoms of infection. A number of people can exhibit symptoms of HBV immediately after they have been infected. Mild to serious symptoms of acute HBV are listed below:

 

  • Appetite loss
  • Weariness
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Stomach ache
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored poop
  • Joint and tummy pain
  • Jaundice or yellow color of the skin and whitening of the eyes.

 

A number of people with chronic HBV don’t exhibit symptoms for a number of years. Abnormal liver function tests may be the first indication of chronic HBV infection.

 

Treatment for HBV

 

Commonly, HBV is treated with antiviral drugs. The medication helps to slow down or inhibit HBV from injuring the liver. People with HIV/HBV coinfection ought to be treated for the two infections. A number of HIV medications are effective for the treatment of both HIV and HBV.

 

The choices of medications to treat HIV/HBV coinfection vary depending on the individual. For instance, a number of people may take just medications that are also efficient against HBV. Other individuals may take HIV drugs and an HBV antiviral medicine. If you have HIV/HBV coinfection, speak with your health care provider to discover which medication is the best for you.

 

HIV and Hepatitis C Infection

 

Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is a communicable disease that can be transferred from one individual and another. HCV is mainly dispersed from one individual to the other through contact with infected blood. The majority of people with HCV get the infection by sharing needles or other tools for injecting drugs. The abbreviation HCV can be used for representing the virus or the disease that results from it. HCV can be acute type which lasts short-term or a long-term or chronic illness:

 

  • Acute HCV manifests within six months after an individual contracts HCV. In most people, acute HCV becomes chronic HCV.
  • Chronic HCV can last for a long time. If the individual does not receive treatment, the chronic HCV can result to liver cancer or serious liver damage that can result to liver failure.

 

Mode of Transmission

 

HCV can be transferred from one individual to the other, mainly through blood contact of an individual who is infected with HCV. In the United States, HCV is mostly dispersed by sharing needles or other injection drug equipment with an individual who has been infected by HCV.

 

Connection Between HIV and HCV

 

HIV and HCV infection can both be dispersed through the blood. Two of them also have as their risk factor the use of injection drugs. Sharing needles or other drug-injection equipment increase the risk of contracting HIV or HCV from any blood that has been previously infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data specified that roughly 25% of individuals with HIV in the United States also suffer from HCV. It also states that roughly 50 – 90% of individuals who make use of injections suffer from HCV. When an individual is infected with both conditions, it is referred to as HIV/HCV coinfection.

 

In individuals with HIV/HCV coinfection, HIV may make severe HCV to progress quicker. It is not yet known if HCV increases the worsening effects of HIV.

 

Prevention of HCV

 

The most appropriate way to protect an individual against HCV is not through drug injections. If you are injecting drugs, it is better to make use of fresh and sterile needles. Avoid making use of needles previously used or sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment for injecting drugs.

 

Other things individuals with HIV can do to protect themself from HCV infection are:

 

  • Avoid sharing toothbrushes, razors, or other personal items that may be infected by the blood of a sufferer.
  • If you have a tattoo or body piercing, ensure the instruments used are germ-free.
  • During sex, make use of condoms. Although it can be contacted through sexual contacts, the risk of HCV through this form is usually minimal. However, the risk increases if an individual is HIV positive.
  • Condoms also minimize the risk of HIV transmission and infection with other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and syphilis.

 

People with HIV and Test for HCV

 

All individuals with HIV need to undergo tests for HCV. Normally, an individual goes through an HCV antibody test as the first line of treatment. This test is carried out to examine if the antibodies of HCV are present in the blood. HCV antibodies are disease-fighting proteins that the body produces in response to HCV infection. If an individual shows a positive result on an HCV antibody test, it implies that the individual has been uncovered to HCV at a point in their life.

 

When the result of the test reads positive, it must be confirmed by a second test. The second test is carried out to verify if HCV is present in the blood of the individual. If the result is positive, it means the individual is suffering from HCV.

 

Symptoms of HCV infection

 

Many people who have acute HCV don’t experience symptoms. But a number of people can have signs of HCV shortly after becoming infected. Gentle to a more serious symptom of acute HCV can include the following:

 

  • Fever
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling sick
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice or yellowish skin or whitening of the eyes

 

The majority of patients suffering from chronic HCV have no visible signs. Chronic HCV is frequently discovered by conducting a standard test for liver function.

 

Treatment for HCV

 

HCV is treated with antiviral medications. The drug is very effective for slowing down or stopping HCV from injuring the liver. A number of recent medications for the treatment of hepatitis C are more efficient. They come with fewer side effects than older medications. The newer HCV medicines may get rid of HCV from the body of the individual entirely.

 

Individuals with HIV and HCV coinfection are treated for the infections concurrently. The commencement of the treatment and the medication to use depend on the individual. This is essential because a number of HIV and HCV medications may affect the health if used together. It is better to speak with your doctor for advice if you have HIV/HCV coinfection.

 

Taking HIV and HCV drugs concurrently may increase the risk of drug-drug interactions and side effects. Health care providers recommend HIV and HCV medicines cautiously to avoid drug-drug interactions and strongly monitor those receiving the medications for any side effects.

 

Histoplasmosis

 

Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus or mold known as Histoplasma. The infection is transmitted to an individual when he or she breathes the fungal spores. It cannot be transferred from an individual to individual through physical contact.

 

The fungus usually grows in soil and places that are contaminated with bat or bird droppings. It is frequently seen in places like Mississippi, Ohio, and St. Lawrence River valleys, the Caribbean, southern Mexico, and some parts of Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. It can result in pneumonia in individuals who are diagnosed with HIV, especially those with a low T cell count, and who resides in places with a high risk of infection.

 

Individuals who are visiting or living in these places must avoid engaging in activities that place them on a high risk of suffering from the condition like digging up of soil under bird roosting sites, knocking down of old buildings or investigating caves.

 

An anti-fungal treatment may be prescribed for individuals that have a low T cell count usually less than 150 cells per microL who are at high risk of being infected; this includes individual living in the locations where the infections are frequently found.

 

Histoplasmosis is not commonly serious and doesn’t come with symptoms. If you ever get sick, it normally affects your lungs. Symptoms of Histoplasmosis are nausea, feverishness, chest aches, and a dry cough. In serious instances, histoplasmosis can disperse to other organs of the body. When this happens, it is referred to as disseminated disease. This frequently occurs in newborns, young children, seniors, and individuals who have problems with their immune system and immune function.

 

Your doctor may conduct a lot of tests to make the diagnosis. These are chest x-rays, CT scan of the lungs, or examination of blood, urine, or tissues for symptoms of the fungus. Mild instances of the infection are usually reduced after sometimes without any form of treatment. However, chronic or more serious cases are managed with the use of anti-fungal medications.

 

Test and Diagnoses

 

Fungal tests are normally used to diagnose a fungal infection for proper guidance on the treatment of the condition and to examine how effective the medications used are. A number of less serious skin and yeast infections would require a clinical examination of the body parts that are affected. This can suitably be carried out through a microscopic examination of the sample. It is sufficient to discover the presence of fungus and not a specific type of fungus. The medical team can make use of a number of topical and oral anti-fungal drugs and medications.

 

  • To get persistent, deeper, or systemic infections, a lot of tests may be carried out. To discover the type of fungus that is present, fungal cultures are normally utilized.
  • Most fungi grow slowly. Tests, thus, usually take weeks to produce results. Susceptibility testing is normally carried out on fungi isolated from a culture. This can be used to determine the anti-fungal drug, which can work best from the treatment of the condition.
  • Tests for fungal antigens and antibodies may be prescribed to check if an individual has, or recently had, a particular type of fungal infection. They are faster than fungal cultures. However, they are used to test for particular species of specific fungus. Therefore, your medical team must be aware of the type of fungus to test for.
  • Most people who have the infection also suffered from fungal antibodies in the past from a previous exposure to the organism, thus one antibody test may not be sufficient to verify if the infection is present in the present situation. Often times, blood samples are taken two to three weeks difference for acute and convalescent results. The test is usually conducted to show if antibody levels (titers) are altering. The evaluation of these results may take quite a few weeks.
  • Molecular tests can also be used to determine the fungi that have grown in culture. It can occasionally be used to discover particular fungus present in the sample immediately.

 

Who is at Risk for Histoplasmosis?

 

Histoplasmosis can be contracted by any individual who lives in a high-risk zone or an area where Histoplasma lives in the environment. Histoplasmosis is frequently connected with activities that upset soil, especially soil that is made up of bird or bat droppings. Specific groups of individuals face a greater risk of developing more serious types of Histoplasma. This includes individuals with weak immune systems like people who:

 

  • Have HIV/AIDS
  • Did organ transplanting
  • Are on medications like corticosteroids or TNF-inhibitors
  • Are Infant
  • Are Seniors 55 years old and more

 

Prevention of Histoplasmosis

 

Because the disease is transferred through inhalation of the causative organism, it is very difficult for the individual to avoid contracting the disease if one is living in locations that are highly exposed to these factors.

 

If you are living in areas that have a greater risk to the infection, you must try to avoid engaging in activities that are linked with the spread of the condition like cleaning chicken coops and similar activities. You should get professional cleaners who specialize in the removal of dangerous waste to help you clean huge amounts of bird or bat droppings.

 

Treatment for Histoplasmosis

 

Most infected people would require anti-fungal treatment for histoplasmosis.

 

Your doctor may conduct a lot of tests to make the diagnosis. These are chest x-ray, CT scan of the lungs, or examination of blood, urine, or tissues for symptoms of the fungus. Mild instances of the infection are usually reduced, sometimes without any form of treatment. However, chronic or more serious cases are managed with the use of anti-fungal medications.

 

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

 

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a widespread virus that infects a lot of people no matter their age. Roughly one in three children in the US are already infected with CMV before they are five years old. More than half of the adults who are forty years old have already contracted CMV infection. As soon as CMV is found on the body of an individual, it stays there all throughout their life and can reactivate it. An individual can also be re-infected with another type of virus or strain. Commonly, a number of adults with CMV are usually diagnosed by the time they get to forty years of age. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that mostly infects people all over the world. CMV can result in a calm illness with fever and body aches, but sometimes, those infected may not experience any symptom.

 

CMV can stay in the body of AIDS patient and cause sickness in the eyes, digestive system, brain, and spinal cord. The most widespread CMV infection is eye or retina infection. It can create a blurring effect and lead to increasing loss of vision in patients with AIDS. If the blood test of a person with HIV has a sign of previous infection, you need to do a routine eye examination of your retina if your T cell counts are less than 250 cells per microL, whether or not they have any eye symptoms.

 

CMV, apart from causing problems for people with weak immune systems, can also cause problems for a child in the womb if the mother is infected with the virus when she is pregnant. The majority of people infected by the viral condition do not have any visible signs. This is due to the fact that the healthy immune system normally prevents the carrier of the virus from making him or her sick. Nevertheless, CMV infection can result in severe health issues in individuals who have weakened immune systems. It also severely affects kids infected while they were in the womb.

 

Signs and Symptoms

 

Many people who are infected with CMV have no symptoms and aren’t aware that they have been infected. In some instances, healthy people who are infected may suffer from mild illness which can include:

 

  • Fever
  • Painful throat
  • Exhaustion
  • Inflamed glands.
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle pains
  • Appetite loss

 

Babies born with CMV in the womb are usually born very sick at the delivery time. Some of the symptoms shown by babies when they are born are:

 

  • Jaundice or yellow skin color
  • Low birth weight
  • Seizures
  • Inflamed spleen
  • Inflamed liver
  • Pneumonia, pneumonitis or the swelling of the respiratory tract

 

Individuals that are receiving immunosuppressant medicines for conditions, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or from an organ transplant, may experience serious symptoms. Immunosuppressant medicines reduce or restrain the immune system. Symptoms of serious CMV are:

 

  • Blindness
  • Swelling of the respiratory tract
  • Diarrhea
  • Esophagus or intestines bleeding ulcers
  • Seizures

 

On rare occasions, CMV can result in mononucleosis, hepatitis or liver issues in healthy individuals. However, people with weak immune systems who are infected with CMV can experience more serious symptoms affecting their eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Babies born with CMV can have brain, liver, spleen, lung, and growth issues. Children born with congenital CMV infection commonly have hearing issues. Some are discovered immediately, while others are not discovered until late into their childhood.

 

Transmission and Prevention

 

The body fluids of individuals with CMV may contain CMV virus. It can be found in their body fluids like urine, saliva, blood, tears, semen, and breast milk. You can get CMV from an individual who is infected through the following manners:

 

  • Through direct contact with the urine or saliva of the infected individual, especially when it is from babies and young children
  • Through sexual contact
  • Through the breast milk
  • From organs infected by the virus. It can also be contacted through infected blood during blood transfusions
  • It can be transferred from mother to child during pregnancy (congenital CMV)

 

Standard hand washing, especially after changing diapers, is highly essential to ensure you minimize the dissemination of the infection, and may lessen exposures to CMV.

 

Diagnosis of CMV

 

CMV infections are normally diagnosed via blood tests

 

How CMV is Treated

 

Healthy individuals who caught CMV infections normally do not need any medical treatment. Medications can treat CMV infection in individuals with weak immune systems and in infants with congenital CMV infection. Regular antibiotics cannot treat CMV. It is usually managed with antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs slow down the virus activities but do not cure it.

 

Treatment to prevent infection with CMV is not generally recommended as it doesn’t help survival. Nevertheless, an individual with early symptoms of CMV retinitis like blurry vision, blind spots, flashing lights, or floaters must contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible because this treatment is efficient if treated as soon as they manifest.

 

What Causes Cytomegalovirus?

 

The virus that causes cytomegalovirus is related to the viruses that cause chickenpox and mononucleosis. The germs find their way into body fluids, like saliva, blood, urine, semen, and breast milk. An individual can transfer the virus to others when it is active in his or her system. It is normally transmitted from one person to the other through sexual contact or contact with the blood and other fluids in the body. CMV can seldom be transferred through the processes of blood transfusion or organ transplantation.

 

An infection of CMV in a pregnant woman can cause a miscarriage, giving birth to a dead child or death of the newborn. Newborns who survive are at an increased risk for hearing loss and mental disability. However, only a small percentage of newborns infected with CMV during pregnancy experience problems from the virus. Most are born healthy or with only mild CMV symptoms.

 

If you are pregnant and your baby has CMV, your doctor will likely check your baby for any health problems once he or she is born so they can be treated early. Treatable symptoms in newborns include pneumonia, hearing loss, and inflammation of the eye.

 

Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC)

 

Mycobacterium Avium Complex (MAC) is a severe sickness caused by common bacteria. MAC is also referred to as MAI (Mycobacterium Avium Intracellulare). MAC infection can be situated only on a single part of your body or scattered all over the body during, which it is occasionally referred to as DMAC. MAC infection frequently happens in the lungs, intestines, bone marrow, liver, and spleen.

 

The bacteria that cause MAC are extremely widespread. They are located in water, soil, dust, and food. It is roughly prevalent in the body of every individual. The body of an individual with a healthy immune system will fight against MAC. However, individuals who have a weak immune system can easily suffer from MAC disease. Roughly half of the individuals who have AIDS are likely to suffer from MAC, particularly if their CD4 cell count is not up to 50 per microL. MAC nearly never results in sickness in individuals with over 100 CD4 cells.

 

Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) can make the individual start to experience high fevers, abdominal pain, and weight loss. Mycobacterium avium can be found all through the environment; you can hardly protect yourself from being infected by taking personal protective measures. Nevertheless, an antibiotic can be given to the individual to help prevent infection from the virus. HIV patients with the T cell count less than 50 cells per microL are commonly recommended to take the antibiotics. They’d continue the treatment until their T cell count goes higher than 100 cells per microL within a span of at least three months.

 

Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection can be caused by one of two nontuberculous mycobacterial species which can be M. aviumor M. intracellulare. These organisms can infect individuals suffering from HIV infection or an individual who is not HIV positive. The two major forms of MAC infection in individuals with HIV are disseminated disease and focal lymphadenitis. As opposed to these rare pulmonary infection is commonly witnessed in immune-competent patients.

 

Among people infected with HIV, MAC infection is most commonly witnessed in individuals with a CD4 count less than 50 cells per microL. It was found that there is a remarkable reduction in the number of new cases of MAC infection due to the treatment with the use of prophylaxis to treat MAC infection than when the epidemic originally appeared. This is even additionally reduced with the introduction of efficient antiretroviral therapy and broad use.

 

Dramatic declines in the rate of new MAC cases accompanied the use of prophylaxis against MAC infection early in the epidemic and more recently, the widespread use of effective antiretroviral therapy.

 

How MAC is Transmitted

 

The method of infection for Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) is through breathing or ingestion. MAC causative organisms are everywhere in the environment. They can also be found in the water and soil.

 

There is no requirement for individuals hospitalized with MAC infection to be isolated given that individual-to-individual or common source spread of the disease is uncommon. In one study that involves 32 individuals with AIDS and MAC from a daycare center in France that lasted for more than a thirteen-month period, the strains of organisms were varied by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The second series of 130 isolates from children, both infected with HIV and those not infected, also did not exhibit a clonal origin for the strains, even though HIV-infected children were frequently infected more than the controls.

 

Diagnoses of MAC

 

MAC symptoms include high fevers, colds, diarrhea, weight reduction, tummy ache, fatigue, and anemia. When MAC spreads in the body, it can result in blood infections, hepatitis, pneumonia, and other severe health issues.

 

Most opportunistic infections can result in these symptoms. Thus, your health care provider will likely check your blood, urine, or saliva to examine if they are infected by bacteria that result in MAC. The sample will be tested to check the type of bacteria it contains. This is usually carried out through a process referred to as culture. This can last for many weeks. Even when you are infected with MAC, discovering MAC bacteria is difficult.

 

If your CD4 cell count is not up to fifty, your health care provider may treat you for MAC, even without a specific diagnosis. This is done because this infection, widespread among HIV patients, can hardly be diagnosed.

 

Treatment of MAC Infection

 

The bacteria that cause MAC can mutate and build up resistance to a number of the drugs that are utilized to treat it. Mac can be treated by your doctor with the use of antibacterial drugs or antibiotics. The two medications that are commonly utilized are azithromycin or clarithromycin together with three other medications. MAC treatment needs to be given throughout the entire life of the individual. If the individual ceases to use it, the condition will be reversed.

 

People respond in a different way to anti-MAC drugs. Your doctor would work together with you to discover the particular medication that is most efficient for you.

 

The MAC drugs that are and their side effects are:

 

  • Amikacin (Amkin): Amikin can result in kidney and ear problems; taken as an injection.
  • Azithromycin or Zithromax: This can result in side effects like vomiting, headaches, sickness, and diarrhea. It is normally taken as capsules or given as an intravenous drug.
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro or Ciloxan): This can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; taken as tablets or intravenously.
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin): This can result in an unsettled stomach, headaches, nausea, and watery poop. It is taken as capsules or intravenously. You must not take a maximum dose of 500 milligrams every day. You are required to take share this maximum dosage two times every day.
  • Ethambutol as well-referred to as Myambutol can cause nausea, vomiting, vision problems.
  • Rifabutin, also known as Mycobutin, can result in rashes, nausea, and anemia. Many drug interactions.
  • Rifampin as well-referred to as Rifampicin, Rifadin and Rimactane can cause fever, chills, muscle, or bone pain. This medication can make your pee, sweat, and saliva to change into red-orange color and this could stain contact lenses. It can interfere with birth control pills and other medications.

 

Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy

 

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a disease that affects the white matter of the brain. It is caused by a virus infection that affects the cells that produce myelin. Myelin is the substance that insulates nerve cells known as neurons.  Polyomavirus JC, which is frequently known as the JC virus, is carried by most people and it doesn’t cause any harm. However, when this virus is present in individuals with low immune systems, like individuals suffering from HIV, it could deteriorate into serious conditions. The sickness is not common but it is frequently found among individuals receiving persistent corticosteroid or immunosuppressive therapy for an organ transplant. It can also manifest in patients suffering from cancers like Hodgkin’s disease or lymphoma.

 

People who have autoimmune issues like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus, a few of them treated with biological therapies that permit JC virus reactivation, also have a higher risk of suffering from PML. PML is mainly experienced by people with HIV-1 infection / acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

 

Studies

 

It was found by studies that before effective antiretroviral therapy, individuals, about 5%, who are positive with HIV-1 ultimately develop PML, which is an AIDS-defining sickness. Nevertheless, the present management procedures for HIV with the use of antiretroviral drugs (ART), which efficiently boost the immune function makes it possible for individuals as much as half of all HIV-PML patients to live. Irrespective of this, they could occasionally suffer from inflammatory reaction in the parts of the brain affected by PML.  

 

Symptoms of PML

 

There are many symptoms of PML and they can cause substantial amounts of damage in the brain and may develop within a few weeks to some months. The most significant symptoms are awkwardness, progressive tiredness, and visual, speech, and personality impairments. The increase of the defects results in severe disability and often death of the individual.

 

Diagnosis of PML

 

The diagnosis of PML can be carried out through brain biopsy or through a combination of examination of the deteriorating condition of the disease or constant white matter’s lesions. This can be seen through the use of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan and the discovery of the JC virus in spinal fluid.

 

Diagnosis

 

PML generally result to 39 – 50% within the first few months it was diagnosed. However, it varies according to the seriousness of the core disease and treatment received. Individuals who survive PML can be left with serious neurological incapacitations.

 

Treatment of PML

 

Presently, the greatest accessible treatment is by reversing the immune-deficient condition, given that there are no efficient medications that obstruct the individual from being infected by the virus that are not harmful and poisonous to the individual. The medications that can be used have serious damaging effects to the individual.

 

The immune-deficient condition can be reversed with the use of plasma exchange to increase the elimination of the restorative agents that exposes the individual to the risk of suffering from PML. For HIV-connected PML, starting anti-retroviral therapy straight away would be beneficial to the majority of people. Many fresh drugs that were found by laboratory tests to be efficient against infection are being utilized in PML patients with particular authorization of the FDA. Studies are currently being conducted on the use of Hexadecyloxypropyl-Cidofovir (CMX001) to treat JVC due to the fact that it is able to repress JVC by restraining the reproduction of viral DNA.

 

Tuberculosis and HIV

 

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that can be transferred from one person to the other. TB is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The TB bacteria usually spreads through the air, thus it is an air-borne disease. Individuals infected with HIV frequently suffer from tuberculosis (TB). This is due to the fact that HIV makes their immune system weak. This makes it difficult for their body to fight TB causing bacteria. TB commonly affects the lung of the individual, but it can sometimes affect other parts of the body like the brain, the kidneys, or the spine as well. TB can result in the death of the individual if not properly managed.

 

How the TB Disease Spreads

 

TB bacteria pass from an individual to the other through the air. TB germs are transferred to the air when an individual suffering from TB coughs, sneezes, laughs, or sings. Individuals that are close to him or her may inhale the germs and get infection. TB doesn’t spread by sharing cutleries or cups or sharing saliva during kisses.

 

Not all the people that have TB infection get sick. Some people infected have the germs in their lung in a latent or dormant form. Individuals who have latent infections don’t show TB symptoms. They don’t also transfer it to others. Nevertheless, they can suffer from TB disease eventually, particularly if they are HIV positive. To stop the infection from escalating into TB disease, individuals with latent TB infection are placed on medication.

 

On the other hand, individuals with TB disease have many active TB germs in their body. They commonly experience the symptoms of TB disease which can include extreme tiredness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. It can also include cough, chest pain, and they may cough up blood. They may experience a few more symptoms, depending on which part of their body is infected.

 

Why it is Essential to Test for TB and HIV

 

It is essential for individuals with HIV to test for TB infection because HIV makes their immune system weak, which could expose them to TB risk.

 

A weak immune system could make a latent TB germ develop into TB disease very fast. This is why it is very essential as an individual with HIV, which is associated with a weak immune system. Also, if you have either latent TB infection or TB disease and do not know your HIV status, you need to also get tested for HIV to assist your doctor in knowing the best way to treat your TB and HIV infections.

 

TB Tests

 

TB test can be conducted either through blood test or through the skin test. For a TB skin test, the medical team makes use of a tiny needle to put the fluid, known as tuberculin, immediately under your skin. This is normally carried out on the lower inner part of your arm. After the test is done, you need to return within two to three days to check if you reacted to the test. If there is a reaction, the amount of the reaction is estimated to find out if you are positive for the TB germs.

 

For the TB blood test, a sample of your blood is drawn to conduct the test. Your health care provider would inform you how you can get the result of your test.

 

If Your TB Test is Positive

 

If you are positive of TB, either through the blood test or through the skin test, what it means is that you are infected with the TB germs. It doesn’t imply you have a TB disease. To confirm if you have TB disease or not, you’d usually be required to take a chest x-ray or sputum (phlegm) sample test.

 

What Happens if the Test Result Shows You Have Latent TB Infection or TB Disease?

 

Both latent TB infection and TB disease can be managed with medication even in people living with HIV. If you have latent TB infection and HIV, your risk for developing the disease is greater. You’d require fast treatment for latent TB infection to prevent TB disease. If you have TB disease, you have to take drugs that treat TB disease. If it is not treated, your health may deteriorate and you’ll die eventually.

 

Prevalence of HIV/TB Coinfection

 

TB disease is one of the most common causes of death among individuals with HIV. In the United States, due to wise availability of HIV medications, the number of individual with HIV who contracts TB as well is significantly lower than what is obtained in other countries where the medication use is not as widespread. However, TB patients, particularly those born outside US, frequently still suffer from TB.

 

Symptoms of TB

 

Individuals with latent TB don’t experience any disease symptoms. However, if latent TB develops to TB disease, there will normally be signs of the disease.

 

Regular symptoms of TB disease are:

 

  • A constant cough which may result in coughing out blood or sputum
  • exhaustion
  • weight loss
  • Fever
  • Night sweats

 

Other symptoms of TB disease may vary depending on the parts of the body affected. For instance, signs of TB infection of the kidneys may contain blood in the urine, and symptoms of TB infection of the spine may contain back pain.

 

What is the Treatment for TB?

 

TB treatment in HIV patients is commonly the same as the medication used for individuals who are not HIV positive. TB drugs are used for the prevention of latent TB from developing into TB disease and for the treatment of TB disease. The medicine chosen together with TB medication and the duration of treatment depends on whether an individual has latent TB or TB disease.

 

Pneumocystis Infections

 

Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia was originally referred to as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or PCP. It is an opportunistic infection of the lungs. It is the most common cause of pneumonia and death in AIDS patients. PCP can frequently be prevented with the use of antibiotics.

 

Pneumocystis jirovecii is a small fungus that lives in the lungs of a number of people. When an individual has a strong immune system it will control the fungus, but if an individual has a weak immune system, the fungus can make the individual very sick. However, it can now be treated. The treatment is most effective if the individual starts it early.

 

In the US, individuals with HIV/AIDS can hardly contract PCP today than what it used to be in the past, prior to the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Nevertheless, PCP is still a significant problem against public health and safety. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) is a lung infection caused by a fungus. PCP exists in individuals who have weak immune systems together with individuals with HIV. The initial signs of this infection are breathing difficulty, high fever, and dry cough.

 

Preventive treatment is extremely efficient for preventing this kind of pneumonia and it is a good idea for all individuals who have low T cell count (normally less than 200 cells per microL), previous sufferers of PCP pneumonia, or a mouth yeast infection known as thrush.

 

People who start to receive antiretroviral therapy for HIV may stop taking their PCP preventive therapy when their T cell count is above 200 cells per microL for at least three months.

 

Nevertheless, long-term preventive treatment may be essential if an individual develops PCP when the T cell count was higher than 200 cells per microL. Previously, the causative organism of PCP (Pneumocystis jirovecii) is classified by scientists as Protozoan but currently, it is classified as a fungus.

 

Causes

 

In individuals with a weak immune system, the cause of this pneumonia may be the same causative factor that causes it in healthy individuals, but the cause of this type of pneumonia is more frequently uncommon causative factors. Frequently, P. jirovecii pneumonia is the first symptom that an individual with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is already infected by AIDS.

 

Other fungi like Aspergillus and Candida; bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae, and viruses like cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex virus are also causative factors of pneumonia in individuals who have a weak immune system.

 

The bacteria that cause Pneumonia may include bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae, also referred to as Pneumococcus.

 

How Does Pneumocystis Transmit?

 

PCP is a communicable disease. It is transferred from one individual to the other through the air. Pneumocystis fungus can stay in the lungs of healthy individuals, as well as in some individuals with a weakened immune system without exhibiting any symptoms. A number of individuals are exposed to the fungus in their childhood, but they probably don’t get sick because they have a strong immune system. PCP is transmitted to a person who is exposed to the sufferer of PCP or a person who carries the fungus in the lungs but without a visible sign.

 

Symptoms of PCP

 

The symptoms are usually a fever, breathing difficulty, and a dry cough. These symptoms can come fast or a bit slower in some instances. It may limit the supply of enough oxygen to the blood, which can result in serious breathing difficulty. The individual may also experience chest pain, chills, and exhaustion. Get in touch with your doctor if you suspect your symptoms are connected to PCP.

 

Who is at Risk of Suffering from PCP?

 

PCP can hardly affect healthy individuals. They could carry the fungus infection in their lungs without causing any symptoms. At any particular time, roughly 20% of people can carry the fungus. They’d normally be destroyed by a strong immune system after many months.

 

PCP is common in individuals with weak immune systems because of their body’s inability to fight against the disease. Roughly 40% of people with PCP have HIV/AIDS. The rest of the individuals who suffer from the condition are under medical treatment that lowers their immune system like:

 

  • Organ transplanting
  • Cancer of the blood
  • Inflammatory diseases or autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Stem cell transplanting

 

Prevention of PCP

 

No vaccine prevents PCP. However, prescription medication like trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMX), also known as co-trimoxazole, can be used to prevent the occurrence. The medication is also known through the following brand names; Bactrim, Septra, and Cotrim. There are alternative medications for individuals who cannot manage TMP/SMX like dapsone, atovaquone, and pentamidine, which are aerosol taken by inhalation into the lung.

 

Individuals suffering from HIV, stem cell transplant patients, and people for a solid organ transplant have usually prescribed the medication for PCP.

 

Test and Diagnosis

 

PCP can be diagnosed through the following methods:

 

  • Chest x-ray
  • PCP can be diagnosed with Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • A blood test to detect β-D-glucan
  • Microscopic examination of a sputum (thick or dirty mucus) sample obtained from the lung of the individual. It can either be coughed out or obtained through a bronchoalveolar lavage.

 

Treatment

 

The most common types of treatment given for PCP are:

 

  • Antibiotics, antiviral, or antifungal drugs
  • Management of the immune system issue of the individual

 

The treatment given usually depends on the

 

  • Particular immune system issue
  • Seriousness of the condition
  • The causative organism

 

The first treatment is usually a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Viral or fungal medication may be added if the condition does not improve.

 

 

Infections can frequently happen to any person depending on several circumstances, however, in people with HIV/AIDS, infections can happen much more frequently and these can be much more severe. These are commonly referred to as opportunistic infections or OIs. As previously mentioned in the article above, HIV/AIDS tremendously affects a person’s immune system, making it less capable of fighting off infections. Several types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms that don’t commonly cause infections in healthy people can ultimately make people with weakened immune systems sick, including people with HIV/AIDS. Here, we summarize a variety of the most common opportunistic infections or OIs that can affect people with HIV/AIDS. It’s essential to seek immediate medical attention from a qualified healthcare professional if you experience any symptoms. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

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Disc Bulge & Herniation Chiropractic Care Overview https://www.pushasrx.com/disc-bulge-herniation-chiropractic-care-overview/ https://www.pushasrx.com/disc-bulge-herniation-chiropractic-care-overview/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2020 20:27:25 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25546 Disc Bulge & Herniation Chiropractic Care Overview | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Disc bulge and disc herniation are some of the most common conditions that can affect the spine of both young and middle-aged patients. It is estimated that approximately 2.6% of the US population annually visits a clinician for the treatment of spinal disorders. Approximately $ 7.1 billion alone is lost due to the time away […]

The post Disc Bulge & Herniation Chiropractic Care Overview appeared first on PushAsRx Athletic Training Centers El Paso, TX.

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Disc Bulge & Herniation Chiropractic Care Overview | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Disc bulge and disc herniation are some of the most common conditions that can affect the spine of both young and middle-aged patients. It is estimated that approximately 2.6% of the US population annually visits a clinician for the treatment of spinal disorders. Approximately $ 7.1 billion alone is lost due to the time away from work.

 

Disc herniation is when the whole or part of the nucleus pulposus is protruded through the torn or weakened outer annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc. This is also known as the slipped disc and frequently occurs in the lower back sometimes also affecting the cervical region. Herniation of the intervertebral disc is defined as a localized displacement of disc material with 25% or less of the disc circumference on an MRI scan according to the North American Spine Society 2014. The herniation may consist of nucleus pulposus, annulus fibrosus, apophyseal bone or osteophytes, and the vertebral endplate cartilage in contrast to disc bulge.

 

There are also mainly two types of disc herniation. Disc protrusion is when a focal or symmetrical extension of the disc comes out of its confines in the intervertebral space. It is situated at the level of the intervertebral disc and its outer annular fibers are intact. A disc extrusion is when the intervertebral disc extends above or below the adjacent vertebrae or endplates with complete annular tear. In this type of disc extrusion, there is a neck or base which is narrower than the dome or the herniation.

 

A disc bulge is when the outer fibers of the annulus fibrosus are displaced from the margins of the adjacent vertebral bodies. Here, the displacement is more than 25% of the circumference of the intervertebral disc. It also does not extend below or above the margins of the disc because it is limited by the annulus fibrosus attachment. It differs from disc herniation because it involves less than 25% of the circumference of the disc. Usually, the disc bulge is a gradual process and is broad. The disc bulge can be divided into 2 types. In circumferential bulge, the whole disc circumference is involved. In asymmetrical bulging, more than 90 degrees of the circumference is involved in an asymmetric way.

 

Normal Intervertebral Disc Anatomy

 

Before going into detail into the definition of disc herniation and disc bulge, we need to take a look at how the normal intervertebral disc looks like. According to spine guidelines in 2014, a normal disc is something that has a normal shape without any evidence of degenerative disc changes. Intervertebral discs are responsible for one third to one-fourth of the height of the spinal column.

 

One intervertebral disc is about 7 – 10 mm thick and measures 4 cm in anterior-posterior diameter in the lumbar region of the spine. These spinal discs are located between two adjacent vertebral bodies. However, no discs can be found between the atlas and axis and in the coccyx. About 23 discs are found in the spine with 6 found in the cervical spine, 12 in the thoracic spine, and only 5 found in the lumbar spine.

 

Intervertebral discs are made of fibro cartilages and they form a fibrocartilaginous joint. The outer ring of the intervertebral disc is known as the annulus fibrosus while the inner gel-like structure in the center is known as the nucleus pulposus. The cartilage endplates sandwich the nucleus pulposus superiorly and inferiorly. The annulus fibrosus is made up of concentric collagen fiber sheets arranged in a radial tire-like structure into lamellae. The fibers are attached to the vertebral endplates and oriented at different angles. The endplates with its cartilaginous part, anchor the discs in its proper place.

 

The nucleus pulposus is composed of water, collagen, and proteoglycans. Proteoglycans attract and retain water hence giving the nucleus pulposus a hydrated gel-like consistency. Interestingly, throughout the day the amount of water found in the nucleus pulposus varies according to the level of activity of the person. This feature in the intervertebral disc serves as a cushion or a spinal shock-absorbing system to protect the adjacent vertebra, spinal nerves, spinal cord, brain, and other structures against various forces. Although the individual movement of the intervertebral discs is limited, some form of vertebral motion like flexion and extension is still possible due to the features of the intervertebral disc.

 

Effect of Intervertebral Disc Morphology on Structure and Function

 

The type of components presents in the intervertebral disc and how it is arranged determines the morphology of the intervertebral disc. This is important in how effectively the disc does its function. As the disc is the most important element which bears the load and allows movement in the otherwise rigid spine, the constituents it is made up of have a significant bearing.

 

The complexity of the lamellae increases with advancing age as a result of the synthetic response of the intervertebral disc cells to the variations in the mechanical load. These changes in lamellae with more bifurcations, interdigitation, and irregular size and number of lamellar bands will lead to the altered bearing of weight. This in turn establishes a self-perpetuated disruption cycle leading to the destruction of the intervertebral discs. Once this process is started it is irreversible. As there is an increased number of cells, the amount of nutrition the disc requires is also increasingly changing the normal concentration gradient of both metabolites and nutrients. Due to this increased demand, the cells may also die increasingly by necrosis or apoptosis.

 

Human intervertebral discs are avascular and hence the nutrients are diffused from the nearby blood vessels in the margin of the disc. The main nutrients; oxygen and glucose reach the cells in the disc through diffusion according to the gradient determined by the rate of transport to the cells through the tissues and the rate of demand. Cells also increasingly produce lactic acid as a metabolic end product. This is also removed via the capillaries and venules back to the circulation.

 

Since diffusion depends on the distance, the cells lying far from the blood capillaries can have a reduced concentration of nutrients because of reduced supply. With disease processes, the normally avascular intervertebral disc can become vascular and innervated in degeneration and in disease processes. Although this may increase the oxygen and nutrient supply to the cells in the disc, this can also give rise to many other types of cells that are normally not found in the disc with the introduction of cytokines and growth factors.

 

The morphology of the intervertebral disc in different parts of the spine also varies although many clinicians base the clinical theories based on the assumption that both cervical and lumbar intervertebral discs have the same structure. The height of the disc was the minimum in T4 – 5 level of the thoracic column probably due to the fact that thoracic intervertebral discs are less wedge-shaped than those of cervical and lumbar spinal regions.

 

From the cranial to caudal direction, the cross-sectional area of the spine increased. Therefore, by L5 – S1 level, the nucleus pulposus was occupying a higher proportion of the intervertebral disc area. The cervical discs have an elliptical shape on cross-section while the thoracic discs had a more circular shape. The lumbar discs also have an elliptical shape though it is more flattened or re-entrant posteriorly.

 

What is a Disc Bulge?

 

The bulging disc is when the disc simply bulges outside the intervertebral disc space it normally occupies without the rupture of the outer annulus fibrosus. The bulging area is quite large when compared to a herniated disc. Moreover, in a herniated disc, the annulus fibrosus ruptures or cracks. Although the disc bulging is more common than disc herniation, it causes little or no pain to the patient. In contrast, the herniated disc causes a lot of pain.

 

Causes for Disc Bulging

 

Bulging disc can be due to several causes. It can occur due to normal age-related changes such as seen in degenerative disc disease. The aging process can lead to structural and biochemical changes in the intervertebral discs and lead to reduced water content in the nucleus pulposus. These changes can make the patient vulnerable to disc bulges with only minor trauma. Some unhealthy lifestyle habits such as a sedentary lifestyle and smoking can potentiate this process and give rise to more severe changes with the weakening of the disc.

 

General wear and tear due to repeated microtrauma can also weaken the disc and give rise to disc bulging. This is because when the discs are strained, the normal distribution of weight loading changes. Accumulated micro-trauma over a long period of time can occur in bad posture. Bad posture when sitting, standing, sleeping, and working can increase the pressure in the intervertebral discs.

 

When a person maintains a forward bending posture, it can lead to overstretching and eventually weakness of the posterior part of the annulus fibrosus. Over time, the intervertebral disc can bulge posteriorly. In occupations that require frequent and repetitive lifting, standing, driving, or bending, the bulging disc may be an occupational hazard. Improper lifting up of items, improper carrying of heavy objects can also increase the pressure on the spine and lead to disc bulges eventually.

 

The bulging intervertebral discs usually occur over a long period of time. However, the discs can bulge due to acute trauma too. The unexpected sudden mechanical load can damage the disc resulting in micro-tears. After an accident, the disc can become weaken causing long term microdamage ultimately leading to bulging of the disc. There may also be a genetic component to the disc bulging. The individual may have a reduced density of elastin in the annulus fibrosus with increased susceptibility for disc diseases. Other environmental facts may also play a part in this disease process.

 

Symptoms of Disc Bulging

 

As mentioned previously, bulging discs do not cause pain and even if they do the severity is mild. In the cervical region, the disease will cause pain running down the neck, deep pain in the shoulder region, pain radiating along the upper arm, and forearm up to fingers.

 

This may give rise to a diagnostic dilemma as to whether the patient is suffering from a myocardial infarction as the site of referred pain and the radiation is similar. Tingling feeling on the neck may also occur due to the bulging disc.

 

In the thoracic region, there may be a pain in the upper back which radiates to the chest or the upper abdominal region. This may also suggest upper gastrointestinal, lung, or cardiac pathology and hence need to be careful when analyzing these symptoms.

 

The bulging discs of the lumbar region may present as lower back pain and tingling feeling in the lower back region of the spine. This is the most common site for disc bulges since this area holds the weight of the upper body. The pain or the discomfort can spread through the gluteal area, thighs, and to the feet. There may also be muscle weakness, numbness or tingling sensation. When the disc presses on the spinal cord, the reflexes of both legs can increase leading to spasticity.

 

Some patients may even have paralysis from the waist down. When the bulging disc compresses on the cauda equine, the bladder and bowel functions can also change. The bulging disc can press on the sciatic nerve leading to sciatica where the pain radiates in one leg from back down to the feet.

 

The pain from the bulging disc can get worse during some activities as the bulge can then compress on some of the nerves. Depending on what nerve is affected, the clinical features can also vary.

 

Diagnosis of Disc Bulging

 

The diagnosis may not be apparent from clinical history due to similar presentations in more serious problems. But the chronic nature of the disease may give some clues. Complete history and a physical examination need to be done to rule out myocardial infarction, gastritis, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, and chronic lung pathology.

 

MRI of Disc Bulge

 

Investigations are necessary for the diagnosis. X-ray spine is performed to look for gross pathology although it may not show the bulging disc directly. There may be indirect findings of disk degeneration such as osteophytes in the endplates, gas in the disc due to vacuum phenomenon, and the loss of height of the intervertebral disc. In the case of moderate bulges, it may sometimes appear as non-focal intervertebral disc material that is protruded beyond the borders of the vertebra which is broad-based, circumferential, and symmetrical.

 

The magnetic resonance imaging or MRI can exquisitely define the anatomy of the intervertebral discs especially the nucleus pulposus and its relationships. The early findings seen on MRI in disc bulging include the loss of normal concavity of the posterior disc. The bulges can be seen as broad-based, circumferential, and symmetrical areas. In moderate bulging, the disc material will protrude beyond the borders of the vertebrae in a non-focal manner. Ct myelogram may also give detailed disc anatomy and may be useful in the diagnosis.

 

Treatment of Disc Bulging

 

The treatment for the bulging disc can be conservative, but sometimes surgery is required.

 

Conservative Treatment

 

When the disc bulging is asymptomatic, the patient does not need any treatment since it does not pose an increased risk. However, if the patient is symptomatic, the management can be directed at relieving the symptoms. The pain is usually resolved with time. Till then, potent pain killers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen should be prescribed. In unresolved pain, steroid injections can also be given to the affected area and if it still does not work, the lumbar sympathetic block can be tried in most severe cases.

 

The patient can also be given the option of choosing alternative therapies such as professional massage, physical therapy, ice packs, and heating pads which may alleviate symptoms. Maintaining correct posture, tapes, or braces to support the spine are used with the aid of a physiotherapist. This may fasten the recovery process by avoiding further damage and keeping the damaged or torn fibers in the intervertebral disc without leakage of the fluid portion of the disc. This helps maintain the normal structure of the annulus and may increase the recovery rate. Usually, the painful symptoms which present initially get resolved over time and lead to no pain. However, if the symptoms get worse steadily, the patient may need surgery.

 

If the symptoms are resolved, physiotherapy can be used to strengthen the muscles of the back with the use of exercises. Gradual exercises can be used for the return of function and for preventing recurrences.

 

Surgical Treatment

 

When conservative therapy does not work with a few months of treatment, surgical treatment can be considered. Most would prefer minimally invasive surgery which uses advanced technology to correct the intervertebral disc without having to grossly dissect the back. These procedures such as microdiscectomy have a lower recovery period and reduced risk of scar formation, major blood loss, and trauma to adjacent structures when compared to open surgery.

 

Previously, laminectomy and discectomy have been a mainstay of treatment. However, due to the invasiveness of the procedure and due to increased damage to the nerves these procedures are currently abandoned by many clinicians for disc bulging.

 

Disc bulging in the thoracic spine is being treated surgically with costotransversectomy where a section of the transverse process is resected to allow access to the intervertebral disc. The spinal cord and spinal nerves are decompressed by using thoracic decompression by removing a part of the vertebral body and making a small opening. The patient may also need a spinal fusion later on if the removed spinal body was significant.

 

Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery can also be used where only a small incision is made and the surgeon can perform the surgery through the assistance of the camera. If the surgical procedure involved removing a large portion of the spinal bone and disc material, it may lead to spinal instability. This may need bone grafting to replace the lost portion with plates and screws to hold them in place.

 

What is a Disc Herniation?

 

As mentioned in the first section of this article, disc herniation occurs when there is disc material displaces beyond the limits of the intervertebral disc focally. The disc space consists of endplates of the vertebral bodies superiorly and inferiorly while the outer edges of the vertebral apophyses consist of the peripheral margin. The osteophytes are not considered a disc margin. There may be irritation or compression of the nerve roots and dural sac due to the volume of the herniated material leading to pain. When this occurs in the lumbar region, this is classically known as sciatica. This condition has been mentioned since ancient times although a connection between disc herniation and sciatica was made only in the 20th century. Disc herniation is one of the commonest diagnoses seen in the spine due to degenerative changes and is the commonest cause for spinal surgery.

 

Classifications of Disc Herniation

 

There are many classifications regarding intervertebral disc herniation. In focal disc herniation, there is a localized displacement of the disc material in the horizontal or axial plane. In this type, only less than 25% of the circumference of the disc is involved. In broad-based disc herniation, about 25 – 50 % of the disc circumference is herniated. The disc bulge is when 50 – 100 % of the disc material is extended beyond the normal confines of the intervertebral space. This is not considered a form of disc herniation. Furthermore, the intervertebral disc deformities associated with severe cases of scoliosis and spondylolisthesis is not classified as a herniation but rather adaptive changes of the contour of the disc due to the adjacent deformity.

 

Depending on the contour of the displaced material, the herniated discs can be further classified as protrusions and extrusions. In disc protrusion, the distance measured in any plane involving the edges of the disc material beyond intervertebral disc space (the highest measure is taken) is lower than the distance measured in the same plane between the edges of the base.

 

Imaging can show the disc displacement as a protrusion on the horizontal section and as an extrusion on the sagittal section due to the fact that the posterior longitudinal ligament contains the disc material that is displaced posteriorly. Then the herniation should be considered an extrusion. Sometimes the intervertebral disc herniation can occur in the craniocaudal or vertical direction through a defect in the vertebral body endplates. This type of herniation is known as intravertebral herniation.

 

The disc protrusion can also be divided into two as focal protrusion and broad-based protrusion. In focal protrusion, the herniation is less than 25% of the circumference of the disc whereas, in broad-based protrusion, the herniated disc consists of 25 – 50 % of the circumference of the disc.

 

In disc extrusion, it is diagnosed if any of the two following criteria are satisfied. The first one is; the distance measured between the edges of the disc material that is beyond the intervertebral disc space is greater than the distance measured in the same plane between the edges of the base. The second one is; the material in the intervertebral disc space and material beyond the intervertebral disc space is having a lack of continuity.

 

This can be further characterized as sequestrated which is a subtype of the extruded disc. It is called disc migration when disk material is pushed away from the site of extrusion without considering whether there is continuity of disc or not. This term is useful in interpreting imaging modalities as it is often difficult to show continuity in imaging.

 

The intervertebral disc herniation can be further classified as contained discs and discs that are unconfined. The term contained disc is used to refer to the integrity of the peripheral annulus fibrosus which is covering the intervertebral disc herniation. When fluid is injected into the intervertebral disc, the fluid does not leak into the vertebral canal in herniations that are contained.

 

Sometimes there are displaced disc fragments that are characterized as free. However, there should be no continuity between disc material and the fragment and the original intervertebral disc for it to be called a free fragment or a sequestered one. In a migrated disc and in a migrated fragment, there is an extrusion of disc material through the opening in the annulus fibrosus with a displacement of the disc material away from the annulus.

 

Even though some fragments that are migrated can be sequestered ones the term migrated means just to the position and it is not referred to the continuity of the disc. The displaced intervertebral disc material can be further described with regard to the posterior longitudinal ligament as submembranous, subcapsular, subligamentous, extra ligamentous, transligamentous, subcapsular, and perforated.

 

The spinal canal can also get affected by an intervertebral disc herniation. This compromise of the canal can also be classified as mild, moderate, and severe depending on the area that is compromised. If the canal at that section is compromised only less than one third, it is called mild whereas if it is only compromised less than two-third and more than one third it is considered moderate. In a severe compromise, more than two-thirds of the spinal canal is affected. For the foraminal involvement, this same grading system can be applied.

 

The displaced material can be named according to the position that they are in the axial plane from the center to the right lateral region. They are termed as central, right central, right subarticular, right foraminal, and right extraforaminal. The displaced intervertebral disc material’s composition can be further classified as gaseous, liquefied, desiccated, scarred, calcified, ossified, bony, nuclear, and cartilaginous.

 

Before going into detail on how to diagnose and treat intervertebral disc herniation, let us differentiate how cervical disc herniation differs from lumbar herniation since they are the most common regions to undergo herniation.

 

Cervical Disc Herniation vs. Thoracic Disc Herniation vs Lumbar Disc Herniation

 

Lumbar disc herniation is the commonest type of herniation found in the spine which is approximately 90% of the total. However, cervical disc herniation can also occur in about one-tenth of patients. This difference is mainly due to the fact that the lumbar spine has more pressure due to the increased load. Moreover, it has comparatively large intervertebral disc material. The most common sites of intervertebral disc herniation in the lumbar region is L 5 – 6, in the Cervical region between C7, in the thoracic region T12.

 

Cervical disc herniation can occur relatively commonly because the cervical spine acts as a pivoting point for the head and it is a vulnerable area for trauma and therefore prone to damage in the disc. Thoracic disc herniation occurs more infrequently than any of the two. This is due to the fact that thoracic vertebrae are attached to the ribs and the thoracic cage which limits the range of movement in the thoracic spine when compared to the cervical and lumbar spinal discs. However, thoracic intervertebral disc herniation can still occur.

 

Cervical disc herniation gives rise to neck pain, shoulder pain, or pain radiating from neck to the arm, tingling, etc. Lumbar disc herniation can similarly cause lower back pain as well as pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness seen in the lower limbs. Thoracic disc herniation can give rise to pain in the upper back radiating to the torso.

 

Epidemiology

 

Although disc herniation can occur in all age groups, it predominantly occurs in between the fourth and fifth decade of life with the mean age of 37 years. There have been reports that estimate the prevalence of intervertebral disc herniation to be 2 – 3 % of the general population. It is more commonly seen in men over 35 years with a prevalence of 4.8% and while in women this figure is around 2.5%. Due to its high prevalence, it is considered a worldwide problem as it is also associated with significant disability.

 

Risk Factors

 

In most instances, a herniated disc occurs due to the natural aging process in the intervertebral disc. Due to the disc degeneration, the amount of water that was previously seen in the intervertebral disc gets dried out leading to shrinking of the disc with narrowing of the intervertebral space. These changes are markedly seen in degenerative disc disease. In addition to these gradual changes due to normal wear and tear, other factors may also contribute to increasing the risk of intervertebral disc herniation.

 

Being overweight can increase the load on the spine and increase the risk of herniation. A sedentary life can also increase the risk and therefore an active lifestyle is recommended in preventing this condition. Improper posture with prolonged standing, sitting, and especially driving can put a strain on the intervertebral discs due to the additional vibration from the vehicle engine leading to microtrauma and cracks in the disc. The occupations which require constant bending, twisting, pulling and lifting can put a strain on the back. Improper weight lifting techniques are one of the major reasons.

 

When back muscles are used in lifting heavy objects instead of lifting with the legs and twisting while lifting can make the lumbar discs more vulnerable to herniation. Therefore patients should always be advised to lift weights with the legs and not the back. Smoking has been thought to increase disc herniation by reducing the blood supply to the intervertebral disc leading to degenerative changes of the disc.

 

Although the above factors are frequently assumed to be the causes for disc herniation, some studies have shown that the difference in risk is very small when this particular population was compared with the control groups of the normal population.

 

There have been several types of research done on genetic predisposition and intervertebral disc herniation. Some of the genes that are implicated in this disease include vitamin D receptor (VDR) which is a gene that codes for the polypeptides of important collagen called collagen IX (COL9A2).

 

Another gene called the human aggrecan gene (AGC) is also implicated as it codes for proteoglycans which is the most important structural protein found in the cartilage. It supports the biochemical and mechanical function of the cartilage tissue and hence when this gene is defective, it can predispose an individual to intervertebral disc herniation.

 

Apart from these, there are many other genes that are being researched due to the association between disc herniation such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) – 3, MMP – 9, cartilage intermediate layer protein, thrombospondin (THBS2), collagen 11A1, carbohydrate sulfotransferase, and asporin (ASPN). They may also be regarded as potential gene markers for lumbar disc disease.

 

Pathogenesis of Sciatica and Disc Herniation

 

The sciatic pain is originated from the extruded nucleus pulposus inducing various phenomena. It can directly compress the nerve roots leading to ischemia or without it, mechanically stimulate the nerve endings of the outer portion of the fibrous ring and release inflammatory substances suggesting its multifactorial origin. When the disc herniation causes mechanical compression of the nerve roots, the nerve membrane is sensitized to pain and other stimuli due to ischemia. It has been shown that in sensitized and compromised nerve roots, the threshold for neuronal sensitization is around half of that of a normal and non-compromised nerve root.

 

The inflammatory cell infiltration is different in extruded discs and non-extruded discs. Usually, in non extruded discs, the inflammation is less. The extruded disc herniation causes the posterior longitudinal ligament to rupture which exposes the herniated part to the vascular bed of the epidural space. It is believed that inflammatory cells are originating from these blood vessels situated in the outermost part of the intervertebral disc.

 

These cells may help secrete substances that cause inflammation and irritation of the nerve roots causing sciatic pain. Therefore, extruded herniations are more likely to cause pain and clinical impairment than those that are contained. In contained herniations, the mechanical effect is predominant while in the unconfined or the extruded discs the inflammatory effect is predominant.

 

Clinical Disc Herniation and What to Look for in the History

 

The symptoms of the disc herniation can vary to a great deal depending on the location of the pain, the type of herniation, and on the individuals. Therefore, history should focus on the analysis of the main complaint among the many other symptoms.

 

The chief complain can be neck pain in cervical disc herniation and there can be referred pain to the arms, shoulders, neck, head, face, and even to the lower back region. However, it is most commonly referred to the interscapular region. The radiation of pain can occur according to the level the herniation is taking place. When the nerve roots of the cervical region are affected and compressed, there can be sensory, motor changes with changes in the reflexes.

 

The pain that occurs due to nerve root compression is called radicular pain and it can be described as deep, aching, burning, dull, achy, and electric depending on whether there is mainly motor dysfunction or sensory dysfunction. In the upper limb, the radicular pain can follow a dermatomal or myotomal pattern. Radiculopathy usually does not accompany neck pain. There can be unilateral as well as bilateral symptoms. These symptoms can be aggravated by activities that increase the pressure inside the intervertebral discs such as Valsalva maneuver, lifting.

 

Driving can also exacerbate pain due to disc herniation due to stress because of vibration. Some studies have shown that shock loading and stress from vibration can cause a mechanical force to exacerbate small herniations but flexed posture had no influence. Similarly, the activities that decrease intradiscal pressure can reduce the symptoms as in lying down.

 

The main complaint in lumbar disc herniation is lower back pain. Other associated symptoms can be a pain in the thigh, buttocks, anogenital region which can radiate to the foot and toe. The main nerve affected in this region is the sciatic nerve causing sciatica and its associated symptoms such as intense pain in the buttocks, leg pain, muscle weakness, numbness, impairment of sensation, hot and burning or tingling sensation in the legs, dysfunction of gait, impairment of reflexes, edema, dysesthesia or paresthesia in the lower limbs. However, sciatica can be caused by causes other than herniation such as tumors, infection, or instability which need to be ruled out before arriving at a diagnosis.

 

The herniated disc can also compress on the femoral nerve and can give rise to symptoms such as numbness, tingling sensation in one or both legs, and a burning sensation in the legs and hips. Usually, the nerve roots that are affected in herniation in the lumbar region are the ones exiting below the intervertebral disc. It is thought that the level of the nerve root irritation determines the distribution of leg pain. In herniations at the third and fourth lumbar vertebral levels, the pain may radiate to the anterior thigh or the groin. In radiculopathy at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra, the pain may occur in the lateral and anterior thigh region. In herniations at the level of the first sacrum, the pain may occur in the bottom of the foot and the calf. There can also be numbness and tingling sensation occurring in the same area of distribution. The weakness in the muscles may not be able to be recognized if the pain is very severe.

 

When changing positions the patient is often relieved from pain. Maintaining a supine position with the legs raised can improve the pain. Short pain relief can be brought by having short walks while long walks, standing for prolonged periods, and sitting for extended periods of time such as in driving can worsen the pain.

 

The lateral disc herniation is seen in foraminal and extraforaminal herniations and they have different clinical features to that of medial disc herniation seen in subarticular and central herniations. The lateral intervertebral disc herniations can when compared to medial herniations more directly irritate and mechanically compress the nerve roots that are exiting and the dorsal root ganglions situated inside the narrowed spinal canal.

 

Therefore, lateral herniation is seen more frequently in older age with more radicular pain and neurological deficits. There is also more radiating leg pain and intervertebral disc herniations in multiple levels in the lateral groups when compared to medial disc herniations.

 

The herniated disc in the thoracic region may not present with back pain at all. Instead, there are predominant symptoms due to referred pain in the thorax due to irritation on nerves. There can also be predominant pain in the body that travels to the legs, tingling sensation and numbness in one or both legs, muscle weakness and spasticity of one or both legs due to exaggerated reflexes.

 

The clinician should look out for atypical presentations as there could be other differential diagnoses. The onset of symptoms should be inquired to determine whether the disease is acute, sub-acute, or chronic in onset. Past medical history has to be inquired in detail to exclude red flag symptoms such as pain which occurs at night without activity which can be seen in pelvic vein compression, non-mechanical pain which may be seen in tumors or infections.

 

If there is a progressive neurological deficit, with bowel and bladder involvement is there, it is considered a neurological emergency and urgently investigated because cauda equine syndrome may occur which if untreated, can lead to permanent neurological deficit.

 

Getting a detailed history is important including the occupation of the patient as some activities in the job may be exacerbating the patient’s symptoms. The patient should be assessed regarding which activities he can and cannot do.

 

Differential Diagnosis

 

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Mechanical pain
  • Myofascial pain leading to sensory disturbances and local or referred pain
  • Hematoma
  • Cyst leading to occasional motor deficits and sensory disturbances
  • Spondylosis or spondylolisthesis
  • Discitis or osteomyelitis
  • Malignancy, neurinoma or mass lesion causing atrophy of thigh muscles, glutei
  • Spinal stenosis is seen mainly in the lumbar region with mild low back pain, motor deficits, and pain in one or both legs.
  • Epidural abscess which can cause symptoms similar to radicular pain involving spinal disc herniation
  • Aortic aneurysm which can cause low back pain and leg pain due to compression can also rupture and lead to hemorrhagic shock.
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma in advanced stages can lead to space-occupying lesions in the spinal column leading to symptoms like that of intervertebral disc herniation
  • Tumors
  • Pelvic endometriosis
  • Facet hypertrophy
  • Lumbar nerve root schwannoma
  • Herpes zoster infection results in inflammation along with the sciatic or lumbosacral nerve roots

 

Examination in Disc Herniation

 

Complete physical examination is necessary to diagnose intervertebral disc herniation and exclude other important differential diagnoses. The range of motion has to be tested but may have a poor correlation with disc herniation as it is mainly reduced in elderly patients with a degenerative disease and due to disease of the joints.

 

A complete neurological examination is often necessary. This should test the muscle weakness and sensory weakness. In order to detect the muscle weakness in small toe muscles, the patient can be asked to walk on tiptoe. The strength of muscle can also be tested by comparing the strength to that of the clinician. There may be dermatomal sensory loss suggesting the respective nerve root involvement. The reflexes may be exaggerated or sometimes maybe even absent.

 

There are many neurologic examination maneuvers described in relation to intervertebral disc herniation such as Braggart sign, flip sign, Lasegue rebound sign, Lasegue differential sign, Mendel Bechterew sign, Deyerle sign both legs or Milgram test, and well leg or Fajersztajin test. However, all these are based on testing the sciatic nerve root tension by using the same principles in the straight leg raising test. These tests are used for specific situations to detect subtle differences.

 

Nearly almost all of them depend on the pain radiating down the leg and if it occurs above the knee it is assumed to be due to a neuronal compressive lesion and if the pain goes below the knee, it is considered to be due to the compression of the sciatic nerve root. For lumbar disc herniation detection, the most sensitive test is considered to be radiating pain occurring down the leg due to provocation.

 

In the straight leg raising test also called the Lasegue’s sign, the patient stays on his or her back and keeps the legs straight. The clinician then lifts the legs by flexing the hip while keeping the knee straight. The angle at which the patient feels a pain going down the leg below the knee is noted. In a normal healthy individual, the patient can flex the hip to 80 – 90ᵒ without having any pain or difficulty.

 

However, if the angle is just 30 – 70ᵒ degrees, it is suggestive of lumbar intervertebral disc herniation at the L4 to S1 nerve root levels. If the angle of hip flexion without pain is less than 30 degrees, it usually indicates some other causes such as tumor of the gluteal region, gluteal abscess, spondylolisthesis, disc extrusion, and protrusion, malingering patient and acute inflammation of the dura mater. If pain with hip flexion occurs at more than 70 degrees, it may be due to tightness of the muscles such as gluteus maximus and hamstrings, tightness of the capsule of the hip joint, or pathology of sacroiliac or hip joints.

 

The reverse straight leg raising test or hip extension test can be used to test higher lumbar lesions by stretching the nerve roots of the femoral nerve which is similar to the straight leg raising test. In the cervical spine, in order to detect stenosis of the foramina, the Spurling test is done and is not specific to cervical intervertebral disc herniation or tension of the nerve roots. The Kemp test is the analogous test in the lumbar region to detect the foraminal stenosis. Complications due to the disc herniation include careful examination of the hip region, digital rectal examination, and urogenital examination is needed.

 

Investigation of Disc Herniation

 

For the diagnosis of intervertebral disc herniation, diagnostic tests such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Computed tomography (CT), myelography, and plain radiography can be used either alone or in combination with other imaging modalities. Objective detection of disc herniation is important because only after such finding the surgical intervention is even considered. Serum biochemical tests such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, Alkaline phosphatize value, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), urine analysis for Bence Jones protein, serum glucose level and serum protein electrophoresis may also be needed in specific circumstances guided by history.

 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

 

MRI is considered the best imaging modality in patients with history and physical examination findings suggestive of lumbar disc herniation associated with radiculopathy according to North American Spinal Society guidelines in 2014. The anatomy of the herniated nucleus pulposus and its associated relationships with soft tissue in the adjacent areas can be delineated exquisitely by MRI in cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral areas. Beyond the confines of the annulus, the herniated nucleus can be seen as a focal, asymmetric disc material protrusion on MRI.

 

On sagittal T2 weighted images, the posterior annulus is usually seen as a high signal intensity area due to radial annular tear associated with the herniation of the disc although the herniated nucleus is itself hypointense. The relationship between the herniated nucleus and degenerated facets with the nerve roots which are exiting through the neural foramina are well-demarcated on sagittal images of MRI. Free fragments of the intervertebral disc can also be distinguished from MRI images.

 

There may be associated signs of intervertebral disc herniation on MRI such as radial tears on the annulus fibrosus which is also a sign of degenerative disc disease. There may be other telling signs such as loss of disc height, bulging annulus, and changes in the endplates. Atypical signs may also be seen with MRI such as abnormal disc locations, lesions located completely outside the intervertebral disc space.

 

MRI can detect abnormalities in the intervertebral discs superiorly than other modalities although its bone imaging is a little less inferior. However, there are limitations with MRI in patients with metal implant devices such as pacemakers because the electromagnetic field can lead to abnormal functioning of the pacemakers. In patients with claustrophobia, it may become a problem to go to the narrow canal to be scanned by the MRI machine. Although some units contain open MRI, it has less magnetic power and hence delineates less superior quality imaging.

 

This is also a problem in children and anxious patients undergoing MRI because good image quality depends on patient staying still. They may require sedation. The contrast used in MRI which is gadolinium can induce nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in patients who had pre-existing renal disease. MRI is also generally avoided in pregnancy especially during the first 12 weeks although it has not been clinically proven to be hazardous to the fetus. MRI is not very useful when a tumor contains calcium and in distinguishing edema fluid from tumor tissue.

 

Computed Tomography (CT)

 

CT scanning is also considered another good method to assess spinal disc herniation when MRI is not available. It is also recommended as a first-line investigation in unstable patients with severe bleeding. CT scanning is superior to myelography although when the two are combined, it is superior to both of them. CT scans can show calcification more clearly and sometimes even gas in images. In order to achieve a superior imaging quality, the imaging should be focused on the site of pathology and thin sections taken to better determine the extent of the herniation.

 

However, CT scan is difficult to be used in patients who have already undergone laminectomy surgical procedures because the presence of scar tissue and fibrosis causes the identification of the structures difficult although bony changes and deformity in nerve sheath is helpful in making a diagnosis.

 

The images will show a soft tissue mass and displaced thecal sac along with the effacement of the fat in the epidural region. An irregular, lobulated mass near the margin of the disc is seen in fragments that are not restrained by the posterior longitudinal ligament but are still in contact with the margin of the disc. The nuclear fragment of the disc that is fragmented is 80 – 120 HU.

 

The herniated intervertebral discs in the cervical disc can be identified by studying the uncinate process. It is usually projected posteriorly and laterally to the intervertebral discs and superiorly to the vertebral bodies. The uncinate process undergoes sclerosis, and hypertrophy when there is an abnormal relationship between the uncinate process and adjacent structures as seen in degenerative disc disease, intervertebral disc space narrowing, and general wear and tear.

 

Myelopathy can occur when the spinal canal is affected due to the disc disease. Similarly, when neural foramina are involved, radiculopathy occurs. Even small herniated discs and protrusions can cause impingement of the dural sac because the cervical epidural space is narrowed naturally. The intervertebral discs have attenuation a little bit greater than the sac characterized in the CT scan.

 

In the thoracic region, a CT scan can diagnose an intervertebral disc herniation with ease due to the fact that there is an increased amount of calcium found in the thoracic discs. Lateral to the dural sac, the herniated disc material can be seen on CT as a clearly defined mass which is surrounded by epidural fat. When there is a lack of epidural fat, the disc appears as a higher attenuated mass compared to the surrounding.

 

Radiography

 

Plain radiography is not needed in diagnosing herniation of the intervertebral discs, because plain radiographs cannot detect the disc and therefore is used to exclude other conditions such as tumors, infections, and fractures.

 

In myelography, there may be deformity or displacement of the extradural contrast filled thecal sac seen in herniation of the disc. There may also be featured in the affected nerve such as edema, elevation, deviation, and amputation of the nerve root seen in the myelography image.

 

Diskography

 

In this imaging modality, the contrast medium is injected into the disc in order to assess the disc morphology. If pain occurs following injection that is similar to the discogenic pain, it suggests that that disc is the source of the pain. When a CT scan is also performed immediately after discography, it is helpful to differentiate the anatomy and pathological changes. However, since it is an invasive procedure, it is indicated only in special circumstances when MRI and CT have failed to reveal the etiology of back pain. It has several side effects such as headache, meningitis, damage to the disc, discitis, intrathecal hemorrhage, and increased pain.

 

Treatment of Herniated Disc

 

The treatment should be individualized according to the patient-guided through history, physical examination, and diagnostic investigation findings. In most cases, the patient gradually improves without needing further intervention in about 3 – 4 months. Therefore, the patient only needs conservative therapy during this time period. Because of this reason, there are many ineffective therapies that have emerged by attributing the natural resolution of symptoms to that therapy. Therefore, conservative therapy needs to be evidence-based.

 

Conservative Therapy

 

Since the herniation of the disc has a benign course, the aim of treatment is to stimulate the recovery of neurological function, reduce pain, and facilitate early return to work and activities of daily living. The most benefits of the conservative treatment are for younger patients with hernias that are sequestered and in patients with mild neurological deficits due to small disc hernias.

 

Bed rest has long been considered as a treatment option in herniation of the disc. However, it has been shown that bed rest has no effect beyond the first 1 or 2 days. The bed rest is regarded as counterproductive after this period of time.

 

In order to reduce the pain, oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be used. This can relieve the pain by reducing inflammation associated with the inflamed nerve. Analgesics such as acetaminophen can also be used although they lack the anti-inflammatory effect seen in NSAID. The doses and the drugs should be appropriate for the age and severity of the pain in the patient. If pain is not controlled by the current medication, the clinician has to go one step up in the WHO analgesics ladder. However, the long term use of NSAID and analgesics can lead to gastric ulcers, liver, and kidney problems.

 

In order to reduce the inflammation, other alternative methods such as applying ice in the initial period and then switching to using heat, gels, and rubs may help with the pain as well as muscle spasms. Oral muscle relaxants can also be used in relieving muscle spasms. Some of the drugs include methocarbamol, carisoprodol, and cyclobenzaprine.

 

However, they act centrally and cause drowsiness and sedation in patients and it does not act directly to reduce muscle spasm. A short course of oral steroids such as prednisolone for a period of 5 days in a tapering regime can be given to reduce the swelling and inflammation in the nerves. It can provide immediate pain relief within a period of 24 hours.

 

When the pain is not resolved adequately with maximum effective doses, the patient can be considered for giving steroid injections into the epidural space. The major indication for the steroid injection into periradicular space is discal compression causing radicular pain that is resistant to conventional medical treatment. A careful evaluation with CT or MRI scanning is required to carefully exclude extra discal causes for pain. The contraindications for this therapy include patients with diabetes, pregnancy, and gastric ulcers. Epidural puncture is contraindicated in patients with coagulation disorders and therefore foraminal approach is used carefully if needed.

 

This procedure is performed under the guidance of fluoroscopy and involves injecting steroids and an analgesic into the epidural space adjacent to the affected intervertebral disc to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the nerves directly in an outpatient setting. As much as 50% of the patients experience relief after the injection although it is temporary and they might need repeat injections at 2 weekly intervals to achieve the best results. If this treatment modality becomes successful, up to 3 epidural steroidal injections can be given per year.

 

Physical therapy can help the patient return to his previous life easily although it does not improve the herniated disc. The physical therapist can instruct the patient on how to maintain the correct posture, walking, and lifting techniques depending on the patient’s ability to work, mobility, and flexibility.

 

Stretching exercises can improve the flexibility of the spine while strengthening exercises can increase the strength of the back muscles. The activities which can aggravate the condition of the herniated disc are instructed to be avoided. The physical therapy makes the transition from intervertebral disc herniation to an active lifestyle smooth. The exercise regimes can be maintained for life to improve general well-being.

 

The most effective conservative treatment option that is evidence-based is observation and epidural steroid injection for the relief of pain in the short-term duration. However, if the patients so desire they can use holistic therapies of their choice with acupuncture, acupressure, nutritional supplements, and biofeedback although they are not evidence-based. There is also no evidence to justify the use of trans electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) as a pain relief method.

 

If there is no improvement in the pain after a few months, surgery can be contemplated and the patient must be selected carefully for the best possible outcome.

 

Surgical Therapy

 

The aim of surgical therapy is to decompress the nerve roots and relieve the tension. There are several indications for surgical treatment which are as follows.

 

Absolute indications include cauda equina syndrome or significant paresis. Other relative indications include motor deficits that are greater than grade 3, sciatica that is not responding to at least six months of conservative treatment, sciatica for more than six weeks, or nerve root pain due to foraminal bone stenosis.

 

There have been many discussions over the past few years regarding whether to treat herniation of intervertebral disc disease with prolonged conservative treatment or early surgical treatment. Much research has been conducted in this regard and most of them show that the final clinical outcome after 2 years is the same although the recovery is faster with early surgery. Therefore, it is suggested that early surgery may be appropriate as it enables the patient to return to work early and thereby is economically feasible.

 

Some surgeons may still use traditional discectomy although many are using minimally invasive surgical techniques over recent years. Microdiscectomy is considered to be in the halfway between the two ends. There are two surgical approaches that are being used. Minimally invasive surgery and percutaneous procedures are the ones that are being used due to their relative advantage. There is no place for the traditional surgical procedure known as a laminectomy.

 

However, there are some studies suggesting microdiscectomy is more favorable because of its both short term and long-term advantages. In the short term, there is a reduced length of operation, reduced bleeding, relief of symptoms, and reduced complication rate. This technique has been effective even after 10 years of follow up and therefore is the most preferred technique even now. The studies that have been performed to compare the minimally invasive technique and microdiscectomy have resulted in different results. Some have failed to establish a significant difference while one randomized control study was able to determine that microdiscectomy was more favorable.

 

In microdiscectomy, only a small incision is made aided by an operating microscope and the part of the herniated intervertebral disc fragment which is impinging on the nerve is removed by hemilaminectomy. Some part of the bone is also removed to facilitate access to the nerve root and the intervertebral disc. The duration in the hospital stay is minimal with only an overnight stay and observation because the patient can be discharged with minimal soreness and complete relief of the symptoms.

 

However, some unstable patients may need more prolonged admission and sometimes they may need fusion and arthroplasty. It is estimated that about 80 – 85 % of the patients who undergo microdiscectomy recover successfully and many of them are able to return to their normal occupation in about 6 weeks.

 

There is a discussion on whether to remove a large portion of the disc fragment and curetting of the disc space or to remove only the herniated fragment with minimal invasion of the intervertebral disc space. Many studies have suggested that the aggressive removal of large chunks of the disc could lead to more pain than when conservative therapy is used with 28% versus 11.5 %. It may lead to degenerative disc disease in the long term. However, with conservative therapy, there is a greater risk of recurrence of around 7 % in herniation of the disc. This may require additional surgery such as arthrodesis and arthroplasty to be performed in the future leading to significant distress and economic burden.

 

In the minimally invasive surgery, the surgeon usually makes a tiny incision in the back to put the dilators with increasing diameter to enlarge the tunnel until it reaches vertebra. This technique causes lesser trauma to the muscles than when seen in traditional microdiscectomy. Only a small portion of the disc is removed in order to expose the nerve root and the intervertebral disc. Then the surgeon can remove the herniated disc by the use of an endoscope or a microscope.

 

These minimally invasive surgical techniques have a higher advantage of lower surgical site infections and shorter hospital stays. The disc is centrally decompressed by either chemically or enzymatically with the use of chymopapain, laser, or plasma (ionized gas) ablation and vaporization. It can also be decompressed mechanically by using percutaneous lateral decompression or by aspirating and sucking with a shaver such as a nucleosome. Chemopapin was shown to have adverse effects and eventually withdrawn. Most of the above techniques have shown to be less effective than a placebo. Directed segmentectomy is the one that has shown some promise in being effective similar to microdiscectomy.

 

In the cervical spine, the herniated intervertebral discs are treated anteriorly. This is because the herniation occurs anteriorly and the manipulation of the cervical cord is not tolerated by the patient. The disc herniation that is due to foraminal stenosis and that is confined to the foramen are the only instances where a posterior approach is contemplated.

 

The minimal disc excision is an alternative to the anterior cervical spine approach. However, the intervertebral disc stability after the procedure is dependent on the residual disc. The neck pain can be significantly reduced following the procedure due to the removal of neuronal compression although significant impairment can occur with residual axial neck pain. Another intervention for cervical disc herniation includes anterior cervical interbody fusion. It is more suitable for patients with severe myelopathy with degenerative disc disease.

 

Complications of the Surgery

 

Although the risk of surgery is very low, complications can still occur. Post-operative infection is one of the commonest complications and therefore needs more vigorous infection control procedures in the theatre and in the ward. During the surgery, due to poor surgical technique, nerve damage can occur. A dural leak may occur when an opening in the lining of the nerve root causes leakage of cerebrospinal fluid which is bathing the nerve roots. The lining can be repaired during the surgery. However, headache can occur due to loss of cerebrospinal fluid but it usually improves with time without any residual damage. If blood around the nerve roots clots after the surgery, that blood clot may lead to compression of the nerve root leading to radicular pain which was experienced by the patient previously. Recurrent herniation of the intervertebral disc due to herniation of disc material at the same site is a devastating complication that can occur long term. This can be managed conservatively but surgery may be necessary ultimately.

 

Outcomes of the Surgery

 

There has been extensive research done regarding the outcome of lumbar disc herniation surgery. Generally, the results from the microdiscectomy surgery are good. There is more improvement of leg pain than back pain and therefore this surgery is not recommended for those who have only back pain. Many patients improve clinically over the first week but they may improve over the following several months. Typically, the pain disappears in the initial recovery period and it is followed by an improvement in the strength of the leg. Finally, the improvement of the sensation occurs. However, patients may complain of feeling numbness although there is no pain. The normal activities and work can be resumed over a few weeks after the surgery.

 

Novel Therapies

 

Although conservative therapy is the most appropriate therapy in treating patients, the current standard of care does not address the underlying pathology of herniation of the intervertebral discs. There are various pathways that are involved in the pathogenesis such as inflammatory, immune-mediated, and proteolytic pathways.

 

The role of inflammatory mediators is currently under research and it has led to the development of new therapies that are directed at these inflammatory mediators causing damage to the nerve roots. The cytokines such as TNF α are mainly involved in regulating these processes. The pain sensitivity is mediated by serotonin receptor antagonists and α2 adrenergic receptor antagonists.

 

Therefore, pharmacological therapies that target these receptors and mediators may influence the disease process and lead to a reduction in symptoms. Currently, cytokine antagonists against TNF α and IL 1β have been tested. Neuronal receptor blockers such as sarpogrelate hydrochloride etc have been tested in both animal models and in clinical studies for the treatment of sciatica. Cell cycle modifiers which target the microglia that is thought to initiate the inflammatory cascade has been tested with the neuroprotective antibiotic minocycline.

 

There is also research on inhibiting the NF- kB or protein kinase pathway recently. In the future, the treatment of herniation of the intervertebral disc will be much more improved thanks to the ongoing research. (Haro, Hirotaka)

 

 

A disc bulge and/or a herniated disc is a health issue that affects the intervertebral discs found in between each vertebra of the spine. Although these can occur as a natural part of degeneration with age, trauma or injury as well as repetitive overuse can also cause a disc bulge or a herniated disc. According to healthcare professionals, a disc bulge and/or a herniated disc is one of the most common health issues affecting the spine. A disc bulge is when the outer fibers of the annulus fibrosus are displaced from the margins of the adjacent vertebral bodies. A herniated disc is when a part of or the whole nucleus pulposus is protruded through the torn or weakened outer annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc. Treatment of these health issues focuses on reducing symptoms. Alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care and/or physical therapy, can help relieve symptoms. Surgery may be utilized in cases of severe symptoms. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References

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  • Mulleman, Denis et al. “Pathophysiology Of Disk-Related Sciatica. I.—Evidence Supporting A Chemical Component.” Joint Bone Spine, vol 73, no. 2, 2006, pp. 151-158. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.jbspin.2005.03.003.
  • Jacobs, Wilco C. H. et al. “Surgical Techniques For Sciatica Due To Herniated Disc, A Systematic Review.” European Spine Journal, vol 21, no. 11, 2012, pp. 2232-2251. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s00586-012-2422-9.
  • Rutkowski, B. “Combined Practice Of Electrical Stimulation For Lumbar Intervertebral Disc Herniation.” Pain, vol 11, 1981, p. S226. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), doi:10.1016/0304-3959(81)90487-5.
  • Weber, Henrik. “Spine Update The Natural History Of Disc Herniation And The Influence Of Intervention.” Spine, vol 19, no. 19, 1994, pp. 2234-2238. Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health), doi:10.1097/00007632-199410000-00022.
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  • Carvalho, Lilian Braighi et al. “Hérnia De Disco Lombar: Tratamento.” Acta Fisiátrica, vol 20, no. 2, 2013, pp. 75-82. GN1 Genesis Network, doi:10.5935/0104-7795.20130013.
  • Kerr, Dana et al. “What Are Long-Term Predictors Of Outcomes For Lumbar Disc Herniation? A Randomized And Observational Study.” Clinical Orthopaedics And Related Research®, vol 473, no. 6, 2014, pp. 1920-1930. Springer Nature, doi:10.1007/s11999-014-3803-7.
  • Buy, Xavier, and Afshin Gangi. “Percutaneous Treatment Of Intervertebral Disc Herniation.” Seminars In Interventional Radiology, vol 27, no. 02, 2010, pp. 148-159. Thieme Publishing Group, doi:10.1055/s-0030-1253513.
  • Haro, Hirotaka. “Translational Research Of Herniated Discs: Current Status Of Diagnosis And Treatment.” Journal Of Orthopaedic Science, vol 19, no. 4, 2014, pp. 515-520. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1007/s00776-014-0571-x.

 

 

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What is Crohn’s Disease? An Overview https://www.pushasrx.com/what-is-crohns-disease-an-overview/ https://www.pushasrx.com/what-is-crohns-disease-an-overview/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2020 22:21:42 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25539 What is Crohn's Disease? An Overview | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBDs are health issues that affect the digestive tract by causing inflammation that lasts longer than an average upset stomach or mild infection. Most people think that the digestive tract only consists of the stomach, which stores and breaks down food, as well as the small and […]

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What is Crohn's Disease? An Overview | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBDs are health issues that affect the digestive tract by causing inflammation that lasts longer than an average upset stomach or mild infection. Most people think that the digestive tract only consists of the stomach, which stores and breaks down food, as well as the small and large intestines, which take the waste out of our systems through urine and feces. But it’s more than just that. The mouth and esophagus are also part of the digestive tract and problems within can make things difficult and painful down the line. While researchers have been researching Crohn’s disease for several decades, they have no undisputed answer on the cause of this disease. This article will take you on a journey through the history, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Crohn’s disease as well as what the future holds. According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, as many as 700,000 people in the United States suffer from Crohn’s disease while 3 million total have some sort of IBD. That is equivalent to the number of people living in Washington D.C.

 

Understanding Crohn’s Disease

 

Crohn’s disease was first described by Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in 1932 with the assistance of Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer. Crohn was born in 1884 in New York City as one of 12 children. He became a doctor because of the sympathy he had for his father who suffered terrible digestion problems. Crohn was part of an enormous group of doctors who joined many reputable medical schools at the beginning of the 20th century, graduating from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1907. At the university, he earned an M.A., Ph.D., and an MD  for his research on an intra-abdominal hemorrhage. He could not pay the high cost ($35) for the former two degrees because he did not want to ask his father for the money. He spent 2.5 years as an intern at the illustrious Mount Sinai Hospital, one of only 8 interns selected from 120 candidates. He found humor in his chosen profession which he quoted in his biography saying, “It has been my misfortune (or perhaps my fortune) to spend most of my professional life as a student of constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes I could wish to have chosen the ear, nose, and throat as a specialty rather than the tail end of the human anatomy.”

 

Most gastroenterologists of the time were surgeons, but Crohn’s research was such that he joined the American Gastroenterological Association in 1917, having been mentored by Dr. William J. Mayo whose clinic remains one of the foremost bodies of American medical knowledge more than 100 years later. Although he was married with two children, Crohn was consumed with his work and his patients, with daily and nightly house calls. Perhaps even more important was his work on “Affections of the Stomach” which he published in 1928. He worked with Dr. Jesse Shaprio at Mount Sinai who suffered from IBD himself. Crohn found that many Jews had the condition and, since Mount Sinai admitted many of them, he found plenty of patients to study. He ended up as the first head of Mount Sinai’s Gastroenterology Clinic and was associated with the hospital for 60 years. He joined the efforts of surgeon Dr. A. A. Berg along with Ginzburg and Oppenheimer to start a project dedicated to bowel tumors and strictures. Their combined research allowed Crohn to present a paper to the American Gastroenterological Association in May 1932 in Atlantic City called “Non-specific Granuloma of the Intestine” followed by a second called “Terminal Ileitis: A new clinical entity”. Crohn preferred the term regional ileitis because he believed it only existed in the distal part of the small intestine and was worried people would assume it was fatal when they saw the word “terminal”. Soon after, the term Crohn’s disease became the catch-all for any terminal or regional enteritis. Crohn did not want the “honor” but his colleagues insisted.

 

The history of the disease is recorded as far back as 850 AD, affecting England’s King Alfred. The populace believed that he was being punished for his sins, but the presence of fistulas and pain from eating speaks otherwise. About 150 years before Crohn’s disease got its name, an Italian physician named Giovanni Battista Morgagni described the disease in 1761. Crohn officially retired in 1948 but continued practicing medicine well into his mid-90s. He passed away on July 29, 1983, 11 months short of his 100th birthday. In his final year, his friends, family, and colleagues began the creation of the Burrill B. Crohn Research Foundation at Mount Sinai Hospital.

 

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

 

Crohn’s disease has troubled doctors and researchers for decades because an exact cause can’t be found, which limits their ability to fully treat it. Poor diet habits together with high levels of stress were the original leading cause for the health issue, but over the years those have come to be thought of as factors that aggravate the condition, not cause it. Two factors that stand out in today’s research are heredity and a malfunctioning immune system.  Like many major diseases, if someone in your family has suffered from Crohn’s disease, there is a much higher chance that you will too. Anytime you go to a new doctor, this should be one of the first things you inform them of when filling out a family history chart. That way if any of these symptoms do manifest, your doctor will have a knowledge base from which to proceed. Despite believing that genetics plays a fundamental part, currently, doctors can’t predict who will get Crohn’s disease based on family history.

 

Another leading theory is that an invalid response by the body’s immune system can cause Crohn’s disease to develop. The theory suggests that some bacteria or viruses can trigger Crohn’s disease by causing an abnormal immune system response when the body is fighting it off. The response causes the immune system to attack its own cells in the digestive tract, leading to the inflammation. Crohn’s disease attacks people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, however, these characteristics are thought of as leading to a greater chance of getting the condition.

 

  • Geography: People who live in urban/industrialized areas are more likely to develop Crohn’s disease than those living in rural areas. This suggests that diets full of refined foods or heavy in fat are more likely to trigger Crohn’s disease, while people eating diets that are more fresh and free from additional chemicals are more likely to avoid it.
  • Family History: Although plenty of people get Crohn’s disease without a single relative suffering the same, as many as 1 in 5 people with Crohn’s disease (20%) have a relative who also has it.  Between 1.5% and 28% of people with IBD have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) that have an IDB as well.
  • Smoking: Like many other diseases, smoking augments the severity of Crohn’s disease and is the single most controllable risk for developing it. No one can make you stop smoking, but if you are experiencing the initial signs of Crohn’s disease, it is the best thing you can do for yourself.
  • Ethnicity: One of the most frustrating parts of Crohn’s disease is the randomness it seems to possess in who it strikes. Caucasians are the highest risk group, particularly those of Eastern European Jewish descent. However, African-Americans and people of African descent that live in the United Kingdom have seen their numbers consistently rise over the past decades when it comes to developing Crohn’s disease.
  • Age: Another rarity. Anyone at any age can Crohn’s disease, but it is usually diagnosed before the age of 30, suggesting it is tied to growth and maturity. It is among the rare diseases where your chance of developing it lessens as you get older.
  • Ingesting anti-inflammatory medications: Nonsteroidal medicines that include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, diclofenac, etc., can lead to inflammation of the bowels, which worsens Crohn’s disease. If you have the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, do your best to avoid the likes of Aleve, Advil, Voltaren, Motrin IB, etc.

 

What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

 

As Crohn’s disease begins to take hold of a person’s body, they will experience abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, and severe diarrhea. It does not follow a set pattern as Crohn’s disease can affect different parts of the digestive tract for different people. While there are many similarities, it is rare for two cases to be exactly alike. Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract that spreads deeper and deeper in the bowel tissue of the affected areas. Normal medicines can lessen the intensity of the pain, but the infection runs too deep for them to be able to do much more. These symptoms can be extremely painful, embarrassing for those who suffer from fatigue or severe diarrhea, and debilitating, making the sufferer miss days, weeks, or even months of work or school while seeking treatment and learning how to cope. The most commonly affected parts of the body for someone suffering from Crohn’s disease are the small intestine and the colon. The biggest problem with diagnosing Crohn’s disease early on and starting treatment for it is that many of its symptoms are similar to a host of other maladies, including:

 

  • Cases of diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain/cramping
  • Appearance of blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Fistulas around the anus causing pain or drainage

 

In most cases, the appearance of one or even a few of these symptoms could be attributed to any number of infections or viruses. A good doctor will rule out those first, often with a simple medication plan. If progress is not made, then the potential of Crohn’s disease heightens. The surefire symptoms that demand a trip to the doctor include: blood in your stool, multiple episodes of diarrhea that don’t stop with the application of over-the-counter medications; a fever that lasts more than two days without an explanation; losing weight without meaning to or without a proper explanation (food poisoning, a stomach bug, etc.) Loss of appetite, undereating, and fatigue are all signs of malnutrition. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrients from the food you eat, it is difficult for it to fight off illnesses and infections. Left untreated, the symptoms of Crohn’s disease become extremely serious, including:

 

  • Inflammation of the liver and/or bile ducts
  • Inflammation of joints
  • Inflammation of eyes
  • Inflammation of skin
  • In children, delayed growth and/or sexual development

 

What is the Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease?

 

When one or more of the symptoms persist and your physician has ruled out more pedestrian causes, attention must focus on the possibility of Crohn’s disease as the cause. Different symptoms can mean different types of Crohn’s or even a different type of IBD. Types of Crohn’s disease include:

 

  • Ileocolitis: This is the most common form of Crohn’s disease. It affects both intestines – the end of the small intestine, which is also known as the terminal ileum. Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramping, pain in the middle and lower-right abdomen, and significant weight loss.
  • Ileitis: This type of Crohn’s disease only affects the ileum. Its symptoms are generally the same as ileocolitis. In severe cases, fistulas and inflammatory abscesses can appear in the lower right part of the abdomen.
  • Gastroduodenal Crohn’s Disease: Affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine which is known as the duodenum. Symptoms can include weight loss, loss of appetite, frequent vomiting, frequent fits of nausea.
  • Jejunoileitis: This type of Crohn’s disease affects the jejunum, which is the upper half of the small intestine. Patchy areas of inflammation in the upper half of the jejunum are typical of this type of Crohn’s disease. Symptoms are not as severe in this form, but no less important to have diagnosed. They include mild-to-intensive pain or cramps following meals in your stomach or abdomen; bouts of diarrhea; fistulas forming long term in severe cases or if the inflammation goes a long time without being treated.
  • Crohn’s Granulomatous Colitis: This type affects only the colon. Typical symptoms are diarrhea, rectal bleeding, conditions around the anus that include ulcers, fistulas, and abscess, and joint pain, or skin lesions.

 

No single test confirms a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Other conditions have the same symptoms, including bacterial infections, so it might take some time to actually get the diagnosis despite days, weeks, or months of the symptoms.

 

What Can You Expect From Your Doctor?

 

The first thing a doctor will do is to do a standard physical exam of your entire body including questions on your family history, daily routine as well as diet and nutrition. Answering all of these completely and honestly will allow your physician to rule out or narrow in on certain maladies a lot quicker. Diagnostic tests will come in the form of blood draws and stool samples. These can eliminate the presence of a lot of diseases and focus in on what might be the case. If those are inconclusive, most doctors will likely perform X-rays on your upper and lower GI tract, looking for things like inflammation and ulcers. A contrast test might also be ordered to see the clear difference between what should be there and what should not. Remember to bring a friend or family member with you to these appointments, as it can be overwhelming to go through all the possibilities and potential diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. As the tests progress, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company and let them know what is going on so they can give you information on what tests are covered and which might not be. Make sure to write down as much information as you can with your doctor and ask questions that you don’t understand.

 

If the initial X-rays are not successful in narrowing down the issue, your doctor might recommend an endoscopy. This is a procedure done by putting a tiny camera mounted with a light to look at your GI tract and intestines. They are much more invasive than chest X-rays, but many technological advancements have made it much more tolerable. A GI doctor can use a bit of local anesthesia and a small camera to deaden your throat and disable your gag reflex. This allows the GI to view your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine, known as the duodenum, looking for tell-tale signs of inflammation or ulcers.

 

A second endoscopy is a bit more of a chore. Also known as a colonoscopy, it requires the total evacuation of your GI tract before doctors can take a look. This means you’ll take medicine to clear it out, which will induce quite a few trips to the bathroom and be none too pleasant. This procedure usually requires drinking a liquid that acts as a fairly extreme form of laxative and will require you to take time off from work or school for at least a day while its effects take place. Once you get to the medical facility, you will be given anesthesia to knock you out, which is a good thing as the camera will enter through your rectum and move up to look at your colon. If there are any unusual structures present in either endoscopy, doctors might want to collect a biopsy of your colon or another area. This is done by using a tool to remove a small bit of tissue from inside the intestine or inside some other part of your GI tract for analysis. There is zero pain associated with a biopsy.

 

During the colonoscopy, the doctor might want to do another procedure known as a chromoendoscopy. In this procedure, a blue liquid is sprayed into the colon. It reveals slight changes in the lining of your intestine which can be polyps or other changes that are believed to be precancerous. This means they might be precursors to changes to your body that can become cancer cells. If polyps are discovered, they can be removed and a biopsy is taken to determine if they are benign or malignant. If the blue liquid is used, bowel movements will have a definitive blue tinge to them for the next few days.

 

There are some parts of your small intestine that cannot be seen during either colonoscopy or endoscopy. This requires small intestine imaging which works using an oral contrast – something you drink – in conjunction with computer tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI). As radical as it sounds, this can involve swallowing a camera that size and shape of a bill which then takes pictures of your small intestine and bowel as it moves through your GI tract. It is harmlessly expelled during a future bowel movement. If parts of the intestine are too hard to reach, a balloon endoscopy can be used. It’s not a real balloon, but the concept is the same. The displacement of the structure with an air-filled object creates space for the camera to get in close and record.

 

What is Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI)?

 

The Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) is a research tool that allows researchers, doctors, and patients to quantify how painful symptoms of Crohn’s disease are at any given time. It was first developed by W.R. Best and his colleagues at Illinois’s Midwest Regional Health Center in 1976. The index has eight factors that it considers, each weighted and then added together to reveal a final score. The CDAI helps major studies diagnose how well the medicine is effective for people suffering from Crohn’s disease. It is excellent for determining the quality of life for Crohn’s disease sufferers to give doctors a good grasp on how much pain a person can endure before their quality of life really begins to suffer. The eight variables involved in the CDAI are:

 

  • Percentage deviation from standard weight
  • Hematocrit of <0.47 (men) and 0.42 (women)
  • Presence of abdominal mass (0 if none, 2 if questionable, 5 if definite)
  • Is the patient taking Lomotil or opiates to reduce bouts of diarrhea?
  • How is the patient feeling in general on a scale from 0 (well) to 4 (terrible). This is accounted for every day for seven days straight.
  • Presence of complications
  • Abdominal pain graded from 0 (none) to 3 (severe) for seven days straight.
  • A recording of the number of liquid or soft stools for seven straight days.

 

These eight factors are all assigned different weights, with the presence of complications and taking of Lomotil or opiates getting the highest weights (x30 and x20). Points are also added for things like joint pain, inflammation of the irus, anal fistulas, and fissures, a fever, etc. When all of this information is tallied a number, usually three digits are presented. If a person has a score of more than 450, they are considered to have severe Crohn’s disease and actions are taken accordingly. If the CDAI is less than 150, a person is considered to be in remission. If a person’s CDAI score drops 70 or more points be responding to treatment. A working version of the CDAI scale can be found here. Although it is very helpful, the CDAI has also been met with some criticism. The fact that it does not consider the typical quality of life, fatigue, endoscopic factors, protein loss, or other systemic features.

 

What are the Complications of Crohn’s Disease?

 

Similar to many other severe diseases, the lack of treatment of Crohn’s disease or the worsening of it despite treatment can lead to several other complicated illnesses, some of them life-threatening. They include:

 

  • Bowel obstruction: When Crohn’s disease inflames the digestive tract it can thicken the intestinal wall, which causes parts of the bowel to develop scar tissue and begin to narrow, making for irregular bowel movements. If the passage becomes too narrow it will actually block the flow of your digestive system, causing its contents to become stuck and form a barrier of their own. This will start as constipation but will eventually become obvious that something more severe is going on as treatments are applied. Surgery, usually done quickly after the diagnosis is made, will be required to remove the part of your bowel that has become scarred. If the bowel obstruction is complete, it requires emergency surgery. This sort of surgery is done under general anesthesia, meaning you are asleep for the procedure and will not feel any pain as it is performed. A surgeon makes a cut into the belly to see the intestines. Sometimes this is done laparoscopically to minimize how much cutting has to be done. From there, the surgeon will find the part of your intestines that is blocked and unblock it. This is not the extent of the procedure, however. If any part of the bowel is damaged, it must either be removed or replaced. This is known as bowel resection. If it is removed, the healthy “ends” on either side of the removed section are connected together, using either staples or stitches, which can either dissolve or be removed with another procedure, this one much more likely to involve laparoscopy. There are some incidences where the ends cannot be connected because such a large part of the intestine has to be removed. When this happens, the surgeon brings out one end through an opening in the abdominal wall via a colostomy or ileostomy. The key is to perform the surgery before blood flow in the bowel is affected. The surgery has many risks including more scar tissue forming, damage to nearby organs, and more bowel obstructions.
  • Ulcers: When parts of the body are chronically inflamed, they lead to open sores that do not heal like normal. These are called ulcers and can be found almost anywhere in your body, inside or out. For people suffering from Crohn’s disease, they can be found in the mouth, the anus, the stomach, or in the genital area. Ulcers along the GI tract are often the first sign of the disease, although since they are undetectable except in the mouth, for most people, they are often missed until other symptoms form. Ulcers can also form in your duodenum, appendix, small intestine, and colon. A similar condition, known as ulcerative colitis, only forms in the colon and is not as serious as Crohn’s disease. If an ulcer breaks through the intestinal wall it can form a fistula, a connection between the intestine and the skin or different parts of the intestine. This is a very dangerous condition that may lead to food bypassing your bowels or even bowels draining onto your skin. If they develop into abscesses they can be life-threatening. Ulcers can also cause a person to become anemic if there is more than one of them in the small intestine or the colon. This can cause frequent loss of blood and can require surgery.
  • Anal Fissure: This is a small tear in the tissue of your anus or the skin around it that can become infected. It results in painful bowel movements. It can heal naturally, but left untreated threatens to come to a perianal fistula.
  • Malnutrition: Anyone suffering from diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping is likely to not be getting enough nutrients into their body for proper function. Common results are anemia from not intaking enough iron or enough B-12. If the small intestine is inflamed, it can cause problems with digesting food and absorbing nutrients. If the problem is in the large intestine, including the rectum and the colon, the problems include the body’s inability to absorb water and electrolytes. What causes malnutrition? There are several ways that it can form. One that most people have experienced over the course of their lifetimes is severe diarrhea. Have you ever had food poisoning that resulted in multiple incidents of bad diarrhea or vomiting? The next time you step on a scale you might be astonished to see that you have lost several pounds in a single day, maybe even as many as 10 or 12! When your body detects something in your GI tract, it makes every effort to evacuate it one way or another. This results in the body using fluids to transport the foreign elements out of the system and can lead to dehydration as fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and sodium get ejected along with it.   Other causes of malnutrition include abdominal pain and nausea. If you’re a woman who has ever been pregnant and dealt with morning sickness, you know how these feel, and when they strike, eating is the last thing on your mind. However, it also makes it tough for your body to gather sufficient nutrients and the correct number of calories, which makes it weaken over time. Rectal bleeding, both painful and embarrassing, also causes malnutrition because the ulcers in your intestines are leading to deficiencies. Frequent trips to the bathroom can also cause malnutrition because people will seek to cut down on this habit by eating less to avoid embarrassment. But cutting back on your body’s calorie intake can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. An even tougher pill to swallow is that certain IDB medicine damages your ability to say nourished. Prednisone, which is a common corticosteroid, can cause a decrease in healthy muscle mass over long-term use. Other treatments, like sulfasalazine and methotrexate, can interfere with the absorption of folic acid, which is crucial in healthy cell growth.
  • Colon cancer: The “Big C” rears its ugly head in association with Crohn’s disease, unfortunately. Having Crohn’s disease increases your risk of colon cancer. People without a family history of Crohn’s disease or colon cancer are advised to get a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 to check. If you have a family history, ask a doctor about having it done sooner and more frequently. Colon cancer starts in the colon or rectum when cells grow abnormally. Most starts as a growth called a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. There are two types of polyps: Adenomatous and Hyperplastic/Inflammatory. The latter are generally not cancerous and are more common. The former sometimes change into cancer. If they are larger than 1 cm, this is more often the case, or if more than two are found. A condition called dysplasia also is a warning sign of cancer. This means that after the polyp is removed, there are areas in the polyp or in the lining that don’t look normal, suggesting they are cancerous in origin.
  • Other health problems: Any number of maladies can befall someone stricken by Crohn’s disease. How it affects the rest of the body is different from person to person. Common problems can include anemia, skin disorders, arthritis, liver disease, and gallbladder disease.
  • Malabsorption: A complication of malnutrition, it makes it difficult for vital nutrients such as fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, and proteins to make it through the small intestine. Inflammation of the intestines, a symptom of  Crohn’s disease, can also make this possible.
  • Decreased Bone Strength: A complication of malnutrition, it increases your risk of bone fractures. If your body is not getting enough Vitamin D, is not absorbing enough calcium, or you have long-term inflammation, this is more likely to happen.
  • Growth Delays: A dangerous complication for kids suffering from  Crohn’s disease is a lack of growth due to IBD. About one-third of kids with  Crohn’s disease and 1/10th of those with ulcerative colitis in the US will be shorter than expected. Children with either of these diseases should have a dietitian consulted by their parents.

 

What is the Treatment for Crohn’s Disease?

 

Hearing that there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease can be a debilitating blow to people suffering from it. However, developments in therapy allow for the ability to greatly reduce it symptoms and even invoke long-term remission in some patients. Given proper treatment and with a commitment by the sufferer, people afflicted with Crohn’s disease can function well and lead a long, healthy life. The good news is that if one treatment option does not work well, there are others to try. It’s a balancing act for most people, and the need to titrate that balance between medicine, changes to their diet and nutrition routines, and sometimes surgical procedures is the best way forward to getting on track and healthy.

 

  • Medication: Medication is what most people think about when they get sick, and such is the case here. Medicine for Crohn’s disease is designed to suppress the response of your immune system to the inflamed parts of your GI tract. Suppressing that inflammation can go a long way to reducing the pain from fever, pain, and diarrhea. It also gives your body time to heal up. The medication can help you avoid flare-ups (see below) and extended periods of remission to great and greater lengths of time. We’ll talk about remission later in this book.
  • Combination Therapy: Combination therapy is exactly what it sounds like; using more than one source of treatment to get Crohn’s disease under control. This sort of treatment can also up the risk of side effects or even toxicity, so your doctor needs to analyze both you and the treatment plan to see what makes the most sense.
  • Diet & Nutrition: The amount of diseases that get dramatically better when one starts to make drastic changes in their diet and nutrition habits is truly astounding. Good nutrition via eating the right kinds of foods for your specific form of Crohn’s disease can really lessen the painful symptoms of the disease and prevent flare-ups. Understanding your body’s needs in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals can give you a great education on why you’re developing certain side effects and how to lessen their effect. Much like when you get food poisoning or an upset stomach, reverting to a bland diet – the universally known Bananas, Apple Sauce, Rice, Toast (BRAT) method is a great way to lessen the discomfort that may occur when eating spicy foods or those that cause flare-ups.
  • Surgery: No one wants to have a surgery especially in an area as sensitive as your GI tract. However, statistics say that as many as 66%-75% of people with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point. That number is daunting, but since most people don’t understand or can identify that they have Crohn’s disease until they have suffered inflammation of the intestines. Surgery is necessary when medications are not working or if the inflammation has turned into an obstruction, fissure, or fistula, that is not allowing your intestines or anus to work correctly. As mentioned earlier, these surgeries include removing a diseased portion of the bowel, known as resection, and taking the remaining healthy portions and moving them together (anastomosis). Although this sort of surgery can make a huge difference and send someone suffering from Crohn’s disease into remission, it is not a cure. Post-surgery statistics show that 30% of patients that have surgery related to Crohn’s disease have a return of symptoms within three years, and as many as 60% have a return of symptoms within 10 years.

 

How Can You Avoid and Contain Crohn’s Disease Flare-ups?

 

Flare-ups are an unfortunate but expected part of suffering from Crohn’s disease. Very rare are the patients who are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, get treatment, and they are in remission for the rest of their lives. Eventually, a flare-up will come to any Crohn’s disease sufferer. Being prepared and understanding the causes is very important to keep a flare-up from becoming a longer-term suffering session. When a flare-up does happen, sufferers of Crohn’s disease must be on their guard to take care of themselves but also to identify possible causes of the flare-up. Doing so will make it much easier to avoid them in the future.

 

The first thing to check on when you have a flare-up is your recent diet. Lots of foods can exacerbate your GI tract and cause inflammation anywhere along the tract, from your mouth to your intestines. Foods that contain spices like garlic, chili powder, onions, paprika, and so on are among the types of food that can easily agitate the digestive tract and cause inflammation that can cause severe pain and severe diarrhea. A great way to pinpoint what foods might be causing the flare-up is to keep a food diary in which you record everything you eat. This way you can really target foods that when consumed are followed by a flare-up. It might not even be food but an actual ingredient that causes the flare-up. Knowing what foods cause these symptoms in you makes it easy to avoid them. If you are struggling to define what foods are safe for you and which ones trigger your Crohn’s disease, ask a doctor about the possibility of consulting a dietician about the matter.

 

If you’ve ruled food out as a probable cause of a flare-up, your next best bet is to analyze your patterns for taking medicine. Skipping a dose, taking the wrong dosage, or even taking pills at different times than normal can trigger a reaction or lessen the potency of the drug’s effectiveness at quelling your Crohn’s disease symptoms. If you are an adult or a teenager, the only person who can make you take your pills on time and in the correct dosage is you. If you are a parent of a child with Crohn’s disease, you must ensure they are taking the exact dosage at the exact time each day. If you are finding your current dose to not be taking good enough care of your symptoms, you must contact your doctor, explain what is going on, and work with them to find a solution or possibly change the medication itself, how often you take it, when you take it, or the dosage you are taking. Doctors want to help you find that healthy medium between being too drugged up and being in too much pain.

 

If it’s not your Crohn’s disease medication bothering you, it might be another form of medication, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Despite that tongue-twister of a name, these are some of the most well-known drugs in the world with more common names like aspirin and ibuprofen. Unfortunately for sufferers of Crohn’s disease, these analgesics also have painful side effects that can irritate the bowel and kick up inflammation quickly. If you suffer from frequent fevers, headaches, or other body pain, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take acetaminophen (commonly found in Tylenol) to avoid the NSAIDs.

 

Another medicine that can cause flare-ups are antibiotics, frequently prescribed to treat bacterial infections. If you’ve ever been prescribed antibiotics, you’ll know that the doctor, the nurse, and the pharmacist will all insist you take them with food to lessen the chance of an upset stomach. This still happens in even the healthiest of people because it changes the balance of the bacteria in your intestines. That can cause diarrhea, and when diarrhea appears in the tract of someone suffering from Crohn’s disease, it can spell trouble.

 

If your diet is good and you are avoiding medicines that are known to cause flare-ups, there are still two more places to look among the likeliest causes. The first is if you are a smoker. Look, we all know that smoking is bad for you for any number of reasons, increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, and lung cancer among others. That same risk holds true for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. Introducing smoke and tobacco to your digestive system is one of the worst ideas you can have. If you are tempted to smoke while going through Crohn’s disease, be aware that you are much more likely to need surgery because of it. One other cause of flare-ups is increased stress. Stress was originally thought of as one of the causes of Crohn’s disease, but in fact, it is more commonly believed to be an agitator of the disease. If you are struggling with stress and can feel it spilling over into you Crohn’s disease, consult a doctor on how to incorporate stress-management techniques. If your need is immediate, things like taking a warm bath or a long shower can help relax your muscles. Other ideas are to exercise or simply take a walk to pull out the strain from muscles you did not even know you were clinching. You can also try yoga or meditation, for which there are thousands of online resources to get you started.

 

What Can You Do When You Have a Crohn’s Disease Flare-Up?

 

It’s hard not to feel stress and/or panic when you have a flare-up of your Crohn’s disease. Some last a day, some for a week, and some a month as it really depends on the person, the circumstances, and how well they are able to handle it. Although it has no true healing powers, a positive frame of mind that this condition is temporary and that you will improve can greatly affect the mindset of a person suffering a flare-up.

 

  • Maintain a healthy diet: It could very well be something you ate that is driving you into a flare-up, but that does not mean you should stop eating or try some radical purge diet. Proper nutrition is the essential foundation of dealing with Crohn’s disease on a day-in, day-out basis. If you have bouts of diarrhea that drain your body of fluid, adjust accordingly by increasing your fluid intake and eating bland foods that are much less likely to have spicy ingredients or high concentrations of fat that can lead to more inflammation.
  • Stay regular with your diagnostic tests: When you are first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and your doctor provides you with prescriptions and treatment plans, part of that plan should be regular scheduled diagnostic tests to see how your body is faring. If you have a flare-up, call your doctor and let them know about it, as well as any guesses on your part on what could have caused it. The doctor might want to move up a diagnostic test to see what sort of side effects are occurring and why you had the flare-up, this can allow the doctor to analyze what is causing it and how to prevent it from happening again.
  • Set up a support system: No one should have to go through any disease along, particularly one like Crohn’s disease that has so many miserable side effects. No matter your age, your marital status, or what you do for a living, you’ll need a network of friends and family you can rely on for emotional and physical support when you suffer a flare-up. This will involve an initial period where you let them know what you are suffering from and give them transparency and knowledge about what Crohn’s disease is and what it does to people. While it can be very embarrassing, the more open and honest you are with the people who care about you, the easier it will be to reach out when you need help. This can be anything as simple as driving to the doctor or as serious as picking your kids up at school because you have to go to the emergency room. Other times, it’s just someone who can lend an ear and talk when you are frustrated by the flare-up in particular or what the future might bring. Make sure at least one member of your support network works or lives close-by in case of an emergency.
  • Maintain a great relationship with your doctor: We all get how busy most people are. You find a doctor, get your prescriptions filled, and see them again in 6-12 months. That’s not how things work when you’re battling against Crohn’s disease. Having a doctor you know, trust, and feel confident about in his or her ability to accurately and honestly get you on the right path from the get-go. This extends past your primary care physician as well. Getting on good terms with his or her office staff front desk, nurses, any other physicians, such as a dietician or a counselor can have enormous benefits down the line.
  • Respect your prescribed treatment: Too many people get into their heads that they know the best overtime on how their treatment should go. These are the types that end up altering their dosage, not taking medicine at the right time, or not taking it altogether. Doctors aren’t just diagnosing you to hear themselves think. They are using all the tools at their disposal to make you feel better and let your body heal. Consider that the next time you don’t feel like taking a pill.
  • Try Corticosteroids: This medication is often prescribed to treat flare-ups for the short term. They are not recommended over a long period of time as patients can either get addicted to them or become resistant to them.
  • Get better sleep:  Research has shown that patients with Crohn’s disease are more likely to have relapses if they do not get enough sleep at night. The poor sleeping in a study of 3,173 adult patients with IBD found that many 60% of patients suffering from flare-ups reported poor sleep, linking it to the likes of depression, tobacco use, and use of corticosteroids.

 

What is Remission Like with Crohn’s Disease?

 

Remission is the stage of Crohn’s disease where the symptoms go dormant. The inflammation which infects your digestive tract goes away and the damage to your bowel, colon, and other parts of the GI tract ceases. Your immune system stops attacking your own body and returns to its normal functioning. During this time, you will notice fatigue and pain diminishing and you will cease having bouts of severe diarrhea. Diagnostic blood tests by your doctor will likely show your inflammation levels have returned to normal and lesions found in your bowel, colon, stomach, anus, esophagus, and mouth will close and start to heal. No one can say what causes remission or how long it lasts, but it clearly is a cycle. After the first flare that triggers the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease, about 10%-20% of patients report long-term remission. This statistic is on the uptrend thanks to advance studies and research that better prepare doctors and patients to deal with Crohn’s disease more rapidly and effectively. There are several types of remission associated with Crohn’s disease, with accompanying characteristics. They are:

 

  • Clinical remission: This means you have zero symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease at the time. This can happen naturally or it can be the result of the diligent taking of medicine. Note that if your remission is a result of taking corticosteroids, it’s not really considered remission, mostly because these drugs are meant only for short-term use as they can become addictive or the body can become resistant to them.
  • Endoscopic remission: This means your doctor does not find any sign of disease when he checks your colon during an endoscopy. If there is no inflammation and no lesions or polyps are present. This can also be termed as deep healing or mucosal healing. It does not really guarantee remission however, as there is a lot more to Crohn’s disease than simply what is going on in the colon. Inflammation can occur anywhere on the GI tract, but the colon is a major part of this.. Nevertheless, the colon is a major player in the disease and is one of the most painful parts of the process, so a clean bill of health there is worth celebrating.
  • Histologic remission: This term refers to the condition where cells are removed from your colon during endoscopy and tested as normal under a microscope. This indicates there is no presence of cancer nor inflammation commonly associated with Crohn’s disease. This remission is discovered when a follow-up to a surgical procedure is done and a lack of disease activity is found, especially is the procedure involved an ileocolonic resection, which is the most common surgery associated with Crohn’s disease. In this procedure, the area where the small and large intestines meet each other, known as the terminal ileum, is removed.
  • Biochemical remission: Blood and excrement do not contain substances that signal the presence of inflammation. This is proven by blood tests and stool samples.

 

The path to remission is different for every Crohn’s disease patient, which can make it all the more vexing when you have a much harder time than someone else in achieving it. Doctors will try lots of different medications to get you going, while others will try more aggressive routes. Here are some of the routes that your doctor might take in his or her pursuit of remission for you.

 

Medications

 

Medicine is the obvious first choice for any sufferer of Crohn’s disease. Drugs have been tested for years before gaining approval from the Federal Drug Association (FDA) and most side effects are known. Since there is no real known cause for Crohn’s disease, patients are more than likely to be put on more than one drug at a time in order to titrate a cocktail that works for you. The goals in taking medications for Crohn’s disease include reducing chronic symptoms like pain and diarrhea, helping intestines heal from the damage that the inflammation has caused, and ease the inflammation itself. The following drugs are all used to fight Crohn’s disease:

 

Steroids

 

  • Prednisone: Also used to treat arthritis, blood disorders, severe allergies, breathing problems, eye problems, and cancer, it is the most well-known corticosteroids. It decreases the immune system’s response time. Is addictive, and the body can also start to resist its effects if taken for too long.

 

Drugs to Slow Down Your Immune System

 

Vigilant immune systems are a big cause of Crohn’s disease, although no one has been able to figure out why. Slowing the reaction and response time of the immune system can limit the inflammation damage it does on your GI tract. These drugs include:

 

  • Azathioprine: Commonly used to prevent organ rejection in people that have had a kidney transplant. Also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It’s an immunosuppressant that weakens the immune system. It can be taken by injection or by mouth.
  • Cyclosporine: Used to prevent organ rejection for people who have had a liver, kidney, or heart transplant. Is taken orally once per day.
  • Mercaptopurine: This drug is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells, slowing their growth and spread across the body. It is largely used to take on leukemia. It has rough side effects that are fairly similar to Crohn’s disease, including nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, as well as temporary hair loss, mouth sores or pain, and symptoms of liver disease.
  • Methotrexate: It is classified as an antimetabolite that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells and suppressing the immune system. It is often used to stop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and comes in tablet form. It is a strong medication that requires lots of water consumption to get it out of the kidneys.

 

TNF Inhibitors

 

TNF Inhibitors are drugs that help stop inflammation. In addition to Crohn’s disease, they are useful for fighting rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis. The three most frequently used with Crohn’s disease are:

 

  • Adalimumab: Used to reduce pain and spelling in arthritis, it also is used in certain skin conditions. It works by blocking a protein found in the immune system that causes joint swelling and red, scaly patches.
  • Certolizumab: Also used to kill tumors, it can defeat a certain type of spine condition in addition to treating Crohn’s to a degree and battling arthritis.
  • Infliximab: A champion for chronic plaque psoriasis, it also treats Crohn’s disease and arthritis. It works by blocking the tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the body. It also decreases swelling while weakening the immune system.

 

Doctors typically start with mild drugs and then move into more strong ones to try and get you into remission. If your Crohn’s disease is atypically severe when you are first diagnosed, the opposite might be true and treatment will start with stronger drugs, drifting toward milder ones once you are in remission.

 

Surgery

 

If drugs or steroids aren’t working for you, or if your Crohn’s disease is particularly severe by the time it is first diagnosed, doctors might skip the drug regiment altogether and head straight for surgery. Up to 50% of all people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease will need surgery at some time in their life. The most common surgery will see a doctor remove parts of your intestine where there is too much damage for it to function properly. They then use staples or stitches to reconnect the healthy areas. After this kind of procedure, you will be out of commission for a while, and it might take several months before you feel completely normal again.

 

After the surgery, you will be fed through a feeding tube with liquid food or even have it injected into your veins to give your bowel the chance to both heal and rest. Once the intestines are determined to be rested and ready to return to active duty, you will be encouraged to eat a low-fiber diet in order to make your body conducive to smaller stools that reduce the risk of bowel blockage. Within a month to four months, you should start seeing the real results of such a procedure.

 

Understanding Crohn’s Disease in Children

 

Parents fear any type of health issue for their children, but being diagnosed with a problem, particularly one with no known cure can open up a lot of feelings of panic for both children and their parents. Since most people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are 30 years old or younger, it stands to reason that it affects many children. And because it can cause malnutrition and other problems that affect growth and development, learning about Crohn’s disease can’t be understated for parents. The best way to talk to your child about having Crohn’s disease is to tell them in a language they can understand that involves the whole family, their doctors, their school, etc. Having a prepared, informed child will make what is to come much easier on them and reduce a lot of their fears of the unknown. If your child is a teenager and more responsible for the food they eat, guiding them in diet and nutrition is a big deal. Honesty is always the best answer for older children on how to manage Crohn’s disease. This is not a temporary condition that has an attainable cure right now. Helping them understand that controlling it will be their responsibility as adults are something that must come into play as well. Clearly, younger children will need more of a hands-on approach. But don’t do everything for them. Unless they are very young, this is a great chance to teach them a gradual taking of responsibility. For younger kids, there are going to be several new events happening that will be either scary or unfamiliar that you can help them transition into. These include:

 

Taking Medication

 

For younger children, being sick usually means taking a cough syrup or something similar for a few days and then feeling better. For children with Crohn’s disease, this can elevate to taking pills, getting injections, or sitting during lengthy intravenous transfusions. Taking medication over a long period of time is a new thing for most children. Many will fear it, even something as simple as swallowing pills. Start by introducing them to the medicine – what it looks like, how to take it without chewing it, and explain what the medicine. Let them know that the medicine is the bridge between them feeling bad and having to stay home feeling sick and them feeling good and being able to get out and enjoy some of their favorite pastimes.

 

It’s also important to remember that children don’t have as good as memories as we do, especially when it comes to remembering what days certain things are taking place. Well into elementary school plenty of kids don’t always know the day of the week or the time of the day without consulting a grownup. That’s why a family calendar with dates marked for medications is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. Make a big deal out of each pill swallowed and appointment completed. Praise is important. When your child feels they are doing the right thing to battle their illness, they will feel better about themselves.

 

Also, be aware that different medicines do different things and have different side effects. Make your child know that their feelings are important and valid. Ask them how the medicine is making them feel. Better or the same? Explain to them what side effects are and let them know that there are no wrong answers here. If the medicine is making them feel bad, they need to let you know, so you can let the doctor know. Medicine not working is not a sign of defeat, it just means that it’s not the right medicine for them.

 

Emotional Support

 

Emotional support is the best medicine for kids diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. It’s not a one-time conversation you have and then move forward with treatment and never talk about it again. Your child is going to have questions as they get older that manifest in many different ways. They will want and need someone to share their thoughts, their fears, and their hopes for the future. The question of “Why me?” is probably going to come up a lot, particularly for children who believe heavily in a particular faith. Some will wonder if the religious figure they worship is punishing them for some wrong they’ve committed. If someone else in the family also suffers from Crohn’s disease, the child might lash out at this relative and blame them for the illness. It is extremely difficult for a child to be different from their peers because of a physical condition, especially when it is one that deals with an already sensitive subject and one that can be rife for bullying at pretty much any age.

 

If it is too much for your child to take or if you are seeing trouble arise with their schoolwork, friends, or other previously healthy relationships, consider consulting a mental health professional, particularly one who specializes in childhood diseases and how to cope with them. Therapy, medication, or counseling (or some combination of the three) could be just what your child needs to get back on track and learn the process of coping with their illness. Older children and teenagers might need a completely different remedy – space and time alone to rationalize their feelings and decide how best to deal with it. This can include time talking to the doctor alone, without parental involvement. This should not be construed as a panic sign, but a positive that your child is taking charge of his or her own care and wants to discuss with a doctor how to cope with certain conditions. Don’t think you as the parent is in charge of every decision being made. Your child is the one with Crohn’s disease, and that will last a lifetime.

 

What is a 504 Accommodation Plan?

 

A 504 accommodation plan, also known as a 504 plan, is a government-approved legally binding document that requires a school to give your child special accommodations due to their disability. It is your job to inform your child’s school of the disability and you’ll be required to give proof of it – a simple doctor’s note will do. The plan covers your child having an unexpected flare-up of Crohn’s disease at school or if they are hospitalized and miss time. Accommodations will vary from child to child, but you must advocate for their rights at all times to ensure the school staff knows exactly what procedures must be followed, particularly in the event of a flare-up. Flare-ups can make anyone feel extremely uncomfortable as it can cause diarrhea or irregular bowel movements. In a school setting, this can be scary, humiliating, and embarrassing for a child, so all precautions must be in place, such as your child having the right to visit the bathroom at any time during the school day without being questioned, or bringing another pair of clothes to school in case of an accident. The school nurse in particular should be made aware of the situation, as she will usually be the most knowledgeable of Crohn’s disease and the best suited to help your child should they have an accident or need help during the day. If your child misses a lot of school for doctor’s appointments or hospital stays, the 504 plan should include provisions to allow them extra time to do assignments or things like take-home tests to give them the time and atmosphere to perform their best.

 

How Can You Handle Your Job When Your Child Has Crohn’s Disease?

 

Most jobs these days make all sorts of allowances for employees when it comes to paid time off (PTO) in the form of sick days and personal days. Having a child with Crohn’s disease can seem like a very personal issue and one that you don’t necessarily want to share with a lot of people, but it is necessary to inform your job, especially our human resources (HR) representative of the situation so you can best handle your responsibilities at work while also being there for your child. Your job will most likely be sympathetic to your child’s needs and do its best to accommodate you when you need to stay home with him or her or if you need to take them to the hospital. However, try and let your job know about planned hospital visits or procedures as far in advance as possible to give them the best chance to schedule someone to do your assigned tasks. If your job allows you to work remotely, try and see if you can make the accommodation for days that you might need to stay home with your child. Do everything possible to do your work, even if it is not at the precise date and time as everyone else in the office. Share your child’s schedule for surgery, blood draws, imaging, or any other scheduled appointment with your supervisor and your HR representative so they can appropriately deduct the time missed from your PTO, sick days, or family leave days, however, your company works it out. The more information that you can give your job about your schedule, the more likely they are to work with you. A company cannot legally fire you for a child’s illness, but if you do not communicate with them on the amount of time you take off, or if you are only informing them of time you need off with very little or no notice, you could find yourself getting dismissed for being unable to perform your duties and an unwillingness to keep an open dialogue.

 

Children’s Health Insurance and Crohn’s Disease

 

Your child is covered by either you or your spouse’s health insurance, but you’ll need more information than that to make sure that your child gets the best care possible. Once a diagnosis has been made by your child’s doctor, set aside some time to call your insurance company, explain the situation, and get all of your questions answered. Your insurance plan will have operating procedures based on the coverage plan you have preselected. These will include a deductible that you will likely have to meet before all expenses are paid for, co-pays for your child’s visits to the doctor, and possibly a number of treatments that are covered as part of the plan. During this meeting, you should also ask questions about prescription medications as well as which brands and drugs are covered under your plan. If certain drugs are too expensive, you can contact drug companies or look for discounts and coupons online. For health issues like Crohn’s disease, manufacturers and discount organizations often work hard to make otherwise unattainable drugs more affordable for suffering patients.

 

 

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Although healthcare professionals today still don’t know the true cause of this health issue, several doctors and researchers believe that factors like poor diet and stress can aggravate the symptoms associated with this health issue. Common symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease can include pain and inflammation. Proper diagnosis and treatment for this health issue are essential because it can lead to a variety of complications, including joint pain and arthritis, among other health issues, if left untreated. Diet and lifestyle modifications, stress management, medication, and surgery, can ultimately help improve Crohn’s disease. For people following several of the previously mentioned treatment options, chiropractic care and physical therapy can also help relieve joint pain and arthritis, among other health issues, associated with inflammation. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

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Does the Brain Need Carbohydrates? https://www.pushasrx.com/does-the-brain-need-carbohydrates/ https://www.pushasrx.com/does-the-brain-need-carbohydrates/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2020 19:39:08 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25518 Image of a group of carbohydrates for brain health.

Our brain is constantly working to help us make decisions, speak, read, and perform many other important functions. It’s also responsible for several involuntary processes, including breathing, regulating body temperature, and secreting hormones. The brain needs a consistent supply of energy in order to perform these essential functions. It mainly uses glucose as fuel for […]

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Image of a group of carbohydrates for brain health.

Our brain is constantly working to help us make decisions, speak, read, and perform many other important functions. It’s also responsible for several involuntary processes, including breathing, regulating body temperature, and secreting hormones. The brain needs a consistent supply of energy in order to perform these essential functions. It mainly uses glucose as fuel for energy, however, does the brain really need glucose from carbohydrates to function properly?

 

What Happens When You Don’t Eat Carbohydrates?

 

According to healthcare professionals, the brain needs between 110 to 145 grams of glucose per day to function properly. Most people who follow a high-carb diet provide their brains with an abundant supply of glucose. However, what happens when you eat less than 110 grams of carbohydrates per day or even no carbs at all? Does your brain starve? Absolutely not! Our muscles and liver store glucose in the form of glycogen, a polysaccharide of glucose.

 

When you don’t eat carbs, glycogen in the liver is broken down into glucose and released into the bloodstream to prevent low blood glucose levels. While more glycogen is stored in the muscles than in the liver, it stays in the muscles to meet their demand for energy and it can’t be broken down and released into the bloodstream to prevent low blood glucose levels. After about 24 to 48 hours without eating carbohydrates, glycogen in the liver is depleted and insulin decreases.

 

The liver will then produce ketones, water-soluble compounds produced by the breakdown of fatty acids. Ketones are produced from the fats you eat or the movement of stored body fat. Ketones can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and enter the bloodstream in order to reach the brain and provide additional energy. This ultimately means that ketones can also be used as fuel for energy when our body is running low on glucose from carbohydrates.

 

Can Your Brain Use Ketones Alone for Energy?

 

Our brain always needs some glucose for energy. However, healthcare professionals have shown that for several people following a ketogenic diet, ketones can be used to meet up to 70 percent of the brain’s energy needs. As for the rest of the brain’s energy needs, your liver can produce the glucose it needs through a process known as gluconeogenesis. Thus, the liver can meet the brain’s energy needs through stored glucose, the production of ketones, or gluconeogenesis.

 

Glucose Alone vs Glucose and Ketones for Energy

 

If you follow a moderate-carb to a high-carb diet, your brain may not be properly adapted to use ketones as fuel for energy. Therefore, glucose will be the main source of energy for your brain. However, when your body has adapted to following a low-carb or carb-free diet, the brain can easily use ketones to meet the brain’s energy needs and the liver can make as much glucose as it needs to meet the rest of the brain’s energy needs in order to function properly.

 

What are the Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diet?

 

While there is a lot of similarities between the low-carb and ketogenic diet, there are also several important differences. The differences between the low-carb and the ketogenic diet may include but are not limited to the following:

 

Ketogenic Diet

 

  • Carbohydrates are limited to 50 grams or less per day.
  • Protein is generally limited or restricted.
  • The main goal is to increase the production of ketones.

 

Low-Carb Diet

 

  • Carbohydrates can vary from 25 to 150 grams per day.
  • Protein is typically not limited or restricted.
  • Production of ketones may or may not increase.

 

In conclusion, eating carbohydrates to use as fuel for the brain’s energy needs is an option, not a requirement. It’s true that the brain can’t depend on ketones alone as it always needs some glucose as well. It’s important to understand that your brain isn’t in any danger if you follow a low-carb or a ketogenic diet. However, before following any particular diet, always make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if these nutritional guidelines are right for you.

 

For information regarding the effects of carbohydrates on the brain, please review the following article:

Effects of a Carbohydrate Supplement Upon Resting Brain Activity

 


 

 

Our brain is constantly working to perform many important functions. The brain needs a consistent supply of energy in order to perform these essential functions and while it mainly uses glucose as fuel for energy,  the brain doesn’t really need glucose from carbohydrates to function properly. Glycogen in the liver is broken down into glucose. The liver will then produce ketones, water-soluble compounds produced by the breakdown of fatty acids. Ketones are produced from the fats you eat or the movement of stored body fat. Ketones can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and provide additional energy for the brain. However, our brain always needs some glucose for energy. Your liver can also produce the glucose it needs through a process known as gluconeogenesis. Thus, the liver can meet the brain’s energy needs through stored glucose, the production of ketones, or gluconeogenesis. A low-carb or a ketogenic diet can provide a variety of benefits. Always make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if these nutritional guidelines are right for you. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of carrots.

 

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

 

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Spritzler, Franziska. “Food for Thought: Does the Brain Need Carbs?” Diet Doctor, Diet Doctor Media, 17 Jan. 2019, www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/does-the-brain-need-carbs.
  • Spritzler, Franziska. “How Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets Boost Brain Health.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 26 Mar. 2016, www.healthline.com/nutrition/low-carb-ketogenic-diet-brain#section1.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=24.

 

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The Importance of Folate and Folic Acid https://www.pushasrx.com/the-importance-of-folate-and-folic-acid/ https://www.pushasrx.com/the-importance-of-folate-and-folic-acid/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 22:14:40 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25512 Image of different food groups with folate and folic acid.

Folate is a B vitamin naturally found in a variety of foods. The body can’t produce folate, that’s why it’s important to get it from folate-rich foods. Folate is naturally found in various plant and animal foods, including citrus fruits, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli, eggs, and beef liver. Folate is also added to foods, such […]

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Image of different food groups with folate and folic acid.

Folate is a B vitamin naturally found in a variety of foods. The body can’t produce folate, that’s why it’s important to get it from folate-rich foods. Folate is naturally found in various plant and animal foods, including citrus fruits, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli, eggs, and beef liver. Folate is also added to foods, such as bread, flours, and cereals, in the form of folic acid or the synthetic, water-soluble version of folate. Folate and folic acid have different effects on the body.

 

Our body utilizes folate for a variety of essential functions, including cell division, development of red blood cells, conversion of homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid used for protein synthesis, production of SAMe, and DNA methylation. Folic acid is also important for various metabolic processes. Folate deficiency has ultimately been associated with a variety of health issues, such as the increased risk of heart disease, birth defects, megaloblastic anemia, and cancer.

 

Daily Intake of Folate and Folic Acid

 

Our body stores between 10 to 30 mg of folate, most of which is stored in your liver while the remaining amount is stored in your blood and tissues. Normal blood folate levels range from 5 to 15 ng/mL. The main form of folate in the bloodstream is known as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Daily intake of this essential nutrient is different for people of different ages. The recommended daily allowance of folate for infants, children, teens, adults, and pregnant women are as follows:

 

  • 0 to 6 months: 65 mcg
  • 7 to 12 months: 80 mcg
  • 1 to 3 years: 150 mcg
  • 4 to 8 years: 200 mcg
  • 9 to 13 years: 300 mcg
  • over 14 years: 400 mcg
  • during pregnancy: 600 mcg
  • during lactation: 500 mcg

 

Folic acid supplements play an important role in making sure that people who are in greater need of folate are getting enough of their daily intake. Increasing the daily intake of folate-rich foods is also important because these foods generally offer plenty of other nutrients that all act together to support overall health. Recommended folate daily intake increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding to promote rapid growth and help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus.

 

Folic acid is available in dietary supplements and fortified foods, including bread, flours, cereals, and several types of grains. It is also added to B-complex vitamins. Folate is also naturally found in a variety of foods, including:

 

  • oranges
  • orange juice
  • grapefruit
  • bananas
  • cantaloupe
  • papaya
  • canned tomato juice
  • avocado
  • boiled spinach
  • mustard greens
  • lettuce
  • asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • broccoli
  • green peas
  • black-eyed peas
  • dry-roasted peanuts
  • kidney beans
  • eggs
  • Dungeness crab
  • beef liver

 

Uses of Folate and Folic Acid

 

Both folate and folic acid are frequently utilized for a variety of reasons. Although folate and folic acid supplements are generally used to treat similar health issues, they do offer different effects in the body and, therefore, it may affect our overall health in different ways. Moreover, getting the proper daily intake of folate and folic acid can improve overall health. The following are several of the most common uses of folate and folic acid supplements, including:

 

  • folate deficiency
  • inflammation
  • diabetes
  • brain health
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease
  • mental health issues
  • fertility problems
  • birth defects and pregnancy complications

 

For information regarding the importance of folate and folic acid, please review the following article:

The Importance of Folic Acid

 


 

 

Folate is a B vitamin that is naturally found in many different types of food. Because we can’t produce folate, it’s important to get it from foods that are high in folate. Various folate-rich foods include citrus fruits, avocado, spinach, kale, broccoli, eggs, and beef liver. Folate is also added to foods like bread, flours, and cereals, in the form of folic acid, the synthetic version of this essential nutrient. Folate and folic acid have different effects on the body. Our body uses folate for many important functions, including cell division, development of red blood cells, conversion of homocysteine to methionine, an amino acid used for protein synthesis, production of SAMe, and DNA methylation. Folic acid is also essential for many metabolic processes. Folate deficiency has ultimately been associated with a variety of health issues, such as heart disease, birth defects, megaloblastic anemia, and even cancer. Daily intake of this essential nutrient is different for people of different ages. Furthermore, folate is also naturally found in a variety of foods, such as bananas, avocado, boiled spinach, and eggs. Both folate and folic acid supplements have a variety of uses and they can help improve various health issues, including inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, birth defects, and pregnancy complications. Adding healthy foods to a smoothie is a fast and easy way to get your daily intake of folate. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 


 

Image of ginger greens juice.

 

Ginger Greens Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 cup pineapple cubes
• 1 apples, sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled, and chopped
• 3 cups kale, rinsed, and roughly chopped or ripped
• 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed, and roughly chopped or ripped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of soft-boiled and hard-boiled eggs.

 

Eating cholesterol-rich foods doesn’t increase your cholesterol

 

According to research studies, eating foods with HDL cholesterol or “good” cholesterol doesn’t increase your overall blood cholesterol levels. When you eat healthy cholesterol-rich foods, such as prawns and eggs, your blood cholesterol levels decrease, so your blood cholesterol levels stay balanced, or they’re only raised minimally. It’s actually saturated fats that you have to look out for when it comes to high blood cholesterol levels. Simply choose healthier food options.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Kubala, Jillian. “Folic Acid: Everything You Need to Know.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 18 May 2020, www.healthline.com/nutrition/folic-acid#What-is-folic-acid?
  • Ware, Megan. “Folate: Health Benefits and Recommended Intake.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 26 June 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287677#recommended-intake.
  • Felman, Adam. “Folic Acid: Importance, Deficiencies, and Side Effects.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 11 Mar. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219853#natural-sources.
  • Berg, M J. “The Importance of Folic Acid.” The Journal of Gender-Specific Medicine: JGSM: the Official Journal of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 1999, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11252849/.
  • Dowden, Angela. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=23.

 

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Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine https://www.pushasrx.com/pets-healing-power/ https://www.pushasrx.com/pets-healing-power/#respond Thu, 11 Jun 2020 01:21:51 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25502 11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine

Pets have improved the lives of those living with chronic pain and can help alleviate the depression that comes with it. There’s no doubt that having a pet or interacting with a trained therapy animal can help reduce and alleviate the pain and improve the quality of life. Animals and the companionship they offer seems […]

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11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine Pets have improved the lives of those living with chronic pain and can help alleviate the depression that comes with it. There’s no doubt that having a pet or interacting with a trained therapy animal can help reduce and alleviate the pain and improve the quality of life. Animals and the companionship they offer seems to be a natural pain reliever, and significant research supports this theory. Here are some ways that our pets can help us live optimal lives even with chronic pain.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine

Ways Pets Can Relieve Pain

Our pets allow us to feel less stressed out. Research has shown even for those that are not into pets, that petting a dog for ten-fifteen minutes reduces cortisol, which is a stress hormone. In a journal for pain, researchers studied the effects of quick therapy dog visits at a pain management clinic. Over 2-months they compared the individuals’ feelings of:
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
Tremendous improvements were reported for pain, state of mind, and other measures of stress among the individuals after the dog visit. Improvements were also seen in family, friends, and staff after the therapy dog visits.

They Generate More Activity

Specifically, dog owners seem to be healthier than those without a dog. Cats are great but when it comes to activity/fitness, dogs require regular walks, which makes owners get up, go outside and move around. Walking a dog can help:
  • Improve balance
  • Combat fatigue
  • Improve flexibility
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Increase strength
  • Manage weight
Being active combined with walking helps to get a better night’s sleep and reduced pain.  
 

They Make Us Feel Better Without Medication

Research has shown how the proper attitude impacts treatment outcomes. With a positive attitude, an individual is more likely to stick with a long-term pain treatment plan. Petting and playing with a furry friend can be the perfect medicine creating an improved mood literally relieving pain and reducing the need for pain meds.

They Distract The Pain Away

Individuals living with chronic pain are constantly thinking about it. Having a pet changes the focus from pain to joy and happiness. With a pet to care for gives the day structure and life purpose. Pets need attention and because of their lovability are hard to ignore.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Pets Healing Power Can Be Powerful Medicine
 

Animal-Assisted Therapy

This type of therapy is a legitimate option for chronic pain management. With the problems associated with opioids, doctors and patients are looking for alternative ways to treat pain. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that nonpharmacological therapies, like animal-assisted therapy, are now included in chronic pain treatment plans. Other options for pain relief include: Example: An individual has a pain syndrome/condition. When the pain flares up the individual becomes irritable and upset. The individual has a dog that recognizes these feelings. The dog comes over and starts playing, licking, etc. The individual picks up the dog, calming the individual, helping change the mood, and ease the pain.

Pet Time

Owning a pet is a real responsibility, for those who are not interested in adopting, there are still benefits from pet medicine. Some ideas to consider:
  • Perhaps a family member or friend owns a pet that could have regular visits. This would be a good way to get a feel for the experience and see what it’s like to have a pet without committing.
  • Cats are an option if dogs are not your cup of tea. This could be because of allergies or residing in a location that does not permit them. Cats offer companionship along with the same psychological benefits as dogs. However, there is not much activity since they don’t need to be walked. But they still need to play/pretend hunt.
  • Try spending time at a pain management clinic that has an animal therapy program. Some of these clinics allow individuals to spend time with a therapy dog a few times per week. These are usually 15-minute sessions.
  • Unable to locate a clinic in the area, try looking into other organizations that could provide therapy animals and programs. Local vets and animal shelters can be a good source of information for animal therapy programs.
 

Therapy and Service Dogs Are Not the Same

When it’s time you might be ready for a dog of your own. Before searching the local shelter’s website, consider everything that comes with pet ownership. Factor in costs like:
  • Veterinary care
  • Behavior classes
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Toys
  • Travel
Think about the size of the animal and if you can safely manage a small or large pet. Remember this is a therapy for individuals with a health condition of chronic pain. An individual needs to be able to see what they can take given their level of pain at any given time. If you’ve never owned a pet, there needs to be an understanding that housebreaking a pet can be quite a time-consuming and exhausting task. This could add more stress and worsen the pain. It is important to remember that therapy dogs do not have the same training as assistance or service dogs. Service dogs are trained to perform and assist with specific tasks to help an individual that has a disability. This could be a seeing-eye dog helping their blind owner. Also, service dogs live with their owners and are granted special access to public places like planes, restaurants, places of business, etc. The American Kennel Club defines therapy dogs as dogs that can accompany their owners to volunteer in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes where they work together as a team to improve the lives of other people. There are definitely medical benefits to having pets in our lives. However, don’t expect them to remove chronic pain overnight. Pets are another tool that can bring relief and improve the quality of life for individuals living with pain.

Metabolic Syndrome & Inflammation


Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico

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Is Fructose Bad for Your Health? https://www.pushasrx.com/is-fructose-bad-for-your-health/ https://www.pushasrx.com/is-fructose-bad-for-your-health/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2020 21:41:25 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25503 Image of a group of fruits with fructose.

Fructose is one of the main components of added sugar. It is a simple type of sugar that makes up about 50 percent of table sugar or sucrose. Table sugar is also made up of glucose or the main energy source of the human body. However, fructose needs to be turned into glucose by the […]

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Image of a group of fruits with fructose.

Fructose is one of the main components of added sugar. It is a simple type of sugar that makes up about 50 percent of table sugar or sucrose. Table sugar is also made up of glucose or the main energy source of the human body. However, fructose needs to be turned into glucose by the liver before it can be used as fuel for energy by our cells. Fructose, sucrose, and glucose are all naturally found in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains as well as in many processed foods. The effects of this simple sugar on our health have been a controversial topic for many years. Research studies are starting to demonstrate the connection between fructose and obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.

 

What is Fructose?

 

Fructose, also referred to as fruit sugar, is a monosaccharide or simple sugar like glucose. It’s naturally found in fruits, most root vegetables, agave, and honey. Moreover, it’s commonly added to processed foods as high-fructose corn syrup. The fructose used in high-fructose corn syrup mainly comes from corn, sugar beets, and sugar cane. High-fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch and it has more of this simple sugar than glucose, compared to regular corn syrup. Fructose has the sweetest taste of the three sugars. It is digested and absorbed differently by the human body. Because monosaccharides are simple sugars, they don’t need to be broken down to be used as fuel for energy by our cells.

 

Natural foods that are high in fructose can include:

 

  • apples
  • apple juice
  • pears
  • prunes
  • dry figs
  • sorghum
  • asparagus
  • Jerusalem artichokes
  • chicory roots
  • leeks
  • onions
  • caramel
  • licorice
  • molasses
  • agave syrup
  • honey

 

Similar to glucose, fructose is absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the small intestine. Healthcare professionals have found that fructose has the least impact on blood sugar levels. It increases blood sugar levels much more gradually than glucose does and it doesn’t seem to immediately affect insulin levels. However, although this simple sugar has the least impact on blood sugar levels than any of the other simple types of sugars, it may ultimately cause more long-term negative effects on the human body. Fructose needs to be turned into glucose by the liver before it can be used as fuel for energy by our cells. Eating excess fructose can increase triglycerides and lead to metabolic syndrome.

 

Why is Fructose Bad for You?

 

When people eat a diet that is high in calories and processed foods with lots of high-fructose corn syrup, the liver can become overwhelmed and start turning fructose into fat. Research studies are starting to demonstrate the connection between this simple sugar and an increased risk of developing a variety of health issues, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer. Many healthcare professionals also believe that eating excess fructose is one of the main causes of metabolic disorders. However, there currently isn’t enough evidence to demonstrate the full extent to which fructose can contribute to these health issues. Nevertheless, numerous research studies have justified these controversial concerns.

 

Research studies have demonstrated that eating excess fructose can increase LDL or bad cholesterol which may lead to fat accumulation around the organs and heart disease. As a result, evidence showed that the deposition of fat in the liver due to the negative effects of this simple sugar can also result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Eating excess fructose may also affect body fat regulation. Other research studies have demonstrated that because fructose doesn’t suppress appetite as much as other types of sugars do, it can promote overeating which may lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, evidence has demonstrated that fructose can increase uric acid levels and cause gout.

 

For information regarding if fructose is bad for your health, please review the following article:

Health implications of fructose consumption: A review of recent data

 


 

AS PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE, FRUCTOSE IS ONE OF THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF ADDED SUGAR. IT IS A SIMPLE SUGAR THAT MAKES UP APPROXIMATELY 50 PERCENT OF TABLE SUGAR OR SUCROSE. TABLE SUGAR ALSO CONSISTS OF GLUCOSE OR THE MAIN ENERGY SOURCE OF THE HUMAN BODY. HOWEVER, FRUCTOSE NEEDS TO BE CONVERTED INTO GLUCOSE BY THE LIVER BEFORE IT CAN BE UTILIZED AS FUEL FOR ENERGY BY OUR CELLS. FRUCTOSE, SUCROSE, AND GLUCOSE ARE ALL NATURALLY FOUND IN SEVERAL FRUITS, VEGETABLES, DAIRY PRODUCTS, AND WHOLE GRAINS AS WELL AS IN MANY PROCESSED FOODS. THE EFFECTS OF THIS SIMPLE SUGAR ON OUR HEALTH HAVE BEEN A CONTROVERSIAL TOPIC FOR MANY YEARS. RESEARCH STUDIES ARE STARTING TO DEMONSTRATE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN FRUCTOSE AND OBESITY, DIABETES, AND EVEN CANCER. IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE, WE DISCUSS IF FRUCTOSE IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH. DRINKING SMOOTHIES ADD A HEALTHY NUTRITIONAL BOOST.  – DR. ALEX JIMENEZ D.C., C.C.S.T. INSIGHTS

 


 

Image of sweet and spicy juice recipe.

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 cup honeydew melons
• 3 cups spinach, rinsed
• 3 cups Swiss chard, rinsed
• 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), rinsed
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled, and chopped
• 2-3 knobs whole turmeric root (optional), rinsed, peeled, and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of red peppers.

 

 

Red peppers have almost 2.5 times more vitamin C than oranges

 

Citrus fruits like oranges are a great source of vitamin C, however, there are other fruits and vegetables that offer an even better boost of this essential nutrient. Just half a red pepper, eaten raw, offers more than your requirement of vitamin C for the day, according to healthcare professionals. Cut it into crudités for a healthy mid-morning or afternoon snack. Red peppers are also rich in a variety of other essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B6, folate, and antioxidants!

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Gunnars, Kris. “Is Fructose Bad for You? The Surprising Truth.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 23 Apr. 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-is-fructose-bad-for-you#section1.
  • Nall, Rachel. “Is Fructose Bad for You? Benefits, Risks, and Other Sugars.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 Nov. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323818.
  • Groves, Melissa. “Sucrose vs Glucose vs Fructose: What’s the Difference?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 8 June 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/sucrose-glucose-fructose.
  • Rizkalla, Salwa W. “Health Implications of Fructose Consumption: A Review of Recent Data.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, BioMed Central, 4 Nov. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991323/.
  • Daniluk, Julie. “5 Health Benefits of Red Peppers. Plus, Our World’s Healthiest Pizza Recipe.” Chatelaine, 26 Feb. 2016, www.chatelaine.com/health/healthy-recipes-health/five-health-benefits-of-red-peppers/.

 

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What is Folate Metabolism? https://www.pushasrx.com/what-is-folate-metabolism/ https://www.pushasrx.com/what-is-folate-metabolism/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2020 22:09:33 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25496 What is Folate Metabolism? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body. Folate is essential for cell division and homeostasis because it acts as a coenzyme in many biological pathways, including amino acid metabolism, methionine production, and DNA methylation. Folate metabolism […]

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What is Folate Metabolism? | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body. Folate is essential for cell division and homeostasis because it acts as a coenzyme in many biological pathways, including amino acid metabolism, methionine production, and DNA methylation. Folate metabolism happens together with the methionine cycle and the choline pathway. Most folate coenzymes are found in the liver.

 

Folate is also used as a coenzyme to convert methionine into homocysteine. Vitamin B6 and B12, together with folate, are also essential for DNA synthesis. Proper dietary intake of folate is fundamental for normal cell growth and DNA repair. Folate or vitamin B12 deficiency can ultimately cause a variety of health issues, including anemia. Oral supplementation may be necessary. In the following article, we will discuss folate metabolism and foods that are high in folate.

 

Folate Metabolism Overview

 

Several of the most important functions of folate metabolism are methylation and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) production, one of the most essential methyl donors in the cell. In the following diagram, we will explain folate metabolism. 

 

Image of a folate metabolism diagram.

 

Figure 1: One carbon metabolism. ATP: adenosyl triphosphate, B6: vitamin B6, B12: vitamin B12, BHMT: betaine homocysteine methyltransferase, CBS: cystathionine-β-synthase, DHF: dihydrofolate, DMG: dimethylglycine, dTMP: deoxythymidine monophosphate, dUMP: deoxyuridine monophosphate, Gly: glycine, Hcy: homocysteine, MAT: methionine adenosyltransferase, Met: methionine, MCM: L-methylmalonyl CoA mutase, MM-CoA: L-methylmalonyl CoA, MMA: methylmalonic acid, MS: methionine synthase, MTHFR: 5,10-methyltetrahydrofolate reductase, SAH: S-adenosyl homocysteine, SAHH: S-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase, SAM: S-adenosyl methionine, Ser: serine, SHMT, serine hydroxymethyltransferase, THF: tetrahydrofolate, TS: thymidylate synthase. Adapted from: Hypo- and hypervitaminosis of B and D vitamins – Diagnosis and clinical consequences. Herrmann W. et al. 2013. Uni-Med Verlag AG.

 

Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a component that converts folate to dihydrofolate (DHF) and DHF to the active form, THF. Folate metabolism consists of three cycles. One cycle starts with a component known as 10-formylTHF which is associated with purine production and two cycles utilize 5, 10-methyleneTHF in deoxythymidine monophosphate (dTMP) and methionine production. 5-MethylTHF is one of the most predominant forms of folate found in the human body.

 

After cellular uptake, 5-methylTHF is converted into THF through the use of vitamin B12 in methionine synthase (MS). The methionine cycle is a fundamental pathway in SAM production. As previously mentioned above, B vitamin deficiencies, including folate, vitamin B6, and B12, as well as genetic birth defects can ultimately cause a variety of health issues. 5,10-MethyleneTHF is finally converted to 5-methylTHF by 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR).

 

Several of the most important functions of folate metabolism are methylation and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) production, one of the most essential methyl donors in the cell. In the following diagram, we will simplify folate metabolism. 

 

Image of a second folate metabolism diagram.

 

15 Foods That Are High in Folate

 

Folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body. It supports cell division and promotes fetal growth and development to reduce the risk of genetic birth defects. Folate is naturally found in many different types of foods. Doctors recommend 400 mcg of folate every day for adults to prevent deficiency. Here are 15 healthy foods that are high in folate or folic acid, including:

 

  • avocado
  • bananas
  • citrus fruits
  • papaya
  • beets
  • leafy greens
  • asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • broccoli
  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes
  • eggs
  • beef liver
  • wheat germ
  • fortified grains

 

In conclusion, folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is an important micronutrient that can be naturally found in many different types of foods. Eating many different types of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as well as fortified foods, is an easy way to increase your folate intake. These foods are not only high in folate but these are also high in other essential nutrients that can ultimately improve other aspects of your overall health.

 

For information regarding the nutritional role of folate, please review the following article:

Nutritional Role of Folate

 


 

Folate or folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body, including cell division and homeostasis. Folate also helps with amino acid metabolism, methionine production, and DNA methylation. Folate or vitamin B12 deficiency can ultimately cause a variety of health issues. Oral supplementation may be necessary. In the diagrams above, we explain the process of folate metabolism. Folate is naturally found in many different types of foods, including avocado, citrus fruits, leafy greens, broccoli, nuts and seeds, legumes, eggs, and fortified grains. Eating many different types of healthy foods is an easy way to increase your folate intake. These foods are not only high in folate but these are also high in other essential nutrients that can ultimately improve other aspects of your overall health. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

Image of the Berry Bliss Smoothie

 

Berry Bliss Smoothie

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, preferably wild)
• 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seed
• 1 tablespoons almonds
• Water (to desired consistency)
• Ice cubes (optional, may omit if using frozen blueberries)

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of Almonds.

 

Almonds have twice as much calcium as milk

 

Gram for gram this is absolutely true! According to McCance and Widdowson’s Composition of Foods (the official guide to the nutrients in food used in the UK), about 100g of almonds have 240mg of bone-building calcium while semi-skimmed (2%) milk has 120mg per 100g (3.5oz). With that being said, however, we tend to drink milk in bigger quantities than we eat almonds (and the calcium from milk is easily absorbed), so the dairy option may be a better source day-to-day.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Almas, Saneea. “Folic Acid: An Overview of Metabolism, Dosages, and Benefits of Optimal Periconception Supplementation: InfantRisk Center.” Infant Risk Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, www.infantrisk.com/content/folic-acid-overview-metabolism-dosages-and-benefits-optimal-periconception-supplementation.
  • Homocysteine Expert Panel Staff. “Folate Metabolism.” Homocysteine Expert Panel, Homocysteine Expert Panel Media, www.homocysteine-panel.org/en/folatefolic-acid/basics/folate-metabolism/.
  • Link, Rachael. “15 Healthy Foods That Are High in Folate (Folic Acid).” Healthline, Healthline Media, 27 Feb. 2020, www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-folate-folic-acid.
  • Shuhei, Ebara. “Nutritional Role of Folate.” Congenital Anomalies, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 June 2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28603928/?from_term=folate%2Bmetabolism&from_pos=3.
  • MSN Lifestyle Staff. “Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.” MSN Lifestyle, MSN Lifestyle Media, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=5.

 

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Excess Sugar and Chronic Inflammation https://www.pushasrx.com/excess-sugar-and-chronic-inflammation/ https://www.pushasrx.com/excess-sugar-and-chronic-inflammation/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2020 22:42:55 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25488 Excess Sugar and Chronic Inflammation | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Our diet can significantly affect inflammation in our bodies. Several foods can increase inflammation while other foods can reduce inflammation. According to healthcare professionals, a diet that is high in sugar may be associated with chronic inflammation. A systematic review in 2018 demonstrated that eating excess sugar can ultimately cause inflammation and a variety of […]

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Excess Sugar and Chronic Inflammation | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Our diet can significantly affect inflammation in our bodies. Several foods can increase inflammation while other foods can reduce inflammation. According to healthcare professionals, a diet that is high in sugar may be associated with chronic inflammation. A systematic review in 2018 demonstrated that eating excess sugar can ultimately cause inflammation and a variety of other health issues, such as diabetes. Another 2014 research study showed that people who decreased their consumption of sugary or sweetened drinks had reduced inflammation. These research findings support the theory that eating excess sugar can cause chronic inflammation and various other diseases, including diabetes.

 

How Sugar Can Cause Inflammation

 

Healthcare professionals have tried to understand how eating excess sugar can cause chronic inflammation. Sugar triggers the production of free fatty acids in the liver. When the human body digests these free fatty acids, the resulting compounds can trigger inflammation. Different types of sugar may also cause more inflammation. By way of instance, one research study found that fructose can cause more inflammation than glucose. However, a systematic review found that fructose didn’t cause more inflammation than glucose. Therefore, further research studies are still required to determine which types of sugar may cause more inflammation. Symptoms associated with chronic inflammation can include:

 

  • pain and fatigue
  • sleeping problems or insomnia
  • anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders
  • digestive problems like acid reflux, constipation, and/or diarrhea
  • weight gain or obesity
  • constant infections

 

People with chronic inflammation may also have an increased risk of developing a variety of other health issues, including diabetes and dementia. Chronic inflammation in older adults may also be associated with an increased risk of death.

 

Health Issues Caused by Chronic Inflammation

 

Observational research studies in humans have associated diets with high added sugar and refined carbohydrates to the increased risk of developing a variety of health issues, including diabetes, IBD, liver disease, dementia, and arthritis.

 

Diabetes

 

Research studies showed a connection between the increased consumption of added sugar and type 2 diabetes. A large analysis that included over 38,000 participants found that simply consuming one serving of sweetened drinks or beverages on a regular basis was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another research study found that increasing the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup was also associated with diabetes.

 

Other Diseases

 

Increased consumption of added sugar and refined carbohydrates has also been associated with the development of other diseases, such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, and dementia. Furthermore, excess fructose consumption has been associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Healthcare professionals believe this may be due to a combination of ongoing low-grade inflammation, increased gut permeability, and bacterial overgrowth in the gut.

 

Other Foods That Can Cause Inflammation

 

  • sugary foods like pastries, desserts, and chocolate
  • saturated fats from processed meats and dairy products
  • trans fats found in fast, fried, foods
  • vegetable and seed oils
  • refined carbohydrates
  • excessive alcohol
  • MSG in prepared Asian foods and deli meats

 

For information regarding how excess sugar can cause chronic inflammation and various other health issues like diabetes, please review this article:

 


 

Diet can affect inflammation in our bodies. Several foods can increase inflammation while other foods can reduce inflammation. A diet that is high in sugar may be associated with inflammation. Numerous research studies have demonstrated that eating excess sugar can ultimately cause chronic inflammation and various other diseases, including diabetes. Because sugar triggers the production of free fatty acids in the liver, it can also trigger inflammation. Excess sugar can cause chronic inflammation. Different types of sugar may also cause different amounts of inflammation. There are many symptoms associated with chronic inflammation, including pain, fatigue, obesity, anxiety, and depression, among others. Inflammation can lead to a variety of health issues, such as diabetes and arthritis. Although excess sugar is associated with chronic inflammation, other foods like saturated fats and refined carbohydrates can also cause health issues. In the following article, we discuss how sugar can cause inflammation and a variety of other health issues, such as diabetes, in the human body. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

Image of sea green smoothie.

 

 

Sea Green Smoothie

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cubed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 handful of kale or spinach
• 1 handful of Swiss chard
• 1/4 avocado
• 2 teaspoons spirulina powder
• 1 cup of water
• 3 or more ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until completely smooth and enjoy!

 


 

Image of leafy greens smoothie.

 

Leafy Greens Hold the Key to Gut Health

 

A unique type of sugar found in leafy greens can help feed our beneficial gut bacteria. Sulfoquinovose (SQ) is the only known sugar molecule to be made up of sulfur, an extremely essential mineral in the human body. The human body uses sulfur to produce enzymes, proteins, and a variety of hormones as well as antibodies for our cells. A fast and easy way to get leafy greens into your diet is to toss a couple of handfuls of them into a delicious smoothie!

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Spritzler, Franziska. “6 Foods That Cause Inflammation.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 12 Nov. 2019, www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-foods-that-cause-inflammation#1.
  • Caporuscio, Jessica. “Does Sugar Cause Inflammation? What the Research Says.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 19 Sept. 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326386.
  • Brown, Mary Jane. “Does Sugar Cause Inflammation in the Body?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 12 Nov. 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/sugar-and-inflammation.

 

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MTHFR Gene Mutation and Health https://www.pushasrx.com/mthfr-gene-mutation-and-health/ https://www.pushasrx.com/mthfr-gene-mutation-and-health/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2020 20:48:41 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25479 MTHFR Gene Mutation and Health | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

The MTHFR or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene is well-known due to a genetic mutation that may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream, among other essential nutrients. Healthcare professionals believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. In the following article, we […]

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MTHFR Gene Mutation and Health | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

The MTHFR or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene is well-known due to a genetic mutation that may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream, among other essential nutrients. Healthcare professionals believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. In the following article, we will discuss the MTHFR gene mutation and how it can ultimately affect your overall health.

 

What is an MTHFR Gene Mutation?

 

People can have single or multiple mutations, as well as neither, on the MTHFR gene. The different mutations are often referred to as “variants”. A variant occurs when the DNA of a specific part of a gene is different or varies from person to person. People that have a heterozygous or single variant of the MTHFR gene mutation have a decreased risk of developing health issues like inflammation and chronic pain, among other diseases. Moreover, healthcare professionals also believe that people that have homozygous or multiple variants of the MTHFR gene mutation may ultimately have an increased risk of disease. There are two MTHFR gene mutation variants. These specific variants include:

 

  • C677T. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of people in the United States have a mutation at gene position C677T. About 25 percent of Hispanics and about 10 to 15 percent of Caucasians are homozygous for this variant.
  • A1298C. There are limited research studies for this variant. A 2004 study focused on 120 blood donors of Irish heritage. Of the donors, 56 or 46.7 percent were heterozygous for this variant and 11 or 14.2 percent were homozygous.
  • Both C677T and A1298C. It’s also possible for people to have both C677T and A1298C MTHFR gene mutation variations, which includes one copy of each.

 

What are the Symptoms of an MTHFR Gene Mutation?

 

Symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation can be different from person to person and from variant to variant. It’s important to remember that further research around MTHFR gene mutation variants and their effects on health are still needed. Evidence regarding how MTHFR gene mutation variants are associated with a variety of other health issues is currently lacking or it has been disproven. Conditions that have been suggested to be associated with MTHFR variants include:

 

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • migraines
  • chronic pain and fatigue
  • nerve pain
  • recurrent miscarriages in women of child-bearing age
  • pregnancies with neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly
  • cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases (blood clots, stroke, embolism, and heart attacks)
  • acute leukemia
  • colon cancer

What is the MTHFR Diet?

 

According to healthcare professionals, eating foods with high amounts of folate may help naturally support low folate levels in the bloodstream associated with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Good food choices can include:

 

  • fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, banana.
  • juices like orange, canned pineapple, grapefruit, tomato, or other vegetable juice
  • veggies, such as spinach, asparagus, lettuce, beets, broccoli, corn, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
  • proteins, including cooked beans, peas, and lentils
  • peanut butter
  • sunflower seeds

 

People with MTHFR gene mutations may also want to avoid eating foods that have the synthetic form of folate, folic acid, however, the evidence is not clear if that’s beneficial or necessary. Supplementation may still be recommended for people with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Furthermore, always make sure to check the labels of the foods you buy, as this vitamin is added to many enriched grains like pasta, cereals, bread, and commercially produced flours.

 

For information regarding the MTHFR and its effects on health issues like cancer, please review this article:

Folate, Methyl-Related Nutrients, Alcohol, and the MTHFR 677C >T Polymorphism Affect Cancer Risk: Intake Recommendations

 


 

MTHFR, or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, gene mutations may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream. We believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. People can have single or multiple MTHFR gene mutations, as well as neither. The different mutations are often referred to as “variants”. People that have a heterozygous or single variant of the MTHFR gene mutation have a decreased risk of developing health issues like inflammation and chronic pain. Moreover, doctors also believe that people that have homozygous or multiple variants of the MTHFR gene mutation may ultimately have an increased risk of disease. The two MTHFR gene mutation variants are C677T, A1298C, or both C677T and A1298C. Symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation can be different from person to person and from variant to variant. Following what is referred to as the MTHFR diet can ultimately help improve overall health in people with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Also, adding these foods into a smoothie can be an easy way to add them into your diet. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

 

Image of protein power smoothie.

 

Protein Power Smoothie

Serving: 1
Cook time: 5 minutes

• 1 scoop protein powder
• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
• 1/2 banana
• 1 kiwi, peeled
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• Pinch of cardamom
• Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!

 


 

Image of leafy greens smoothie.

 

Leafy Greens Hold the Key to Gut Health

 

A unique type of sugar found in leafy greens can help feed our beneficial gut bacteria. Sulfoquinovose (SQ) is the only known sugar molecule to be made up of sulfur, an extremely essential mineral in the human body. The human body uses sulfur to produce enzymes, proteins, and a variety of hormones as well as antibodies for our cells. A fast and easy way to get leafy greens into your diet is to toss a couple of handfuls of them into a delicious smoothie!

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require additional explanation as how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Marcin, Ashley. “What You Need to Know About the MTHFR Gene.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Sept. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/mthfr-gene#variants.

 

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Good Calories vs Bad Calories Overview https://www.pushasrx.com/good-calories-vs-bad-calories-overview/ https://www.pushasrx.com/good-calories-vs-bad-calories-overview/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2020 23:08:18 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25473 Good Calories vs Bad Calories Overview | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Calories are defined as a measurement of the energy our body produces from the foods we eat. However, not all calories are created equal. If we were to eat nothing but spoonfuls of sugar all-day, by way of instance, our health would tremendously deteriorate because there simply aren’t enough nutrients in those calories from sugar. […]

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Good Calories vs Bad Calories Overview | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Calories are defined as a measurement of the energy our body produces from the foods we eat. However, not all calories are created equal. If we were to eat nothing but spoonfuls of sugar all-day, by way of instance, our health would tremendously deteriorate because there simply aren’t enough nutrients in those calories from sugar. The human body needs a variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and many other compounds in order to function properly.

 

The foods we eat are made up of calories as well as complex mixtures of nutrients, fiber, and additives. This can ultimately affect the hormones that regulate our hunger, known as leptin, and those that manage how we burn or store calories to be used for energy, known as insulin. Our bodies are naturally programmed to protect us against long-term starvation by storing excess calories as fat. Eating “bad” calories in excess amounts can ultimately lead to obesity.

 

In a research study, a group of people was given the same amount of calories but from different food sources. The participants had no significant weight gain, regardless of whether the calories were from carbohydrates, proteins, fats, or any other combination of nutrients. However, environmental factors, such as an individual’s hormonal balance, emotions, and cravings were not taken into consideration. It’s important to understand how calories can affect your health.

 

Good Calories vs Bad Calories

 

Excess calories from processed foods are stored as fat which can lead to obesity. In the United States, obesity is the main cause of health issues like insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is naturally produced in the pancreas and helps move excess glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. When the pancreas recognizes high blood sugar levels, it creates more insulin to reduce glucose.

 

However, this can diminish the pancreas of insulin-producing cells which can eventually cause insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity. If the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, it can lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Excess calories from sugar and processed foods can also cause inflammation which may also lead to chronic pain. So what can we do to prevent these health issues? The answer is simple: eat complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

 

Replace highly processed carbohydrates that can increase blood sugar levels and insulin, with vegetables, beans, and whole grains. When it comes to eating complex carbohydrates like whole grains, the less processed the better! Consider eating stone-ground whole wheat, quinoa, oats, and brown rice. Then, choose lean proteins, such as fish and chicken. as well as healthy fats that come from plant sources, such as nuts, olive oil, and avocado, among others.

 

Below, we will compare the calories in common foods and drinks to demonstrate the differences and similarities in good calories vs bad calories: 

 

 

Can you tell which are the good calories and which are the bad calories? It’s important to follow the principle of ”clean eating” and choose unprocessed foods in the purest forms instead of processed foods. This includes foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, or eggs. You can eat these foods without worrying too much about your daily caloric intake limit. Eating a variety of these is essential in order to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.

 

Bad calories include processed foods which follow exactly the opposite principle of “clean eating”. Foods with high amounts of sugar and fast food offers you almost no nutrients but a lot of what we call “empty calories”. If you’re trying to lose weight to manage insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes, you’ll have to pay attention to your “bad” calorie intake.

 

For more information regarding the effects of good calories vs bad calories on obesity, please review this article:

Is the calorie concept a real solution to the obesity epidemic?

 


 

Our body needs nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and many other compounds from calories in order to function properly. Calories are a measurement of the energy our body produces from the foods we eat. But, not all calories are created equal. Eating bad calories vs good calories can affect the hormones that regulate our hunger and those that manage how we burn or store calories to be used for energy. Moreover, eating “bad” calories in excess amounts can cause obesity. It’s important to understand how calories can affect your health. In the United States, obesity is the main cause of health issues like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Excess bad calories can also cause inflammation which may cause chronic pain. Eating complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats can help people lose weight and prevent as well as control health issues like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Learning to identify good calories and bad calories is a helpful strategy for people who want to improve their overall health. Adding healthy foods to a smoothie can also be a fast and easy way to include good calories into your diet. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
• 1 apple, washed and sliced
• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of smoothie with nasturtium flower and leaves.

 

Add Nasturtium to Your Smoothies

 

Adding nasturtium flowers and leaves to any smoothie can add extra nutrients. These lovely plants are easy to grow and the entire plant is edible. Nasturtium leaves are high in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and they also contain calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and iron. According to healthcare professionals, the extract from the flowers and leaves have antimicrobial, antifungal, hypotensive, expectorant, and anticancer effects. Antioxidants in garden nasturtium occur due to its high content of compounds such as anthocyanins, polyphenols, and vitamin C. Due to its rich phytochemical content and unique elemental composition, the garden nasturtium may be used in the treatment of a variety of health issues, including respiratory and digestive problems. Not to mention, the flowers and leaves look absolutely lovely in smoothies.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require additional explanation as how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Glassman, Keri. “The Difference Between Good and Bad Calories.” Women’s Health, Women’s Health Media, 11 June 2019, www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19930112/the-difference-between-good-and-bad-calories/.
  • Denner, Julia. “Good Calories Vs. Bad Calories >> The Difference Matters.” Adidas Runtastic Blog, Adidas Runtastic Blog Media, 9 Sept. 2019, www.runtastic.com/blog/en/good-calories-vs-bad-calories/.
  • Taubes, Gary. “Good Calories Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.” CrossFit, CrossFit Media, 31 Jan. 2020, www.crossfit.com/health/good-calories-bad-calories.

 

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The Connection Between Nutrition & the Epigenome https://www.pushasrx.com/the-connection-between-nutrition-the-epigenome/ https://www.pushasrx.com/the-connection-between-nutrition-the-epigenome/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2020 22:24:24 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25466 The Connection Between Nutrition & the Epigenome | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Nutrition is considered to be one of the most well-understood environmental factors associated with changes in the epigenome. Nutrients in the foods we eat are processed by our metabolism and turned into energy. One metabolic pathway, however, is responsible for producing methyl groups or fundamental epigenetic marks that regulate our gene expression. Essential nutrients, such […]

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The Connection Between Nutrition & the Epigenome | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Nutrition is considered to be one of the most well-understood environmental factors associated with changes in the epigenome. Nutrients in the foods we eat are processed by our metabolism and turned into energy. One metabolic pathway, however, is responsible for producing methyl groups or fundamental epigenetic marks that regulate our gene expression. Essential nutrients, such as B vitamins, SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine), and folic acid are important components in this methylation process. Diets with high amounts of these essential nutrients can quickly change gene expression, especially during early development. In the following article, we will discuss the connection between nutrition and the epigenome.

 

Nutrigenomics and Health

 

Healthcare professionals discuss that when it comes to dealing with health issues like inflammation and chronic pain, understanding how nutrigenomics affects our overall health is important. Nutritional genomics, or nutrigenomics, is a science that studies the relationship between nutrition, health, and the genome. Researchers in the nutrigenomics field believe that changes in epigenetic marks may be associated with a variety of health issues, including inflammation or the development of diseases like obesity, heart problems, and cancer. Studies have demonstrated that we may be able to control the effects of the nutrients we eat in order to change gene expression associated with various health issues.

 

Approximately more than 1 out of 3 adults in the United States have been diagnosed with obesity which ultimately increases the risk of a variety of health issues, including prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, among other diseases. Previous studies have demonstrated that changes in epigenetic marks during early development may even predispose individuals to obesity. Moreover, changes in epigenetic marks were also demonstrated to affect metabolic pathways that may increase the risk of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Healthcare professionals in the nutrigenomics field have created new ways to be able to better find balance through a wholesome understanding of nutrition and the epigenome.

 

“An epigenetic test can provide data that is useful for healthcare professionals. It may also offer information about how certain metabolic pathways are affected by essential nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals”.

 

What is the Epigenetics Diet?

 

The term “epigenetics diet” was first coined by Dr. Trygve Tollefsbol in 2011. It is medically defined as a group of compounds, such as resveratrol in red grapes, genistein in soybeans, isothiocyanates in broccoli, and many other well-known types of foods, which have been demonstrated to help change epigenomic marks and gene expression. According to researchers, the epigenetics diet can prevent the progression of tumors by regulating enzymes that control these epigenomic marks and gene expression, including DNA methyltransferases, histone deacetylases, and certain non-coding RNAs. Several types of foods included in the epigenetics diet are demonstrated in the following infographic:

 

Image of the epigenetic diet.

 

Researchers used recently advanced technologies that demonstrated how several bioactive compounds may aggravate damage to the epigenome caused by environmental pollutions. By way of instance, dietary supplementation with methyl donors, such as vitamin B12, choline, and folate, among others, as well as the isoflavone genistein, can regulate changes to epigenome marks and gene expression caused by bisphenol A, a hormone-disrupting chemical. B vitamins may also prevent the loss of DNA methylation caused by air pollution. According to these same studies, dietary supplementation with folic acid has also been demonstrated to help prevent the negative side-effects caused by heavy metals.

 

We believe that foods in the epigenetics diet could be used to counteract changes to gene expression and epigenomic marks caused by environmental pollution. Environmental pollutants in several types of foods, such as pesticides in fruits like strawberries and leafy greens like spinach, bisphenol A in the plastic containers of foods and drinks, dioxins in fatty foods, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced when meat is grilled or smoked at high temperatures, and mercury in several types of seafood like king mackerel and swordfish, have been associated with changes to epigenomic marks and gene expression. Those exposures, especially during early development, may cause various health issues.

 

For more information regarding the connection between nutrition and the epigenome, please review this article:

Nutrition and the Epigenome

 


 

Nutrition is one of the most understood environmental factors associated with changes in epigenomic marks and gene expression. Essential nutrients found in the different types of foods we eat are metabolized and turned into molecules in order to be used for energy by the human body. One metabolic pathway is responsible for creating methyl groups, important epigenetic marks that regulate our gene expression and epigenomic marks. Essential nutrients, including B vitamins, SAM-e (S-Adenosyl methionine), and folic acid are fundamental components in DNA methylation. Diets that are rich in these essential nutrients can quickly change epigenetic marks and gene expression, especially during early development. Furthermore, adding a variety of good foods to a smoothie can be a fast and easy way to add essential nutrients to your diet. Below is a fast and easy smoothie recipe to help feed your genes. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

Image of ginger greens juice.

 

Ginger Greens Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 cup pineapple cubes
• 1 apples, sliced
• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped
• 3 cups kale, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped
• 5 cups Swiss chard, rinsed and roughly chopped or ripped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of smoothie with nasturtium flower and leaves.

 

Add Nasturtium to Your Smoothies

 

Adding nasturtium flowers and leaves to any smoothie can add extra nutrients. These lovely plants are easy to grow and the entire plant is edible. Nasturtium leaves are high in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and they also contain calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and iron. According to healthcare professionals, the extract from the flowers and leaves have antimicrobial, antifungal, hypotensive, expectorant, and anticancer effects. Antioxidants in garden nasturtium occur due to its high content of compounds such as anthocyanins, polyphenols, and vitamin C. Due to its rich phytochemical content and unique elemental composition, the garden nasturtium may be used in the treatment of a variety of health issues, including respiratory and digestive problems. Not to mention, the flowers and leaves look absolutely lovely in smoothies.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Kirkpatrick, Bailey. “Epigenetics, Nutrition, and Our Health: How What We Eat Could Affect Tags on Our DNA.” What Is Epigenetics?, What Is Epigenetics? Media, 11 May 2018, www.whatisepigenetics.com/epigenetics-nutrition-health-eat-affect-tags-dna/.
  • Li, Shizhao, et al. “The Epigenetics Diet: A Barrier against Environmental Pollution.” On Biology, BMC Media, 23 May 2019, blogs.biomedcentral.com/on-biology/2019/05/20/the-epigenetics-diet-a-barrier-against-environmental-pollution/.
  • Learn. Genetics Staff. “Nutrition & the Epigenome.” Learn. Genetics, Learn. Genetics Media, learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/epigenetics/nutrition/.

 

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Natural Ways to Improve Insulin Resistance https://www.pushasrx.com/natural-ways-to-improve-insulin-resistance/ https://www.pushasrx.com/natural-ways-to-improve-insulin-resistance/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2020 17:53:29 +0000 https://www.pushasrx.com/?p=25462 Natural Ways to Improve Insulin Resistance | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Insulin is an essential hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is naturally produced in the pancreas and helps move excess glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. When the pancreas recognizes high blood sugar levels, it creates more insulin to reduce glucose. However, this can diminish the pancreas of […]

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Natural Ways to Improve Insulin Resistance | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Insulin is an essential hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is naturally produced in the pancreas and helps move excess glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. When the pancreas recognizes high blood sugar levels, it creates more insulin to reduce glucose. However, this can diminish the pancreas of insulin-producing cells which can eventually cause insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity. If the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, it can lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. In the following article, we will discuss natural ways to improve insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity to prevent and regulate prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, among other health issues.

 

Foods to Avoid with Insulin Resistance

 

If you have insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity associated with prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, or any other health issue, there are several types of foods that can increase blood sugar levels. Frequently eating foods with high glucose content can diminish the insulin-producing cells that can ultimately affect the human body’s ability to produce enough insulin. When this occurs, high blood sugar levels remain elevated which can ultimately cause prediabetes and type 2 diabetes as well as lead to a variety of other health issues, including damage to organs such as the eyes and kidneys or limbs (neuropathy). Avoid eating the following types of foods if you have insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity:

 

  • fried foods
  • processed snacks and foods
  • dairy products from cows, such as milk
  • foods high in saturated fats, such as butter, and salt pork
  • refined grains, such as white rice, pasta, bread, and flour-based foods
  • sugary sweets and pastries, such as ice cream, chocolate bars, and cupcakes
  • starchy vegetables, such as corn, potatoes and yams (without skin), and pumpkin
  • sweetened drinks or beverages, such as fruit juices, fountain drinks, and sodas
  • alcohol, such as beer and grain alcohol, in large quantities

 

Foods to Eat with Insulin Resistance

 

Many people are commonly deficient in essential nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fiber. These nutrients are necessary for regulating blood sugar levels. People with insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity, or any other health issue, including prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, should eat foods that have plenty of these essential nutrients. According to the American Diabetes Association, people with insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity can eat from any of the basic food groups, however, it’s fundamental for individuals to understand which types of foods can increase blood glucose levels. Eat from the following types of foods if you have insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity:

 

  • antioxidant-rich foods, such as berries
  • citrus fruits, such as oranges, lemons, and limes
  • non-starchy vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, peppers, and broccoli
  • protein-rich foods, such as legumes, nuts, soy, fish, and lean meats
  • high-fiber foods, including beans, and lentils
  • omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods, such as sardines, herring, and salmon
  • certain types of whole grains, such as oats, quinoa, and barley
  • water, especially as a substitute for sweetened drinks and
  • unsweetened teas

 

Exercise to Improve Insulin Resistance

 

Eating good foods and avoiding bad foods can help improve insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity, however, there’s another natural way to improve this health issue: exercise. Participating and engaging in regular exercise helps improve insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity associated with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, among other health issues, by moving sugar from the bloodstream into the muscles to be used for energy. The American Heart Association recommends approximately 150 minutes of exercise every week for adults. Participating or engaging in exercise on a daily basis can improve high blood sugar levels as well as promote overall health and wellness.

 

For more information regarding how to naturally improve insulin resistance, please review this article:

Nutritional Modulation of Insulin Resistance

 


 

Insulin is an essential hormone that is naturally produced in the pancreas to help regulate blood sugar levels and move excess sugar from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. When the pancreas senses high blood sugar levels in the blood, it creates more insulin to help reduce glucose. However, this can decrease the amount of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas which can cause insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity. If the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, it can ultimately lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, among other health issues. There are several natural ways to improve insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity to prevent and regulate prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, including eating good foods, avoiding bad foods, and exercising. Furthermore, adding a variety of good foods to a smoothie can be a fast and easy way to add nutrients to your diet. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

Image of sweet and spicy juice recipe.

 

Sweet and Spicy Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

  • 1 cup honeydew melons
  • 3 cups spinach, rinsed
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro (leaves and stems), rinsed
  • 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled, and chopped
  • 2-3 knobs whole turmeric root (optional), rinsed, peeled, and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of mushrooms.

 

Eat Mushrooms

One simple thing we can do to improve the microbiome!

Mushrooms feed bacteria in the gut. They are rich in chitin, hemicellulose, β and α-glucans, mannans, xylans, and galactans. They are also amazing prebiotics that promotes the growth of gut microbiota, equalling health benefits.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Raman, Ryan. “14 Natural Ways to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 May 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/improve-insulin-sensitivity.
  • Herrmann Dierks, Melissa. “Meal Planning & Exercise Tips for Insulin Resistance.” AgaMatrix, AgaMatrix Media, agamatrix.com/blog/insulin-resistance-diet/.
  • Felman, Adam. “Diet and Insulin Resistance: Foods to Eat and Diet Tips.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 27 Mar. 2019, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/316569#foods-to-eat.

 

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