Do you keep trying weight loss diets but can’t seem to drop the pounds? Are you instead exhausted and frustrated by an ever growing layer of fat?
Calorie-restricted diets have been popular for decades as a way to lose weight, but clearly more is at play as many people under eat and still can’t lose weight or keep it off.
If you’re doing everything right and the fat isn’t budging, the culprit may lie in underlying health issues slowing metabolism and blocking fat burning.
Feast or famine? Dieting slows metabolism for years
For most of human history, life vacillated between feast or famine, with plenty of bouts of famine. The human body body has smart coping mechanisms to get us through hungry times — lowered metabolism and increased fat-storage hormones.
As far as the body is concerned, a low-calorie diet is a famine and it employs the same measures to save you from starving. As a result, each low-calorie diet can add weight in the end when you resume normal caloric intake.
This dieting-caused metabolic slow-down can last for years. This phenomenon was recently documented in participants from the The Biggest Loser reality TV show. Six years after participating, contestants’ metabolic set point was below what it was when they started. They burn up to 800 fewer calories per day! After all that hard work, most of them returned to their pre-show weight and have to under eat in order to prevent weight gain.
Dieting disrupts key hunger hormones
Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite, satiety — that feeling of being full and satisfied — and whether your body burns or stores fat. When your diet is high in starches and sugars, it causes frequent swings in blood sugar. This leads to chronic insulin surges, which causes constant hunger and cellular resistance to to leptin.
Underlying health issues hinder weight loss
For most people, weight loss is not as simple as “calories in, calories out.” Sometimes inflammation and other metabolic factors can be a driving factor behind the inability to lose weight.
Many people are surprised to find unwanted pounds drop away when they follow an anti-inflammatory diet. These are nutrient-dense diets void of inflammatory triggers and are used to manage pain, digestive problems, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and other health issues.
Why do they work? Excess weight can be a symptom of underlying health imbalances that slow metabolism and block weight loss. Systemic inflammation, leptin resistance, hormonal imbalances, stress, leaky gut, blood sugar imbalances, food intolerances, and hypothyroidism are examples of factors that block weight loss.
How do autoimmune protocols and diets fit in?
The autoimmune diet and protocols are effective for people suffering from various chronic illnesses. Anti-inflammatory in nature, special attention is given to gut health and food reactivity.
While highly effective for many in not only managing autoimmunity but also dropping unwanted pounds, sometimes people take these diets to low-calorie extremes. Even if you’re eating healthy foods and avoiding the inflammatory ones, it’s still important not to starve the body and trigger the famine response that holds onto fat.
In fact, increasing healthy fats, protein, and nutrient-dense foods encourage the body to drop the pounds. Meeting your nutritional needs, providing healthy sources of fat to remind the body it’s not a time of famine, and enough protein to keep blood sugar stable are key for helping the body increase metabolic rate and drop extra weight.
If you suffer from unwanted weight, contact my office for an appointment. Functional medicine has effective ways to work with the underlying health issues that hinder weight loss.
Chiropractic is centered on the concept of helping your body to heal naturally through spinal adjustments and lifestyle changes that encourage overall health. For Chiropractic Healing Hands For You, this means working to reestablish your body's natural functioning to avoid the need for medications or surgical treatments. We see that many of our Portland patients are pleased to find a natural approach for their health problems.
One advantage of chiropractic is that it helps people reduce or eliminate the use of drugs. Medications are frequently supplied to patients who have back problems. This is such a serious concern that the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) issued a report stating that opioid (painkiller) dangers overshadow the benefits when administered for back pain.
Some of the most well-known narcotics, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin and Percocet), morphine, and codeine. Figures supplied by the AAN cite the fact that about 50% of the patients taking these types of substances for a period of three months are still on them five years later. This can further complicate the difficulty of back pain and healing, particularly if an narcotic dependency arises.
Compare that to chiropractic care which features natural healing and the benefits are clear. While a pill might be helpful at temporarily relieving the discomfort of a health issue, it's not a long-term solution to the problem. Drugs can't fix your injured spine; it will only mask the pain.
Chiropractic Healing Hands For You will first examine you to get to the origin of your back pain and then work with you to eliminate the spinal interference -- without the need for risky medications.
If you're ready for relief of your pain, naturally, give our Portland office a call at (503) 771-1974 to make an appointment with Chiropractic Healing Hands For You.
- Risk of opioids outweigh benefits for headache, low back pain, other conditions. American Academy of Neurology;September 29, 2014.
- What are opioids? National Institute on Drug Abuse. Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/opioids/what-are-opioids
Turns out gluten isn’t the only culprit when it comes to an immune reaction to wheat.
New research suggests non-gluten proteins are also a source of those immune reactions to wheat.
Wheat proteins called ATIs also trigger reactions
The new suspects are a family of proteins called amylase-trypsin inhibitors, or ATIs. While they make up only four percent of the proteins in wheat, ATIs can trigger powerful immune reactions that can spread from the gut to other tissues in the body, such as the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen, and even the brain.
ATIs are also shown to inflame pre-existing chronic conditions, including multiple sclerosis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, non-alcohol fatty liver disease, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.
And, ultimately, ATIs contribute to the development of gluten sensitivity.
At this time, it’s not entirely clear how much of a role ATI proteins play compared to gluten. We know from the work of Aristo Vojdani, PhD that people with symptoms of gluten sensitivity have been shown to react to several different types of gluten, as well as lectins and agglutinin.
The evolution of understanding wheat sensitivity
It used to be celiac disease was the only recognized immune reaction to wheat. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects a small percent of the population and requires medically invasive diagnostic criteria.
Only more recently has mainstream medicine begun to accept non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Newer research, the sheer volume of gluten-sensitive patients, and the explosion of the gluten-free market has made gluten sensitivity impossible to deny.
For decades patients who tested negative for celiac disease or even gluten sensitivity (standard testing is severely limited) have been told “It’s all in your head.” Today, the scientific legitimacy of an immune reaction to wheat is growing.
Likewise, a growing number of doctors are more willing to offer a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity and effective treatment strategies.
Gluten reactions occur in brain and elsewhere
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can include digestive issues such as abdominal pain and symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, common symptoms not related to the gut include headaches, joint pain, eczema, brain fog, and a number of dysfunctions related to the brain and nervous system.
These symptoms improve quickly on a gluten-free diet for many.
Research on wheat immune sensitivity continues
Research continues and in the future, it may be your doctor recommends an “ATI-free” diet instead of a gluten-free diet for wheat sensitivity.
Either way, if you react to gluten, avoiding it is the best choice for your long-term health.
If you have concerns about reactions to gluten, contact my office. Functional medicine has effective protocols to assess, diagnose, and manage gluten sensitivity.
Got gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, IBS…or maybe all of the above? Then you may have SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
Doctors have long blamed stubborn gut problems on stress. For the person whose life is dictated by the cruel whims of their digestive system, this can feel like shame and blame. Thanks to new research, these days we know many things cause gut problems. They include food sensitivities (especially to gluten and dairy), leaky gut, gut inflammation, autoimmunity, poor brain function, and SIBO.
SIBO results from too much bacteria that belong in the large intestine migrating into the small intestine. When these bacteria consume sugars and carbohydrates, they produce large amounts of gas that causes not only bloating, belching, and flatulence, but also constipation or diarrhea (depending on the type of gas produced).
These bacteria also inflame and damage the lining of the intestinal tract, causing leaky gut. Leaky gut allows undigested foods, bacteria, yeast, and other antigens into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation, autoimmunity, and chronic disease.
Many different lab tests, stringent dietary strategies (managing SIBO often requires a diet that restricts most everything but meats and a limited variety vegetables), and treatment protocols exist to treat SIBO, and sometimes it’s a matter of trial and error to land on an approach that works.
But if you don’t want a relapse, it’s important to ask why you have SIBO in the first place.
The causes include:
⦁ Food poisoning
⦁ Poor diet and excess sugar
⦁ Low stomach acid
⦁ Repeated antibiotic use
⦁ Chronic stress
⦁ Problems with brain function or health
Brain function is one of the most overlooked and unaddressed causes of SIBO. The digestive system maintains close communication with the brain. Poor brain function leads to poor gut function (this explains why people often suffer from gut problems after a head injury). Digestive juices and hormones are not sufficiently released, motility slows so that food sits longer in the intestines, giving rise to bacterial overgrowth, and the valve between the small and large intestine does not stay shut, allowing bacteria from the colon to escape into the small intestine where it does not belong. All of these are examples of how poor brain function leads to SIBO.
This explains how childhood brain development disorders, brain injuries, brain inflammation, brain degeneration, and brain aging all contribute to SIBO.
The elderly are especially vulnerable to malnutrition caused by SIBO, as are the increasing numbers of children born with autism and other brain development disorders. Fortunately, you can improve gut function through simple exercises that help tone the digestive system and prevent relapses of SIBO.
Managing SIBO does not have a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are various ways to approach it that include both nutraceutical and/or pharmaceutical approaches. Diet is always an important strategy. For more information, contact my office.
If you handle store receipts or use plastics (who doesn’t?), brace yourself for some disturbing new findings about BPA (bisphenol-A), the toxin in plastics and store receipts.
A new study shows BPA is linked with an autoimmune reaction that destroys the lining of nerves. Autoimmune nerve sheath degeneration is connected to autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis (MS), neuropathy, and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
Previous research has shown blood levels of BPA spike after handling store receipts for just five seconds, and that the toxin long lingers in the body.
BPA and neurological autoimmunity
A 2016 study found a significant link between an immune reaction to BPA and an autoimmune attack against nerve sheaths.
The important part about this study is that it’s based on immune sensitivity to BPA, not the amount of BPA in the blood.
A person can react to BPA the way people react to gluten, dairy, or other foods, developing inflammatory symptoms.
This means person may have low levels of BPA in their blood yet still have an immune reaction to it that can trigger autoimmunity. Conversely, a person may have high blood levels of BPA but no immune reaction and thus a lower risk of it triggering autoimmunity (although BPA is associated with other health disorders, too.)
Animal studies also show a high degree of correlation between BPA and autoimmunity.
BPA sensitivity in mothers raises autism risk in children
Autoimmunity to nerve sheaths is commonly associated with autism spectrum disorders. In fact, some research has found autoimmunity to nerve sheaths in almost 80 percent of subjects with autism compared to a control group.
Other studies show subjects with autism have significantly higher levels of BPA in their blood than controls.
Most disturbing are the findings that immune reactions to BPA in mothers can be passed on to offspring, thus considerably raising the risk of autism in their children.
Receipts major source of BPA contamination
BPA is ubiquitous in our environment. The toxin is found in large amounts on thermal receipts used by stores, restaurants, gas stations, airlines, ATM machines, and so on. Holding one of these receipts for as little as five seconds is enough to absorb it into your bloodstream.
BPA in plastics and other products
BPA is found in many other common products as well, such as plastic food and beverage containers, toys, tin can linings, and medical products.
BPA is leached from products through heat or exposure to acidic foods or beverages.
BPA also harms hormone health
BPA’s estrogen-like qualities have been shown to cause reproductive defects, cancer, and immune problems in animal studies. In the developing fetus, BPA can cause chromosomal errors, miscarriage, and genetic damage.
BPA is also linked to decreased sperm quality, early puberty, ovarian and reproductive dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, thyroid problems, insulin resistance, and obesity.
BPA-free is no guarantee
BPA-free products are available but many unfortunately still have synthetic estrogens and pose a health risk.
How to protect your body from BPA exposure
In addition to reducing exposure to BPA as much as possible, functional medicine strategies can help protect you from the negative effects of BPA.
The goal is to keep the immune system balanced and not prone to over reacting, which can trigger chemical sensitivities and autoimmunity. Ways to do this include an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle, shoring up your glutathione reserves to protect your cells, and making use of natural compounds to support neurological and immune health. For more information, contact my office.
Jaw pain is a fairly typical condition reported by many people after a car crash, and it can be challenging for some health practitioners to diagnose the root of the problem. Complicating the matter, very often you won't experience TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after the original injury.
Chiropractic Healing Hands For You has helped many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the medical research explains what produces these types of symptoms. During a crash, the tissues in your neck are commonly stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your central nervous system is one functioning unit, inflammation of the nerves can cause pain in other parts of your body.
For example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or pins and needles in the arm and hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injury, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a wreck are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Chiropractic Healing Hands For You sees this very often in our Portland office.
Research shows that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Chiropractic Healing Hands For You will work to return your spine back to health, reducing the inflammation, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Chiropractic Healing Hands For You has found that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy condition.
If you reside in Portland and you've been injured in a crash, Chiropractic Healing Hands For You can help. We've been treating auto injury patients since 2005, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (503) 771-1974 for an appointment.
Ciancaglini R, Testa M, Radaelli G. Association of neck pain with symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in the general adult population. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 1999;31:17-22.
Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, Pribicevic M, Robb A, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a system review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013;36(3):143-201.
Nutrition experts recommend women consume less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, a day of added sugar (9 teaspoons for men). Yet the average American consumes almost 20 teaspoons a day! And that doesn’t even include fruit juice, a known sugar bomb.
How did we allow ourselves to stray so far? Powerful lobbyists with deep pockets played a big role in our overly lax boundaries with a substance that is tanking the world’s developed nations.
Recent findings show that 50 years ago the sugar industry quietly paid for research to blame fat for heart disease and minimize sugar’s role.
Of course, now we know that the highly inflammatory effects of excess sugar are a major contributor to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases.
Unfortunately, the propaganda campaign didn’t stop 50 years ago; it’s still going strong today.
Sickly sweet sales and marketing
For instance, a study funded by the grape-juice industry shows grape juice is good for brain function, despite it packing a whopping 36 grams of sugar per cup, more than what a person should consume in an entire day. Sugar is so degenerative to the brain that scientists now call Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes.
Coca-cola spent more than $130 million dollars to fund research that said exercise is more important than diet in the weight loss battle. While exercise is indeed important, how you fuel your body is equally important. We can assume Coca-Cola did not fund the studies showing a link between the obesity epidemic and soda consumption in the United States.
And, in a brazen show of hubris, the National Confectioner’s Association funded research that concluded children who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t. Despite being naysaid by one of its own scientists, the study nevertheless went on to be published in a respected journal.
Although food giants can buy their way into scientific journals, these studies are often found to be poorly designed, incomplete, and only highlight the positives while ignoring the negatives. But because the average journalist is not trained in how to discern good research from bad, bad studies get ample press.
To spotlight these problems, one science writer conducted a hoax study that concluded eating chocolate causes weight loss and watched the media play it up.
Can you believe science? Yes, be mindful of fads
Does that mean you can’t believe any science? No, plenty of good research still happens.
The trick is to ferret out the nutritional guidelines based on hundreds of solid studies and be wary of the headline grabbers.
At the end of the day, some nutritional truisms have held fast over the years:
⦁ Eat lots of different vegetables every day
⦁ Eat a whole foods diet (avoid processed foods)
⦁ Avoid or minimize sugars, junk foods, sodas, and juices
⦁ Eat healthy fats
⦁ Avoid the foods to which you are sensitive (gluten and dairy are common ones)
⦁ Exercise daily
⦁ Cultivate positive experiences, habits, and thoughts
In our Portland office, it isn't uncommon for us to see patients troubled with sciatica pain, and Chiropractic Healing Hands For You has helped many of these people improve with chiropractic. What makes chiropractic so helpful to those who suffer with sciatica? First off, it reduces their healing time and a Norwegian medical study confirms it.
In the study, which took place in a Norwegian hospital's orthopedic division, researchers looked at 44 patients who reported sudden low back pain that was diagnosed as acute sciatic nerve pain. The individuals were all treated by a chiropractor, with the average follow-up being two years after treatment.
The researchers found that all but two patients returned to work after receiving chiropractic care, which is a 95% success rate. What's more, the average amount of time that the patients spent off work "was reduced by two thirds as compared with that associated with conventional medical treatment."
Considering that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 170,450 days of work were lost in 2013 due to employees dealing with back or spine-related issues, that is nearly 112,500 work days that could potentially be recovered each and every year solely by receiving chiropractic care. Not only would that increase work productivity, but it would also reduce costs to businesses and employees from lost work.
If you live in Portland and you suffer from sciatica, Chiropractic Healing Hands For You is here to assist. Give us a call at (503) 771-1974 and we'll work with you to find the root cause of your sciatica and get you back on the road to health.
Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30(2):135-139.
If you dread allergy season, then you know what it’s like to suffer from itchy skin, red eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure, and headaches.
Likewise, you may react to certain foods with hives, headaches, nasal congestion, skin problems, a racing heart, or irritability.
What is the common denominator in both scenarios? Histamines. While many people just give up and suffer, some natural compounds can bring relief. To understand why these natural remedies work, it’s helpful to understand a bit about histamines.
What are histamines?
Histamine is a protein that causes inflammation, redness, and irritation. It is produced in response to environmental or dietary proteins, also known as antigens.
When the antigen comes into contact with the body, the immune system registers it as an intruder and produces antibodies to it. These antibodies cause a release of histamine into your bloodstream, where they can build up with repeated exposure and increase sensitivity.
Histamines are found in many common foods, especially those aged or fermented, such as aged cheese, red wine, and sauerkraut, and also in foods such as eggs, some fruits and vegetables, and some seasonings.
Natural ways to relieve the suffering
The bright side is that there are a number of natural ways to ease your suffering, whether it’s from seasonal allergies or high-histamine foods.
First — Lower overall inflammation in the body
Before looking at natural antihistamines, it’s important to first address a functional medicine foundation: adopting a diet and lifestyle to lower overall inflammation.
This includes removing foods to which are intolerant (gluten and dairy are most common), stabilizing blood sugar, repairing intestinal permeability, managing low thyroid function and hormone imbalances, and addressing chronic stressors, such as sleep deprivation, over training, toxic exposures, junk food, excess alcohol, and many more.
Quercetin — nature’s Benadryl
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.
It also gives both short-term relief and long-term gut repair so you’re you less susceptible to allergies.
Nettle leaf is a natural antihistamine that naturally blocks histamine production. It can be made in to a tincture or tea, but for allergy relief, capsules made from dried nettle leaves are the most effective option.
The European herb butterbur has been shown to rival leading OTC drugs in reducing histamine reactions. It’s an anti-inflammatory properties also reduces spasms in smooth muscle and relaxes swollen nasal membranes.
Mangosteen is a fruit extract that has been shown to reduce inflammation and inhibit histamine release.
This Asian medicinal plant has been shown to inhibit histamine production.
Ask me about natural antihistamine relief
These are just a few of the many compounds effective in reducing histamine reactions. You can benefit from the synergistic effect of these compounds working together in product formulations that combine them.
If you have seasonal allergies or react to foods, contact my office. I can help you determine the source of your symptoms and get you on the path to feeling better.
Extended fasting during the night fast may lower your risk of breast cancer or improve your prognosis. Fasting has also been shown to provide decrease the risk for other types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
In the first study of its kind, researchers analyzed 11 years of data from non-diabetic breast cancer patients, with surprising results.
The women who fasted less than 13 hours per night showed a 36 percent increase in breast cancer recurrence compared to those who fasted for 13 or more hours per night.
In other words, going at least 13 hours between between dinner and breakfast is associated with a lower risk of cancer.
The study looked at daily sleep and dietary habits, serum blood sugar and inflammation markers (hemoglobin A1c and C-reactive protein), and the recurrence of cancer and breast tumors.
Longer fasting for better sleep and less disease risk
The study showed that each two-hour increase in fasting time made for longer nights of sleep. This is important not only because it helps people feel better, but also because it points to a healthier sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. An imbalanced circadian rhythm increases cancer risk, including breast cancer, along with numerous other chronic diseases.
Each two-hour increase in fasting time also reduced blood sugar and systemic inflammation, hence lowering the risk of diabetes and other diseases.
The longer nighttime fasters showed significantly lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein made in the liver that increases with inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to serious diseases, including heart disease, some forms of cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
Got low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue? Then a bedtime snack may be appropriate
While the new research makes a strong case for extended nighttime fasting, long fasts may be detrimental to those with low blood sugar or adrenal fatigue.
In these cases, allowing blood sugar to drop too low through fasting can cause a series of negative hormonal consequences that result in insomnia, mood issues, fatigue, and poor brain function.
If you wake up anxious at 3 or 4 a.m., you may be a victim of low blood sugar and need to eat a little protein to fall back asleep. Eating a little bit before bed can also help prevent those all-too-early wakeup calls. You also need to follow a diet during the day that stabilizes blood sugar.
Eating a healthy blood sugar diet over time may help you stabilize your blood sugar to the point that you can comfortably adopt the extended nighttime fast.
A simple, non-medical strategy for reducing cancer and disease risk
These findings suggest that simply extending the time between dinner and breakfast to at least 13 hours may be a simple, non-medical strategy to reduce the risk of breast cancer and chronic disease.
If you have questions or concerns about nighttime fasting, sleep habits, blood sugar balancing, or disease prevention, please contact my office.