Archive for the 'swisschiropractic' Category

08
Jul
15

How Coffee Affects Your Health


coffee-cup-200-300We seem to hear different things from the medical community every few years about either the positive or negative effect that coffee has on our health. So what is the most current information? Is coffee good or bad for your health? The answer, in short, is that it’s a little of both.

Too much coffee can lead to a temporary increase in blood pressure, anxiety and upset stomach, in addition to its ability to become addictive. And don’t forget that added cream and sugar contribute to weight gain. For example, a 24-ounce Starbucks venti double chocolate chip frappucino contains a mind-boggling 520 calories!

Despite these drawbacks, moderate coffee consumption can actually have a protective effect, helping to reduce your risk of many problems, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and Type 2 diabetes, to name a few. It can also lower the risk of stroke in women.

Current research has indicated that there is no increased risk of heart disease or cancer from moderate coffee drinking. The studies done earlier that reached that conclusion were flawed in that they did not take into consideration other lifestyle habits that went along with increased coffee drinking, such as smoking and lack of exercise, two major causes of these diseases. In fact, coffee has been shown to protect against many kinds of cancer.

A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that there was a 25 percent reduction in cases of endometrial cancer in women who drank four or more cups of coffee per day. Scientists believe this may be due to the fact that coffee has the ability to lower concentrations of free estradiol and insulin, in addition to the cancer-fighting effect of coffee’s antioxidant phenols.

Even a few cups of coffee every day can cut men’s risk of developing prostate cancer by 30 percent, with those consuming six cups of coffee a day reducing their risk of a dangerous form of the cancer by a whopping 60 percent.

Coffee also reduces your risk of developing basal cell carcinoma by up to 20 percent, according to scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that women who drink coffee (four cups per day) have a 20 percent lower risk of depression than those who drink no coffee at all.

It is recommended that you get no more than 500-600 mg of caffeine intake per day, the equivalent of about 6 to 8 cups of brewed coffee. Obviously, the amount of caffeine in a cup of espresso will be more than that in the equivalent amount drip coffee.

The key point to keep in mind is to consume coffee in moderate amounts, especially if you are pregnant. But all in all, the benefits of coffee consumption far outweigh the risks for most people, so grab a café grande and drink up!

Nutrition is a very complex and our understanding of it is constantly evolving. If you have questions about your current nutrition or supplement plan, please ask. We are here to help!

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19
Aug
13

When Are Antibiotics Appropriate and When Should I Avoid Using Them?


People are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers that can result from the overuse of antibiotics. When antibiotics were first antibodies-200-300discovered in the early 20th century, researchers believed that they had found the key to conquering many deadly diseases. Since that time, antibiotics have certainly helped to cure diseases that once wiped out large parts of the population. However, there is growing evidence that antibiotics are now being used too frequently, and that they are often being used in inappropriate circumstances. This has led to many previously curable diseases becoming antibiotic-resistant, which means that a cure now requires the use far stronger antibiotics. In fact, some diseases have now become resistant to nearly all antibiotics. It is obvious that if antibiotic use continues in this way, we may have a major health crisis on our hands.

The first thing to be aware of is that antibiotics are not effective in the treatment of viruses. They only treat bacterial infections, certain fungal infections and parasites. For diseases such as the common cold, flu or bronchitis, antibiotics are completely ineffective and their use in cases such as these will only contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. You should not ask your doctor to prescribe antibiotics if you have a sore throat or the stomach flu, for instance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibiotics were prescribed for an acute respiratory infection in 68% of visits to the doctor. However, 80% of those prescriptions were unnecessary.

Antibiotics are often an appropriate treatment for conditions such as severe sinus infections that last longer than two weeks, ear infections, bladder infections and skin infections. These are frequently due to a bacterial or fungal infection, and treating them with antibiotics is effective.

If you have been prescribed an antibiotic, it is very important that you take it exactly as directed by your physician. If your symptoms happen to clear up before the entire course of antibiotics is completed, you must still continue to take them as prescribed. This is because there may still be a few lingering bacteria in your system, and—if they are not all killed—the strongest ones may survive to produce new generations of ever stronger bacteria that might make current antibiotics less effective.

Some doctors feel pressured by their patients to prescribe something, whether it’s really going to be helpful or not. A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that pediatricians will prescribe antibiotics for children 62% of the time if parents expect them to, and only 7% of the time if the parents do not expect an antibiotic prescription. Do not put pressure on your doctor to prescribe antibiotics for your condition. He or she is the best judge as to whether antibiotics are appropriate.

 

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois, a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 

 

21
Feb
13

Diet and the Hyperactive Child


Having a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a challenging—and sometimes heartbreaking—experience, and it’s one that affects many families.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7school-children-eating-lunch-200-300 million children in America have been diagnosed with the condition.  Approximately 9.5% of children between ages 4 and 17 have at some point in their lives been diagnosed with ADHD, which has increased 5.5% on average each year between 2003 and 2007.

Why the sudden upsurge in the prevalence of ADHD?  A few years ago, a number of studies found a strong association between ADHD and diet, and there was a strong push to try treating ADHD with diet modification.  This approach has met with very mixed results.  In the end, no conclusive evidence was found of a direct cause-and-effect link between specific dietary factors and ADHD.  As a result of the contradictory and inconclusive data, diet modification lost a lot of its support within the medical community as a possible treatment.  However, that started to change with the 2007 publication of a seminal British study now commonly referred to as the “Southampton Study”.

In the Southampton Study, a drink containing a mixture of artificial food coloring and the preservative sodium benzoate was found to aggravate hyperactivity in three-year-olds and did the same thing to a lesser extent in eight- to nine-year-olds.  A 2010 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found similar results, and suggested that children made more hyperactive by food additives were likely to have problems with the genes that regulate histamine release (in response to potential allergens).  In February 2011, another follow-up study was published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, which found that nearly two-thirds of the children who were following an elimination diet (in which food additives were eliminated in favor of fresh grains, meats, vegetables, and fruit) experienced significant reduction of their symptoms of hyperactivity and defiant behavior.

This research was strong enough to restart discussions about the possible role of food additives in causing or aggravating ADHD, and has led to the British government requesting that manufacturers remove most food dyes from their products.  The European Union now requires warning labels on products that contain any of six food dyes that “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.”

There has been a recent resurgence in interest in “elimination diets” as a possible approach to treating ADHD.  Even though they may not work for all children with ADHD, they may work in a significant enough percentage of cases to warrant their use.  Basically, such a diet consists of eating more protein (meat, eggs, cheese, nuts, etc.), eating fewer simple carbohydrates (candies, corn syrup, breads made from white flour, etc.) and eating more complex carbohydrates (whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits).  Proponents of such diets also recommend taking supplements of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and a general vitamin supplement.

The real “elimination” part of the diet involves trying to remove from it ingredients or food additives suspected of causing or aggravating ADHD to see if not eating them results in fewer symptoms.  These additives include sodium benzoate and food dyes Yellow Nos. 5, 6 and 10, Red Nos. 3 and 40, and Blue Nos. 1 and 2.

Naturally, if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, consult with a qualified physician before trying any type of elimination diet.  He or she may be able to perform tests to help determine which dietary changes might be the most beneficial.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 

14
Feb
13

Health Benefits of Swimming


Swimming isn’t just fun.  It’s also an excellent way to increase your fitness, help control your weight and improve your overall mood.  Plus, swimming is exercise that people of any age and physical ability can enjoy.  It’s easy on the ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????musculoskeletal system while at the same time providing a good aerobic workout.

The governing body for all swimming-related activities in Britain (called the ASA) compiled a report of scientific findings from all over the world on the health benefits of swimming.  Researchers have found that swimming regularly reduces men’s risk of dying early by a staggering 50 percent in comparison with those who run, walk or do no physical activity.  Experts estimate that just two and a half hours per week of swimming can significantly reduce your risk of chronic disease.

A good all-around exercise, swimming involves both aerobic activity and working against resistance.  Unlike most aerobic activities, however, swimming involves little in the way of jarring impact (like the shocks and jolts involved with running) and doesn’t require you to support your full body weight while doing it.  When submerged up to your neck in water, your body weight is effectively reduced by 90 percent.  As a result, overweight and obese people can get a good workout without placing large amounts of painful stress on the lower body’s muscles and joints.  This removes a common deterrent to exercise for a large (and growing) part of the population and suggests that swimming could be an attractive option for people trying to manage their weight.

Arthritis sufferers or those with musculoskeletal injuries can also benefit from swimming, since studies have shown that it improves range of motion without causing a worsening of symptoms such as pain and stiffness.  In fact, according to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, swimming as a form of exercise (as opposed to running or practicing other impact sports) can reduce your risk of osteoarthritis.

Beyond increasing fitness levels and helping to manage weight, swimming may provide a variety of other health benefits:

  • Studies performed on people suffering from fibromyalgia have found that exercise performed in a warm pool reduced anxiety and depression and caused an improvement in mood.
  • For older adults, swimming has been shown to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.  Post-menopausal women in particular are at increased risk of bone loss, and swimming provides a safe and effective form of the resistance exercise that is needed to maintain bone density.
  • Pregnant women find that swimming strengthens their shoulder and abdominal muscles, which are put under increased stress during pregnancy.  Obstetricians recommend swimming as a good form of exercise for most pregnant women, as it provides them with temporary relief from the extra weight they are carrying.

It’s hard to exaggerate the potential fitness benefits of swimming.  Swimming helps to build cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance.  It tones your muscles and helps to maintain healthy heart and lung function.  It also improves flexibility, reduces blood pressure and alleviates stress.  Whether in a community pool, at a nearby lake or in the ocean, swimming offers an ideal way for most people to keep fit that’s also easy on the body’s musculoskeletal system.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

14
Feb
13

Is Chiropractic Safe for Older People?


As a nation, America is getting older.  According to an article in Harvard Magazine, 3,000 people turn 65 every day, and the number of senior citizens is growing at more than twice the rate of the general population.  But just because we’re ????????????????????????????????????getting older, that doesn’t mean that we have to feel older.

Chiropractic care is not only safe for the vast majority of seniors, it is also a completely appropriate medical treatment for the kinds of health problems that an aging population faces.  Many changes may take place as we get older—our muscles, spinal discs, facet joints and ligaments become less hydrated, weaker, and less able to withstand normal stresses.  For many older people, these changes can result in pain as well as reduced strength and range of motion.

In addition to suffering from chronic pain, senior often become more susceptible to injuries as their bones become more brittle and their balance and coordination begin to deteriorate.  At least one in four elderly people per year experiences a fall, which can aggravate existing spinal injuries or create new ones.  So what can chiropractic offer the elderly?

First, it can provide a safe, non-surgical approach to spinal care, free of both invasive procedures and potentially dangerous medications.  Doctors of Chiropractic use proven, gentle techniques of adjustment, manipulation and stretching to realign displaced joints and muscles.  This in turn reduces pain and helps restore flexibility and ease of movement.

One recent study compared two types of chiropractic manipulation in 240 men and women over the age of 55: high-velocity low amplitude manipulations versus low-velocity variable amplitude manipulations.  The researchers found that the chiropractic techniques produced superior results in relieving chronic lower back pain when compared to traditional conservative medical care.  Not only was chiropractic care found to be more effective in relieving lower back pain, the researchers also concluded that the two approaches (the first producing the “cracking” sound often heard during chiropractic manipulations, the second not) were equally useful.  Even better, no adverse effects were recorded.

This study is important because it points out that chiropractic care can be tailored to some extent to the age and preferences of the individual patient.  While some patients prefer the “cracking” approach and others prefer a more gentle technique, they’re both effective when skillfully applied.  This is very good news!  Every individual’s situation is unique, and it’s good to know that chiropractors and their patients (including seniors) have many choices when it comes to treatment.

Also, it’s important to remember that chiropractic care isn’t limited to spinal adjustments.  Modern chiropractic focuses on improving the patient’s overall state of health and well-being in addition to addressing specific problems.  Most chiropractors today can offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle choices that is tailored to the specific needs of their patients, whether young or old.

Safe, effective chiropractic care can clearly play a key role in restoring or maintaining spinal function.  It can also help promote general health, mobility, endurance and vitality at any age.  If you have questions about whether chiropractic care is right for you or someone close to you, please call or visit our office.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

11
Feb
13

Power Lines, Electromagnetic Fields and Your Health


There has been considerable controversy over the past few years about whether or not exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is harmful to our health.  Given the conflicting studies, we are not likely to have a definitive answer any time soon, particularly until studies on the effect of long-term, low-level EMFs have been completed.  However, the current bottom linepowerlines-200-300 on EMFs according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is that they have not been shown to cause an increase in adverse health effects.  The WHO adds, “However, some gaps in knowledge about biological effects exist and need further research.”

Electromagnetic fields have existed since the earth was first formed.  The earth’s own magnetic field, which is what makes a compass needle point north, and the electromagnetic radiation we receive every day from the sun were the only sources of EMFs for billions of years.  But ever since Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, the public has been increasingly exposed to ever rising levels of EMFs, and the expansion in modern technology has led to a bombardment of EMFs everywhere you turn.  Not only do EMFs come from high voltage power lines, but also from cell phone towers, cell phones, WiFi networks, and even the toaster in your kitchen.  There is virtually nowhere on the planet (at least in inhabited areas) that does not have some form of artificially-created EMFs in its atmosphere.

The WHO began a large-scale research project in 1996 in response to the growing concern the public was expressing in regard to the possible health effects of EMFs.  This multidisciplinary endeavor combines research from key national and international scientific institutions and agencies.  The WHO notes, “In the area of biological effects and medical applications of non-ionizing radiation approximately 25,000 articles have been published over the past 30 years.  Despite the feeling of some people that more research needs to be done, scientific knowledge in this area is now more extensive than for most chemicals.”

The studies that were examined regarding the effects of EMFs included in vitro (test tube), in vivo (animal studies) and epidemiological studies.  In vitro studies did not find any association between low-level EMFs (the type we are commonly exposed to every day) and DNA damage.  The studies that did show a possible association were found to be flawed.  However, the WHO notes that some epidemiological studies suggested a minor association between childhood leukemia and low-level EMFs in the home and many cases of leukemia have been found in children who live in homes that are close to high voltage power lines.  The WHO then goes on to say that there is not necessarily a cause-and-effect relationship demonstrated here, and that the leukemia may be due to other unknown factors.  They state, “In part, this conclusion has been reached because animal and laboratory studies fail to demonstrate any reproducible effects that are consistent with the hypothesis that fields cause or promote cancer.  Large-scale studies are currently underway in several countries and may help resolve these issues.”

If you feel your home may be subject to excessive amounts of EMFs, you may want to invest in or rent a gauss meter, which is a hand-held device that can measure the strength of EMFs that exist around your home.  Test possible EMF sources both when the item is turned on and when it is turned off.

Whereas being exposed to one or two low-frequency EMF-emitting devices on a regular basis may not cause adverse health issues, there is no telling if being exposed to many of them over a period of many years may in fact affect our health in some way.  Much research remains to be done.  If you are particularly concerned, there are some things you can do to keep your exposure to EMFs to a minimum.  Simple examples include keeping mobile phones and other electronic devices at least 6 feet away from you while you sleep and unplugging household appliances when they are not in use (since they emit EMFs if they are plugged in whether or not you’re actually using them).

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

10
Jan
13

ADHD in the Classroom: What Every Parent (and Teacher) Should Know:


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is classified as a psychiatric or neurological behavioral disorder.  It is characterized by a significant inability to concentrate for more than a very short period of time and/or impulsive behavior and hyperactivity.R

The number of school-age children affected by ADHD is difficult to accurately assess, since diagnostic criteria vary.  Furthermore, the normal excitability of creative and energetic children can often be mistaken for a mental health problem by parents or teachers unable to unwilling to cope with it.  However, an estimated 1 in 20 children has ADHD, and it is important to note that approximately 70%-80% of referrals and diagnoses relate to boys.  Whether this is due to a real difference in the occurrence of ADHD or the natural tendency of boys to be louder and more impulsive has yet to be established.

Parents commonly worry about whether their child performs well in school.  The disruptive behavior and lack of attention that characterizes ADHD is clearly going to put an affected child at a disadvantage.  Additionally, if the underlying disorder is not recognized, the child may be blamed and stigmatized for being unable to control his or her behavior by both parents and teachers.  The fact that the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD has been the subject of considerable controversy for several decades has not helped to achieve any kind of clarity regarding the condition.  It is important for both parents and teachers to understand that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting, but is a physical disorder with a biological cause.

So, what are the signs of ADHD that parents and teachers need to look for, and what can be done to manage the condition to minimize its disruptive effect on both the affected pupil and his or her classmates?

The presence of either impulsive behavior or inattention that impedes a child’s ability to learn is a genuine cause for concern.  The type of impulsive behavior and hyperactivity observed in children with ADHD is far more extreme than the usual childhood displays of acting up.  The inability to concentrate is more than just boredom with the task at hand, and an ADHD child suffering from inattention may display many of the following signs:

  • Distraction
  • Inability to finish even simple tasks
  • Carelessness and sloppy mistakes in their work
  • Disorganization
  • Avoidance of anything that involves sustained mental effort, such as homework

Discussing these signs with the child (either at home or at school) can help to determine if they feel unable to help themselves and whether ADHD may be the underlying problem.  Teachers may have an advantage here over parents since they are able to compare the behavior and attention span of an ADHD child to what is typical for their classmates.  In contrast, parents without any other reference points may view their child’s behavior and attention span as normal.  In either case, it is important to avoid blame and labeling so that affected children do not feel guilty for behavior and attention lapses that may not actually be their fault.

If ADHD is suspected, then referral to a medical professional is necessary for an accurate diagnosis and to exclude the possibility of other conditions such as Tourette syndrome and learning disabilities.  Approximately two thirds of children with ADHD are also found to have another disorder.  Doctors, psychiatrists and social workers may wish to include visits to the school and home environment in their assessment to see how the child reacts in a range of situations.

Treatment for ADHD may involve strategies for managing behavior for both the child and his or her parents and teachers.  Changes may be made to their learning style and program, and depending on the severity of the condition, medication may be prescribed.  ADHD children have different learning needs and will thrive best if these are met.  These needs may include a structured and regular learning program and an absence of potential distractions.  Pupils with ADHD may need to be seated away from their classmates, with a clear indication that this is being done for their own benefit rather than as a punishment.  Similarly, an ADHD child will work best at home in a calm, uncluttered environment.

As with any learning disability, ADHD is best managed through support of the child rather than using punitive measures to attempt to correct behavior.  Consistency and good communication between parents, teachers and health professionals are also essential for successful treatment.

Dr Dubois, DC, CCSP

Pierre DuboisDr. Dubois,a Swiss physician, and a Triangle Certified Sport Chiropractor has over 20 years of experience in the treatment and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Amongst his patients, two world champions in martial arts (gold medalists in 2005 WMJA), one carrier of the Olympic flame in 2004, and numerous soccer players, swimmers and athletes of all levels who benefited from his chiropractic care.

 




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