Posts Tagged ‘Swisschiropracic

01
Aug
13

Dieting in the U.S.—A Statistical Snapshot of What Works and What Doesn’t


If there is one thing that Americans are obsessed with, it’s dieting. Just turn on any television and you are bombarded with ads for weight loss drinks, programs and foods that are guaranteed to have you looking slim and trim in a matter of weeks. But given the enormous amount of money spent on the quest for a smaller waistline (upwards of $69 billion each year), the growing obesity epidemic suggests measuring waistthat diets generally do not generally work.

Following are a few facts about dieting in the US:

  • At any given time, 50% of women and 25% of men are on a diet.
  • Dieters lose between 5% and 10% of their starting weight within the first six months, but 66% of them gain it back within a year, and 95% of them have regained all the weight they lost, and more, within 5 years.
  • The average diet costs 50% more than what the average American spends on food each week.
  • Between 40% and 60% of American high school girls are on a diet at any given time.
  • Both men and women who participate in a formal weight loss program gain significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who do not participate in a formal program.

Dieting is actually unhealthy. Studies have shown that repeatedly gaining and losing weight causes damage to the immune system and increases rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and stroke. This is not to say that there is nothing you can do to lose weight, but it’s important to find a way of eating that does not involve dieting.

What does seem to work, according to the most recent research, is changing what we eat. In contrast to what we have heard for years, a calorie is not just a calorie. One calorie of sugar is not metabolized by the body in the same way as one calorie of broccoli. The first raises insulin levels, causing that calorie to be stored as fat, and the second does not, so it gets used as immediate energy, along with providing important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association compared the effects of three different types of diet consisting of the same number of calories: a standard low-fat diet (60% carbs, 20% protein, 20% fat), an ultra-low-carb (Atkins) diet (10% carbs, 30% protein, 60% fat) and a low-glycemic diet (40% carbs, 20% protein, 40% fat). The low-fat dieters fared worst. The Atkins dieters burned 350 more calories per day than the low-fat dieters, and those following the low-glycemic diet burned 150 more calories per day than their low-fat diet counterparts. However, the Atkins type diet causes inflammation and raises cortisol, which can damage the heart, so your best bet is to follow a diet consisting mostly of low-glycemic foods.

Although the percentage of carbs in the low-glycemic diet were just slightly less than those in the low-fat diet, those carbs consisted of vegetables, fruit, legumes and minimally processed grains, whereas the low-fat diet included processed foods. Processed foods have had many of the compounds removed (such as fiber) that slow the release of sugar into the blood. A diet consisting of whole foods, minimally processed grains and moderate amounts of fat is still delicious, and you won’t have to feel that you are starving yourself. Over time you will find that you are slowly losing weight, and in a way that is healthy and more likely to become permanent.

 

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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30
Jul
13

What is the FDA, and What Does it Do?


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been around in some form since 1906 when President Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the Food and Drug Act prohibiting the interstate transport of “adulterated” food and drugs. It was originally a branch of the US fda-logo-200-300Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its intent was to protect the health of the general public. In 1927 it was reorganized and renamed the Food, Drug and Insecticide Organization.  Then—three years later—it finally came to be known as the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA is responsible for evaluating, approving and monitoring the foods and medicines available to the public, including overseeing the safety of food, tobacco products, dietary supplements, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals (both prescription and over-the-counter), medical machinery, vaccines and veterinary products. The FDA is also responsible for enforcing laws that have no relation to either food or drugs, such as laws concerning sanitation, household pets and sperm donation.

In theory, the FDA is supposed to prevent the sale of products that have not been tested for safety and to take legal action to stop the manufacturers from distributing products that may be harmful to health of the general public. The public should feel confident that the FDA is providing them with truthful information about the effectiveness of drugs and their potential for harmful or deadly side effects. However, the FDA’s ties to the pharmaceutical industry have been criticized as having unduly influenced the approval of drugs and medical devices that have been shown to be either unsafe or ineffective.

The main problem is described quite well on the FDA’s own web site: “The center [the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research] doesn’t actually test drugs itself, although it does conduct limited research in the areas of drug quality, safety, and effectiveness standards.” The FDA actually relies on research performed by the drug manufacturers themselves as to the safety and effectiveness of the drugs for which they are seeking approval. Yes, the foxes are guarding the henhouse!

A number of drugs approved by the FDA have had to be recalled due to serious health problems and deaths connected with their use. Some of the recalled drugs and their associated health damage include the diet drug fen-phen (heart and lung damage), the diabetes drug Rezulin (liver failure) and the pain reliever Vioxx (heart attack and stroke). Some FDA-approved medical devices have also proven to be dangerous. For a medical device to be approved by the FDA, the manufacturer only needs to state that it is similar to other approved devices already on the market.

Many FDA scientists themselves are critical of the FDA administration and their ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Many of these scientists were dismissed when they criticized the way the FDA was run. A letter written to President Obama by a group of FDA scientists and physicians criticized the FDA commissioner, lawyers and others at high levels in the FDA, stating that they had “violated laws, rules, and regulations” and “suppressed or altered scientific or technological findings and conclusions.”

The stated purpose of the FDA is a good one and is important for the continued health of the general population. However, many people believe that its methods need a serious overhaul if this organization is to rightfully earn the public trust.

 

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.

04
Jun
13

Spotlight on Massage and Lower Back Pain


According to the National Institutes of Health, lower back pain is the second most common Imageform of chronic pain after headaches. Experts estimate that approximately 80% of Americans will seek help for low back pain at some point during their lives. Public health officials and insurers estimate that Americans spend $50 billion each year on treatments that are often ineffective. The standard treatment for lower back pain is to take muscle relaxants, painkillers or anti-inflammatory medications, along with physical therapy and back exercises. However, few medical interventions relieve pain reliably, and continuing to take painkillers on a long-term basis is not advised. Massage, on the other hand, has been found to be an effective way of dealing with back pain on a regular basis.

Treatment for lower back pain accounts for approximately a third of all visits to a massage therapist. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients suffering from lower back pain of unknown origin were helped more by massage than by conventional medical treatment. Of 401 total study participants, 133 received traditional medical care with no massage, 132 received structural massage (which addresses particular muscular and skeletal structures that cause pain) and 36 received relaxation massage (a general form of massage, such as Swedish, intended for overall relaxation).

Participants in the massage groups received one hour-long massage once a week for 10 weeks. All participants completed a questionnaire at the beginning of the study, then again at 10 weeks, 24 weeks and a year after the beginning of the study to report on their perceived pain. Both kinds of massage groups reported greater pain relief and ease of motion after 10 weeks of treatment than the medical group.

An average of 37% of the patients in the massage groups reported that their pain was almost or completely gone, while only 4% of the usual care group reported similar results. This was also the case at 26 weeks. However, at the one-year mark, the benefits to all groups were about equal. The type of massage used did not seem to matter, with both massage groups experiencing comparable levels of pain relief. The massage groups were less likely to report having used medication for their back pain after the 10 weeks of intervention, and they also reported having spent fewer days in bed and had lost fewer days of work or school than those in the usual care group.

Dr. Richard A. Deyo, professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland says of the study, “I think this trial is good news in the sense that it suggests that massage is a useful option that helps some substantial fraction of these patients. Like in most other treatments, this is not a slam dunk, and it’s not like a cure, but it’s something that seems to offer a significant benefit for a substantial number of patients.” Deyo sees massage as a way of people being able to break out of the pain-inactivity cycle. He notes, “I don’t see massage as the final solution, I see it as maybe a helpful step toward getting people more active.”

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.

25
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, 4.7 school-children-eating-lunch-200-300million 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.

 

18
Dec
12

Preventing Back and Neck Injuries in Young Football Players


When you’re young it’s easy to believe you’re invincible and that accidents and injuries are things that only happen to other people.  However, when kids play a contact sport such as football, there’s a very real risk of injuries that can affect them for the rest of their lives.Y
Of the more than one 1 million players who participated in 2011, two high school football players died as a result of football-related accidents.  However, non-fatal back and neck injuries are far more common.  Chiropractors suggest that many of these injuries can be avoided by educating football players about how their spine works and which positions to avoid during play, especially when tackling.  Many professional teams even employ their own chiropractors to help prevent and treat injuries.
The majority of serious football injuries are caused by compression of the cervical spine (neck).  When players collide during a tackle, the amount of force felt by both players is considerable.  However, if a player drops his head before impact, the collision is felt much more keenly, as the flexing of the cervical spine reduces the natural properties of shock absorption in this part of the upper back.  Keeping the head up can dramatically reduce the number and severity of neck injuries in young players.  Avoiding direct head (helmet) contact with an opponent is also an important part of staying safe and minimizing impact on the neck and upper back.
In addition to good tackling mechanics, warming up and cooling down before and after a game is as important in football as it is in other sports.  Muscles that have not been warmed up and stretched before a game are far more likely to strain or tear on exertion.  Similarly, cooling down exercises prevent sharp contractions of over-exerted muscles.  All good coaches will teach this to their players from a young age.
Conditioning muscles through gym workouts is an important part of most sports.  However, there may be a tendency in football for trainers and players to pay special attention to areas of the body that improve performance (such as the legs and upper body) while neglecting the more vulnerable muscles of the neck region.  Neck strengthening is an excellent way of reducing the chance of a serious cervical injury, as the muscles will be able to absorb more of the impact of a collision.  This is even more true if the player’s head is kept up, as noted above.
Several chiropractic organizations have taken a lead in educating football teams and players at the high school level and beyond to reduce the risk of head, neck and back injuries.  Some chiropractors provide free advice to teams and even produce posters and educational messages to post in locker rooms as a natural extension of their chiropractic care in the community.  A good ongoing relationship between local chiropractors and high school football teams provides a firm basis for educating young athletes about the importance of spinal health, proper preparation and good playing mechanics.

 

Dr. P. 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.

 

04
Dec
12

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30
Nov
12

What is the New Presidential Youth Fitness Program and How Has it Changed?


Many of us may remember the physical education classes we were required to take when we were in elementary school.  It was a familiar sight to pass by the gym door and see students doing sit-ups, push-ups and squat-thrusts.  Things are changing.
First implemented in 1966, the Youth Fitness Test given to each student was meant to measure physical ability relative to his or her peers.  Shellie Pfohl is the executive director of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.  According to Ms. Pfohl, “By design, the old test compared kids against each other, so by design 50% failed.”  In addition, the test provided little information on the student’s actual level of health.
The test has recently been given a major overhaul, and the new Presidential Youth Fitness Program has been revised to promote exercise as a means of achieving good overall health.  Why the change?  Rates of chronic disease are growing rapidly, and lack of exercise is a major contributor to the problem.  “What is really apparent is that we have an obesity epidemic in our country, so we feel like we now need to focus on health versus athletic performance,” says Pfohl.  Under the new program, youth are now evaluated by taking the Fitnessgram(r) test.  The test is scored according to five criteria: body composition, muscle strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness or aerobic capacity and flexibility.

The new Presidential Youth Fitness Program encourages students to develop personal fitness goals that will hopefully remain with them throughout their lifetime. First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move!” initiative in order to help solve the growing problem of childhood obesity. She said of the revised youth fitness program, “One of the reasons I’m excited about the new program is because kids won’t be measured on how fast they can run compared to their classmates, it’ll be based on what they can do and what their own goal is. This is important because we want physical activity to be a lifelong habit.”

The Fitnessgram(r) uses a skin-fold test to measure body composition (the amount of body fat in relation to weight and height, also referred to as BMI).  It uses push-ups, modified pull-ups and curl-ups to measure muscle strength.  Aerobic capacity is measured by a PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run) test.  Finally, the sit-and-reach test measures flexibility.

When students score within the Fitnessgram(r) Healthy Fitness Standards in five out of six events, they are eligible for a Presidential Youth Fitness award.  Those who score below these standards will be given information about the health risks associated with scoring low in the designated areas and will be instructed on ways to achieve better physical fitness.

This program is voluntary for schools, and experts stress that it is just as important to encourage physical activity at home.  As Dr. Kent Adams, professor of kinesiology at California State University at Monterey Bay notes, “Schools are important, yes.  But we have an obligation in our homes and communities to be partners in promoting a healthy lifestyle in our daily lives.”

 

Dr P. Dubois, DC, CCSP

Dr. 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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