Posts Tagged ‘Swisschiropractic

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.

 

 

17
Aug
13

The Benefits of Potassium


As the third most common mineral in the body, potassium is responsible for supporting a wide range of bodily activities. Without ???????sufficient potassium, the heart, brain, kidneys and muscles would not function properly. However, the Western diet’s preponderance of processed foods has created a population with a growing risk of potassium deficiency.

Potassium is an electrolyte that is crucial to the body’s electrical circuitry so that proper signals are conducted to and from the brain and between cells. It works in conjunction with the minerals sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. Simply moving a muscle requires potassium. Potassium helps to regulate the heart, which is triggered by potassium to contract, squeezing blood through the body a hundred thousand times each day.

In addition to keeping our muscles and heart in good working condition, potassium is also responsible for healthy bone maintenance, protecting against osteoporosis, reducing high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and helping the kidneys to filter blood. It can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety and keeps the body’s water levels balanced.

The recommended daily intake of potassium is as follows:

Infants birth – 6 months: 400 mg/day

Infants 7 – 12 months: 700 mg/day

Children 1 -3 years: 3,000 mg/day

Children 4 – 8 years: 3,800 mg/day

Children 9 – 13 years: 4,500 mg/day

Adolescents and Adults 19 years and older: 4,700 mg/day

Breastfeeding women: 5,100 mg/day

Most Americans are potassium deficient. “Relying on convenience and restaurant foods and not eating enough fruits and vegetables is why so many people don’t get enough potassium. Fresh and lightly processed foods, including dairy and meat, have the most potassium,” according to registered dietitian, Marla Heller.

An excess of sodium in the diet (which is common among Americans) can increase the amount of potassium you need. Others at risk of potassium deficiency (hypokalemia) are those who experience diarrhea, vomiting, malabsorption syndromes (such as Crohn’s disease) and excessive sweating. Alcoholics, smokers, drug users, athletes (or anyone who uses their muscles excessively), and those who use diuretics are also prone to hypokalemia. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, muscle cramps, irritability, chronic diarrhea, weakness and stomach problems.

Food sources abundant in potassium are meat, poultry, fish (cod, salmon, and flounder), dairy products, legumes and fruits and vegetables (particularly bananas, citrus, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes and green leafy vegetables such as Swiss chard). Cooking destroys potassium, so try to eat potassium-rich foods either raw or minimally cooked (lightly steamed or roasted).

 

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.

 

16
Aug
13

Cleansing: What Does the Science Really Say?


Cleansing, sometimes also referred to as detoxification, has been all the rage in recent years among those interested in alternative preparation teamedicine. The theory is that the body accumulates toxins from the environment in the form of pollution, processed foods and food additives (and even sometimes toxins created by the body itself), so a “body cleanse” or “detox” is necessary to rid ourselves of these harmful toxins. Those who promote detox programs have developed special diets along with a host of (often costly). Colon cleanses are another form of body detoxification that is popular in some alternative medicine circles. But scientific evidence shows that special cleansing regimes do not provide any additional health benefits, and in some cases may even be dangerous.

A noted epidemiologist from the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Frank Sacks, says of cleansing, “There is no basis in human biology that indicates we need fasting or any other detox formula to detoxify the body because we have our own internal organs and immune system that take care of excreting toxins.” Our bodies are expert at getting rid of unwanted substances.

Colon cleansing dates back to the days of ancient Egypt where it was thought that material in the intestines could poison the body. This theory became popular again in the late 19th century when the term “autointoxication” was coined, which led to resurgence in the use of enemas in perfectly healthy people. However, a study performed by Dr. Ranit Mishori and colleagues at Washington D.C.’s Georgetown University found that colon cleanses could actually be harmful for many people, causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

First of all, there is no way by which toxins can be absorbed into the blood through the colon. Almost all nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine, and any toxins that have been excreted by the liver and kidneys is efficiently expelled in the urine and feces. Meanwhile, injecting fluid into the colon in the form of an enema or colonic on a regular basis not only does not aid your body in clearing toxins, but it can remove beneficial bacteria, in addition to robbing your body of much-needed electrolytes. Also, regular colon cleanses can interfere with your body’s ability to create normal bowel movements, so you become dependent on enemas.

Most doctors agree that fasting or pursuing an extreme detox diet is detrimental to long-term health. The body starved of nutrients does not operate efficiently, and will go into conservation mode. This means that your metabolism will slow down and any of the water weight you lost in the initial days of the diet (very little of the weight lost in fasting is fat) will come back in the form of accumulated fat once you start eating again, as your body will be burning fewer calories.

There is no doubt that eating processed foods filled with chemical additives and preservatives is not good for health. But you don’t need to go on a special detox diet to improve your health. Simply drink plenty of water and substitute fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, moderate amounts of fish and organic meat for the processed foods you are now eating. Your body will take care of getting rid of any toxins you may have ingested and you will be healthier without having to spend money for a special diet that makes you feel miserable and could even be harmful to your health.

 

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.

 

16
Aug
13

Occupational Health and Safety: Tips for Construction Workers


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 721 fatal accidents on construction sites in 2011, accounting for 17.5% of all worker fatalities that year. The leading causes of death to workers on construction sites were falls, Construction siteelectrocution, being struck by an object and becoming trapped. OSHA estimates that by eliminating these four primary causes, approximately 400 lives would be saved every year. And it’s not just worksite accidents that can be dangerous to construction workers’ health—bad ergonomics and exposure to toxic materials can also pose risks. Following are some health tips for construction workers to help avoid these hazards.

To reduce falls from scaffolds, ladders and roofs:

  • Be sure you are trained in the proper use of all equipment and ensure that equipment is thoroughly inspected before each shift.
  • Check that the weight placed on ladders and scaffolding does not exceed the recommended limits.
  • Do not step or sit on a skylight if you are working on a roof, as there is a chance that it may not bear your weight.
  • Check for unsecure shingles or roof tiles that can cause you to lose your footing.
  • Placing safety netting below any roof openings can save someone’s life in the event of a fall.

To avoid electrocution:

  • Be sure to turn off the power before working on any electrical equipment.
  • Wear insulated rubber gloves and boots when working in wet or damp conditions.
  • All electrical cords should have grounding plugs and any frayed cords should be replaced.
  • Ensure that equipment such as ladders and scaffolds never come within 10 feet of electrical power lines.

To avoid toxic materials:

  • Wear protective equipment when working on sites that may contain lead paint. Bridges, tunnels and elevated highways were all commonly painted with lead-based materials. Have your blood tested periodically to ensure that levels of lead in your blood are within normal range.
  • Wear a face mask to keep from breathing in toxic fumes when working with tar or asphalt to reduce skin, eye and respiratory irritation.
  • When working around stonecutting, paint, lacquer or asbestos you should wear a respirator.

To avoid ergonomic injuries:

  • When lifting, be sure to bend your knees and keep your hips and shoulders aligned. Do not round your back or twist when lifting, as it may cause a back injury.
  • Make sure your tool belt is balanced. Extra weight on one side of the belt can pull your body out of alignment, increasing the risk of injury.
  • Sit on a sturdy stool when working at lower levels rather than kneeling or squatting.
  • Choose ergonomic tools that are light and properly balanced
  • Keep your wrists in a neutral position when working rather than having them flexed forward or backward. This will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

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.

09
Aug
13

How Much Sleep is Too Much?


We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep and the detrimental effect on our health if we get too little of it. However, it is also possible to get too much sleep, and this may be even worse than getting too little. Sleeping too much has been shown to be a possible indication of underlying health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, low thyroid and obstructive sleep apnea, and is liked to an increased risk of early death.

Everyone’s need for sleep differs, and there are good reasons for occasionally having to sleep more, such as during periods of high stress or illness. But on average, experts suggest that the optimum amount of sleep to get on a regular basis is between 7 and 9 hours a day. One study showed that those who slept between 9 and 10 hours per night were 21% more likely to become obese over a period of 6 years than those who slept between 7 and 8 hours a night. Another study of 72,000 women found that those who slept between 9 and 11 hours a night had a 38% greater likelihood of coronary heart disease than those who slept 8 hours.

Depression and low socioeconomic status have also been linked with sleeping too much, so it may be that oversleeping is one of the symptoms of these conditions rather than being a cause of the detrimental health effects associated with oversleeping. People with these conditions are less likely to seek or be able to afford health care, so any underlying health problems may not be discovered and treated.

When underlying health and mental problems have been ruled out, people who still feel a strong need to sleep for 70 hours or more perMother Kissing Toddler's Cheek week have what is called primary hypersomnia. Many with hypersomnia go undiagnosed, as it often develops in the teenage years and can be attributed to typical teenage behavior. A study was performed by researchers at Atlanta’s Emory University on people with this condition. The researchers found that one of the major factors implicated in hypersomnia is the presence of a certain substance in the person’s cerebrospinal fluid that acts much in the same way as a sleeping pill. Emory researcher Andrew Jenkins said, “We know why you’re sleepy—your brain is sedating itself.” It is typical for people with hypersomnia to simultaneously experience low levels of energy, anxiety and memory problems, in addition to extreme sleepiness throughout the day that is generally not relieved by napping.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes the sufferer to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep, keeping them from getting to the stage of restful, restorative sleep that is necessary for proper physical and mental functioning during the day. Some prescription medications and the overuse of alcohol can also lead to oversleeping.

If you find yourself consistently sleeping more than 9 hours a day and are also sleepy throughout the day, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to your oversleeping.

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.

08
Aug
13

What is Personalized Medicine?


Since the first healers began treating people for illness, the way it worked was that you described your symptoms to the doctor, who would then give you a physical examination and perhaps run some tests. Then he or she would make a diagnosis of your condition and treat you double-helix-200-300with drugs or other therapies that were standard for that condition. Personalized medicine takes the diagnosis and treatment of disease to a whole new level due to recent advances in genetics.

Scientists are now beginning to understand that each person’s unique genetic and molecular profile gives them greater susceptibility to particular diseases. Personalized medicine is a way of approaching medical treatment for the individual based upon their specific genetic profile. This can allow doctors to design treatments that are likely to be the most safe and effective for that person. For example, one drug may work well for one person, but a different drug may be prescribed for another person because of their different genetic make-up. Doctors can make these choices when they know that specific genetic differences may mean the second person is less likely to respond to a particular treatment or that the drug they’re considering is more likely to cause harmful side effects.

The use of personalized medicine could end up saving money as well, since there would not be as much “trial-and-error” in the approach to diagnosis and treatment as there often is today. Therapies that are likely to be ineffective can be avoided from the start, avoiding the risks and expense of unnecessary medical treatment, and saving the patient and society considerable amounts of money. It also allows for the detection of diseases (or even the likelihood of diseases) at an earlier stage so that treatment can be started earlier, leading to more successful outcomes.

A 2001 study that was published in Trends in Molecular Medicine found that prescription drugs are only effective for between 50% and 75% of patients, on average. This number drops down to 25% for patients with cancer and 30% of people taking drugs to treat Alzheimer’s.

There are efforts currently underway in a few countries to sequence human genomes to catalog all the existing variations. Currently, approximately 98% of the human genome worldwide has been sequenced. The “1000 Genomes Project,” involving 700 scientists from all over the world, sequenced the DNA of over 1000 people from different parts of the world and found 38 million variations in their genetic code. The data the researchers have gathered is the equivalent of 16 million file cabinets or 30,000 DVDs full of information.

Gilean McVean, a statistical geneticist from Oxford University in the UK says “We are getting to the point where an individual genome sequence can be a useful part of diagnosis. If there is a variation that is present in just one in 100 people, we have found it.”

It looks like it may not be too long before your doctor may ask you for a cell sample. Experts estimate that it will be less than ten years before personalized medicine will be available from your general practitioner.

 

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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