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Nutrition


The Supplements I Take and Why
Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Monday, 27 March 2006 02:00

Nutritional supplements have been around for a long time. For example, the two oldest companies that currently service our profession are Anabolic Laboratories and Standard Process. Each was family owned some 80 years ago and they remain that way today.

As a child, some 35 years ago, I walked into a health food store for the first time. Supplements and various foods were everywhere, and it occurred to me that taking supplements might be a good idea, particularly if one’s diet was not optimal. There was no data to support this view back then, and the oppositional view actually dominated.  Accordingly, for most of the past 80 years, nutritional supplements have been characterized as a waste of money, which can only lead to the elimination of expensive urine.

Only within the last ten years has this “anti-supplement” view begun to change. And now, because supplements are generally viewed with more favor, a significant number of people are wondering what supplements they should take. Who are they going to ask? They are likely to ask you, the chiropractor, because they expect you to be more aware of the nutritional research, compared to their medical doctor.

First, I should indicate that very little information suggests that a given disease entity can be treated with a supplement, which then leads to a subsequent cure. Those of us living in the United States and other industrialized nations are dying from chronic degenerative/inflammatory diseases, and drugs don’t cure degenerative diseases, and neither do supplements. Degenerative diseases are driven by inappropriate lifestyles, which are typically associated with poor dietary habits and inadequate levels of exercise. All our patients should endeavor to eat properly and exercise everyday; and there are several appropriate supplements that support this effort.

I take a multivitamin/mineral, magnesium/calcium, EPA/DHA, coenzyme Q10, anti-inflammatory herbs (ginger, turmeric, etc.), vitamin D, acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, glucosamine/chondroitin, and probiotics. A brief explanation for why I take these follows in the remaining paragraphs.

Multivitamins are recommended by researchers at Harvard University (Fletcher and Willet), as well as Dr. Bruce Ames(famous toxicologist), and this is because they are thought to help prevent the development of degenerative disease. Multivitamin/mineral supplements typically contain all the key nutrients that we get from food.

Magnesium is required for over 300 metabolic reactions. Research suggests that, when we become deficient in magnesium, we destabilize the immune and nervous systems, which can lead to inflammation and nervous system hyperexcitability. Numerous diseases have been associated with magnesium deficiency, such as heart disease, syndrome X, type 2 diabetes, and migraine headaches. I take 400-1000 mg, in addition to what is in my multi.

EPA/DHA from fish oil reduces inflammation and is thought to help prevent and treat numerous diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and inflammatory joint disease. Supplementation has been shown to reduce the levels of inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, growth factors, and cytokines. I take 1-3 grams per day.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) has become very popular in recent years. CoQ10 functions primarily to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), reduce free radicals, and to regulate skeletal muscle gene expression. Nearly every disease studied has been show to be associated with a reduction in ATP and an increase in free radicals, so I take at least 100 mg per day.

Ginger, turmeric, and other botanicals/herbs/spices function like natural versions of drugs like Advil and Celebrex, without any of the side effects. Spices have been shown to reduce NF-kB, cyclooxygenase, and lipoxygenase, which helps to reduce inflammation. I take 1-2 grams per day.

Garlic is perhaps the most well-known herb for reducing inflammation. It is most noted for its heart benefits; and what readers should know is that these benefits are due to garlic’s anti-inflammatory activities. I supplement with garlic to achieve at least 5 mg of allicin per day.

Vitamin D has become the subject of much research in recent years, as it is known to have important cell-signaling functions. Numerous diseases are thought to be promoted by a deficiency in vitamin D, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. Even musculoskeletal pain can be caused by a deficiency in vitamin D. I take 1000-4000 IU of vitamin D per day.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) and alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) have become popular supplements due to the work of Dr. Bruce Ames. He and his colleagues have demonstrated that aging can be slowed or reversed in laboratory animals with these supplements. Ames suggests that humans take 1000 mg of ALCAR and 400 mg of ALA per day, in divided doses, which is what I take. The combination of these substances promotes ATP synthesis and reduces free radicals.

Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are known to be of help with osteoarthritis. Their primary effect is to help maintain proteoglycans integrity. I take 1500 mg of glucosamine and 1200 mg of chondroitin per day.

Probiotic supplements typically include lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium, which have been shown to improve gut health and function. I cycle the use of probiotics during the year. I typically will take probiotics 3-6 months per year.

I take the above, in addition to trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. My hope is that the combination will allow me to live well into my 80’s or 90’s, and maintain the current personal and professional lifestyle I enjoy. I recently met an ex-NIH official who spent most of his career reviewing research grants. He is an MD, PhD and is about 65 years old…lean, healthy, and very sharp-witted. He now runs a privately funded anti-aging research center; and he takes similar supplements to the ones I suggest and for the same reasons outlined above.

The intriguing aspect to anti-inflammatory eating and supplementation is that, no matter if you are symptom-free or sick, the same approach should be taken. Deflaming is the goal, and those with chronic degenerative/inflammatory diseases need to be especially vigilant and committed in their efforts.

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Metabolic syndrome, Inflammation, and the Aging Process
Nutrition
Written by Barry Sears, Ph.D.   
Monday, 27 March 2006 01:58

Much of anti-aging medicine is currently focused on hormonal replacement, especially those hormones that decrease with aging. However, relatively little attention is placed on reducing the levels of hormones that increase with aging.  In particular, the hormones associated with increased systemic inflammation are elevated levels of insulin and eicosanoids. The primary cause of the rise of these hormones is due to a condition known as metabolic syndrome that is ultimately caused by the diet. Thus, a more appropriate description of anti-aging medicine would be anti-inflammatory medicine and, therefore, frontline therapy for anti-aging becomes diet.

Description of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of chronic conditions associated with hyperinsulinemia. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Since hyperinsulinemia is caused by insulin resistance, a better choice of terms to describe metabolic syndrome might be insulin resistance syndrome.

Description of Insulin Resitance

Insulin resistance occurs when insulin is unable to transmit its hormonal signal to the interior of the cell.  This occurs when the insulin binds to its receptor on the cell surface; but the transmission of biochemical signals that normally result from insulin’s binding to its receptor is now degraded.  The result is that there is a decreased ability to remove excess blood glucose from the bloodstream.

The signal to release insulin from the pancreas is elevated blood glucose; the inability to reduce blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance forces the pancreas to secrete ever-higher levels of insulin creating hyperinsulinemia.  Since insulin receptors are found in the liver, smooth muscle, and adipose tissues, the consequence of abnormal insulin signaling can have widespread negative metabolic consequences.

Although the exact cause of insulin resistance remains to be elucidated, the most likely candidate is cellular inflammation and the resulting intracellular production of inflammatory cytokines such tumor necrosis factor (TNF).  TNF primarily comes from immune cells such as macrophages that infiltrate into inflamed tissues.  And here is the irony: Inflammation is not only the underlying cause of insulin resistance, but the resulting hyperinsulinemia causes further increases in inflammatory mediators known as eicosanoids, and the cycle is amplified.

Eicosanoids (eye.kah.sa.noids) were the first hormones developed by living organisms and are produced by every cell in your body. Although they might be considered to be primitive hormones, they control everything from your immune system to your brain to your heart. There are two kinds of eicosanoids, those that promote inflammation (pro-inflammatory) and tissue destruction and those that stop inflammation (anti-inflammatory) and promote healing. You need to have both kinds in the proper balance in order to be in a state of wellness.

Effect of Hyperinsulinemia on Silent Inflammation

The type of inflammation that causes insulin resistance is below the threshold of perceived pain; hence the term silent inflammation.  Since there is no pain associated with silent inflammation, it can linger for years, if not decades, causing a continuing immunological assault on organs, until enough damage has been done to result in chronic disease.  The primary diseases that are accelerated by silent inflammation include obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.  These are exactly the same conditions that cluster together in metabolic syndrome, and accelerate the aging process.
 
Measuring Silent Inflammation

The first clinical marker discovered for silent inflammation was high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP).  However this particular marker is relatively crude and is easily increased by infection.  A much more precise, and much earlier marker of the presence of silent inflammation is the ratio of two fatty acids in the bloodstream.  One is arachidonic acid (AA) and the other is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).  AA is an omega-6 fatty acid that is a building block for pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, whereas EPA is an omega-3 fatty acid that is the building block for anti-inflammatory eicosanoids.  The ratio of AA/EPA in the blood is indicative of the inflammatory potential of each of the 100 trillion cells in the body.  The higher the AA/EPA ratio, the more systemic silent inflammation is taking place through the body, and the faster you age.

System Consequences of Silent Inflammation

Now that silent inflammation can be measured, it becomes the best possible early warning signal that aging is accelerating in the body.  Since silent inflammation is systemic, this means that every organ of the body is under potential inflammatory assault and this leads to recruitment of macrophages into such inflamed organs. One of the consequences of this macrophage infiltration is the continuing release of inflammatory cytokines that include TNF and corresponding increase in insulin resistance at the cellular level.

One of the first organs to be affected by macrophage infiltration is the adipose tissue.  As the inflammation in the adipose increases, so does the resulting insulin resistance.  Although a primary goal of insulin is to drive down excess blood glucose levels, it has another important role to play: to inhibit the release of excess free fatty acids from the adipose tissue.  As insulin resistance develops in the adipose tissue, there is a release of free fatty acids that can cause lipotoxicity in other organs.  Lipotoxicity results when lipid droplets begin to form in cells where excess fat should be absent.  If the formation of these lipid droplets is in the liver, the result is fatty liver.  If it’s in the smooth muscle, there is more insulin resistance with less ability to remove glucose from the circulation.  If there is lipotoxicity in heart muscle cells, it results in lipid accumulation that gives rise to atherosclerotic lesions.  And, finally, if lipotoxicity takes place in the pancreas, it leads to the reduction of insulin secretion, itself, with the rapid development of type 2 diabetes.

Treatment

There is no drug that can reduce the earliest stages of silent inflammation. However, anti-inflammatory diets can.  There are several components to such a diet.  The first is reduction of the glycemic load of the diet by a decreased intake of grains and starches and increased intake of fruits and non-starchy vegetables. The result is a significant reduction of the glycemic load of the diet and corresponding reduction in the amount of insulin that is secreted to reduce the post-prandial blood glucose levels.  The second component is adequate protein intake to stimulate the hormone glucagon.  Glucagon helps maintain stable blood glucose levels, so that satiety is effectively maintained. The third factor is calorie restriction.  This is the only proven dietary factor that can reverse the aging process.  However, to be successful, you have to have the appropriate balance of the glycemic load from carbohydrates and protein to maintain satiety in the face of reduced calorie intake.  The last factor is a reduced intake of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids such as vegetable oils; replace them with monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.  By reducing omega-6 fatty acids, you effectively reduce the body’s ability to make excess AA, thus decreasing inflammation. These are the hallmarks of the anti-inflammatory Zone Diet that was designed to keep insulin within a zone, thus decreasing the likelihood of developing insulin resistance.

To maximize the benefits of such an anti-inflammatory diet, there are two final components for an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.  The first is to supplement the diet with adequate levels of fish oils rich in EPA. 

The EPA supplies the necessary building blocks for the production of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids that effectively quell the flames of silent inflammation.  Finally, there is consistent, moderate exercise to reduce any accumulated lipid droplets in the smooth muscles, thus reducing insulin resistance. 

Summary

Aging can be viewed as a continuous inflammatory attack on the body that is hormonally driven.  By treating food as if it were a drug and following an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, you have the ideal strategy to reverse insulin resistance and its associated inflammation.  But, the door swings both ways.  If you ignore the hormonal consequences of the diet, then other anti-aging strategies, such as hormonal replacement, will be highly attenuated, if not severely compromised.  Bottom line: Reduce the hormones that increase with age, before you increase the ones that decrease with age, if you truly want to practice anti-aging medicine.

Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal response, and the author of the #1 best seller on the New York Times book list, The Zone. A former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Sears has dedicated his research efforts over the past 30 years to the study of lipids. He holds 13 U.S. Patents in the areas of intravenous drug delivery systems and hormonal regulation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

To Learn more about The Zone Anti - Inflammatory Lifestyle Management program call 1-800-404-8171 or visit ­www.drsearszonefast.com. To find out more about the AA/EPA blood test, visit www.omega3testing.com/physician.html.

 
Un-complicating Nutrition Part 2
Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Monday, 27 February 2006 01:01

Part 1 of this article series (Volume 28, Issue 2) discussed how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. Specific diseases and diets for specific diseases were not discussed. The goal with the anti-inflammatory diet is straightforward…the goal is to create an anti-inflammatory state, that is, to reduce the inflammatory potential of our tissues. This is a very important dietary goal, as chronic inflammation is the cause of nearly every degenerative disease, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.

With the above in mind, whenever I am asked about the best diet for treating a specific disease, my answer is the anti-inflammatory diet. In other words, apply the same diet for all diseases. This approach clears up clinical nutrition/diet applications for some, and leads to confusion for others. My perception is that the confusion stems from the “drug therapy” programming we undergo throughout our lives.

We, and our patients, are conditioned to believe that we can effectively treat and eliminate various diseases with drugs and surgery. In other words, we are programmed to believe that we can take drug X to cure disease X. Because we are programmed to think this way, we reflexively think that special diet X should cure disease X, and special diet Z should cure disease Z. The problem with this approach is that drugs and surgery rarely cure diseases, which means that we should abandon the application of this thinking to other interventions.

We need to remember that we are limited to only a handful of foods, so how can there really be special, individual diets for specific diseases? When it comes to dietary choices, we can eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, omega-3 eggs, fish, and other omega-3 animal proteins…the anti-inflammatory foods man has consumed for thousands of years. Or, we can replace these foods with more modern and pro-inflammatory foods, such as soy, grains, flour products, modern dairy products, refined sugar foods, and salty packaged foods.

So, if you have patients with back pain, diabetes, migraine headaches, and any other disease, there are two dietary choices. Patients can eat either an anti-inflammatory diet, or a pro-inflammatory diet. Keep it this simple: foods will either promote or reduce the expression of inflammation. Make your pick and choose wisely.

Consider the diet that British researchers came up with for preventing heart disease; they estimate a 75% percent reduction in heart disease expression when individuals follow what they called the polymeal.1 The polymeal program simply represents anti-inflammatory eating; the recommended foods included fish, vegetables, garlic, fruit, nuts, red wine, and dark chocolate. When a similar eating program is applied to patients with rheumatoid arthritis, there is a significant reduction in pain and disability.2

For the past twenty years, I have been reading the literature related to inflammation-disease, nutrition-inflammation, and nutrition-disease. Every month, more and more is published that clearly establishes a nutrition-inflammation-disease connection. The amount of research in this field is actually shocking. Researchers are finding that fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and healthy omega-3 meat and eggs should be the staples of a healthy diet. Veering from this foundation leads to trouble; that is, inflammation and disease.

In summary, I get many questions about what one should eat for various conditions…and the answer is always the same. Eat the anti-inflammatory diet described in Part 1, which echoes the recommendations for the polymeal. Keep it simple; don’t complicate your diet and the eating process. Anti-inflammatory eating is the best shot we have at reducing the expression of inflammation and disease; and, fortunately, anti-inflammatory eating is not at all complicated.

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

References

1. Franco OH, Bonneux L, de Laet C, Peeters A, Steyerberg EW, Mackenbach JP. The Polymeal: a more natural, safer, and probably tastier (than the Polypill) strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 75%. Brit Med J. 2004; 329:1447-50.

2. Kjeldsen-Kragh J, Haugen M, Borchgrevink CF, Laerum E, Eek M, Mowinkel P, Hovi K, Forre O. Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 1991; 338:899-902.

 
Un-complicating Nutrition - Part 1: Diet
Nutrition
Written by David Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.C.C.   
Friday, 27 January 2006 00:16

 

cornucopiahealthydiet

A
t the time I am writing this article, it’s early in the morning, and millions of Americans are driving up to fast food restaurants for breakfast. The choices are typically eggs on a muffin, or eggs with meat on a muffin, or just a muffin and, of course, a cup of coffee. Millions more are at home eating cold cereal with milk or soymilk. Some are eating hot cereal, such as oatmeal, while others are having eggs with toast. Some are just eating toast, a roll, or a bagel with butter, cream cheese or some similar spread.

 

Breakfast for Americans is pretty much the same everyday, with minimal variation: eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, and wheat flour that is shaped into different “food figurines,” such as bread, muffins, bagels, croissants, and cereal. Most of us settle in to a couple of food choices and eat the same breakfast every week for most of our lives.

The point is that variety does not exist for most Americans; they are happy with the same breakfast meal everyday, and very few are hunting for a magical recipe book that will change their lives.

For lunch, as with breakfast, most people eat the same foods over and over again. Sandwiches, pizza, and burgers are the most common choices, which means that the majority of people eat bread, cheese, and meat for lunch. Virtually no variation and, again, very few individuals are hunting for recipe books for lunch.

Dinner meals are also rather consistent. We eat meat, fish, and chicken for protein; some may eat vegetables or a salad. Many add rice or bread. It is also common to eat a meal made from flour, i.e, pasta with bread. Some merely eat meat and bread or pasta. When people go out, many order the same foods they make at home.

I regularly eat at a local restaurant and, as it turns out, I also eat foods similar to those I eat at home. The difference for me is that I have my proteins grilled, while many of the folks sitting around me are choosing deep-fried versions of chicken and fish, as well as deep fried onion rings and French fries.

As briefly illustrated above, for the most part, the average individual’s eating habits are not complicated at all, and this holds true for me as well. We, basically, eat the same stuff over and over again…and most of us seem reasonably content with this behavior.

Regarding our meal choices, there is no good evidence that we benefit by replacing meat, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, fruits, and vegetables with soy, grains, flour products, modern dairy products, refined sugar foods, and salty packaged foods. Whenever we eat these replacement foods, we are robbing ourselves of the nutrients found in the foods that man flourished on for thousands of years. (See Cordain, et al. for details.1 You can go to www.thepaleodiet.com and download a PDF of their excellent article.)

The suggestion that we should avoid and greatly reduce our consumption of soy, grains, flour products, modern dairy products, refined sugar foods, and salty packaged foods often brings up odd feelings of separation for many people. Some doctors and soon-to-be doctors become confused about what they are to eat if non-food foods are dropped from their diets. The answer is: fruits, vegetables, nuts, and omega-3 meat, fish, chicken, and eggs; and make sure to spice meals with ginger, turmeric, and the wide variety of spices used in traditional Italian, Greek, Spanish, Indian, and Asian meals. Beverages should include water, green tea, red wine, and stout beer. Oils that can be added to meals and used for cooking include extra virgin olive oil, virgin or unrefined coconut oil, butter, and ghee. To me, this is a very simple dietary approach to take; however, for many, it leads to unnecessary stress and confusion.

When faced with the need to drop wheat flour products that have been shaped into different “food figurines,” many seem not sure what to do. On numerous occasions I am asked for recipes and cookbooks to help tackle the “confusing” subject of how to make meals with meat, fish, chicken and vegetables. My general suggestion is to prepare protein and vegetable meals as they have always been prepared; just have more vegetables to make up for bread, pasta, and rice/grains…pretty easy to do.

If you need cooking assistance, I would suggest heading off to Barnes & Noble and spending some time looking through the Italian, Greek, Spanish, Indian, and Asian recipe books. Make those meals that do not contain bread, flour products, soy, and sugar. You will discover that numerous delicious meal options are available. Several additional books offer excellent meal options including The Paleodiet,2 Nourishing Traditions,3 and a new no-grain cook book, The Big Book of Low-Carb.4

Part 2 in this series will discuss diet for various diseases, and Part 3 will focus on supplements. I suggest using these articles as patient education tools in your practice.

Dr. Seaman is the Clinical Chiropractic Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories, one of the first supplement manufacturers to service the chiropractic profession. He is on the postgraduate faculties of several chiropractic colleges, providing nutrition seminars that focus on the needs of the chiropractic patient. He is also a faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida, where he teaches nutrition and subluxation theories. He can be reached by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

References

1. Cordain L, Eaton SB, Sebastian A, Mann N, Lindeberg S, Watkins BA, O’Keefe JH, Brand-Miller J. Origins and evolution of the Western diet: health implications for the 21st century. Am J Clin Nutr 2005; 81(2):341-54

2. Cordain L. The Paleodiet. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 2002

3. Fallon S. Nourishing Traditions. 2001. www.newtrendspublishing.com.

4. Broihier K, Mayone K. The Big Book of Low-Carb. San Francisco: Chronicle Books; 2005

 
What Do You Have to See before You Know What to Do?
Nutrition
Written by Dr. Howard F. Loomis, D.C.   
Monday, 26 December 2005 23:41

Structural Stress

During the 20th century, chiropractors established themselves as the experts in the recognition and correction of structural deviations from normal. The chiropractic profession has survived the slings and arrows of its detractors by producing consistent results for relief of back pain, headaches, sprains and strains, and many other structural problems. Important contributions have been made in the management of sports injuries, occupational or ergonomic problems, rehabilitation, and personal injury. However, recognizing and correcting structural problems is only half of the issue; deviations from normal function must also be diagnosed and the cause identified before treatment can be effective.

Functional Distress

Chiropractors continue to produce amazing results in the treatment of such common maladies as digestive problems, allergies, anxiety and depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, poor immune function, and arthritic aches and pains. However, the profession seems to lack the diagnostic acumen or diagnostic paradigm to produce consistent results in these areas of functional or viscero-somatic disorders.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1994, the American public felt that medicine was ineffective in treating the above-mentioned symptoms. While somewhat surprising, this information spurred the pharmaceutical industry into lobbying Congress to allow direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs on television, in newspapers, and in magazines without revealing all the dangerous side effects associated with these drugs. This industry now spends much more on advertising than it does on research and development, a fact that continues to increase the price of these remedies. Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s best efforts, I doubt that the American public feels any different now than they did then.

I am not out to denigrate the pharmaceutical industry. Medicine has already proven they are ineffective in the treatment of symptoms in the absence of measurable test results indicating a disease process. But, what of the drugless healing professions, like chiropractic? How effective are we at recognizing deviations from normal function and identifying the causes? Throwing remedies at symptoms simply doesn’t work consistently. Relief only comes when the cause is identified; only then does the treatment become obvious. So, what do you have to see before you know what to do about indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea?

The continuum from health to disease is usually a long one, particularly for chronic degenerative diseases and the leading causes of death. Heart attack, stroke, cancer, chronic pulmonary disease, and diabetes require prevention, according to the Surgeon General’s Report on Health and Nutrition. Symptoms of visceral dysfunction can persist for years as evidence of exhaustion of normal body processes and biochemical pathways.

Health -> Appearance of Symptoms -> Recognizable Disease

There are many more “walking wounded” not receiving appropriate healthcare than there are diseased patients requiring medical care.

No Competition

Until medicine can identify a specific disease process, it must rely on statistical data to practice what is mistakenly referred to as “preventive medicine.” But chiropractors should be trained in the recognition of not only somato-visceral dysfunctions, but also viscero-somatic dysfunctions. Such an approach allows the practitioner to tailor-make a health plan for each individual, not for an average of the total population. During my seminars, I often ask if there are any average people in the audience and, of course, I have yet to find one. Why do we allow drugs with dangerous side effects to be given for relief of symptoms without first identifying the cause?

Consider this: the biggest sellers for the pharmaceutical industry are anti-inflammatory drugs and antacids or proton-pump inhibitors. If we turn off the production of stomach acid for 24 hours or even neutralize it temporarily, what body process will make up for that normal function? The only normal body process that can is your immune system. It responds by producing symptoms of heat (fever), redness, swelling, or pain. If you now take an anti-inflammatory drug, what are the long-term consequences? My point is that you cannot maintain health or restore normal function using drugs (either recreational or prescription). Drugs should be reserved for the treatment of an identifiable disease process and lifesaving emergencies.

Medicine and the pharmaceutical industry have left the door open for chiropractic to step into the area of symptom-related disorders. And it is time for chiropractic to become as recognized for its effective treatment of symptoms arising from functional or visceral symptoms as it is for structural problems. But, in order to achieve this, we need a legally defensible, scientifically sound and accepted method of determining the cause of visceral dysfunctions.

I will be speaking at the Chiropractic 2006 gathering in Panama in February, where I will present a quick and convenient exam for identifying patients who are locked in the cascade of physiological events associated with stress. More importantly, I will show you how to identify those who are not responding appropriately to stress and are exhausting their normal health-maintaining processes. I hope to see you there to continue this discussion. In the meantime, consider what it would mean to you and your patients if they knew you could recognize an impending health problem specific to them and truly prevent its appearance.

Dr. Loomis welcomes your comments or questions through the Loomis InstituteTM at 6421 Enterprise Lane, Madison, WI 53719 or by phone at 800-662-2630.

 
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