11/23/09 - "That's How You Get Arthritis You Know

Manning Chiropractic & Sports Kinesiology

45 Sterling Street - Suite 5 - West Boylston, MA 01583 508.835.8800
Periodic Wellness Update

November , 23, 2009

To: Patients and friends of Manning Chiropractic & Sports Kinesiology

Subject: "That's how you get arthritis you know"

As long as I’m warm enough above the waist, I can wear shorts pretty much year-round. But heck, it was in the high 50’s the other day… so I was taken aback by the supermarket cashier’s warning that my doing so in “cold weather” would lead to “arthritis”.

I half expected a follow-up chuckle, but she seemed quite serious, so hopefully the smile and nod I offered, passed for a look of thoughtful appreciation. She was just trying to be helpful after all.

She suffers from chronic pain in all of her joints and, according to her doctor, it’s a result of her having worn shorts in the brisk fall air. It wasn’t the time for much conversation, so I thanked her for the... errrr... “tip”, and went on my way.

I’m struck every day by the population’s utter lack of understanding of the basics of health and wellness. The above is one example of an endless list. What’s worse -- evidently her family physician believes it too !

A little medical terminology

Arthritis is a term which covers a lot of ground, so let’s simplify. Arthro (from Greek; arthron) means “JOINT” .. and Itis (Greek), pertains to “INFLAMMATION“. Arthritis therefore, refers to joint inflammation. Technically, a sprained ankle for instance, is an example of an acute arthritis.

The word has come to be used however, more in terms of specifically-named “diseases” or conditions. Western Medicine tends to categorize patients with diagnostic labels, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and so forth. Perhaps you have been categorized this way yourself.

One is left to assume that each of these various afflictions is a separate and distinct disease entity (each with its single, specific cause), and that the medication which “the doctor” prescribes (an anti-inflammatory drug of some sort), will heal the condition.

*News flash
: In general, chronic arthritis is a condition which results from a physiological imbalance, such that the body’s production of ANT I-INFLAMMATORY hormones (called prostaglandins) is insufficient to counter its production of PRO -INFLAMMATORIES.

There is almost always a dietary and lifestyle component; and in many cases, it’s the ONLY factor.

I’m simplifying a bit for the purposes of this piece - but not a lot. Even in chronic inflammatory conditions following traumatic injuries, nutrition and other lifestyle factors are paramount for repair and ultimate healing.

The bigger picture

There is a school of thought that proposes that most, or all disease is caused by, or involves inflammation.

For instance, the prevailing view on cardiovascular disease at present is that chronic inflammation of blood vessel walls is the real villain -- although the traditional medical model still hangs its hat on cholesterol.
* Epidemiological and clinical studies have shown strong and consistent relationships between markers of inflammation and risk of future cardiovascular events”
(Circulation. 2004;109:II-2 – II-10.) © 2004 American Heart Association, Inc.).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the most heavily prescribed medications in the United States ($16 BILLION per year worldwide!) . And they are far from being without risk...
* “ …All of these products cause injury to the gastrointestinal tract, including erosions, ulcers, bleeding and perforation… In the United States, there are an estimated 16,500 deaths each year due to NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications (primarily from GI hemorrhage)…”
http://www.plxpharma.com/prodDev.htm )

OK. So, if not drugs - what then??
Vibrant health does not come in a pill bottle! The top killers of Americans (heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, COPD) are all chronic, degenerative processes - the result of modern lifestyle habits, and diets devoid of the nutritional building blocks Mother Nature intended to support healthy cellular function.

(My usual disclaimer:
Western Medicine is fantastic for certain things -
acute trauma, fractures, life saving surgeries and certain drugs.
America has THE best health care in the world when it comes to these kinds of treatments.)

** IMPORTANT: Please continue reading ONLY if you are ready and willing to take responsibility for your own health!!

An in-depth diet and lifestyle management plan is beyond the scope of this newsletter. Moreover, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all regimen anyway. But it is very doable in my office .

For more on that, visit my website
www.manningchiropractic.com . Click on Services --> Bioimpedance Body Composition Analysis . B.I.A., combined with thorough Applied Kinesiological analysis, chiropractic care, and a rational exercise program forms a rock solid foundation for success.

Let’s get simple
Seriously! There’s no secret to good health. It starts with a diet that supplies our cells with the stuff they require.

An examination of the diets of the longest living humans on the planet reveals that they eat real, unadulterated, un-processed, whole food… always high in a variety of vegetables and fruits ; Essential-Fatty-Acid-rich oils (fish, flax, black currant, borage, and others), fresh fish , certain animal proteins, nuts, seeds .

And what they do NOT consume is just as important. That means little or NO: TRANS-FATS (hydrogenated oils), HIGHLY PROCESSED grains and sugars, artificially colored, sweetened, flavored, preserved, microwaved, hormone-laden, synthetic-vitamin-enriched “FAKE” foods.

The traditional diet of the consistently longest-livers on earth - the Okinawans - is the model of the so-called “ANTI-INFLAMMATORY” diet . See the Okinawan Food Pyramid here --> .

There is very little chronic disease among these folks, and there is very little use of medications.

Unsurprisingly, as certain Western “conveniences” have crept in on that society -- Burger King, MacDonalds, and so forth -- the younger generation has begun to demonstrate the same patterns of degenerative disease that dominates in America -- high blood pressure and cholesterol, arterial placquing, chronic arthritis and so on.

Bullet points
* Arthritis is NOT caused by wearing shorts in the cold weather!
* Americans die overwhelmingly of chronic degenerative disease.
* Most afflictions of 21st Century Americans are totally or largely preventable by the observation of, and adherence to the simple rules of Mother Nature.

The typical American diet is extremely inflammation-promoting . Low grade, chronic inflammation leads to cellular dysfunction and a spiraling downward of functional health. That means - chronic degenerative disease.
Vibrant health requires fresh air, clean water, ample exercise balanced by restoratiive sleep, love, laughter; free nervous system communication, joint and muscle balance (i.e. CHIROPRACTIC , massage therapy, etc.), and so on. But no amount of these things can make up for a lack of proper nutritional support for our body’s 100 trillion cells.

Plan of action - “Deflame
“(*) ...

Clean out your cupboards of the nutritional zeros… chips, cookies, white bread, cakes, crackers, the breakfast cereals, instant breakfast drinks, margarine, ice cream, frozen pizza… Limit the juices and soft drinks (LOADED with sugar). These NON-FOODS are useless to anyone seeking to be healthy. They are all pro-inflammatory. The simple elimination of this junk alone, is a great first step.

The most inflammatory foods are the ones which cause a fast spike in blood sugar levels (so-called high GLYCEMIC INDEX foods). Eat a diet LOW on the glycemic index scale ->

The key to deflaming is a diet rich in vegetables and fruits, lean meats, sweet potatoes, and nuts . Fats high in Essential Fatty Acids are crucial. Your body makes anti-inflammatory hormones from them. Cold water fish (salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel) are great sources of omega-3 EFA’s; and various nuts and seeds like flax, chia and hemp provide omega-3’s and Omega-6’s

The bulk of your nutrients should obviously come from your food. Some basic nutritional supplements can be powerful additions to the anti-inflammatory effort though. In general, quality fish oil supplements, mixed probiotics , and vitamins D and C are useful for starters.

*Matching supplements to each individual’s specific physiological needs is far more effective than just choosing products off the store shelf however, so as most patients know -- I ONLY recommend specific nutrients after going through a thorough Applied Kinesiological evaluation of detoxification, endocrine, digestive and immune systems. I encourage you to schedule an appointment for that exam if it's been three months or more since we've done that.

That time of year again

At any rate, Thanksgiving is here, and the “holidays” are officially upon us once again (Wow!). A tough time for anyone to implement dietary and lifestyle changes… yes?

Well, do what you can. Have fun with family and friends. Celebrate the people in your life; lend a hand to those who can use one; thank a veteran and say a prayer for our military service persons. 2010 is right around the corner, and that means… “ resolutions ”!

Yours in vibrant health,

Dr. J

(*) This term was coined, as far as I know, by Dr. David Seaman. His website ->
www.deflame.com is an excellent resource which I encourage you to explore.

As always - you can find archived editions of Periodic Wellness Update at www.manningchiropractic.com

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