Text Neck

For those of you who have attended any of my spinal care classes you may recognize some of the items that Dr. Gupta covers in this video. It is good information in a good format. Take a look and take it to heart. Come to a spinal care class and I can give you some additional solutions.

http://www.cnn.com/video/api/embed.html#/video/health/2015/01/13/text-neck-technology-pain-sanjay-gupta-orig-mg.cnn

Tobacco and Your Weight

 

Many people won’t quit smoking because they’ve heard that they will get fat if they do. The truth behind this idea is that smoking does reduce your body weight mainly by increasing energy expended. It makes you hyper/shaky/nervous people who have developed the oral fixation often tend to replace their smoking habit by putting something else into their mouth.

If you are using tobacco and want to lose weight you still can. You can also quit while successfully losing weight. The point is that you don’t have to make tobacco use an excuse. We know that tobacco has an effect, but if you are quitting while also trying to lose weight, exercise can give you similar effects of tobacco use, without the down sides. It can be difficult but great to quit and lose weight at the same time. There is no right way to do it, and the best way to quit tobacco or lose weight is the way that works for you and does not damage your health. For some help in quitting tobacco check out these sites:

Smoking Cessation and Weight Loss links:

 

Medical Weight Gain/Loss

Most people know that you can gain weight due to health conditions such as depression, hypothyroidism, or even pain, due to the decreased ability to exercise. Some conditions can make us loose weight, but most people don’t want the trade off of illness for weight loss. The best way to combat these causes of weight gain or loss is to stay healthy or to improve your health. One problem with this is that many medications can cause the same symptoms of weight gain or loss.

Some of the most common categories of drugs that are known to cause weight gain are:

  • Antidepressants/Mood Disorder medications
  • Antihistamines (Zyrtec, Allegra, etc…)
  • Blood Pressure medications
  • Corticosteroids for inflammation (Asthma, Arthritis, etc…)
  • Diabetes Medications

Interestingly enough people who are depressed can become more depressed because of their weight. People with heart problems or diabetes are often told that they need to control their weight to manage their symptoms, but the drugs they are given can increase their weight.

The best way to combat weight gain from drugs is not to do drugs. It may be difficult, but there are more healthy ways to combat many of these illnesses. Blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation, allergies, and even back pain can be improved, managed, and in some cases even resolved through natural means such as diet and exercise. In fact the number one most effective treatment for many of these conditions is diet and exercise. Ironically diet and exercise will also help you lose weight.

This is not to say that you won’t ever need medication, or that diet and exercise are the cure for everything, but when it comes to weight gain the best thing to do is to get and keep yourself as healthy as possible with as few medical interventions as possible. If you are trying to loose weight and having difficulty you may want to look at your medications to see if weight gain is a side effect. Then discuss changing or getting off of your prescription with your doctor. Let them know that you are trying to lose weight and improve your health. They should be happy to help you with such an endeavor.

“Ugly giant bags of mostly water!”

This quote is from Star Trek the Next Generation. It is an alien life form describing humans and Hydrateis very apt. I don’t know about the ugly part, but we are mostly water. While estimates differ, our bodies are made up of 55-75% water. Water affects every aspect of our function. Many of us are not getting enough of it. Some experts feel that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. While working out you can loose 6-10% through sweat, and everyone knows you need water when you exercise, but that is obvious and our body is demanding water at that point.

Chronic mild dehydration has unknown effects. We don’t know what it does to us to be a little dehydrated for years. We do know that as little as 1% dehydration can cause a 5% decrease in cognitive ability and physical performance. This is the first time that our body will start to feel thirsty. You should be drinking before you get thirsty. If you’re thirsty then you’re already having symptoms of dehydration. We also know how important water is for us. Here are some symptoms that you may not associate with dehydration.

Some Lesser known Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Craving for sugar
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability
  • Chronic Illness
  • Chronic Pain

Some lesser known benefits of drinking water are:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased cognitive ability
  • Increased physical ability
  • Clearer skin
  • Decreased joint and muscle pain
  • Improved immune system

The next time you get the munchies, or a headache, or feel a little out of control or tired, try a glass of water.

Water Weight

 

 

Water does affect weight gain and weight loss, and not just because of so called water weight.Water

Water improves digestion (absorption, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients) circulation, cellular communication and maintenance of body temperature. Water also decreases caloric intake by filling you up. There are so many ways that water helps your body that I’m creating a post about it next.

water bottleIn regards to water and loosing weight there are a few tips, but the most important to remember is to just drink enough regularly. Drinking a gallon of water all at once is not as good as drinking plenty throughout the day. Having a water bottle with you is a great way to remind yourself to drink as well as to encourage periodic drinking.

Drinking before you sit down to a meal can help you feel more full and eat less. While drinking before exercise can keep you exercising longer and with more intensity. Ideally you should keep yourself hydrated rather than drinking immediately before exercise, but for that extra hydration try drinking a whole water bottle about 1-2 hours before working out. This will allow the water to absorb into your system rather than just sloshing around in your stomach. When you’re done working out you will need to replenish that water and so you should drink at least another bottle within the 2 hours after working out.

Urine ColorMost people don’t keep track of how much water they drink, but everyone wants to know how much they should be drinking. A general rule is that you should be drinking at least half of your body weight (in pounds) in ounces each day. So if you weigh 150lbs you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water every day, and that doesn’t count the extra water that you should be drinking when you work out. That’s about 2 1/2 of those plastic 1 liter sports bottles. Another way to make sure you’re getting enough is to check the color of your urine stream. If you are well hydrated your urine will be clear. The darker the urine the more water you need.

 

Stress and Weight

Stress and lack of sleep tend to go hand in hand. Stress can cause weight gain in many ways. It can cause stress eating, poor digestion, poor utilization of nutrients due to always being in a fight or flight mode, or it can lead to a secondary factor such as lack of sleep. If stress is contributing to your weight gain you may need to reduce the amount of stress in your life, or you may just need to improve your ability to cope with your stress load.

From positivemed.com

From positivemed.com

Reducing your stress may be an option for you, but it may not. One way to find out is to make a list of your activities and label what you are doing in your life as un-needed, good, better, and best. When you look at that list you’ll know where your focus should be and which things to eliminate.

Sometimes you cannot eliminate enough stress from your life in which case you need to evaluate your coping ability. If you are coping by becoming anxious, irritable, distracted or depressed then you may need outside help. Family, friends, or counselors can give advice, help you learn problem solving skills, or relaxation techniques. They can also help you identify behavior patterns such as comfort eating. A good method to cope with stress is exercise. Finding a distraction or hobby can also be a way to release stress safely. The important thing to remember is that yo don’t have to go through stressful times alone.

Here is a great site for Stress Management: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-management.htm

 

Go to Your Chiropractor for Your High Blood Pressure

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I interrupt this weight discussion for hypertension.

Hypertension is the most common primary diagnosis in the country. It is a serious public health issue affecting over 30% of the adult population of the USA. Hypertension and hypertension related conditions are a leading cause of death with nearly 350,000 per year. It is also a very manageable condition. In most cases Chiropractors should be managing these patients in their offices. Chiropractors are trained to make the diagnosis and in the treatment methods required. For some treatments they are the only practitioners trained.

Hypertension is broken into two categories, essential and secondary hypertension. Essential Hypertension is the most common and the one that we know least about. It is linked to lifestyle, genetics, age and so much more. Secondary Hypertension is easier to understand. In these cases the increase in blood pressure (BP) is caused by another condition such as kidney disease, or endocrine problems. Patients with secondary hypertension should be referred for the appropriate medical care.

Diagnosis and classification of hypertension is simple:

Systolic BP (SBP) mmHg Diastolic BP (DBP) mmHg
Normal <120 <80
Prehypertension 120–139 80–89
Hypertension Stage 1 140–159 90–99
Hypertension Stage 2 >160 >100

Blood Pressure will vary a little each time you take it so it is important to take multiple readings in a systematic manner using the same arm and technique each time. Readings over time will give you the best idea of where a BP truly is, and at least 3 readings on separate occasions are suggested.

The following is a small list of common drugs or drug categories that can increase BP:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Decongestants, Cough and Cold Medications
  • Headache Medications
  • Weight Loss Medications
  • Corticosteroids such as asthma medications
  • Oral contraceptive hormones
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Adrenal steroid hormones
  • Licorice (including some chewing tobacco)

The home remedy is really the only remedy, if by remedy you mean cure. You see high blood pressure is usually a lifestyle issue. That means the things that you do from day to day are causing your high blood pressure. Change those things and your blood pressure normalizes. If it doesn’t then you’re blood pressure is just a symptom of something else that needs to be addressed medically (small % of the cases). High blood pressure is just a symptom and not a disease in and of its self.

SaladThe recommendations for management of hypertension start with lifestyle modifications such as achieving and maintaining normal body weight, BMI of less than 25. Blood pressure can be reduced between 5-20 mmHg by achieving and maintaining a normal BMI. Weight loss of even 10lbs can show significant reductions in BP. Good diet, specifically the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), has been shown to decrease your BP between 8-14 mmHg. Diet can also help to decrease your weight. Reducing sodium intake as a part of your diet can reduce your SBP by 2-8 mmHg. Exercise, even just brisk walking for 30 min a day, 5 days a week, can reduce SBP by up to 9 mmHg. Limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking also have significant effect on reduction of SBP.

It is not unreasonable to expect a 10-20 mmHg drop in BP with just lifestyle changes. Because all of the lifestyle changes are interrelated you cannot just add the possible reductions from each together to determine how much this treatment should reduce BP. It is important to keep a balance in treatments and utilize all of the lifestyle modifications possible.

The medical recommendations of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection,Ragnar Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure suggest that medication should be used in conjunction with lifestyle modification for Stage 1 and 2 Hypertension.  Lifestyle modification has been shown to be effective at reducing BP even without medication, and so suggests that most cases of hypertension can be brought under control without medication.  Chiropractors can provide benefit in these cases in multiple ways.  The Journal of Human Hypertension and others report that in initial studies chiropractic treatment was found to have the long term effectiveness equivalent to using two medications for reducing hypertension and it had no negative effects.  The results showed an average reduction of 17 mmHg Systolic BP and 10 mmHg Diastolic BP.  The nature and frequency of chiropractic treatments lends to more frequent contact with patients which provides greater opportunity to educate, encourage and to monitor BP levels.
In other words chiropractors use the only remedy/home remedy to treat high blood pressure. You can do it on your own or ask your chiropractor about it.