Recent Posts

  • Sunscreen Rules For Pregnancy

    Your skin becomes very sensitive in response to the hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy. The unpredictable highs and lows in the production of the different hormones in the woman’s body and affect a number of systemic functions. These hormones include the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG), estrogen, and progesterone. A dramatic surge in the levels of these hormones triggers pregnancy-related symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, skin pigmentation, rashes, oily or dry skin, the appearance of stretch marks, and so on.

    During pregnancy, the skin is observed to be one of the most affected. Many expectant mothers would complain of having pimples, whiteheads, and other skin imperfections during this period. The skin becomes more vulnerable to the rays of the sun as well. As the first line of defense against the undesirable effects of exposure to the sun, doctors recommend sunscreen for pregnancy.

    As commercial skin care products normally contain chemicals that may be just as harmful to the skin as the UV rays, many think twice before they use a sunscreen product. But you still need the sun primarily to help the body manufacture its much-needed vitamin D. Exposure to our levels of serotonin and tryptamine, neurotransmitters that keep our moods and sleep/wake cycles in order.

    Well, you can actually ditch the sunscreen. Instead wear traditional sun protection like a hat, a sundress or any dress that will cover the skin. You may even bring an umbrella and just opt to stay in the shade throughout the day. That would just be too impractical. It will also make moving about a bit problematic, especially if you need to do any activity that will really require you to expose your skin to the sun, like when on the beach.

    Fortunately, there are safer sunscreen options. To help you in maximizing the benefits of the sunscreen product that you choose, consider the following suggestions.

    Sunscreen Rules For Pregnancy

    • Choose a sunscreen product that provides full protection.

    Most would choose a sunscreen product just based on the SPF indicated on the label of the product, without actually knowing what SPF really means. SPF, in fact, just measures the UVB (short-wave) rays. It does not totally tell how much protection against UVA rays (long-wave) a particular sunscreen product provides.

    Most sunscreen offers protection against UVB rays only. Although UVB rays can cause sunburn, it cannot actually penetrate the skin, unlike the UVA rays. Too much exposure to UVB rays can cause aging and skin pigmentation, which we all don’t want to happen.

    There is this type of sunscreen products that are labeled as broad-spectrum. They are taken to be effective in shielding the skin from both UVB and UVA rays. However, what most do not know, UVA rays are further classified into UVA I and UVA II. Those labeled as providing broad-spectrum protection, may not actually be providing UVA II coverage.

    In addition to this, a sunscreen labeled as SPF 15 is not half as effective as one labeled as SPF30. In reality, “SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays; SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays; and SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays,” says Dr. Roopal Kundu, one of the researchers and author of the results of a study conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2014. In this study, the researchers indicated that SPF30 actually means it will take about 30 times longer before you can get a sunburn on your skin than you would be had you been out without applying sunscreen.

    When choosing a sunscreen, check for any indication that the product is offering full protection.

    • You need about a shot glass worth of sunscreen to apply on unexposed areas of the skin.
    • Watch out for vitamin A on your sunscreen brand.

    A form of vitamin A called Retinyl palmitate (also indicated on product labels as retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinol) is added in skin care and beauty products (i.e., lip products, moisturizers, sunscreens). This antioxidant is said to cause skin tumors and lesions when applied on the skin when under the sun.

    • Opt for a European brand of sunscreen over a US brand.

    The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12th Annual Guide to Sunscreens report that a large majority of sunscreen products from the US still contain harmful chemicals or do not offer sufficient protection against ultraviolet rays. EWG tested 831 sunscreens and found that 84 percent of these did not pass health and environmental requirements.

    The good thing is, companies manufacturing these products started formulating better sunscreen brands, including the brands listed here as the best sunscreen products of 2018. So, if you are still on the lookout for a good quality and effective sunscreen brand, you can check out the link and choose one that you think is the best option.

    • Look for an oil-free sunscreen. In most expectant moms, oily skin is a usual concern. When you already have an oily skin, you wouldn’t want to clump more of that into your pores. Doing so can only trigger other skin problems like acne, pimples, and so on.
    • Opt for sunscreens that are made with naturally soothing ingredients and have natural moisturizers as this will keep your skin from flaking and pre-mature aging.
    • If you want to avoid sunscreen and the sun, take vitamin D supplements instead.

    Vitamin D is vital in strengthening the bones and the immune system. It also lessens the risks of certain cancers like breast cancer, colon cancer, as well as kidney and ovarian cancers. If you would rather stay out of the sun’s rays, you should regularly check with your primary care provider if you need to be checked for vitamin deficiency. You may also ask your doctor for any prenatal vitamins that will fill the lack of any vitamin and nutrient in your body.

    Regularly applying sunscreen may also lessen your skin’s capability of manufacturing vitamin D. If you think you need more of this essential vitamin, consult your doctor to discuss your options.

    • Re-apply sunscreen every two hours.

    Even if you applied a water-repellent sunscreen, it is still best that you apply the product after every couple of hours.

  • Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite in Apex, NC

    If you would like to go to the theater this weekend, you may want to see Neil Simon’s Plaza Suiteperformed at the Halle Cultural Arts Center in Apex, NC.  The play will be performed on Thursday through Saturday evenings (May 8-10th) at 7:30 pm and Sunday May 11th at 3 pm.  The cost of tickets are $15 for Adults and $12 for Seniors.

    According the the Halle website, “Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza. A suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before and was yesterday the anniversary, or is it today? This wry tale of marriage in tatters is followed by the exploits of a Hollywood producer who, after three marriages, is looking for fresh fields. He calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little diversion (wink, wink!) Over the years she has idolized him from afar and he is now more than the match she bargained for. The last couple is a mother and father fighting about the best way to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where guests await her or as Mother yells, “I want you to come out of that bathroom and get married!” This production is directed by Kathleen Rudolph, with the cast made up of Triangle actors.”

  • The Malfunctioning Thyroid

    According to Dr. Ridha Arem of The Thyroid Solution, “At any given time in the U.S., more than 20 million people suffer from a thyroid disorder.  More than 10 million women have a low grade thyroid imbalance and nearly 8 million people with the imbalance are undiagnosed.  More than 500,000 new cases of thyroid imbalance occur each year.”  The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the front of the neck.  It is the primary gland in charge of metabolism.  A malfunctioning thyroid gland is either  classified as “hypo” meaning too little thyroid activity or “hyper” meaning too much thyroid activity.  A dysfunctional thyroid can affect every aspect of your health including your weight, depression and energy levels.

    computer-frustration

    Some common signs that you have a thyroid problem include:

    • Muscle and joint pain
    • chiropractic-health Plantar fascitis
    • Changes to the hair and skin (coarse & brittle hair for hypothyroidism; significant hair loss for hyperthyroidism)
    • Bowel problems (Significant constipation with hypothyroidism; diarrhea with hyperthyroidism)
    • Menstrual problems and infertility (heavier & frequent periods with hypothyroidism; light & infrequent periods with hyperthyroidism)
    • Cholesterol problems (high cholesterol with hypothyroidism; low cholesterol with hyperthyroidism)
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Fatigue
    • Weight changes (weight gain with hypothyroidism; weight loss with hyperthyroidism)

    If you believe you might be suffering from thyroid problems, contact your doctor for testing to determine how your thyroid is functioning.  Your doctor will probably order blood tests.  The measurement of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels is often used by doctors as a screening test.  Elevated TSH levels can signify low thyroid hormone production.  Your doctor may test your blood thyroid hormones called T4 and T3.

  • When Hormones Are Out of Balance

    The word hormone comes from the Greek work, hormaein, meaning to excite or to urge on. Each hormone is a complex chemical substance produced and secreted into the bloodstream by an endocrine gland, or secreted by specialized cells in other organs, such as parts of the gastro-intestinal tract or the heart. Hormones reach every part of the body, and the membrane of every cell has receptors for one or more hormones that stimulate or retard a specific body function.

    The hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, acts as the mastermind that coordinates hormone production, producing regulatory or releasing hormones; these travel a short distance through special blood vessels and nerve endings to the pituitary gland, which is often referred to as the “master gland”. Attached to the hypothalamus by a short stalk, the pea- sized pituitary gland hangs from the base of the brain and is composed of two parts, an anterior and a posterior lobe. Some of its hormones act indirectly by stimulating target glands to release other hormones. Others have a direct effect on the function of target glands tissues.

    Hormones can work in astonishingly small concentrations. On the high end, the ratio of hormone molecules to blood molecules is 1 to 5 billion, and on the low end side the ratio is 1 to 5 zillion, (1 in 5,000,000,000,000,000). Hormones are able to influence the activities of the body, but they must first bind with specific tailored protein cells called receptors. There are hundreds of different kinds of receptors, although each one is designed for a specific chemical signal within a cell. There are more than 10,000 different types of receptors, although it takes only a small number to obtain a response. The receptor and its hormone have an intricate and precise fit, like a key and a lock and this hormone receptor complex then binds to specific regions of DNA in the cell nucleus to activate specific gene.

    When the body is in a state of homeostasis, the precise amount of hormones are released into the bloodstream and the body functions smoothly; but when the control mechanism malfunctions-either too much or too little of a particular hormone is secreted, or when an organ or tissue does not respond efficiently, the results can be severe and even fatal.

    There are symptoms that you may have if you have hormonal imbalances. These include, but are not limited to:

    hot flashes and night sweats
    weight gain
    insomnia
    fatigue
    low libido
    vaginal dryness
    PMS
    mood swings
    depression
    fibrosis
    anxiety
    irritability
    incontinence
    yeast infections
    headaches
    memory lapses
    inability to focus
    sugar cravings
    rapid or irregular heartbeat
    autoimmune disorders
    Some of these symptoms will be discussed in more depth in our next blog post.

  • Hormones Are Your Body’s Stabilizers

    The word “homeostasis” describes the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions even though the outside world is constantly changing. Homeostasis indicates a dynamic state of equilibrium or a balance in which internal conditions change and vary but always within relatively narrow limits. Communication within the body is essential for homeostasis and is accomplished chiefly by the nervous and endocrine systems. Many of the most vital functions of the human body are influenced by the endocrine system, which consists of glands that secrete hormones, or chemical messengers into the bloodstream.

    The hypothalamus, located in the brain, acts like radar by receiving incoming information from the nervous system. It then uses this information to manufacture hormones that either target specific parts of the body, or to target other glands to produce specific hormones to maintain homeostasis.

    The endocrine system consists of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testes. All of the organs of the endocrine system are glands, but not all glands are part of the endocrine system. Other organs that produce hormones, but are not part of the endocrine system include the placenta in the pregnant female, glands in the gastro-intestinal tract, structures in the heart and blood vessels, and structures in the kidneys.

    Hormones are the body’s internal chemical messengers. They carry the information that controls the function of almost all of the body’s cells and tissues. Most hormones are controlled by a mechanism called feedback, which is similar to a thermostat in a central heating system. When a gland is working harder than the body needs it to, the hormone system switches off; when the body needs the gland to speed up, the nervous system turns on the switch again.

  • The History of Chiropractic: D.D. Palmer

    Chiropractic has been evolving over the past century, but its roots go back to ancient China and Greece. Ancient writings in these cultures mention manipulation of the spine and maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Even Hippocrates, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C. published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic-health/what-is-chiropractic/”>chiropractic care. He wrote, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”

    Modern chiropractic emerged near the end of the 19th century when health care was a conglomeration of competing theories, practitioners, potions and schemes. Except in urban centers, doctors were scarce, and most health care was provided in the home by family members. Hospitals were even scarcer than doctors and were seen as places where the terminally ill went to die. Heroic medicine was the most prevalent form of “orthodox” medicine in the first half of the 19th century. Heroic practice involved the notion that the harshness of the doctor’s remedies should be in proportion to the severity of the patient’s disease. This meant that the sickest patients were at risk of dying from the treatment since most doctors used things such as mercury and other toxins as well as lancets for letting of blood.

    Against this backdrop of heroic medicine, the Native American and Thompsonian traditions of herbal and other botanical remedies grew popular, and were joined in the early part of the 19th century by homeopathic medicine (promoted by Samuel Hahnemann, M.D., of Germany) and the magnetic healing methods of Franz Anton Mesmer, M.D. It was during this era of medicine that the founder of modern chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer, was born. Daniel David (known as D.D.) was born in 1845 in rural Ontario, Canada, but his family relocated to the Mississippi River valley near the end of the Civil War. It was here that D.D. took up the practice of magnetic healing.

    After nine years of clinical experience and theorizing, D.D. had decided that inflammation was the essential characteristic of all disease. With his sensitive fingers, Palmer sought to locate inflammation in his patients. By late 1895, Palmer began theorizing that inflammation occurred when displaced anatomical structures rubbed against one another, causing friction and heat. So Palmer started trying to manually reposition the parts of the body so as to prevent friction and the development of inflamed tissue.

    The first recipient of D.D. Palmer’s new strategy of treatment was a janitor in the building where Palmer operated his 40-room facility. Patient Harvey Lillard reported in the January 1897 issue of The Chiropractic that: “I was deaf 17 years and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without any benefit. I had long ago made up my mind to not take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury in my spine. This was new to me; but it is a fact that my back was injured at the time I went deaf. Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well. That was eight months ago. My hearing remains good.”

    Pleased with his results with Harvey Lillard, D.D. Palmer extended his new work as a “magnetic manipulator” (Palmer 1897) to patients with a variety of other health problems, with reportedly good results. In the summer of 1896 he sought and obtained a charter for the Palmer School of Magnetic Cure, wherein he would teach his new method (Wiese 1896). With the assistance of his friend and patient, Reverend Samuel Weed, D.D. adopted Greek terms to form the word “chiropractic,” meaning done by hand. His school became known informally as Palmer’s School of Chiropractic (PSC), and he trained a few students, several of whom were allopathic and osteopathic doctors.

    D.D.’s son B.J. took over the running of the Palmer School while D.D. went on to open two other schools. D.D. passed away in 1913 of typhoid fever in Los Angeles, California. D.D. left the legacy of a founding a form of healthcare that has helped millions of people over the past century.

  • Chiropractic Care Using the Activator Adjusting Instrument

    Chiropractors use different techniques to perform the chiropractic-health/what-is-chiropractic/” target=”_blank”>chiropractic adjustment. Some chiropractors use their hands and others use instruments. This post will cover the most widely used adjusting instrument, known as the Activator Adjusting Instrument. The Activator Adjusting Instrument and the chiropractic technique associated with it was developed in 1967 and has become the most widely used low-force chiropractic technique in the world. According to the 2005 National Board of Chiropractic Examiner’s Job Analysis, 51.2% of American chiropractors report using the Activator Adjusting Instrument for patient care.

    The Activator Instrument is a spring-loaded, hand-held mechanical instrument that provides a quick, low-force impulse at specific points. The instrument gives off 0.3 J of kinetic energy in a 3-millisecond pulse. The instrument was specifically designed to deliver a controlled, light and fast thrust without undue strain to the patient. As a result, this specific system of adjusting restores proper balance, and does so with improved safety and comfort.

    There are two main advantages of an Activator Instrument treatment. The first is based on the speed of the device. The instrument is so fast that the body’s muscles are less likely to tense up in response and resist the treatment. When any force, such as a chiropractic adjustment, intrudes on the body, muscles in the involved area are automatically contracted by a reflex mechanism in order to protect that area from the force. The Activator instrument produces a thrust which is quicker than the body’s reflexes can respond. In other words, the thrust delivered by the instrument is so quick that it accelerates ahead of the body’s tendency to tighten up and resist the thrust of an adjustment. The lack of muscle resistance helps with the treatment’s effectiveness.

    The second advantage is that the applied force is localized and does not add any additional torque or bending movement to the joint. In other words, with the Activator Instrument, the chiropractor can pinpoint the dysfunctional joint and apply the specific force needed to restore movement to the joint without subjecting the body to any extra forces. So when you combine the accuracy and the controlled light force, it makes Activator Methods treatments both effective and suitable for all types of patients including pregnant women, babies and children, athletes and seniors.

  • Tips for Preventing Arsenic Toxicity From Your Food

    As I stated in my previous post, worrisome levels of arsenic have been found in rice as well as grape and apple juice. If this concerns you, like it does me, here are a few tips to limit your risk of arsenic poisoning:

    First of all, test your water. If your home is not on a public water system, have your have your water tested for arsenic and lead. To find a certified lab, contact your local health department or call the Federal Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791. If you are on public water, check your municipal water report for arsenic.

    Secondly, change the way you cook rice. You may be able to cut your exposure to inorganic arsenic in rice by rinsing raw rice thoroughly before cooking – make sure the water runs clean. Use a ratio of 6 cups water to 1 cup rice for cooking and draining the excess water afterward. That is a traditional method of cooking rice in Asia. The modern technique of cooking rice in water that is entirely absorbed by the grains has been promoted because it allows rice to retain more of its vitamins and other nutrients. But even though you may sacrifice some of the rice’s nutritional value, research has shown that rinsing and using more water removes about 30 percent of the rice’s inorganic arsenic contents. And children should not drink rice milk & serve infant rice cereal no more than once a day.

    Thirdly, be picky about what rice you eat. Eat more aromatic rice such as basmati and jasmine since they have been shown to have the lowest levels of inorganic arsenic. Limit brown rice consumption, even though it is healthy for you, because bran holds on to higher levels of arsenic. Choose California rice over other states because their arsenic levels were lower.

    Also, experiment with other grains. Vary your grains, especially if you eat more than two or three servings of rice per week. Though not arsenic-free, wheat and oats tend to have lower levels than rice. And quinoa, millet, and amaranth are among other options for those on a gluten-free diet, though they have not been studied as much

    Finally, eat a varied diet. Some vegetables can accumulate arsenic when grown in contaminated soil. Make sure you clean vegetables thoroughly, especially potato skins. Some fruit juices such as apple and grape juice are high in arsenic, as our previous post discussed. To prevent obesity and tooth decay, pediatricians advise that infants younger than 6 months shouldn’t drink juice, children up to age 6 should have no more than 4 to 6 ounces a day and older children no more than 8 to 12 ounces. Like grape juice, wine also can be a source of exposure, according to data collected in the FDA’s Total Diet Study, which provides more complete information about arsenic content in a variety of goods. Go to fda.gov and search for “total diet study analytical results.

    If you eat a lot of rice and are concerned about arsenic toxicity, here are some symptoms to watch out for: dermatitis, respiratory tract infection, muscle aches, headaches, weakness, convulsions, neuropathy, anemia, pigmentation of nails, drowsiness and confusion. If you have any of these symptoms, make sure you contact your healthcare provider.

  • Could You Be Getting Arsenic Poisoning From Your Food?

    In November 2012 Consumer Reports published an article of their findings of worrisome levels of arsenic found in rice products (to read their article, you can click on this link: Arsenic in Your Foods). Before this, they published another article (to read, click link: Arsenic in Your Juice) in January 2012 revealing arsenic in apple and grape juice. Most of you probably know that arsenic is a potent human carcinogen and can cause health problems in children later in life. This finding is very disturbing, but are we really surprised by it? We know that the excessive amounts of pesticides and herbicides that are used have to have some effect on our biological system. Arsenic is used as a neurological agent against bugs. It then ends up in our waterways and since rice is grown in water, it tends to accumulate in rice more than other grains.

    It is my hope that the Consumer Reports findings as well as others like it will open up serious discussions about our approach to the food we eat and our long term health. For years alternative healthcare providers have preached to our patients about the need to eat clean food, increase their consumption of plants and do periodic detoxification to remove some of the toxins which accumulate in our system over time. And now an independent organization is sounding an alarm that certain foods we eat or drink may cause serious health problems.

    I believe that we should have serious concerns about our food supply: Roundup-ready corn, soy and alfalfa; mercury in the fish; bad fats; hormones and antibiotics in beef and chicken; and 70% of the processed foods in the grocery store which have been estimated to contain GMO derivatives. Because of these things, our diets and the supplements we use to support our diet should be geared to repairing the damage done by the chemicals and heavy metals that we are unknowingly ingesting. Heavy metals inactivate enzymes in the body and increase free radical damage which can lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease, autoimmunity, and some forms of cancer. So it’s important to get rid of any excess heavy metals. Doing a regular detox can help you with this.

    My next post will discuss tips for lessening your chances to get arsenic in your food.

  • When You Take Your Supplements Affects How You Absorb Them

    Sometimes your healthcare provider gives you a nutritional supplement that they say you need and nothing happens.  A classic example is someone who has low levels of vitamin D that doesn’t improve after months of therapy.  One reason for this, according to a small but striking study at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, is that some vitamin D resistant people are taking vitamin D supplements on an empty stomach or with a small meal, usually breakfast or lunch.

    Twenty five people participated in the study, 17 of them were instructed to take the same supplement they had been taking with their largest meal of the day, usually supper. After 2 to 3 months, taking the same vitamin D supplement with the “largest” meal of the day, researchers found that serum vitamin D levels had increased on average by 56.7%.  This magnitude of increase was seen across a wide range of vitamin D dosage.

    Vitamin D is fat soluble and generally it is recommended that it be taken with a meal containing fats. However, based on this study, it may be best to take vitamin D with your largest meal of the day, which is likely to contain the most fat.

    As people age and their digestive track becomes compromised, the ability to secrete digestive enzymes decreases, especially HCL. Also digesting food takes energy and if someone has been ill for a prolonged period of time their digestive capacity is further reduced. So keep in mind, if you have a weakened immune system you may have difficulty absorbing all nutrients even if they are taken at the largest meal.

    Fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, K as well as Coenzyme Q10, must be emulsified by either bile or pancreatic enzymes. But what if your liver is under-performing due to toxic over-load, fatty liver or if the bile is not stored properly and released due to gall-bladder removal? That may also lead to reduced absorption.  You may need to take digestive enzymes with your supplements to help with your nutrient absorption.