Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: July 2010 Health Newsletter

July 2010 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Heart Health Nutritional Support
» Symptoms During Pregnancy With Few Adverse Effects
» It’s the Inflammation, Stupid!
» LIVE ~ LOVE ~ LAUGH
» October is National Chiropractic Health Month, but ACA Asks: Why Weight?
» Glucosamine Doesn’t Appear To Lessen Low Back Pain
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

Heart Health Nutritional Support
br logo nutriwest
Cardioplex:  Vitamins and phytochemically-rich herbs to help maintain a healthy heart
Core Level Heart:
Nutritional support of the cardiac muscles
Homocysteine Redux:  Nutritional support of the cardiac muscles

Pure
Calcium (citrate): Highly absorbable calcium; reduces the risk of osteoporosis, supports cardiovascular   and colon health
CoQ10:  Energy for cardiovascular health
l-Carnitine:  Cardiovascular and endurance support

Biotics
ADHS:  Supports normal cortisol levels
L-Carnitine HCL:  Plays a critical role in fat metabolism and eneygy productions, therefore supports healthy heart function.
Mg Zyme:  Magnesium support for proper cardiac support

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE OFFICE REGARDING ADDITIONAL HEART HEALTH NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT OR ASK THE DOCTOR ON YOUR NEXT VISIT

Author: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupuncture P.A.
Source: March 2010; Vol 2, No. 1
Copyright: Dr. Susan J. Aubuchon 2010


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Symptoms During Pregnancy With Few Adverse Effects

Targeted acupuncture may offer women with major depression a safe and effective alternative to antidepressant medication, new research suggests.

Investigators at Stanford University School of Medicine in California found that women with major depressive disorder treated with depression-specific acupuncture had a 63% response rate after 12 sessions compared with a 44.3% response rate in 2 combined control groups who were treated with either acupuncture not known to help alleviate depressive symptoms or Swedish massage.

"Pregnancy just by its nature can bring out some underlying psychiatric and emotional issues ... but treatment of depression during pregnancy is critically important so that a woman can maintain her sense of well being and take good care of herself, her fetus and, someday, her child," study coauthor Deirdre Lyell, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a statement.

Led by Rachel Manber, PhD, the study was published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Response Rates Significantly Higher

For the study, investigators randomized 150 women whose pregnancies were between 12 and 30 weeks of gestation and who met Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition) criteria for major depressive disorder and who scored at least 14 on the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression.

Of the 141 women who eventually entered the study, 52 received depression-specific acupuncture, 49 received control acupuncture, and 49 others received Swedish massage.

Treatments were provided twice a week for the first 4 weeks and then weekly thereafter for 4 additional weeks, with each session lasting about 25 minutes.

The investigators found that response rates were significantly higher in women who received depression-specific acupuncture than for either control group. Response rates in women randomized to the 2 control interventions did not differ significantly from each other at 37.5% for the control acupuncture group vs 50% for the massage group.

On the other hand, remission rates did not differ significantly between women who received depression-specific acupuncture at 34.8% and the combined control groups at 29.5%. They also did not differ between those assigned to the control acupuncture group at 27.5% or the massage group at 31.2%.

Thirty-three of the study participants discontinued treatment before the study endpoint, 30% of them for reasons related to the pregnancy. Some women in both acupuncture groups reported transient discomfort at the point of needle insertion, and 1 woman experienced bleeding at the needle site.

Significantly fewer women who received massage reported any adverse effects compared with the 2 acupuncture groups.

Clinically Meaningful

The study authors point out that the benefits observed with depression-specific acupuncture can be considered "clinically meaningful" when assessed in a broader context of depression studies.

Although there are no randomized controlled trials of antidepressants being used during pregnancy, 1 randomized controlled trial found that interpersonal psychotherapy produced a 52% reduction in Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores and a 19% remission rate after 16 weeks of therapy, to which the currently study compares very favorably.

According to the study, antidepressant use during pregnancy doubled between 1999 and 2003, but many women are reluctant to take these medications because of safety concerns. In fact, in this particular study, 94% of the women involved expressed reluctance to take an antidepressant because of their pregnancy.

"Because there’s this concern about medication among pregnant women and their physicians, it’s important to find an alternative," said Dr. Manber.

Results from this study therefore suggest that this standardized acupuncture protocol could be considered a "viable treatment option" for depression during pregnancy, the investigators conclude.

Michael Thase, MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, cautions that findings from this study are preliminary, although they suggest that depression-specific acupuncture may have value in major depressive disorder in this patient population.

On the other hand, another study assessing depression-specific acupuncture in a broader population of men and women with major depressive disorder failed to find a significant effect from the modality, so evidence supporting acupuncture for the treatment of major depressive disorder is not consistent.

"Still there is reason to be cautious when prescribing antidepressants in pregnancy, and one has to weigh the pros and cons of using an antidepressant on an individual basis,” he told Medscape Psychiatry.

"If these promising findings are confirmed, it would be good to have another option to complement the focused forms of psychotherapy which are currently used for antenatal depression," he added.

The study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The study authors and Dr. Thase have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115:511-520.

Author: Pam Harrison
Source: © 2010 Medscape, LLC
Copyright: Medscape Medical News 2010


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It’s the Inflammation, Stupid!

In the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton was a heavy underdog to popular incumbent George H. W. Bush. Bush was considered unbeatable due to foreign policy successes including the end of the Cold War and routing Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War. But Bush’s approval ratings, which had been in the 90 percent range, began to dip as his campaign ignored the economic recession. Clinton’s campaign manager James Carville’s now famous campaign slogan, "It’s the economy stupid," helped turn the tide and Bill Clinton became the forty-second American president.

Just like George Bush’s 1992 presidential campaign, today’s medical community continues to promote the medical myths associated with cholesterol while ignoring the real cause of cardiovascular disease, inflammation.

Conventional opinion and current medical dogma holds that low cholesterol, especially low LDL cholesterol, reduces the risk and incidence of heart disease and stroke. This belief is so entrenched in the medical community that the FDA now approves drugs to prevent heart disease, as it did with Zetia and Vytorin, solely on the evidence that they lower LDL cholesterol levels. Zetia has never been proven to reduce heart attacks, strokes or death. Statin drugs help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke for those who’ve already had a cardiac event (one percent over placebo) but fail to reduce death in women, the elderly, men over the age of 47, and in men without cardiovascular risk factors.

A 2006 study in The Archives of Internal Medicine looked at seven trials of statin use in nearly 43,000 patients, mostly middle-aged men without heart disease. In that review, statins didn’t lower mortality.

Nor did they in a study known as Prosper, published in The Lancet in 2002, which studied statin use in people seventy and older. Nor did they in a 2004 review in The Journal of the American Medical Association, which looked at thirteen studies of nearly 20,000 women, both healthy and with established heart disease.

Despite a growing voice of reason, which became even louder after the recently released Enhance study, the cholesterol zealots continue to view cardiovascular disease with tunnel vision. This myopic vision fuels the cholesterol drug war which rages on as each pharmaceutical company seeks to gain economic gain in the 40 billion dollar a year lipid lowering drug market.

In an attempt to take on the cholesterol Goliath, Pfizer’s Lipitor (10 billion dollars in sales annually), Merck and Schering-Plough combined their cholesterol lowering drugs, Zocor and Zetia, to form the "super drug" known as Vytorin. Vytorin’s goal was to lower LDL cholesterol more than either drug could alone. Zetia lowers blood cholesterol by blocking the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the intestines. Zetia used alone is modestly effective in lowering LDL cholesterol by approximately 17 percent. Zocor alone lowers LDL levels by 36 percent—similar to Lipitor.

The hope was that by lowering LDL to dramatically low levels, Vytorin would do a better job of slowing the accumulation of fatty plaques in the arteries. Vytorin did, in fact, reduce LDL—by a whopping 51 percent (similar to AstraZeneca’s Crestor).

However, the two-year "Enhance" trial failed to prove that Vytorin is better than Zocor alone for slowing plaque accumulation; instead atherosclerosis worsened in those taking Vytorin.

Merck and Schering-Plough suppressed this finding for twenty months.

The study results were not revealed until the two drug companies were pressured into doing so by an article in The New York Times and a Congressional inquiry. The marketers of Vytorin said they had nothing to hide. It’s hard to believe they weren’t just a little reluctant to publish their highly anticipated study. The news that Vytorin, which retails for $100 a month and did $2 billion in sales in 2007, was clinically inferior (perhaps even dangerous) to generic simvastatin (statin), costing less than $20 a month, obviously wasn’t what stockholders wanted to hear.

Merck and Schering-Plough are running full-page ads daily in the Times and Wall Street Journal, warning people not to be confused by a single study and to continue taking Vytorin. The advice was backed by the American Heart Association, which the Times reported receives nearly $2 million a year from Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals.

Other LDL lowering drugs have bitten the dust in the last coupe of years as well.

Pfizer’s trial of its much-anticipated drug torcetrapib, which raised HDL, the good cholesterol, and lowered LDL, had to be stopped in 2006 because the drug caused heart attacks and strokes.

Estrogen replacement therapy, which is known to lower LDL cholesterol levels, failed to reduce the incidence of heart attack and stroke in clinical studies.

Ok, if cholesterol lowering isn’t the answer for everyone, why do statins help people with existing heart disease? Dr. James K. Liao of Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been investigating this question for over a decade. He suspects that statins have other biological effects. His research shows that statin drugs not only block cholesterol, but also an inflammation-generating enzyme known as rho-kinase.

When Liao reduced the rho-kinase levels in rats, they didn’t get heart disease. "Cholesterol lowering is not the reason for the benefit of statins," he concludes. Of course, there are dozens of inflammatory chemicals that play a role in triggering cardiovascular disease. Diet, health habits, our environment, even our personality may initiate inflammatory chemicals that perpetuate cardiovascular disease events.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "People see only what they are prepared to see." As the evidence about inflammation and cardiovascular disease rises, will conventional medicine and the public at large be prepared to see that it’s not about lowering cholesterol but in reducing inflammation? Hopefully, "It’s the inflammation, stupid," will become a common slogan in the campaign to fight cardiovascular disease.

Rodger Murphree, D.C., has been in private practice since 1990. He is the founder of, and past clinic director for a large integrated medical practice, which was located on the campus of Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He is the author of Treating and Beating Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You, and Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine. He can be reached at www.treatingandbeating.com, by email at drrodgerm@yahoo.com or 1-205-879-2383.

References

1. Harriet Rosenberg and Danielle Allard "Evidence for Ca Women and statin use." Women and Health Protection June 2007.

2. Business Week magazine Lipitor cover story: "Do Cholesterol Drugs do any Good?" January 17, 2008.

3. TheHeart.org from Web MD www.theheart.org, see video blog of Eric J. Topol, MD, "Temple of the LDL Cholesterol."

4. "REPEAT/New Study Showed VYTORIN® Superior to Lipitor in Reducing LDL ‘’Bad’’ Cholesterol in Patients with Type II Diabetes at the Recommended Usual Starting Doses." Business Wire. June 12, 2006.

5. The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, www.thincs.org.

6. Rodger H. Murphree D.C., Heart Disease What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You. Harrison and Hampton Publishing Birmingham, AL. 2006.

Author: Dr. Rodger Murphree, D.C.
Source: TAC, Integrative Healthcare ,
Copyright: Volume 30, Issue 4 2010


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LIVE ~ LOVE ~ LAUGH

Shary’s corner
 

                       LIVE                        LOVE                          LAUGH
Every day can be filled with meaning.  Take a moment, just the amount of time you need to take a deep breath and exhale slowly, to ask yourself what is my dream, and how will I get there from here?
What can you stop doing or do differently to simplify your life and make it more meaningful?  What is truly important to you?  Do you give some time each week to your true priorities?
Why not fill your life with love and laughter whenever you can?  There is no greater gift than the gift of loving others.  There is nothing wrong with taking some time for self-care too.  Love your pet?  Love walking out in nature?  Make time for your passions and those things that add value to your life.  Your body, mind and soul will thank you.
Do you have a mission in life?
Dream it.
Think about it.
                      Talk about it.
                                                 Commit to it.

 

Author: Clearwater Chiropractic & Acupuncture
Source: March 2010; Vol. 2, No 1
Copyright: Dr. Susan J. Aubuchon 2010


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October is National Chiropractic Health Month, but ACA Asks: Why Weight?

National Chiropractic Health Month, sponsored by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), is a nationwide observance held each October. This year's theme—"Why Weight? Get Healthy!"—and activities will focus on how doctors of chiropractic can play an important role in preventing and treating obesity.



More than 60 percent of adults in the United States are either overweight or obese, according to CDC statistics, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and some types of cancer. However, many people don't know that even modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of a person's total body weight, could improve blood pressure as well as blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. That's only 10 to 20 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.



Yet losing weight can be a struggle, and many people wonder where to begin. The answer for some may be in the office of a doctor of chiropractic (DC). Consultation with a DC is particularly important when you consider that the effects of obesity on the musculoskeletal system—osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain and joint pain—often cause overweight and obese people to avoid physical activity and exercise when they need it most. DCs also counsel their patients on good nutrition and offer dietary and lifestyle advice in addition to expert structural care.



"If you're carrying more weight than the load-bearing structures of your body—spine, legs, etc.—can handle, there's going to be pain, loss of movement and degeneration in the joints," explains James Powell, DC, a member of ACA's Wellness Committee. "Particularly if you're carrying most of your weight in your abdomen, the low back and the spine will need to work harder to hold you upright. This adds extra stress and tension on your muscles, which in turn creates stiffness."



Each year in October, ACA and its members raise public awareness of chiropractic care by observing National Chiropractic Month. Starting this year, the association will celebrate National Chiropractic Health Month in an effort to promote a broader understanding of chiropractic's approach to patient care—as natural, whole-body, patient-centered health care.



"National Chiropractic Health Month is an important opportunity to educate the public on the general health benefits of chiropractic care, which include so much more than simply the expert hands-on care that DCs are so well known for," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "Doctors of Chiropractic focus on changing patients' habits—postural, physical activity, nutritional, etc.—to promote health and wellness, short-term and long-term. Patients are tired of quick fixes that don't produce lasting weight loss and better health; and they are always delighted to discover how doctors of chiropractic promote total health and wellness over a lifetime."



For more information about National Chiropractic Health Month, visit www.acatoday.org/NCHM. The American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.com. July 6, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010


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Glucosamine Doesn’t Appear To Lessen Low Back Pain

With 80 percent of the population experiencing back pain sometime during their life, it would be nice if taking a natural supplement would be the cure. New research shows that supplementing with glucosamine, while potentially beneficial to the joints, doesn’t appear to be the silver bullet for low back pain. When Norwegian researchers randomly gave a group of 250 patients with chronic low back pain either glucosamine or a sugar pill for 6 months, there was little difference in pain outcomes. At both 6 and 12 months, there was no significant difference between those receiving the glucosamine or those receiving the sugar pill. And while glucosamine may still possess other benefits including success in certain cases of knee osteoarthritis, its ability to specifically lessen lower back pain does not appear to be one of them. If you’re suffering from back pain, don’t give up hope. Consult your local licensed doctor of chiropractic today to discover other safe and natural alternatives to reducing and eliminating your back pain.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. July 7, 2010.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.
Copyright: Reuters 2010


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