John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Phthalate Exposure Threatens Human Survival Total sperm counts in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand dropped by nearly 60 percent between 1973 and 2013 and there’s no evidence to suggest this downward trend is leveling off. Reduction in sperm production is a warning sign that men’s health is in serious jeopardy, as poor semen quality has been linked to a higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer and early death. Along with sperm, men’s testosterone levels have dropped in recent decades as well, and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in utero and beyond appears to be a driving factor. Environmental estrogens such as phthalates have generational effects, which is why males are successively becoming increasingly more sterile with each passing generation. Studies have also linked phthalate exposure during early childhood with delayed puberty in girls, while other research warns that phthalates in makeup and personal care products can trigger early menopause. Phthalates are particularly prevalent in personal care products, which is why women tend to have higher levels in their system than men. Higher levels are also evident in people who regularly eat fast food, as the food is packaged in plastic and/or nonstick wrappers. NOTE: You should consider detoxing once or twice a year. We can check for the need.
WELLNESS: Common Painkiller Is Causing Many Heart Attacks Nearly 25 million American adults suffer from pain on a daily basis, many of whom reach for over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs to ease their discomfort. Research shows a high risk of heart attack associated with diclofenac, an OTC NSAID researchers strongly recommend become a prescription drug; data revealed ibuprofen and naproxen increased heart attack risk 30 percent greater than taking no drug. Risks associated with NSAIDs include gastrointestinal bleeding, hearing loss, miscarriage and increased risk of bone loss. Consider using several natural strategies to reduce inflammation and pain without associated life-altering side effects, such as ginger, curcumin, astaxanthin and severely limiting sugar and grains. NOTE: Most pain conditions can be controlled through natural healthcare: chiropractic, acupuncture, nutritional therapy and electrotherapy. Don’t risk your life, seek solutions for your health problem.
CHIROPRACTIC: Is It My Low Back Or My Hip? When patients present with low back pain, it is not uncommon for pain to arise from areas other than the low back, such as the hip. There are many tissues in the low back and hip region that are susceptible to injury with have overlapping pain pathways that often make it challenging to isolate the truly injured area. Hip pain can present in many different ways. When considering the anatomy of the low back (lumbar spine) and hip, and the nerves that innervate the hip come from the low back, it’s no wonder that differentiating between the two conditions is often difficult. Complaints may include the inside, outside, front, or back of the thigh, the knee, the buttocks, the sacroiliac joint, or the low back and yet, the hip may truly be the pain generator with any of these presentations. To make diagnosis even more complex, the hip pain patient may present one day with what appears to be sciatic nerve pain (that is, pain shooting down the back of the leg to the knee if mild or to the foot if more severe) but the next visit, with only groin pain. When pain radiates down a leg, the almost automatic impression by both the patient and their healthcare provider is, “…it’s a pinched nerve.” But again, it could be the hip and NOT a pinched nerve that is creating the leg pain pattern. Throwing yet another wrench in the works is the fact that a patient can have more than one condition at the same time. So, they truly MAY simultaneously have BOTH a low back problem AND a hip problem. In fact, its actually unusual to x-ray the low back of a hip pain patient without seeing some low back condition(s) like degenerative disk disease, osteoarthritis (spurs off the vertebrae), or combination of these. So, how do we differentiate between hip vs. low back pain when it is common for both low back and hip pain to often coincide? When we ask the hip pain patient to point to the area of greatest discomfort, they usually point to the front of the hip or groin, and less often to the inner and/or anterior thigh or knee. Non-weight bearing positions like sitting or lying are almost always immediately pain relieving. When there is arthritis in the hip, motion loss is often reported and may include a shorter walking stride and pain usually gets worse the longer these patients are on their feet. Initiating motion often hurts, sometimes even in bed when rolling over. During the chiropractic examination, with the patient lying on the back with the knee and hip both bent 90°, moving the bent knee outwards or inwards will almost always reproduce hip/groin area pain. Pulling on or applying traction to the affected leg usually, “…feels good.” Knee & ankle reflexes and sensation are normal but muscle strength may be weak due to pain. Bending the low back into different positions does not reproduce pain if the pain is only coming from the hip. Though sometimes challenging, doctors of chiropractic are well-trained to be able to differentiate between hip and low back pain and will treat both areas when it is appropriate.
FUNNY BONES: I made a beginner’s mistake and went shopping on an empty stomach. I am now the happy owner of aisle 7@@ I have a very good feeling about my job interview today. The manager said they were looking for somebody responsible. “You’ve found your man,” I responded, “whenever there was a problem in my last job, they always said that I was responsible!”@@ Give a man a fish and you will feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish and he’s going to spend a fortune on gear he’ll only be using twice a year.
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Which Foods Are Best for Your Heart Health? Many vegetables contain naturally occurring nitrates, which your body transforms into nitric oxide (NO), a soluble gas continually produced from the amino acid L-arginine inside your cells. nitric oxide supports healthy endothelial function and protects your mitochondria. Acting as a potent vasodilator, NO also relaxes and widens your blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. As noted in research3 presented by Dr. Michael Greger above, a diet high in nitrate is a natural strategy recommended for the treatment of prehypertension and hypertension (high blood pressure), "and to protect individuals at risk of adverse vascular events," i.e., heart attacks. Indeed, raw beets — which are high in nitrates — have been shown to lower blood pressure by an average of four to five points within a matter of hours. Some studies have shown a glass of beet juice can lower systolic blood pressure by more than eight points — far more than most blood pressure medications. In conventional medicine, nitrates are used to treat angina and congestive heart failure, and research shows a glass of beetroot juice has the same effect as prescription nitrates. Red beets are well-known for their high nitrate content, but leafy greens contain even more nitrates per serving; arugula contains the highest amounts, followed by rhubarb.
WELLNESS: Sugar During Pregnancy Linked to Allergies Allergies are a sign your body’s immune system is working overtime; consuming sugar during pregnancy may increase your child’s risk of developing allergies and asthma. Sugar has a profound effect on the health of your growing baby and may increase your own risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and brain-related disorders as well. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London evaluated survey data from nearly 9,000 mother-child pairs in the ongoing Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, tracking the health of families with children born between April 1, 1991, and December 31, 1992.4 Lead author Annabelle Bedard, Ph.D., commented on what triggered the researchers to evaluate the association between sugar and allergies: "The dramatic 'epidemic' of asthma and allergies in the West in the last 50 years is still largely unexplained — one potential culprit is a change in diet. Intake of free sugar and high fructose corn syrup has increased substantially over this period. We know that the prenatal period may be crucial for determining risk of asthma and allergies in childhood and recent trials have confirmed that maternal diet in pregnancy is important." Optimizing your vitamin D level during pregnancy may reduce your child’s risk for developing asthma and support your child’s immune system.
CHIROPRACTIC: Low back problems that are disc related Low back pain is the number one health problem in the United States, but the good news is chiropractic is the number one effective treatment based on government studies. When vertebrae, in the back, start to lose their alignment, the connective tissue and fluid pad (discs) between the vertebras come under stress. Through repetitive trauma from normal daily activities, this stress can lead to bulging and sometimes tearing of fibers within the disk. As this damage increases the gelatinous material called the nucleus pulposus can migrate to the edge of the disc and sometimes herniated through the disc. The good news is most disc problems can be adequately resolved through chiropractic adjustments, exercise, and nutritional therapy. That's right, discs need nutrition just like every other structure in your body. With a combination of connective tissue support, enzymes to treat inflammation and swelling and chiropractic adjustments most disk problems can be resolved without surgery. There is a classic disc shift seen in patients with lumbar disc disorders. When the patient tries to stand up straight, their hips are usually shifted to one side. If you or someone you know suffers from severe low back pain, they need chiropractic care to resolve the disk problem.
FUNNY BONES: How does a penguin build it's house? Igloos it together. @@Bob: "Holy schmoozes, I just fell off a 30 ft ladder." Jim: "No way man, are you okay?" Bob: "Yeah, luckily I was just on the first step."@@Two years ago I asked the girl of my dreams on a date, today I asked her to marry me. She said no, on both occasions.@@police say that the man who fell into a combine harvester while trying to steal it…Has been bailed. @@I told a girl she looked better without her glasses on. She said I also look better without her glasses on.@@“Dad, are we pyromaniacs?” “Yes, we arson.” @@To the guy who stole my antidepressants…I hope you’re happy.@@I asked the doctor if I could administer my own anaesthetic. He said, “Go ahead. Knock yourself out.” @@I’ve been trying to organize a hide and seek tournament…But it’s not easy. Good players are hard to find.@@ A guy walks into library and asks for a book on sea turtles. The librarian asks, “Hard back?” The guy replies, “Yeah, little heads too.”
It's really difficult for all of us to see when we are being programmed or manipulated through advertisement/propaganda. But pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on conditioning the population to choose its products over other methods of treatment. And sometimes we’re in an automatic mode when we decide our choice in healthcare. This can be a problem for a number of reasons. The first thing to consider is if you are deciding to utilize a drug as your first option you might not understand the dangers of that approach.
Besides the over 2000 deaths per week due to the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and the fact that medical care is a number one cause for death in the United States based on CDC statistics, there are other reasons to think twice about drugs being your first approach. Simply put drugs don't heal, drugs alter your perception of the condition. Let's take headaches, for example, most headaches are caused by misalignments in the upper neck (muscle tension) other causes could be toxicity problems, allergies, low blood sugar or hormonal problems. Which of these do you think an aspirin fixes? Did you know aspirin causes bleeding in the stomach, Excess Stomach Acid Secretion, Stomach Cramps, Blood coming from Anus, Decreased White Blood Cells? This is just a partial list of potential side effects. Again the aspirin doesn't treat any of the underlying causes for your condition.
Let's say your headaches were related to hormonal imbalances because of a developing ovarian cyst. You keep treating the headaches with an aspirin and your ovarian cyst keeps getting worse to the point that it might burst. Wouldn't it have been nice if the physician you went to wanted to understand the source of your headaches? But a common problem is if you're a physician and have powerful drugs that can mask symptoms then when a patient presents with certain symptoms you are just gonna write a prescription and consider it appropriate care.
As a chiropractic physician, we don't mask symptoms with drugs, we have to figure out why the symptom is there. Just to classify a headache is a tension headache or a migraine headache and then give the latest masking drug the pharmaceutical company has recommended, in my opinion, is not proper healthcare. Proper healthcare tries to determine the underlying cause for the condition and correct the cause. I'm not saying that can be done 100% of the time because science does not understand the body fully, I am saying that most the time it can be. The underlying cause of allergies is not an antihistamine deficiency it's an inappropriate functioning immune system. When you correct the immune system you correct the allergies. Acid reflux is not an antacid deficiency it is an imbalance somewhere within the digestive system. It needs to be found and corrected which might include changing your diet.
Back pain is not a muscle relaxer or anti-inflammatory deficiency disease. When you just treat the symptoms you allow the condition time to get worse. This is one of the reasons that chronic diseases are such a high prevalence in our society. When you chronically just treat symptoms over a lifetime you end up with a basket full of chronic conditions. And this is why many people live their last 10 or 15 years of life in a nursing home or a wheelchair suffering from multiple health problems. If you don't want to end up there you have to change the choices you make with your body. The fact is most drug therapy is inappropriate. Let me make this clear there is a time for drugs and there is a time for surgeries but they should be the last approach. Unfortunately, when you let certain conditions develop to the point of no return you eliminate a number of your options to get well.
Natural healthcare focuses on health, not disease. Disease care has led to horrible health statistics for countries that focus their attention there. When a type II diabetic is taking one, two or three different medications to try to control their blood sugar they are in fact shortening their lifespan and making chronic disease more likely. The sad thing is the vast majority of type II diabetics can be drug-free and healthy by some simple dietary and nutritional approaches. Lowering your blood sugar with drugs to force the sugar out of the body is not the same as correcting the blood sugar problem. Find the cause, correct the cause.
It is true that antibiotics can help clear acne in patients who suffer from it but it's also true that antibiotics will wreck havoc on your digestive tract and weaken your immune system. Is acne an antibiotic deficiency disease? The skin is just the expression of the health of the body. Acne has to do with body ecology, hormonal balance and sometimes food allergies. The chances are the use of antibiotics will make each of these issues worse. And has anybody heard of superbug infections? The overuse of antibiotics is the number one cause of death from superbug infections that have been growing every year for the past 25 years. Is there a place for antibiotics? There is but it's very rare. There are so many natural immune boosting techniques in natural healthcare that well over 90% of my patients never require any antibiotics in their life as long as they are following the approaches we recommend. Sure there are exceptions to every rule but in our society, the exception is the rule.
Do you want to be healthy? Drugs are not going to get you there. Drugs could save your life but the same drugs that saved your life could end your life if you keep taking them. Drugs are toxic, drugs are dangerous. If you want to be healthy then you have to practice a healthy lifestyle. Did you know your nervous system controlled and coordinated everything that happens in your body? That's why we focus on spinal health to maintain a proper nervous system function. That is one of the five laws of health that we encourage patients to follow. The second law would be the law of diet. Do you really believe you could eat Twinkies all day and stay healthy? Of course not. But just like the big Pharma, big food has programmed you into digging your own grave with your fork. You have to eat a diet that's consistent with your genetic makeup and actually has real food in it. Eating right is really not that hard with a little direction you can increase your energy levels, strengthen your cardiovascular systems and maintain proper blood sugar levels very easily. The third law is exercise. You don't have to run marathons, in fact, you can over-exercise to your detriment. Exercise is also related to your genetic makeup. Some people doing the wrong type of exercise can actually hurt themselves. People who have some type of moderate, regular exercise will be healthier than those who don't. Law four is a positive mental and spiritual attitude. Life can be hard you need to have coping skills in order to be successful. Spiritual disciplines have been shown by research to make us healthier and to allow us to live a longer life. In the fifth law is rest and relaxation.
None of these laws are really difficult to follow you just need to find yourself in a culture that encourages these. The pharmaceutical approach is not that culture. As nice as it is to have a fire department it's also a lot better if you never have to call them. And in most circumstances with a little prudence, those disasters can be avoided. One of the best ways to find yourself in the culture of better health is to choose natural healthcare. Making natural healthcare your first choice can prevent a number of disasters in your life and your families health. You still might be referred to a medical specialist from time to time but if your primary care is a physician in the natural healthcare field your outcomes would be greatly improved.
Are you locked in the matrix? Choose natural healthcare and choose a better life.
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Avoid a heart attack by eating blueberries and strawberries, according to Harvard Medical School We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for your health. Now new research out of Harvard Medical School is confirming that eating more berries can contribute greatly to heart health. In fact, blueberries and strawberries (in particular) contribute dramatically to this area of health, lowering the risk of a heart attack. For the study, health data came from 93,600 women who had signed up for the Nurses’ Health Study from ages 25 to 42. Over 18 years, they gave information regarding their diet. Looking at relatively young women at low risk of heart attack allowed the researchers to see many heart attack risk factors more clearly. The evidence is clear: Reduce heart attack risk up to 34 percent by eating blueberries and strawberries. The researchers determined women who ate the least strawberries and blueberries were at a higher risk for having a heart attack. Those who ate the highest amounts of these fruits were a full 34 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.
WELLNESS: How to Get Rid of a Cough Contrary to what many people believe, a cough is not a disease in and of itself – rather, it’s a symptom, a warning sign that your body gives out to let you know that there’s something wrong with your health, and that there’s an underlying condition that you need to take care of. For example, a cough can present itself with the common cold and other types of respiratory illness. It may manifest if you have gastrointestinal problems like GERD, or may be triggered by prescription medications. In some cases, it may be a sign of a severe health disorder, such as if you’re coughing up blood – a condition called hemoptysis, which can be indicative of tuberculosis, bronchitis or even lung cancer. So what you do with a simple cough? A study found that raw honey works just as well as dextromethorphan, an ingredient used in OTC drugs, to soothe cough triggered by upper respiratory tract infections, particularly in children. Drinking enough water helps thin out mucus. It also keeps mucous membranes moist, which may reduce the need to cough. NOTE: If you have signs or symptoms of getting sick call for an appointment and try a natural approach first. There are no safe drugs plus they don't get the roots of the problem.
CHIROPRACTIC: Is chiropractic your first choice in healthcare? We have said for many years that if you have a health challenge you should consider chiropractic/natural healthcare first, drug second and surgery last. You might have to think about this for a while to understand the wisdom. Here is a case history that demonstrates some of the wisdom of this recommendation. The patient was a female in her mid-20s and she recently had a child but was unable to hold it because of seizure activity. She was involved in a serious car accident where she was almost thrown through the windshield of the car. She had significant head trauma which led to seizures. She was put on seizure medication which controled them for a period of time but then she started having breakthrough seizures which made it dangerous for her to hold her child without supervision. Her doctor informed her if they raised the level of her medication it could be fatal. It is common that our patients are referred to us by other patients which is how she came to make an appointment. She presented with not only seizures but of course she had neck and back pain from the accident, she suffered from significant headaches since the accident, she had knee pain which they were considering surgery for and she also complained of pain over her last remaining ovary. Her other ovary was removed because of pain they could not control. Our exam indicated she had subluxations (spinal misalignments) and other signs of trauma that appeared in her x-rays and physical exam. She began treatment and soon noticed her seizure activity was diminishing, within time she was seizure free and was excited she could hold her baby again. Her headaches became a thing of the past along with her knee pain (no surgery necessary) and then what excited her the most is she was no longer having pain over her last remaining ovary. This was important because she wanted to have more children. I see this type of story repeated hundreds of times in my practice. Patients come in with conditions no one else can help them with and through chiropractic adjustments, nutritional therapy and other lifestyle changes their bodies get well. Who do you know who would benefit from chiropractic? Maybe you're not sure if their condition will but send them to us anyway we would be the first to tell them if we couldn't help them. Only a chiropractic physician knows if chiropractic could help.
FUNNY BONE: I used to be a people person.... But people ruined that for me@@I just checked my account balance at the ATM. It printed me a coupon for ramen noodles@@I don't mean to brag but... I finished my 14 day diet and three hours and 12 minutes.@@When a woman says "what?", It's not because she didn't hear you. She's given you a chance to change what you said.@@I'm jealous of my parents, I'll never have a kid as cool as they did.@@Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.@@If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either.@@I'm not shy, I'm holding back my awesomeness so I don't intimidate you.
Visit our web sites:
keefeclinic.com & facebook.com/keefeclinic
In the West, traditional eastern medicines are not usually recognized until there is scientific evidence to back it up. Well, in the case of turmeric, there is!
(1) Kills 16-times more cancer cells than the leading chemo drug Eloxatin — without harming healthy cells (International Journal of Oncology)
(2) Performs better in memory tests than the drug Aricept (the most widely prescribed Alzheimer's drug) — Salk Institute for Biological Studies
(3) Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels better than the statin drug Lipitor (Journal of Drug Research and Development)
(4) Beats Celebrex for relieving knee arthritis pain (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)
(5) Relieves rheumatoid arthritis pain better than Ibuprofen (Journal of Phytotherapy Research)
(6) “Therapeutic effects are comparable to pharmaceutical NSAIDs... but with a major difference in that this compound is nontoxic and free of side effects.” - Vanderbilt and University of Pittsburgh researchers (Journal of Surgical Neurology International)
(7) “More effective in stopping the protein fragments from forming than many other drugs being tested to treat Alzheimer's” - UCLA Alzheimer's Department and Veterans Affairs researchers (Journal of Biological Chemistry)
(8) “It's 400-times more potent than the diabetes drug Metformin” — reports Auburn University researchers (Journal of Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications)
(9) More effectively treats Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) than Prozac — without Prozac's devastating side effects, according to a randomized, controlled study.
(10) Treats chronic uveitis — a leading cause of blindness — better than corticosteroids... the only available prescription treatment (Journal of Phytotherapy Research)
(11) “Could enhance erectile function with more efficacy and more prolonged duration of action than Viagra” (International Journal of Impotence Research)
(12) Destroys more colon cancer stem cells than FOLFOX (one of the most widely prescribed chemotherapy protocols) - Baylor University researchers
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Help Preserve Your Eyesight With B Vitamins A study published in the July 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds to the evidence suggesting certain B vitamins may be important in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over 55 years of age in the U.S. and Canada. Previous studies have shown that taking certain antioxidant vitamins and minerals as supplements (vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium and zinc), at specific dosages, can slow the progression of AMD. What the Latest Study Says In the latest study, known as the Blue Mountain Eye Study, serum folate (B-vitamin folic acid), vitamin B12 and homocysteine status were determined from blood samples drawn in 1997-1999 from cohort members ages 55 and older. AMD was assessed in 1,760 survivors from retinal photographs taken in 2002-2004 and 2007-2009. Results showed that higher blood levels of homocysteine were associated with a significant increased risk of developing AMD, whereas higher levels of vitamin B12 were strongly associated with decreased risk of developing AMD. Homocysteine is a toxic end-product of metabolism known to damage blood vessels and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. How You Can Prevent AMD It is thought that AMD is a highly preventable disease, thus requiring attention to various lifestyle behaviors. Extrapolating from what we know from experimental, observational and clinical studies, the following practices appear to be the best proactive strategies to prevent the development of AMD:Don't smoke-Protect your eyes from UV light-Prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by maintaining your ideal weight, performing endurance and strength-training exercises regularly, and keeping your blood sugar levels within an ideal range (talk to your doctor to for more info)-Eat a diet rich in brightly colored vegetables and fruit (dark green, yellow, orange, blue, purple, red).-Take dosages of antioxidants and B vitamins:Vitamin C: 1,000 mg-Vitamin E: 400 IU-Selenium: 200 mcg-Zinc: Vit A 25,000 IU -Lutein powder: 6 mg-B-50 complex, including 400 mcg folic acid, 50 mcg vitamin B12 and 50 mg vitamin B6(which also lowers homocysteine) If you're already suffering from advanced macular degeneration, higher dosages of certain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients are required to slow the progression of the disease.
WELLNESS: Poor Sleep Is Bad for Your Waistline If you think you're getting a good night's sleep on a regular basis, you're either fooling yourself or in an extremely small minority. That's because increasingly, people are tossing and turning, waking up repeatedly, going to bed late and waking up early, or just plain waking up feeling tired, unrefreshed and unready to take on the next day because of a poor night's sleep. There are short- and long-term consequences of poor sleep, ranging from irritability and concentration lapses (short term) to cardiovascular disease (long term), but your weight and waistline also may suffer, according to research published in PLoS One, the peer-reviewed journal of the Public Library of Science. In a recent study, adults were divided into three groups based on their average sleep duration: Less than six hours nightly (5.88 hours), more than seven hours (7.26 hours), and more than eight hours (8.44 hours). If you got the most average sleep per night, your body-mass index (BMI) was about two points lower than if you got the least average sleep per night. Getting the most sleep, compared to the least, also corresponded with 1.6 inch smaller waistline, on average, compared to getting the least sleep. NOTE: We have several natural products that can help your sleep. Ask about it on your next visit. Also visit Keefeclinic.com and type sleep in the search bar.
CHIROPRACTIC: Knee Osteoarthritis: Steroid Injections Aren't the Answer Knee osteoarthritis can be painful and limit your activities, but corticosteroid injections aren't the answer, according to new research published in the May 16, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the study, quarterly steroid injections actually increased cartilage loss over a two-year period without providing any benefit. That's a loss-loss situation if you ask us. Patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis with synovitis were divided into two groups, with one group receiving the corticosteroid injections every 12 weeks for two years and a second group receiving a placebo (saline injections) at the same frequency and over the same time frame. Patients in the steroid group lost an average of 0.21 mm in cartilage thickness over the two-year period compared with only 0.10 mm, on average, in patients not receiving corticosteroids. What's more, patients receiving steroid injections scored only 1.2 points lower on a 0-20 pain scale (0 = no pain, 20 = extreme pain), while patients not receiving steroid treatment scored 1.9 points lower following the intervention period. In other words, patients who received no steroids reported less pain at three-month follow-ups than patients who received steroids! Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the world, which makes finding effective treatment options paramount. Unfortunately (and as we've said repeatedly with other scenarios), drugs - in this case, injections - may not be the answer. If you suffer from osteoarthritis, talk to your doctor about nondrug alternatives to manage your pain and reduce other symptoms. NOTE: Steps to prevent and correct knee problems: arch supports, anti-inflammatory diet including fish oils, supplements that build Cartledge, keeping your knees in proper alignment.
FUNNY BONE: When I went to the ER to have a painful ingrown toenail removed, I was sobbing, gagging, petrified … the works. But my doctor knew how to calm me down. “Don’t worry about a thing,” he assured me. “I just looked up how to perform this operation on YouTube.”@@ Had a woman who was in active labor, despite insisting she couldn't be pregnant. She said her last period was "like ten months ago" so she'd gone through menopause. She was 25.@@ While in dental school my friend pulled out several bombed out (technical term) teeth on a adult male. After the procedure was finished and post-op instructions we given, the man asked, "So when should I expect my new teeth to grow in?" He was serious.@@ I gave my patient the results of her sleep study: “It looks like you stopped breathing in your sleep over 65 times per hour.” Her response: “Did I start back?”@@ Call it … carma! A car belonging to a pregnant patient was broken into. The only thing that was stolen was a wine bottle in a brown paper bag. It turns out, that’s where she was keeping her urine sample, which she’d brought in to be tested Visit our web sites: keefeclinic.com & facebook.com/keefeclinic
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS:. Itching for no reason? Immune system may be at fault People who suffer itching with no clear cause may have previously unrecognized immune system defects.The findings are reported in The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. “As doctors, we throw things like antihistamines, ointments and lotions at patients who suffer chronic itching, but if there is something profoundly abnormal about the immune system — as it appears there is — then we can’t solve the itching until we address those underlying causes,” said principal investigator Brian S. Kim, MD, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Dermatology. The four patients researchers zeroed in on were ages 75 to 90. In blood samples, three of those four had high levels of the protein IgE — an immunoglobulin that is a marker of inflammation. Immunoglobulins are antibodies deployed by the immune system to fight infections. Elevated levels of IgE often are seen in patients with allergies. NOTE: hidden food allergies can be a source of itching for a number of people. It’s possible environmental allergies or allergies to cumulated toxins within the body might also be the source. Through Vega Testing we can eliminate some of these common problems and offer solutions.
WELLNESS: Why You Might See Blood in Your Stool Like finding a lump in your breast, seeing blood in your stool can send you into a tailspin of panic. For most people, the fear is that this is a sign of colon cancer. Although blood in the stool is considered a red-flag digestive symptom, it doesn't automatically mean that you have a life-threatening illness. Common Causes of Blood in the Stool 1. Hemorrhoids: One of the most common causes of blood. 2. Anal fissures: is a tear in the tissue lining your anus. In addition to causing bright red blood to appear in your stool, anal fissures may also cause symptoms of anal painand/or itching, as well as pain during bowel movements. Less Common Causes of Blood in the Stool 1. Colon polyps: Colon polyps are growths in the colon that are at risk for developing into cancerous tumors. 2. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Both of the two forms of IBD, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn's disease, can cause blood to appear in your stool. However, blood showing up on your stool is more likely to happen with ulcerative colitis. Benign Causes of Changes in Stool Color Pepto Bismol, Iron supplements, Foods with black or red food coloring, Beets and other red vegetables. NOTE: We can help determine the cause and the treatment.
CHIROPRACTIC: Why improving function is better than suppressing symptoms The way that chiropractic is different than any other healthcare approach is because what happens with an adjustment. Most people understand how accidents, lifting too heavy a weight or chronic bad posture can lead to misalignments in the spine. What most people are unaware of is even if these misalignments do not cause pain they put pressure on nerves that regulate and control the body. The neck is one of the most prone areas for misalignments due to the fact you have the smallest vertebra in the whole spine trying to balance the 10 pound ball (the head) at the top. If we're talking about misalignments in the upper neck these irritate nerves and block communication to the head. Even though there can be multiple symptoms from this like: headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, brain fog, changes in blood pressure and even memory, many times you don't feel the pressure you just experience the symptoms. For instance let's take headaches a lot of people if they do anything just take a pain pill. Unfortunately pain pills are one of the most dangerous types of drugs on the market and can cause extensive damage within the digestive track but also can affect the kidneys and other organs with chronic use. When painkillers work they really don't work. It's true that painkillers can cover the pain from a headache but they can't fix the underlying cause. As pressure in your upper neck builds other health problems can develop. It's a lot like clipping the wire to the engine light instead of fixing what's wrong with the engine. Studies show chiropractic is one of the most effective treatments for headaches on the planet. By removing the pressure on the delicate nerves at the base of the skull most headaches are relieved fairly quickly. More important than symptom relief, as you fix these misalignments you prevent future headaches. Now take this same principle and apply it to the lungs, digestive system, reproductive system, immune system etc. and you understand why chiropractic care is superior than most other approaches. Chiropractic restores health it doesn't just mask the symptoms. With chiropractic adjustments, exercise, diet and nutrition, positive mental and spiritual attitude and rest and relaxation you have the principles that can address most health challenges. Tell someone about chiropractic!
FUNNY BONE: Me and my bed are perfect for each other, but my alarm clock keeps trying to break us up.@@ They say "don't try this at home" so I'm coming over to your house to try it.@@ When you fall, I will be there to catch you - With love, the floor.@@ “Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.” ― Phyllis Diller
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John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: A STUDY PROVES TURMERIC IS 400X MORE POWERFUL THAN A COMMON DIABETES DRUG Turmeric has been used as a spice in curry for a very long time. More recently it is getting noted as arguably the most powerful herb on the planet because of its ability to fight against and possibly reverse disease. Turmeric and its healing properties have got the world so interested that there have been over 6000 peer-reviewed research articles published proving the benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin which is one of Turmeric's renowned healingcompounds. Out of the thousands of studies on Turmeric, one of the most interesting findings is that Turmeric when compared to pharmaceutical medications that the benefits are often equal. In fact, sometimes Turmeric has even been considered a better option than pharmaceutical medications. Although the list is a lot longer, today we will look at 8 examples of health conditions where Organic Turmeric can replace or be a better option than traditional pharmaceutical medications. 1. Management of Diabetes,2.Anti-depressants,3.Anti-inflammatories,4.Cancertreatment, 5.Anticoagulants/Antiplatelets, 6. Arthritis management, 7. Cholesterol regulators, 8. Painkillers
CHIROPRACTIC: American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has announced a national health care observance--October is National Chiropractic Month DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WITH A HEALTH PROBLEM OR IN PAIN? INVITE YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO THE PARTY Who do you know who is hurting? Who do you know that you have been trying to get started at Keefe Clinic? Now is the time to get your spouse or child started on the road to good health. Complimentary DIAGNOSTIC WORK UP DURING OCTOBER Complimentary initial exam and one X-ray. Tell someone today
WELLNESS: PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY EAT NUTS ARE LESS LIKELY TO BE OVERWEIGHT People who regularly eat nuts are less likely to be overweight or obese, according to a new study. Those who consume the healthy snack were found to have a five per cent lower risk of carrying extra pounds compared to those who didn't. Researchers discovered that participants in their study gained an average of almost five pounds by the end of five years, but those who eat nuts routinely gained less weight. The study's senior investigator even suggested nuts should replace animal fats. 'Eat nuts during your meal,' said Dr Joan Sabaté, the director of the Center for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California. 'Put them at the center of your plate to replace animal products. They're very satiating. Nuts have also been linked to producing healthy aging benefits in seniors in a previous study by Dr Sabaté. Nuts that were included in this study were peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, and walnuts. The recent study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition. Walnuts reduce food cravings and promote a feeling of fullness, new research suggests. Eating the healthy snack boosts brain activity in the region associated with control, which suggests people will have more discipline when faced with unhealthy food, a study found. People also report feeling less hungry after consuming walnuts, the research adds.
FUNNY BONE: I was at the customer-service desk, returning a pair of jeans that was too tight. “Was anything wrong with them?” the clerk asked. “Yes,” I said. “They hurt my feelings.”@@ Moses had the first tablet that could connect to the cloud.@@ A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age. @@ I like having conversations with kids. Grownups never ask me what my third favorite reptile is.@@ I bought the world's worst thesaurus yesterday. Not only is it terrible, it's terrible
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John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Adipose Tissue May Affect Cancer Development In Multiple Ways Author: Cornelia M. Ulrich, PhD, Senior Director of Population Sciences at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Background: "Obesity is increasing dramatically worldwide, and is now also recognized as one of the major risk factors for cancer, with 16 different types of cancer linked to obesity," Ulrich said. "We urgently need to identify the specific mechanisms that link obesity to cancer." Ulrich explained that previous research has shown several ways that fat contributes to carcinogenesis. For example, obesity increases the risk of inflammation, which has long been associated with cancer. Also, obesity is believed to affect cancer cell metabolism and immune clearance, all of which can contribute to the growth and spread of tumors, she said. The relationship between fat and carcinogenesis also depends upon "crosstalk," or the ways cells react when the same signal is shared by more than one signaling pathway in two different cell types, Ulrich explained. Identifying ways to interrupt the crosstalk could help researchers identify new cancer prevention strategies. Ulrich added that the study supports the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight. Because fat exists both under the skin and deeper inside the body, even slender people may have excess fat surrounding internal organs. Healthy diets and exercise that includes strength training to build lean muscle mass can help fight the development of excess fat, she said.
WELLNESS: hc3™ Lifestyle Program™ Assists in: Achieving Healthy Body Composition Through a Triple Approach: Diet, Exercise and Nutrition ● Burning Stored Fat as the Primary Energy Source ● Diminishing Hunger Levels ● Resculpting the Body ● Protecting Muscle from Wasting. NuMedica's hc3™ Lifestyle Program™ is a comprehensive 30 day supply designed to help the body burn stored fat as its primary energy source without decreasing muscle mass. This program is centered around a triple approach to healthy body composition which incorporates diet, exercise and nutrition. It contains essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as detoxification support and medium chain triglycerides to support optimal metabolic management. Included in the kit is a comprehensive program guide featuring sample menus and a progress chart. NOTE: This is the most effective diet program we’ve ever handled. Depending on how much weight you need to lose you could lose 1 to 2 pounds a day that means in 30 days you could lose up to 30 to 60 pounds. This diet is safe in that it focuses on fat loss not water or lean body mass. This complete diet comes in a box includes all the nutrients that you need along with the booklet that tells you exactly what to eat. You follow the program, you lose the weight.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: Here’s what some of our patients have said about how chiropractic and nutritional therapy has helped them: HI, my husband and I have been trying to start a family for seven years. After trying the doctors my medical doctor sent us to without success, we were told about chiropractic. Well, two months later I was pregnant. Linda@@ My name is Jim. I lifted something wrong at work and heard something pop and went to my knees In pain. I was told surgery was the only option I had, and I would be off work several months. Then the bad news I might not ever return to my same job. Someone told me to try chiropractic, best suggestion I ever got. I was back to work in three weeks and am doing great.@@It was a year ago that I had the car accident, and just a few weeks after that, the first seizure hit. For the next several months I was terrified when the next one would come. Every few weeks the doctor would increase my medication until he said any higher could be fatal. I was looking at a life of drugs that left me a zombie and I was still having seizures. When a friend told me about chiropractic, I didn't think it could help. What a mistake I almost made! Today I am free of seizures and feel fantastic, even my daily headaches are gone… Jill @@Used to have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome before I tried Chiropractic...Beth@@My child was hyperactive and doing poorly in school....not anymore! For the first time she is making A's....Karen@@I couldn't believe after twenty years my allergies were gone...Larry
FUNNY BONE: My husband was waterskiing when he fell into the river. As the boat circled to pick him up, he noticed a hunter sitting in a duck boat in the reeds. My husband put his hands in the air and joked, “Don’t shoot!” The hunter responded, “Don’t quack.”@@ Things people actually said in court: Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact? A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.// Q: This condition you have… does it affect your memory at all? A: Yes.Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory? A: I forget. Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that you’ve forgotten?// Q: How old is your son, the one living with you? A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which. Q: How long has he lived with you? A: Forty-five years.// Q: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning? A: Did you actually pass the bar exam? //Q: Were you present when your picture was taken? //Q: She had three children, right? A: Yes. Q: How many were boys? A: None. Q: Were there any girls? //Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney? A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work. //Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people? A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people. // Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body? A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m. Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?
A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.// Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse? A: No. Q: Did you check for blood pressure? A: No. Q: Did you check for breathing?! A: No. Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy? A: No. Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor? A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar. Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless? A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.
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Dr. John Folts is currently the Director of the Coronary Thrombosis Research Laboratory at The University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dr. Folts’ current research is on in vitro platelet mediated coronary thrombosis and anti-oxidants. Dr. Folts developed the experimental model on Aspirin in 1974 and demonstrated by in vitro testing that aspirin can reduce arterial blood clots.
The anti-stick factor
Platelets, a class of blood cells, aid in clotting. They keep a fresh cut in the skin from causing life-threatening blood loss. In persons with coronary artery disease, however, overly sensitive platelets may foster clots that obstruct blood flow through vessels already narrowed by fatty deposits. The result can be a heart attack.
In a host of studies, Folts' team has shown that red wine and dark beers inhibit platelets in the blood from becoming unusually sticky and generating those risky, clot-forming clumps. Indeed, these dark-colored drinks clearly outperform lighter ones, such as vodka, white wine, and pale lagers.
What tends to distinguish a dark beer from a light brew, or a ruby-hued wine from a white one, is their concentrations of quercetin, rutin, resveratrol, and other flavonoid pigments.
In their new study, the Wisconsin scientists initially recruited five healthy men and women (including Folts) to drink about three servings of purple grape juice at a sitting -- some 20 to 24 ounces. An hour later, the researchers sampled the volunteers' blood and put it into a device that measures platelet stickiness. Compared to blood samples taken an hour prior to drinking the juice, the later blood was almost 50 percent less prone to platelet clumping.
That's a lot of juice, Folts acknowledges, so he decided to explore what would happen if he halved the dose and drank it daily for a week. Two or 3 days after the last glass was drunk, each volunteer returned for another blood test.
The results, reported this week, indicate that regular consumption of the popular juice appears to have a carryover effect. Even after a hiatus of several days, the volunteers' blood was about 25 percent less likely to clump than before the treatment began.
This finding was particularly welcome, Folts notes, because most heart attacks occur in the early morning, sometimes just as an individual is getting up. His group's data now suggest that even if the juice had been drunk the day before, it would still confer some protection.
For nearly a decade, cardiologists have known that healthy men over 50 -- and postmenopausal women -- can nearly halve their risk of heart attack by taking an aspirin every other day. Like grape juice, this drug appears to work by inhibiting platelet aggregation.
However, when adrenaline is pumped into the blood in response to stress or heavy exercise, Folts points out, aspirin's platelet inhibition virtually disappears. So in the new study, he tested grape juice drinkers' blood to see if the same thing happened to them.
In one case, he took the volunteers' blood, added adrenaline to it, and then measured its susceptibility to platelet clumping. In another, some volunteers exercised and then provided blood for analysis. In both cases, Folts says, the juice depressed platelet clumping.
In the late seventies however, we discovered that if we raised the adrenaline or epinephrine, that the same thing, 75% -80% of the time clot formation comes back with aspirin and that’s a serious problem. That’s why we have spent the last 20 years looking for drugs and food substances that would inhibit the platelets and prevent the clot formation, but also, prevent the renewal of clot formation from elevated epinephrine.
Now, in our previous findings with the animal model, we have shown that red wine, moderate amounts equivalent to 2 glasses in you or I, purple grape juice; not the clear or white grape juice, tea, but not coffee, in this animal model reduced or inhibited platelet mediated clot formation and protected against potentially fatal coronary thrombosis. These flavonoids in red wine, purple grape juice and tea inhibit platelets about the same as aspirin but they have one unique feature. THEY PROTECT AGAINST ELEVATIONS OF ADRENALINE, WHICH ASPIRIN DOES NOT. That makes the flavonoids more desirable.
Low back pain is the number 1 health problem in the United States and most Western countries. Both drugs and surgery have been shown to be inferior approaches in the treatment of low back pain.
91 people die every day because of opiate addiction started by a prescription given to them by their medical doctor for pain, low back pain being the most common. Medical doctors have minimal training in structural problems that’s why they throw drugs and surgery at the problem. In the 1990s the US government released a report to every doctor’s office and healthcare facility in the US concerning low back pain and recommending spinal adjusting as the number 1 active and effective treatment. Yet you will read below that supposedly most doctors are unaware of this. Drug therapy kills 2000 people a week based on Senate reports and that has been happening for as long as we have records and will only increase if change isn’t forced upon the medical profession. Here’s a summary of the report released by the government around 20 years ago.
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, a branch of Health and Human Services, reviewed all treatments for acute low back pain and developed the following conclusions:
Physical therapy is not cost effective.
Acupuncture is not effective.
Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication worked as well as prescription ones (Cox-2 inhibitors were not included in the study).
Sclerotherapy and Prolotherapy are not effective.
The use of cortisone injections should be used only in cases of sciatic pain which radiates down the leg and doesn’t respond to conservative therapy.
Surgery is over used and should be offered in less then 1% of cases.
Rest should be given initially for 24-48 hours.
Early movement that is tolerable should be initiated after 48 hours.
Cushioning in shoes can be helpful.
Spinal adjustments are the only active form of therapy given by a professional which is helpful.
Since most doctors and patients are not aware of this report, patients all around the country are needlessly suffering and being mistreated. There are many treatments available for severe back problems that have better short and long term benefits over spinal surgery, epidural injections and long term pain medications. Our office is aware of the latest advances and are free to discuss these alternatives with you. 918-663-1111
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
DIET: Foods that trigger headaches For many headache and migraine sufferers, certain foods can act as triggers. Grapes are low in calories and rich in vitamin C and fiber, so they are a nutritional snack. But they also contain a substance called tyramine, a naturally occurring amino acid that forms from the breakdown of protein in food as it ages. Tyramine can cause your blood pressure to rise, which can trigger headaches in some people. If you experience this reaction, you may want to avoid other trigger foods, such as: • Smoked or cured meats• Aged cheeses• Citrus fruits• Sauerkraut• Soy sauce• Red wine • And certain beers. Research shows that tyramine in grapes can have a negative effect on certain antidepressants called MAOIs. Patients taking these medications should talk to their doctor about their diet. Keeping a food diary to see if you may be sensitive to tyramine-rich foods could also help. The bottom line: Learn what your triggers are – so that you can avoid them.
IN THE NEWS: Common Sense Medical Approaches are on the Rise Overall, 34 percent of US adults used a complementary health approach in 2012. Non-vitamin, non-mineral dietary supplements was the most common alternative approach used, with fish oil ranking top on this list. Other commonly used approaches include deep-breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi and qi gong, and chiropractic.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: Heart disease is a condition that is best treated through natural methods. Studies show that most medical approaches don't extend life as much is reports would indicate. Balloons, stents and bypass surgery come with several complications. Chiropractic adjustments help balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system which is crucial to heart health. Targeted nutrients to the blood vessels that surround the heart can cause dramatic improvement in short periods of time. Following your body type diet with emphasis on anti-inflammatory foods and balancing the body's pH can take a surgical heart condition and turn it into a healthy heart in the matter of weeks.
FUNNY BONE: A man walked into the office of the eminent psychiatrist Dr. Heidberg, and sat down to explain his problem. "Doctor, doctor! I've got this problem," the man said. "I keep hallucinating that I'm a dog. It's crazy. I don't know what to do!" "A common canine complex," said the doctor soothingly. "Relax. Come here and lie down on the couch." "Oh no, Doctor," the man said nervously, "I'm not allowed up on the furniture." @@ Q: Why do rednecks' dogs have flat noses? A: From chasing parked cars...@@ My three-year-old daughter stuck out her hand and said, “Look at the fly I killed, Mommy.” Since she was eating a juicy pickle at the time, I thrust her contaminated hands under the faucet and washed them with antibacterial soap. After sitting her down to finish her pickle, I asked, with a touch of awe, “How did you kill that fly all by yourself?” Between bites, she said, “I hit it with my pickle.”
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John H. Keefe III, D.C.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: FIBROMYALGIA FMS (fibromyalgia syndrome) is a widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder for which the cause is still unknown. Fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons – the soft fibrous tissues in the body. Even though there is no officially agreed-upon cause we have found with working with many fibromyalgia patients that things like viruses, thyroid problems, allergies, immune imbalances are some of the underlying issues. We have seen excellent results with patients who suffer from this condition over the years. The treatments that offer the most help are chiropractic adjustments, target immune system support, mineral therapy, supporting the stress handling systems along with detoxification and a diet balanced with your genetic makeup. If you know someone who suffers from fibromyalgia tell them about chiropractic.
DIET: Eating soy may protect against reproductive effects of BPA Eating soy foods may help protect against reproductive effects of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical in many plastic consumer products and lining the inside of some canned foods, according to a study of women undergoing fertility treatments. BPA is known to mimic estrogen in the body, and therefore it's believed to disrupt conception and implantation of a fertilized egg in the womb, the researchers write in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Experiments in rodents suggest that soy, which also interacts with estrogen receptors, could offset or mitigate those effects of BPA, they add. Note: there is a lot of misinformation about soy but it’s been my experience outside of a food allergy to soy (which you could be allergic to any food) soy is a nice protective and balancing food for the hormonal system also flax has a similar effect.
IN THE NEWS: Cell phones and risk of brain tumors (CNN)The city of Berkeley, California, passed a law that goes into effect next month requiring cell phone stores to inform customers about safety recommendations. The move reopened a decades-old debate about whether mobile phones cause brain tumors. Note: this is a controversial issue that will stay that way because not everybody shares equal sensitivity to the radiation from a cell phone. Because that’s the case studies will be “inconclusive” yet a good percent of the population are susceptible to damage from cell phone radiation. Kids with developing brain are going to be more susceptible and there is strong evidence with tumors growing on the side they hold their phones up to. You might want to ask on your next visit to have your cell phone tested for sensitivity, there are protective measures you can take. Companies supply phone cases that can block the radiation as well as using ear pieces can substantially reduce exposure. The best protection is blue tube headsets which keep all electronics below the head.
FUNNY BONE: My doctor took one look at my gut and refused to believe that I work out. So I listed the exercises I do every day: jump to conclusions, climb the walls, drag my heels, push my luck, make mountains out of molehills, bend over backward, run around in circles, put my foot in my mouth, go over the edge, and beat around the bush.
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Common sense approach to heart problems
Do the “experts” know what they’re doing?
Most people realize that heart disease is not due to a drug deficiency or lack of preventive surgeries. Heart disease is both a lifestyle and diet problem. The most current research points to inflammation, not cholesterol, as the cause for most heart disease. But based on current medical procedures this information is totally ignored. Probably the biggest reason that this information is ignored is that pharmaceutical companies drive most medical research and thus medical procedures. Pharmaceutical companies are multibillion-dollar enterprises that primarily fund and direct medical practice. Pharmaceutical companies are looking after their bottom line not necessarily your health.
The cholesterol theory of heart disease has failed to be established by major research. In fact it has been said that every cholesterol study for the past 50 years has failed. The Framingham study is the longest-running study on heart disease and diet. It has found that over the age of 45 people who have a higher cholesterol level outlive the people who have a lower cholesterol level. You might want to read that statement one more time. Cholesterol is a bystander in the coronary heart disease epidemic. Inflammation and other factors damage the lining of the blood vessel. White blood cells sensing the damage enter in to the damaged area and pull in cholesterol, calcium and laydown fibrin in an attempt to heal the damage. Because the factors that are driving the inflammation continue the corresponding plaque builds up over time.
Within the inflammation soup you have chlorine, fluoride, methane gas from the intestines and acidic byproducts from an improper diet that make up the insult to the blood vessels. Also hormones like insulin are pro-inflammatory and thus too much junk food and refined carbohydrates play a role in the inflammation process.
Medical approaches have been shown through research to be very ineffective at addressing coronary heart disease. Yes they can reduce cholesterol numbers with drugs but as the Framingham study indicates that just increases the patient’s risk of death. Let’s just cover some of the common medical procedures. First we’ll talk about balloons and stents: in 2003 the Mayo Clinic found that these procedures did not reduce complaints, did not prevent heart attacks, did not prolong life, did not reduce the frequency of heart attacks or deaths and the flattening of plaque in the vessel walls not only regularly lead to bleeding into the vessel walls but small lumps became detached and floated into the bloodstream causing acute heart attack. The bottom line is stents increased death rates.
Stents cause higher death rate
New England Journal of Medicine, Cindy L Grines, M.D. Beaumont cardiologist
Worldwide study involve 900 patients at 62 centers. All patients in the study were treated within 12 hours of the heart attack. A higher death rate (2.4% stent and angioplasty versus 2.7% angioplasty) they also unexpectedly experienced decreased blood flow from stent placements. Dr. Grines says "the higher mortality rate and decrease in blood flow makes it necessary for additional research to be conducted before routine stenting can be recommended as a standard of care."
It appears no one is studying the research.
Although catheterization and stents have been claimed to be life-saving measures, they do not prevent heart attacks or save lives. This intervention is accompanied by a great placebo effect. Conclusions.... We could not demonstrate a long-term benefit of an early invasive strategy in reducing death or MI (invasive versus conservative treatment in unstable coronary syndromes ICTUS (invasive versus conservative treatment of unstable coronary syndromes)
Heart bypass not effective long-term
The average death rate for bypass surgery is greater than the average death rate of heart patients treated without surgery. Heart disease progresses faster in those who have had invasive surgery and in those treated non-surgically. Heart surgery kills thousands of patients per year and debilitate thousands more.
Benefits of taking aspirin each day
10 to 15% drop in coronary heart disease (in theory)
33 to 46 fewer deaths per 100,000
Adverse effects of aspirin
37% increase in gastrointestinal bleeding (68-117 per 100,000)
32%-38% increase hemorrhagic stroke (8-10 per 100,000)
Aileen Clark, professor of public health and research director at Warwick medical school, said, "It is clear that there is an incredible fine balance between the possible benefits and risk of intervention. We need to be extremely careful about over promoting aspirin intervention without having 1st fully understood these negative side effects."
NSAIDs may cause 20% of all heart failures and cause high blood pressure
(NSAIDs) caused a greater than 10 fold increase in the risk and congestive heart failure (CHF) archives of internal medicine June 2000; 160:777-784
The study followed more than 80,000 women between the age of 31 and 50 years who are initially hypertensive-free. 2 years later: women who use in NSAIDs 22 days or more per month, the risk of high blood pressure increased some 86%.
Sudden death after radiofrequency ablation of the atrioventricular node in patients with atrial fibrillation Journal of American College of cardiology. 2002; 40 (1): 105-110. DOI: 10.1 thousand 16/S0735-1097 (02) 01927-7
Results of 334 consecutive patients with AF who underwent AV node ablation, 9 had sudden heart attacks after the ablation. Conclusions sudden-death likely to possibly related to catheter ablation occurred in 7 of 334 patients (2.1%). Risk of sudden death is highest within 2 days after the procedure.
Rational approaches to preventing and treating coronary heart disease.
Chiropractic adjustments help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Multiple studies show people with ischemic heart disease have a decreased parasympathetic activity by over 30%. Over 80% of ischemic events are preceded by a dramatic reduction of parasympathetic activity.
The important thing about diet is that there are different body types that require different eating programs. Studies show the global use of the Heart Association diet has failed in every country that it has been tested in. So the first thing we need to do is determine your body type and get you eating the correct ratio of fats, carbohydrates and protein for your genetic makeup. Next we need to make sure were maximizing the reduction of inflammation. Besides eating the right diet there are key foods like salmon and tuna, certain vegetables and fruits that are high in antioxidants like pomegranate and blueberries. Eating properly reduces the inflammation that leads to heart disease. Along with diet targeted nutrition to support the heart and healthy blood vessels is crucial to recovery.
PH is important when it comes to inflammation and most people who have inflammatory issues are usually very acidic. Again diet can control pH and drinking alkaline water can be beneficial. As we talk about water we need to talk about a whole host of chemicals in the water that can damage your cardiovascular system. The chlorine/chloramine, fluoride can damage the arteries. Studies have shown trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs in city water supplies that need to be filtered out. Drink clean water, dehydration can lead to inflammation. The formula for water intake is that your cleansing dose is half your body weight in ounces and your minimum dose is 80% of that. I hundred pound person should drink between 40 and 50 ounces of fluids every day.
30 minutes of exercise 3+ times a week can improve heart function and reduce stress hormones that can lead to ischemic reactions to the heart and increase blood pressure. Intense exercise can be a problem if you don’t eat a large amount of antioxidants because intense aerobic exercises can increase the oxygen level of your blood to a point of inflammation because oxygen is acidic. So too much intense exercise can actually have a negative effect on your heart health depending on your antioxidant intake.
Meditation and/or prayer have been shown to extend life and improve health recovery when practiced on a regular basis. Music, nature walks, family time are just a few of the things that can help the stress the nervous system and thus the body.
Heavy metals, certain chemicals in our environment as well as waste products from normal metabolism can a burden to the body and contribute to heart disease. Fasting, detox diets and supplements targeted at the detox pathways can be important for health recovery.
Most people who have symptoms of heart disease and follow the above program would notice improvement of symptoms within a few days to a couple of weeks and be totally symptom-free and out of trouble within a months’ time. This represents a rational approach to eliminating heart disease over the long-term.
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Here's what went wrong with last year's flu vaccine Americans got little benefit from last season's flu shot — the vaccine was only about 19 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's largely because one of the flu strains that was used to make the vaccine did not match well with the actual flu strains that were circulating. NOTE: this would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. How many millions of people lined up like sheep to have toxic metals injected into their system like aluminum because they thought they were going to get protection? Probably a total of 8 out of the last 10 flu seasons this could be written for. In fact if I was a health reporter all I would need to do each year is copy and paste my same report from last year and it would be accurate. Buyer beware.
WELLNESS: NATURAL ANTIBIOTIC there are many nutrients that have antibiotic effect. Nixall which is derived from salt water and electricity has been shown to kill the top 10 bacteria involved in hospital infections. Nixall can be used on cuts, can be sprayed into the sinuses are even the eyes safely. Following is the recipe for a Natural Antibiotic Ointment Ingredients:– 1/2 cup of organic coconut oil– 1/2 cup of organic almond oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil– 1/2 cup of the healing herbs of your choice (try chamomile, calendula, comfrey, lavender, plantain leaves… or learn more about healing herbs here.)– 4 tbsp of conscious, organic beeswax– 2 teaspoons of witch hazel– 15 drops lavender or tea tree essential oils (optional) Directions: 1. Put herbs in a glass jar and pour oil over herbs. Make sure they are submerged.2. Put glass jar into a saucepan half filled with water. Heat on low heat for 30 minutes. Stir often. 3. Strain the herbs from the oil with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, t-shirt, etc. 4. Place strained oil in the jar back into the saucepan with water. 5. Add the beeswax. Stir well.6. Take off the heat once it is fully melted 7. Add witch hazel and mix 8. Once cooled, put into a container of choice and store in a cool, dark place. (Keeps for up to a year.) 9. Apply directly to scrapes, cuts, burns, diaper rash, dry skin, athlete’s foot, etc. as required.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: Knee problems I’m not for sure how many knee replacement surgeries are done each year but I can tell you that over 90% of them would have been unnecessary with proper care. Most people don’t realize how much chiropractic can improve knee function. Excluding injuries which might require surgery most knee problems gradually develop over time due to misalignment, inflammatory chemistry and nutritional deficiencies. If you or someone you know suffers from knee problems tell them about chiropractic. Unless the damage is gone beyond the body’s ability to repair chiropractic and nutritional therapy along with exercise can help tremendously.
FUNNY BONES: For the second year in a row, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie with two winners. Or as each of their parents put it to their kids, “I told you that you shouldn’t have gone outside to play that one time.” Jimmy Fallon
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John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Honey-based mead may curb antibiotic resistance, say makers Scientists in Sweden are launching their own mead - an alcoholic beverage made from a fermented mix of honey and water - based on old recipes which they say could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance. Lund University researcher Tobias Olofsson said mead had a long track record in bringing positive effects on health. "Mead is an alcoholic drink made with just honey and water and it was regarded as the drink of the gods and you could become immortal or sustain a better health if you drank it. It was drunk by the Vikings for example and other cultures such as the Mayas, the Egyptians and it was a drink that was regarded as a very beneficial drink," said Olofsson. In previous research published in 2014, Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez discovered that lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees, mixed with honey itself, could cure chronic wounds in horses that had proved resistant to treatment.
WELLNESS: Study links common heartburn drug to increased heart attack risk One in every 14 Americans uses a proton pump inhibitor (PPI)— the most common type of heartburn drug— in any given year, but new research that links them to an increased risk of heart attack has prompted scientists to re-evaluate their safety. Their study also suggests that not only people on blood thinners like clopidogrel, sold as Plavix, may be more vulnerable to heart attack with PPI use, but that anyone on the drug and diagnosed with heartburn— regardless of predisposed cardiovascular risk or other medication use— may be at risk.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: HEARTBURN what causes heart burn? Certain foods like alcohol, certain drugs like aspirin or other painkillers, hiatal hernias, obesity, nerve pressure in your mid back, toxic colon, smoking and carbonated beverages. Now which of these do antacids correct? Of course none of these plus antacids make you more susceptible to cancer, heart attacks, malnutrition and a toxic and irritable colon. Seek solutions for your health problems because conditions will get worse over time if not corrected. Chiropractic and nutritional therapy with detoxification can make a major difference.
FUNNY BONE: IKEA, the world's largest furniture retailer, pledged over $1 billion earlier today to help slow climate change. But knowing IKEA, it's probably going to take forever to put the money together. Seth Meyers/// The Christmas-themed town of North Pole, Alaska, has officially approved marijuana dispensaries. So don't expect your presents from Santa until next April. Conan O'Brien
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It's really difficult for all of us to see when we are being programmed or manipulated through advertisement/propaganda. But pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on conditioning the population to choose its products over other methods of treatment. And sometimes we're in automatic mode when we decide our choice in healthcare. This can be a problem for a number of reasons. The first thing to consider is if you are deciding to utilize a drug as your first option you might not understand the dangers of that approach. Besides the over 2000 deaths per week due to the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and the fact that medical care is a number one cause for death in United States based on CDC statistics there are other reasons to think twice about drugs being your first approach.
Simply put drugs don't heal, drugs alter your perception of the condition. Let's take headaches for example most headaches are caused by misalignments in the upper neck (muscle tension), other causes could be toxicity problems, allergies, low blood sugar or hormonal problems. Which of these do you think an aspirin fixes? Did you know aspirin causes bleeding in the stomach, Excess Stomach Acid Secretion, Stomach Cramps, Blood coming from Anus, Decreased White Blood Cells? This is just a partial list of potential side effects. Again the aspirin doesn't treat any of the underlying causes for your condition. Let's say your headaches were related to hormonal imbalances because of the developing ovarian cyst. You keep treating the headaches with an aspirin and your ovarian cyst keeps getting worse to the point that it might burst. Wouldn't it have been nice if the physician you went to wanted to understand the source of your headaches? But a common problem is if you're a MD/DO and have powerful drugs that can mask symptoms then when a patient presents with certain symptoms you are just gonna write a prescription and consider it appropriate care.
As a chiropractic physician we don't mask symptoms with drugs, we have to figure out why the symptom is there. Just to classify the headache is a tension headache or migraine headache and then give the latest masking drug the pharmaceutical company has recommended, in my opinion, is not proper healthcare. Proper healthcare tries to determine the underlying cause for the condition and correct the cause. I'm not saying that can be done 100% of the time because we don't understand the body fully, I am saying that most the time it can be. The underlying cause for allergies is not an antihistamine deficiency it's an inappropriate functioning immune system. When you correct the immune system you correct the allergies. Acid reflux is not an antacid deficiency it is an imbalance somewhere within the digestive system. It needs to be found and corrected which might include changing your diet. Back pain is not a muscle relaxer or anti-inflammatory deficiency disease.
When you just treat the symptoms you allow the condition time to get worse. This is one of the reasons that chronic diseases are such a high prevalence in our society. When you chronically just treat symptoms over a lifetime you end up with a basket full of chronic conditions. And this is why many people live their last 10 or 15 years of life in a nursing home, in a wheelchair suffering from multiple health problems. If you don't want to end up there you have to change the choices you make with your body. The fact is most drug therapy is inappropriate. Let me make this clear, there is a time for drugs and there is a time for surgeries but they should be the last approach. Unfortunately when you let certain conditions developed to the point of no return you eliminate a number of your options to get well.
Natural healthcare focuses on health not disease. Disease care has led to horrible health statistics for countries that focus their attention there. When a type II diabetic is taking one, two or three different medications to try to control their blood sugar they are in fact shortening their life span and making chronic disease more likely. The sad thing is the vast majority of type II diabetics can be drug free and healthy by some simple dietary and nutritional approaches. Lowering your blood sugar with drugs to force the sugar out of the body is not the same as correcting the blood sugar problem. Find the cause, correct the cause.
It is true that antibiotics can help clear acne in patients who suffer from it but it's also true that antibiotics will wreck havoc on your digestive track and weaken your immune system. Is acne a antibiotic deficiency disease? The skin is just the expression of the health of the body. Acne has to do with body ecology, hormonal balance and sometimes food allergies. The chances are the use of antibiotics will make each of these issues worse. And has anybody heard of superbug infections? The overuse of antibiotics is the number one cause for death from superbug infections that have been growing every year for the past 25 years. Is there a place for antibiotics? There is but it's very rare. There are so many natural immune boosting techniques in natural healthcare that well over 98% of my patients never require any antibiotics in their lifetime as long as they are following the approaches we recommend. Sure there are exceptions to every rule but in our society the exception is the rule.
Do you want to be healthy? Drugs are not going to get you there. Drugs could save your life but the same drugs that saved your life could end your life if you keep taking them. Drugs are toxic, drugs are dangerous. If you want to be healthy then you have to practice a healthy lifestyle. Did you know your nervous system controlled and coordinated everything that happens in your body? That's why we focus on spinal health to maintain a proper nervous system function. That is one of the five laws of health that we encourage patients to follow. The second law would be the law of diet. Do you really believe you could eat Twinkies all day and stay healthy? Of course not. But just like the big Pharma, big Food has programmed you into digging your own grave with your fork.
You have to eat a diet that's consistent with your genetic makeup and actually has real food in it. Eating right is really not that hard with a little direction you can increase your energy levels, strengthen your cardiovascular systems and maintain proper blood sugar levels very easily. The third law is exercise. You don't have to run a marathons, in fact you can over exercise to your detriment. Exercise is also related to your genetic makeup. Some people doing the wrong type of exercise can actually hurt themselves. People who have some type of moderate, regular exercise will be healthier than those who don't. Law four is a positive mental and spiritual attitude. Life can be hard you need to have coping skills in order to to be successful. Spiritual disciplines have been shown by research to make us healthier and to allow us to live a longer life. In the fifth law is rest and relaxation.
None of these laws are really difficult to follow you just need to find yourself in a culture that encourages these. The pharmaceutical approach is not that culture. It is nice to have a fire department, it's also a lot better that you never have to call them. And in most circumstances with a little prudence those disasters can be avoided. One of the best ways to find yourself in the culture of better health is to choose natural healthcare. Making natural healthcare your first choice can prevent a number of disasters in your life and your families health. You still might be referred to a medical specialist from time to time but if your primary care is a physician in the natural healthcare field your outcomes would be greatly improved.
Are you locked in the matrix? Choose natural healthcare and choose a better life.
Nosebleeds can be dramatic and frightening. Luckily, most nosebleeds are not serious and can be handled fairly easily. They are divided into two types, depending on whether the bleeding is coming from the anterior (front of the nose) or posterior (back of the nose). Anterior nosebleeds make up more than 90% of all nosebleeds.
The bleeding usually comes from a blood vessel at the very front part of the nose. Anterior nosebleeds are usually easy to control, either by measures that can be performed at home or by a doctor. Posterior nosebleeds are much less common than anterior nosebleeds. They tend to occur more often in elderly people. The bleeding usually comes from an artery in the back part of the nose. These nosebleeds are more complicated and usually require admission to the hospital and management by an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat specialist).
Nosebleeds tend to occur during winter months and in dry, cold climates. They can occur at any age but are most common in children aged 2 to 10 years and adults aged 50 to 80 years.
Most commonly, trauma to the nose triggers a nosebleed. Trauma to the outside of the nose, such as a blow to the face, or trauma inside the nose, such as nose picking or repeated irritation from a cold, can cause a nosebleed.
Less commonly, an underlying disease process, such as an inability of the blood to clot, may contribute to the bleeding. Inability of the blood to clot is most often due to blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin(Coumadin) or aspirin. Liver disease can also interfere with blood clotting. Abnormal blood vessels or cancers in the nose are rare causes of nosebleeds. High blood pressure may contribute to bleeding but is almost never the only reason for a nosebleed.
To stop a nosebleed:
Sit up straight.
Lean your head forward. Tilting your head back will only cause you to swallow the blood.
Pinch the nostrils together with your thumb and index finger for 10 minutes. Have someone time you to make sure you do not release the nostrils any earlier.
Tired of pinching? Use a clothespin.
Spit out any blood in your mouth. Swallowing it may make you vomit.
Still dripping? Wad up a small piece of tissue or gauze, then stick it between your gums and upper lip in the area right under your nose. Leave it there for 5 to 10 minutes. The tissue puts pressure on the blood vessels that are sending blood to your nose. There are countless versions of this remedy—pouring vinegar, witch hazel, or lemon juice on the tissue; using a small square of brown paper from a bag sprinkled with salt; even placing a dime or a small, flat button under your upper lip instead of a tissue.
Apply an ice pack alongside the bleeding nostril. The cold narrows the blood vessels in the nose to slow the spurting.
Can you tell me how to stop frequent nosebleeds?
The power of prevention
If you want to avoid nosebleeds, keep your mucous membranes moist by drinking eight 8oz glasses of water a day. You are well hydrated if your urine is pale, not dark.
Don’t overdo the AC. Air-conditioning dries out the air, leaving you more prone to nosebleeds.
In winter, add moisture indoors by running a humidifier.
Spritz your nostrils liberally with a saline nasal spray.
Watch your aspirin intake. Aspirin can interfere with blood clotting, and of course that’s not a good thing if you get frequent nosebleeds.
If you have nasal allergies, treat them promptly. Between the constant irritation caused by allergens and the damage done by blowing your nose, nasal membranes take a real beating when you’re having an allergic reaction.
If you often have trouble with nosebleeds, take 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of vitamin C every day to help prevent them. Vitamin C helps strengthen capillary walls and is also a vital component of collagen, a substance that gives your nostrils a moist, protective lining. Along with vitamin C, take 1000 milligrams daily of a bioflavonoid supplement such as grape-seed extract, pine-bark extract, pycnogenol, or proanthocyanins. Flavonoids are known to heal capillaries.
Cayenne pepper can help to prevent frequent nosebleeds. The suggested dose is 600 mg a day.
Finally, make sure you’re eating enough broccoli and leafy greens, which contain vitamin K, the clotting vitamin. If you continue to have frequent nosebleeds on this regimen, consider adding a vitamin K supplement, 100 mcg per day. (If you are taking Coumadin or another blood thinner, you need to avoid the synthetic form of vitamin K (MK-4). Instead, talk to your doctor about taking a low dose of K2 (MK-7), approximately 45 mcg per day) to stop or prevent frequent nosebleeds.
John H. Keefe III, D.C.
IN THE NEWS: Most countries woefully unprepared to fight resistant superbugs, says WHO Only 34 countries have national plans to fight the global threat of antibiotic resistance, meaning few are prepared to tackle "superbug" infections which put even basic healthcare at risk, the WHO said on Wednesday. In a survey of government plans to tackle the issue, the World Health Organization said only a quarter of the 133 countries that responded were addressing the problem. NOTE: because the medical profession could not control the use of antibiotics by their doctors they have developed a large population of bacteria that have learned a resistance against pharmaceutical antibiotics. If you’re used to using natural healthcare for infections you have nothing to worry about. Other than the fact these bacteria are not vulnerable to pharmaceutical antibiotics a healthy body can easily eliminate these. Natural healthcare enhances your own body’s immune system to eliminate these organisms.
WELLNESS: Acetaminophen, A Poor Choice for Relieving Your Low Back Pain Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately. In fact, improper use, coupled with the drug's narrow safety margin, means "a large fraction of users [are] close to a toxic dose in the ordinary course of use," according to the Food and Drug Administration. But for the sake of discussion, let's ignore the safety issues for a moment. Is acetaminophen an effective pain reliever in the first place? Not for low back pain and pain attributable to knee / hip osteoarthritis. Painkillers are the number one cause for death among pharmaceutical drugs. Pain is your body’s signal that something’s wrong and turning that signal off is not only dangerous in the short term but because you allow a condition time to progress that could have increased dangers in long-term. Chiropractic seeks the cause and then corrects the cause. Be smart, choose chiropractic first.
CONDITION OF THE WEEK: Skin problems Many people don’t realize that chiropractic and natural healthcare can offer a solution to most skin problems. Unlike using antibiotics or steroids to suppress a skin condition we look for the underlying cause and work at correcting that. Simply not drinking enough water and thus not eliminating toxins through the normal channels your skin can be an avenue of trying to eliminate toxins and thus causing skin irritations. Colon problems, kidney problems, allergies, bacterial or fungal infections are just some of the issues that could be behind skin conditions. Don’t cover it up, fix it. Chiropractic works.
FUNNY BONE: The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The nun made a note and posted on the Apple tray: "Take only one. God is watching." Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. A child had written a note, "Take all you want. God is watching the apples."
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The Diet-Heart Myth: Statins Don’t Save Lives when you look at the true stats
In this article, I will debunk the myth that statin drugs save lives in healthy people without heart disease, and discuss some of the little known side effects and risks associated with these drugs.
Myth: Statins save lives in healthy people without heart disease
Statins have been hailed by many in the conventional medical establishment as wonder drugs, with some physicians going as far as suggesting they should be added to the water supply. (The doctor that made that particular suggestion is named John Reckless – I kid you not.) But are statins really the wonder drugs they’ve been made out to be?
Are statins really the wonder drugs they’ve been made out to be?
Before we dive into the statistics on statins, I need to briefly explain the difference between relative and absolute risk reduction. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies often use relative risk statistics to report the results of drug studies. For example, they might say “in this trial, statins reduced the risk of a heart attack by 30%”. But what they may not tell you is that the actual risk of having a heart attack went from 0.5% to 0.35%. In other words, before you took the drug you had a 1 in 200 chance of having a heart attack; after taking the drug you have a 1 in 285 chance of having a heart attack. That’s not nearly as impressive as using the 30% relative risk number, but it provides a more accurate picture of what the actual, or “absolute” risk reduction is.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the efficacy of statins in two broad groups of people: those with pre-existing heart disease, and those without pre-existing heart disease. In the medical literature, these groups are referred to as “secondary prevention” and “primary prevention”, respectively.
Secondary prevention (those with pre-existing heart disease)
Absolute risk reductions range from 0.8% in MIRACL on the low end to 9% in 4S on the high end, with an average of 3%.
An analysis by Dr. David Newman in 2010 which drew on large meta-analyses of statins found that among those with pre-existing heart disease that took statins for 5 years (1):
Primary prevention (those without pre-existing heart disease)
Statins do reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in people without pre-existing heart disease. However, this effect is more modest than most people assume. Dr. Newman also analyzed the effect of statins given to people with no known heart disease for 5 years (5):
These statistics present a more sobering view on the efficacy of statins in people without pre-existing heart disease. They suggest that you’d need to treat 60 people for 5 years to prevent a single heart attack, or 268 people for 5 years to prevent a single stroke. These somewhat unimpressive benefits must also be weighed against the downsides of therapy, such as side effects and cost. During that hypothetical 5 year period, 1 in 67 patients would have developed diabetes and 1 in 10 patients would have developed muscle damage (which can be permanent in some cases, as we’ll see later in this section).
In addition, while statins do moderately reduce cardiovascular events such as heart attack in people without heart disease, they’ve never been shown to extend lifespan in this population. This is true even when the risk of heart disease is high. In a large meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials by Kausik Ray, MD and colleagues published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, statins were not associated with a significant reduction in the risk of death from all causes. (6)
This trial included 65,000 people without pre-existing heart disease but with intermediate to high risk of heart disease. It was important because it was the first review that only included participants without known heart disease. Previous studies suggesting that statins are effective in reducing death in people without pre-existing heart disease included some people that did have heart disease, which would have skewed the results.
The lack of significant effect on mortality is even more interesting in light of the fact that LDL cholesterol levels did decrease significantly in the statin group; the average LDL level in those taking placebo was 134 mg/dL and the average in the statin-treated patients was 94 mg/dL—roughly 30% lower. Yet in spite of this marked reduction in LDL cholesterol in the statin group, there was no difference in lifespan between the two groups. This is yet another line of evidence suggesting that the amount of cholesterol in LDL particles is not the driving factor in heart disease.
A meta-analysis of statin trials in people without heart disease by the prestigious Cochrane Collaboration came to a similar conclusion. (7) They also observed that all but one of the clinical trials providing evidence on this issue were sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. This is significant because research clearly indicates that industry-sponsored trials are more likely than non-industry-sponsored trials to report favorable results for drugs because of biased reporting, biased interpretation, or both. (8)
Adverse effects of statins
If statins were harmless and free, then it wouldn’t matter how many people need to be treated to prevent a heart attack or extend someone’s lifespan. But statins are not free, nor are they harmless. Statin use has been associated with a wide range of side effects, including myopathy (muscle pain), liver damage, cataracts, kidney failure, cognitive impairment, impotence and diabetes.
Unfortunately, studies show that physicians are more likely to deny than affirm the possibility of statin side effects, even for symptoms with strong evidence in the scientific literature. (9) Assuming that physicians would likely not report the adverse reaction in these circumstances, it’s probable that the incidence of statin side effects is much higher than the reported rates.
One of the most troubling side effects of statins that has only recently become apparent is their potential to increase the risk of diabetes, especially in women. A study by Dr. Naveed Sattar and colleagues published in The Lancet in 2010 examined 13 randomized clinical trials involving over 90,000 patients taking statins. They found that statin use was associated with a 9% increased risk in developing diabetes. Note that this is a relative risk, so the absolute risk of developing diabetes while taking a statin is very low. That said, observational data from the Women’s Health Initiative found a 48% increased risk of diabetes in healthy women taking statins after adjusting for other risk factors. (10)