As summer ends, fall brings with it fashionable rain-jackets, beautiful weather, as well as heavy backpacks for our children. If you have children, you may notice that it almost seems like they may need a pack mule to carry all of their heavy text books and supplies. If your child is one of them, you could be setting him or her up for future posture problems, irregular gait cycles, scoliosis, chronic fatigue, and a long list of health problems. We often wonder why our young adults slouch, have poor posture, don’t stand up tall, or sit straight. Poor posture habits follow a trend, children carry huge overloaded backpacks, adults have very fashionable-yet-heavy purses or lug briefcases to work, and most of us spend too many hours hunched over a computer.
If your children are suffering from poor posture that is exacerbated by heavy bags, they are not alone. Poor posture is not only habitual, but also is a result of low self-esteem, existing scoliosis or increased spinal curves. Whatever the case maybe in your child, you should also be aware that poor posture can cause degenerative problems in the spine, chronic pain, muscle aches, poor circulation and can affect their breathing. The trouble with heavy backpacks is kids are saddled with them during their growing phase. Visualize a bowling ball strapped to the top of a little pine tree; the pine tree will grow in that same bent over position.
How can you tell if your child is developing posture problems?
Simply look at them from the back and the side. If you are looking at them from the back, see if their head tilts more to one side (remember this would be very subtle), also note if one shoulder is higher than the other. Remember the difference would be very subtle but important to note because it could indicate a problem. Have your kids bend over the knees and see if one shoulder blade comes up higher than the other. Now look at them from the side, and make sure their shoulders are not rounding forward a lot. Also their ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and outer portion of ankle should line up in a straight line on each side.
What kind of problems might poor posture in kids lead to?
Structural problems can lead to chronic pain and tightness in the neck and mid-back. Uneven or asymmetric stress on the spine can cause additional strain to certain parts of the spine as they grow and a degenerating spine is a result of that as they age. Spinal strain can also put pressure on spinal cord, nerves, and central nervous system causing migraine headaches, digestive difficulties, chronic fatigue, asthma, and etc…
What can be done?
Check their backpacks. Unfortunately most kids will not compromise their fashion for rolling backpacks, so here are a few tips to picking a good backpack. First try it on; the straps should feel snug and a close fit to the shoulders. Make sure the backpack is centered and not below the waist, to minimize the uneven pressure on their growing spine. Encourage your children to buckle up the strap around the waist (even-though it’s known not to be the most fashionable). The middle strap will help the backpack fit better and keeps it in place. Check their backpacks to make sure they are only carrying the essential textbooks and remove what’s unnecessary. Limiting the weight of the backpack load to 10% of their body weight is helpful. Last but not least, encourage them to keep their backpacks on both shoulders, and not on one!
Finally do not ignore if they are complaining of neck or lower back pain; as they shouldn’t have any pain. Get your child evaluated here to check their spine and make sure there are no structural asymmetries and to prevent health problems from occurring in the future. Check our website or call us at 949.922.3465 Your children’s posture and health are worth the extra attention.
Not all fats are bad. Some fats are so good in fact that we all need them for proper health of body and mind. There are a myriad of things that can be cured with one small change in diet. Joint pain, muscle pain, memory problems, digestion ailment, obesity, and arthritis are all states of inflammation. Inflammation is caused by the imbalance of essential fatty acids due to poor diets that many indulge in. Only 20% of Americans have a proper intake of these good fats. Are you one of them?
The average diet conscious person assumes all fats are bad but that is not all true. Everyone needs some fats in their diet and that includes you. Some over indulge in the wrong fats and some are careful to avoid them at all costs. Whichever side of the fence you are on it can only help to include more of the proper fats in your diet. Essential Fatty Acids, as their name implies, are essential and extremely important to health and wellness of human body. They are essential yet our bodies cannot produce them therefore the responsibility is ours.
If you have any kind of pain or dis-ease, you can assume that there is an underlying inflammation in your body, it can be on the that annoying pain in your back or the after dinner indigestion. Think of Essential Fatty Acids as natural anti-inflammatory. Food such as red meat and dairy products contain substances that can cause or stimulate inflammatory responses in your body. Nutritious foods such as fish, flaxseed, and walnuts contain substances that are anti-inflammatory, and can in turn reduce your pain or rid you of a dis-ease.
Let’s take a closer look at these fatty acids. Two main families of Essential Fatty Acids are Omega-3’s and Omega-6’s. The ideal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 s in our body is 2:1. Unfortunately with all the free radicals, preservatives, food additives, sugar substitutes, added hormones and other synthetic ingredients in today’s dietary world most of us are lacking Omega 3’s. Today, our ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 averages about 20:1 or worse which spells inflammation, dis-ease and much more.
Western diets are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and have excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. This is not the proper balance our bodies need. Increased levels of omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation and in turn many diseases, including cardiovascular, cancer, autoimmune and increasing omega-3 levels will have suppressive effects on inflammation and symptoms of such pathologies.
Thousands of research studies have shown the benefits of increasing Omega-3 levels in the human body. A lowered ratio of 2:1 (close to normal ratio) slowed down rectal cell proliferation in patients with colorectal cancer, and a ration of 4:1 did not make a difference. Another study shows a ratio of 3:1 will suppress inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, has beneficial effects on patients with asthma, and reduces symptoms related ADD/ADHD, as well as fibromyalgia.
Now we know the need for Omega 3’s but where can we find them? Fish oil, cod liver oil, and flaxseed oil contain high-quality amounts of omega-3. Fish oil is considered the best source for anti-inflammation and helps with a variety of symptoms however the brand of these supplements is somewhat important. Due to pollution of our oceans, the source of which the fish came from is extremely important; risk of ingesting troublesome levels of mercury is increased with generic Fish Oil supplements.
Be sure to consult your doctor about the brand you are taking or ask what companies are well researched, and tested. The one I personally take and recommend is from Nutri-West and is very well researched. This high quality, superb supplement can rid you of your moodiness, or joint pain and much more.
Therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids depends on severity of your symptoms, origin of your pain, and much more. Consult your doctor to make sure there are no contraindications in you taking fish oil supplements.
If you are in Orange County, California, you can call me at 949.922.3465 for a free initial nutritional consultation or check out my website for more information.
The incidence of people who are obese has increased dramatically in the past 30 years. This suggests that this is not only an epidemic, but it has environmental factors and origins tied into it. This alarming epidemic of weight gain is apparent and can be found across all age groups, ethnic groups and social strata all over the United States. One major factor that is correlated to the current obesity epidemic is the wide scale introduction of non-caloric, high-intensity sweeteners. I dedicate this article to calorie conscious individuals or diet and non-calorie food seekers. I recently read an article that described research done on adult rats that were given differential experience with a sweet taste that either predicted increased caloric content (natural sugar) or did not predict increased calories (synthetic sugars). What was found through this research was that reducing the correlation between sweet taste and the caloric content of foods using artificial sweeteners in rats resulted in increased caloric intake, thus increasing body weight, and adiposity or fat. This also causes diminished caloric compensation and distorted responses to sweet tasting diets.
In simple terms this research teaches us the important relation between sweet taste and predication of caloric content of food. We use sweet taste to predict the caloric contents of foods. If you use sweet non-caloric substances, you may degrade this predictive relationship which then leads to positive energy balance; this means increased food intake.
The best way to go about this is to avoid all artificial and chemical sweetener substitutes. Synthetic sugar has no food value. Some of these additives have toxic byproducts that are harmful to human body and many of them have been linked with altered cephalic (brain) function, cancer and a list of other side effects. Dangerous additives under FDA approval include: Aspartame, Saccharin, Sucralose, and Acesulfame K, and Neotame.
Most baked goods that you buy in the store contain these substances. If you are a fan of diet beverages, zero-calorie drinks, Splenda or other artificial sweeteners and you think you are being ‘healthy’, or on a ‘healthy’ low calorie diet, think twice! A healthy alternative to satisfy your sweet tooth can be found in delicious fruits. There are no substitute for exercise and a healthy, organic and natural diet. Call us at 949.922.3465 if you have any questions regarding your diet or visit my website.
Recently, at my Orange County, CA practice, I had a few patients ask me about Menopause symptoms, and natural remedies that are out there, whether they are safe and effective. Here is a summary of my research on three most common herbs that are out there. Red Clover is one of them.
Red Clover is very similar to Soy products as to their not-so-real fame to reduce hot flashes and more. Most studies show minimal effect in women with various symptoms vs. placebo individuals.
Similar to Soy, Red Clover is also shown to be beneficial with osteoporosis, lipid profiles, and possibly cognition, although once again the evidence is limited. Red Clover has a positive reputation as far as safety, and has the fewest number of adverse events in published literature. The side effects reported are mild and include headache, myalgia, and nausea.
If you are tired of your menopausal symptoms or side effects of the medication that you take, I may be able to help you. Call me at 949.922.3465 to get more information, or if you have any questions. You can also visit my website to learn more.
Recently, at my Orange County, CA practice, I had a few patients ask me about Menopause symptoms, and natural remedies that are out there, whether they are safe and effective. Here is a summary of my research on three most common herbs that are out there. Soy is one of them.
Isoflavones (Soy) and supplements are the most commonly used natural products to eliminate symptoms of menopause because of their high concentrations of phytoestrogens. In a study done in 2004, 50 women were randomly given soy protein or placebo for three months. The study showed no difference between the group that consumed soy supplements vs. the group that did nothing (placebo). Although soy is a popular one and is heavily studied, there are no clear data from clinical trials that show major reduction in women with menopausal symptoms (only minimal effects and that’s only on hot flashes).
Although Soy’s fame can not be associated with relieving symtoms of menopause, it has proven itself to have multiple other benefits. Positive effect on lipid profiles, cholestrol reduction, bone conserving effects, calcium retention, cardiovascular benefits and improving cognitive functions are a few of the reasons why Soy is so popular. There is also research available that suggest 15-50% less indidents of breast and endometrial tumors were found in animals that were fed Isoflavones.
Although positive research on elimination of menopausal symptoms with soy is questionable, considering all the other benefits, it would seem that soy in the diet of menopausal women, not withstanding a soy allergy, is beneficial.
Are you interested in learning more about what you are experiencing with Menopause? Are you tired of medication and their side effects? Are you ready to do something natural and holistic for your menopausal symptoms without compromising your health? Call me at 949.922.3465 or visit my website to learn more.
Recently, at my Orange County, CA practice, I had a few patients ask me about Menopause symptoms, and natural remedies that are out there, whether they are safe and effective. Here is a summary of my research on three most common herbs that are out there. Black Cohosh is one of them.
Black Cohosh is a plant native to North America and it is the most widely studied herb for menopausal symptoms after isoflavones (soy). Most research done shows effectiveness of Black Cohosh, but the exact mechanism of action of this botanical is not clear. There are some older studies that suggest Black Cohosh has estrogenic activity (and link it to cancer), but all the newer studies found no effect on LH & FSH levels, Sex hormones, and estradiols; in simple terms newer research shows no link between cancer and Black Cohosh. A study done in 2003 done by University of Illinois at Chicago (National Institute of Health Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research in Women’s Health) demonstrates that Black Cohosh relieves hot flashes and improves mood through its act on seretonin receptors and NOT through estrogenic activity. in 2003, Amercican Association for Cancer Research raised concerns about metastatic activities of Black Cohosh due to an abstract presented on infected mice (transgenic mouse model). This was never published, and its value is questionable. To the contrary, both in vitro investigations with breast cancer cells and in vivo data show no stimulation of estrogen-dependent mammary gland tumors with black cohosh.
Safety and efficacy of Black Cohosh determined by various research articles have been summarized in a table. This shows very promising results for women suffering from menopausal symptoms primarily hot flashes, and mood swings.
Black Cohosh is proven safe when used upto six months, although if under a physician’s supervision, women can continue taking the supplements and have close to no side effects. Some of the side effects associated with Black Cohosh are: Gastric complaints which are temporary, headaches (with higher dosage), vommiting, and dizziness and it is contraindicated in women who are pregnant or lactating! no drug interactions have been documented except that it interferes with effectiveness of Hormone Replacement Therapy and Oral contraceptives.
So far we’ve been able to eliminate Black Cohosh’ risk and association with Cancer; the only other negative claim with Black Cohosh is Liver Toxicity. The cases of Liver failure that have been reported the purity and composition of the products taken by individuals is under question; but it’s been enough to put a warning on the supplements.
In summary, Black Cohosh is a great option as an alternative therapy for relief menopausal symptoms, with an overall positive safety profile for up to six months.
Are you experiencing symptoms associated with Menopause? Are you tired of taking medication and want to try natural remedies? Call me for a complimentary consultation to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing at 949.922.3465. You can also visit my website to get more information.