Category Archives: Chiropractic

5 Naturally Safe and Wonderful Immune System Builders

Do you ever feel like cold and flu season is just a never ending round of sniffles, coughs, and sneezetummy aches?  Everyone around you is coughing, sneezing, and spreading germs.  Did you know you do not get colds, flus or pneumonia because of the bacteria and viruses that constantly surround you; you get them because a weakened immune system reduces your body’s ability to protect itself and stay healthy.  So let’s supercharge your immune system naturally from within.

We find the following 5 treatments and habits help lessen the number of illness one experiences through the year.  These are all safe, natural, and affordable options for you and your family!

  • Immuplex is a nutrient whole-foods based supplement from Standard Process that we have available for people at the clinic.  Immunplex is a powerful one-two punch when it comes to building an immune system. It is full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, Zinc, and many other bits that feed and build your immune system.  It also has the support for your immune system organs like bone for building white blood cells and the thymus which power up your T-Lymph cells that fight off invaders.  Don’t just take our word for it; check out this paper outlining some 2009 research on Immuplex.
  • Healthy Daily Food Choices go a very long way to helping build and keep the immune system alert and strong. Of course there is so much confusion about what is a healthy diet.  Think real, whole, fresh.  If is cannot be pronounced, comes in a bag or from a drive up, it is not likely an immune system building option.  Go with lots of veggies, nuts, seeds, clean meats, some fruits and lots of clean water should make up around 90% of your daily intake.  Eating sugar or high starch foods can lessen your immune system response.  So too can any food sensitivities you may have as your immune system has to spend a large amount of energy responding to the sensitivity instead of germs and the like.
  • Regular Exercise in just the rigcouchcoldht amount reduces mental and physical stress, elevates mood, raises body temperature, and encourages overall health and wellbeing. Physical activity can help flush foreign germs and bacteria out of the lungs and airways too. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.  Be sure to move often, even walking counts, several times per day with light to moderate intensity.  That will keep your body healthy and your immune system strong. If you are a workout maniac, know that overdoing it can be just as bad as not moving at all.  Specifically, too much or too hard of a workout raises levels of norepinephrine and cortisol, two “stress hormones” that tend to suppress the immune system.
  • Sleep is important for so many reasons and one of them is for a healthy and strong immune system. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which encourage sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. Additionally, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.  Make a plan to go to bed at an hour that allows for 7-9 hours of sleep without interruption for super strong immune system.
  • adj1Regular Chiropractic Care can be a big immune system supporter and builder. Recent research demonstrates that our nervous system plays an integral role in regulating our immune response.  We know from years of working with patients that regular Chiropractic Adjustments are beneficial for helping to keep patients’ immune systems strong.

For example, a research paper compared children raised by Doctors of Chiropractic and children raised by Medics.  Guess what? Children raised under chiropractic care were less prone to infectious processes such as otitis media (ear infections) and tonsillitis. These children had stronger immune systems and were also better able to cope with allergens such as pollen.

Adults also benefit too.  Multiple studies have measured the effect of Chiropractic Adjustments on the immune system and have shown that Chiropractic Adjustments can influence T and B lymphocyte counts, NK (natural killer) cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity and plasma beta-endorphin levels. In another study, the effect of specific spinal adjustments on the immune system was measured by looking at CD4 cell counts of HIV positive individuals as measured by CD4/mm3 in the blood. The CD4 cells, or T-helper cells, are the immune cells that are attacked in HIV patients.

Both of the control groups, one receiving placebo adjustments the other receiving no adjustments, each experienced about an 8% decrease in CD4 cell counts over a six month period, while the group receiving real chiropractic adjustments experienced a 48% increase in CD4 cell levels over a period of six months. Although chiropractic adjustments helped to greatly improve the ability of seriously ill people with HIV to fight disease, other studies have shown that it (Chiropractic Adjustments) should not be restricted to the sick when it comes to improving immune function.

What this tells us is that an optimal spine and nerve system = a powerful immune booster!  Pretty cool and safe too.

Try these treatments and follow those basic daily habits to sow the seeds of a strong immune system.  Now, if you find yourself knee deep in a cold or flu, call and ask how we can help. There are several safe and wonderful nutrients, herbs and natural treatments to help reduce the severity and duration of a cold, flu, or other illness.  Strong Immune System = Healthy, Happy You!

Dem Bones….Understanding your DEXA scan results. Part 1

Frequently patients present to me with their DEXA scan asking me what they can do to prevent osteoporosis.  Recently I had one such patient who presented with a peculiar situation.  For several years she had been attending a local health fair that included a ‘wellness’ blood testing screen as well as a cursory DEXA scanning to determine her bone density.  She was concerned because her most recent bone scan (DEXA) showed that she was modestly osteopenic in her wrist and osteoporotic in her hip.  This isn’t unusual, but in her case it was.  You see she was only 40 years old!  She had had a major joint replacement surgery within the last year and was just beginning to deal with a thyroid problem.  Now, this news of osteoporosis had her scared and confused.  Was she really aging that rapidly?  Would she be dealing with the debility and pain of broken bones and compressed vertebra  before her kids finished high school?  She needed information, so we talked.  Here’s what we talked about.

DEXA scans have two numbers that they give you.  A Z-score and a T-score.  A T-score is where they compare your bone density against the bone density of a sex and ethnicity matched (in this case white female)30 year olds (someone at their highest bone density potential).  Or to restate, they compare it against a baseline perfect score.  The T-score is given as a numeral that compares you to that given optimal score (which is given as Zero).  So in this case her hips T-score was -2.6 (that’s negative 2.6).  So what that means is that her bone density is a little over two and one half points deviated from the norm.  If your T-score is more than 2.5 points under the norm of 0 (zero), then you will be officially designated as osteoporotic.  If you have a history of recent bone fracture(and a T-score below -2.5) or are more than 3 points below the norm of zero you are officially SEVERELY osteoporotic.

Now, she also had a T-score of -2.0 in her wrist.  A T-score between -1.0 and -2.5 is what is medically termed osteopenic.  Osteopenia means hungry for bone or wanting for more bone.  So parts of her skeleton were officially problem areas and others were awfully close.  That was concerning for her to say the least, and me because I’m the doctor that takes care of those bones and nerves manually.  You certainly don’t want overly aggressive chiropractic technic on brittle bones….OUCH!

But before we get too far we should discuss the z-score.  Z-score compares you against people your age (and sex and ethnicity).   So as expected her numbers were again below zero.  What does this mean?  Well, loss of bone density is something that occurs naturally over the course of time, just like wrinkles and well you get the picture.   So its pretty much expected that by the time you reach ninety years of age that your T-score would be under -2.  But if you compared a 90 year old against average 90 year olds they should be pretty similar right?  Exactly!  So if your t-score is below normal (lets just say -2 or under) your bones are aged compared to a 30 year olds.  But if your Z-score is below -2 then you have a problem that is more than just normal aging! 

What would happen if you went to space for 3 months?  Well, you would do TONS OF EXERCISE! Why?  Because if you didn’t put you skeleton under some stress it would deteriorate!   Remember, there’s less gravity in space!  Therefore there’s less stressing your bones.  Bones under less stress do not remodel and remain strong!  Most long mission astronauts become osteopenic or porotic in a matter of weeks simply from the reduction of gravitational stress.  Have you ever wondered why they show images of astronauts being helped out of their space capsule upon their return?  They’ve lost bone density and muscle strength while they were gone.   So, if you’ve ever wondered why astronauts are always riding a stationary bicycle in space, its to prevent sarcopenia (muscle wasting) and osteopenia (bone wasting). 

Anyway, back to the story…

I spoke with my patient about her treatment options and some inconsistencies that I had seen in her scans.  Her previous years scan had scanned her left wrist and then the following year her right wrist and then the next year back to her left.   I found that quite confusing?   You see, bone scans should ALWAYS be consistent.  Measure the same thing the same way EVERY time.  In fact, use the exact same machine as you used previously if you can.

Not all DEXA scanning machines are equal, just like some camera’s are inherently better than another some scanners are too.  Good quality bone scans will measure the hip and spine primarily.  Other machines will only test the wrist or heel and make educated assumptions from that.   I was beginning to think that the machine being used for this health fair (or the technician running it) wasn’t that great.  So I suggested she receive another scan from a reliable machine at a consistent location that she could follow up with in the future as needed.  We decided on the local hospital’s machine and her results were interesting.   END PART 1!

Rats Don’t Cause Garbage Dumps!

What makes a person contagious? Is it their smile? Their laugh? The pathogens they exude while acutely ill? Contagiousness is not determined by what they have or do, but rather how receptive you are to those signals. A person’s contagious laugh is only as powerful as my underlying mood. If my mood is bad it’s not going to affect me. This brings me to an issue that concerns many patients I see and it goes something like this. “Doc, I need to cancel my appointment. I’m sick and I’m afraid of passing it on to you.” While I appreciate their concern for my welfare, what they don’t understand is that their germs can only affect me if my resistance is poor.
When is flu/cold season? Flu season starts in the fall and proceeds through the early winter, tapering off in early spring. Did you ever wonder why? I believe it’s because this is the time of year when weather, lack of daylight, physical and emotional stress, poor diet, and cultural issues put more burden on our body’s defense mechanisms.
It’s fair to say flu season is basically from Halloween to Valentine’s Day. Halloween sets off the flu season as we begin burdening our systems with sugar laden treats. Sugar is the second most powerful immune system burden behind stress. So on top of that candy binge, what stresses play a role? Shortening days, seasonal weather, school and work burdens, hunting season and its associated sleep deprivation all start the process of burdening our systems.
Thanksgiving is next with a heaping helping of overconsumption. Our body’s biggest interface with the external environment occurs in our gut lining. Our immune systems largest workload is investigating incoming food for toxins, pathogens and parasites. Think of your gut like the local post man during the holidays. Imagine how hard and how much your immune system is going through when it inspects each parcel of food you consume to check for dangerous foreign substances. All of that checking takes extra energy and this overconsumption, further burdens your immune system.
The weeks leading up to Christmas are full of excitement and wonder – and stress. Snow, lack of sun, and lack of exercise along with decorations, decisions, shopping, parties, more sugar (alcohol too) and overconsumption! Most of us are aware of the stress that surrounds the holiday season, its no wonder this is the time of year when most people are given a forced holiday called sick leave.
New Years adds to the chaos with more sleep deprivation, consumption (particularly alcohol), financial worries and deadlines for year end.
You can see now how the accumulating stressors have taken most people to the point of succumbing to seasonal bugs, particularly the flu. By mid January flu season starts to slow down. But, little spikes of flu will occur with an upswing shortly after super bowl Sunday, then with Valentines Day chocolates, tax season stress, and usually last is the Easter candy weekend.
Being a doctor not only means being a teacher, it is also practicing what I preach. Thus I take very good care of myself to protect against the effects of being compromised by a patient’s illness. You can do this as well by paying attention to these issues by limiting or eliminating sweets, recognizing situations where overconsumption is possible and practicing moderation in both food and drink. Getting plenty of rest and some sunlight, along with some exercise will all go further in preventing the flu and other winter infections than any shot ever will.
Get an ADJUSTMENT! Research has shown that regular chiropractic adjustments increase a person’s immune function. THAT’S RIGHT!!! Getting adjusted optimizes your immune system. Researchers compared CD4 (immune system cells that fight infections of all varieties) cell levels in AIDS patients over the course of 6 months. One group was given regular chiropractic adjustments while the control group received none. The chiropractic patients showed a 48% increase in CD4 levels while those in the control group showed a declining CD4 count (-7%). Who needs a new AIDS drug, get your butt adjusted. When did that Study come out? 1989! Other studies have been performed on successfully reducing fevers; others show decreased severity and length of a host of different kinds of infections. The bottom line is this: If you have a fever, GET ADJUSTED. If you have a sniffle, GET ADJUSTED. If you feel nauseated or sick to your stomach or are suffering from diarrhea, GET ADJUSTED. If you are vomiting and you have a headache and etc., etc., etc. GET ADJUSTED!
Understandably, there are times when you are feeling so ill that you couldn’t safely operate your automobile or leave the toilet or whatever, but what you should understand, UNDENIABLY is this, getting adjusted and minding your daily habits will prevent infections and help improve your immune reaction when you are currently ill, thus taking contagion out of the question.
Remember, rats don’t cause garbage dumps, garbage dumps attract rats.

“If the ‘germ theory of disease’ were correct, there’d be no one living to believe it.” BJ Palmer

Dr. Stephen Y. Dobelbower