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August 2015 Health Newsletter


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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Painkillers Like Ibuprofen Increase Risk for Stroke and Heart Attack
» Study Links Inactivity to Diabetes
» Soon Many Restaurant Menus Must Have Calorie Counts

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

What does this have to do with high blood pressure pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure. 

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.

 

 

Author: www.WebMD.com Health News by Daniel J. DeNoon
Source: Rush University Hypertension Center Chicago IL
Copyright: Journal Of Human Hypertension 3


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Painkillers Like Ibuprofen Increase Risk for Stroke and Heart Attack

Studies have shown that over-the-counter NSAID pain killers like Ibuprofen, diclofenac, celecoxib, and naproxen can potentially cause users to have a heart attack or a stroke. New labeling being required by the US Food and Drug Administration on the packaging of NSAIDS will warn users of these possible side effects, along with advising them that their risk of heart failure is increased if they take these drugs. The new labels will include the fact that these heart problems can occur as soon as the initial weeks of use of the NSAIDS. They will also say that heart failure, heart attack, and stroke can affect people using NSAIDS who have no history of heart issues, and no genetic predisposition toward heart disease. People who already have heart issues or who have certain risk factors for heart disease have a higher probability of suffering heart failure, heart attacks, or strokes with NSAID usage, though. Studies seem to show that higher doses of NSAIDS increase possible heart failure or damage. NSAIDS have been used for years to treat fever as well as the pain from arthritis, headaches, abdominal cramping, and the discomfort from viral diseases.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: FDA.gov, online July 9, 2015
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Study Links Inactivity to Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is an ever-increasing and insidious health risk. Studies in the past have linked the lack of physical activity to the risk of becoming diabetic. A new study conducted by Gibbs and his colleagues on 2,027 overweight people between the ages of 38 and 50 showed a definite correlation between a lack of daily physical activity and the increased risk of diabetes. Although certain elements of the study were critiqued by other professionals, the overall feeling was that the study once again demonstrated that being sedentary for up to 10 hours per day was a definitive factor in being at risk for developing diabetes. The study supported the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle as well as a lifestyle that limits inactivity. People who were sedentary for a minimum of 10 hours per day were more than twice as likely to end up with glucose tolerance issues leading to diabetes than people whose daily sedentary time was less than 6 hours per day. The study suggests that people with daily sedentary behavior can reduce their risk of developing glucose intolerance impairment and subsequently developing diabetes by adding a regimen of daily physical activity to their behavior.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Diabetes Care, online July 8, 2015
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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Soon Many Restaurant Menus Must Have Calorie Counts

Given a year's delay of their deadline, chain restaurants with 20 plus outlets breathed a collective sigh of relief when advised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration they would be given an extra year to comply with a ruling that they had to include calorie counts with their menus. With more than a third of all American adults being obese, the regulation was put into effect to give restaurant goers a chance to limit the fat and sugar-filled foods they ingest. The regulation to put calorie counts on all menus and menu boards extends to restaurants where patrons are seated, where take-out is offered, bakeries, ice cream parlors, movie theaters, amusement parks, and pizza places (whose labeling must include both slices and whole pizzas). It also includes grocery stores with eat-in sections such as Whole Foods, and large vending machine meal operations. It excludes drinks concocted and served at a bar or nightclub. The FDA's rules are an integral part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act passed by the Obama administration. Panera Bread Company was the first to comply with the ruling, and they found that their patrons changed their eating habits by switching to lower calorie meals. McDonalds and Starbucks Corporations have also complied to date.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters, online July 9, 2015
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2015


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