Well November is here and we have already had a few nice snows to start our Fall. Hopefully, we will have a good snow year again for the mountains and the skiers/riders.
#1 Cause of Death
In 2005, a report was published that showed cancer had surpassed heart disease as the #1 cause of death for people under the age of 85. If you ask Dr. Mercola, he will tell you that medical treatment is the #1 cause of death in this country. Actually, I think the real #1 cause of death is chronic inflammation.
Inflammation comes from the Latin word inflammare which means to set on fire. If you have ever had an inflamed joint or nerve you know that it is a pretty accurate description. According to Doland’s Medical Dictionary, "It [inflammation] is characterized in the acute form by the classic signs of pain (dolor), heat (rubor), swelling (tumor), and loss of function (functio laesa). Histologically [at the cellular level], it involves a complex series of events including dilation of arterioles [small arteries], capillaries and venules [small veins], with increased permeability and blood flow; exudation of fluids [cells from blood vessels deposited on tissues] including plasma proteins; and leukocyte [white blood cells] migration into the inflammatory focus [area of injury]." So that is red, hot, painful, swollen area that is not working too well that gets more fluid, blood flow and white blood cells in the area . If it is a sprained ankle we can all see the results. If it is a spot on your colon it is much harder to see but it is still just as painful and swollen. This condition is called ulcerative colitis. If it is the covering of your lungs it is pleurisy and in your eye it is conjunctivitis. Inflammation is present in all of these conditions.
Inflammation has been linked as a cause of both cancer and heart disease. Though it took over a decade for cardiologists to catch on, an elevated C-reactive protein level in the blood has proven to be one of the best indicators for heart disease. It also has proven to predict cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and arthritis. C-reactive protein is manufactured in the liver and the linings of the arteries. If it is found at elevated levels in your body, then you are suffering from chronic inflammation. On Quest Diagnostics Lab website (http://www.questdiagnostics.com/hcp/topics/cardiocrp/cardiocrp.html) they are telling doctors that ½ of all heart attack patients have normal to low cholesterol and they should be adding the CRP to their list of standard tests. It is a much better predictor of myocardial infarction than the lipid tests alone and can predict a second heart attack, too.
Now some will argue that in our earlier example it is the injury to the ankle that caused the inflammation, not the other way around. So inflammation in the heart is caused by the cholesterol being there. But let’s go a step further. If you take that injured ankle and continue to run on it everyday, that acute inflammation becomes chronic inflammation that will change the tissues in the ankle and cause it to be permanently swollen and distorted. The ankle would develop arthritis and would be limited in its motion. The inflammation in the coronary arteries of your heart is due to a lack of the vitamin C complex which eventually causes a breakdown and change in the cellular structure. The body is putting the cholesterol there to try and patch up the leaks in those vessels. Those leaks are caused by a sub-clinical scurvy due to a lack of the vitamin C complex in the diet. The cholesterol is not causing the inflammation but is responding to it and trying to keep you from springing a leak!
The constant irritation of smoking on the lungs is the inflammation that precedes lung cancer. Alzheimer’s disease, inflammatory breast cancer, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, asthma, allergies, acne, auto-immune diseases, gum disease; look through any list of illnesses and you will find inflammation as part of the causation. Dr. Perricone has written a few books about how a diet high in sugar, trans-fats and dead food can give you wrinkles or acne. His anti-inflammation diet is based on low glycemic foods, good sources of protein like salmon and good fats like nuts and avocados. He can make your skin look younger or your acne start to clear up in 3 days just by strictly following his program. It works by decreasing the inflammation in your body. As a medical dermatologist he could have prescribed medications to treat your acne but he found that it just makes the inflammation worse. He uses food and topical nutrients to heal the acne and make the skin look younger. Dr. Haas wrote the False Fat Diet that helps you loose weight by finding the foods you are allergic to and remove them from your diet. This reduces the inflammation in your digestive system and releases the extra stored water that keeps the body bloated and looking fat.
The disc injuries that we are treating with the DRX are from chronic inflammation in most of the patients. Chronic weight-bearing or muscle imbalances, bad posture and improper lifting created this inflammation. The young patients with herniated discs are usually suffering from acute inflammation due to injury. Chronic infections can lead to inflammation which can lead to cancer. I have witnessed several patients over the years that left the mold and yeast infection in their body untreated and they eventually developed cancer. Infections are fires that burn through the body if not treated properly and create a lot of inflammation. Blood markers for inflammation are CRP, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). These levels go down in the blood when the patients start eating a clean diet and rid their body of chronic infections.
Fresh fish, fruits, nuts, eggs, meat and vegetables have phytonutrients that are great anti-inflammatories as well as nourishing for your body. The anti-oxidants found naturally in food are the only ones that have ever worked to reduce your cancer and heart disease risk. Taking high doses of synthetic vitamins like C & E have shown in clinical studies to actually increase your chances for getting cancer and heart disease. Organic minerals and fish oils are great natural anti-inflammatories as are all Omega 3 oils. Herbs like turmeric, ginger, feverfew, devil’s claw and willow bark are also natural anti-inflammatory in nature. You can take tons of herbs but if you are still doing things daily to rekindle the inflammation, it is not going to work. NSAIDS are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines like Vioxx and Celebrex as well as Aleve, Tylenol, Motrin and Advil. They can damage your kidneys and your liver as well as increase your chance for congestive heart failure. They have also been shown to inhibit bone growth around fractures and joint replacements. Sugar, caffeine and alcohol can all exacerbate the inflammation in your body. Too much exercise can continue to inflame already sore joints and muscles. It is your lifestyle choices that can raise or lower the inflammation in your body. We can help by adjusting your spine to remove the irritation to your nervous system, checking you for food allergies, suggesting the right nutrients to take and helping you rid your body of infections.
Thanksgiving is on Thursday November 23rd so we are definitely closed that day. It is also my daughter Amber’s 16th birthday. That is really hard for me to believe (beware the new driver on the road)! I will stay as late as I need to on Monday, Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon to get everyone in who needs to see me. Hope you have a great holiday and eat as much as you like that day!