Dr. Jay's Blog

Don't Become A Victim Of The Opioid Epidemic

Date: September 28, 2017 | Time: 8:33am | Posted By: Jay Cullinane

The class of drugs known as opioids are used medicinally to reduce pain. A few of the common opioids are codeine, Demerol, fentanyl, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, OxyContin and tramadol. They are called opioids because they are derived from opium just like heroin. And just like heroin, they are addictive. There are reasons these drugs are being prescribed despite their risks, but, you have to understand the history behind it.

As recently as the 1980s, bedrest for a week or more was a common medical recommendation for severe back pain. Then research showed it was ineffective and sometimes made the pain worse. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants were the next best medical option. They gave only temporary relief. Inflammation does produce pain. Unfortunately, these drugs did nothing to stop the inflammation at its source.

The most overlooked factor in people's pain is the diet. A diet that contains grains (even whole grains), starch from other sources than grains and sugar is pro-inflammatory. It increases your inflammation and pain. In 1980, US Dietary Guidelines for Americans advocated the adoption of a low fat diet. That dietary change increased the amount of grains, starch and sugar in the food making it more pro-inflammatory. Not only that, the low fat diet started the obesity epidemic. Fat cells also release chemicals that increase inflammation. So, it is no surprise that the number of people experiencing pain and the intensity of the pain has increase over the last few decades.

In 1993, the Clinton administration tried to reform healthcare. The idea was to review all available research and recommend the most cost effective care for each condition. It took a great deal of effort to get everyone, especially the American Medical Association (AMA), to agree to this approach. Panels of medical doctors were created to study the most costly health problems first. The first two panels were to review research on acute low back pain and headaches, the two most costly health issues at the time.

The results of the acute low back pain recommendations were the first to be completed. The results were the recommended use of ice, heat, NSAIDs and spinal manipulation by an experienced practitioner (95% of all spinal manipulations are performed by chiropractors). All other therapies were deemed ineffective and not recommended. The AMA was appalled by this surprising (to everyone except chiropractors) result. The notion of sharing healthcare funding with anyone especially chiropractors was unthinkable. They had two reactions. First, they threatened all members of Congress that they would heavily lobby against the reelection of anyone who voted for reform. Thus ended the Clinton health reform efforts. Second, the AMA changed the rules. Treating pain was no longer appropriate. The goal became improving activities of daily living. When that found to be insufficient, pain management clinics came into existence.

Private funding completed the review of research on headaches and once again chiropractic care was recommended.

Since government failed to reform healthcare, business said it could do it and do a better job. Thus managed care came into existence. This is how we got to where we are now with healthcare in this country. Isn't it great!

Then another blow came to the medical approach to pain management. 90% of all NSAIDs were found to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. This became unacceptable because 80% of all cardiovascular deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes. Even medical doctors had to admit the risk outweighed the benefits of NSAIDs.

The pharmaceutical industry needed another option to make money off of your pain. And thus opioids were pushed as the answer with assurances that they were safe. It would be nice if we could call that wishful thinking. It was willful deception.

Opioids are addictive. Opioid abuse among adults aged 50+ has doubled. Opioid abuse is a significant factor in auto accident deaths. Every 25 minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal. 91 American die every day from an opioid overdose.

Pain is not your enemy. It is your warning that something is wrong. NSAIDs and opioids only turn off the alarm. They do nothing to treat the pain. The two most successful ways to reduce pain are to remove grains, starches and sugar from your diet thereby reducing the inflammation that causes pain. Chiropractic care works by reducing mechanical dysfunction that produces the imbalance in the nervous system that causes the over active signals from nerves that sense pain. Both approaches normalize the cause of most pain. Research has backed the effectiveness of chiropractic care for pain for decades. It does not matter where in your body you feel pain, chiropractic can most likely help. It is not just for neck and back pain.

Just in case you need more convincing, the American College of Physicians issued new guidelines for the treatment of low back pain in 2017. For new low back pain (lasting less than 12 weeks), heat, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation (chiropractic care) are recommended for initial treatment. Only if these options fail are NSAIDs or a muscle relaxant to be tried. Other options for low back pain lasting more than 12 weeks include exercise, physical therapy and mindfulness-based programs intended to cope with or reduce stress. They suggest that even tai chi, yoga, or progressive relaxation techniques may also be helpful. The American College of Physicians recommends that opioids should be considered only if other measures have failed. Is your medical doctor following their advice? If your medical doctor does not refer you to a chiropractor for your pain, go to one on your own. Otherwise, you may fall victim to the risks of NSAIDs and opioids.

I endorse no products.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided is not a substitute for medical counseling. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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Coconut Oil Or Cocoa Butter May Help Crohn's Disease

Date: September 1, 2017 | Time: 7:23am | Posted By: Jay Cullinane

Medical science is searching for the cause of inflammatory bowel syndromes such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease. As of yet, medical science has not identified a cause.
Part of the problem is that the scientific method used in most research tries to isolate one thing to see how it affects something else. This works well for simple problems such as this bacteria causes this and only this disease. Unfortunately, most health issues are not simple problems. The human body is a complex system in which everything can affect everything else. The scientific method is good for identifying individual pieces of the puzzle which are needed to see the big picture. However, most often the focus remains on the puzzle piece. Rarely does anyone try to look at all the other pieces to try identify the big picture.

The result of research done at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine released in 2017 found that the type of fat can alter the bacteria in the intestines and reduce the inflammation associated with Crohn's Disease in a mouse model of the disease. In particular, they looked at coconut oil and cocoa butter. The researchers hope that this might also help humans with the disease, but, they haven't tested the idea yet. They are taking one small step at a time to see how it works.

I applaud their efforts and welcome then to the decades old knowledge of alternative medicine. The answer lies in the big picture. To help you see that some very basic knowledge is needed.

Fats are chains of carbon atoms linked together in a line. If there are few carbon atoms linked together, it is a short chain fatty acid. A moderate number of carbon atoms create a medium chain fatty acid. A large number of carbon atoms produce a long chain fatty acid. The manner in which the carbon atoms are attached to each other will change the shape (straight or bent) of the fatty acid. Saturated fat is straight. Unsaturated (omega) fat is bent. It is the combination of the number of carbon atoms and the shape of the chain that determines the how the fat is used in the body. An omega 6 fatty acid is used by the body to produce inflammation. An omega 3 fatty acid is one of the fats used to turn off inflammation.

It is estimated that there are 10 times more bacteria in your intestines than cells in your entire body. The balance of the species of bacteria in your intestines is the key to good intestinal health. Those bacteria can feed off of the protein, fat and carbohydrates you eat.

The bacteria that are supposed to be there in the largest amounts feed off of soluble fiber which you get from fruits and vegetables. These bacteria produce nutrients for your body including a short chain fatty acid that feed the cells of your intestines and keeps them healthy. Coconut oil and cocoa butter are rich sources of this fatty acid. These bacteria also protect you from harmful bacteria.

The bacteria that are supposed to be in small amounts in your intestines feed off of sugar and starch. These bacteria do not produce any useful nutrients for you. In the long run, they starve the cells of your intestines and make them weak. These bacteria do not protect you from harmful bacteria either.

Caveman's diet was high in protein, vegetables and fruit. It had little sugar, starch or grains. This creates the correct balance of bacteria in the intestines. The typical western diet is high in grains, sugar and starch and low in fruits and vegetables that is conducive to the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

All grains (wheat, corn, rice, etc.) contain a lot of starch. They are also high in omega 6 fatty acids and low in omega 3 fatty acid. This combination makes all grains, even whole grains, pro-inflammatory. Inflammation is a factor in all of our chronic diseases including Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Caveman's diet is anti-inflammatory.

The fat in this study will help feed and heal the cell wall of the intestines. That alone may be what reduced the symptoms of Crohn's Disease. The coconut oil or cocoa butter did change the proportions of the types of bacteria in the intestines. That may have allow for the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Just through competition for food, it may have killed off pathogenic bacteria that were contributing to the Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis. It could be both.

The big picture is eliminating sugar and starch from your diet will reduce the symptoms of Crohn's Disease or ulcerative colitis. Seeking help from a knowledgable healthcare practitioner to reestablish the normal balance of bacteria in the intestines will most likely be needed as well.

Please feel free to share the health with your friends and family.

I endorse no products.

The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided is not a substitute for medical counseling. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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