January is thyroid awareness month and at NFC our physicians work to educate our patients and the community on this and many other health related topics. This month we have two free informative health talks. Dr. Psenka will be educating us on Natural Ways to Boost the Immune System on Wednesday, January 13th and Dr. Orona will be helping you in Understanding Your Thyroid on Tuesday, January 26th.
This month we have 3 articles from our NFC docs :
Dr Jonathan Psenka, NMD - Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors
Dr. Ross Kerievsky, DC, NMD - Incentives for Losing Weight
Dr. Raushanah Najeeullah, NMD - A New Year's Cleansing
Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors
Dr. Jonathan Psenka, NMD
The incidence of thyroid cancer has been rapidly growing in the US over the past few decades. There are now roughly 25,690 new cases diagnosed every year, with a female to male ratio of close to 3:1. For a long time there has been an established association between radiation exposure and thyroid cancer risk. The thyroid gland of children is especially vulnerable to the carcinogenic action of ionizing radiation. Thus, the incidence of thyroid cancer in children in the Belarus area (think Chernobyl) was less than 1 case per million per year before the Chernobyl accident, increasing to a peak exceeding 100 per million per year in certain areas after the accident.
Recently, a new study was published which identified several new potential risk factors for thyroid cancer. This study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, assessed thyroid cancer risk among 90,713 radiologic technicians in the US between 1983 and 2006. This study found that benign thyroid conditions, benign breast disease, asthma, and elevated body mass index were all associated with increased risk for thyroid cancer. Considering the results of this study, it’s possible that the benign conditions listed really aren’t that benign at all.
Conditions such as Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s, and thyroiditis are all examples of benign thyroid disorders. Fibrocystic breast disease is a good example of something considered to be a benign breast condition. Both these types of conditions are routinely seen, and treated, by Naturopathic physicians. From a thyroid cancer-prevention standpoint it would seem that treating the potential causes of these diseases would be more important than treating only the symptoms. By addressing the cause of disease it may be possible to decrease both the severity of disease itself, and any additional risks that occur as a result of carrying the diagnosis. This hypothesis would also carry over to the increased risk observed with asthma; eliminate the allergy altogether and maybe risk levels fall as well.
Increased body mass index, aka. being overweight, is well established as a risk factor for many diseases. It is not just the fact that carrying extra pounds increases risk for disease, but also that those who are overweight tend to be less physically engaged. Over the past 8 years I have been practicing integrative oncology at NFC I have rarely seen any treatments with as much potential to positively effect a person’s outcomes at regular physical activity. Unfortunately, increasing physical activity levels and maintaining a regular exercise regime is not an easy thing to do. Fortunately, it seems like the more articles like the aforementioned one that are published, the more our society begins to realize the importance of living healthy and happy lives as a way to prevent disease.
PS- and for those of you I see with thyroid cancer, I’ll see you at the gym!
New Year, New Goals:
Incentives for losing weight and guidelines for exercise
Welcome to 2010! This time of year is the time I see many new and established patients return to the clinic with the goal of losing weight. There are many questions I hear from patients regarding what they should eat, supplements to take and how much exercise they should be doing. All of these questions are very reasonable and require individual assessments to make a medical weight loss program effective and long lasting. A common question I hear from patients is how much exercise is recommended for weight loss?
The American College of Sports Medicine released guidelines for appropriate physical activity for adults in 2009. These new guidelines were release because up to 66% of Americans are either overweight or obese. The new guidelines recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent gaining weight. Greater weight loss is seen when adults perform 250-300 minutes of exercise per week or more. I typically recommend patients perform physical activity one hour a day for 5 days during the week combined with a specific diet and nutrition guidelines. This can be modified for an individual and I recommend that you have a physical examination and appropriate workup before starting any exercise program.
Also, interesting incentives that seem to be gaining ground are websites such as www.healthywage.com. This site will pay you to lose weight! Other possible incentives include deductions on premiums and incentives depending on your insurance and employer group benefits.
This is a great time of year to have a wellness screening physical and to discuss your personal health goals with me. For more information, please schedule an appointment with Dr Ross Kerievsky at 602-493-2273.
A New Year's Cleansing
Dr. Raushanah Najeeullah, NMD
It’s the start of a new year and the perfect opportunity to make some healthy changes. I personally like to start the new year off with a cleanse or detoxification protocol. It works like a ‘spring cleaning’ of sorts to get your healthy new year off to a great start.
It is important to know there is a difference between a cleanse and detoxification. Which one you need depends on your own individual circumstances.
A cleanse is defined by Webster as to rid of impurities by or as if by washing while detoxification is defined as to remove a poison or toxin or the effect if such. So, you can do a cleanse without detoxing, but you cannot (should not) do a detox without cleansing.A ready example of this is a laxative can be used to cleanse, but a proper detoxification protocol would involve more treatments such as hydrotherapy, dietary modification with rid your GI system of impurities and toxins we all accumulate over time.
There are other modes of detoxification that should only be performed under medical supervision. These methods are usually applied to more serious cases of toxicity:
Depuration This technique is used to cleanse or purify or become cleansed or purified. It is similar to detoxification but cleanses at the deeper organ level. It involves freeing of toxins from fat stores with the use of sauna therapy as well as colon hydrotherapy to assist in flushing out toxins.
Chelation This treatment is used for patients with toxic heavy metal burdens on their body. It works by pulling metals or physiological substance (solvents, plaque buildup) from visceral structures like arteries and vital organs. Some metals removed with chelation are mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead.Again, the appropriate cleanse for your individual situation should be discussed with a health care provider skilled in applying these therapies.