Friday, July 30, 2010

AUGUST - Pain Awareness Month at NFC

Pain is something we are all very familiar with, some obviously much more than others, but pain is a daily reality for far too many of you and your loved ones. Pain is also major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person's quality of life and general daily functioning.

Naturopathic Family Care and our physicians provide several options for pain relief and management ranging from nutritional support, massage, acupuncture and prolotherapy. This is not to say that traditional pain relievers are not utilized however, just as with any other Naturopathic approach to health care, the goal is to help the body heal itself so that surgical options and medications are not necessary.

If you would like to learn more about natural options to pain management please join us for a FREE informational discussion on The Natural Approach to Freedom from Pain hosted by Dr. Marie August 19th at NFC.

Problems in Pain Management
Dr. Marie Niechwiadowicz

My biggest problem in my experience in treating injuries, chronic pain, acute pain, headaches, fibromyalgia through a variety of modalities, is that I rarely see my patients more than 3 times. Maybe 6 visits on the outside. Sigh. I like my patients. I miss them. . .

The 30 yo boxer with a medial meniscus tear that recovered after three prolotherapy injections.

The 70 yo laborer who can now get his arms above his head after three prolotherapy treatments.

The 42 yo martial artist with heel pain that improved after platlet rich prolotherapy.

The 75yo woman who got to cancel her hip replacement surgery after a progenitor cell injection.

The 24 yo fibromyalgia patient who no longer needs her handicap plates after acupuncture treatments.

The 45 yo classical guitarist that no longer has rheumatoid Arthritis after IV therapy and low dose naltrexone.

The list goes on. The list is long. I fear the front desk staff no longer likes me because there is constant new patient paper work and more and more charts to file. Follow up phone calls are something like this: “Is this (insert patient name)? No? She doing a triathalon? Well if she has any new concerns please have her call the office.” Maybe I could have a prolotherapy reunion. But who goes to the doctor when they are well? Maybe I should go back to treating professional athletes as they are prone to injure themselves multiple times.

And it is not placebo effect – I’ve seen pre and post treatment MRI’s that show regrowth of articular cartilage of the knee, healed rotator cuff tendons and repaired ACL tears.

The “prolo” in prolotherapy means proliferation. This injection therapy helps structures regrow becoming stronger and pain free. Even after the last treatment the healing effects of prolotherapy continue.

In some cases platelet rich prolotherapy is a better choice. New technology has made this more affordable and accessible to patients. Your blood is drawn and spun down to the platelets to concentrate your growth factors. This is particularly helpful for structures with very little blood supply (like a meniscus) or more severe injuries. This is similar to surgeries where a blood clot is sewn into a meniscus or labrum to create the regrowth.

I am very excited to be able to offer progenitor cells injections for more severe degenerative conditions. Progenitor cells are cells grown in a lab and differentiated to regrow bone, nerve, connective tissue etc. Orthopedic surgeons frequently paint the tibial plateau and patella after knee surgery with progenitor cells differentiated to regrow bone.

Maybe I should call my treatments “Non-surgical orthopedics?”

What you can expect in your treatment plan is an initial evaluation of your pain including any imaging. It is always helpful to bring any imaging you have. If you are a candidate, you will receive 3 treatments in two weeks. Usually the first treatment is on the first visit. The treatment is an injection of a customized prolotherapy solution into the affected area. After the third we will take two weeks off and you will be re-evaluated. You may need a second round of injections if the injury is more severe.

Then your pain is gone and you never call, you never write. At least wave as you are blowing past me up Camelback Mountain.

Dr. Marie Niechwiadowicz

Frequency Specific Microcurrent
Marianne Marchese, ND

Microcurrent is a physical therapy modality that has been in use for over 16 years. Microcurrent is measured in millionths of an amp so you do not feel the current. By comparison, a TENS unit and most other electrotherapies produce milliamps, 1000 times greater. Your body seems to use the Microcurrent energy to increase its own energy production. Microcurrent increases the production of ATP, your own chemical energy, by up to 500%. It also increases protein synthesis and waste product removal.

Microcurrent applied to tissues supports the natural current flow in the tissue, allowing cells in the area to regain their capacitance. Trauma, injury, and illness affects the electrical potential of the damaged tissue.

Microcurrent is used for?

Myofacial pain (fibromyalgia)
Inflammation and Spasms
Muscle and joint pain
Neuropathy, numbness, tingling
Ovarian cysts
Multiple sclerosis
Many others……….

Tourette Syndrome:
A Holistic Approach from a Naturopath with the Disorder
Dr. Phranq Tamburri, NMD

Although my focus is primarily prostate cancer assessments, on occasion I receive a patient with Tourette Syndrome due to my lifelong experience with it. Tourette's is a syndrome. A syndrome, by definition, means that the defined condition (Tourette's, carpal tunnel, adrenal fatigue, ADHD, etc.) is defined by having a specified number of qualifying symptoms. There may be numerous signs or symptoms associated with a particular syndrome however a patient need only to present with a set number to receive the diagnosis. Tourette's has many but most notably include vocal and / or motor tics, ADHD, hyperactivity, obsessive compulsive disorder, and in more acute forms, coprolalia (uncontrollable swearing). It presents in childhood, worsens during puberty, then often calms down in later life. For adult patients with mild to moderate forms, they tend to accommodate to it fine. The problem however is first diagnosed when a child. Without prior experience to the syndrome, it is typically a very unsuspecting shock by parents to suddenly see their child act in such abnormal ways. In addition, the child is unaware of these suddenly developing impulses and inexperienced with methods of handling the situation, especially in public.

Approaching the Condition:
I have yet to find a cure for this condition. The TSA (Tourette Syndrome Association) has spent decades with research however the medical 'smoking gun' is still elusive. There seems overall to be a hardwired dysfunction in brain chemistry (likely linked to dopamine) that cannot be changed. However it may be modified and affected in various ways. Some have suggested that a virus or a bad streptococcus infection as a baby may have caused permanent damage to this specific region of the brain. There are numerous neurological medications that can be tried, from Haldol (an anti-psychotic), SSRI's like Prozac, to even nicotine patches, yet they each carry significant side effect profiles and seriously question their use when the Tourrete Syndrome eventually becomes part of ones 'normal' life.

The most difficult time is at early diagnosis disorder. Concerned parents are often startled and wish the best for their child to rid them of this condition that they almost always wade into the realm of neurological drugs. It has been my personal and clinical experience that every case of such drug usage concluded with the parents eventually succumbing and removing these drugs, often with regret due to the significant negative behavior changes or low immunity in their child. Despite the presentation of the disorder with children (physical tics, grunting, etc.,), my best overall advice is that, unless the child is deeply affected, you really only need to treat the parents! Tics can look quite serious and alarming... and embarrassing. This however is mostly from the point of view of the average person, again especially the parents. Believe it or not, aside from the Syndrome being occasionally annoying, many to most Tourrette individuals are just fine as I stated before.

Tourrete Advantages?:
Years ago I had the pleasure to have met Dr. Bill Mitchel, a highly respected national naturopath. We discussed Tourrette Syndrome over dinner once where he personally noted from his own practice how Tourettes patients tended to be overly quick thinking, deeply knowledgeable (great mental retention) and creative. He thought it was from the brain constantly racing for their entire lifetime, where it is hard to 'shut off'.

Although I cannot objectively comment on the former observation, I can personally attest to the latter. My mind seemed to constantly race compared to my peers growing up. If I did not consistently have some form of intelligent mental stimulation to concentrate and divert my attention then my tics would worsen. There is a feeling of 'tripping over ones mind' that seems to lead to tics. As a result growing up, starting even at age 7, I would constantly read newspapers, listen to talk radio, ask (too) many questions of teachers, listen to adults talk over dinner, and stay up late to watch evening news programs. Video games, 'studying' complex music on headphones, art, acting, and numerous other creative endeavors were common not only incessantly pursued by myself but observed in other children wrestling with coping mechanisms for the disorder. So I believe what physicians like Dr. Mitchell eventually observed in older Tourette patients was the cumulative result of a lifelong pattern of tic diversion through ongoing mental stimulation.

Some negative side effects of this mental activity can be irregular speech patterns, quick talking, and switching topics quickly. It also can manifests in insomnia if one does not calm the mind nightly. However it is advised to focus upon the positive side effects not only for their self esteem but to keep the child (and parents) attitude of the Syndrome from being 'learning disabled' but instead to be empowered by it.

Treatment Strategies:
Join an intense sport like track, biking, rock climbing, or swimming that saps the tic energy and allows amelioration during such exercise. Martial arts or boxing are personal favorites since it further boosts ones self confidence that they will need through life, especially going through puberty. Other good focused activities that are non-athletic include playing musical instruments, painting, Internet surfing and especially video games.

Some doctors have had some success with the amino acid L-Glycine that cuts down anxiety pressured tics. Some have experimented with the powerful herb Rauwolfia since along with dropping blood pressure it reduces dopamine levels (one hypothesized culprit for these tics). Neurotransmitter testing (available at this office) is a great place to start when either newly diagnosed or after long term treatment from conventional neuropathic drugs. Overall diet is important. Ensure the patient is off stimulants and caffeine. As incredible as it sounds, one teenager saw me for worsening tics when his neurologist couldn't help. After a long intake I found he drank 3-4 Red Bulls/ day! His MD never asked him nor told him the effects of caffeine. Some patients have found allergy testing helpful. If the tics are very physical and hard on the muscles then consider massage, especially for headaches after long days of tic outbursts or even from 'holding them in'. If there are strong vocal outbursts then consider meditation and/ or hypnosis techniques to help control them. Vocal tics are the hardest to control but tend to lessen after the hormonal storm of puberty. Remember however that the MORE pressure society, and especially parents, put onto the individual to be 'normal', the greater the anxiety and hence the tics. Don't allow that pattern.

Phranq D. Tamburri, NMD

(Dr. Tamburri is available by special appointment to consult or present on Tourette Syndrome. Please contact the office manager for details.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

July News!!!

In this edition of the NFC newsletter Dr. Orona, Dr. Psenka and Dr. DiCampli all give us wonderful information to help us protect our children's health and safety this summer. Also, Dr. Kerivesky outlines some of the lesser known applications of chiropractic care.

Don't miss out our free lectures this summer! You are cordially invited to attend these presentations which are hosted by the doctors of NFC, and always provide great information. This summer we have several lectures scheduled that are free for everyone to attend.

IN JULY. . .

Hot Flashes, and Sweats, and Dryness, Oh My!
with Dr. Marianne Marchese, NMD

Should You Care About Your Air?

with Dr. Jonathan Psenka, NMD


Easy Anxiety Reduction & Calming Techniques

with Laurel Cozzuli

Are you putting your child at risk for ADHD?
by Dr. Jesika DiCampli

You may be, if your child is being exposed to pesticides. My neighbor always says “Whats the difference? Pesticides don’t matter.” A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics may have FINALLY solidified that YES, it does make a difference; and it absolutely matters for your children’s neural development.

In the USA, 40 pesticides for food, drinking water and residential use are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, food is the major source of pesticide exposure in children...and our children are more sensitive to exposure than we are!

Why are children at a greater risk than adults? A child’s brain is more susceptible to toxicity and their still developing organ systems are less able to process chemicals. Also, the concentration of pesticide levels in comparison to body weight is greater for children. AAP’s study looked at over 1,100 children aged 8-15 and tested urine pesticide levels.

THE RESULTS: More than 93% of children had at least 1 detectable level of pesticides...the majority of the tested children!! There was a 55%-72% increase in odds of developing ADHD for a 10-fold increase in DMAP (dimethyl alkylphosphate) concentration.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??: Exposure to pesticides has shown adverse effects in the brain development of children...and this is with average exposure!!!

Eating organic, supplementing appropriately, and protecting against toxicity are the foundation of a happy, healthy child. See Dr. DiCampli to learn how to help decrease your child’s risk of ADHD.

Exercise as Medicine
by Dr. Jake Psenka

Did anyone happen to see Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s recent announcement concerning her plans to improve and promote health in the US? Her idea was to improve health in the US by promoting healthy dietary choices and encouraging regular physical activity. I think we should applaud Dr. Benjamin’s efforts in promoting healthy lifestyle choices as a way to combat our dismal health as a nation. It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this newsletter that the most common diseases in the US are directly related to poor lifestyle choices. Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are all diseases in which unhealthy lifestyle choices are established risk factors. One point I found especially concerning in Dr. Benjamin’s speech was the mention of a study investigating the relationship between obese 3-year olds and their risk of future heart disease. THREE YEAR OLDS! It turns out that being obese, even at this young age, puts the body into an inflammatory state. It is this inflammation that disrupts the normal functioning of the body, and promotes the development of conditions such as heart disease.

As a rule, I try to stay off my soapbox when writing pieces for the NFC newsletter. However, I’m going to climb up onto it for a second. Why is it that we award good behavior in kids with sweet treats? How many times have we heard someone say “if you’re a good boy then you can have some candy, little Johnny?” Candy, soda, Pringles, Cheetos, French fries; yeah, they taste good, but do we really want to send the message that being good means you get to eat like crap? Granted, trying to get a kid to behave with the promise of raisins can be a tough sell, but there are other options out there. If you’re looking for idea you might consider some of the newer children’s multivitamins. They look like candy and they taste like candy. If you don’t believe me ask for a sample the next time you are in the office. There is some sugar in these products, but nowhere near the amount found in a Bit ‘O Honey. Also, there is no saturated fat, but omega-3 fatty acids, you know, fish oil. Think about it. Taking one foot off the soapbox now.

Dr. Benjamin is asking for the involvement of physicians and the public alike in promoting the idea that exercise is medicine. In fact, that is the name of her new program, Exercise Is Medicine. I joined as a physician member because I completely believe that regular exercise is an integral part of health- both physical and mental. Take a few minutes to look at the Exercise Is Medicine website, it contains a lot of good information Another reason that I liked the Surgeon General’s announcement is because in promoting responsible dietary and exercise participation, she is promoting alternative medicine. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a department of the National Institutes of Health, classifies both diet and exercise as Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). Another interesting fact is that Harvard University’s Department of Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies defines CAM as “those practices explicitly used for medical intervention, health promotion, or disease prevention which are not routinely taught at United States medical schools, nor routinely underwritten by third party payers within the existing United States health care system."

This begs the question, if diet and exercise are classified as CAM therapies by the Government, and CAM therapies are not routinely taught at conventional medical schools in the US, do you think that the average conventional physician can give you quality advice about these things? On the other hand, Naturopathic doctors are well trained in both diet and exercise therapies. Additionally, Naturopathic doctors are the undisputed experts in promoting preventative medicine. It’s like the bottle of herbal medicine that states “Talk to your doctor before taking this product.” It might better be stated “talk to a qualified doctor before taking this product.” Ok, now both feet are on the ground.

Like the Surgeon General I would like to encourage you to become an active participant in your own health. If you are unsure about the best ways to begin a healthy lifestyle program please consider the doctors of Naturopathic Family Care and Longevity Medical Health Center a resource. All of our physicians have been trained in the use of programs that make adopting healthy lifestyles achievable for everyone. I invite you to make 2010 the year you incorporate health into your life and the lives of your loved ones. Together we can help fight chronic disease and set healthy examples for our children.

Can Managing Chronic Hypertension be helped by Chiropractic and Naturopathic Medicine?
by Ross Kerievsky DC ND

Approximately 60 million US adults are estimated to have hypertension. It is an extremely common condition that can lead to deadly outcomes if left untreated including stroke, heart attack, kidney disease, etc. A recent study in 2007 shed some interesting light on the possibility of how chiropractic care could possibly help someone with hypertension. A pilot study in the May 2007 Journal of Human Hypertension showed that chiropractic manipulation could lower elevated blood pressure readings without the use of medication. The chiropractic manipulation was performed on the upper cervical area and had lasting effects. This study sheds some light that it is possible some people have hypertension due to neurovascular compression of the brainstem and that manipulation of the upper cervical area may help to relieve this pressure.

The other key factors, besides the use of medication, that can help control chronic hypertension are nutritional and lifestyle interventions. I am a strong proponent of utilizing supplemented diet guidelines with my patients to include treatments for targeted weight loss. The use of certain supplements can also help patients such as the use of coenzyme Q10, Vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin C, L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine.

A tailored program that combines proper testing, medication, lifestyle, nutrition and chiropractic can help when dealing with this very common condition. These programs can also be very helpful for patients that have pre-hypertension. This is where your blood pressure readings are slightly high and can be a warning sign for developing higher numbers if it is not addressed.

Please feel free to schedule an appointment with me to help develop an individualized plan for you or your family member.

Don’t Bug Me (Guide to Avoiding and Treating Bug Bites)
by Dr. Orona

Some Natural, Non-toxic Ideas to Help Keep Your Family from Getting Bug Bites This Summer:

1 .
Wear white or light colors during the daytime, as dark clothing during daylight hours actually attracts bugs. According to one report, mosquitoes are more attracted to blue and green so try to wear more yellows, reds and oranges.
Mosquitoes identify their targets by sight, heat and smell. Avoid physically active movement (exercise, ball games, yard work, etc.) during peak mosquito hours to keep them from noticing you from a distance. Peak mosquito times tend to be right around dusk and dawn. Reduce outside lights in the evening hours (use yellow bulbs, if possible).
Mosquitoes are attracted to perspiration, heat, and carbon dioxide. All of these are produced after exercising, so avoid outdoor exercise during peak mosquito hours (at dawn and dusk). You can also attract the insects to another carbon dioxide source such as a candle or camp fire so they are less attracted to you.
Our bodies also release lactic acid after eating certain foods. Foods commonly believed to attract mosquitoes include bananas (or other potassium-rich food items) and salty foods.
Avoid perfumes when outside. Using hand creams and lotions with a sweet scent can also increase your risk of attracting mosquitoes, so go for the unscented varieties during mosquito season. Try using unscented soaps when showering, too. Even though they’re rinsed off, the scent remains on your skin and attracts bugs.
Be sure to wear long sleeves and long pants when outdoors at dusk, or in areas with an especially high concentration of mosquitoes (woods, swamps, hiking trails). Keeping a barrier between yourself and mosquitoes is a simple and natural way to avoid bites. And use screens in all your home’s doors and windows during summer months.
Planting marigolds, scented geraniums (rub the leaves on your skin, too), rosemary, catnip, peppermint, spearmint, daisies, verbena, spike lavender (not the sweet French variety), basil, thyme, garlic, allspice, cedar, and lemon grass around the yard naturally repels insects. Decorating with eucalyptus is also thought to be helpful. You can make your own insect-repelling sachets by drying the flowers and leaves from the above plants and placing them into small, hand-sewn cotton bags.
The first step in avoiding the bite is to eliminate the local mosquito population at its source. Eliminate their breeding grounds. Mosquitoes use stagnant water for breeding, so drain any collections of stagnant water found in your yard, neighborhood or workplace.
Apply bug-fighting oils topically to the skin. These oils include rosemary, lemongrass, citronella, lavender, etc. Researchers at Iowa State University found nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Natural repellents should be applied about every 2 hours to be most effective. You can make your own herbal repellents, but there are several different brands currently on the market. Additionally, keep in mind that repellents containing multiple repellents tend to be more effective than those containing a single ingredient because of the differences between insects. I have used Burt’s Bees Herbal Insect Repellent and have been very pleased with its effectiveness. Use lavender sachet bags to help repel bugs.
1 0 .
When preparing for a trip into an insect-dense environment, start taking homeopathic Ledum palustre 6C one day before your trip. Continue the dosage throughout the trip to help lessen your body’s reaction when a bite occurs. Ledum will not prevent bites, therefore repellents should still be applied. However, it will help start the healing process immediately and reduce swelling and itching.

Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies to Treat Insect Bites:

Apis mellifica 6C or 30C (use 200C if prescribed by your doctor): bee stings, wasps, mosquitos, bed bugs, fleas

Tarentula cubensis 6C: spider bites

Urtica urens 6C and Histaminum 30C: chiggers and jelly fish stings

Remove the stinger if this applies.

Apply an ice pack to the bite.

Mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste and apply to the bite.

Boiron’s Bitecare: A soothing, non-sticky gel that is absorbed quickly by the skin. It contains homeopathic remedies to help heal and relieve inflammation, pain, and itching.

Burt’s Bees Bug Bite Relief: Made with an all-natural blend of essential oils, this balm which comes in a lip balm-like applicator, is very easy to use and quickly soothes pesky bug bites. Camphor and menthol relieve pain and itching, while lemongrass, thyme, lavender and orange oils reduce discomfort. Apply directly to your bite or sting, rubbing gently, and reapply as needed.

When to Seek Medical Care

● Redness with or without pus, warmth, fever, or a red streak that spreads toward the body
● Open wound, which may suggest a poisonous spider bite
● Wheezing
● Shortness of breath
● Chest tightness or pain
● Sensation of the throat closing, difficulty speaking, or difficulty swallowing
● Faintness or weakness
● Infection