The ankles provide an essential role in total body function. They work as a complex system within the feet to carry the body’s weight and support movement. Any imbalance can cause ankle instability that can cause other areas of the body to go out of balance. This is most often caused by an injury, like an ankle sprain. If not properly addressed, it can lead to chronic instability and long-term health issues throughout the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic treatment can rehabilitate ankle injuries, strengthen the muscles to prevent instability.
The entire body is an extensive, complicated, and interconnected system. Every part influences the next as individuals go about their everyday routines. Imbalances can occur in the spine, hips, legs, and knees, leading to limping, ankle pain, or injury. The most common causes of ankle instability include:
Poor foot or ankle mechanics
Knee or hip imbalances
Chronic inflammation from illness or injury.
Finding The Imbalances
Understanding where the imbalances are and systematically addressing them is the recommended course of action. If an ankle injury is present, local symptoms and dysfunction need to be addressed. However, it is important to assess other body areas to ensure any other dysfunctions are also addressed. This prevents unnecessary re-injury, aggravation, and other problems.
One or more treatment options will be utilized for proper recovery when dealing with ankle instability.
Joint adjustments of the lower body and spine to support nerve and blood circulation.
Chiropractic is recommended for determining any body imbalances that need to be addressed with high-quality research-based care and can expedite the recovery process.
Compression Garments and Socks
These were only used to treat individuals with circulatory problems but are now available to the public. Recovery is about giving the body a chance to relax, recuperate, and recover from swelling, with the objective to resume physical activity. Compression garments come in shirts, pants, sleeves, and socks. The garments and socks are used for quicker recovery time, improved circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles, and to reduce lactic acid build-up.
Anguish, Ben, and Michelle A Sandrey. “Two 4-Week Balance-Training Programs for Chronic Ankle Instability.” Journal of athletic training vol. 53,7 (2018): 662-671. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-555-16
Czajka, Cory M et al. “Ankle sprains and instability.” The Medical clinics of North America vol. 98,2 (2014): 313-29. doi:10.1016/j.mcna.2013.11.003
Gribble, Phillip A. “Evaluating and Differentiating Ankle Instability.” Journal of athletic training vol. 54,6 (2019): 617-627. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-484-17
Lubbe, Danella et al. “Manipulative therapy and rehabilitation for recurrent ankle sprain with functional instability: a short-term, assessor-blind, parallel-group randomized trial.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 38,1 (2015): 22-34. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.10.001
Chiropractic Reset: Traveling is not an easy adjustment as it disrupts the body’s internal clock. When flying even just 3 hours, the body can start to experience symptoms like:
Joint and muscle pain
Not only is the flight a physical challenge, but so are the long lines, backed-up traffic, lost luggage, etc. All take a toll on the mind and body; a chiropractic reset can help restore the body’s balance and energy levels.
Jet lag happens when the brain region known as the hypothalamus or center that controls sleep cycles, appetite, and temperature conflicts with travel changes. A survey from international flight attendants found that despite being used to long air travel:
90% had fatigue over the first five days.
94% had a lack of energy/motivation.
93% had broken sleep.
70% had ear, nose, or throat issues.
Scientists have estimated that it takes a full day to recover for every hour of time difference. The direction traveled can affect how intense the symptoms are since it’s easier for the body to delay its internal clock than speed it up. Traveling east is more difficult on the body compared to traveling west.
Ways To Limit The Effects
Get a thorough physical workout the day before you fly.
It doesn’t matter; it can be an hour on an elliptical machine, a mile jog, or a vigorous swim.
The objective is to get the lymph system moving to help prevent edema in the legs, hands and flush toxins from the body.
Take a Walk Every Hour
Try and get up at least once an hour for long trips and every half hour for shorter ones.
Melatonin is dependent on the amount of light the body is exposed to.
When there’s light, melatonin release is stopped.
When dark, melatonin release is stimulated.
It is recommended not to take melatonin before leaving, or it will make the jet lag worse.
Wait until landing in the new time zone to supplement one hour before regular sleep time at the new location.
Continue for three nights or until the body has adjusted.
Pycnogenol has been studied for its effect of reducing jet lag symptoms.
It reduces cerebral and joint swelling, which leads to fewer short-term memory problems, fatigue, and cardiac issues.
It has been shown to decrease deep vein thrombosis and superficial vein thrombosis, typical side effects of long flights.
Recommendations are to take three times a day for up to five days maximum of seven days after landing.
Chiropractic reset adjustments the day before and especially after the flight can restore balance to the nervous system and the body. This will help reset sleeping and waking patterns after the stress of flying.
Metabolic syndrome is a name for a set of symptoms and conditions that revolve around cardiovascular health.
Obesity and a high amount of visceral fat are significant risk factors for being diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.
Body composition analysis can be thought of as a tool for understanding the approach to preventing the onset of metabolic syndrome. Knowing how to identify the risks can support individuals in making informed decisions on their healthcare journey.
Belcaro, G et al. “Jet-lag: prevention with Pycnogenol. Preliminary report: evaluation in healthy individuals and hypertensive patients.” Minerva cardioangiologica vol. 56,5 Suppl (2008): 3-9.
Janse van Rensburg, Dina C Christa et al. “How to manage travel fatigue and jet lag in athletes? A systematic review of interventions.” British journal of sports medicine vol. 54,16 (2020): 960-968. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2019-101635
Straub, WF et al. “The effect of chiropractic care on jet lag of Finnish junior elite athletes.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 24,3 (2001): 191-8.
Zerón-Rugerio, María Fernanda et al. “Eating Jet Lag: A Marker of the Variability in Meal Timing and Its Association with Body Mass Index.” Nutrients vol. 11,12 2980. 6 Dec. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11122980
Changing positions and posture. Individuals who have to sit at a desk, workstation, or cubicle for most of the day increase their risk of back pain, contributing to other health issues. GetAmericaStanding.org reports the average adult sits for ten hours or more a day. Prolonged sitting at home and work without movement, physical activity, exercise can lead to issues like:
Long periods of inactivity are associated with increased mortality as sedentariness causes the same damage related to smoking and obesity. It can be challenging to find ways to remain active while sitting at work; this is where changing positions and posture, also known as dynamic sitting throughout the day, can help.
Changing Positions and Posture Throughout the Day
Constantly sitting in a chair means the body remains static, causing blood and energy circulation to slow down, stressing the body’s muscles. Changing the body’s positions regularly along with short periods of activity like standing up, walking around while on the phone, and stretching helps to work out the muscles and keep circulation at optimal levels.
The Importance of Changing Positions and Posture
The body was meant to move and requires movement to stay healthy.
Staying in one position for too long can lead to loss of core strength from the abdominal musculature becoming deconditioned. Muscle deconditioning leads to weakness and tightness. The imbalance affects the spinal support system leading to back, hip, and leg pain. Moving around and doing quick mini-workouts can help strengthen the body, increase core strength, improve posture, burn calories and prevent pain and injury.
According to a 2018 study, researchers found improvements in cardiometabolic health among individuals that would stand up, sit less, and move more. Ways to adjust the work or home office to make changing positions and posture easier include.
Sit-stand desks can be raised and lowered throughout the day to change position regularly.
Treadmill desks are actual treadmills that are fitted with a desk so individuals can work and walk simultaneously.
These small changes and adjustments can make a big difference when experiencing body pain from too much sedentariness. However, it is crucial to know if other issues are causing the health problem/s. If back or any pain is associated with any of the following, consult a medical professional.
Trauma from an accident or injury.
Weakness in the legs.
Unexplained weight loss.
Overflow urinary incontinence is when the bladder fills up and empties without feeling the need to urinate.
How to Read Blood Pressure Measurements
An individual’s blood pressure includes:
Systolic Blood Pressure
This is the first or top number listed on a blood pressure reading and is the measurement of the pressure that the blood exerts against the walls of the arteries.
A normal systolic reading should be less than 120 mm Hg.
Diastolic Blood Pressure
This is the second number that measures the force of the blood against the artery walls when the heart is resting between beats.
A normal diastolic reading is less than 80 mm Hg.
The pulse is the number of beats per minute the heart is beating.
A normal adult pulse is between 60 to 100 beats per minute.
When checking blood pressure, a doctor will read out a vital sign in the normal range of 120/80 mmHg or below. Anything above that could be an indication of an underlying health condition.
“Ergonomics for Prolonged Sitting.” The University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA. https://www.uclahealth.org/spinecenter/ergonomics-prolonged-sitting
“Workplace sitting is associated with self-reported general health and back/neck pain: a cross-sectional analysis in 44,978 employees.” BMC Public Health, London, UK. May 2021. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33957889/
“Active Sitting Guide: 6 Reasons To Really Consider It.” The Ergonomics Health Association. (n.d.) https://ergonomicshealth.com/active-sitting-guide/
“Cardiometabolic Impact of Changing Sitting, Standing, and Stepping in the Workplace.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Indianapolis, IN. March 2018. https://oce.ovid.com/article/00005768-201803000-00015/HTML
“Reducing occupational sitting time and improving worker health: the Take-a-Stand Project, 2011.” Preventing Chronic Disease, Atlanta, GA. 2012.
“Office exercise: Add more activity to your day.” The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. October 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/office-exercise/art-20047394
“The Tools: Put an End to Your Sedentary Lifestyle.” Ergotron, St. Paul, MN. (n.d.). https://www.juststand.org/the-tools/
Trying to fit exercise into a busy day can be a struggle to find a 30–45-minute window. However, research has found that mini workouts and accumulated exercises over the day are as effective as one complete session. Studies show that short workout sessions take the place of one long workout by breaking up the routine into several small ones and are just as effective.
The benefits of short, multiple exercise sessions are that they provide increased flexibility in an individual’s daily schedule, allowing them to focus on their health while navigating family, work, and other obligations. Performing mini-workouts throughout the day makes it easier to stay committed to an exercise program, experience the benefits, and achieve their health goals.
Increase Brain Health and Mood
Shorter duration workouts save time, allow multiple forms of exercise into a single day, and improve neurological, physical, and psychological benefits.
Performing an exercise as short as 3–5 minutes throughout the day can benefit the brain and mood.
Lower Blood Pressure
A study compared the effects of short aerobic exercise sessions and continuous exercise on 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure.
The study found that doing three 10-minute walks during the day morning, midday, and late afternoon lowered blood pressure more than doing one 30-minute walk in prehypertensive individuals.
Easier to Exercise
Performing high-intensity workouts for a long time is not easy, even for seasoned athletes.
This is why mini workout sessions appeal to fitness fans of all levels.
Decreasing the time allows the individual to exercise at higher intensities.
Reduce the Stress of Working Out
Incorporating shorter workouts can reduce the stress or fear that individuals have towards working out.
When looking at fitness from this perspective, shortened workouts naturally become a part of the day that helps relieve stress.
Achieve Fitness Goals
Shorter workouts allow individuals with busy schedules to focus on what they can perform in controlled sessions throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed by committing to an entire workout session.
Mini workouts are easy to schedule, more sustainable to perform, and easier to commit to long-term.
They allow for more focused and intensive exercise, especially when easily distracted.
Plan Ahead and Follow Through
The recommended way to accumulate a balance of strength, cardio, and mobility exercises throughout the day is to set up a plan. Find a routine that is enjoyable and not a chore, then set up the office space, work area, home to accommodate the exercises. For cardiovascular and strengthening benefits, an example of Tabata or HIIT workout.
Two minutes on each exercise with a work-rest ratio of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
Depending on an individual’s fitness level, the work-rest ratio can be modified.
To improve mobility and strength, use weights or resistance bands.
Focus on proper form.
Try shorter workouts for a quick burst of exercise:
Pick two to three exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, bodyweight squats, calf raises, lunges, or planks.
Neuropathy is a painful condition that causes tingling, numbness, burning sensations in the hands and feet, and other symptoms throughout the body. Neuropathy can make life difficult. There is no cure for neuropathy, but symptoms can be managed with medications, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and pain relievers. Another treatment option to help relieve neuropathy symptoms is chiropractic.
Symptoms vary from individual to individual depending on their health condition and how the nerves have been impacted. Common symptoms include:
Pins-and-needles feeling when touching something hot or cold.
Some individuals lose the sense of feeling like clothing on their body, even though it’s rubbing against the skin but feel as if it is not there.
Other changes can be familiar objects looking different than usual.
Lessened or heightened sense of smell.
Negative impact on mood.
Protective Sheathing Of The Nerves
Neuropathic pain is caused by damage and degeneration to the nerves or the protective covering/sheathing of the nerves. Various causes include:
Medication side effects.
Exposure to toxins.
The symptoms of neuropathy depend on the location and severity of the nerve damage. The stages include:
Numbness and Pain
Stage one consists of numbness and pain.
Some individuals describe a tingling or numbing sensation.
What feels like pinpricks in the hands and/or feet.
This stage can last for months, but most individuals recover within a year.
Stage two is characterized by continuous pain.
Some individuals may experience shooting pains that come and go.
Intense burning sensations around the waistline.
Numbness on one side of the body with stabbing pain.
This stage can last for a year or more and worsen until the individual is incapacitated.
Loss of motor skills like walking and falling over.
Doctors treat the symptoms so they don’t get worse.
Loss Of Sensation
The final stage is the loss of sensation.
This occurs when the nerve endings are destroyed and can no longer send messages to the brain.
Treatments To Help Relieve Symptoms
Treatments usually involve:
All can help manage pain and inflammation.
Chiropractic Can Also Help Relieve Symptoms
Chiropractors use hands-on methods to adjust and realign joints, muscles, spinal discs, and ligaments to function more efficiently and bring relief from pressure on the nerves. Neuropathies are often caused by nerve compression in body areas that have been altered by injury or disease that affects ligaments, discs, spinal muscles, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, hip adhesions, leg length discrepancies, etc. These can contribute to pain and numbness in the peripheral nerves that supply the legs, feet, arms, hands, and neck. While a chiropractor cannot cure neuropathy, they can help relieve symptoms, make it much more manageable, and improve quality of life.
The common cold, also known as upper respiratory tract inflammation, is the most common infectious respiratory disease because of its effect on the nose and throat. The average adult will catch 2–3 colds a year, according to the CDC. A virus that causes a cold can enter the respiratory tract directly when inhaling droplets expelled from an infected person or by direct skin contact, like touching the face with a hand that came in contact with the virus. Cold symptoms vary but usually include:
Runny or stuffy nose
The duration of a cold differs; however, most individuals with a healthy immune system recover in 7–10 days. However, individuals with a compromised immune system, asthma, or COPD have an increased risk of developing more serious illnesses like bronchitis or pneumonia. Hundreds of viruses can cause colds. Human Rhinoviruses are common culprits and are constantly mutating, which is why there is no cure. Several medications or natural treatments help alleviate cold symptoms; it is recommended to combat the illness effectively through a healthy immune system response. Doctors recommend proper rest, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and maintaining proper H2O hydration to boost the immune system.
D’Angelo, Kevin et al. “The effectiveness of passive physical modalities for the management of soft tissue injuries and neuropathies of the wrist and hand: a systematic review by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) collaboration.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 38,7 (2015): 493-506. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2015.06.006
Kissel, Jaclyn A, and Cristina Leonardelli. “Isolated musculocutaneous neuropathy: a case report.” The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association vol. 63,3 (2019): 162-170.
Passioti, Maria et al. “The common cold: potential for future prevention or cure.” Current Allergy and asthma reports vol. 14,2 (2014): 413. doi:10.1007/s11882-013-0413-5
T Francio, Vinicius. “Chiropractic care for foot drop due to peroneal nerve neuropathy.” Journal of bodywork and movement therapies vol. 18,2 (2014): 200-3. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.08.004
In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, Health Coach Kenna Vaughn, Truide Torres, Alexander Jimenez, and Astrid Ornelas discuss and focus on a deeper look at understanding metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It is a special day, guys. Today we’re going to be talking about metabolic syndrome. We’re going to be focusing on the sciences and the understanding of what metabolic syndrome is. Today, we’re going to be bringing out some specialists and people from all over the globe in different directions to discuss the topics of metabolic disorders and how it affects people in our local communities. The particular issue that we’re going to be talking about today is metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome affects a whole lot of people now in terms of it to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome; we have to have a couple of disorders situations that present them that are things such as blood sugar issues, high blood pressure, the ability to have triglycerides off high-density lipoproteins and also the measurements of belly fat in our diet. So today, one of the remarkable things that we’re going to be doing is bringing a panel to us to you guys to see what metabolic syndrome is now. Today is a special day because we’re going live on Facebook Live, and we’re presenting the information for the first time. So this is our first go at it, guys. So give us a thumbs up if you feel we did well. If not, let us also know because we’re learning and going through a process to get to our communities and teach them about metabolic disorders. Today, we have Astrid Ornelas, who will be talking about metabolic syndrome and specific dietary nutritional dynamics to help improve it. We also have Kenna Vaughn, which is our coach, that’s going to be discussing how we interact with patients. We also have our patient here, Trudy, a live individual who has had metabolic syndrome. And in the distance, we also have Alexander Jimenez, who’s out at the National Unity, Health Science, and Medical School, to discuss the associated and linked to metabolic disorders to give us detailed information. Detailed insights as to what metabolic syndrome is and how it affects our communities. Now what to be critical about it is, is this is a severe subject matter. It seems kind of that we chose this particular topic because that it’s affecting so many people. So many of my patients that we see today, even though I have a musculoskeletal practice, are directly related to inflammatory disorders. And when we’re dealing with inflammatory issues, we’re going to be dealing with insulin and how it affects the body. Now, as insulin goes in this process, every one of these particular dynamics that we’re going to be discussing and our future podcasts when we deal with metabolic syndrome is directly related to insulin and its effects on the body. So as we go through these dynamics, what we want to do is we want to bring out each point. I can present today Kenna Vaughn; who will be talking about what happens when we offer a patient and what we do when a patient has metabolic disorders? So we’re going to present it to Kenna. Kenna, can you tell us a bit about what happens when a patient presents with metabolic syndrome, what they look for, what we look for, how we assess it, and how we treat the issues?
Kenna Vaughn: I’d love to. So when the patient first comes in, and we see those signs of metabolic syndrome, the patient isn’t always aware because, on their own, these symptoms that make up metabolic syndrome are not necessarily a red flag. However, when we start to see them getting combined, we realize that we need to take control of this right now. So when that patient first comes in, and they’re telling us about the symptoms that they’re having, we start tracking it, and we make a detailed history on them to see if it’s something that has been going on for a long time, if it’s more recent, things like that. And then we’re going to take it from there. And we do more detailed lab work, and then we look at the kind of even their genetics. Genetics is a huge part of it. And we see what diet would best work for them and just make those realistic goals. But we also really want to make sure we give them that education they need to be successful. Education is tremendous, especially when it comes to something that can be as confusing as metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We discuss how we can give our patients take home dynamics and things of value to change the metabolic syndrome once we determine that someone has metabolic issues. Now the whole idea is to create a direct path from the kitchen to genetics. And somehow someway we have to bring science to the kitchen to understand what we can eat and what we can do and how we can avoid certain foods to change the dynamics expressed at our genetic code level. So we’re going to try to give a little bit of broad, you know, expansive understanding of the processes that can take on each of these five particular issues. One at a time. So in terms of, let’s say, the kitchen, how do we help people help themselves in the kitchen, Kenna?
Kenna Vaughn: One thing that we love to do in the kitchen is smoothies. Smoothies are so beneficial because not only are you feeding your body the proper nutrients you need. You can also provide the right nutrients to your cells, which will make the difference inside your body. And you’ll still feel satisfied and full, not going to be something that’s, you know, you’re left hungry like you just ate a little bit of birdseed. So it’s something that I recommend everybody starts with. One great thing to add to those smoothies is going to be flax seeds. So flax seeds are very high in fiber, a good fiber. So if you put those flax seeds into the blender first and blend them up, opening them up, you start adding in your healthy fats like avocados to make your smoothie nice and smooth. And the almond milk, low calorie, and low carb fruits, things like that. It’s going to just unleash a powerhouse inside that gut. So one main thing that it’s going to do is the fiber is going to stick around. So it’s going to feed your prebiotics and your probiotics every single bug in that gut. And it’s also going to help take things out of your body system that usually gets reabsorbed, such as salt, and let it be able to get excreted the way that it should be, rather than sticking around, like I said, getting reabsorbed and just causing these underlying issues.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So these dynamics and mainly when dealing with flaxseed, I know Alexander knows a bit of the flax seed dynamics in terms of how it works with cholesterol. And that’s one of the issues, the HDL component. Tell me a bit of what you’re what you’ve seen in terms of the flaxseed, Alex, in terms of our experiences with flaxseed and diminishment of cholesterol and helping out with metabolic syndrome.
Alexander Isaiah: So, flaxseeds are suitable not only for nutrients but like Kenna said, they’re outstanding in dietary fiber. So we have to ask ourselves, why is dietary fiber essential? We can’t digest it, but it can bind to other things that are within our gut. And one of the main things that it does to lower cholesterol is it binds to bile. Now, bile from our gallbladder is around ninety-five percent cholesterol. And I’m sorry, 80 percent cholesterol and ninety-five percent of it gets recycled and reused most of the time. So why have a large amount of fiber within the gut? The fiber binds to the cholesterol. The body’s mechanism to compensate for that is to pull cholesterol from other parts of the body, specifically from the serum of the blood, and pull it back in to rejuvenate those levels of bile. So not only are you forcing your gut to work properly that it is meant to, but you’re also lowering your cholesterol within the inner side of the body.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So the component of cholesterol can be assisted by fiber. Now, I know that Astrid got some ideas about lowering the blood pressure and bringing a little bit of control in nutraceuticals. And in that respect, she’s been going over some particular topics, and she’s the resident scientist that helps us see the NCBI, which is the national research center that provides daily information about what’s happening with metabolic syndrome out there. So she will be presenting a little bit of some nutraceutical topics that we can touch upon at this present time. Astrid, hello.
Astrid Ornelas: Hello. So, first of all, for those people who are barely coming into the podcast who are barely coming in to listen to us. I want to bring up again what metabolic syndrome is. So metabolic syndrome, as many of you might know, it’s not a condition or disease in itself. It’s more so a cluster of a collection of, I guess, other health issues that can increase the risk of things like heart disease, stroke, and even diabetes. So with that being said, the metabolic syndrome doesn’t have any apparent symptoms, but probably one of the most visible, I guess. You know health issues that are obvious in people with metabolic syndrome is waist fat. So with that being said, some of the nutraceuticals I want to talk about today, as you can see, I’ve listed several nutraceuticals that I discussed the last time. And these nutraceuticals can help with metabolic syndrome in a variety of ways. But I added several on here that specifically target weight loss. Since, as I mentioned, one of the apparent signs of metabolic syndrome is excess waist fat. So I want to bring in one of the nutraceuticals that is that several research studies and I’ve written articles on it that can help promote weight loss in people with metabolic syndrome is niacin. Now niacin, it’s a vitamin B3, and you can usually find it when you buy those supplements that have a kind of B-complex. It has a collection of various of the different B vitamins. So niacin, several research studies have found that it can help reduce inflammation associated with obesity people that have excess weight, of course. Usually, these people have increased blood sugar and blood sugar levels, leading to inflammation. So taking B vitamins, specifically vitamin B3, or as it’s well known for niacin, can help reduce inflammation. It can also help promote metabolism, our body’s capacity to convert carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into energy. So when we take vitamin B and specifically niacin vitamin B3, I want to emphasize that research studies have found that it can help burn calories much more efficiently.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When we’re dealing with niacin and the nutraceuticals, we are going. I know Alexander’s got some issues. Are you still with us, Alexander? Yeah, I’m here. It’s OK. It’s all good. I can see that we deal with and we’re learning about our technical issues as we go through them. I’m going to go back to Astrid, specifically about belly fat. Now she had mentioned the belly fat. Let’s be very specific when we’re dealing with belly fat. We’re dealing with issues where a male has a greater than 40-inch waist. OK. And for females, they have a greater than 35. Is that correct? Yes. So when we do the measurements, that’s one of the components. So as we discuss these particular issues, we want to make sure that when we’re talking about the belly fat and the weight gains and the BMI issues and the BIA issues, it’s the basal metabolic rate and impedance assessments that we do. We’re looking for those particular aspects. So she’s mentioning in the niacin and terms of niacin, what’s your experience with niacin, Alex with your dynamics that you have put in place?
Alexander Isiah: Niacin, or vitamin B3, is an excellent vitamin B because it is a free product. It reacts to a specific response precisely where it takes hold during glycolysis and the citric acid cycle. It plays a significant role in the citric acid cycle because it is used as the pre-product to synthesize NADH. Now, if someone has metabolic syndrome, this can upregulate that citric acid cycle. So if they’re trying to burn fat or use their carbohydrates at a more efficient rate, it will help upregulate that cycle and allow them to use their mitochondrial metabolism a lot better.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s awesome. Now, going back to Astrid, tell me a bit about what supplements we have here. We may not get through all of them, but little by little. We’ll break this thing down, so we’ll give you guys tidbits. So that useful information so that we can take on metabolic syndrome and change people’s lives. Go ahead.
Astrid Ornelas: OK, so the next nutraceuticals I’m going to talk about, I’m going to talk about these two together vitamin D and calcium, specifically vitamin D3. I want to emphasize that. But both of these nutraceuticals can also help promote fat mass loss. And several research studies have also found that this one, just like B vitamins, just like niacin, vitamin B3, could also help improve metabolism to make the body more efficiently burn calories. And then the next nutraceuticals I want to talk about is DHEA. Now I want to, I guess, one of the things that I want to highlight about the DHEA is that, first of all, this is a hormone. This is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body. But then, of course, you know, some people can supplement it if you talk to your health care professional. And they determined that you need more DHEA in your body because your body’s not naturally producing enough of it, then they can supplement that as well. So specifically about the DHEA, according to the Washington University School of Medicine, DHEA can also help metabolize fat much more efficiently. I guess one of the things that I wanted to discuss goes together with the DHEA. So when we consume excess calories, you know, the daily caloric intake on average, according to researchers, we need to take 2000 calories. But so what happens to the body when we eat excess calories now? These calories are stored in the body as fat. So when the body naturally produces, I guess, sufficient amounts of DHEA, our body can metabolize DHEA. I mean, metabolize fat. I’m sorry, much more efficiently so that our body gets rid of excess fat rather than storing it.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Got it! So let me ask you, DHEA is a hormone, and one of the things that I notice is that it is a hormone found over the counter. And one of the unique things with some passages of recent laws is that DHEA made it through the FDA to be used over the counter. So you’ll see the product is dispersed through all the stores and depending on the quality, you can see it more every day. And the reason you see it more common over the last couple of years is that the FDA found it, and then through a loophole, it was allowed to remain in the markets. Go ahead. Kenna wants to mention something regarding this particular component in the assessment of those specific issues.
Kenna Vaughn: I was going to add something when it comes to talking about body fat and how Astrid was saying that body fat gets stored. So what happens is when you have those excess calories, you create these things in your body called triglycerides. And triglycerides are composed of glycerol and fatty acids; and however, those in general triglycerides are too big to enter that cell membrane. So what happens is another hormone that controls almost everything, and it’s called insulin, and the insulin gets called in. And from here, we have the lipo…
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Lipoprotein lipase?
Kenna Vaughn: Yes, that one. It’s a tongue twister, so that gets called in and then kind of breaks those apart. The insulin is coming in again and activating something called the glut4transporter, which will open up that cell membrane. And now we’re going to see that fat cells get stored full of glucose, triglycerides, and fat. So that’s how those fat cells go from not having anything to then having those excess calories. Now they’re being converted through this process. Now they’re getting nice and full, and they’re hanging around your belly.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’ve noticed that certain people have more efficient LPLs, which is lipoprotein lipase. Some people may say that you know what? I gain weight by just looking at food, and it may happen more as you get older. A whole different control system controls this particular issue. What kind of control systems are the ones that control lipoprotein lips and the glut4, along with hormone-sensitive lipase, that you have there?
Kenna Vaughn: Insulin controls everything else. And it’s like I said, it’s that hormone, and it’s going to come in. And also, on top of that, we have PH that affects enzymes, temperature, and things along that line.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, a lot of things that when we look at enzymes, we realize that the thing that determines the enzyme’s activity or sensitivity or ability to function is encoded in the genetics in terms of lipoprotein lipase and the breakdown of the fatty acids. I know, Alex, you have some points there in terms of the fat breakdown information. What do you have there that you can help the public understand a little bit more?
Alexander Isaiah: So, without going too much into the biochemical pathways, this is just showing the mitochondria’s inner mitochondrial matrix. So after I guess you’ve been well-fed and all your cells are satisfied with energy production through ATP synthesis, if you have overconsumption of caloric intake, specifically through glucose, you end up having a large amount of acetyl-CoA being produced or hanging around in the end here. So what the body does is buy high levels of insulin. This enzyme, called citrate synthase, is induced. So what citrate synthase does is use oxygen acetate and acetyl-CoA to make citrate. Now, citrate can then exit the mitochondrial matrix, and then significant accumulations of citrate will start accumulating in the sidewall of the cell. As that happens, ATP citrate lies will break them apart again and bring acetyl-CoA and auxtyl-acetate. Because auxtyl-acetate and acetyl-CoA don’t have specific membrane transporters, they can’t cross that mitochondrial membrane. Only specific ones like citrate do so as acetyl-CoA gets taken out into the cell; taking a look over here, we have acetyl-CoA, which gets turned into methylmalonyl-CoA. And it’s actually this enzyme acetyl-CoA carboxylic is induced by insulin. So usually, acetyl-CoA carboxylic has a phosphate group on it, which inhibits its activity. But when it interacts with insulin, insulin turns on a protein phosphatase. So phosphatase are enzymes that take phosphates off, and then it becomes acetyl-CoA carboxylic. So now acetyl-CoA carboxylic is active to make methylmalonyl-CoA. Now, why is this important? So methylmalonyl-CoA is like putting the boulder on top of the hill; you’re going to start a different chemical process. So methylmalonyl-CoA inhibits fatty acid breakdown and begins fatty acid synthesis. So when you start making methylmalonyl-CoA, you’re going to, without going too much into fatty acid synthesis. The end goal is palmitate, which is the type of fatty acid. Now, palmitate chains will combine with glucose to form triglycerides. So here, we can see how a large dietary intake of carbohydrates, glucose levels, proteins, and insulin activates triglycerides. And if you have diabetes, you pretty much get halted in specific pathways. And that’s why you end up with too much acetyl-CoA. You have too many ketone bodies floating around in the blood, so you are going through without going too much in-depth; we can see that having a large number of dietary triglycerides, large amounts of glucose will force more triglycerides or try sealed glycerol within these kinds of microns within the lumen of the blood vessels. And this is going to cause a chain of reactions. So without breaking down too much here, we’re showing where it’s all going, so we have acetyl-CoA going to methylmalonyl-CoA, going to palmitate, and then we have palmitate forming these triglycerides. So like Kenna said, these triglycerides can’t enter the adipocytes. The adipocytes are fat cells without lipoprotein lipase. So with the combination of lipoprotein lipids allows these cells to get in there. You allow for the storage of the fat, so the cool part to notice is that by doing so, the first one will use fatty acids to be your heart. The heart relies on around 80 percent of its energy from fatty acids. Then it’s going to be your muscle cells. But this is in conjunction if you’re exercising regularly. If you’re not doing that, the adipose cells will favor storing the triglycerides or triglycerol more often. And then you’re also going to use more LDL, which means you have the potential to have more oxidized LDL, causing a higher event of atherosclerosis formation.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as you go through this process, it seems natural, but for a lot of us, it’s a deep, deep story, and it’s far, and it’s dynamic. And what I want to do is to bring the people back to Kenna as to the diets. In terms of getting this basic understanding. How is it that we assess an individual where these particular issues? I can assure you that when we first evaluate a metabolic syndrome patient. We do a lot of blood work, blood assessment, a lot of enzyme testing. We can even do DNA testing. So we got to go back to a patient and describe precisely how we can better improve their lives by our assessments. So, Kenna, you got some cool stuff in there for us. What do you have in front of you?
Kenna Vaughn: Yes, in front of me, I have a sample report from one of our patients on who we ran the DNA blood test. And one of those things that we can see is a gene pulled up right here, and it’s called TAS1R2. And what this gene does is it’s a tissue that can be found in the gastrointestinal tract, the hypothalamus, and the pancreas. And it’s known for regulating your metabolism and energy, and homeostasis. Also affects that food intake beyond the detection of your sweet taste on the tongue. What does that mean? So what that means is it is nicknamed the sweet gene. So, somebody with this gene is more likely to be drawn to sweet foods because it’s almost like their sweetness is enhanced. So when they taste ice cream, it’s a 10 out of 10, no matter the flavor, versus someone who doesn’t have this gene. Maybe it’s more of a seven out of 10. It hits them differently.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That makes perfect sense. Or some people that, you know, they love that ice cream and that dynamics, I know that I want to take a little bit of a detour because a lot of patients will wonder, Well, what are we going to do to get into being assessed and what kind of things we can? How does someone get? Where do they go? And for that, we have our clinical liaison here, Trudy, who walks patients in and first determines that the patient is qualified because we do have questionnaires that assess the determination of if someone is a talented individual or does have presentations that are predisposing to metabolic syndrome that require further assessment. And once we do in the situation that a person does have it, they want to understand what to do. So actually, Trudy, you do us help people and guide them through the process. What do we do in the office to help guide an individual through the beginnings of metabolic assessment?
Trudy Torres: OK, well, basically, you know, when people call in, we go ahead and email them a questionnaire. It does take about 45 minutes because it’s a very in-depth questionnaire. We want to pinpoint and get to the bottom of their main concerns. The main issues that we’re going to target for the process to be successful. Once we get that questionnaire back, we set up an appointment with Dr. Jimenez and our health coach Kenna, and they will go in-depth as far as the target areas that we need to address for the process to be successful. And that’s one of the things that I wanted to ask Kenna because I know it can be a bit overwhelming as far as what is it that they get? And as far as what is the following process? So once we get the questionnaire, I know that’s when they’re going to go ahead and do the different types of lab work to determine what will be successful in the kitchen.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I know you see the patients when they walk in; how do they feel in terms of that Trudy? What is it that they typically will tell you before being further assessed?
Trudy Torres: Well, they’re tired of, you know, all the different changes that you go through as, unfortunately, as we age. You know, some of the DNA genes that we have, that they’re dormant, you know, they become active. And that’s when you start to experience a different type of bad syndromes, you know, like metabolic syndrome. And that’s one of the things that we address. You know that we go ahead and do the DNA testing and see what different genes are dormant that are not dormant.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think that also, you know, whether you’ve noticed too and you’ve mentioned this to me, they’re just tired of feeling bad. They’re just tired of feeling like; I guess crap is a good word, right? So they’re tired of just they don’t recover. They don’t sleep well. They feel stressed. They feel like they’re being choked with high blood pressure. It’s not. Their lives are different. They’re in distress. They don’t sleep. So these are issues that the patients present to you, and I know you help them guide them. And then, Kenna, tell me a bit of the assessment you do to qualify an individual on the metabolic syndrome programs we have?
Kenna Vaughn: Like we were saying before, we go through that detailed history to look at that family history. And then we also decide, like Miss Trudy noted, the lab work gives us a lot of these underlying answers because the lab work we do is more detailed than the basic. So we get more numbers, more genetic codes, and more of all of these things. And from there, we’re able to take it and see what will be the most successful path for this patient. What supplements are they going to be able to intake better? What diet is best for them, whether it be the ketogenic diet or the Mediterranean diet? Everybody’s body is different because everybody’s insulin sensitivity is different, and everyone’s hormones change, especially for females. It’s different than male patients, and we create that individualized package for them because we want them to leave at the end of everything, not just that first visit. Still, we want them to leave feeling empowered and healthy and strong and not just they’re alive, but that they’re living. And that makes a massive difference to their families and their friends. And just everything gets impacted, all from the start of these questionnaires.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You touched on a subject matter there about being left alone. We go through a process, and we do keep connectivity with our patients. With today’s technology, there’s no reason we can’t have a person or an individual connected to our office and give us information such as BMI BIA information, which is basal metabolic stuff, the scale weight, the fat densities. We can have this information today. We have Fitbits that connect to us, and we can understand that that data is now available in a private way, and someone on the other side is reading that tell us what you do with individuals in terms of the coaching that we offer people; for specific metabolic syndrome?
Kenna Vaughn: Of course. For coaching, we have a scale. And like Dr. Jimenez was saying, this scale not only tells you your weight, but it also sends your weight, your water intake, how much of your weight is water weight, how much of your weight is lean muscle? And it also can track it and see the percentages of where you’re changing. So we can follow that maybe the number on the scale hasn’t moved. And some people might start to feel discouraged. But when we look at the numbers of what that scale tells us, we can see that you are losing body fat and being replaced by muscle. So even though that number is the same, your body inside is chemically changing. You’re making those differences you need to make to keep up with it and not to quit because, as I said, it can be discouraging for certain people.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So there’s a Mind-Body connection here. A mental component, teamwork dynamics, is essential when we’re working through metabolic syndrome. We can’t leave people here, here, take the football and run 80 plays. No, you have to huddle in each time to discuss and change the adaptive processes. Regarding the other areas with fat analysis, I know Alex has some additional areas and Astrid that will be discussing in a few minutes. But I’m going to focus on Alex right now to tell us a bit of what people can do with exercise or fitness that could stimulate or dynamically change their metabolic processes at the biochemical level.
Alexander Isaiah: Well, I would first, in all honesty, be honest with yourself; you will probably be the best observer of your situation. We all know what foods we do well with. We all know what foods we don’t do well with. We’ve always had some intuition as we’ve grown into the people we are today, knowing what foods work well for us and what foods don’t work well for us. For example, I know that if I consume a large carbohydrate consumption, I tend to put on weight pretty quickly. But I am pretty active. So the days that I have strenuous activity, I make sure that I have a balanced meal with proteins, fats, and a decent amount of carbohydrates. But the days that I’m not very active or haven’t gone to the gym. I make sure that most of my caloric intake sometimes comes from good fats or proteins. And that’s going to be the best thing is just be honest with yourself. See how you’re doing, find your BMI, find your basal metabolic rate, and then put numbers on paper. Because if you keep track of things. Odds are you’re going to do better and control the way your body’s responding. The next thing is I would find a health coach like Kenna, to stay on track and find any recommendations. The good part is that we have the internet out there and sources like yourself, Dr. Jimenez, that can provide information to the public on a new level and be able to understand and grasp the concept from a different perspective and give people more information that they didn’t know that they had at their fingertips.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m going to take it back to Astrid. Thank you, Alex. But one of the things is I want people to understand we’re going to assault. We’re going to assault on metabolic syndrome because this is a big problem and affects many in all communities around the United States. And we have to have an open forum to be able to open up. And sometimes, we don’t have 10 seconds, and this is not a 10 second, two-minute thing. We must understand that there needs to be a teamwork integrative medicine approach that helps the patients. So I know we’re going to go with a couple, I don’t think we make it through all of them, but we’re going to get through as best as we can because this is all recorded and can be dynamic and time purposes used later. Tell us a bit of the omega, berberine, and all the other supplements you had planned to talk about.
Astrid Ornelas: OK. Well, first of all, for those of you who are barely coming into the podcast right now, the nutraceuticals that are currently listed up there can all help improve metabolic syndrome in one way or another. The majority of these specifically target they specifically lower help lower the risk factors that can cause that could increase the risk of developing issues like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. But I want to emphasize several of these because they do they’re more efficient at promoting weight loss associated with metabolic syndrome. You know, if you’re going to improve metabolic syndrome, you want to promote weight loss, so that the last nutraceutical we talked about that’s up there was DHEA. The next nutraceutical I want to talk about is NRF2. So just like DHEA, it is a naturally produced hormone in our body. Well, NRF2 is also found in our body naturally. But unlike DHEA, which is a hormone, NRF2’s actual name, I guess the full name is the NRF2 pathway. It’s what’s known as a transcription factor, or it’s an element that regulates several cell processes if you will. And so I’ve done quite a few articles on this myself, and there are several research studies out there, quite a few to be exact, but NFR2 can also help improve metabolism. So if you improve your metabolism, especially in people who have metabolic syndrome, your metabolism can make it much more efficient for you to burn calories and therefore burn fat more efficiently.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The Omegas and NRF2, what we’re dealing with here, along with berberine, is inflammatory issues, OK? So what we want to deal with is when someone has metabolic syndrome, we suffer from inflammation, and inflammation is rampant. And that’s what’s causing the discomfort, the joint pain, the overall swelling, the bloating. Those are the kind of things that help, and they affect the blood pressure in insulin does happen, and we haven’t talked about that yet. But we’re going to be discussing that. I know Alex has got some ideas about Nrf2 factors and Omegas and berberine, and tell me a bit of what you’ve seen in terms of the nutraceuticals, and you read in terms of its effect on metabolic syndrome.
Alexander Isaiah: So the way we need to look at the different types of fatty acids is that most of the surface of each cell is composed of a fatty acid. It depends on what type gets incorporated based on the consumption or dietary intake that you have daily. So the main two components that your body’s going to use is cholesterol. That’s why we still need cholesterol and healthy fats that we get. But at the same time, if you’re taking in a lot of red meats, you’re also going to use arachidonic acid, which makes different types of fatty acids. And it also makes a transcription factor called PGE two, which is known for its very informative process or aspects. So what fish oils do, specifically EPA and DHEA, are by incorporating these into the cell membrane. You upregulate NRF2 and downregulate NF Kappa B, which is the inflammatory response. And not only by doing that, but as we talked about before with green tea extract and turmeric, otherwise known as curcumin. These also inhibit the pathways for inflammation. Now there could be the argument Well, do these pathways inhibit the inflammation? So let’s say I get sick or something, right? Well, the cool part is that two different pathways are stimulating the same response. By doing the dietary regimen of curcumin, fish oils, or even green tea, you’re inhibiting it from the body overexpressing these genes. Now, suppose you still get sick in a sense, right. In that case, you could still allow these cells to proliferate, specifically your macrophages, to do their job correctly, so you’re not inhibiting them by overstimulating them. You’re allowing them to be more proficient in their job. And suppose you are virally infected or with some unknown pathogen or let’s say. In that case, a cell decides to go rogue and start producing cancer cells, allowing the body to be more proficient in extracting these pathogens.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: In essence, we’ve learned that if we try to suppress inflammation, we create a huge problem. The question is, let’s stop inflammation from progressing to be too extreme. So, in essence, to keep it at a workable dynamics, and that’s what these curcumins and the green teas do. I know Astrid has something to mention in terms of this particular concept. Tell me a bit about what you’re thinking.
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah. So as Alex mentioned, green tea is a fantastic drink. It’s actually in my nutraceutical list that’s up there, and I wanted to talk about green tea because it’s a very easily accessible drink, you know, for those of you who like tea. Green tea is delicious as well. And green tea has a variety of research studies demonstrated to be super beneficial for people with metabolic syndrome. So as many of you know, green tea contains caffeine. Of course, it has much less caffeine than a cup of coffee, for example, but it still does have caffeine, and green tea is also a powerful antioxidant. That’s another of the things that it’s very well known for. But just like NF2, you know that the interruptive pathway, green tea, has been demonstrated to help improve metabolism tremendously. You see, it promotes the body’s ability to burn calories, to burn fat. And because of its caffeine, I guess amount because even though it is less than a cup of coffee, but it’s just enough, it can help improve exercise performance. And you know, for those people who are looking to lose weight because of the, you know, the issues that they have associated with metabolic syndrome. Drinking green tea can help promote and improve their exercise performance so that they’re more able to engage and participate more efficiently in their exercise and physical activity to burn fat.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So basically, you’re indicating that as a good option instead of, let’s say, a whatever kind of drink or a juicy drink, it’s wise to keep sort of in the background green tea throughout the day. Is that correct? Or how much the water is good? The green tea’s good; a little bit of coffee and a little bit of this fluid is essential to keep our bodies hydrated through the process. Since it’s already available, green tea is a great option not only for metabolic processes to stop inflammation but also to help with the burning of the fat too?
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, definitely. Green tea is a great drink. You can pretty much have it throughout your day. You know it has less caffeine than, say, you know, coffee, as I mentioned. And it will, you know, for those who have green tea, I love green tea, and I will have it. And you do get that little, that extra amount of energy. You feel it when you have green tea. But, yeah, you can have it throughout your day. And you know, it’s essential to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water. And you just want to make sure that if you do exercise enough, you don’t want to lose your electrolytes. So, you know, drink plenty of water and just stay hydrated.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I know that we’re going over there. I know that Kenna wants to speak something, and we’re going to go in that direction right now because Kenna wants to talk about specific dietary changes and things that we can do from a health coach’s point of view.
Kenna Vaughn: I just wanted to say that green tea is super beneficial from Astrid’s point. But I don’t particularly appreciate drinking green tea, which means that all hope is lost. They do have green tea and capsules as well, so you can still get all of those great benefits without actually drinking it because, for some people, it’s, you know, their coffee over tea. So you don’t have to drink the tea. You can still get all those great benefits that attitude was talking about but through capsules.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: yeah, we got exciting, sneaky ways to help people. To help people understand and to come into our office. What can they do, Trudy, in terms of being facilitated in the office if they want to make, if they’re going to have questions or for any doctor, they have out wherever they may be because this is reaching far.
Trudy Torres: I know this can be very overwhelming to just the regular population. You see, we went in too deep, you know, as far as all the physiology behind it and everything else. One of the things that I can tell you is that when you call our office, we’re going to walk you step by step. You’re not going to be alone. You’re going to walk out with a lot of information and know what works for you. Like Kenna was saying, everybody’s different. This is not a cookie-cutter program. We take the time and talk one on one with everybody who walks in and make sure that when they walk out and have a lot of information with them, they also walk out with just the lab work; they will walk out with recipes. Kenna is going to be constantly following up with you. It’s a highly successful approach when you have accountability from a health coach. So you’re not going to be by yourself.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know again where our goal is to make the kitchen to the genes and from the genes to the kitchen, we got to give the understanding maybe not of the deep biochemistry as Alex has taken us into or the nutraceutical dynamics, just know that there are ways that we can monitor. We can assess; we can periodically evaluate. We have diagnostic tools to determine blood assessments that are way beyond what was done ten years ago. We have dynamic metabolic testing in our office to determine fundamental critical aspects of weight density, the limb way to the body, and how much water you have. We use things like phase angle to assess the health of the cells and how they’re functioning. So there’s a lot that goes on in this process. So I want to take the opportunity to thank my guests today because from Alexander, all the way far on the north side of the United States, to Astrid, who assesses things at the NCBI because we need to have our finger right on the research that has been done. To our clinical liaison, which is Trudy, and one of our dynamic health coaches. I can be a health coach, but sometimes I’m with a patient, but she’s really with you all the time, and she can connect with you via email, which is Kenna. So together, we have come with an intention, and our purpose is to understand what the process is. A metabolic syndrome to break it down to deep levels will get down to them as you can see, to the genes, to the kitchen. And that’s what our goal is to educate people on how to feed our children. We intuitively know how to feed our families. Moms know what to do. However, today’s technology and research offer us the ability to break it down and specific to the sciences. And sometimes, when we get a little older, we realize that our bodies change and our genetics change, and that’s preordained based on our past, our peoples, our ontogeny, which is the generations in the past. But we have to realize that we can make a change and we can stimulate. We can activate genetic codes. We can suppress genes that want to get active if you improperly diet or do a proper diet. So our goal today is to bring this awareness, and I want to thank you guys for allowing us to listen in. We look forward to getting different subjects, maybe not as intense or dynamic, but this was our first run at the process. And we’re going to learn, and please ask questions so that we can kind of make it better for you and give you the information you need. So we thank you very much, and I want to tell you from all of us out here in El Paso that we look forward to offering the world information into metabolic syndrome that affects so many people. So thank you, guys. Thank you for everything.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez, health coach Kenna Vaughn, chief editor Astrid Ornelas discuss about metabolic syndrome from a different point of view as well as, different nutraceuticals to combat inflammation.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Welcome, guys, welcome to the podcast for Dr. Jimenez and crew. We’re discussing today’s metabolic syndrome, and we’re going to be discussing it from a different point of view. We will give you excellent, useful tips that can make sense and are easily doable at home. Metabolic syndrome is a very vast concept. It contains five major issues. It has high blood glucose, it has belly fat measurements, it has triglycerides, it has HDL issues, and it pretty much has a whole conglomeration of dynamics that have to be measured in the whole reason we discuss metabolic syndrome because it affects our community very much. So, we’re going to be discussing these particular issues and how we can fix them. And give you the ability to adapt your lifestyle so that you don’t end up having. It’s one of the most important disorders affecting modern medicine today, let alone once we understand it. Everywhere you go, you’re going to see a lot of people having metabolic syndrome. And it’s part of a society, and that’s something you see in Europe as much. But in America, because we do have a lot of foods and our plates are usually bigger, we have the ability to adapt our bodies differently by just what we eat. No disorder will change so quickly and fast as a good mechanism and a good protocol to help you with metabolic disorders and metabolic syndrome. So having said that, today, we have a group of individuals. We have Astrid Ornelas and Kenna Vaughn, who will discuss and add information to help us through the process. Now, Kenna Vaughn is our health coach. She’s the one who works in our office; when I’m a practicing physician on physical medicine and when I’m working with people one on one, we have other people working with dietary issues and dietary needs. My team here is very, very good. We also have our top clinical researcher and the individual who curates much of our technology and is at the cutting edge of what we do and our sciences. It’s Mrs. Ornelas. Mrs. Ornelas or Astrid, as we call her, she’s ghetto with the knowledge. She gets nasty with science. And it’s really, really where we are. Today, we live in a world where research is coming and spitting out of the NCBI, which is the repository or PubMed, which people can see we use this information and we use what works and what does it. Not all information is accurate in PubMed because you have different points of view, but it’s almost like a finger on a pulse when we have our finger in. We can see the things that affect it. With certain keywords and certain alerts, we get notified of changes for, let’s say, dietary sugar issues or triglyceride issues with fat issues, anything about metabolic disorders. We can kind of come up with a treatment protocol that is live adapted from doctors and researchers and PhDs around the world almost instantaneously, literally even before they’re published. For example, today happens to be February 1st. It’s not, but we’ll be getting results and studies presented by the National Journal of Cardiology that will come out in March if that makes sense. So that information is early hot off the press, and Astrid helps us figure these things out and sees, “Hey, you know, we found something really hot and something to help our patients” and brings the N equals one, which is patient-doctor equals one. A patient and therapist equal one that we don’t do specific protocols for everyone in general. We do specific protocols for each person as we go through the process. So as we do this, the journey of understanding metabolic syndrome is very dynamic and very deep. We can start from just looking at someone to the bloodwork, all the way to dietary changes, to metabolic changes, all the way down to the cellular activity that it’s actively working. We measure issues with BIAs and BMI, which we have done with previous podcasts. But we can also get into the level, the genomics and the changing of the chromosomes and the telomeres in the chromosomes, which we can affect by our diet. OK. All roads lead to diets. And what I say in some weird way, all roads lead to smoothies, OK, smoothies. Because when we look at smoothies, we look at the components of smoothies and come up with dynamics that are abilities to change now. What I look for is when I look for treatments, I look at things that make people’s lives better, and how can we do this? And for all those mothers, they understand that they may not realize that they do this, but a mom doesn’t wake up saying, I’m going to give my kid food. No, she’s kind of doing a mental lavage of bringing the whole kitchen because she wants to infuse the best nutrition for their child and offer their best kind of options for their baby to go through the world or daycare or elementary school, through middle school, through high school so that the child can develop well. Nobody goes out thinking that I’m going to give my kid just junk and. And if that’s the case, well, that’s probably not good parenting. But we won’t talk about that well; we will talk about good nutrition and adapting those things. So I’d like to introduce Kenna right now. And she’s going to be discussing a little bit of what we do when we see someone with metabolic disorders and our approach to it. So as she goes through that, she’s going to be able to understand how we evaluate and assess a patient and bring it in so that we can start getting a little bit of control for that individual. Kenna, it’s all yours.
Kenna Vaughn: All right. So first, I just want to talk about the smoothies a little bit more. I am a mom, so in the morning time, things get crazy. You never have as much time as you think you do, but you need those nutrient nutrients and so do your kids. So I love smoothies. They’re super fast. You get everything you need. And most people think that when you’re eating, you’re eating to fill your stomach, but you’re eating to fill your cells. Your cells are what need those nutrients. That’s what carries you on with the energy, the metabolism, all of that. So those smoothies are a super great option, which we give our patients. We even have a book with 150 smoothie recipes that are great for anti-aging, helping diabetes, lowering cholesterol, controlling inflammation, and things like that. So it’s one resource we give to our patients. But we do have multiple other options for the patients who come in with metabolic disease.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Before you go in there, Kenna. Let me just kind of add that what I’ve learned is that we have to make it simple. We got to take homes or takeaways. And what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to give you the tools that can help you in that process. And we’re going to take you to the kitchen. We’re going to grab you by the ear, so to speak, and we’re going to show you the areas where we need to look at. So Kenna is about to give us the information in terms of smoothies that will assist us with dietary changes that we can provide our families and change its metabolic disaster that affects so many people called metabolic syndrome. Go ahead.
Kenna Vaughn: OK, so like he was saying with those smoothies. One thing that you should add to your smoothie is, which what I love to add in mine is spinach. Spinach is an excellent choice because it gives your body more nutrients. You are getting an extra serving of vegetables, but you can’t taste it, especially when it gets covered up by the natural sweetness that you find in fruits. So that’s a great option when it comes to the smoothies. But another thing that Dr. Jiménez was mentioning is other things in the kitchen. So there are other substitutes that we’re kind of wanting our patients to use and implement. You can start small, and it’ll make a huge difference just by switching out the oils you’re cooking with. And you’ll begin to see an improvement in your joints, your kids, and everyone will just improve immensely. So one thing we want to get our patients into using is those oils, such as avocado oil, coconut oil, and… Olive oil? Olive oil. Yes, thank you, Astrid.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That was olive oil. That was Astrid in the background. We’re getting the facts out excellent and continue.
Kenna Vaughn: When you switch those out, your body breaks things down differently with those unsaturated fats. So that’s just another option that you have in that kitchen besides making those smoothies. But like I said before, I’m all about quick, easy, simple. It’s way easier to change your lifestyle when you have a whole team around you. And when it’s easy, you don’t. You don’t want to go out and make everything super difficult because the chances of you sticking to it aren’t very high. So one thing we want to do is make sure that everything that we’re giving our patients is easy to do and it’s attainable for everyday life.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m very visual. So when I go to the kitchen, I like making my kitchen look like the cocina or whatever they call it in Italy, the cucina and I have three bottles there, and I have an avocado oil one. I have the coconut oil one, and I have the olive oil right there. There are big bottles there. They make them pretty, and they look Tuscan. And, you know, I don’t care if it’s an egg, I don’t care. Sometimes, even when I’m having my coffee, I grab the coconut oil one, and I pour that one in and make myself a java with coconut oil in it. So, yeah, go ahead.
Kenna Vaughn: I was going to say that’s a great option too. So I drink green tea, and I also add coconut oil in that green tea to help boost everything and give my body another dose of those fatty acids that we want.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got a question for you when you have your coffee like that; when you have the oil in it, does it kind of lubricate your lips.
Kenna Vaughn: It does a little bit. So it’s also like chapstick.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, it does. It’s like, Oh, I love it. OK, go ahead.
Kenna Vaughn: Yeah, I also have to stir a little bit more just to make sure everything gets it right. Yeah. And then another thing just talking about something our patients can do when it comes to at home, there are tons of different options with eating fish. Increasing your good fish intake throughout the week, that’s going to help also. And just because fish provides so many great things like omegas, I know Astrid also has some more information on omegas.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got a question before Astrid gets in there. You know, look, when we talk about carbohydrates, people, is it what a carbohydrate is? Oh, people say an apple, banana, candy bars, and all kinds of stuff people can rattle off carbohydrates or proteins. Chicken, beef, whatever they can rile up. But one of the things I found that people have a difficult time with is what good fats are? I want five. Give me ten good fats for a million dollars. Give me ten good fats like lard, like meat. No, this is what we’re talking about. Because the simple fact that we use and we’re going to add more to it relative bad is going to be avocado oil. Olive oil. Is it coconut oil? We can use things like butter oils, different types of margins, and not margins, but kinds of butter that are from, you know, grass-fed cows. We basically can run out of creamers, you know, non-nondairy creams, very specific creamers, those we run out of it, right? Real fast. So it’s like, what else is fat, right? And then we search for it. So one of the best ways to do it is that we’re not going to always put creamer on top or our butter on top, which by the way, some coffees they have, they put butter in it and blend it, and they make a fantastic little java hit. And everyone comes with their little ginger and oils and their coffee and makes espresso from heaven, right? So what else can we do?
Kenna Vaughn: We can, like I said, adding those fish in, which is going to help to give our bodies more of those omegas. And then we can also do more purple vegetables, and those are going to provide your body with more antioxidants. So that’s a good option when it comes to the grocery store. A rule of thumb that I love and heard a long time ago is to not shop in the aisles is to try to shop on the edges because the edges are where you’re going to find all that fresh produce and all those lean meats. It’s when you start to get into those aisles, and that’s where you’re going to start finding, you know, the cereal, those bad carbohydrates, those simple carbohydrates that the American diet has come to love but does not necessarily need. The Oreos?
Kenna Vaughn: Yes.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The candy aisle that every kid knows. OK, yes.
Kenna Vaughn: So that’s just another great point there. So when you come into our office, if you’re suffering from metabolic syndrome or just anything in general, we make your plans super personalized and give you so many tips. We listen to your lifestyle because what works for one person might not work for another. So we make sure that we provide you with information that we know you’ll be successful with and provide education because that’s another huge part of it.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: All roads lead to the kitchen, huh? Right? Yes, they do. OK, so let’s zoom on precisely for the fat and the nutraceuticals. I want to give you an idea as to what type of nutraceuticals are appropriate for us because we want to bust down these five issues affecting metabolic syndrome that we discussed. What are the five guys? Let’s go ahead and start them up. It’s high blood sugar, right?
Kenna Vaughn: High blood glucose, low HDLs, which will be that good cholesterol everyone needs. Yes. And it’s going to be the high blood pressure, which is not considered high from a doctor’s standard, but it is deemed to be elevated. So that’s another thing; we want to ensure that this is metabolic syndrome, not a metabolic disease. So if you go to the doctor and your blood pressure is 130 over eighty-five, that’s an indicator. But yet your provider might not necessarily say your blood pressure is super high.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: None of these disorders here by themselves are clinical states, and, individually, they’re pretty much just things. But if you combine all these five, you have metabolic syndrome and feel like not too good, right?
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, yeah.
Kenna Vaughn: Another one is going to be the excess weight around the belly and the higher triglycerides.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Easy to see. You can see when someone has a belly that’s hanging over like a fountain, right? So we can see that you can go to it sometimes Italian restaurants and see the great cook. And he sometimes I got to tell you, sometimes it’s just, you know, we talked to Chef Boyardee wasn’t a thin guy. I think that Chef Boyardee, you know what? And the Pillsbury guy, right? Well, it wasn’t very healthy, right? Both of them suffer from metabolic syndrome just from the outset. So that’s an easy one to see. So these are the things we’re going to be reflecting on. Astrid will go over some nutraceuticals, vitamins, and some foods that we can improve things. So here’s Astrid, and here’s our science curator. But here’s Astrid, go ahead.
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, I guess before we get into the nutraceuticals, I want to make something clear. Like we were talking about metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a, and I guess per se, a disease or a health issue itself. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that can increase the risk of developing other health issues like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Because metabolic syndrome is not, you know, an actual health issue itself, it’s more so this group, this collection of other conditions, of other problems that can develop into much worse health issues. Just because of that fact, metabolic syndrome has no apparent symptoms itself. But of course, like we were talking about, five risk factors are pretty much the ones we discussed: excess waist fat, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL, and according to health care professionals. To doctors and researchers, you know you have metabolic syndrome if you have three out of these five risk factors.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes. Three. Now, that doesn’t mean that if you have it, you have symptoms. As I see it was evident on. But I got to tell you in my experience when someone has more than three or three. They’re starting to feel crummy. They don’t feel right. They just feel like, you know, life’s not good. They have just an overall. They don’t look it right. So and I don’t know them, maybe. But their family knows that they don’t look good. Like mom doesn’t look good. Dad does look good.
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, yeah. And metabolic syndrome, as I said, it has no apparent symptoms. But you know, I was kind of going with one of the risk factors with waist fat, and this is where you will see people with what you call the apple or pear-shaped body, so they have excess fat around their abdomen. And although that’s not technically considered a symptom, it is a factor that can; I guess it can give an idea to doctors or other health care professionals that this person who is, you know, they have prediabetes or have diabetes. And, you know, they have excess weight and obesity. They could have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome and therefore developing, you know, if it’s left untreated, developing other health issues like heart disease and stroke. I guess with that being said; then we’ll get into the nutraceutical.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I love this, I love this. We’re getting some good stuff, and we’re getting some information.
Astrid Ornelas: And I guess with that being said, we’ll get into the nutraceuticals. Kind of like, how Kenna was talking about what’s the takeaway? You know, we’re here talking about these health issues, and we’re here talking about metabolic syndrome today. But what’s the takeaway? What can we tell people? What can they take home about our talk? What can they do at home? So here we have several nutraceuticals, which I’ve written several articles in our blog and looked at.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You think, Astrid? If you look at 100 articles written in El Paso, at least in our area, they were all curated by somebody. Yes. All right.
Astrid Ornelas: Yes. So we have several nutraceuticals here that have been researched. Researchers have read all these research studies and found that they can help in some way and some form improve, you know, metabolic syndrome and these associated diseases. So the first one I want to discuss is the B vitamins. So what are the B vitamins? These are the ones that you can usually find them together. You can find them in the store. You’ll see them as B-complex vitamins. You’ll see like a little jar, and then it comes with several of the B vitamins. Now, why do I bring up B vitamins for metabolic syndrome? So one of the reasons like researchers has found that one of them, I guess, one of the causes of metabolic syndrome could be stress. So with that being said, we need to have B vitamins because when we get stressed when we have a hard day at work when we have, I guess a lot of you know, a lot of stressful things at home or with family, our nervous system will use these B vitamins to support our nerve function. So when we have a lot of stress, we will use up these vitamins, which increases stress; you know, our body will produce cortisol. You know, which serves a function. But we all know that too much cortisol, too much stress can actually. It can be harmful to us. It can increase our risk of heart disease.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as I remember when we did this, all roads lead to the kitchen in terms of getting the food back in your body. All roads lead to the mitochondria when it comes to the area of the breakdown. The world of ATP energy production is surrounded and wrapped around with nicotinamide, NADH, HDP, ATPS, ADP. All these things have a connection with vitamin B of all sorts. So the vitamin B’s are at the engine in the turbine of the things that help us. So it makes sense that this was the top of the vitamin and the most important one. And then she’s got some other endpoints here on niacin. What is with niacin? What have you noticed there?
Astrid Ornelas: Well, niacin is another B vitamin, you know, there are several B vitamins. That’s why I have it there under its plural and niacin or vitamin B3, as it’s more well known. A lot of several are so clever. Many research studies have found that taking vitamin B3 can help lower LDL or bad cholesterol, help lower triglycerides, and increase HDL. And several research studies have found that niacin, specifically vitamin B3, can help increase HDL by 30 percent.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Incredible. When you look at NADP and NADH, These are the N is the niacin, the nicotinamide. So in the biochemical compound, niacin is the one that people have known that when you take it the good one or the one that’s supposed to be, you get this flushing feeling and it makes you scratch all your part of your body, and it feels good when you scratch because it makes you feel that way. Right, so lovely. And this huge.
Astrid Ornelas: Yes. Yes, and also, I just want to highlight a point about B vitamins. B vitamins are essential because they can help support our metabolism when we eat, you know, carbohydrates and fats, good fats, of course, and proteins. When the body goes through the metabolism process, it converts these carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The proteins turn into energy, and B vitamins are the main components in charge of doing that.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Latinos, in our general population, know that we have always heard of the nurse or the person who gives vitamin B injection. So you heard of those things. Right. Because you’re depressed, you’re sad, what would they do? Well, you know what would inject them with B12, right? Which are the B vitamins, right? And the person would come out like, Yeah, and they’d be excited, right? So we’ve known this, and this is the elixir of the past. Those traveling salesmen, who had the potions and lotions, made a living off of giving B vitamin complex. The first energy drinks were first designed with a B complex, you know, packing of them. Now here’s the deal. Now that we’ve learned that energy drinks cause so many issues, that we’re heading back to the B complexes to help people better. So the following vitamin we have there is that one that we have the D, we have the vitamin D.
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, the next one I wanted to talk about is vitamin D. So there are several research studies on vitamin D and the benefits, the benefits of vitamin D for metabolic syndrome, and just how I discussed how B vitamins are beneficial for our metabolism. Vitamin D is also helpful for our metabolism, and it can help regulate our blood sugar, essentially our glucose. And that in itself is very important because, like one of the predisposing factors of metabolic syndrome, high blood sugar. And you know, if you have uncontrolled high blood sugar, it can lead to, you know, it can lead to prediabetes. And if that is left untreated, it can lead to diabetes. So research studies have also found that vitamin D itself can also improve insulin resistance, which is pretty much one that can lead to diabetes.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I just wanted to put out the vitamin D is not even a vitamin; it’s a hormone. It was discovered after C by Linus Pauling. When they found it, they just kept on naming the following letter. OK, so since it is a hormone, you just have to look at it. This particular vitamin D or this hormone tocopherol. It basically can change so many metabolism issues in your body. I’m talking about literally four to five hundred different processes that we’re finding. Last year was 400. We’re now almost 500 other biochemical processes that are affected directly. Well, it makes kind of sense. Look, our most significant organ in the body is our skin, and most of the time, we ran around in some sort of skimpy clothes, and we were in the sun a lot. Well, we didn’t stand to reason that that particular organ can produce a tremendous amount of healing energies, and vitamin D does that. It is produced by the sunlight and activated. But today’s world, whether we’re Armenian, Iranian, different cultures in the north, like Chicago, people don’t get as much light. So depending on cultural changes and closed people living and working in these fluorescent lights, we lose the essence of vitamin D and get very sick. The person who takes vitamin D is much healthier, and our goal is to raise the vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and one that embeds itself by it and is saved in the liver along with the fat in the body. So you can raise it slowly as you take it, and it’s tough to get toxic levels, but those are at about one hundred twenty-five nanograms per deciliter that are too high. But most of us run around with 10 to 20, which is low. So, in essence, by raising that, you’re going to see that the blood sugar changes are going to happen that Astrid is speaking about. What are some of the things that we notice about, particularly vitamin D? Anything?
Astrid Ornelas: I mean, I’ll get back to vitamin D in a bit; I want to discuss some of the other nutraceuticals first. OK. But pretty much vitamin D is beneficial because it helps improve your metabolism, and it helps improve your insulin resistance, at least towards metabolic syndrome.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: How about calcium?
Astrid Ornelas: So calcium goes hand-in-hand with vitamin D, and the thing that I wanted to talk about with vitamin D and calcium together. We often think about these five factors that we mentioned before that could cause a metabolic syndrome. Still, there’s, you know, if you want to think about it, like what are the underlying causes for a lot of these risk factors? And like, you know, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, people who don’t engage in an exercise or physical activity. One of the things that can predispose a person or increase their risk of metabolic syndrome. Let me put the scenario. What if a person has a chronic pain disease? What if they have something like fibromyalgia? They’re constantly in pain. They don’t want to move, so they don’t want to exercise. They don’t want to aggravate these symptoms. Sometimes, some people have chronic pain or things like fibromyalgia. Let’s go a little bit more basic. Some people just have chronic back pain, and you don’t want to work out. So just you’re not choosing like some of these people aren’t choosing to be inactive because they want to. Some of these people are legitimately in pain, and there are several research studies, and this is what I was going to tie in vitamin D and calcium with that vitamin D and calcium. You know, we can you can take them together. They can help improve chronic pain in some people.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Incredible. And we all know that calcium is one of the causes of muscle spasms and relaxers. Tons of reasons. We’re going to go into each one of these. We’re going to have a podcast on just vitamin D and the issues in calcium because we can go deep. We’re going to go deep, and we’re going to go all the way to the genome. The genome is genomics, which is the science of understanding how nutrition and the genes dance together. So we’re going to go there, but we’re kind of like we’re penetrating slowly in this process because we have to take the story slowly. What’s up next?
Astrid Ornelas: So next, we have omega 3s, and I want to specifically highlight that we’re talking about omega 3s with EPA, not DHA. So these are EPA, which is the one that’s listed up there, and DHA. They are two essential types of omega 3s. Essentially, they’re both very important, but several research studies and I’ve done articles on this as well have found that I guess taking omega 3s specifically with EPA, it’s just more superior in its benefits than DHA. And when we talk about the omega 3s, these can be found in fish. Most of the time, you want to take omega 3s; you see them in the form of fish oils. And this is going back to what Kenna discussed before, like following a Mediterranean diet, which mainly focuses on eating a lot of fish. This is where you get your intake of omega 3s, and research studies have found that omega 3s themselves can help promote heart health, and they can help lower bad cholesterol to your LDL. And these can also improve our metabolism, just like vitamin D.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Want to go ahead and blanket all these things under the fact that we’re also looking, and when we’re dealing with metabolic syndrome, we’re dealing with inflammation. Inflammation and omegas have been known. So what we need to do is to bring out the fact that omegas have been in the American diet, even in a grandma’s diet. And then, like again, we hear back in the day when grandma or great-grandma would give you cod liver oil. Well, the highest omega-carrying fish is the herring, which is at about 800 milligrams per serving. The cod is next when it’s around 600. But because of the availability, the card’s much more available in certain cultures. So everybody would have cod liver oil, and they’d make you close your nose and drink it, and they knew that it correlated. They would think it’s a good lubricant. Still, it was an anti-inflammatory specifically with people, and usually, grandmothers who knew about this right helps with the intestines, helps the inflammation, helps with the joints. They knew the whole story behind that. So we’ll go deep into the Omegas in our later podcast. We have another one that’s here. It’s called berberine, right? What’s the story on berberine?
Astrid Ornelas: Well, pretty much the next set of nutraceuticals that are listed here, berberine, glucosamine, chondroitin, acetyl L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, ashwagandha, pretty much all of these have been tied into what I talked before about chronic pain and all of these health issues. I listed them up here because I’ve done several articles. I’ve read various research studies that have covered these in different trials and across multiple research studies with numerous participants. And these have pretty much found, you know, this group of nutraceuticals here that are listed; these have also been tied in to help reduce chronic pain. You know, and as I discussed before, like chronic pain, you know, people who have fibromyalgia or even like, you know, let’s go a little bit simpler people who have back pain, you know, these inactive people who have sedentary lifestyles simply because of their pain and they can be at risk of metabolic syndrome. A lot of these research studies have found these nutraceuticals themselves can also help reduce chronic pain.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think the new one is called alpha-lipoic acid. I see acetyl L-carnitine. We’re going to have our resident biochemist on the following podcast to go deep into these. Ashwagandha is a fascinating name. Ashwagandha. Say it. Repeat it. Kenna, can you tell me a bit about ashwagandha and what we’ve been able to discover about ashwagandha? Because it is a unique name and a component that we look at, we will talk about it more. We’re going to get back to Astrid in a second, but I’m going to give her a little break and kind of like, let Kenna tell me a bit of ashwagandha.
Kenna Vaughn: I was going to add in something about that berberine.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh, well, let’s go back to berberine. These are berberine and ashwagandha.
Kenna Vaughn: OK, so that berberine has also been shown to help decrease the HB A1C in patients with blood sugar dysregulation, which will come back to the whole prediabetes and type two diabetes situations that can occur in the body. So that one is also has been shown to decrease that number to stabilize the blood sugar.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: There’s a whole thing we’re going to have on berberine. But one of the things that we did in terms of metabolic syndrome definitely made the top list here for the process. So there’s ashwagandha and berberine. So tell us all about ashwagandha. Also, ashwagandha is the one. So in terms of blood sugar, the A1C is the blood sugar calculation that tells you exactly what the blood sugar does over about three months. The glycosylation of the hemoglobin can be measured by the molecular changes that happen within the hemoglobin. That’s why the Hemoglobin A1C is our marker to determine. So when ashwagandha and berberine come together and use those things, we can alter the A1C, which is the three-month kind of like the historical background of what is going on. We’ve seen changes on that. And that’s one of the things that we do now in terms of the dosages and what we do. We’re going to go over that, but not today because that’s a little bit more complex. Soluble fibers have also been a component of things. So now, when we deal with soluble fibers, why are we talking about soluble fibers? First of all, it is food for our bugs, so we have to remember that the probiotic world is something we cannot forget. People need to understand that, though, that probiotics, whether it’s the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium strains, whether it’s a small intestine, large intestine, early on the small intestine, there are different bacteria to the very end to see come to the back end. So let’s call that the place that things come out. There are bacteria everywhere at different levels, and each one has a purpose of discovering that. There’s vitamin E and green tea. So tell me, Astrid, about these dynamics in terms of green tea. What do we notice as it pertains to metabolic syndrome?
Astrid Ornelas: OK. So green tea has a lot of benefits, you know? But, you know, some people don’t like tea, and some are more into coffee, you know? But if you want to get into drinking tea, you know, definitely because of its health benefits. Green tea is an excellent place to start and in terms of metabolic syndrome. Green tea has been demonstrated to help improve heart health, and it can help lower these risk factors that pertain to metabolic syndrome. It can help, you know, several research studies that have found that green tea can help lower cholesterol, bad cholesterol, LDLs.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Does green tea help us with our belly fat?
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah. There’s one of the benefits of green tea that I’ve read about. Pretty much one of the ones that probably that it’s most well known for is that green tea can help with weight loss.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh my gosh. So basically water and green tea. That’s it, guys. That’s all. We limit our lives that are also, I mean, we forgot even the most powerful thing. It takes care of those ROSs, which are reactive oxygen species, our antioxidants, or oxidants in our blood. So it just basically squelch them and takes them out and cools their cool and prevents even the normal deterioration that happens or the excessive deterioration that occurs in the breakdown of normal metabolism, which is a byproduct which is ROS, reactive oxygen species are wild, crazy oxidants, which we have a neat name for the things that squashes them and calms them and puts them in the order they call antioxidants. So the vitamins that are antioxidants are A, E, and C are antioxidants, too. So those are potent tools that we deal with as we lower body weight. We free up a lot of toxins. And as the green tea goes into squirt, squelch them, cools them, and gets them out of gear. Guess where the other organ that helps with the whole insulin production is, which is the kidneys. The kidneys are flushed out with green tea and then also helps. I notice that one thing that you haven’t done, Astrid, is done articles on turmeric, right?
Astrid Ornelas: Oh, I’ve done a lot of articles on turmeric. I know because, from the list that’s up there, turmeric and curcumin are probably like one of my favorite nutraceuticals to talk about.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, she’s like gnawing on a root and a couple of times.
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, I have some in my fridge right now.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, you touch that turmeric, and you can lose a finger. What happened to my finger? Did you get near my turmeric? The root, right? So. So tell us a bit about the properties of turmeric and curcumin in terms of metabolic syndrome.
Astrid Ornelas: OK. I’ve done several, you know, a lot of articles on turmeric and curcumin. And we’ve also discussed that before, and several of our past podcasts and turmeric is that it’s that yellow yellowish could look orange to some people, but it’s usually referred to as a yellow root. And it’s very popular in Indian cuisine. It’s what it’s one of the main ingredients that you’ll find in curry. And curcumin, pretty sure some of you people have heard of curcumin or turmeric, you know? What’s the difference? Well, turmeric is the flowering plant, and it’s the root. We eat the root of turmeric, and curcumin is just the active ingredient in turmeric that gives it a yellow color.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Guys, I will not let anything but the top type of curcumin and turmeric products be available to their patients because there’s a difference. Certain ones are produced with literally, I mean, we got solvents, and with the way we get things out and of curcumin and turmeric or even stuff like cocaine, you have to use a distillate. OK? And whether it’s water, acetone, benzene, OK, or some sort of a byproduct, we know today that benzene is used to process many types of supplements, and certain companies use benzene to get the best out of turmeric. The problem is benzene is cancer-producing. So we’ve got to be very careful which companies we use. Acetone, imagine that. So there are processes that are in place to extract the turmeric properly and that are beneficial. So finding suitable turmeric, all turmerics are not the same. And that’s one of the things that we have to assess since it has so many products in the world is running real crazy to try to process turmeric and precisely, even if it’s the last thing that we’re discussing today on our subject matter. But it’s one of the most important things today. We don’t even understand aspirin. We know it works, but the total magnitude of it is yet to be told. However, turmeric is in the same boat. We’re learning so much about it that every day, every month, studies are being produced on the value of turmeric into the natural diet, so Astris is in tune in on the target on that. So I’m sure she’s going to bring more of that to us, right?
Astrid Ornelas: Yes, of course.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So I think what we can do today is when we look at this, I’d like to ask Kenna, when we look at a metabolic syndrome from the presentations of symptoms or even from laboratory studies. The confidence of knowing that N equals one is one of the essential components that we have now in functional medicine and functional wellness practices that a lot of physical medicine doctors are doing in their scope of practice. Because in metabolic issues, you can’t take metabolic away from the body. Does the metabolism happen in a back problem? We notice a correlation with back injuries, back pain, back issues, chronic knee disorders, chronic joint musculoskeletal disorders, and metabolic syndrome. So we can’t tease it. So tell us a bit, Kenna, as we close out today a bit of what a patient can expect when they come to our office, and they get kind of put in the “Oops, you got metabolic syndrome.” So boom, how do we handle it?
Kenna Vaughn: We want to know their background because, as you said, everything is connected; everything is in-depth. There are details we want to get to know all so we can make that personalized plan. So one of the first things we do is a very lengthy questionnaire by Living Matrix, and it’s a great tool. It does take a little while, but it gives us so much insight into the patient, which is great because it allows us to, like I said, dig deep and figure out, you know, traumas that might have happened that are leading to inflammation, which how Astrid was saying then leads that sedentary lifestyle, which then leads to this metabolic syndrome or just kind of down that road. So one of the first things we do is do that lengthy questionnaire, and then we sit down and talk to you one on one. We build a team and make you part of our family because this stuff isn’t easy to go through alone, so the most success is when you have that close-knit family, and you have that support, and we try to be that for you.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We have taken this information and realized it was very complex five years ago. It was challenging. 300 300-page questionnaire. Today we have software that we can figure out. It is backed by the IFM, the Institute of Functional Medicine. The Institute of Functional Medicine had its origin over the last decade and became very popular, understanding the whole person as an individual. You can’t separate an eyeball from kind of the body as you can’t separate the metabolism from all effects that it has. Once that that body and that food, that nutraceutical that nutrient enters our body. On the other side of our mouth is these little weighting things called chromosomes. They’re spinning, and they’re churning, and they’re creating enzymes and proteins based on what we feed them. To find out what’s going on, we have to do an elaborate questionnaire about mental body spirituality. It brings in the mechanics of normal digestion, how the entanglement works, and how the overall living experience happens in the individual. So when we take into consideration Astrid and Kenna together, we kind of figure out the best approach, and we have a tailor-made process for each person. We call it the IFM one, two, and three, which are complex questions that allow us to give you a detailed assessment and an accurate breakdown of where the cause can be and the nutraceuticals the nutrient nutrients that we focus on. We push you right direction to the place where it matters into the kitchen. We end up teaching you and your family members how to feed so that you can be good to those genetic genomes, which you’re, as I always say, ontogeny, recapitulates phylogeny. We are who we are from the past to the people, and those people have a thread between us and my past, and everyone here’s past. And that is our genetics, and our genetics responds to the environment. So whether it goes in the south fast or exposed or predisposed, we’re going to discuss those, and we’re going to enter the world of genomics soon in this process as we go deeper into the metabolic syndrome process. So I thank you all for listening in on us and know that we can be contacted here, and they’re going to leave you the number. But we have Astrid here that’s doing research. We have a team established by many individuals who can give you the best information that applies to you; N equals one. We got Kenna here that there’s always available and we’re here taking care of people in our beautiful little town of El Paso. So thank you again, and look forward to the following podcast, which will probably be within the next couple of hours. Just kidding. All right, bye, guys.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez, health coach Kenna Vaughn, Astrid Ornelas, Truide Torres, and biochemist Alexander Isaiah Jimenez discuss what is metabolic syndrome and the steps to fix it.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: All right, guys, we’ve come to another podcast, and welcome to Dr. Jimenez and Crew podcast. Welcome, and you have a family here. We’re going to go over metabolic syndrome today. Metabolic syndrome is a disorder that ultimately affects a whole lot of people. And what happens is, is it affects one of the largest populations in affecting El Paso, pretty much in this region. And what we have is it’s not a disease, OK? First of all, it’s a combination of presentations that medical doctors and the World Health Organization have determined high-risk factors to have a stroke, kidney disorders, and even problems with dementia. But overall, it’s pretty much if you have metabolic syndrome, you feel crummy. So today, what are we going to do is we’re going to discuss the issues, and we’d like to at least present it to you so that it becomes useful for you and the information provided by us is going to be helpful for you or a family member. So if you have the opportunity and something that you enjoy, please go ahead and at the bottom area. There’s a little bell to subscribe to. And a little belt in markets so that you could be the very first person to get information in the future when we ever posted. And also allows you to present or ask us for things that are important to you in the health-related realm. Now, what are we going to do today? My name is Dr. Alex Jimenez. I have my entire staff here. We’re going to go, and we’re going to present each one of them in different moments. And we’re going to do some fascinating dynamics. We will also have our resident biochemist at the National University of Health Science, who’s going to chime in and give us a little bit of foundational biochemistry. This information is going to be helpful. We’re going to try to make it as simple but as useful as possible. Now, bear in mind everything that we’re going to be talking about in and today revolves around the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is what the health care organizations have determined, and the cardiac departments have five major symptoms. Now you have to have three of them, at least to be classified as metabolic syndrome. OK, now the first thing is to ask… What do you feel? Pretty much you feel like crap, OK? And it’s not a good feeling to feel this way, but you’ll see that if you have of these presentations, you’re going to notice that your doctor may give you a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. Now, the first thing that happens is you usually have a bit about belly fat. Now, the belly fat that people have, people measure it. For men, it’s a belly kind of like the lonja, the belly that hangs over, and it’s about a good, I’d say, about 40 inches or greater in the male. In women is 35 inches or more. Now that’s one of the first presentations. Now the other presentation is high blood pressure. Now that high blood pressure that they use is 135 milligrams over deciliter. Sorry, yeah. Miller Mercury’s millimeters of mercury over these leaders to determine exactly on the diastolic and the systolic. So the diastolic is going to the systolic is going to be 135, the diastolic is going to be over 85. Now that doesn’t happen again; you’re going to notice something. These aren’t extreme ranges from OK. Metabolic syndrome has high triglycerides. Now the high triglycerides are going to be noted in the blood. OK, now one of the things that can be determined early on is high blood pressure, which is also so associated with metabolic syndrome. So the other final one is the elevation of or decrease actually of HDL. HDL or the good fragments of cholesterol. Alexander will be a resident biochemist and talk to us more about that in the latter part of the show. Now, bear in mind, I’ve given five things a. the fat, b. the high blood pressure, c. the blood glucose levels, and also the triglycerides, along with the lowering of the HDLs. The question is, how are we going to be able to control this now? I’m going to give you some real good basic ways that you can control metabolic syndrome. And by the time we’re done today, we’re going to be able to assess the situation. And even if you have it, you basically will be able to control it. There are rare diseases that you can be disordered. And again, this is not a disease; it’s a combination of syndromes or symptoms to be called a syndrome collectively. So metabolic syndrome can be construed. Now you’ll notice that the blood glucose level will be elevated, usually over 100; these are relatively average numbers people have. But if they’re higher than that, they do create issues now. Also, when you have the belly fat 40, and it’s not that much, many people have it. People also have blood glucose levels that are higher than 5.6 on their blood glucose A1C. These numbers and the 150 mg per deciliter of triglycerides are all normal but in combination. Together, they do ultimately create a scenario that is not favorable to cardiac issues. Cardiovascular issues do present as a result. So what we’re going to try to do is try to bring down and control these issues. Now, what are the things that cause metabolic syndrome? One of the things is stress, smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and even sleep problems and disturbances. We can be elaborating on each of these we can we’re going to be elaborating on in the future podcasts. Still, we’re going to be able to tell exactly what’s going on in a better way. We also have issues with inflammation and processed foods. At the core metabolic syndrome, the main issue is insulin sensitivity issues and high blood pressure issues, and inflammation. So what are we going to do to control that? I want you to know that every single one of these five issues, whether it’s blood glucose, high triglycerides, low HDL counts, or blood glucose, they’re all relatable to one disorder. It’s insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity controls every one of these factors from raising high blood pressure. The kidneys are controlled by insulin, causing an increase in blood pressure, and we’ll discuss that issue and its correlation. So if we can control the blood glucose, we ultimately have the fastest and the surest way to provide the fastest route to heal and fix an individual with metabolic syndrome. So let’s go ahead about the issues that are going to result from that. Now, as I’ve got this, we’re going to notice that if over some time you continue to have a lifestyle that has high levels of these particular five factors, you’re going to notice that you’re going to tend to have high cardiac risks. Now we have a team here, and I want to introduce each one. We have Kenna Vaughn, who is our health coach. Our health coach is the one that’s going to be the one that explains to our patients what is going on. I’ll bring her in. We also have the clinical liaison, which is Trudy. Trudy is the individual who will be able to bring out the questions and determine what kind of issues are appropriate for you. So we’ll be discussing those. And we have our resident chief editor, Astrid Ornelas, who will be the one that explains the studies on it. From Illinois, we also have Alexander, which we have right in the back where you can’t see him, but he’s presenting and say, Hello, Alex, can you get them there? Hello. All right. So he’s out there, and he’s going to discuss the issues and the biochemistry side of things, and we’re looking forward to explaining those issues. Now, one of the things we have to do is go back to the issue of insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is at the root of all these issues. So what we’re going to do is discuss exactly how insulin can be controlled. But what we’ve learned through these studies, and I’m going to bring in Mrs. Ornelas, is here to discuss the studies on how to control blood glucose and blood sensitivity. Astrid, what did you find out recently that shows the proof and presents the easiest way to control blood insulin and elevate HDL?
Astrid Ornelas: OK, well, first of all, just as you know, as you mentioned, metabolic syndrome, it’s a collection of health issues that can increase the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It’s basically like, you know, it can affect our overall health and wellness. And I’ve done quite some research, and I’ve found them through the National Center of Biotechnology Information, the NCBI. A variety of research states that metabolic syndrome or people with metabolic syndrome, one of the easiest, you know, quote-unquote easiest or one of the best ways out there that can be used to help… Restore? Yeah, to help restore or reverse all metabolic syndrome would be through the ketogenic diet. So the ketogenic diet or the keto diet is a low carbohydrate, high-fat diet, which, according to research studies, offers many benefits towards people with metabolic syndrome. It can help improve or promote weight loss, and it can help reduce diabetes.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I want to mention right there, I have found nothing faster to lower the blood glucose and reverse triglycerides issues and HDL issues than the ketogenic diet. So, in essence, if you want to do it fast, it’s incredible the speed at which it restores the body to what it is. What else is there?
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah. So, like the human body, usually, we use glucose or sugar. It is supposed to be our primary source of fuel, our main source of energy. But of course, for people who have metabolic syndrome, people who have obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, or the increased risk of diabetes. The ketogenic diet can be very beneficial because it is a low carbohydrate diet, carbohydrates essentially turn into sugar or glucose, and we don’t want that. Like if people have metabolic syndrome, they have, you know, diabetes and insulin resistance. You don’t want sugar in your body because they produce too much of it. They have too much blood sugar. And but by increasing your height, by increasing the number of fats that you eat, and decreasing the number of carbohydrates, you keep a low amount. You keep insulin low, and you, by eating more fats, basically what you would do is make the body go into a state of ketosis.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what? Let me ask you something. I’m going to feed this over right now to Kenna, and I’m going to ask Kenna in your experiences with the blood sugar issues. How is it that we contain and we learn to be able to manage someone’s blood sugar? The quick is the fastest. What is it that you do in terms of coaching individuals, helping them back?
Kenna Vaughn: For coaching individuals. I always evaluate their diet, and the main thing I like to focus on is education because so many people are not educated about, as Astrid was saying, carbs and how they fuel your body. A Big Mac might have 54 carbs, and a sweet potato might have 30 carbs, and people don’t realize that they’re that different, and they only see 20 points or something like that. But the way that the carbohydrate breaks down in the body is enormous. And that’s why the ketogenic diet works so well because you’re using those good whole carbs that are going actually to contain protein as well. And so it’s going to help to break it down slower versus a Big Mac, which is just going to spike your insulin way up.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And what part of the Big Mac is the thing that spikes the sugar? I mean, in terms of that?
Kenna Vaughn: Right. So the bread, the carbs in the bread, actually breaks down differently in your body than a sweet potato would. And so that’s what’s going to give you that high glucose level. And then after that, you’re going to have the fall of the glucose level, which is your blood sugar going up and down does not feel great. So it’s something you want to avoid.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I have a question for you. For the sugars. When you asked the types of sugars you have, you just mentioned that the variety of carbohydrates matters. Yes. Tell me a bit of that.
Kenna Vaughn: The quality, like I was saying, sweet potatoes, avocados, things like that. They’re going to have the carbohydrates that are better for you, meaning you break them down differently than you would. Faster sugars like sucrose and things like that.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So simple sugars are out, basically, which is why, first of all, metabolic syndrome did not even exist before the advent of refined foods. So refined sugars have caused this problem. So what we want to do is sugar leads to inflammation. Sugar leads to triglyceride issues. Sugar or insulin sensitivity issues are the things that are the basis of this process. All roads lead to insulin sensitivity in this process. And the organ that provides us with insulin, the most significant amount is is the pancreas. The pancreas is nonstop. And depending on how the pancreas responds to this blood sugar drama, it determines the fate of the individual. It will alter the triglycerides. It will transform the blood pressure by directly holding sodium in the kidneys, the kidneys the body prepares. It retains the sodium, and by the nature of sodium, the blood pressure soars. So the fastest way to lower your blood pressure is a ketogenic diet. And this is amazing because it is simple. It’s not that complex. We can go extreme. And I know that Astrid had an excellent research document on that. Tell me a bit of what you noticed.
Astrid Ornelas: Yeah, basically, like, what Kenna was saying. Before, many people didn’t know the difference between what type of carbohydrates they want to eat, like, for example, as you said, you know, a lot of people will eat a Big Mac, and they’ll eat that sweet potato, and they don’t know the difference between a good carbohydrate; basically, we want to eat what you call complex carbohydrates, which is it’s more like we want to eat like whole wheat or we want to eat like like good starches because those there break in the body breaks them down into glucose, into sugar. But they’re used much more slowly to where it won’t. The body won’t directly use them. And then you’ll get that crash, that sugar crash.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Because of the insulin spike, right? It controls the insulin spike. You know what? I want to bring in our resident biochemist here. OK, so our brilliant biochemist is Alexander. He’s got a presentation here, actually, if I can see it there and see if I pop up here. And there he is. Alex, can you tell us a bit about what you’re trying to explain here on the biochemistry side of things?
Alexander Isaiah: As you guys mentioned, just in general, glucose is the primary energy source in the way that we use it for the breakdown. Its breakdown on energy consumption is called glycolysis. So without getting too much into it, our end goal here is pyruvate, which then goes into the citric acid cycle to be turned into acetylcholine. In normal conditions, this is good to have a carbohydrate meal, but when in excess, do you produce too much acetylcholine? When is too much acetylcholine used? You end up inducing fatty acid synthesis, which is induced by significant levels of insulin. So by doing so, you have acetylcholine, which ends up turning into palmitate. And one thing that Kenna mentioned is that not all foods are of equal quality. So here, we can see all the different types of fatty acids. So without going too much into biochemistry, but just giving you an idea of what’s going on here? These numbers on the left side represent the number of carbons in a row, and then the numbers to the right of the semicolon are the number of double bonds. And usually, double bonds don’t play a significant role until you get into digestion and the way the body uses these. So by having more double bonds, it’s more fluid. So you notice the difference between a piece of lard and olive oil. What’s the difference? The only difference is the number of carbons and the number of double bonds. So here we have oleic acid, olive oil, and then we have some saturated fat. We can see that the difference is prominent in the number of carbons and double bonds. Double bonds allow for a lower melting point. That’s why olive oil is a liquid at room temperature versus fatty acids, and this plays a significant role in how the body uses these types of things.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Alex, are you saying that? We all know that the excellent work of olive oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil is the best thing is, this is why this happens.
Alexander Isaiah: Exactly. So the more double bonds they have, the more fluid it will be within the body and allow the body to use those fats on time versus clogging up artery arteries and creating plaques within those arteries.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Excellent. You know what? One of the things that insulin does, it pack away carbohydrates in energy in the cell. If you do that, what happens with this blood sugar? Eventually, insulin spikes it and puts it in the cells. Finally, the cell grows, hence the belly fat. Ultimately, The belly starts green and gains the fat cells, and they start getting bigger, bigger, bigger because they get injected in there. That stuff starts seeping out, and once it can’t go in anymore, it ends up in the places like the pancreas. It ends up in the places like the liver. It ends up in the intramuscular into the muscular tissue. And that’s why we have the accumulation. And when you have a big belly, that’s what tips off the doctor, not only with the triglycerides in the blood glucose levels but also the belly fat. And that’s one of the things we have to kind of assess. So are these now these fatty acids? What are fatty acids used for, typically, Alexander?
Alexander Isaiah: Fatty acids are used almost for everything within the body, especially for energy consumption. It’s like saying, would you rather be able to go five miles or 10 miles? You always want to go 10 miles, right? So gram for gram fat as an energy source is much more fuel-efficient than glucose or carbs. So carbs provide our four grams of four calories per gram and fats are around nine. So it’s almost it’s more than double the amount of energy that you’re producing from these fatty acids. The tricky part is just knowing which ones are good. So going into the good fatty acids, which will be the ones with the double bonds. So I mean, any plant oils, animal fats, depending on which ones, we tend to want to stay away from large amounts of wretched ionic acid, as they tend to cause inflammation responses through the inflammation pathway. But the rest of these are good, especially EPA and DHEA. So DHEA is used within the nervous system. It’s turned into neurotic acid and EPA as well. So getting these marine oils is going to be suitable for your system just in general.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what, as I understand these processes and start realizing the biochemistry behind it, bringing it home to this process down to the cellular component it honors. It shows appreciation in terms of what creates the fatty acid excess. Now again, what happens due to too much of these fatty acids or carbohydrates in the bloodstream? The body tries to store it. It tries to store in the form of fat, and it’s shoved into the pancreas. So you get this fat inside the pancreas. If it can’t do it there, it eventually puts it in the liver. And like we mentioned, it gets it in the stomach, or that’s when we see it as a final thing. So then I like to take the explanation and break apart one other point, the high blood pressure component. Insulin has a direct effect on the kidneys. Insulin tells the kidneys, Look, we need to pack this stuff into the fat. And without getting beyond too much of the chemistry dynamics, you can see that what’s going to occur is that the kidneys will be commanded to hold more sodium. In chemistry, biochemistry, and clinical science, we learned that the more sodium you retain, the blood pressure rises. In essence, that’s how quick the blood pressure goes. So you do that for some time, and then you force the collection of atherosclerotic plaques because that fat is in there, and it can’t go anywhere. You’re going to have a problem in the long term, in the long term future. So speaking about the oils, as Alexander just did, one of the things we ask is, Well, what oils cannot we should know? We use canola oil, corn oil, sesame seed oil. I love sesame seeds. But the problem is that sesame seed oil causes inflammation, as Alex said, with arachidonic acids. So what we have to do is figure out precisely what types of oils we can do and avocados, as Kenna had mentioned, are a great source of fats that we can use and make things more processed. Our bodies and the old pyramid of diet are really bad because it’s heavy on carbohydrates. So one of the things that we look at is maintaining all those components. So we talked about triglycerides, the belly fat, how it’s put together. And each one of these, I want to point this out again. The high blood pressure, which is 135 high blood pressure, is not considered at 135. Usually, it’s at 140. OK. So if so, why are we using triglycerides at 150 are not regarded as excessive. You know, HDL is lower than 50 is not considered horrible, but in combination together, if you have one at all, these three of these components are the five. That’s what leads to a pre-position of of of being sick and feeling crummy, let alone any prolonged period of this will end up leading to metabolic disorders, heart problems, stroke problems, dementias that occur as a result of protracted metabolic syndrome states that are within the individual. I want to ask Alexander. He’s got some fascinating dynamics, as I want to present right now, and we’re going to show his screen right here because he’s got some exciting components on what also affects metabolic syndrome. Alexander.
Alexander Isaiah: So kind of going into what it is, I guess ketosis, because everyone wonders what goes on. So I kind of got this diagram here that I drew out for you guys. We’re ignoring the ephedrine pathway over here, but just in general. So what’s going to happen first is you’re going to deplete any glucose that you have. So the body typically stores around 100 grams of glucose in the liver and around 400 grams within the muscle components of the entire body. So if you times 500 times for, that’s about 2000 calories, which is your daily limit, so you’ve got almost a day’s worth of glucose always stored within your body. But once you deplete that, your body’s going to start looking for other things. In the meantime, it takes a few days for your body to switch over from burning sugar, which is glucose, to burning ketone bodies from fat. So what’s going to happen? Your, first of all, your adrenals are going to start releasing epinephrine, its precursors, norepinephrine. And this is because of a couple of different things. You’re going to get a bit jittery first, and you’re going to feel bad for the first couple of days, but then your body and starts switching over as your brain starts to begin using these ketone bodies as an energy source. So as you’re producing norepinephrine, these are just like, this is the cell surface here. These are just different precursor markers. So we have B1, B2, B3, and A2. Doing these will mark and signal to the gas protein, which will allow aminoglycosides to activate ATP into cyclic AMP. Now, cyclic AMP is an essential component of the degradation of fatty acids. The cool part is it’s inhibited by phosphodiesterase. So when people come in and say, why is caffeine a good fat burner? The main reason why is because caffeine inhibits phosphodiesterase to a certain extent. You don’t want to go too crazy with the caffeine and start doing lots of cups of coffee.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Should I have eight glasses of coffee, or how many cups?
Alexander Isaiah: I think one glass of coffee is more than enough. So by having cyclic amp be more active, you activate the thing called protein kinase A, which activates ATP, and then it starts a hormone-sensitive life base. Once hormone-sensitive lipase is activated, it begins to degrade. It begins to break down fatty acids. Once these fatty acids enter and are broken down, they then enter into the mitochondria, and the mitochondria will then produce heat from this. So that’s why people who are ketosis are always really warm. So what do I recommend when people are starting to do a ketosis diet? Water? Keto diet, definitely water and as well as, I would say, L-carnitine. So as we’re looking at L-carnitine here, we could see that during fatty acid degradation, you use L-carnitine as the primary transporter between the outer mitochondrial membrane and the inner mitochondrial membrane. So by using fatty acids, here’s fatty asceloca; after we’ve broken down these fatty acids, it’s going to enter CPT one, which is carnitine, a seal translocated want or poly transferase one. It’s going to enter and interact with carnitine, and then it’s going to turn into seal carnitine. Once seal carnitine turns into it, it can enter the inner mitochondrial membrane through these two enzymes translocation and CPT two to be broken down back into a seal code, which does the same byproduct as glucose eventually. Also, then, your mitochondria can use these in beta-oxidation. One thing to know is you have to drink a lot of water because people going through ketosis will be upregulating the urea cycle. So you need to make sure that you pull a lot of water or drink a lot of water throughout the day. Anyone doing a keto diet today has a minimum of a gallon of water throughout the day, not all at once, but throughout the day.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s incredible, Alex, that you put that together because that makes perfect sense to me and also explains why people do say when we put them on the ketogenic diet, that they do increase body temperature and the water helps you kind of keep the whole system pumping because that’s what we’re pretty much made of. And also, the pathways that you indicated the hydrogen in the water are necessary for the process to occur.
Alexander Isaiah: Yes. Certain aspects within each of these fuel each other; it’s all an interconnected pathway. But you will upregulate the urea cycle during ketosis much more than when you’re not. For example, everyone’s notorious or cats are notoriously known for having a rotten urine smell. And we have to take a look at that from the reason why right? So general in humans there, urea content in the urine is three percent. In cats, on the other hand, it’s anywhere between six to nine percent. So you have to think about it. What is the only mammal on the planet that is a carnivorous animal that only eats meat? Since they only eat meat, the feline family upregulates their urea cycled, thus having more urea in their urine. So if you’re only a meat-eater, you’re going to have more urea. Therefore you need to drink more water to flush it out through your kidneys.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s amazing because it explains why we make sure that everybody drinks a lot of water, and then they feel better. And I guess if we don’t monitor it correctly, if we don’t do it right, we get that thing called the ketogenic flu, right? And then the body feels kind of crummy until it restores and it stabilizes the blood glucose through ketones. Now, the body can use ketones for sugar, as it’s known. So one of the things that we do is teach the people exactly how to go through the process. And I know we got some research articles here, and Astrid wants to discuss a bit of that.
Astrid Ornelas: So basically, like, as Alex mentioned, when people start going, they start following the ketogenic diet, we do want to, you know, as he said, we want to make sure that they stay hydrated, but more so than that. I guess another thing that we want to educate people on is that not many people know, you know, we need to store up the body with good fats so that as the body adjusts, it starts burning fat as a fuel than sugar or glucose. So we want to teach people, what are the good fats that we want them to like to eat, you know, because like, we need to store up in these fats of that the body can go into ketosis and we can go through the whole process that Alex just explains.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what? I would like to bring Trudy here because she’s the one that connects with the patients at the moment. We do assess someone to have metabolic syndrome. In terms of the resources, how do you go through the process of presenting? Hello, Trudy. Trudy, what are we going to do there? I’m going to ask you, how do you bring that? Because she’s our clinical liaison, our wellness liaison, and she’s the one that basically will give us the information that helps the patient in the right direction.
Trudy Torres: Well, hello. And I, you know, this is all excellent information, which is fantastic that we can provide this to the public. And I know this can be very overwhelming for people that are not don’t have this information. So that’s where I come in when people come, you know, either call us or come in inquiring about their different symptoms. They don’t necessarily know that they’re experiencing the metabolic syndrome. But you know, one of their main concerns is they’re waking. Based on their concerns, I connect them to our primary is with Kenna, and they go ahead and say, OK, well, what are the steps that we have to take and Kenna certainly educate them as far as, OK, this is the lab work that you’re going to have to take. We connect them with Dr. Jimenez after we know exactly their primary concern, and we’re going to start peeling things apart like an onion to get to the bottom of things and get them feeling better. They’re not only going to walk away with the specific results, but they’re also going to walk away with, like Astrid said, what are the good fats to have? What should I be eating? So they’re going to be walking away with a lot of information, but also structure. Another thing that we’re offering is that Kenna is always going to be there, you know, to answer any questions and also Dr. Jimenez, so they don’t have to feel overwhelmed with the process as they’re going through a better, healthy lifestyle.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, that one of the things is there’s a lot of confusion out there, and I’ve got to be honest with you. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. This misinformation can be categorized as intentional or old, or it’s just not up to date, with these five elements and an individual having three of them. It’s essential to repeat precisely how to fix this issue with the individual and change their lives because there’s nothing quicker to change the body than the ketogenic diet. We also have to monitor the individuals and monitor them through the process. Now we have Kenna Vaughn that she’s got some methods that we employ in the office and are helpful to her. Doctors do this around the country, but it’s beneficial in helping guide and allow for interaction and communication between us, the providers, and the patient. What kind of things do we offer, Kenna?
Kenna Vaughn: We have one-on-one coaching, which is great for when you’re just starting something out. Like they were talking about the ketogenic diet. You might be confused, and there is misinformation. So with this one-on-one coaching, it’s great because we can connect through an app that we have, and you pull out your phone. You can send a quick text message; hey, I saw one website said that I could eat this, but another said, this, can I have this? Things like that. We can clear up that confusion fast, which can keep you on track rather than doing that guessing game. We also have scales that connect to this app, which allows us to monitor the water weight they have and the fat that they have. And we can also monitor their activity through a wristband to constantly track the steps they’re taking. Ensure that they’re doing exercise because exercise is also great to help lower that blood glucose level.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, you mentioned that about the monitoring. We do that in the office along where we send the patients home with actual scales that are the mini BIAs and their hands and wrist. We can do pretty much for patients who want to connect with our office. We can directly get the information downloaded, and we can see their BIAs changing. We also use the in-body system, in which we do a deep analysis of the baseline basal metabolic rate, along with other factors that we’ve discussed prior podcast. This allows us to put together a quantifiable method to assess how the body is changing and rapidly restoring the body to or away from a metabolic syndrome episode. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling it really can. There’s nothing that destroys the body in these combinations of issues at one time. However, it’s easy to see that the body does everything quickly. It fixes a ketogenic diet, removes body weight, decreases the fat in the liver, decreases the intramuscular fat, restores blood sugar. It gets the mind working better. It helps the HDLs through some studies, and I know that Astrid knows there’s a study out there that pulls the information upon how the HDL are elevated with and with a ketogenic diet. We have a study here. You can put it on the screen right there that I think you found that shows the HDLs. Am I correct? And the apolipoprotein, the lipid part of the HDL, also is raised and activates the genetic component. Tell me about that.
Astrid Ornelas: So basically something that a lot of researchers, many health care professionals out there, doctors, they often say, is that when people have high cholesterol, you know, and we’re usually talking about the bad cholesterol. According to several research articles, it’s generally associated with a genetic predisposition when they have bad high cholesterol or the LDL fragment. If your parents, if your grandparents had high cholesterol, there is also an increased risk of you having a genetic predisposition to already having high cholesterol plus like add that like your diet. And if you follow a sedentary lifestyle and you know you don’t do enough exercise or physical activity, you have an increased risk of having higher bad cholesterol.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I’m going to pull the information from I’ve noticed that Alexander’s pulling something information up here on the screen. He’s presenting the monitor where you can see his blood glucose and the screens that he’s going ahead and putting that up there for him. There you go. Alex, tell me what you’re talking about right there because I see that you’re talking about the apolipoprotein, the lipoproteins, and the HDL fragments there.
Alexander Isaiah: So kind of going into a little bit of everything here. So what happens when you eat something that is going to cause an increase in cholesterol? So first of all, you have these genes called Callum microns within the intestinal lumen or your GI tract, and they have apolipoprotein B 48. They have a B 48 because it’s 48 percent of apolipoprotein B 100, so it’s just a little different variation. These microns will bring these through the body and transfer them into the capillaries using apolipoprotein C and apolipoprotein E. Once they enter the capillaries, they’re going to degrade and allow for different aspects of the body to use them. So I have three tissues. We have adipose tissue, cardiac tissue, and skeletal muscle. So cardiac tissue has the lowest KM, and adipose tissue has the highest KM. So what is KM? KM is just a measurement of the way that the enzymes are used. So a low KM means a high specificity for binding to these fatty acids, and a high Km means low specificity for them. So what are the three parts of the body? They use the most energy. It’s the brain, the heart, and the kidneys. Those are the most caloric consumption parts of the body to stay alive. So, first of all, the heart relies large amounts on these fatty acids here, and transferring them to the heart uses mostly fatty acids. I think it’s about 80 percent; 70 to 80 percent of its fuel comes from fatty acids. And to deliver these, your body uses these Callum microns. So once the Callum microns exit the capillaries, it’s already an LDL. It has two choices: the LDL, It can be taken back to the liver or can switch its contents with HDL, and the seals can deliver them correctly to the proper places. So that’s why HDL is so important because they deliver them to the appropriate places if these Callum microns or these LDLs aren’t transferred correctly back to the liver. So why is LDL so detrimental to the system of our body? So here’s a couple of reasons why. So as LDL scavenges throughout the body, they are seen as a foreign object by our macrophages, and our macrophages are our cells used for immune response. So the macrophages end up engulfing these LDLs, and they turn into these things called foam cells. Foam cells become atherosclerotic plaque eventually. But what they do is they embed themselves within or under the surface of the epithelial lining, causing a buildup of these foam cells here and eventually blocking the pathways, causing a plaque. So by eating better fats, having a higher amount of HDL, you can avoid these plaques and avoid atherosclerotic plaques, which clog up your arteries.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what, actually, the link between atherosclerotic plaques and metabolic syndrome you’ve made very, very clear at this point, and that is the reason why prolonged states of the metabolic syndrome do create these disorders. I want to take a moment to thank the entire crew here because what we’re doing is we’re bringing in a lot of information and a lot of teams. And if someone has an issue, I want them to meet the face they’re going to see when they walk into the office. So, Trudy, tell them how we greet them and what we do with them when they walk in if they feel they may be a victim of metabolic syndrome.
Trudy Torres: Well, we’re very blessed to have a very exciting and energized office. You’re always going to feel at home. If we don’t have the correct answer at that moment, we’re certainly going to research. We’re not going to toss your side. We’re always going to get back to you. Everybody gets treated as an individual. You know, each vessel that we have, it’s unique in its way. So we certainly don’t create a cookie-cutter approach. We’re always going to make sure that, as I said, you walk away with the most and valuable, informed option for yourself. We’re just a phone call away. We’re just a click away. And, you know, don’t ever feel that there’s not a reasonable question. We always want to make sure that all the questions and concerns you have always get the best answer possible.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Guys, I want to tell you, thank you. And I want to also share with you that we happen to be in the fantastic facilities when we do; there’s exercise involved with returning the body to a normal state. We function out of the PUSH Fitness Center. We’re doing the podcast from the fitness center. And you can see the information herewith Danny Alvarado. And he’s the one that or Daniel Alvarado, the director of Push Fitness who we work with a bunch of therapies and physical therapists to help you restore your body to where it should be. We look forward to coming back, and as I said, if you appreciate, are you like what we have here, reach down on the little bottom, hit the little button, and hit subscribe. And then make sure you hit the bell so you can be the first to hear what we got to go on. OK, thank you, guys, and we welcome you again. And God bless. Have a good one.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez, health coach Kenna Vaughn, Truide Torres, biochemist Alexander Jimenez, and Astrid Ornelas, discuss how chiropractic care can ultimately help treat sciatica or sciatic nerve pain.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Hey, guys, we’re live today. We’re going to be discussing the scourge of the back, the scourge of the back for myself. I’m a chiropractor practicing out here in El Paso, Texas. We usually have a disorder that’s typically there isn’t a day that we don’t see it, and it affects so many people. But there’s a lot of confusion with, and I call it, the scourge of the low back. It’s called sciatica. Sciatica is a disorder that has many, many reasons and many, many causes. One of the most important things is first to assess the reason and cause of sciatica. But most importantly, when it first hits an individual, it strikes them, usually with a shocking misunderstanding as to what’s going on in their legs. They feel pain in the low back. They sometimes feel pain in the leg. Different areas depend on where the issue lies, so a little bit of its anatomy breakdown and explanation of what it is. First of all, it’s a syndrome. It’s a syndrome that has many reasons and many causes. The issues that come about and are that that make sciatica arise are vast. I would venture to say that there are a million people that come in with sciatica. There are a million reasons that have presented each one of those patients. There is a majority of problems in and a subset of issues. We’re going to go over that. Today, our goal is to bring out the awareness that it is a problem, just like the present anemia. And there are many reasons why a person would have anemia. Many people are familiar with anemia, and they say that’s low blood, but you’re going to find out where the blood issue is to determine exactly what the causes of anemia are. Well, the same thing with sciatica. There’s a lot of reasons why the sciatic presentation occurs. So we’re here to kind of begin the process of explaining that. So we’re going to get real deep and down and nasty with the science of it. We’re going to try to give you some tools that you can look at and assess. So your provider can give you a better explanation, or you can ask better questions in terms of where your sciatica originates. So the first thing is to understand the anatomy, and I’ll go through the anatomy in a very visual way. But I want to first kind of take you to a visual, and my visuals are very three-dimensional and offered through complete anatomy. Complete anatomy has given us the ability to use this and show, and it is something that many medical students use. So in today’s modern-day, we don’t have to use some visceral or some sort of human anatomy. We can use these tools to help us present to the patients and to teach. So it’s probably one of the most used anatomical structured systems, and we use it to teach people in our patients every day, given the dynamics of sciatica. Here we have a picture of a sciatica HDMI, so we can see a presentation of what the sciatica nerve looks like when we can see it. The interesting dynamics here is that when you look at the interesting presentation, you can see as I go away how vast and how large it is. Now the first thing is I rotate this individual. You got to see that it comes from a large glute plexus in the lumbar spine to the sacral nerve roots. So anywhere down the line that anything is touching this thing, this beautiful, powerful nerve, you’re going to find that there is pain radiating down. So we’re going to discuss those issues. And as we kind of go over that, we want to understand that so away from HDMI. So what we’re looking at are the issues that present with us when we discuss it. So what are the causes, and what is sciatica? Sciatica is inflammation of the sciatic nerve, and as it presents what happens many times, it is the largest nerve in the body, and it’s how most people know it, and it travels from the lumbar plexus to the leg. So, anywhere that that thing is touched, it’s going to radiate pain. Now, what are the causes? Well, they could be from vascular. They could be compressive. They could be lymphatic. There could be a space-occupying lesion, such as a tumor causing the issues. Now, a good clinician will do a lot of different tests and a lot of different assessments to determine where it is having the problem. So when I have a patient, they come in when the first thing we have to do is a history we have to assess and find out what’s going on. So finding the history of something that suddenly someone starts sitting or they become active, or they get hit in the back, and they start having sciatica, it boats to a well, dynamics. So what happens is, what we need to do is we need to discuss the dynamics of where it begins and what goes on. So in terms of our direction, I would like first to take you to the physical assessment. When you explain to your doctor what’s going on, you need to tell him exactly when you started having it. That’s very important. The history is very like when these issues are? Do you have a sedentary life? So these are the types of issues that present most of the time a person comes into the office with having a severe presentation that they’re shocked? They didn’t expect this and what occurs in this particular area is that you can see where the nerve root comes in. So over here, you’ve got to figure out where it came from. As you notice, a lot of the reasons that many of these individuals have is because it’s a little bit of atrophy and muscular issues that arise. As you can see right here, there’s a lot of areas where the nerve can keep becoming trapped, and this is the main reason that most people have this issue now as they go through this and they present a symptom. I got to figure out, and we have to figure out where the problem originated with our team. So as I go through that, I want to give you a different dynamics here in what I’m going to explain. I’m going to present my team to you so that they’re all going to. Each one of them is going to explain a little different aspect of what goes on. Today, we will discuss how a coach, such as an individual helping the doctor, can assess the situation. We are going to talk to our coach Kenna. We’re going to talk to Astrid, who’s going to bring some science knowledge here. We will bring a patient in, discuss the experience with her, and bring in our top guy from the university at the biochemical level. He will teach us a little bit about some nutraceuticals and some applicational processes that we can do to help an individual with sciatica. So at first light to tell, I like to ask a question to Kenna. So Kenna, what I want to do is I want to ask you exactly what it is that you notice when a patient presents with sciatica and what kind of things we can do in the office and what’s our approach specifically more like the metabolic issues and the disorders that present that way? So when we’re looking at here, let me go ahead and head into this area, tell me a little bit about how we present a patient and what we deal with when we’re talking to an assessment or doing an assessment.
Kenna Vaughn: So one thing that many patients with sciatica have is the pain they’re feeling, of course and that low back. But another thing is they don’t have a lot of movement due to that pain, and movement is essential. It’s what life revolves around. So we take that movement, and we look at how we can help this patient decompress that sciatic nerve with the adjustments that Dr. Jimenez does, but also how can I benefit from my side of things for this patient? So we do have a lot of great resources available to us. We send our patients to Push, which is a gym here that helps them get that calibration in their muscles that they need to build up those stronger muscles all around that sciatic nerve so that this nerve doesn’t get pinched frequently or as often. And another thing we have available to us is an app called Dr. J. Today. And what that does is it syncs with the bracelet that our patients wear, which allows us to track their movement. So we want to focus on that movement as part of it. And another thing we can do is nutraceuticals in supplements. So what are nutraceuticals and supplements? One of the main ones we focus on that almost every individual should be taking is vitamin D3, and we like it coupled with vitamin K. This will help your bones and circulation. And it’s going to help to decrease that glucose by increasing your insulin sensitivity. And this is where it comes into play with sciatica.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I had a question for you in terms of that. When you’re discussing that we’re dealing with and sciatica as a pain in the hips, we’re correlating, and we’re tying together, I guess, a disorder that many people have as metabolic syndrome and many times are overweight. And that was one of the presentations that many of the patients with sciatica, not that everyone is overweight, with sciatica. Still, many people who become sedentary and don’t move as much do suffer from metabolic syndrome. So to get that under order, one of the things is to bring the insulin under control. And once we do that, we start losing weight and getting more active with the exercise protocols. She mentioned Push because we began to calibrate the hips. Now, as you can tell from our picture here, there’s a whole lot of muscles in this region, OK? So as I kind of use the application, you can see a little bit more of the muscle tissue that is involved. So as we look at the muscle tissue, we can see that calibrating and these muscles that control the hip actually propel the creature, so propel humans, so to speak, right? So what happens is as this happens, if this becomes deconditioned through a sedentary lifestyle. Well, the thing that’s lying underneath also stops working, and the muscles stop working as effectively. So one of the ways that we treat people is through a coach to assess their body mechanics and put them through the Push Fitness protocols that can help them get a calibration of the structures. One of the things that we also do in this process is we look at the sitting issues and tell me a bit of what you do, Kenna, in terms of helping people adjust their lifestyle or modify their mobility issues.
Kenna Vaughn: So what their mobility, as I said, we use the app, and we also use Push Fitness, and the supplements have a lot that comes into play because like I said, with that increasing the insulin sensitivity, what we’re going to want to do it, that is it’s going to help to control the blood sugars. And you might not necessarily relate blood sugars to sciatica just yet, but as I said, everything is connected. So when we put our patients on a protocol and have them control these blood sugars, it also helps maintain their inflammation because sugars and chemicals cause that inflammation in the blood. And that’s also it’s going then to cause nerve damage to our body and our system. And then, once we have that nerve damage going, we’ll see many more patients sitting down, which relates to that lack of motion. And then we see a lot of patients coming in with sciatica.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Sciatica. So basically, we’re going back to the same monster, which is called inflammation. Right. So inflammation is the deal. People that have sciatica will often tell the story of how it kind of looms with them. It’s like having this untrustworthy nerve back there that if they have stress or go through emotional dynamics, it affects sciatica. So this threshold that activates the sciatica presentation could have even an emotional component to it. So we want to bring that to light, too, because many people have normal lives, but they don’t have the presentation under normal situations. Suddenly, bam, they get an emotional, financial issue, family things, and sciatica just flares. Where is that even logical, right? The key is inflammation, inflammatory response, stress responses. And those issues do create an almost perfect storm to create a predisposition for inflammation. So that’s why we bring in the dietary components and the food to start eating better to prevent inflammation again. Those are some of the things. So she also mentioned the issue of Push. Push is our fitness center, where we actually put people through exercise protocols, and when we start putting people through exercise protocols, it’s there to calibrate. Now, what’s the biggest muscle in the body? Well, not too far from the anatomy to an anatomical structure. You can see the muscles in this particular area, and everybody knows that the glutes are the big muscles. So when you see this powerful muscle, if this muscle becomes decalibrated from a sedentary lifestyle, you’re going to notice that you’re going to have a lot of predisposition. So it’s like a car with flat tires. So if the car has flat tires, it starts swaying and moving to the wrong side. Well, if it’s swing, you can imagine that it affects the axis and the axles, and all that kind of stuff starts happening. Things like these happen, but in our human structure, there’s a finely calibrated system here. One of the things that many people don’t know and don’t think about is the lymphatic structure. Now, if you can see here, you can see the lymphatic. Now those guys ride directly next to the venous and arterial structures, and you can see it here. So as you can see that for progressing, you also look at the arteries. So if someone doesn’t have an arterial system that is working well and sitting on this, you can see congestion occurring around the structures, around the nerves. Now there’s a lot of nerves in here. So when you start looking at these dynamics, you start seeing that a person who is not using their muscles has an increased congestion level. So as I remove these muscles here, you can see this picture, and I’m going to remove every one of them. You start seeing the noticeable dynamics of how complex their nervous system is. So over here, you can see the complexity of how those nerves function. It’s amazing to see all the structures in here. So when you look at this, you can see the amount of influence that lack of movement would cause. It’s almost like a traffic jam. Imagine sitting on this thing all day long, OK, let alone be inactive. So one of the things we want to do is to assess exactly what it is. And one of the things that we do is to calibrate the system. So going back to removing these picked areas, you want to go ahead and work on the big systems. OK, well, as you can see, these muscles bring a huge component into helping sciatica. Now, where are the sciatic issues coming from? Now let’s go ahead and start discussing those particular issues as we can kind of go through this. And I want to take you through a little anatomy lesson here because it does require a little bit. As I remove these things, we’re going to see all of the structures that come in, and actually, but you can see if I can get the nervous system only out to the minimal component of it, the big ones. And as you can see here, you can look over this way and see anywhere down the line right here by where the nerves are. Them out where the disk comes out in this particular area as it penetrates forward, it goes this what we call the sacral notch, which is this guy right here. This hole is a sacral notch where it comes out, and you can see that it can be bumped into the bone and the actual femur here. So there’s a lot of areas that we can see that directly affect the sciatica regions. But having gone through that, I’m going to go into that in a little bit deeper. But I want to go ahead and get a little personal story right now. I want to ask an individual now what sits in here, and most women, you know, this is where they contain babies, right? So in a situation where you have an individual that is going through a lot of changes, such as an individual who’s having a child, you can see where the hips actually change and right down there, if you can see down there, this is where the sacrum has to open up to allow for the birthing canal. You see that big hole right there. A baby’s got to go through there, and if it can’t go through there, which it probably won’t until probably the ninth month where this area starts expanding, guess who’s going to go by, then kick in on the way down? OK, that would be a child. OK, so let’s talk about that. I’d like to present Trudy here because she has a story of how it affected her.
Trudy Torres: Well, I guess, you know, as a woman, you know, it’s an extremely joyful situation when you find out that you’re going to be a mom. If it’s your first-time baby, you’re in for a roller coaster. You know, like you guys were mentioning, there’s a lot of different scenarios that you go through emotionally, physically. So when you’re pregnant, you’re the perfect storm for something like this to come up. You know, you are just balanced from you’re so, so tired the first trimester. I’ve always worked out. So for me, I have never experienced sciatic pain before, and for me being so active, I went from being 100 percent active to just being so tired. I had to be super careful about spending my energy, especially in the first trimester. So on top of that, if you add, you know, everything else that’s going on physiologically with me and then my life became so sedentary. On top of that, you know, I have a desk job. So sitting at a desk and then not compensating, moving all of a sudden, that pain is so excruciating. I did not experience this with my first baby. I experienced this with my second child. And, of course, I gained more weight with my second child. So once again, you know, you’re adding problem over the problem. And just because you’re pregnant, that doesn’t mean you’re eating for two, because unfortunately, some of us, you know, have that misconception, and that’s when your weight tends to get a little bit out of control. So you’re adding a lot of different factors that create the perfect storm and are just super, super hard. One of the things that Kenna mentioned that helped me was becoming active and being exposed to Push. I had someone here that was able to work out specifically with me being pregnant. Obviously, my limitations as you start gaining more weight, it’s not the same thing that you can do when you’re not having a baby. So I was able to continue to work out later on in and, you know, after I was exposed to chiropractic and implementing exercise.
Kenna Vaughn: So the main symptoms you had when you had sciatica, and you were pregnant, was it mainly just pain, or did you also get that tingling feeling because there is more than one symptom of sciatica?
Trudy Torres: No. Unfortunately, it was just not pain. It was pain. It was burning all down my leg. I did not know what was going on. As I said, this was not with my first pregnancy, and every pregnancy is different with my first child. I watched more what I ate. I was still active, so I believe it was a combination of things, you know, that I felt like I was eating for two. I gained more weight than I should have.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got a question: Was it when you rapidly gained weight during the final trimester?
Trudy Torres: I think everything kind of started happening a little at a time. I wasn’t that active in the first trimester, so I began having flare-ups not as bad as once I gained the weight. But, you know, once I gained more weight, that’s when I started having more severe symptoms, as I said, the burning, the lower pain. It was just excruciating, and it’s something that I don’t wish upon my worst enemy.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Now, did you ever have a recurrence after you had your baby?
Trudy Torres: Yes, I did. I did, and unfortunately, I did, but one of the things has helped me keep that under control. It’s been being active, continue to watch my weight. My supplements were one thing that I would ask Coach or Dr. Jiménez when you’re pregnant. I know we were talking about the different supplements. What do you still recommend for pregnant women to get on the different vitamin D and K supplements?
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s an excellent question, and one that I’ll answer very clearly as a wide disclaimer; you need to make sure that your doctor knows what you’re experiencing. Obstetricians, which are OB-GYN doctors. They’re very well astute as to what type of supplements. So in the world of supplementation, it is wise to have a doctor assess that, and many of them will make sure that you have good supplementation. The area where it’s the accurate assessment is you have to have supplementation. Your body’s trying to produce an enormous amount of cellular activity as it creates life. It draws upon a particular area that inflammation goes crazy, the body goes into dynamic changes. So nutrition becomes an essential thing from intestinal nutrition through metabolic nutrition. So one of the things is that you have to have a doctor, typically today’s individual who is in there as young childbearing age, they have a doctor evaluating. So yes, one of the essential things is from folic acid to vitamin E, D. These are a whole, complete gamut of vitamins that are assessed and given by their doctors. So most women will know that if they take some medication, they have to put it clearly by their doctor. That’s the most important thing. And the second thing is on the supplementation side; once your doctor knows, he’s probably going to give you something of a basic level of supplementation and nutritional assessment. So in terms of that, a dietitian can evaluate you and assess you and determine what’s going on in terms of the aggressive approaches where an individual is not pregnant; there’s a lot of things that can be done. But let me ask you this. I know that you do a little bit of a CrossFit, and you do that kind of stuff. And you mentioned that you had sciatica after. I want to go to the point that many people who have sciatica lead a predisposed life to sciatica now, meaning that once you get it, it’s not that your terminal is that you always have the potential of having it, so whether your body dynamics have changed. Typically, you’re not 18, and now you’re 40. What happens is your body is warning you that it’s not working as it should be. And suddenly, the nerve starts becoming flared up, either the compression through atrophy of muscle or imbalance of muscles. So all those things are essential; I notice that you mentioned something that you did. It also affected you after. Did you do some competitions later, and did it affect you?
Trudy Torres: I did do competitions after. What helped me keep it under control was that its different factors to keep it under control. You know that keeping moving makes sure that you’re taking the right supplements in chiropractic care. I’m a firm believer, you know, of a holistic approach, and I believe that a combination of all it has helped me keep it under control. I have not had flare-ups, but I believe it’s because I’ve had all these different combinations. As I said, you know, I kept active. I have, you know, been in average weight. I have also implemented chiropractic, you know, as maintenance.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I would like to give people a kind of insight as to what happens when you first go to a doctor, and they assess you; there are many ways to figure it out. One of the ways that it’s an easy way if there’s degenerative and there are bone changes is an x-ray. And that’s what we typically look at, and we first start all assessments. But the definitive assessor who gives the vast amount of information is looking for some compression. And at that point, sometimes we have to look at the arterial-venous circulation. But the number one way to determine if someone has sciatica due to a disc injury or some compression or space-occupying lesions like a tumor or some arthritis or some sort of imbalance in the muscle is genuinely the MRI. The MRI is an excellent tool. Now, if there is bone involved, a CAT scan is used. The EMG is used to determine the muscular tone and the muscle’s ability to react and see which tone levels. But you don’t need to be a rocket scientist and put someone through that. They already know that their muscles are tight, and there is an issue. The ability to determine how the nerve functions is a nerve conduction velocity test that tells you how fast and slow the nerves could work. Now in the situation where we do a bone scan, we’re trying to look for any metabolic issues outside, and there could be a tumor or some problem. But that’s rare, and that’s not typical, but the number one way to assess an issue is through an MRI and an X-ray. Those will give you the most significant, broadest areas. Now I want to go ahead and talk a bit about nutraceuticals and specifically nutraceuticals. We’re going to go ahead in this about the treatments for it. And as we go through that, I’d like to go ahead and discuss certain areas and specific supplements. Now Astrid is our resident nutraceutical information gathering. We also have a biochemist in the background who will bring some insight to a different level. But what kind of things do we typically offer patients when they need it as a metabolic, a leaving protocol?
Astrid Ornelas: OK, well, first of all, I want to bring in an interesting statistic. According to researchers, approximately 80 percent of the population suffer from some type of back pain. Included in that are low back pain and sciatica. So with that being said, of course, it becomes a priority to know what is it and what can we do to assess this common problem? And like, Kenna and Dr. Jimenez, like you and Trudy have said, exercise is essential. And together with exercise, we want to bring in a diet. We want to eat foods and supplements. And because obesity or excess weight is one of the problems is one of the leading causes or one of the most common, commonly well-known causes of sciatica. We want to, you know, all together with exercise and following like a good, a good diet. We want to follow these things so that we can. If we lose weight, it can help improve sciatica. So with that in mind, there are several of them. I guess natural remedies, natural nutraceuticals, if you will, can help reduce or improve sciatica symptoms and, therefore, lose weight. So one of the ones that I want to talk about is that we have it here: turmeric or curcumin. So turmeric is a plant, it’s a flowering plant, and it’s related to ginger. And we eat the root. That’s what we know it. This yellow kind of orange-looking root is very commonly used in Asian foods and most commonly in curry and curcumin. You’ll hear turmeric and curcumin used a lot interchangeably together, and curcumin is the active ingredient that’s found in turmeric. So one of the things that I wanted to bring up with turmeric and curcumin is the benefits that many people can take, and they can either eat turmeric or take turmeric supplements. It can help to reduce sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. So turmeric has a lot of anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce pain and swelling, which is probably one of the most common symptoms of sciatica. There’s a lot of research studies that have found that turmeric or curcumin can reduce neural inflammation, which is inflammation in the nerves, which, as some of us here, know if your sciatica is caused by a disc herniation or a herniated disc, sometimes the substances or the chemicals that are inside of your disc, they can irritate the nerves. So taking turmeric and curcumin can help reduce the inflammation caused by these irritating compounds. It is also a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce oxidative stress, which can cause inflammation. And probably one of the highlights of taking turmeric or curcumin is that it can improve metabolic syndrome, as we previously discussed in a past podcast. Research studies have found that turmeric can help regulate body fat by reducing inflammation. It can also help lower bad cholesterol. It can lower triglycerides. It can improve blood sugar levels. And it has antibacterial properties as well.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you. We’re talking about the potential of someone having sciatica; since some people have sciatica, that kind of looms on them. Well, we’re trying to do with turmeric, and we’re trying to prevent it from kicking off. So it’s basically like prophylactic prevention. I like to go a little deeper, and we have our resident scientist here, Alexander, and he is right with us right now, and he’s got some points of view on some of those supplementations. Tell us a bit of what you learned in terms of supplementation and your point of view on how we can assist sciatica from a biochemical point of view.
Alexander Isaiah: Well, there are a couple of different ways of taking different perspectives and avoiding the whole. An inflammation response is a good way of saying it. Let me see. Can you guys see my screen here?
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, we see you, we see you right now. So I saw your screen. Yes, I do. We see the screen entirely.
Alexander Isaiah: Awesome. So I’m going to go into a little bit of the biomechanics of what’s going on with sciatica. Then we’re going to break down a little bit of the muscles, and then we’ll go into the supplementation aspect of what we can do to have either prevention or active treatment during treating sciatica. So here we could see we have three individuals from left to right. The first one is an individual who has a neutral spine. And you can see that as we draw a line down the middle there. External auditory Matis, the ear, is in line with their deltoid and is in line with the median part of the sacrum. In the second person, we can see that they have a little bit of dysfunction in terms of their physical aspect. So here we have an individual whose sacral promontory, which is the anterior side of the sacrum, is tilted superior, and their posterior area is tilted, posterior, inferior. I’m sorry. And what this is called, this is called a counter mutation. So by having that sacrum pointed up, you’re putting more stress on the thoracic region and causing the areas to be more inclined to different stresses. And most of the time, this is caused by tight hamstrings. So these hamstrings are pulling down, forcing the anterior side to come up and stretching these quadriceps. So it can either be done from an imbalance of over-powerful hamstrings or tight hamstrings and weak quads. In the third individual as we draw the same line down the middle. We can see that they are almost in line, but on an individual like this, we could see that their sacral promontory, the front side of the sacrum, is tilted anteriorly, which is called mutations. So we have a counter mutation over here. It’s going to go counter. And then mutation over here on the right side, so an easy way to remember this. They’ll stick forever is that this is pretty much if you think plumber’s butt, this is what it looks like. This is what J-Lo looks like. Oh, so you’ll never forget it that way. But the difference is here is that here the pressure is on the thoracic spine. But in an individual with notated hips, the pressure is in the lower back. So let’s say someone is pregnant and developing another child in this area. They’re going to be putting more pressure on the lower back versus someone who has pressure on their thoracic area. They’re going to be more pressure there. So going into a little bit more of the anatomy. We can see that we have all the different muscles here, and we could see the piriformis, which is this muscle right here. I’m going to give you different colors for you guys, so that you can see better. It is muscle right here. And then we could see the superior gemellus is right under that. So sandwiched between the two is the sciatic nerve. And if we have someone who is mutated, they’re going to be stretching these muscles more and putting more compression on that sciatic nerve, causing that area to be more inflamed. More of those neuropathies are occurring, shooting down the leg. And then in other instances, when we have the piriformis, which is split in half and the sciatic nerve is running between them, and that’s 10 percent of the population that that usually happens. And so and these people have always had sciatic problems. So by strengthening and working on those conditions and going over those nutraceuticals, we’re about to go into, we can treat and alleviate some of those symptoms. So the first one I kind of want to go into is a little bit of niacin. So niacin, we all see it as the store brand as something popping up like that. And most of the time, it’s either in 250 mg or 500 mg of capsules or tablets. I always recommend getting the tablets just because you can take half of the tablets. And I tell people this is because most of the time, nicotinic acid is the main thing is, vitamin B3 causes a little bit of a flush effect, but that’s just the way it works. So we’re going into it here. We can see that nicotinic acid, as it’s going through its chemical pathway, actually produces lots of NAD+, and NAD+ is essential in the cellular metabolism of many tissues. So going into brief biology, we all know that the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells we were all beaten to death growing up in basic biology. But as we take a look more in-depth at the structure of the mitochondria, we could see that it has an outer membrane, an inner membrane, and then an interim membrane space. So we’re going to look mainly at this little section here that’s folded in between, which are called the cristae. And we could see that the first complex, known as complex one or all the known as any dehydrogenase, is responsible for using NADH, converting it and using its protons, and moving it across the gradient to make ATP. But we could see that more NAD+ is produced here, right? So that’s where niacin comes into effect. We supplement more with NAD+ to cause a reduction reaction between NADH and some other electrons, forcing it into NADH. So what does this all mean? Pretty much what we’re doing is we’re creating a boulder downhill effect, so we’re making more NAD, and we’re forcing it to go to product. And how does this happen? Just easy thermodynamics is you put a lot of it up the hill. The enzymes are going to force the work to go down the hill and make more energy. In doing so, and you have a more healthy metabolism of cells. And this does not only correlate to neuropathies, but it also helps with circulatory function, cardiovascular health; the main multi nucleotide muscle in the body is the heart, so you’re not only making sure that you’re neuropathies are covered, but as well as you’re making sure that you’re keeping a healthy heart just by supplementing with vitamin B3. Another great one, saying that you have more ATP produced and more functioning and healthy tissues, is green tea. I chose to use green tea because it has a very similar pathway to curcumin in the sense of anti-inflammatory effects. So the main ingredient in green tea in case you either have green tea in your house or curcumin available, whichever one’s easiest for you, they mostly have the same chemical pathways in that they inhibit either inflammation or cell proliferation neural damage. So the main chemical in green teas is called catechins, and catechins are similar to catecholamines, like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which is just adrenaline. And the main one is EGCG. The cool part about EGCG is that it inhibited NF Kappa B and ROS. ROS is just a reactive oxygen species, which is just free radicals, which can cause havoc and wreak havoc throughout your body, which is why it’s an antioxidant. So in doing so, it prevents NF Kappa B from producing any proliferating effects from cells or inflammation or neural damage. Now, if we go more into biochemistry, I can just break it down a little bit here. So EGCG will upregulate AMP. High levels of AMP will down-regulate this enzyme, called glycolysis, and allow for ATP to be converted to CATP. This is important because not only does the CATP break down things, but it mainly breaks down any adipose tissue and helps kill any cells that are proliferating too quickly, such as cancer cells. And it also keeps cells functioning properly, such as neural cells. So as we’re coming here, another cool part about green tea is it has small amounts of caffeine. If you are pregnant, we don’t recommend that you do any caffeine or stimulatory effects. Always consult with your doctor before taking any of these things. Specifically, something that does have caffeine and that we just doesn’t want to mix anything, especially during pregnancy. But if you are trying to make sure that you help your sciatica or your metabolic syndrome. Green tea has another effect. Using caffeine, which inhibits phosphodiesterase and phosphodiesterase diseases, is responsible for turning off CATP, so it’s a double whammy effect. Not only are you burning fat and shutting down glucose storage, but you’re also allowing for this catabolic or this structure that breaks down things to keep going. Here’s a little bit of an overview of the different things that green tea does and how it helps. And just kind of going into another cool part about green tea is that it binds to other very toxic things, such as iron. We know that we have iron in every red blood cell, but people who have hemochromatosis have too much iron in their blood, and they have to give blood about once a week. Someone who has hemochromatosis can take supplementation of green tea and reduce their iron levels, preventing any toxicity from those iron.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, when you’re talking about those pathway patterns, you remind me very clearly that many of the times, the whole idea behind our show is to try to give you natural ways. However, there are potent medications that work with these pathways, one of which is gabapentin, used for neuropathic pain. Many people don’t want to do that because of the side effects and the critical issues that it causes. We were looking at this in a natural format in a natural way. Going back to the metabolic, what are the things that we notice in the metabolic areas you have seen? What are the other supplements? Do you notice that I have been able to assist people in recovering from because Astrid mentioned turmeric, and that’s the line we’re using. We’re using the anti-inflammatory. They’re limiting, limiting the reactive oxygen species or the ROSs to prevent the inflammation from occurring. Is that correct?
Alexander Isaiah: Yes. OK. The main thing is to inhibit the production of NF kappaB, which both curcumin, other known as turmeric, both have the same name. They’re interchangeable and green tea, and both inhibit these inflammatory pathways and cancer pathways.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes. So let me ask you, Astrid, in terms of those inflammatory comments. Tell me a few of your thoughts on this particular matter.
Astrid Ornelas: Well, I wanted to add another compound that can benefit sciatica or sciatic nerve pain. And that is called alpha-lipoic acid or ALA. And so ALA is an organic compound, and it is produced naturally in the body, but of course, in smaller amounts. Or it can be found in foods such as red meat or organic meats or in plant foods such as broccoli, spinach, Brussel sprouts, and tomatoes. Or it can also be taken as a dietary supplement. And I wanted to discuss the effects or the benefits of alpha-lipoic acid. Because just like green tea and turmeric or curcumin, ALA is also a powerful antioxidant, and it helps reduce inflammation, according to several research studies. And it can also have a lot of benefits for people with metabolic syndrome because it can help lower blood sugar or blood glucose levels. It can improve insulin resistance, which is, you know, an effect, or it’s something that they can that can ultimately cause diabetes. And several research studies have also found that alpha-lipoic acid can also improve nerve function, which, you know, people with sciatica or sciatic nerve pain, especially caused by neuroinflammation. ALA can also help improve nerve function in these people.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK. That’s an essential point of view. As you can see here on our list, we have quite a few different presentations and areas such as vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, fish oils, omega 3s with EPA, berberine, glucosamine, chondroitin, alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-l-carnitine, ashwagandha, soluble fibers, vitamin E, green tea, and turmeric. As you can tell, there’s a lot of things that we can do to stop the inflammatory cascade. We’re going to be going into all those because sciatica is so complex and diverse that we have to find the best for the patient from the millions of presentations that it has. So throughout the anatomy, as we discussed, and I’ll show you back the anatomy in a second here, you can see that there’s a lot of physiological and as Alex presented biomechanical imbalances that, if not taken into consideration, we will end up with issues in the future as a result of these predisposing dynamics. Now, as we recover these dynamics, we’re going to discuss many different topics. So I wanted to at least give a little more on the side of the things that we do now in terms of differential diagnosis. Many other issues can cause these presentations and from, you know, the dynamics of just a compressive nerve through space-occupying dynamics. We have other areas that come in and affect the patients. So what we’re going to do is in the following seminars, we’re going to go over specific types of things we can do, but let’s give you some guided ideas in terms of the treatment protocols that are out there. We have chiropractic care, which is a form of chiropractic. Chiropractic means mobilizing joints and moving the body, and there are thousands of ways we can do it. A lot of people think that it’s just manipulation or adjusting the spinal. We have to take a lot of things into consideration. We work on the bones; we work in the muscles; we work on the counter muscles. We have to formulate many dynamics to figure out what’s best in line to assist each patient. Once we find out the cause and find out what we call etiology or the pathology and the problem. We can go and use different methods. We use acupuncture, nutraceuticals. We work hand in hand with different providers to provide medications. We also do the goal ultimately in sciatica is to eliminate any chance of surgery if there is a surgical need or that needs to be done. But that’s such a small dynamic that we don’t want to go there unless we have to. We have different other protocols in different methods of treatment, like dry needling. We do aggressive rehabilitation. Now, why are we doing rehabilitation? Because as you saw in the picture earlier, the muscles we have were extremely involved in calibrating the hips. We want to make sure that we, we determine now over here, we got some basic care. We also got some aggressive care. Now, as you know, some basic care will be like ice-cold ultrasound, tens units, spinal adjustments, lifestyle changes, which is pretty much the biggest one because most people end up in a chiropractic office because their lifetime lifestyles change. Now, what do I have? I have a person who was an athlete at one point that suddenly got a desk job and now doesn’t move as much. Well, that’s easy. We can start getting that person back into yoga, pilates, tai chi, getting their bodies to align pelvically, and their whole body structure to get back to where it should be. Here’s the deal as soon as you can get past the inflammation and prevent that, and we can get you to move your body in a way that you did when you were a child, kind of like moving, dancing, and walking. That’s the way to calibrate the glutes. This is a powerful muscle, and as we’ve learned through technology and science, immediate atrophy occurs with the muscles not used. So imagine what happens when you start getting a job, and you used to be an athlete, and now you sit down eight hours a day, that’s going to give some great dynamic. So one of the crazy components is that as I look at this, I give you an idea of the types of exercises we can do. We can go into the extreme kind of CrossFit environment. And if we look at that, you just don’t look at the crazy structures, but you see people moving dynamically. A lot is going on here, and you can see that we can come up with our rehab centers. We have extreme athletes, too, even the people that are, you know, able to move just a little bit. But the point is that as we do this process, we can help someone with the treatments and protocols occurring, as you can see in this particular area. We can see Trudy and me. This is one of the things that the reason I was alluding to. But we can see when you were doing some self-treatment here. Tell me a little bit about what you were doing and what you were experiencing at that point.
Trudy Torres: That was, I believe, if I recall correctly, that was after my competition. I did compete for CrossFit. And, you know, it’s hard, after for a couple of hours. It takes a toll on your body. So I was kind of stretching my hip and stretching, you know, the rest of my glute area to avoid that flare up again. That’s something that once you experience it once and you have to go through the treatment, it stays in the back of your head because you certainly don’t experience pain again. That’s why you have to pay attention to all the different preventive areas and approaches to avoid ever having a flare-up.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, I got to tell you that I led you there because I know you had a lot of experience with sciatica. Alex, let me ask you this. You know, you were an aggressive competitor in the world that you did things. Tell me a bit of the thing that you did that you noticed when you were working. Let’s say an as a collegiate athlete, did you ever have hip issues?
Alexander Isaiah: Only when I didn’t stretch or when I didn’t work on my core muscles, or when I wasn’t making sure that I was anatomically in line, I did have some issues either with joint pain or just lower back problems or even upper back problems that all just tied into either flexibility or I just wasn’t paying attention to either my diet as strictly as I should, especially at that level. So, yes, I did.
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. You know what? There’s a lot to be covered here, and we’re going to be discussing a lot of issues. Did anyone want to add something else before we kind of closeout? I want to thank my crew for what we’ve done here. We are going to continue with this. Because we’re going to go real deep, this story of sciatica is going to get nasty with information. This is the beginning of touching on the subject matter. Thank you, Alex, for bringing the information because extremely, very deep in terms. I want to thank Astrid for giving us insights into biochemistry. My true patient, Trudy, and my coach over here, Kenna, and the supporting staff. So I want also to go if you guys want to find us. We’re here, and we’re here in this area where we are available. If we can help you and you can contact us at any given time. I want to thank you all, and I appreciate it. We’re going to be hitting sciatica relentlessly because it was relentlessly the scourge. It is ripping apart a lot of people at their works. They just quietly suffer. They don’t sleep, they stress out, and it causes a disruption. And it happens in mommy’s world, and it disrupts the whole family directly because a happy mommy is a happy family. So the entire thing is what we want to do is to assess what’s going on here. Find out the treatment protocols and give you the best options possible. Thank you guys very much, and God bless.
In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Mario Ruja discuss what sciatica does to the body and how it affects a person’s overall health and wellness.
What Causes Sciatica?
[00:00:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Hey Mario, we’re on a new podcast today. Today we’re going to be talking about sciatica and the complications with that. I got Mario here, and we’ve decided to chat and discuss the issues of sciatica.
[00:00:29] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It sounds excruciating.
[00:00:31] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, let me ask you this. In your practice, Mario, in terms of working with sciatica, what have you learned over the years in terms of sciatica?
[00:00:41] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Sciatica will put you down, Alex. It will make you feel like a baby and make you remember how vital chiropractic is and maintenance. It’s like having that car. For example, if you are driving Buggati and do not do the maintenance, you just put gas. It’s just like, rip it and run it. And then one day, it leaves you hanging in the middle of I-10, and everyone’s passing you, and you’re embarrassed.
[00:01:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It is what sciatica is.
[00:01:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It isn’t very pleasant.
[00:01:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, I believe it’s kind of funny that we’re laughing at it, but it is a scourge. I call it of the low back. It catches you off a surprise. It creeps up on you. It looms around, too. Yeah. And when they bite you, I mean it classically defined as pain going down the leg. There’s a lot of reasons why that happens. What do you get when your patients show up with that? What do they tell you? What kind of symptoms do they sort of present?
[00:01:45] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: You got to be kidding me. First of all, their wife drives them in. Does that tell you what it is? Yeah, it’s like a knife stabbing them in the back, and it radiates down their leg, and then they’re usually leaning to one side or another. And then they have this story. Alex, there is this crazy story like, ” Well, I was only…” the only part is ridiculous. “I was only picking up my child,” or “I was only throwing the football, and all of a sudden, my back went out. And then I try to stretch it, and I have my wife rub it. And all of that didn’t work the following day. I couldn’t get out of bed and had to crawl to the bathroom.” Now that is when your attention is on.
[00:02:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah.
Dr. Alex Jimenez and Dr. Mario Ruja Explain What Sciatica Does To The Body.
[00:02:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Our attention is on sciatica. This is a big topic, Alex.
[00:02:48] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is a vast topic, and let me just kind of throw this out there where we are going to begin the process of breaking down sciatica by no means are we going to be able even to know the breadth and width as this is like saying you can take down a sequoia with one bite. It’s not going to happen, and we’re going to have to chisel away from it. And as we go in there, we’re going to go deep. Are we going to get nasty with the science, Mario?
[00:03:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is getting deep and nasty. Folks will have to strap on their seatbelts for this ride.
[00:03:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Absolutely. As we do that, we’re going to be able to kind of go deep into it. We’re going to touch on some subject matters, but follow us on this process because we’re going to be discussing real essential issues about sciatica that affects so many millions of people at any given point. I’d venture to say that one in every four people is suffering from chronic back pain, and half of those people are suffering from sciatica in some form or the other or some pain down the leg. So in that sense, we’re dealing with a huge issue that affects millions of patients and millions of people across the country with all different doctors and different types of protocols. And these protocols can be from really esoteric to invasive. And we all want to do it quickly, and we all want to do it a simple way. So I think modern medicine Mario has determined that we have to go basic and try everything before any surgical interventions.
[00:04:16] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I mean, it’s common sense, and I always used the car model as an example. Before you get a rebuilt transmission, why don’t you maintain it before you drop a new engine? Why don’t you change the oil and get a tune-up? Unfortunately, again, you mentioned the unbelievable impact of low back pain in our society. I believe I don’t know if I may be in the ballpark. It is the number two or three reasons for work injuries and is one of the biggest reasons for the military to get med boarded out of the military. I mean, this is a big issue that impacts people’s lives, and then you would get into chronic pain management, things like that. But again, if we look at the most critical solution in our life, how can we prevent it? Prevention is the natural utilization of therapeutic arts that decrease the misalignment in the spine. Again, that misalignment is that torque where your back is out of alignment and calibration, right? Which causes uneven wear and tear on the disc. Then the other one is constant compression of sitting down and repetitive motion. The other one is just the injuries from everyday sports activities. More and more young kids are getting injured in sports football, basketball, more intense pain, more torque, and you can see pro basketball players and football players, all of them suffer from sciatica.
[00:06:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. Here’s the cascade. The cascade starts with a decalibration of the pelvis or the hips, or some injury trauma, some space-occupying lesion, or something on this path. I’m going to go ahead and demonstrate here on our pathway, and we’re going to show a little bit of what is in the nerves.
[00:06:43] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I love this 3-D model you are showing here.
[00:06:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Thank you.
[00:06:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is good stuff.
The Sciatic Nerve
[00:06:46] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is the complete anatomy provided for us and what we can see is a three-dimensional aspect of how and why someone has sciatica. Now when you look at this, Mario, what’s your first take? Because for me, it says it’s a complicated structure when we’re looking at this. When you look at the back, where it comes out, you see this big old cable called the sciatic nerve, but you see so many proximal areas and so many regions that are getting weird.
[00:07:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That is a lot of moving parts, Alex.
[00:07:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, it is. And you know what? One of the crazy things that I’m looking at here is the sacrum.
[00:07:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And that is the base.
[00:07:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s the foundation. The way the creator created us was that this is where energy transmits this bone right here. The sacrum, right? But little to the front of it. You have the sacral nerve roots that come out as they form out. You can see on this particular area; you can see the nerve roots coming out as they come in posterior aspect, you can kind of turn this around and we kind of get this little area here and as we rotate this thing, we can see the sciatic nerve as it comes out of what we call the sacral notch. That sacral notches right there is enormous.
[00:08:03] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That is crazy.
[00:08:04] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I know, right? So what happens is when you see it here, you can understand that this big ol’ nerve influences the entire creature. You take this thing out, and you have limited the creature’s ability to move. Please look at it as it comes out; you can look from the inferior border to the superior border. You can see why a woman is pregnant; you can determine why this baby could sit in this pelvic cavity here can cause a lot of damage to the sacral nerve.
[00:08:31] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Many of them suffer from back pain and sciatica.
[00:08:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is one of the reasons why right here that baby sits and dances in this whole area here. So when we look at this kind of stuff, we can make sense of all the presentations. As you hurt a nerve in one area, you can see that you would hurt as you would do something like this. And the nerve will hurt a distal or pull towards away from it. Once you hurt that region, our goal is to determine the nerve roots going down on that particular area. If this affects all the way down the leg, it will cause pain. Now, you can see in this specific region what goes on.
[00:09:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is it now. Now you see that this is what I like, and this is a creation. If you believe in miracles, you stop believing and just realize that you’re one walking. Here’s the sacral sacrum right here, the sacred bone, and that’s why it’s called sacrum because it’s sacred.
[00:09:42] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I didn’t know that. I learned about the scared bone, and it is the base of the spine.
[00:09:48] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This is where, as you mentioned, this is where the birth comes out. This is where the next legacy is created. So here is the ilium. OK, so that’s your hip bone. You have two of them. There is symmetry in our bodies, and that’s how God created us in symmetrical synergy. Then right here are pubic surfaces, and then you’ve got the operators right there, and then here is that L5 disc, and this is the one where I would say probably about 80 percent of disc herniations happened right there. So if you want to take a wild guess, this is it right here.
[00:10:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me hone in on that right there so I can bring that in a little bit better.
[00:10:42] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: This thing is dancing.
[00:10:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: As Dr. Ruja was explaining, he’s talking about in the disk space of the spine right here.
[00:10:51] Dr. Mario Ruja: Right, so see, that is where you have the IVF.
[00:11:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Intervertebral foramen.
[00:11:01] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: IVF. Interverebral foramen. There it is, and all that is like a fancy word for it. There’s a hole where the right everything comes out.
[00:11:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So here we start looking at the hole on the side, and as we look at it right there. You can see where the nerve roots come out right there.
[00:11:29] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So at that point, you see it here.
[00:11:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Exactly, and as you turn the model.
[00:11:38] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK, right there.
[00:11:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That is the nerve right there.
[00:11:43] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So this is where how they sit on top of each other right there. Then you can see it from underneath right in there. Now at this point, these nerves, like the fiber optics, are traveling down through these canals and openings and everything. So there are so many places, Alex, that they can be entrapped, compressed, and they can be twisted again. Remember, the big word for us and in our talks is inflammation.
Does Inflammation Causes Problems In The Body?
[00:12:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Inflammation yes.
[00:12:26] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Deep inflammation, yes. Now, these are all again if you’re looking like an electrician because I love how electricians work. You look at the fiber optics, and you have to trace it and find out where the issue is? Is it up here? Right here? Is it in the middle? Is it here in the canal? It is right there in that notch is the muscle compress.
[00:13:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh yeah, you can see it in the muscle compress.
[00:13:12] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: See where it’s pinched right there. That peraforma muscle is now critical. Again, that’s where you see a lot of times you need to release that muscle. Once it compresses, it just goes haywire right there.
[00:13:30] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, why do they call the peraforma muscle Mario?
[00:13:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Tell me, Alex.
[00:13:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Because it looks like a pear. When you take it, it’s a fat muscle when you look kind of flat here.
[00:13:43] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: And I visualize in the pear, Alex.
[00:13:44] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. Here is the top of the pear, and that’s the wide part of the pear.
[00:13:49] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s cute, Alex. I don’t know what kind of pear that is.
[00:13:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Exactly.
[00:13:52] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: But yeah, you’re right, it’s pear-shaped. Now I can see it.
[00:13:56] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: This is a crazy part. There’s a superior Escamilla right here in that area so that it can be trapped anywhere. As we look at this from the base point of view, you can see why people start having these symptoms.
[00:14:08] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, if we look at this pattern, we can also see an increased sedentary lifestyle, Alex. Can you see how all of these muscles are here? The glutes, gluteus minimus, Maximus, the hamstrings. Major squat muscles and the hips. Can you see all of these being deconditioned and compressing on a nerve?
The Lymphatic System
[00:14:40] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, let me show you this, Mario because I wanted to show you this. When I first started seeing this, I thought this as you begin noticing that you have the venous system, but here’s what people don’t know about the venous system. Next to it is the lymphatic system. Now let me remove these muscles here, and you’re going to see the intricacies of the green lines. These green lines are in the circulatory system.
[00:15:02] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Wow, the green lines are the lymphatic system.
[00:15:05] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The green is the lymphatic, and the red is arterial. When you start seeing red now, you can see that they have problems with their circulation when someone sits down a lot. And as you can see here, imagine sitting down all day on top of this thing? Can you see how the inflammation would happen in that region?
[00:15:25] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Alex, look at how much is happening in that pelvic area. I mean, this is like fiber optics just strapped, and this is like compress. Already, there is not that much space going on here, Alex. I mean, you’ve got nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph, all of those going through the same canal. So there is not a lot of what I call, you know, space and forgiveness. That’s why this radiating pain down the leg compresses that area that the flow down the leg is activated. That’s why your leg goes numb and your muscles to a large extent after a long time of having this problem. What happens, Alex, with a lot of my patients is they get muscle atrophy. You know, they gain muscle weakness, and that’s where your muscles shrink.
[00:16:40] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me show you the additional muscles here. You see, that’s why we train because all these muscles here are surrounding and covering up this area, and the muscle decalibrates.
[00:17:00] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Decalibrates.Is that like a fancy word for saying it just…
[00:17:05] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: De-conditions?
[00:17:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That flops down?
[00:17:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: For me, I like the word calibration because it is a fine-tuned structure. Philosophically speaking, they got a bump at this ball that follows them everywhere when you look at humans. This power unit, right? This throttling system, it’s the glutes. Some have it more significant than others, right? But here’s where we propel from; it is the source of power. It is the way the creature creates its anchor. If the hips are gone, the beast doesn’t survive. So when we look at this, and we look at someone who was an athletic person when they were young and all of a sudden they get this job where they sit in front of a computer, they don’t go out. What happens to them? They decalibrated like a car. It doesn’t get used, and before you know it, it starts sinking and becoming flattered, and eventually, the inner workings that we just came from really start grinding. So when there’s congestion, the lymphatic system is responsible for the circulation. But the lymphatic system, unlike the arterial and venous system, which works primarily with the heart pumping, is functional by motion. So when you sit down, you are not moving.
[00:18:16] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: You know what, Alex? It is the sacral occipital pump; when you’re talking about the CSF cerebral spinal fluid, I can tell you right now when that sacrum is not pumping back and forth when you’re walking, you know what happens? It’s stagnating to flow to your brain.
[00:18:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It does.
[00:18:37] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, all the way to your brain. Then the area that you talked about that I think is critical. You’ve got to keep the body moving. We are created as bipeds. We do not walk like gorillas who walk on all fours. I know sometimes you feel like one, but we’re not apes. That’s right; we’re not silverback apes. The thing is, we’re bipeds. So that means the whole body has to align and stand up. Alex, in every sport, I tell people I’m impressed with your biceps, but your core sucks. You know what? Your core determines your overall function. That is where you keep your body upright, and you create that calibration of your spine. Once that that lordosis, that curve into your back. Once that is lost, you’re degenerating; you’re aging. There it is, right there.
[00:19:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let’s go ahead and take a look at that right there. Yeah, that’s the lordosis you’re talking about in the spine.
[00:19:56] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Can you draw the lordosis out?
[00:19:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Of course.
[00:20:01] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Wow, that is crazy, Alex.
[00:20:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That is crazy.
[00:20:10] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK, so let’s do the pink pen for pain on the lordosis.
[00:20:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That curve along with this curve makes a big difference. So what happens is you end up understanding that this sacrum or this glute area influences a vast area. What I’ve learned in my practice is that when you have a person with a sciatic issue, there are upper back issues, and there are shoulder issues now if the lower back has problems…
[00:20:53] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It throws everything off, and it’s like a domino effect.
[00:20:56] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. What do you think about when they tell you, Hey, the person only hurt their lower back, and this is a work-related job? And similarly, they say it’s only related to the back. Yet they come in with leg pain, arm pain, and it makes sense to us, but nobody wants to understand that.
[00:21:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, that’s because they don’t want to, Alex. That’s where they want to lie, and it’s a lie. Remember when your mama told you it is not OK to lie?
[00:21:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what? Why don’t we just say for what it is? They’re lying. They understood why they don’t understand that the body is a biomechanical chain, and if it affects the hips, it starts affecting the lower back, which then affects the upper back. And everybody knows if you have a back that’s giving up, your shoulders will have issues. If you got shoulder problems, it is equally on the opposite side of the room; you’re going to have knee issues. So what happens is as we look at this dynamic model, we see that we can’t be telling a fib here.
[00:22:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The spine is one unit composed of many segments. OK, it’s not separate. So there is no way that you can have an injury to one part of the spine, and you can tell me 100 percent that it does not affect any other one. It’s impossible. I’m sorry, God didn’t create it. If you want to see it here, look at this ischium muscle as it goes all the way across. Look at this one. This one is amazing. I’m just going to do this. Here is here’s the muscle right here, trapezius. Now watch as it goes from here to where the shoulders are down, then go to the neck in the back of the neck.
[00:23:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me clear up the pen marks, OK?
[00:23:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Can you move the body down?
[00:23:38] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, I can, and there you go.
[00:23:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So I want to show one example so you can see all the way to the base of the head.
[00:23:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK, I got you.
[00:23:52] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Alright.
[00:23:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, here’s what you want to show. I think what you’re trying to show is that you’re trying to show the negative muscles and see all the good stuff in there.
[00:24:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, but I want to show you just that top layer, the trapezius.
[00:24:10] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh, let’s go to the muscular portion.
[00:24:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So it goes all the way from the base. Can you zoom out so we can see the whole thing?
[00:24:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Sure can.
[00:24:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK, lift the model.
[00:24:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I wish I could.
[00:24:23] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now here it is, and this is how dynamic this is. When people say, Oh, you only hurt your neck, but not your mid-back. Here it is. Trapezius right here goes from the base of the skull down the shoulders, right there, all the way down to the mid-back. OK, and this is probably like T10 T11, right? Somewhere around there, right by the middle and all the way across. So this whole area right there, that’s one muscle, and if you have an injury here in this area, this will affect all the way here then if you go in deeper into the second and third layer of the muscle.
[00:25:50] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me click here for you to see it.
[00:25:53] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now it gets crazy.
[00:25:55] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When we start removing muscular layers or increasing muscle layers, you start looking at all the functions.
[00:26:02] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Oh, look at that, the super spinadeus, And look at this right here. Vader scapula and from the shoulder all the way to the head is scalenus calculus.
[00:26:24] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK, so what we’re looking at here, we’re looking at the unbelievable body, but let’s go back to the area of concern.
[00:26:33] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: All right, you see how connected it is, Alex.
What Are The Causes of Sciatica?
[00:26:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Here’s the deal, OK? You and I know that the whole darn thing is connected, right? We can determine what is going on after dealing with the many patients we’ve seen over the years. And we’re like violin instructors. We touch the violin, and we make this body move. Our job is to understand when someone comes in and physically to see where this problem is. Find out where the issues are; there are tons of issues, and we haven’t even begun. We’re just having a general conversation about sciatica and where the issues are. What we don’t want is we don’t wish to surgical intervention at any early state unless it’s really necessary. Now what we’re looking at is when we see this, nobody wants that. So how do we fix this? So there are tons of ways to do that.
[00:27:26] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Can we go back to the slides of the causation for sciatica?
[00:27:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Absolutely. I’m going to take you back to the causation when you get over there in a second. The causation is right here, and we are looking at it.
[00:27:51] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: The first one is compression.
[00:27:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Compression of the disc.
[00:27:54] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Compression due to the lack of calibration balance within the system. So you have uneven compression and then a lot of sitting down; we talked about that, right? And then inflammation again, inflammatory process. We spoke last week about metabolic syndrome, inflammation. Inflammation affects the whole body and the disc bulging. Number two right there is disc bulging. That one again is due to what? The spine is out of calibration, out of alignment, putting uneven pressure, and it’s just like squeezing a balloon or a donut. That’s a classic example. You put pressure on a donut on one side, and it will crack, then you go from this bulge to worse herniation. Herniation and then fractures. Of course, if you have trauma DDD, that’s a funny thing. Degenerative disc disease.
Degenerative Disc Disease
[00:28:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes, early degenerative issues.
[00:29:00] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Right? And I love it because most people come into my clinic go, “Oh, I have degenerative disc diseases like I’m getting old,” and I say, “No. You had no maintenance on your back, and you’re not old. ” If you would have taken better care of your body, you wouldn’t have degeneration. They act as though this is normal; however, it is not normal; this is just a sign of the breakdown.
[00:29:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, the magnitude of either of us uncovering or discovering where a person has an issue. All of these things have ways that we can help it. What’s crazy about it is that we have to go against the grain in our methods because you would not think exercise would be a helpful tool right for this. However, exercise is one of the best things for we have to calibrate that pelvis if it’s appropriate. It’s a herniated disc, and it’s a bad one. We have to go ahead and surgically remove that; if not, we do anti-inflammatories, do we do natural methods, and get that body working and calibrating. Sometimes what happens is these people come in. These individuals are patients who come in and suddenly have a pain that just crept up on them over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes they have a slipped injury, a slipped disc, or even a vertebra that’s been fractured for years and now presents with the issues. Sometimes it’s a neurological presentation. Sometimes it’s a metabolic disorder like metabolic syndrome, and they have an inflammatory condition. What I’ve noticed, and I’m sure you’ve seen it too, is that these people who have sciatica live with this looming monster. It’s almost like a snake that lives in their pants, and when it bites them, it gets their whole leg. It disrupts people’s lives. Figuring out where the cause is is very important. So as we go over these things, I mean, it’s essential to go over the regions. I’ve even seen patients where they come in thinking it was sciatica. And sure enough, it’s sad, but it’s a tumor. And in that situation, we move on too quickly. I got to tell you, in the situations where we’ve had it, we’ve had great teamwork and resolved many issues for a lot of patients.
[00:31:06] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s the beauty of how we think, Alex. We think in terms of integration. So, just because you have a hammer, everything doesn’t look like a nail. We are chiropractors, but at the same time, we are physicians. And what that means is that we know about physiology, anatomy, neurology, all of that. So we can understand that the pain sensor is not the problem. The pain sciatica is not the problem. We look for the causation of the problem, Alex. And that is in many ways, the misalignment, the compression, the inflammation, the disc bulging again, bone spurs, and many times people will say, Well, I have bone spurs because I’m getting old. No, bone spurs are created because there is a misalignment and lack of calibration in your spine where the body is attempting to self-regulate, self align, and it’s called the wolf’s law. You know, its law is the same principle that deals with the fracture healing fracture where you have pressure, that’s where you have increased calcification. Alex, is that correct?
[00:32:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s the same thing when you work out; when you work out, you get calluses right because the body responds to stress by increasing and protecting the tissue. The same thing happens with the spine. Suppose it starts unloading improperly, then before you know it, the wolf’s law kicks in, the osteoclast start losing, which are the ones that take away bone, and the osteoblasts start winning. Then you have an increase of bone growth in a direction, usually in the direction of the force. So, in essence, the body tries to protect it, so you can imagine if someone’s going like in the leaning tower. Well, it’s on this side that the body protects it to prevent it from falling over. So, in essence, as we look at these degenerative diseases, we try to get them early on, and we try to mobilize. In most scenarios, we can help the individual by different methods and different techniques. And we use a lot of other methods and techniques to help individuals through this process.
[00:33:18] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I want to go through a couple of points. You know, we’re talking about spinal stenosis. Again, the start of spinal stenosis is the misalignment of your spine, which chiropractic has the beautiful art. This is the art and science of correcting that. So the more alignment, the more clarity, the more balance you have in your spine. The more maintenance you receive to your spine, the less spinal stenosis you will have later on in your life. Or again, spinal stenosis. You know, the other one that we’re looking at is degenerative disc disease or disc herniation. I believe that I look at the body in the 25+ years of my practice; the better maintenance you give your body, the fewer issues, and the less breakdown wear and tear you will have later on in your life. So I look at is that we are anti-aging doctors in terms of biomechanics, so we help the body maintain its optimal function for a more extended period. So that way, when you’re in your 60s and 70s, and 80s, you can walk by yourself without a cane, and you can function. You can do a squat. I love fitness calibration every time, you know. Danny is awesome. With PUSH, Danny is tremendous in terms of a fitness core. And this is where the synergy comes in. The more miles, the more wear and tear, the more pounding you put on your body. The more maintenance you need, the more recovery work. And too many people, Alex, have this idea like, Oh, my back hurts, I just need to squat more. I just need to do more weights. I just need to be in a gym, no. It’s like me telling you I don’t need count maintenance and tune-ups on my car. I just need to drive it more now. So the more miles you put on your bag, the more you squat, the more calibration you need. Why? Because eventually, your body is going to go out of alignment.
[00:35:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as we look at disorders, like you said, spinal stenosis. There are many reasons we can have spinal stenosis, from a disc to just arthritic issues. But when we have an individual who suddenly has issues, OK, this is not a sudden, you know, kind of thing that the spinal stenosis doesn’t happen unless it’s a massive disc herniation that occurs in one moment. Yeah, but these things and what we’re talking about spinal stenosis, there are different reasons. And in the treatments are many methods are just, you know, microanatomy. There’s also a laminectomy which is to remove the pressure. But the bottom line is very little wrong with the nerve. The issue is compressive forces. So what do we have to do in the situation where there is a biomechanical imbalance in the pelvic girdle most of the time.
[00:36:20] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So it is structure impedes on the nerve.
[00:36:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yes. And as we do that, we evaluate that there are certain things like age, obesity, or even less of a life of activity. What are other things, Mario?
What Are The Occupations That Cause Sciatica?
[00:36:33] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Sedentary lifestyle, repetitive occupational motion?
[00:36:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What kind of occupations would have sciatica?
[00:36:40] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Truck drivers. Why? By sedentary vibration. Eight to ten hours by sitting down. Secretaries, I mean, you can go on and on, people working in banks and teachers even.
[00:36:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We have patients that go to the Southern Union railroad, the engineers, the vibration, the bouncing over 30 years of vibrating. Eventually, the bone activates the spine clouds, or you have spinal stenosis, and they have back disc issues, and they have degenerative diseases.
[00:37:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Athletes have a repetitive toque like a golfer. How many golfers do you know that have no back pain? None. How about baseball players?
[00:37:25] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: How about our buddy, Tiger Woods?
[00:37:27] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, what happened to him?
[00:37:28] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, what did people think? People thought he might have been having some issues with alcohol. Still, the reality is he’s taking medication after surgery, and suddenly, he’s driving, and he probably forgot to take medicine. You know, they took a pill and started to get addicted, and this is the issue. We got to figure out how to fix these issues calibrating. But I got to tell you; there are a lot of ways we can help people. The issue is that once we understand where the problem comes from, the plan of attack can take off. There are different issues and different types of diagnoses. We have here a little bit of a window where you can take a look at that. You can see that sciatica is a symptom. It’s a presentation of syndromes. It’s a pain down the leg, but there are tons of reasons.
[00:38:14] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now the causation is right there, right?
[00:38:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, look at all of these things, and it is ridiculous.
[00:38:21] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Wow.
[00:38:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The one people think about a lot is peraforma syndrome, and that’s only one component. Then when that doesn’t work, your little stretches, you try to figure out what’s causing it could be tendinopathy, it could be bursitis. Look at all these issues when we go in here; when we look at these particular issues, we can look at other subsequent areas causing problems. You mentioned it before the four sets; this degeneration redevelops the quadrant is formoral area.
[00:38:48] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: So let’s make this simple. Otherwise, you know, people will listen to us and go; it’s a lot. It’s a lot, and this is like a fire hydrant, and I just have my mouth over it. Alex, this is what we got. Number one, it all comes down to foundation and function, right? If we go back on each of these things from, you know, four-set syndrome, this degeneration, ridiculous hip, you know, formoral impingement, quadrennial femoral, you know, abnormalities all of these. The root of all of these is the misalignment and lack of calibration of the neuromuscular system. I mean, when you go down to it, the majority, I’m not saying 100 percent, let’s not do that. Let’s not be silly tonight. No. The point is the majority, if we can do a better job for our community, if we can do a better job in terms of our athletes, is to create a maintenance calibration system for them, we would decrease a lot of these degenerative disc diseases and diagnoses, we would stop them before they blow up in their face.
Different Methods To Treat Sciatica
[00:40:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you this. What kind of things in terms of our diagnostic abilities, what we use different methods to diagnose?
[00:40:26] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I love MRI.
[00:40:28] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: In terms of sciatica, X-rays are good, but MRIs can tell you what the problem is.
[00:40:34] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s it, and we’re talking about like a Tesla ten. I don’t know if they have it, and I think it’s sorry about it. I just got crazy tonight. Nah, they didn’t make it. We’re going to get some calls. Tesla, what?
[00:40:46] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We got a great radiologist, and they help us hone in on particular areas.
[00:40:54] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: They have a three-point-o or something?
A Relationship With Your Radiologist
[00:40:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The whole idea is a relationship with our radiologists. Our radiologists are our eyes and ears on the deep tissues. I can tell you that we do have the best radiologists working with us. We do. I mean, the city has some top-end radiologists people, and when we send them to them, they communicate with us and tell us where the problem is that from there we go at it from once we know where it’s at. We use cat scans. We use ultrasound. We use bone scans.
[00:41:29] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Why is it a question? OK, this is going to get a little crazy and a little nasty tonight. Why is it that most doctors, Alex order X-rays first? Why is it? I can never understand for myself. You know what I tried to go straight to the issue was to go to MRI. Why is it?
[00:41:51] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: The standard of care is many insurance carriers will want an X-ray first to see if it’s a degenerative bone structure to be able to bleed on that. But we all understand that the best possible option for actually assessing it is to kind of rule out some things. If you want to look at bone, you do a cat scan to do the soft tissues. Well, this is soft tissue. So then you do an MRI with contrast, and you can see the deep tissues and the separation and the inflammation for any prolonged issues occurring.
[00:42:21] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That’s why, to me, Alex, that makes sense if we’re looking at diagnosing disk and nerve issues, right? Why is it that we use an instrument many times and I see this and agree with you. All of the insurances are going in and saying, Hey, you need to do an X-ray first. We won’t let you do the MRI, do they? I’m like, but X-rays don’t show any soft tissues.
[00:42:46] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think it’s a common thing. It’s almost like when you go to a dentist, you know, they scan all the teeth. It’s pretty easy to generalize. You know, there are times when the standard of care is into that today? For the low back, the standard of care is an X-ray as an initial entry point. So from there, I’ve learned, and I have gotten this lately, that most insurance carriers are very open to allowing the individual based on a presentation to do whatever it takes. They don’t stop. That’s a real beautiful change that’s happened since I’d say for the last five years; it’s a whole different game. So we get to see that we do nerve conduction and nerve testing to see the speed at which the nerve pulses. So we can find that AMG’s electromyography and see how the muscles are. But you don’t need to be doing that stuff for sciatica when you know the person is in severe pain. Now, if you want to prove it, that’s when you do the NCBI. Other than that, the person will not come in telling you that they have pain. Now sciatica because I call it the scourge because it just annoys you. It stops you from doing, you don’t sleep, you get to lay down, and the darn thing just activates. And there you got this electric current preventing you sleep. People come in with their eyes bloodshot and unable to enjoy their lives. This changes the quality, and we need to fix these things.
Does Sciatica Cause Inflammation?
[00:44:09] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It affects families. Alex, let’s get down to it. You know what? It affects your relationship with your spouse, with your children, at work. You know, you go to work, and you’re angry. Yes, you’re just mad at the world, and people are trying to figure out, like, what’s wrong, man? And it’s like, “You know what? I’m dealing with stuff.” And then that chronicity after a while, you’re like, “I don’t know what to do. I’m taking too many meds. I’m taking 800 milligrams every day for like five months.”
[00:44:39] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let’s give the people out there who may want some information a little bit of insight into the other options they have. Because what’s the name of the game here? What are sciatica and inflammation? It’s what it always has and always will be. So what we got to do is do what we can, and many people ask me, What are my options? Well, we have here a breakdown of certain things, and we’re going to discuss these things in real extensive detail over the next couple of months. And we’re going to hit this thing as we will be dealing with sciatica and vitamin C, D, calcium. We’re going deep all these things, you can take a screenshot of this, and you can say berberine. We got glucosamine, ACL, carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, ashwagandha, soluble fiber, vitamin E, green tea, turmeric. A lot of these things have a lot to do with metabolic syndrome. But guess what? When you have metabolic syndrome, which is what?
[00:45:36] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Inflammation.
[00:45:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So what we’ve noticed, Mario, and correct me if you see something different.
[00:45:44] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: I love that word ashwagandha.
[00:45:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, I love it too.
[00:45:55] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It’s like, we’re going to meditate pretty soon, Alex.
[00:46:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So, as we kind of look at these options, we really can discuss deep levels of biomedical science here, OK. Because everyone wants to know what we can do, but since we’re dealing with, let’s say, just on the angle of metabolic syndrome, again, we got to tie in another beast insulin. Insulin inflammation susceptibility. And here, we correlate. It may seem far away, but if you take a hundred people with metabolic syndrome, these people are susceptible to sciatica and the stuff we hold on to.
[00:46:46] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Let’s make it simple. How many people do you know with metabolic syndrome that don’t have back pain or sciatica? OK, let’s make it. Let’s make it simple.
[00:46:58] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We got to tie together, and this is where we do it. National in clinical practice, what we do is we make these connections. And the bottom line is we start changing people’s habits, you know, simple things like instead of having a pop or something else only option you should have as green tea. Green tea is an antioxidant anti-inflammatory. We start changing the metabolic processes, begin cutting the gut grease, and all that starts happening.
[00:47:27] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: OK. We’re mixing ashwagandha with gut grease. You know what? People are going to remember this forever, Alex.
[00:47:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: If you kind of see what we’re got, we’re saying it is complex. We can go down one rabbit hole and say we got the moment of truth or the thing that’s important. But the reality is that the low back causes neck pain. A lot of people will look at it and say, Why does that happen? Well, as Mario said, you know, God didn’t name it as neck pain. God didn’t call it lumbar spine. We named it the vertebral column. It’s the whole darn thing that is connected. From the moment you heal, strike your head feels the shockwave, right? So when we look at that, when we assess that, we can see that the body has a massive implication when some large nerve, late-deciding nerve, gets offset. So what we can do is first figure out, mitigate the issues, control them and come up with a treatment plan that works appropriately for the patients. So as we do these things, we will go over all those beautiful ideas that we have going on here. And I just wanted to let you know that we’re going to be discussing many more subject matters.
[00:48:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: There it is vitamin D3. That is why I love vitamin D3, and it’s everywhere.
[00:48:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Four hundred disorders. A 400 percent decrease in all risk mortality or times decreases disease mortality with vitamin D. This is like the magical thing? I mean, common sense. I mean, what’s our biggest organ, right? It’s the skin. So when we live in the sun city, right, what happens?
[00:49:07] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: We absorb the sun’s rays.
[00:49:09] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And that should be the healthiest.
[00:49:11] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Hey, I want to get crazy tonight. All right. Sun City vitamin D. We should be the healthiest on the planet.
[00:49:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s it. I mean, it’s essential. So what did we get called about a couple of decades ago? Mario, you remember that we were named the fattest sweaty town in the country?
[00:49:35] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: That angers me, and that should motivate and pump people up. That right there should be the wake-up call and the battle cry of El Paso and the whole region. Never again will you ever open your mouth and say that because we are the best.
[00:50:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: We are. We are very family-based and a location and a community, but we suffer from metabolic syndrome, which implicates issues. And one of them is sciatica. I got to tell you; there isn’t a day that half my patients coming in have sciatica, and you and I have been doing this between 25 and 30 years, right? So as we’ve been pounding and fixing these disorders. And you’ve got to tell you there are studies where we see that when doctors of all different sorts refer for a surgical consult, there’s a high tendency to have surgical, you know, focus when you go to a nonmusculoskeletal special like a physical therapist or chiropractor, we kind of filter out the situation when in our path or an available position to see the lower back pain. They throw it into the orthopedic surgeon, and only five to 10 percent of most studies show that those become surgical the ones we send. About 50 percent are surgical. That means we do a great job of filtering out before they have that issue. In other words, we fix the problem, and the ones we do refer to these.
[00:51:17] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yes, that’s right.
[00:51:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Game on. So we want to make sure you know that you know that we need that for your orthopedist out there. We require that option, that modality, but we don’t do that kind of procedure. But it’s necessary for terms of the common treatment protocol, you know, the mainstay of sciatica.
[00:51:38] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: It’s gabapentin. Just adding on to that, we refer to real cases, you know? When someone comes in, they need it. It’s not like, Oh, you know what? We’re going to waste people’s time. They need it. Because again, the new model now for back problems and especially sciatica is noninvasive. OK, noninvasive care first for at least two to three months.
[00:52:10] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, you know, I’m on my point of view on those guidelines. You know, every person is different.
[00:52:17] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah. ODG guidelines, Alex.
[00:52:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And what happens is that you can oversee the treatment protocols when we look at these dynamics.
[00:52:31] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Yeah, there it is. The treatment protocols. You know, I look at treatment. Chiropractic care, a lifestyle change. Metabolic syndrome, we’re looking at physical therapy; we need everyone on board. Acupuncture, drugs again. Medication for pain. Anti-inflammatory muscle relaxers. Nutraceuticals, herbals, steroid injections. Yeah, those are what we call lying like the second you, even with a lot of the patients, it’s after conservative care by the time they get to that phase. And then, of course, you have surgery, surgical procedures. So yeah, you must go with our patients. We go from noninvasive to invasive care.
[00:53:36] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: These procedures are the ones we do.
[00:53:47] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Now with those. And that’s a foam roller right at the storm rolling, that means releasing the goods, the pure performance right there. And again, a lot of our viewers will think, hold on. I can’t even walk, and I can’t do that. But again, this is the secondary phase, Alex. This is the second phase. Furthermore, we’re not getting people out, and all of a sudden, they can’t walk in there. They’re, you know, doing box jumps. No, this is the secondary self first care correct release the pressure brake and the pain pattern and then stabilize and correct the muscle imbalance. So those are things because I think a lot of times, you know, many people ask me like, “Oh, you know what? I want to go work out.” I’m going on like, Hey, slow down, superstar, let’s not workout. You know, let’s not work out. Let’s correct the problem. Calibrate your back. Then you work out, and then you do a process of what I call periodicity. That means you scale it. You got to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. So let’s not be superheroes, and a lot of people just aren’t patient.
[00:55:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I agree with you.
[00:55:09] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: They’re not patient. They want things now. You know this has been created. This sciatica and back problems have been created for years. No maintenance for like 10 20 years. And they expect to walk into the office and, in one visit, do jumping jacks. You know what? Sorry but it’s not going to happen. So that’s where people want again. We do our best, but we don’t look for quick fixes. If you wish for the symptoms to go away but are not corrected, then you’re going to deal with the problem. That’s going to be lingering for years and years, and it’s going to get worse, you know, and those pain sensors. This is what’s so important. God created a body such as such a miraculous system, and we can’t even duplicate this. The most potent technology developed to wear the sensors, the awareness, proprioception within our body, and pain is effective. I often tell people, don’t block the pain because it is healthy because it tells you to stop. That pain is that red light on your dash that says, don’t drive the car, don’t park it, and fix it. Please don’t unplug the light and keep driving it. And this is where our society and our, you know, immediate care. I want things now. I can’t wait. Just like fitness, you know, people want to get fit in like like a week.
[00:56:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Like, come on, it’s not going to happen.
[00:56:50] Dr. Mario Ruja DC*: Same thing with your health. It takes time, and you have to get the proper diagnosis. You know, the intense lab work, the genomics, the inflammatory. I mean, this is like I tell people, you’ve got to invest in your health or your sickness. Either way, you’re going to spend the money, either way, but once, you’re going to enjoy the fruits of that investment. The other one, you’re just going to drag. So the process of diagnostics from MRI’s, the process of diagnostics to look at metabolic syndrome, to look at your inflammatory process, that’s an investment. And then with those tools with that information, you got to have created baselines, Alex. If you don’t know where you’re at, you don’t know where you’re going. Now that’s what I would say is I want to motivate and empower people to invest in that process because it’s not an overnight thing and people want it. I tell them that they have got to understand. Be disciplined, be relentless and see the results for life instead of patching up your health.
[00:58:15] Dr.Alex Jimenez DC*: This is very dear and near to all of us here because sciatica affects so many individuals. We’re going to be discussing all these issues one section at a time. We’re going to bring an explanation. We’re going to give you an answer. We’re going to provide you with options. We’re going to provide you with treatments. We’re going to come up with a way that we’re going to find the best possible treatment protocol for you. And if not, we’re going to give you at least a basis to ask your doctors exactly what the best approach is, and you’re going to at least know the different directions you can take because we must understand this disorder. It may be simple to many people, but it debilitates you. You integrate way when you have it. We’re going to bring this to you. If you ever want to ask us personal questions and call us personally, Mario makes himself available 24-7 via phone number (915)494-4468. Always has been, and you get called all the time as he is right now. My phone number is(915)850-0900. And here we have, Mario, and I want to thank you all for allowing us to go over these things. This is also Mario’s website at: rujahealth.com. It’s easy, and it’s a fantastic site. We got me over here. This is my address and my phone, and then there’s Daniel Alvarado, where he works from the PUSH Fitness center. So we welcome you guys to see what’s cooking here and seeing what’s happening, and we wish you the best of everything that’s happening. So as we go through that. Mario, it’s been a blessing, brother and I look forward to going over more details with you in the next couple of days, and we will start recording more and more as time goes on. God bless.
Moving every part of the body freely, without pain or stiffness, is necessary for a high quality of life. As the body ages, it begins to lose its natural flexibility. One of the most common problems with mobility and flexibility is tight and misaligned backs, shoulders, necks, and legs that can cause pain when moving. This means having a limited range of motion that can cause negative body compensation patterns that can lead to further dysfunction and injury. Maintaining healthy mobility requires a conscious effort to keep every joint, muscle, ligament, and tendon in shape. Chiropractic treatment can restore range of motion and strengthen the body.
Restore Range of Motion
Range of motion or R.O.M. is the measurement of movement around a joint or body part expressed in degrees. It is tied with the flexibility around a joint and plays a role in moving well without pain or discomfort. After an injury, trauma, or medical problem, the range of motion can be limited. Individuals with back, neck, shoulder, and leg pain feel stiff, tight, and sore in these areas and cannot move freely. Range of motion is vital for physical activity, athletic activity, and preventing injuries. When an individual pushes the body too hard and tries to move in an uncomfortable way, they can cause a tear or sprain, leading to added inflammation, stiffness, and further limited mobility.
Factors That Contribute To A Lack Of Flexibility
Body age impacts flexibility. As the body gets older, it becomes stiff and can begin to present with pain, which restricts movements.
Limited Physical Activity or Exercise
Being sedentary with minimal physical activity contributes to a lack of flexibility, muscle loss, disrupted circulation, and weight gain.
An individual’s profession can affect the body’s flexibility. A job that has little to no movement regularly, like being seated for most of the time, will contribute to reduced flexibility.
Carrying additional body weight can significantly limit movement and decrease flexibility.
Regular physical activity/exercise will help maintain body health and flexibility. Activities can include:
Regular stretching will keep the muscles loose and the joints flexible. Incorporate stretching into a daily routine throughout the day and a wind-down stretch before going to bed.
Maintaining Proper Hydration
When the body is dehydrated, it causes the muscles to stiffen and tighten up, decreasing elasticity. Staying hydrated will help maintain flexibility by re-lubricating the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy weight range through proper nutrition will reduce inflammation, improve mobility and flexibility.
When normal movement is not possible, discomfort and pain will worsen as the muscles become tighter, causing the tendons and ligaments to shorten and stick together, placing added stress on the areas, leading to pain and inflammation. The body was made to be in motion, and when it does not move and stretch out, it stiffens up. Trying to use the muscles even when they are stiff and strained can make the condition worse, limiting the range of motion further causing the slightest movements to cause discomfort and pain. A chiropractor can provide adjustments, soft and deep-tissue massage to the tight areas to loosen the muscles, improve circulation, flexibility, mobility, and restore range of motion.
Myth Eating at Night Causes Fat Gain
The myth is eating right before sleeping causes the body to turn whatever was eaten straight into fat. However, the fact is that it is not about when an individual eats but rather the calorie intake and exercise level. According to the C.D.C., it’s the calories that are burned over a 24-hour period that determine fat gain/loss, and not when those calories are taken in. Far from being a fat gain guarantee, healthy nighttime meals were shown to:
An extra 500-1000 calories after 8 pm is easy to add if not careful. Remember, it’s about the calories themselves, not the time.
Marcano-Fernández, Francesc et al. “Physical outcome measures: The role of strength and range of motion in orthopedic research.” Injury vol. 51 Suppl 2 (2020): S106-S110. doi:10.1016/j.injury.2019.11.017
Mortazavi, Fatemeh, and Ali Nadian-Ghomsheh. “Stability of Kinect for a range of motion analysis in static stretching exercises.” PloS one vol. 13,7 e0200992. 24 Jul. 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0200992
O’Sullivan, Kieran et al. “The effect of warm-up, static stretching and dynamic stretching on hamstring flexibility in previously injured subjects.” B.M.C. musculoskeletal disorders vol. 10 37. 16 Apr. 2009, doi:10.1186/1471-2474-10-37
Simão, Roberto et al. “The influence of strength, flexibility, and simultaneous training on flexibility and strength gains.” Journal of strength and conditioning research vol. 25,5 (2011): 1333-8. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181da85bf
Nervousness, fear, anxiety, and discouragement are common and natural feelings to have while awaiting surgery. Preparing for spinal surgery can cause individuals to experience what is known as preoperative anxiety. A study suggests that preoperative anxiety affects from 60 to 80% of individuals. There can be a lot of unknowns going into spinal surgery. Individuals can experience preoperative anxiety:
Over the procedure itself.
By imagining what could go wrong?
How is the body going to recover?
The temporary changes in functioning post-surgery.
The post-surgical pain and discomfort.
What will the results be?
Learning how to decrease surgery stress will improve the procedure and recovery. There are ways to overcome this anxiety with tips from a pain psychologist.
Getting Educated and Informed
A pain psychologist recommends spending as much time as needed to discuss the surgery with the surgeon/provider. Ask the doctor if it is possible to speak with other patients who have gone through the same surgery to learn more about the procedure and what to expect with the recovery. Searching the internet is fine, but it is recommended not to get caught up searching non-reputable websites as there is a lot of misleading information that can lead to unnecessary stress. Ask the doctor to share statistics of positive outcomes versus complications to provide reassurance and to determine if surgery is the right option based on the specific condition.
Going In With The Right Mindset
Having a heightened level of anxiety or depression can contribute to poor surgical outcomes. Individuals that focus on the worst-case scenario are more likely to have higher levels of pain after surgery. Having the right mindset, staying calm and positive can decrease preoperative anxiety and can optimize recovery.
Preparation and Planning
Mental preparation and planning for surgery will set the mind and body at ease. This means:
Knowing the anticipated healing timeline.
The recovery phases the body will go through.
How long they will last?
What is needed for optimal recovery?
Support during each step.
Recommended medical follow-up.
Post-surgical treatment/rehabilitation plan.
Understand the Pros and Cons
Before surgery, it can be beneficial to understand the pros and cons of the surgery. Speaking with the surgeon to learn this information can create a clear, concise picture of what to expect and the recovery timeline.
It is important to learn relaxation skills to stay positive and calm before and after surgery. Relaxation exercises can be very effective at all stages of pre-and post-surgery. Learn how to:
Manage thinking positively.
These can be accomplished through:
Gentle yoga as long as it is cleared by the doctor.
Understand the Time
Knowing what will go into post-surgery recovery and having realistic expectations will create a sense of confidence.
Having a healthy support system will increase positivity and can speed up recovery. This can include:
They can help before and after surgery with physical assistance or just to listen.
Consult a Professional Pain Psychologist
Help from a behavioral health specialist or a pain psychologist can be beneficial in reducing anxiety and promoting positive surgical outcomes. They help deal with the pain, pre, and post-surgery, rehabilitation, life moving forward, etc.
Carbohydrates Simple and Complex
Simple carbs are a quick, scattered source of energy, and complex carbs are a healthy source of steady energy. Complex carbs are not as readily available for immediate energy as simple carbs are, but they are more efficient and healthier. Complex carbs provide sustainable energy, meaning the energy is constant with no crash like simple carbs. Complex carbs release slowly and should be the most significant component of daily energy intake. When it comes to muscle gain, complex carbohydrates can help:
Prevent Muscle Weakness
Glycogen is stored in the muscles. When the muscles are used during physical activity or exercise, the body taps into the glycogen stores for that particular muscle. Athletes take advantage of glycogen by consuming carbs (carbo-loading) a day or more before a workout to maximize the muscle glycogen stores. This helps delay fatigue and improve performance, making for a better workout and stronger muscles.
Prevent Muscle Degradation
One concern about consuming a low-carb diet is muscle loss. A study compared a low-carb diet to other diets and found that restricting carbohydrates results in protein loss. This is because restricting carbohydrates causes an increase in the amount of nitrogen that gets excreted by the body. Nitrogen is a component of amino acids that forms muscle proteins, with a loss in nitrogen indicating that the muscles are breaking down.
Beck, Kathryn L et al. “Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery.” Open access journal of sports medicine vol. 6 259-67. 11 Aug. 2015, doi:10.2147/OAJSM.S33605
First, Get Educated: The Spine Journal (July 2018) “Anxiety and depression in spine surgery—a systematic integrative review” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1529943018301281.
Hearris, Mark A, et al. “Regulation of Muscle Glycogen Metabolism during Exercise: Implications for Endurance Performance and Training Adaptations.” Nutrients vol. 10,3 298. 2 Mar. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10030298
How Attitude Can Affect Recovery: Journal of Neurosurgery. (November 2017) “Influence of catastrophizing, anxiety, and depression on in-hospital opioid consumption, pain, and quality of recovery after adult spine surgery” https://thejns.org/spine/view/journals/j-neurosurg-spine/28/1/article-p119.xml
International Journal of Surgery Open. (2018) “Prevalence and factors associated with preoperative anxiety among elective surgical patients at University of Gondar Hospital. Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia, 2017. A cross-sectional study” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405857217300475
The thoracic upper back or middle back is designed for stability to anchor the rib cage and protect the organs within the chest. Compared to the neck and lower back, the upper back is highly resistant to injury and pain. When thoracic upper back pain does present, it is usually brought on from long-term poor posture or an injury that overwhelms the sturdiness. It is less common than lower back and neck pain, but it does affect around 20% of the population and primarily women. It can occur for a variety of reasons, and chiropractic treatment can bring long-term relief.
Chiropractic can realign the spine and body if experiencing any of the following:
Symptoms that keep returning even with the use of medication.
Home remedies do not bring adequate relief.
Unable to prevent symptoms from presenting.
Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic will develop a personalized/customized treatment plan specific to the individual’s needs. Treatment will include:
Spinal adjustments to improve alignment and nerve integrity.
Posture training to increase spinal alignment.
Exercise training to restore muscular balance.
Sitting For Prolonged Periods
Metabolism is linked with body composition, meaning that increased muscle increases metabolism helping to burn more calories.
When sitting, the gluteal muscles, abdominal muscles, and legs become inactive.
Sitting for extended periods day after day can cause these muscles to degenerate.
Consistent muscle loss from the lower body can hurt the body’s functional strength and, with age, increase the risk of injury.
Any muscle loss, especially from the lower body, and is the largest muscle group, can lead to consistent fat gain.
Circulation Slows Down
Sitting for too long also slows down blood flow to the brain and the legs, causing them to become sluggish.
Sitting without standing can increase the risk of developing blood clots.
Blood clots can break off and cause blockages throughout the body.
One study showed a significant reduction in the vascular flow after sitting for just three hours.
But individuals who took breaks and got up to walk around for two minutes every hour showed improved circulation.
Beddhu, Srinivasan et al. “Light-intensity physical activities and mortality in the United States general population and CKD subpopulation.” Clinical journal of the American Society of Nephrology: CJASN vol. 10,7 (2015): 1145-53. doi:10.2215/CJN.08410814
Briggs AM, Smith AJ, Straker LM, Bragge P. Thoracic spine pain in the general population: Prevalence, incidence and associated factors in children, adolescents and adults. A systematic review. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2009;10:77.
Fouquet N, Bodin J, Descatha A, et al. Prevalence of thoracic spine pain in a surveillance network. Occup Med (Lond). 2015;65(2):122-5.
McManus, Ali M et al. “Impact of prolonged sitting on vascular function in young girls.” Experimental physiology vol. 100,11 (2015): 1379-87. doi:10.1113/EP085355
The sciatic nerve is formed through a combination of motor and sensory fibers based on the spinal nerves of the lower back L4 to S3, known as the lumbosacral plexus. It is the largest and longest nerve in the human body and about as wide as an adult thumb. It begins at the base of the spine, runs along the back of each leg, and ends at the foot supplying the areas with fresh blood and nutrients. There are sciatic nerve branches that consist of primary branches and smaller branches.
Sciatic Nerve Branches
The nerve splits into two main branches near the back of the knee called the popliteal fossa.
This fossa is located slightly above the joint behind the knee.
The popliteal fossa is a diamond-shaped space that acts as the conduit for the blood vessels and nerves.
From the popliteal fossa:
The tibial nerve continues down the back of the calf to the heel and bottom of the foot.
The common peroneal nerve, aka common fibular nerve, travels sideways along the outer part of the knee to the outer border of the lower leg and foot.
Both nerves convert into small sensory nerves in the calf that supply the outer side of each foot.
The sciatic nerve does not supply structures in the buttocks; however, pain commonly radiates/spreads into this area when the nerve is impaired, impinged, and inflamed.
The delivery of nutrients to the sciatic nerve is done through blood vessels that also contribute to the nerve’s function. Any interruption of blood flow to the sciatic nerve can cause pain and dysfunction. The sciatic nerve and the sciatic nerve branches receive their blood supply from two sources that include:
The extrinsic system is made up of nearby arteries and veins.
The intrinsic system includes arteries and veins that run along the nerve and are embedded deep in a sheath known as the epineurium of connective tissue that envelops the nerve.
The intrinsic blood supply can be affected by conditions like diabetes, which can contribute to symptoms associated with diabetic neuropathy.
Both systems connect at various junction points.
The combination of sensory and motor fibers that make up the sciatic nerve provides the essential functions in the lower limbs allowing the body to:
A healthy sciatic nerve is well protected around the low back and buttock muscles where it starts, and it cannot be palpated or felt by touching or pressing on the area. When the nerve gets inflamed, injured, or pinched, the leg can feel stiff and inflexible when trying to move and can lead to pain, weakness, and tingling in the lower back, buttock, leg/s, and feet.
Anatomical Variations of the Nerve
Individuals can have variations in the anatomical structure of the sciatic nerve. These variations are considered normal, but they can increase the risk of developing sciatica brought on by impingement, entrapment, or irritation of the nerve root/s. Variations in sciatic nerve branches include:
The nerve divides above the piriformis muscle; one portion passes through the piriformis, with the other portion exiting the pelvis below the muscle. This is the most common variation.
The nerve divides above the piriformis muscle; one portion passes through the piriformis, with the other portion exiting the pelvis above the muscle.
The nerve divides above the piriformis, with one portion traveling in front while the other travels behind it.
Undivided sciatic nerve exits through the piriformis muscle.
Undivided sciatic nerve exits from behind the top part of the piriformis.
Around 10% of individuals have a nerve that divides above the popliteal fossa and does not merge but courses down in two separate branches.
The sciatic nerve and the sciatic nerve branches are significant components of the body. It supplies motor functions to move the legs and feet and provides sensory functions along the nerve path. Keeping the sciatic nerve healthy is key in helping to prevent back and spinal issues. Chiropractic can help realign the sciatic nerve and educate on maintaining the nerve’s health.
New workout routine
Individuals that don’t feel like returning to previous workout routines are recommended to try out other fitness options. If the gym isn’t cutting it or there is burnout with the current routine, switch things up. This can include:
Virtual group classes.
1-on-1 personal training.
All are valid options to explore if in a rut with the current routine.
The important thing is to find what works for you.
Allow the body to rest
Individuals may want to push it to the limit to get back into shape, but rest days are essential for healthy muscle development and improved performance.
Noticing the body is more sore and exhausted after a workout is an indication that the body needs rest. This also includes:
Maintaining proper hydration.
Stretching out the muscles regularly.
Taking days off from exercising are necessary to:
Prevent muscle fatigue.
Reduce the risk of injury.
Allow for adequate muscle recovery.
Long term commitment is key
It can be discouraging to commit to a workout schedule only to notice minor changes to strength and fitness.
However, small improvements do accumulate over time.
Small increases over time can have a huge impact on overall strength and fitness.
Keep the bigger picture in mind to remain positive.
Davis D, Vasudevan A. Sciatica. [Updated 2019 Feb 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507908/
Barral J, Croibier A. Manual Therapy for the Peripheral Nerves. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2007.
Ryan MM, Jones HR Jr. Mononeuropathies. In: Neuromuscular Disorders of Infancy, Childhood, and Adolescence. Elsevier; 2015:243-273. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-417044-5.00014-7
In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez and PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado discuss how PUSH was created and demonstrate how the right motivation can help people achieve their goals as well as, improving their overall health and wellness.
Dr. Alex Jimenez and PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado introduce today’s podcast.
[00:00:01] Daniel Alvarado: You know what keeps them moving and growing and living? Tell me. It is another catfish or that predator. So we never have predators in our lives. We stay stuck, and we don’t progress anything. So every time we ask God to take away the stress or God take away this issue. We’re asking God to make us weaker, not stronger. OK. Because instead of asking like, “Hey God? Make me more creative. Make me more passionate, make me more patient.” We ask for, hey, take away this, but then we still want everything else that comes along with it. How does that work? It’s not easy.
[00:00:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I don’t know. I mean, if you think about it’s from the first time we’re born. It’s not easy. You got to be one in a trillion sperm, really, and only God is very clear that if you don’t get to that egg first, you’re done. So from the moment where we’re given a chance, we’re on the point of destruction from the beginning. Exactly. So, in essence, why did that sperm get to that egg? So you can pass and fight through it.
[00:01:19] Daniel Alvarado: All right, so then you think of everything else as far as how people complain, how people say, you know, I want more money, I want this, but they don’t look at everybody’s backstory, the backend and the behind the curtains. They think, “Oh man, Jimenez, you are a doctor?” You don’t know how many times you’ve lost and rebuilt your practice or if you’re a gym owner and you haven’t made it. You don’t know how often you have to go in at 4:00 in the morning to get a workout in because you have to train people all day long to ensure that this business stays afloat. You know, people don’t see the back. You see, they’re quick to say, Oh, must be easy. No, it’s not easy until you step into the person’s shoes because you’re the one that has to sign the checks. You’re the one that has to stay up at night and figure out payroll. You’re the one that has to be creative and figure out how you’re going to make ends meet. You are the one that constantly has to be on it. You know, as much as you want to kick back and say whatever and do this, and I would love to work out four or five hours a day. That’s my passion and your passion.
[00:02:23] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It’s my passion too.
[00:02:24] Daniel Alvarado: And can we? No, right. What do we have to do? Do we have to be meticulous? We have to be disciplined and ensure we have a proper order to stay on top of the schedule. Yes or no? Absolutely. Exactly. You know, so I’m saying at the end of the day that if you don’t have something chasing you, I mean, you become fat and dormant and become lazy.
[00:02:45] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I think nature is designed to eliminate you. Alex would say, you know, it’s survival, the fittest limiting the species or whatever he’d call it when he’s in biochemistry. You see, I got to tell you it’s not easy to be a business owner. It’s not. It’s not easy when you have no sleep. Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve put the time in from early hours, and you here at 4:30 in the morning and here what time it is? Now you’re here, and we’re here sharing some stories. You know, it’s one of those things where it’s going to be nonstop all our lives. But here’s the thing if you don’t do it, it doesn’t stimulate you to become good at what you do, right? You become lethargic. Everything goes bad. You slowly begin the process of ceasing to exist.
[00:03:36] Daniel Alvarado: Right. So we all need rest to rejuvenate. Get creative. It’s scientifically proven. You need that to reset. You have to. Otherwise, you burn out. Right? But after how many days of rest, one or two where you get this disconnect spastic. Then afterward, you are like, “Alright, cool. I rested enough.” So you don’t stay stuck there.
[00:04:04] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: No, and I pray for vacation, right? And when I get it, after about three days, I’m like, OK, all right. I’m done.
[00:04:10] Daniel Alvarado: Let’s go.
[00:04:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, OK, what I’m going to break. What am I going to do? That’s how we are.
[00:04:15] Daniel Alvarado: Exactly. But that’s what makes you so successful.
[00:04:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. Well, it drives us, and it drives us to create who we are. And it also gives us a vision as to what we’re going to do. When we start this podcast, you know, Daniel, we want to get or tell the people a bit of the story of what you do and tell them about, you know, where you’ve been and what’s been happening with you. OK. So for me, it’s very important to share with the people what is happening. I’ve always been one to say, you know, I see how hard you work, and I see how much effort you put into things. But I’d like to know a bit of you as to what made you and what kind of makes you click a little bit. When I discuss these things, I want to ask you what made you begin PUSH? What made you start this massive organization?
How PUSH Fitness Started
PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado explains how PUSH started.
[00:05:16] Daniel Alvarado: I want to reach the masses of people and help people. So in all reality, my sister, my brother-in-law, my brother, we’ve all come from platforms as far as I’m speaking, preaching, singing, whatever it is. I was always kind of the black sheep. And I mean it in a good way because I wasn’t trained differently. I just was very rebellious. That makes any sense. I wanted to create my own. So if someone is going right, I go left. If the people go right, I go left. I was always trying to find a different way, and I was stubborn enough to become the most successful by the end. But that’s what allowed me to create this place to reach the masses of people and have my platform of change in people’s lives.
[00:06:14] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you when you first started PUSH; what was your reason you started it out? You were always into fitness ever since I’ve known you; you’ve always been into a deep understanding. You see, I love sharing that story with people about when I first met you; you were driven. I mean, you were hunting for knowledge. You were trying to figure out what it was that made people tick, and you wanted to teach people… A little cocky, I’d say. But being 18 years old, I mean, who isn’t right at that age? You haven’t been thumped in the head a couple of times. But you did, and you shared it with people, and you did that. But what made you? What drove you? Because I got to tell you, I’m a big believer, Daniel, about when you evaluate families, I see how hard your dad works. I see how your mom’s incredible in terms of what she does. She wins these CrossFit competitions just on meer drive. You have to turn off the lights to get her off the wall because she keeps on going, right? I mean, what is it that what do you feel drove you and what started the whole philosophy of trying to help people out?
[00:07:24] Daniel Alvarado: I mean, you put in my parent’s work ethic; they just never stop. They still don’t stop and try to move forward despite what life throws at them, and they’re successful in their way. They never stop working towards their marriage, towards their love, towards serving each other. They showed me that we always have to help people, and they serve each other. They serve at the church, and they serve wherever they go. No matter where my dad is, he’s always trying to help. It doesn’t matter. You try to take out your trash can and table; whatever it is, he will help. But that’s where I learned it from him. You don’t just go anywhere and just be wherever you go. You always serve. And that’s my interfaith mentality. You know, it’s biblical. Wherever you are, we are supposed to serve people as husbands and wives. We’re supposed to serve each other. That’s what makes us so successful. You know, you look at Jesus in the Bible, and what do you do? You serve people. He helped people. Not the norm. The most unorthodox, nonreligious people. You know, all the people there that needed the most help, not the most religious. And I think that’s what I love to do. I love helping the people that need the most help. The unconventional. Not the people that are all ready to let go. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I do love helping them. But I guess I like helping the unorthodox.
[00:09:08] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah. You know what, when you mentioned that about your dad, one of the things I noticed is that I came here to work out at around six o’clock in the morning and it was freezing outside, literally freezing. You had a flat tire. Your dad was lifting in the car by himself to get that tire up. Yeah, it was crazy. By the time I got there, I was like, Is this guy working on it? There was no jack, and he was picking up the car himself. He’s pushing that thing up and lifting the vehicle to fit the tire on. I was like; You got to be kidding me. You didn’t even know until I told you, and you said, “Man, my dad never asked for help.”, you know, he does it. That’s one of the things you said, and that’s who we are. We are our parents. We eventually become our parents to some extent, and that’s very much how you are. Your philosophies have guided the PUSH fitness entourage, and the people who come here have been like extreme athletes. Tell me a bit of that in terms of what drove you to pick athleticism as your way of serving.
[00:10:11] Daniel Alvarado: I think I’ve seen the potential of what people can be pushed to if you believe in them. Often, people will, you know, people do believe in themselves, but it’s amazing what you see people become or individuals or athletes. When you say, Hey, I believe you. Someone that is not your mom, not your dad, because it’s kind of expected. You know, not that they have to tell you that, but you know, it’s kind of sometimes expected. You’re right. Yes, exactly. But then you have this stranger saying, I believe you genuinely wholeheartedly, and it brings out that much more in you. I know that’s how I was, and I still remember various times where you tapped me on the shoulder and said, you know. What are you doing? You can, and I’m very different; I don’t need someone to preach to me. It might get going, and that gets you going to move on to the next level of the mountain. And that’s what I love seeing as a potential that you could bring down in all individuals.
[00:11:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When you see it, pretty much you’ve been able to see everyone crack. What is it you look for when you see them kind of hit that wall when you start working with an individual with a specific set, whatever sport they’re in, or whatever their dreams are? Weight loss or whatever it is. What is it you look for?
[00:11:50] Daniel Alvarado: To see the reason why they’re quitting. Are they genuinely tired, or have they been babied so much by society that they don’t know how to push for themselves anymore? It’s a sensitive society nowadays; you can’t push kids because they get their feelings hurt or feel this way or that way. And sometimes it’s like you got to wake your butt up; if not, you will not make it in this life. Nothing comes easy, and I think we’re expecting things to become easy because we’re, you know, microwave generation, where everything wants to be done so quickly. So I look for the reason as to why they’re quitting. This is genuinely why they are tired, and are they going to throw up? All right. But you remember firsthand that when I worked out with you, I went to the restroom and threw up. I came right back. Why? Because it’s what you build with that person that respect, you know, why would you want someone who is an equivalent you when he gets hard, you know?
[00:12:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Yeah, exactly right.
[00:13:00] Daniel Alvarado: How are you going to count on them? How do you depend on them? When it gets tough, they are going to jump off the wagon; that’s it. You are left alone.
The Right Motivation
PUSH Fitness owner, Daniel Alvarado explains to Dr. Alex Jimenez how the right motivation can influence not only kids but adults as well.
[00:13:09] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know you’re given responsibility. A huge one with a lot of the El Paso kids in whatever sports they do and whatever the sport, whether it be agility, sport-based or just some sort of sport-based system where they’re just kind of, you know, let’s say, hockey or even things like tennis or golf. But they all have a moment of reaching within. I love how you do that in terms of going ahead and seeing the depths of what is wrong with them, and you can connect with them like no other. I’ve noticed that every single time with my kids, too, when you train them. Did you ask why? So really, at that point, you know, no one cares what you know, they care that you care and that caring allows them to open up, huh?
[00:13:55] Daniel Alvarado: Right? Yeah, it does. You know, it makes them feel like, you know, I do have it in me. I need a quit babying in myself. And I need to get up and get after this because no one will give it to me, and I got to get up after it and work for it. Period.
[00:14:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I would tell my daughter when they would come in and say, “You know what? I’m not coming in, you know, I’m not going today.” And I said, All right, well, let me call Daniel. “No!” Now they sense the obligation and trust you have put into their hearts like no other? Because that’s what they want. They want someone to believe in them.
[00:14:35] Daniel Alvarado: Exactly, to push them.
[00:14:37] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s why the push to PUSH, you know, there’s another way there’s the adage the push. You know, these are vital points. Do you have to deal with the mind-stuff while working with them? How do you work on developing a child’s mind or working them through their mental impediments or their mental kind of dynamics to make them better of who they are? If that makes sense.
[00:15:04] Daniel Alvarado: You had to build a foundation with them. First, you had to build trust with them. You can just go in and yell at them, Hey, let’s go. Move your butt! You know, you can’t do that. You have to build a relationship first, have them trust you, and understand why you’re pushing them. And then when they’re at the brink of giving up, and you yell at them, and they know why you’re screaming at them. A good parent after they spank them and ground them. They’ll tell them the reason why they did that. But they don’t stop loving them. They appreciate it because they know they’re wrong. Right? It’s the same concept here. Obviously, I yell at them after they know, like, hey yeah, I was sulking, and you start feeling sorry for myself and get after it, right?
[00:15:53] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, from my own experience with what you did. You see, you have a lot of moms watching you train their kids. Moms are sharp. There’s nothing more intelligent than a mother in this world. And they intuitively, they understand, and they feel the depths of the change in the child. Right? So when they see the depths of the difference in the child, they trust you. And this is in mass because I have like a whole wall of families, moms, dads. They bring their kids no matter what. Tired, cold, sleet, rain, snow. They bring their kids here to train with you and your entire crew with the philosophies of pushing to those limits. You know, how does that feel when you see those kids excel?
[00:16:45] Daniel Alvarado: I feel proud. I’m pretty much over the moon because you see the hard work you took to instill that time into them and make sure their full potential came out. So it’s rewarding, and it’s inexplicable.
[00:17:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you this. You’re not young, and you’re in your 30s, which is a very young age. However, you’ve lived long enough to see some of these kids go on in to do their thing. Tell me how that feels in terms of you watching them develop in terms of their they’re who they are, and what they develop because of the foundation, or at least influenced by the foundation of just don’t give up and keep on pushing through it. How does it feel? What do you think?
[00:17:36] Daniel Alvarado: In a lot of sense, a lot of pride, because you can see what they could have been in there, what they couldn’t have been in times. Some kids do come from poor extremities. And so to see them excel believing themselves, go to college, get a successful job, and be something of a higher profession that otherwise they thought they couldn’t build or settle for less and not letting them settle for less is amazing. That’s why I keep doing what I’m doing.
[00:18:17] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Do these kids keep calling you and talking to you personally?
[00:18:21] Daniel Alvarado: Yeah, they do. They still keep up with me as far as what they’re doing, how they’re doing. They’ll come in and work out. So, you know, to share with me everything. It’s fun. You build that long-lasting relationship.
[00:18:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: If you could come up with a couple of words indicating what makes PUSH unique and you can look deep inside your heart and figure out what it would be a word to get an obituary being read about you. What would they say about PUSH and you, huh? Would you want them to say?
[00:18:55] Daniel Alvarado: Honestly, that they had somebody other than their parents believe in them.
[00:19:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s amazing. That’s a considerable component of everything that’s going on. When do you think someone actually should be coming out to this place and enjoying the kind of lifestyle that this place, you know, helps enhance their lives with? When is that time?
[00:19:21] Daniel Alvarado: Whenever. Whenever you want to be a better version of yourself.
[00:19:25] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What do you think people sometimes think about, you know, why shouldn’t they come in? What should not be an impediment of them coming in here?
[00:19:35] Daniel Alvarado: Their image. They can’t do it, that they’re not like, you know, they’re obese, having problems, low back problems, and looking foolish. You know, the whole thing is that in the day, we’ve all looked foolish to an extent or another. But the point is if I always assumed what others thought and paid attention to how I felt this was for members and not being good enough, then I wouldn’t be where I’m at.
[00:20:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I tell you, I’ve learned a lot from you, and if anything, my kids have learned a lot from you by just your persistence. You know, I can honestly tell you that my son is better as an athlete because of your relationship with you. But let me ask you, what kind of physical and emotional changes have you watched your clients attain their goals?
[00:20:34] Daniel Alvarado: Hearing people say. “He saved me from diabetic medications.” We hear people say like I would have died, been in this obese state, and you saved my life. And that’s how do you not get emotional with things like that? How do you not get emotional and people saying, like, you know, I thought I couldn’t walk or had this muscle imbalance, or how do you say where I have this one client that couldn’t build muscle? I can’t remember the terminology, but the fact that she can build muscle now, where the doctor told her she wouldn’t be able to squat a bar, and now she’s squatting over one hundred and thirty-five pounds, that’s phenomenal. How does that not keep you motivated to get up every day when you don’t feel like getting up? You know, and I’ll repeat it, in King David’s words. You know when you had to encourage yourself because somebody is not always there to inspire you. So you do have to encourage yourself so you can be the best or somebody else that needs it more than you. Ultimately, someone has more complicated than you, and you can always help somebody under you.
Dr. Alex Jimenez recaps today’s podcast.
[00:21:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, Daniel, you said it is very short and essential keywords. You know, we appreciate you. We’re here at the push fitness center. You know you got some information there that you can use to find Mr. Alvarado. The PUSH fitness center is a monster center with many people who care and change people’s lives. Suppose you guys have any questions, comments, or ideas about what we do for people. Let us know, and we’re here to serve as Daniel is. Thank you very much, brother, and I appreciate everything you’ve done. And God bless, brother.
Muscle spasms also referred to as muscle cramps, are painful contractions and tightening of the muscles. They are common, involuntary, and unpredictable. Temperature drops and cold weather can cause the muscles and joints to contract and tighten, leading to spasms and pain. Chiropractic, physical therapy massage, exercises, stretching, and an anti-inflammatory diet can bring relief and help strengthen the muscles to prevent future episodes.
Spasms are common and can affect any of the muscles. They can involve part of a muscle, all of a muscle, or several muscles in a group. Spasms occur when the muscle/s involuntary and forcibly contract uncontrollably and are unable to relax. The most common sites for muscle spasms include:
As the weather gets colder, this causes the muscles in the body to lose heat, causing them to contract. As a result, the muscles and joints become tighter, stiffer, and decrease mobility and range of motion. This forces the muscles to work harder than usual to compensate. This can increase the fatigue of the muscles, leading to more prolonged bouts of pain and discomfort after physical activity, movement, exercise, etc.
Symptoms and Causes
A cramp can last a few seconds or last up to 15 minutes. During a muscle spasm, the following may be experienced:
Twitching in the muscle.
Pain in the muscle.
Hardness and/or stiffness.
The muscles appear physically distorted.
Because the muscles have to work harder, the cold weather can increase muscle spasms. One of the most common causes of muscle spasms is overuse and fatigue. However, exact causes vary from person to person. Some experts believe that one or more of the following contribute to the spasms/cramps, and they include:
Not stretching the body regularly.
Restricted blood circulation.
Involuntary nerve discharge/s.
Exercising in the heat.
Exhaustion of salts and minerals:
Possible causes for leg cramps at night or nocturnal leg cramps specifically include:
Sitting for too long without moving around to keep circulation healthy.
Sitting with unhealthy posture.
Overusing the muscles.
Standing or working on hard floors.
Dealing With The Cold
One way to deal with the cold is to warm up before any physical activity. Taking a few minutes to get the heart rate up can increase the blood flow and flexibility of the muscles. This will ensure the muscles are functioning correctly and avoid the need to work harder to stop spasms. When a cramp strikes, there are a few steps to try to alleviate the spasm:
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Muscle Cramp. (http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00200) Accessed 3/1/2021.
American Association of Osteopathy. Muscle Cramp—A Common Pain. (http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/muscle-cramp.aspx) Accessed 3/1/2021.
Herzberg J. Stevermer J. Treatments for Nocturnal Leg Cramps. (https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1001/od3.pdf) Am Fam Physician 2017;96(7):468-469. Accessed 3/1/2021.
Young G. Leg Cramps. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4429847/) BMJ Clin Evid 2015; May 13;1113. Accessed 3/1/2021.
A neuromuscular massage is a form of manual massage used to release strained muscles. Strained areas are also known as trigger points that tend to be the cause of muscular pain symptoms. Trigger points are small areas of the muscle that contract the tissue. The lack of blood and nutrients in these areas causes an inability for the muscles to relax. The area becomes hypersensitive, causing fatigue, weakness, inflammation, and pain. Trigger points can lead to referred pain in which other areas of the body experience sensations of pain, tingling or numbness.
Neuromuscular massage treatment involves applying alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the trigger point/s done through manual and instrument manipulation. Neuromuscular therapy is also called trigger point myotherapy. The American Academy of Pain Management recognizes this form of treatment as an effective treatment for pain caused by soft tissue injury.
Deep Tissue Massage
A deep tissue massage is generally used to address muscle aches and pains and is administered on an on-off basis. Neuromuscular manual therapy techniques are specialized and designed to correct pain and movement dysfunction by treating:
Neuromuscular massage is considered an ongoing treatment.
Massage Reduces Pain
Muscles, when spasming, are painful to the touch. The pain is caused by ischemic muscle tissue. Ischemia means the muscle is lacking proper blood flow because of the spasm. This causes adverse effects because the muscles are not receiving enough blood; the muscles also do not receive enough oxygen.
The lack of oxygen causes the muscles to produce lactic acid.
The lactic acid causes the muscles to feel sore following physical activity.
Neuromuscular massage therapy relaxes the muscles releasing the lactic acid, allowing the muscles to receive enough blood and oxygen. Neuromuscular therapy can feel painful at first, but the pressure of the massage will alleviate the muscle spasm/s. It is crucial to communicate with the chiropractor and massage therapist about the pressure – whether it is too much, too little, feels better, feels worse, etc. Massage therapy pressure should never be overly painful. Individuals often describe the pressure as good pain, where they can feel the difference. Following a neuromuscular massage, the soreness should fade after twenty-four to thirty-six hours. The tight muscles should remain relaxed for four to fourteen days, depending on activities and stress levels.
Medical issues and conditions for which neuromuscular massage can treat include:
Temporomandibular joint pain – TMJ disorders
Upper back pain
Low back pain
Iliotibial band syndrome
Neuromuscular Massage Benefits
Individuals who undergo neuromuscular massage therapy can experience the following benefits:
Reduced and/or complete elimination of pain.
Increased blood circulation.
Body toxin release.
Increased flexibility and strength.
Balanced musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
Increased energy and vitality.
When it comes to getting fit, remember it is a long-distance marathon, not a quick sprint. Whether physical, mental, or a combination, fatigue is a common obstacle for successfully reaching health goals. Physical fitness requires energy:
Energy for work or school.
Energy to set up the gear or get to the gym.
Energy for the workout.
Energy to prepare regular healthy meals.
Combined with the pressures of everyday life can make it a challenge to work out consistently. The objective is to make gradual changes rather than significant immediate changes. This will help prevent/avoid early burnout and help lead to maintaining healthy habits. One tip could be scheduling the workouts and meal prep time for the day or week when most active. For example, knowing that after work or school, the body can’t take a workout and needs to crash at the end of the day, set up the exercise for the morning or afternoon. And once the workouts become a routine, energy levels will improve, allowing for more activity.
Bervoets, Diederik C et al. “Massage therapy has short-term benefits for people with common musculoskeletal disorders compared to no treatment: a systematic review.” Journal of physiotherapy vol. 61,3 (2015): 106-16. doi:10.1016/j.jphys.2015.05.018
Field, Tiffany. “Massage therapy research review.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice vol. 24 (2016): 19-31. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.04.005
Furlan, Andrea D et al. “Massage for low-back pain.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews,9 CD001929. 1 Sep. 2015, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001929.pub3
Qaseem, Amir et al. “Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians.” Annals of internal medicine vol. 166,7 (2017): 514-530. doi:10.7326/M16-2367
A sports hernia is a soft tissue injury that happens in and around the groin area. It is a strain or tear of any soft-tissue muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the lower abdomen or groin area. It usually happens during physical sports activities that require fast, quick, sudden changes of direction and/or intense twisting movements. Despite its name, a sports hernia is not a hernia in the classic sense. The condition’s proper term is athletic pubalgia. However, a sports hernia can lead to an abdominal hernia. The condition can happen to both men and women.
The soft tissues most affected by sports hernias are the oblique muscles in the lower abdomen, along with the tendons that attach the oblique muscles to the pubic bone, are the most at risk. In many cases, the tendons that attach the thigh muscles to the pubic bone or adductors are also stretched or torn.
Core Muscle Injury
A core muscle injury is when the deep layers of the abdominal wall weaken or tear. This can cause nerve irritation and contribute to uncomfortable symptoms of numbness or tingling. The most common causes include:
Planting the feet and turning or twisting with maximum force.
Constant repetitive hip and pelvic twisting motions.
Imbalances between the hip and abdominal muscles can also, over time, cause overuse injuries.
Weakness in the abdominals and improper or no conditioning can also contribute to injuries.
Chronic groin pain is the primary symptom of a core muscle injury.
Sharp groin pain with exertion.
Basic movements like sitting down or getting out of bed can also present with pain or discomfort.
Pain on one side of the groin.
Pain or numbness that radiates into the inner thigh.
Pain when coughing or sneezing.
Tenderness or pressure on the lower abdominal area.
Pain decreases with rest.
A doctor will discuss symptoms and how the injury occurred. They will run a series of strength tests like a sit-up or trunk flex against resistance. If it is a sports hernia, there will be tenderness in the groin or above the pubis, along with discomfort and pain. Further tests will include MRI, ultrasound, or X-rays to rule out hip, low back, or pelvis injuries to confirm a core muscle injury.
In the first 7 to 10 days after the injury resting and icing the area is recommended.
If there is a bulge in the groin, compression or a wrap can help relieve symptoms.
Chiropractic and Physical therapy
Two weeks after the injury, chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy exercises are recommended to improve strength and flexibility in the abdominal and inner thigh muscles.
For most cases, 4 to 6 weeks of chiropractic and physical therapy will resolve any pain and allow the individual to return to their exercise or sports activity.
A doctor could recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain.
If the symptoms persist over a prolonged period, a doctor may suggest a cortisone injection.
If the pain comes back when resuming the physical activities, surgery could be needed to repair the torn tissues.
Repairing the torn tissues can be done with a traditional open procedure that involves one long incision or a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure. In an endoscopy, the surgeon makes smaller incisions and uses a small camera, called an endoscope, to see inside the abdomen. The results of traditional and endoscopic procedures are the same. Most individuals can return to sports and physical activities 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.
Individuals can’t lose fat forever. At some point, they need to work on developing muscle or work to preserve the muscle that is already present. This requires a different diet and exercise plan than one designed for fat loss. Instead of getting the body into a catabolic state, the body needs to be in an anabolic state where the body builds tissue instead of breaking it down. To build muscle, the body needs resources meaning proper nutrition and sufficient protein intake to increase muscle mass. Maintaining an energy surplus of around 15% is appropriate for developing musculature, meaning a moderately active individual with a BMR of 1,600 calories would want to their intake to about 2,852 calories a day.
Hoffman, Jay R et al. “Effect of protein intake on strength, body composition and endocrine changes in strength/power athletes.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 3,2 12-8. 13 Dec. 2006, doi:10.1186/1550-2783-3-2-12
Larson, Christopher M. “Sports hernia/athletic pubalgia: evaluation and management.” Sports health vol. 6,2 (2014): 139-44. doi:10.1177/1941738114523557
Poor, Alexander E et al. “Core Muscle Injuries in Athletes.” Current sports medicine reports vol. 17,2 (2018): 54-58. doi:10.1249/JSR.0000000000000453
Thorborg, Kristian et al. “Clinical Examination, Diagnostic Imaging, and Testing of Athletes With Groin Pain: An Evidence-Based Approach to Effective Management.” The Journal of orthopedic and sports physical therapy vol. 48,4 (2018): 239-249. doi:10.2519/jospt.2018.7850
Tyler, Timothy F et al. “Groin injuries in sports medicine.” Sports health vol. 2,3 (2010): 231-6. doi:10.1177/1941738110366820
Any job-related back injury can significantly complicate an individual’s life. Dealing with the pain, trying to figure out how to get things done while in recovery, and workers’ compensation to protect individuals who are injured on the job, getting them healthy without the stress of worrying about losing money from missing work.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or O.S.H.A, a job-related injury is one that either contributed to or is caused by something in the work environment that injures an individual or exacerbates/worsens a previous injury. This is a general overview of the definition, and there are some exceptions. For example, being at the place of work as a general public citizen and not working when an injury happens will not be covered. If not sure whether a back injury is job-related, it’s better to be cautious and report the incident as soon as it happens.
Common Back Injuries
Back injuries are the most common job-related injuries. Back injuries are the number one reason individuals cannot work, whether they hurt their back at home or on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that nearly 40% of all musculoskeletal injuries that resulted in lost workdays were because of back injuries. The most common back injuries include:
Every state’s workers’ compensation program is different; however, the basic components are the same throughout. This means that if a workers’ compensation claim is approved and an individual cannot work because of their injury, they can expect to receive a regular base salary during treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery. Individuals also continue to receive medical coverage through the company, while the workers’ compensation fund should pay for treatment and diagnostics related to the injury.
When A Back Injury Occurs at Work
When a back happens at work, inform the employer as soon as possible. Do not be embarrassed or feel as it is not a big deal to seek workers’ compensation. It is an insurance program for both the individual and the employer. An employer pays into the state’s workers’ compensation program for limited liability when employees get injured. Individuals don’t pay for the program, but it protects the individual in case something happens.
Letting an injury go untreated might not be anything at first, but months and years later, it can come back and be worse than when it first happened, causing greater damage, added medical costs, and procedures that the individual has to pay for out of their pocket.
Once an individual knows they have a back injury, it is recommended to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent worsening the injury or create new ones and develop a treatment, rehabilitation, and strengthening program. If an individual needs emergency care, tell the doctors about the work injury and precisely what happened. Emergency medical care should be sought out when:
There is a loss of function in any of the limbs.
There is a persistent numbness with the back pain.
There is nausea, dizziness, or vomiting after the injury.
There is a fever with back pain.
Loss of consciousness.
Loss of bowel or bladder control.
If the injury is not immediate and progresses gradually, but suspect that it is from work, it should be reported and examined by a medical professional.
Proper treatment for a back injury depends on the severity of the injury. Those that prefer non-invasive, medication-free treatment are able to recover with chiropractic or physical therapy. Chiropractic doctors are experts in the spine and the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractic treatment is safe, proven, and can help relieve the pain, restore function, to get back to work safely.
Resistance workouts are made to stress the muscles resulting in muscle gain. Resistance exercise makes the body adapt by growing the muscles to make them more capable of handling intense forces without strain. The stress of resistance exercise causes the muscle fibers to tear at the cellular level. Then, special muscle cells, known as satellite cells, jump into action to repair, rebuild, and grow the muscle. These types of exercises include high-intensity workouts or compound exercises that increase muscle growth. However, there needs to be a healthy balance between workouts and rest to support healthy hormone levels and maximize muscle gain.
Muscle protein synthesis is a critical process in muscle hypertrophy and happens after weight training. The hormones signal to the muscle to repair and rebuild after workout sessions. GH is released in high quantities during sleep, which is why proper sleep is needed to help reach body composition goals. When nutrition, workouts, and hormonal effects are combined, muscle-building happens. Figuring out the right balance is essential for reaching health goals.
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Marjorie L Baldwin, Pierre Côté, John W Frank, William G Johnson, Cost-effectiveness studies of medical and chiropractic care for occupational low back pain: a critical review of the literature, The Spine Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, 2001, Pages 138-147, ISSN 1529-9430, https://doi.org/10.1016/S1529-9430(01)00016-X.(https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S152994300100016X)
Randall, Sara. “1. Avoiding back injury.” The practicing midwife vol. 17,11 (2014): 10, 12-4.
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