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Nutrition

Back Clinic Nutrition Team. Food provides people with the necessary energy and nutrients to be healthy. By eating various foods, including good quality vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, and lean meats, the body can replenish itself with the essential proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to function effectively. Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Healthy eating does not have to be hard.

The key is to eat various foods, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. In addition, eat lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and low-fat dairy products and drink lots of water. Limit salt, sugar, alcohol, saturated fat, and trans fat. Saturated fats usually come from animals. Look for trans fat on the labels of processed foods, margarine, and shortenings.

Dr. Alex Jimenez offers nutritional examples and describes the importance of balanced nutrition, emphasizing how a proper diet combined with physical activity can help individuals reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases, and promote overall health and wellness.


Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine

Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine

Eating healthy and spinal health are interconnected. Eating healthier will help to lose weight, and provide a healthier body mass index. This means more muscle mass, especially when integrated with more protein. The spine sustains and supports the whole torso and upper body. When weight increases in these areas it can cause an array of issues like subluxations, curvature problems, sciatica, and more. The extra muscle mass takes the added stress from any extra weight off of the spine. Strong muscles can carry the weight of the body, taking the pressure off the spine and keeping it healthy and operating in top form.  
 

Making Healthy Adjustments

No matter where an individual is on their healthy eating plan, there are common practices that work for many and helps improve their diet. This involves integrating healthy food groups into the diet in different ways, and not giving up when mistakes are made, but learning from them. When developing new healthy habits it takes time, diligence, practice, and research to eat the right foods.  

Fruits and Veggies

It is easier and tastier to forget the nutritious foods and go for the carbs, fats, etc. Rather than trying to add more vegetables, or eating fruit as a snack every day can be tough. An easier, and better way to integrate fruits and vegetables into one’s diet is to substitute the carbs and fats for fruits and veggies in the main meals every day.
  • This could be spiralized zucchini, squash, or no-carb spaghetti instead of pasta spaghetti.
  • Instead of ice cream try real fruit sorbet.
  • Mashed cauliflower instead of white rice or mashed potatoes.
  • There are plenty of substitutes that are healthier and just as tasty and as the real thing.
  • Healthy recipes out there that can give you ideas on how to do this.
The benefit of substituting fruits and vegetables, rather than just adding them to a diet is individuals increase their health by reducing unhealthy dietary elements and adding healthy new ones at the same time. However, this does not mean doing it all at once. The goal is to gradually substitute these nutritious foods into everyday dishes for maximum health benefits.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine
 

More Fiber and Protein

It is important that the body gets enough fiber and protein as a healthy energy source. Many individuals can become dependent on: Ingesting unhealthy foods all day every day takes a significant toll on the body. This includes:
  • Blood sugar
  • Weight
  • Energy
  • Mood
Fiber and protein are important because the two regulate the body’s systems to promote healthy bodily functions. Fiber helps the digestive system and regulates carbohydrate breakdown. This means the energy obtained from any carb will last longer and will not increase blood sugar when integrated with fiber. Most individuals know that protein builds muscle. But it also makes the body feel full much longer than carbs or sugars do. This allows for natural regulation of how much is eaten during the day so an individual does not eat more than the body needs. Carbs and sugars are not filling and can become addictive. This means that they can be eaten all day long without feeling full and just load up with empty calories. A few ways to integrate fiber and protein into a diet:

Breakfast

  • Eggs
  • Turkey bacon
  • Whole wheat/multigrain toast

Lunch

  • Whole wheat wrap or sandwich

Dinner

  • Brown rice and beans are loaded with protein and fiber.
  • A great substitution for vegetarians/vegans for more protein or fiber
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Eating Healthy And Chiropractic Medicine
 

Reduce Sugar Intake

Reducing sugar intake or switching to balanced sugars from fruits, yogurt, etc. A diet high in sugar can wreck the body, causing:
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Overeating
  • Other unhealthy effects
Sugar is fine when practiced in moderation. But when it becomes a daily habit, that’s when it can start affecting the body. The objective is to drink more water, and use substitutions when cravings present. Try:
  • Yogurt instead of ice cream
  • Healthy fruit drinks instead of soda
  • Tea instead of wine
  • Keep the indulgences to once or twice a week if possible.

Eating Healthy Benefits

A few of the benefits from eating healthy that will improve quality of life:
  • Improved digestive health
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced to no back pain
  • Reduced to no foot pain
  • Healthy sleep patterns
  • Less fatigue
  • Improved focus
  • Improved brain health
  • Clear skin
  • Reduced to no irritability

Body Composition


 

New Health Issues

Steady weight gain throughout life can lead to adult diabetes. This is brought on by more body fat and muscle loss. Loss of skeletal muscle mass is linked to insulin resistance. The less muscle is available, the less insulin sensitive the body becomes. Loss of muscle can cause other problems with age. One damaging condition, especially for women, is osteoporosis. This happens when old bone is reabsorbed rather than new bone being created. Both men and women can have decreased muscle mass with thinner, weaker bones. This increases the risk of osteoporosis and the risk of serious injury from falls. Prevention includes Eat sufficient protein throughout the day. It is often best to space out protein intake across meals and not consume all at once to ensure the proper amount is being met daily. Regular body composition monitoring can help. The goal is to minimize muscle mass loss and fat mass gain as the body ages.  

Disclaimer

The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP, CIFM, CTG* email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in Texas & New Mexico  
References
Cena, Hellas, and Philip C Calder. “Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for The Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease.” Nutrients vol. 12,2 334. 27 Jan. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12020334 Locke, Amy et al. “Diets for Health: Goals and Guidelines.” American family physician vol. 97,11 (2018): 721-728. Warensjö Lemming, Eva, and Liisa Byberg. “Is a Healthy Diet Also Suitable for the Prevention of Fragility Fractures?.” Nutrients vol. 12,9 2642. 30 Aug. 2020, doi:10.3390/nu12092642
Golden Nutritional Recommendations and Suggestions

Golden Nutritional Recommendations and Suggestions

Making small adjustments to achieve a healthy lifestyle is not as difficult/complex as some may think. Here are some golden nutritional recommendations for longevity, and a healthy lifestyle. Understanding these golden suggestions is a first step towards developing and maintaining sustainable changes. Our health coach and nutritionist can develop an optimal customized nutritional program that is focused on teaching individuals how to promote lifelong transformations and become more connected with mind and body.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Golden Nutritional Recommendations and Suggestions
 

Vitamins

Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables at least six+ portions every day to ensure the body absorbs essential micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. A golden recommendation is to count the fruit and vegetable colors instead of calories. Eating the food rainbow is an ideal way to get a variety of vitamins.  

Red foods

These foods contain phytochemicals and help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. These include:
  • Tomatoes
  • Red peppers
  • Red onions
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Watermelon

Orange and yellow foods

These are packed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C to promote healthy skin and vision.
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Lemons
Are all ways to obtain orange and yellow nutrients.

Green foods

These are high in Vitamin K, antioxidants, and folates highly beneficial to bone health. These include:
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Kiwi
  • Green grapes
  • Brussels sprouts

Blue and purple foods

These contain antioxidants that help with heart disease and protect the body’s cells. Included are:
  • Eggplant
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Purple cabbage
  • Beetroots

White and yellow foods

These have anti-inflammatory properties that support the immune system. White foods include:
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Hominy
  • Shallots
  • Parsnips
  • White beans

Organic coffee

This type of coffee is high in antioxidants and phytonutrients.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Golden Nutritional Recommendations and Suggestions
 

Cut Back On Refined Sugar and Flour

Added sugars and refined flour have none of the essential fiber and micronutrients the body needs to feel full. Whole grains are fiber-rich. This helps increase feeling full and satisfied, which helps block sugar cravings. Go for whole wheat flour instead of refined flour. Limit sugar intake by using the natural sweetness of fruits. Add fruits to meals to increase the sweetness if necessary.  

Plenty of Water

Drinking half of an individual’s body weight is essential each day. 10-12 ounces of water before a meal will help increase full satisfaction and make an individual more aware of the body�s hunger cues. Golden suggestion, use a reusable water bottle can help keep track of water intake throughout the day.  

12/12 Meal Schedule

Schedule the three main meals within a 12-hour window to avoid snacking throughout the day. The body needs to rest, digest, and reset between meals and overnight.  

Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Sleeping

The body’s metabolism starts to slow down around 7-8 p.m. Research shows this timeframe falls in line when the body starts to tire and wind down. Allow the body to rejuvenate cells instead of wasting energy on digesting calories that don’t get burned for energy while sleeping.  

Daily Physical Activity

Daily exercise contributes to overall health and longevity. Regular exercise can help in the treatment of chronic illnesses and the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Every day try to complete 50-60 minutes of low-impact physical activity, and 15-20 minutes of moderate-high intensity cardio. Each week make two of the 20-minute workouts to strength training.  

After Workout Snacks

Recovery snacks 15-minutes after a workout will help keep cravings down. These include a healthy carbohydrate, lean protein, and healthy fat. 1-2 hours after a workout have the next balanced meal.  

No Devices With Meals

Electronic devices distract from the body’s natural hunger cues. Screens should be put away during meals to pay attention to the food and proper consumption. Watching TV or scrolling through social media has been shown to increase calorie intake.  

Plenty of Sleep

Sleep deprivation alters the body’s hormones that control/regulate hunger cues. When the body loses sleep, the body begins to crave more food more often. Even after the body has had the necessary nutrients. A golden recommendation is to develop a relaxing nighttime routine that will enhance the length and quality of sleep. The goal is for 8-10 hours of sleep a night.  

Stress Reduction

Incorporate stress-reducing activities into a regular routine. Constant stress on the body can contribute to cardiovascular disease. Activities help take the mind off thoughts, memories, and events that cause stress and worry. These include:

Healthy Body Composition


 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*  
References
Braude L, Stevenson RJ. Watching television while eating increases energy intake. Examining the mechanisms in female participants. Appetite. 2014;76:9-16. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.005 Dimsdale JE. Psychological stress and cardiovascular disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;51(13):1237-1246. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2007.12.024 Eckel-Mahan K, Sassone-Corsi P. Metabolism, and the circadian clock converge. Physiol Rev. 2013;93(1):107-135. doi:10.1152/physrev.00016.2012 Vina J, Sanchis-Gomar F, Martinez-Bello V, Gomez-Cabrera MC. Exercise acts as a drug; the pharmacological benefits of exercise. Br J Pharmacol. 2012;167(1):1-12. doi:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2012.01970.x
Calcium and Vitamin D for Optimal Bone Health

Calcium and Vitamin D for Optimal Bone Health

Calcium and Vitamin D for optimal bone health. The body’s bones/skeletal system contains a huge amount of calcium. Close to 100% of the body’s total calcium is in the bones. Calcium is a nutrient that helps the body rebuild/repair bones. �

This means an individual needs enough calcium throughout their lifetime for healthy bones. Individuals with osteoporosis have an increase of fracture/s, which means it is even more important to have the proper amount of calcium.

However, the body also needs enough vitamin D to properly absorb the calcium. When the body does not have enough vitamin D, the body will not be able to utilize all the calcium being taking in. Maintaining bone health requires keeping track of calcium and vitamin D intake.

Calcium

How much calcium the body needs depends on various factors, that include age. Listed are basic recommendations of calcium intake by age, but individuals should talk with a doctor about how much calcium is best for them on a daily basis. �

Children and Young Adults

  • 1-3 years of age 500mg
  • 4-8 years of age 800mg
  • 9-18 years of age 1,300mg

Adult Men and Women

  • 19-49 years of age 1,000mg
  • 50+ years of age 1,200mg

Women Pregnant and Breastfeeding

  • Under 18 years of age 1,300mg
  • 19+ years of age 1,000mg
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Calcium and Vitamin D for Optimal Bone Health

This can help to get a general idea of how much calcium is needed every day. The best way to get enough calcium through what is eaten and drank regularly. Here are some foods that offer the proper amount of calcium:

  • Cooked Broccoli 60mg in 8 oz.
  • Fruit Juice with Added Calcium 200-260mg in 6 oz.
  • Low-fat and Skim Milk 300mg in 8 oz.
  • Low-fat Plain Yogurt 415mg in 8 oz.
  • Swiss Cheese 220-270mg in 1 oz.

These are estimates for the amount of calcium these foods offer. Always look at the food label to get an accurate number. These are also just examples of what foods can help meet the calcium requirement for the day. If unable to get enough calcium from the diet, supplements can be taken to make sure the appropriate amount is met.

An example of not being able to get the proper amount is individuals that are lactose intolerant. This can be a challenge to get the calcium needed. For individuals not getting enough calcium should talk with a doctor, nutritionist, or health coach about supplements. They will help figure out the best calcium supplement and how much to take. However, getting too much calcium can be detrimental to overall health. That’s why finding the best balance is key.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is what helps the body absorb calcium. The body makes vitamin D when outside in the sun. This is a perfect reason to go outside more often. 15 minutes of exposure to the sun every day will significantly increase vitamin D production. Some individuals are not able to make enough vitamin D, no matter how much sunlight exposure. However, Vitamin D is also found in various foods like:

For some individuals, it can also be a challenge to get enough vitamin D. There are vitamin D supplements that can help fill daily requirements. A doctor can tell if supplements are needed with various tests that can tell how much vitamin D the body is getting. There are two types of vitamin D supplements: They are D3 and D2. Research shows that D3 and D2 are both good for bones. And just like calcium, the amount of vitamin D needed depends on age: �

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Calcium and Vitamin D for Optimal Bone Health

Children and Young Adults

IU stands for international units which are how vitamin D is measured.

  • 1-18 years of age 400 IU

Adult Men and Women

  • 19-49 years of age 400-800 IU
  • 50+ years of age 800-1,000 IU

Women Pregnant and Breastfeeding

  • Any age 400-800 IU

Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and a healthy body. Our nutritionist and health coach can help get you back on track to optimal health.


Chiropractic Care and CrossFit Rehabilitation


Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*

References

Fischer, V et al. �Calcium and vitamin D in bone fracture healing and post-traumatic bone turnover.��European cells & materials�vol. 35 365-385. 22 Jun. 2018, doi:10.22203/eCM.v035a25

Acute, Chronic Back Pain and Nutritional Relief

Acute, Chronic Back Pain and Nutritional Relief

Nutritional relief for acute and chronic back pain can be achieved by eating specific fruits and vegetables. Individuals dealing with acute and chronic back pain have recently been asking if their diets can be modified to reduce back pain. Absolutely, eating healthier will lead to weight loss and will help reduce back pain symptoms. The big surprise was a nutritionist that did not know about this recommendation to help ease back pain symptoms. Life seems to throw a lot of curveballs especially in the midst of pain. Stress eating and just eating great tasting food is one method/technique of dealing with the pain, as it makes you feel good and forget the pain for a little while.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Acute, Chronic Back Pain and Nutritional Relief
 
However, the problem is still present and becomes worse with the added weight. Not to mention the consequences of eating too much unhealthy food, like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Eating junk food and suffering in silence can become a way of life.

Pain Relief With Healthy Food

Most individuals will experience back pain at some point. There are a variety of causes from disease to injury and just normal wear and tear. Fortunately, for most, it will be short-lived. But for some chronic pain can develop, creating a new set of health issues and makes achieving back pain relief more complicated. It may sound too easy but making adjustments to your diet can make all the difference in dealing with and eliminating back pain.

Manage and eradicate back pain

Constantly going for the wrong foods, speeds up the inflammation process. Various studies show certain foods contain components that have anti-inflammatory properties. Experts agree that choosing healthy foods for and/or chronic illnesses reduces flare-ups, inflammation and helps heal the body back to top form. The pain reduces because the inflammation triggers are kept in check. This means the grocery store and healthy foods can be a powerful tool for fighting inflammation. Our ancestors lived off the land eating organic natural foods and healed themselves without refined products.

Multi-colored vegetables and fruits

Dark green vegetables supply powerful nutrients that fight inflammation. Added benefits are they help remove cancer-causing free radicals. Examples include:
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Collard greens
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Acute, Chronic Back Pain and Nutritional Relief
 
Orange and yellow vegetables like:
  • Carrots
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Peppers
  • Pineapple
Carrots contain vitamin E and C and antioxidants that protect the healthy tissue around the inflamed area. Pineapple contains natural enzymes that help break down fibrin that forms around any acute injury. As the barrier is broken down nutrients are allowed to penetrate the area and ease the inflammation.

Nutritional Relief

The ability to heal the body with proper food choices should be a no brainer. But because humans are creatures of habit, breaking away from what is normal for the individual can be a challenge. Some simple ways to start eating toward healing:
  • Reduce the fat intake like butter, corn, red meat, and simple carbohydrates that are high in sugar and low in fiber.
  • When eating fill up with vegetables, fruits, and herbs and reduce the meat intake. Eat two to three servings of fruits and vegetables at all meals.
  • Choose varieties of fruits and vegetables:
  1. Strawberries
  2. Blueberries
  3. Cherries
  4. Pineapple
  5. Oranges
  6. Kale
  7. Broccoli
  8. Spinach
  9. Collards
  10. Carrots
  11. Pumpkin
There are plenty of choices that can aid in healing the body from the inside out. Take nutritional relief steps now and start on the road to recovery.

Back Pain During Pregnancy Treatment

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Bone Broth, Healthy, Comforting, and Good for the Spine

Bone Broth, Healthy, Comforting, and Good for the Spine

Bone broth is a soothing, low in calories, flavorful comfort food that is packed with nutrients and highly beneficial for the spine. Bone broth is made from slowly simmering meat or poultry and is an old-fashioned home remedy for a variety of ailments. These include:
  • Improves joint movement
  • Helps wounds heal faster
  • Improves immune system function
  • Rebuilds bones
Nutrients are connected with healthy bones and joints. These include:
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Vitamin D
  • Collagen protein
All of these are concentrated in animal bones. The bones are cracked and cooked in a stockpot of water on a slow simmer. The breakdown releases vitamins, fatty acids, manganese, zinc, iron, and selenium. The broth helps supply the bones with these nutrients.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Bone Broth, Healthy, Comforting, and Good for the Spine
 
Bone broth is also effective when keeping track of weight because it is nourishing and hearty but low in calories. One cup of broth eaten or drank a half-hour before a meal can keep appetite in check. When hunger stays in check it is easier to maintain a healthy diet, portion sizes, and not overeat.

Bone Broth Recipe

Simmering bones in water with added vegetables, spices, vinegar, and herbs over low heat for a few hours is bone broth. A recipe for bone broth typically includes a tablespoon or two of vinegar or lemon juice. This helps soften the bones to break them down and release more nutrients. This will make around 2 quarts or 8 cups of bone broth. In a stockpot combine:
  • 2 to 3 pounds of leftover cooked beef, chicken bones
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped rib of celery
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
  • Enough water to cover the ingredients
  • Add 1 cup of chopped fresh or canned tomatoes for extra flavor
  • Bring to a boil over high heat
  • Reduce heat to a low simmer, partially covered, 4 to 6 hours
  • During the first half-hour of simmering, skim off the foam that collects at the top.
  • Strain cooled broth into a bowl or jar
  • Refrigerate the broth up to 5 days or freeze up to a couple of months

Don’t Overdo It

When it comes to nutrients in food, it is possible to get too much. An example is of an individual in training that drank one to two quarts of bone broth three days a week for six months. They began to suffer from chronic vomiting. The doctor diagnosed there was too much vitamin D from the fatty marrow in the bones used to make the broth. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Too much calcium in the blood was causing the vomiting. Another potential issue with drinking too much bone broth is lead contamination. Many foods contain small amounts of lead. In animals, any environmental lead that gets into the body gets stored in bone tissue. A healthy, well-nourished individual can handle small amounts of lead. When it comes to bone broth, lead is only a concern if taking abnormal quantities. The broth can also be used as a base for soups and stews keeping the body healthy along with the emotional benefits of a nutrient-rich broth. The body will feel the difference.
 

Chiropractic Care Knee Injury

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Nourishment For A Healthy Spine

Nourishment For A Healthy Spine

Individuals dealing with back pain or spinal condition that negatively impacts their general health want to know about what they can do to make the pain go away. Back pain and spinal issues that individuals experience can be reduced and alleviated with proper nourishment, exercise, and if necessary chiropractic or physical therapy to keep the body aligned. Fortunately, the majority of these individuals will not need surgery. In addition to the back pain, they want to know what they can do to prevent the pain from radiating to other areas and becoming chronic. This is where proper nourishment for bone health comes into play. It is now becoming a part of the mainstream media as science and technology are finding the links surrounding body/bone health and how nutrition fits into it all.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Nourishment For A Healthy Spine
 
We’ve seen and heard about Omega-3 fatty acids for heart health or the importance of fruits and vegetables to help prevent cancer. There is also the nutritional health of the bones and the spine is the largest, not to mention the spinal cord housing all the nerves that establish communication with the body.

Vitamins

Continual optimal health is based on the body’s vitamin and mineral composition. Many of the beneficial vitamins that keep the bones strong can be found in supplements. However, it is recommended to get into the habit of getting nourishment from real food in combination with supplements. This is because a person can follow a vitamin supplement regimen with no benefits. This is because their diet consists of heavily processed, unhealthy foods. Therefore eating highly nourishing foods is the best way to begin. Here are a few to consider:

Dairy

Dairy can be difficult for individuals with intestinal issues and other autoimmune conditions. It can seem daunting trying to figure out what to get and what to avoid. For those with lactose intolerance avoid dairy products altogether and look to calcium and vitamin D supplements. The quality of the dairy product/s also makes a difference. Therefore make sure it doesn’t have artificial ingredients or sugars. This is essential to keeping dairy as part of a healthy diet.

Offal

Offal is the term for internal organs of animals that are used as food. It offers a massive dose of bone-healthy vitamins. Before saying absolutely not, there are plenty of recipes to consider, remember this is about spinal bone health. Beef, calf, and chicken liver, are examples of high sources of:
  • Vitamin A, which repairs tissue and contributes to the formation of bone
  • Vitamin B12 which is important for healthy bone marrow
  • Vitamin K is necessary for proper absorption of calcium into the bones
  • Iron is a necessity for healthy cells and muscles that support the spine

Greens

Spinach packs vitamin A and B12. Kale and broccoli are great sources of Vitamin K and Iron. Nutritionists have a saying that goes “the greener the vegetable, the better.” Eating these vegetables in raw form is not for everybody, so find recipes that incorporate them into favorite dishes while adjusting to the flavors.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Nourishment For A Healthy Spine
 

Oranges

Orange fruits are all great sources of vitamin A essential for repairing damaged tissue and in the formation of strong healthy bones and include:
  • Nectarines
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apricots
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
It does not matter if it is the brain, heart, digestive system, or the spine the body is as healthy as what it consumes. Small dietary changes can generate intense bone protection, especially when it comes to a healthy weight. Obesity and back pain are becoming too common. The condition has been studied extensively and the proof is overwhelming. The body was not designed to carry around this extra weight. Remember the spine is the central support structure and needs to be maintained with proper posture, exercise, and nourishment.

Improve Whole Body Wellness with Functional Foot Orthotics

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
Not All Foods Are Beneficial For Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention

Not All Foods Are Beneficial For Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention

There are certain foods that although healthy, for individuals trying to prevent osteoporosis, they could stunt healthy bone growth. There are ways to prevent osteoporosis, and eating a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is one of them. However, not all foods are beneficial for bone health. Some nutrients can actually damage bones when consumed in high doses. These foods do not have to be completely removed from an individual’s diet. These foods and nutrients are still important so it would not be healthy to just stop. Individuals with or trying to prevent osteoporosis just need to make adjustments and consume them in moderation.  
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Not All Foods Are Beneficial For Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention
 

Caffeine

Too much caffeine more than four cups of coffee a day decreases calcium absorption, that increases risk for fractures. Coffee and tea contain caffeine naturally, but sodas create even larger concerns. Experts believe that the caffeine content in sodas is not the only danger. It is the substitution of milk and other calcium-based drinks.

Protein

Protein is essential for a balanced diet. This is because it helps build healthy muscle mass. A diet too high in animal protein (beef/pork) as opposed to protein from nuts and grains could contribute to calcium loss. Animal protein/s contain sulfur, that forms acid in the body. Acidic balance is necessary and so the body will release calcium from the bones to neutralize the acid and achieve balance.

What is considered too much protein?

No general amount has been determined. Therefore just an individual’s daily requirement, determined by body weight is what is recommended. Finding out how much protein is needed, take your weight in pounds, and multiply by .37. (Weight/lbs x .37 =) This will tell an individual how many grams they should be consuming every day. There are more specific techniques to get an exact number if need be.

Spinach

Green vegetables are considered some of the best foods to eat when the aim is to strengthen the bones. But spinach can prevent the body from absorbing calcium properly. This is because it contains oxalate. Oxalate interferes with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. Fortunately, spinach can still be included but may need to be adjusted/altered as to how it is prepared. In this case, spinach is best eaten cooked, as the chemical is destroyed through the process.
11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Not All Foods Are Beneficial For Bone Health and Osteoporosis Prevention
 

Salt

Too much salt makes it difficult for the body to keep the calcium, which can cause bone loss. Many processed foods are extremely high in sodium. Therefore, try to eat fresh foods and try sea, Himalayan, or healthy form of salt when seasoning meals.

Pure Wheat Bran

Pure wheat bran is the only food that can lower the absorption of calcium in other foods when eaten together. If taking a calcium supplement the effects of this process can be lessened by taking the supplement a few hours before or after eating foods with pure wheat bran. These foods don’t have to be eliminated from your diet but should be consumed in moderation. The focus should be on a balanced diet. Building strong bones and maintaining them can be a delicious endeavor. Osteoporosis prevention is not the only benefit of healthy eating habits. A proper diet will promote and generate the optimal function of the body.

Learning About Food Substitutions

 
 

Dr. Alex Jimenez�s Blog Post Disclaimer

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas& New Mexico*
What is Crohn’s Disease? An Overview

What is Crohn’s Disease? An Overview

Crohn�s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBDs are health issues that affect the digestive tract by causing inflammation that lasts longer than an average upset stomach or mild infection. Most people think that the digestive tract only consists of the stomach, which stores and breaks down food, as well as the small and large intestines, which take the waste out of our systems through urine and feces. But it�s more than just that. The mouth and esophagus are also part of the digestive tract and problems within can make things difficult and painful down the line. While researchers have been researching Crohn�s disease for several decades, they have no undisputed answer on the cause of this disease. This article will take you on a journey through the history, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of Crohn�s disease as well as what the future holds. According to the Crohn�s and Colitis Foundation of America, as many as 700,000 people in the United States suffer from Crohn�s disease while 3 million total have some sort of IBD. That is equivalent to the number of people living in Washington D.C.

 

Understanding Crohn’s Disease

 

Crohn�s disease was first described by Dr. Burrill B. Crohn in 1932 with the assistance of Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer. Crohn was born in 1884 in New York City as one of 12 children. He became a doctor because of the sympathy he had for his father who suffered terrible digestion problems. Crohn was part of an enormous group of doctors who joined many reputable medical schools at the beginning of the 20th century, graduating from Columbia University�s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1907. At the university, he earned an M.A., Ph.D., and an MD� for his research on an intra-abdominal hemorrhage. He could not pay the high cost ($35) for the former two degrees because he did not want to ask his father for the money. He spent 2.5 years as an intern at the illustrious Mount Sinai Hospital, one of only 8 interns selected from 120 candidates. He found humor in his chosen profession which he quoted in his biography saying, �It has been my misfortune (or perhaps my fortune) to spend most of my professional life as a student of constipation and diarrhea. Sometimes I could wish to have chosen the ear, nose, and throat as a specialty rather than the tail end of the human anatomy.�

 

Most gastroenterologists of the time were surgeons, but Crohn�s research was such that he joined the American Gastroenterological Association in 1917, having been mentored by Dr. William J. Mayo whose clinic remains one of the foremost bodies of American medical knowledge more than 100 years later. Although he was married with two children, Crohn was consumed with his work and his patients, with daily and nightly house calls. Perhaps even more important was his work on �Affections of the Stomach� which he published in 1928. He worked with Dr. Jesse Shaprio at Mount Sinai who suffered from IBD himself. Crohn found that many Jews had the condition and, since Mount Sinai admitted many of them, he found plenty of patients to study. He ended up as the first head of Mount Sinai�s Gastroenterology Clinic and was associated with the hospital for 60 years. He joined the efforts of surgeon Dr. A. A. Berg along with Ginzburg and Oppenheimer to start a project dedicated to bowel tumors and strictures. Their combined research allowed Crohn to present a paper to the American Gastroenterological Association in May 1932 in Atlantic City called �Non-specific Granuloma of the Intestine� followed by a second called �Terminal Ileitis: A new clinical entity�. Crohn preferred the term regional ileitis because he believed it only existed in the distal part of the small intestine and was worried people would assume it was fatal when they saw the word �terminal�. Soon after, the term Crohn�s disease became the catch-all for any terminal or regional enteritis. Crohn did not want the �honor� but his colleagues insisted.

 

The history of the disease is recorded as far back as 850 AD, affecting England�s King Alfred. The populace believed that he was being punished for his sins, but the presence of fistulas and pain from eating speaks otherwise. About 150 years before Crohn�s disease got its name, an Italian physician named Giovanni Battista Morgagni described the disease in 1761. Crohn officially retired in 1948 but continued practicing medicine well into his mid-90s. He passed away on July 29, 1983, 11 months short of his 100th birthday. In his final year, his friends, family, and colleagues began the creation of the Burrill B. Crohn Research Foundation at Mount Sinai Hospital.

 

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

 

Crohn�s disease has troubled doctors and researchers for decades because an exact cause can’t be found, which limits their ability to fully treat it. Poor diet habits together with high levels of stress were the original leading cause for the health issue, but over the years those have come to be thought of as factors that aggravate the condition, not cause it. Two factors that stand out in today�s research are heredity and a malfunctioning immune system.� Like many major diseases, if someone in your family has suffered from Crohn�s disease, there is a much higher chance that you will too. Anytime you go to a new doctor, this should be one of the first things you inform them of when filling out a family history chart. That way if any of these symptoms do manifest, your doctor will have a knowledge base from which to proceed. Despite believing that genetics plays a fundamental part, currently, doctors can’t predict who will get Crohn�s disease based on family history.

 

Another leading theory is that an invalid response by the body�s immune system can cause Crohn�s disease to develop. The theory suggests that some bacteria or viruses can trigger Crohn�s disease by causing an abnormal immune system response when the body is fighting it off. The response causes the immune system to attack its own cells in the digestive tract, leading to the inflammation. Crohn�s disease attacks people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities, however, these characteristics are thought of as leading to a greater chance of getting the condition.

 

  • Geography:�People who live in urban/industrialized areas are more likely to develop Crohn�s disease than those living in rural areas. This suggests that diets full of refined foods or heavy in fat are more likely to trigger Crohn�s disease, while people eating diets that are more fresh and free from additional chemicals are more likely to avoid it.
  • Family History:�Although plenty of people get Crohn�s disease without a single relative suffering the same, as many as 1 in 5 people with Crohn�s disease (20%) have a relative who also has it.� Between 1.5% and 28% of people with IBD have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) that have an IDB as well.
  • Smoking:�Like many other diseases, smoking augments the severity of Crohn�s disease and is the single most controllable risk for developing it. No one can make you stop smoking, but if you are experiencing the initial signs of Crohn�s disease, it is the best thing you can do for yourself.
  • Ethnicity: One of the most frustrating parts of Crohn�s disease is the randomness it seems to possess in who it strikes. Caucasians are the highest risk group, particularly those of Eastern European Jewish descent. However, African-Americans and people of African descent that live in the United Kingdom have seen their numbers consistently rise over the past decades when it comes to developing Crohn�s disease.
  • Age:�Another rarity. Anyone at any age can Crohn�s disease, but it is usually diagnosed before the age of 30, suggesting it is tied to growth and maturity. It is among the rare diseases where your chance of developing it lessens as you get older.
  • Ingesting anti-inflammatory medications: Nonsteroidal medicines that include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, diclofenac, etc., can lead to inflammation of the bowels, which worsens Crohn�s disease. If you have the symptoms of Crohn�s disease, do your best to avoid the likes of Aleve, Advil, Voltaren, Motrin IB, etc.

 

What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

 

As Crohn�s disease begins to take hold of a person�s body, they will experience abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss, malnutrition, and severe diarrhea. It does not follow a set pattern as Crohn�s disease can affect different parts of the digestive tract for different people. While there are many similarities, it is rare for two cases to be exactly alike. Crohn�s disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract that spreads deeper and deeper in the bowel tissue of the affected areas. Normal medicines can lessen the intensity of the pain, but the infection runs too deep for them to be able to do much more. These symptoms can be extremely painful, embarrassing for those who suffer from fatigue or severe diarrhea, and debilitating, making the sufferer miss days, weeks, or even months of work or school while seeking treatment and learning how to cope. The most commonly affected parts of the body for someone suffering from Crohn�s disease are the small intestine and the colon. The biggest problem with diagnosing Crohn�s disease early on and starting treatment for it is that many of its symptoms are similar to a host of other maladies, including:

 

  • Cases of diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain/cramping
  • Appearance of blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Mouth sores
  • Fistulas around the anus causing pain or drainage

 

In most cases, the appearance of one or even a few of these symptoms could be attributed to any number of infections or viruses. A good doctor will rule out those first, often with a simple medication plan. If progress is not made, then the potential of Crohn�s disease heightens. The surefire symptoms that demand a trip to the doctor include: blood in your stool, multiple episodes of diarrhea that don�t stop with the application of over-the-counter medications; a fever that lasts more than two days without an explanation; losing weight without meaning to or without a proper explanation (food poisoning, a stomach bug, etc.) Loss of appetite, undereating, and fatigue are all signs of malnutrition. When your body isn�t getting the right nutrients from the food you eat, it is difficult for it to fight off illnesses and infections. Left untreated, the symptoms of Crohn�s disease become extremely serious, including:

 

  • Inflammation of the liver and/or bile ducts
  • Inflammation of joints
  • Inflammation of eyes
  • Inflammation of skin
  • In children, delayed growth and/or sexual development

 

What is the Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease?

 

When one or more of the symptoms persist and your physician has ruled out more pedestrian causes, attention must focus on the possibility of Crohn�s disease as the cause. Different symptoms can mean different types of Crohn�s or even a different type of IBD. Types of Crohn�s disease include:

 

  • Ileocolitis:�This is the most common form of Crohn�s disease. It affects both intestines � the end of the small intestine, which is also known as the terminal ileum. Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramping, pain in the middle and lower-right abdomen, and significant weight loss.
  • Ileitis:�This type of Crohn�s disease only affects the ileum. Its symptoms are generally the same as ileocolitis. In severe cases, fistulas and inflammatory abscesses can appear in the lower right part of the abdomen.
  • Gastroduodenal Crohn�s Disease:�Affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine which is known as the duodenum. Symptoms can include weight loss, loss of appetite, frequent vomiting, frequent fits of nausea.
  • Jejunoileitis:�This type of Crohn�s disease affects the jejunum, which is the upper half of the small intestine. Patchy areas of inflammation in the upper half of the jejunum are typical of this type of Crohn�s disease. Symptoms are not as severe in this form, but no less important to have diagnosed. They include mild-to-intensive pain or cramps following meals in your stomach or abdomen; bouts of diarrhea; fistulas forming long term in severe cases or if the inflammation goes a long time without being treated.
  • Crohn�s Granulomatous Colitis: This type affects only the colon. Typical symptoms are diarrhea, rectal bleeding, conditions around the anus that include ulcers, fistulas, and abscess, and joint pain, or skin lesions.

 

No single test confirms a diagnosis of Crohn�s disease. Other conditions have the same symptoms, including bacterial infections, so it might take some time to actually get the diagnosis despite days, weeks, or months of the symptoms.

 

What Can You Expect From Your Doctor?

 

The first thing a doctor will do is to do a standard physical exam of your entire body including questions on your family history, daily routine as well as diet and nutrition. Answering all of these completely and honestly will allow your physician to rule out or narrow in on certain maladies a lot quicker. Diagnostic tests will come in the form of blood draws and stool samples. These can eliminate the presence of a lot of diseases and focus in on what might be the case. If those are inconclusive, most doctors will likely perform X-rays on your upper and lower GI tract, looking for things like inflammation and ulcers. A contrast test might also be ordered to see the clear difference between what should be there and what should not. Remember to bring a friend or family member with you to these appointments, as it can be overwhelming to go through all the possibilities and potential diagnosis of Crohn�s disease. As the tests progress, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company and let them know what is going on so they can give you information on what tests are covered and which might not be. Make sure to write down as much information as you can with your doctor and ask questions that you don�t understand.

 

If the initial X-rays are not successful in narrowing down the issue, your doctor might recommend an endoscopy. This is a procedure done by putting a tiny camera mounted with a light to look at your GI tract and intestines. They are much more invasive than chest X-rays, but many technological advancements have made it much more tolerable. A GI doctor can use a bit of local anesthesia and a small camera to deaden your throat and disable your gag reflex. This allows the GI to view your mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the first part of your small intestine, known as the duodenum, looking for tell-tale signs of inflammation or ulcers.

 

A second endoscopy is a bit more of a chore. Also known as a colonoscopy, it requires the total evacuation of your GI tract before doctors can take a look. This means you�ll take medicine to clear it out, which will induce quite a few trips to the bathroom and be none too pleasant. This procedure usually requires drinking a liquid that acts as a fairly extreme form of laxative and will require you to take time off from work or school for at least a day while its effects take place. Once you get to the medical facility, you will be given anesthesia to knock you out, which is a good thing as the camera will enter through your rectum and move up to look at your colon. If there are any unusual structures present in either endoscopy, doctors might want to collect a biopsy of your colon or another area. This is done by using a tool to remove a small bit of tissue from inside the intestine or inside some other part of your GI tract for analysis. There is zero pain associated with a biopsy.

 

During the colonoscopy, the doctor might want to do another procedure known as a chromoendoscopy. In this procedure, a blue liquid is sprayed into the colon. It reveals slight changes in the lining of your intestine which can be polyps or other changes that are believed to be precancerous. This means they might be precursors to changes to your body that can become cancer cells. If polyps are discovered, they can be removed and a biopsy is taken to determine if they are benign or malignant. If the blue liquid is used, bowel movements will have a definitive blue tinge to them for the next few days.

 

There are some parts of your small intestine that cannot be seen during either colonoscopy or endoscopy. This requires small intestine imaging which works using an oral contrast � something you drink � in conjunction with computer tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI). As radical as it sounds, this can involve swallowing a camera that size and shape of a bill which then takes pictures of your small intestine and bowel as it moves through your GI tract. It is harmlessly expelled during a future bowel movement. If parts of the intestine are too hard to reach, a balloon endoscopy can be used. It�s not a real balloon, but the concept is the same. The displacement of the structure with an air-filled object creates space for the camera to get in close and record.

 

What is Crohn�s Disease Activity Index (CDAI)?

 

The Crohn�s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) is a research tool that allows researchers, doctors, and patients to quantify how painful symptoms of Crohn�s disease are at any given time. It was first developed by W.R. Best and his colleagues at Illinois�s Midwest Regional Health Center in 1976. The index has eight factors that it considers, each weighted and then added together to reveal a final score. The CDAI helps major studies diagnose how well the medicine is effective for people suffering from Crohn�s disease. It is excellent for determining the quality of life for Crohn�s disease sufferers to give doctors a good grasp on how much pain a person can endure before their quality of life really begins to suffer. The eight variables involved in the CDAI are:

 

  • Percentage deviation from standard weight
  • Hematocrit of <0.47 (men) and 0.42 (women)
  • Presence of abdominal mass (0 if none, 2 if questionable, 5 if definite)
  • Is the patient taking Lomotil or opiates to reduce bouts of diarrhea?
  • How is the patient feeling in general on a scale from 0 (well) to 4 (terrible). This is accounted for every day for seven days straight.
  • Presence of complications
  • Abdominal pain graded from 0 (none) to 3 (severe) for seven days straight.
  • A recording of the number of liquid or soft stools for seven straight days.

 

These eight factors are all assigned different weights, with the presence of complications and taking of Lomotil or opiates getting the highest weights (x30 and x20). Points are also added for things like joint pain, inflammation of the irus, anal fistulas, and fissures, a fever, etc. When all of this information is tallied a number, usually three digits are presented. If a person has a score of more than 450, they are considered to have severe Crohn�s disease and actions are taken accordingly. If the CDAI is less than 150, a person is considered to be in remission. If a person�s CDAI score drops 70 or more points be responding to treatment. A working version of the CDAI scale can be found here. Although it is very helpful, the CDAI has also been met with some criticism. The fact that it does not consider the typical quality of life, fatigue, endoscopic factors, protein loss, or other systemic features.

 

What are the Complications of Crohn’s Disease?

 

Similar to many other severe diseases, the lack of treatment of Crohn�s disease or the worsening of it despite treatment can lead to several other complicated illnesses, some of them life-threatening. They include:

 

  • Bowel obstruction: When Crohn�s disease inflames the digestive tract it can thicken the intestinal wall, which causes parts of the bowel to develop scar tissue and begin to narrow, making for irregular bowel movements. If the passage becomes too narrow it will actually block the flow of your digestive system, causing its contents to become stuck and form a barrier of their own. This will start as constipation but will eventually become obvious that something more severe is going on as treatments are applied. Surgery, usually done quickly after the diagnosis is made, will be required to remove the part of your bowel that has become scarred. If the bowel obstruction is complete, it requires emergency surgery. This sort of surgery is done under general anesthesia, meaning you are asleep for the procedure and will not feel any pain as it is performed. A surgeon makes a cut into the belly to see the intestines. Sometimes this is done laparoscopically to minimize how much cutting has to be done. From there, the surgeon will find the part of your intestines that is blocked and unblock it. This is not the extent of the procedure, however. If any part of the bowel is damaged, it must either be removed or replaced. This is known as bowel resection. If it is removed, the healthy �ends� on either side of the removed section are connected together, using either staples or stitches, which can either dissolve or be removed with another procedure, this one much more likely to involve laparoscopy. There are some incidences where the ends cannot be connected because such a large part of the intestine has to be removed. When this happens, the surgeon brings out one end through an opening in the abdominal wall via a colostomy or ileostomy. The key is to perform the surgery before blood flow in the bowel is affected. The surgery has many risks including more scar tissue forming, damage to nearby organs, and more bowel obstructions.
  • Ulcers:�When parts of the body are chronically inflamed, they lead to open sores that do not heal like normal. These are called ulcers and can be found almost anywhere in your body, inside or out. For people suffering from Crohn�s disease, they can be found in the mouth, the anus, the stomach, or in the genital area. Ulcers along the GI tract are often the first sign of the disease, although since they are undetectable except in the mouth, for most people, they are often missed until other symptoms form. Ulcers can also form in your duodenum, appendix, small intestine, and colon. A similar condition, known as ulcerative colitis, only forms in the colon and is not as serious as Crohn�s disease. If an ulcer breaks through the intestinal wall it can form a fistula, a connection between the intestine and the skin or different parts of the intestine. This is a very dangerous condition that may lead to food bypassing your bowels or even bowels draining onto your skin. If they develop into abscesses they can be life-threatening. Ulcers can also cause a person to become anemic if there is more than one of them in the small intestine or the colon. This can cause frequent loss of blood and can require surgery.
  • Anal Fissure: This is a small tear in the tissue of your anus or the skin around it that can become infected. It results in painful bowel movements. It can heal naturally, but left untreated threatens to come to a perianal fistula.
  • Malnutrition: Anyone suffering from diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping is likely to not be getting enough nutrients into their body for proper function. Common results are anemia from not intaking enough iron or enough B-12. If the small intestine is inflamed, it can cause problems with digesting food and absorbing nutrients. If the problem is in the large intestine, including the rectum and the colon, the problems include the body�s inability to absorb water and electrolytes. What causes malnutrition? There are several ways that it can form. One that most people have experienced over the course of their lifetimes is severe diarrhea. Have you ever had food poisoning that resulted in multiple incidents of bad diarrhea or vomiting? The next time you step on a scale you might be astonished to see that you have lost several pounds in a single day, maybe even as many as 10 or 12! When your body detects something in your GI tract, it makes every effort to evacuate it one way or another. This results in the body using fluids to transport the foreign elements out of the system and can lead to dehydration as fluids, nutrients, and electrolytes such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and sodium get ejected along with it. � Other causes of malnutrition include abdominal pain and nausea. If you�re a woman who has ever been pregnant and dealt with morning sickness, you know how these feel, and when they strike, eating is the last thing on your mind. However, it also makes it tough for your body to gather sufficient nutrients and the correct number of calories, which makes it weaken over time. Rectal bleeding, both painful and embarrassing, also causes malnutrition because the ulcers in your intestines are leading to deficiencies. Frequent trips to the bathroom can also cause malnutrition because people will seek to cut down on this habit by eating less to avoid embarrassment. But cutting back on your body�s calorie intake can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. An even tougher pill to swallow is that certain IDB medicine damages your ability to say nourished. Prednisone, which is a common corticosteroid, can cause a decrease in healthy muscle mass over long-term use. Other treatments, like sulfasalazine and methotrexate, can interfere with the absorption of folic acid, which is crucial in healthy cell growth.
  • Colon cancer:�The �Big C� rears its ugly head in association with Crohn�s disease, unfortunately. Having Crohn�s disease increases your risk of colon cancer. People without a family history of Crohn�s disease or colon cancer are advised to get a colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 50 to check. If you have a family history, ask a doctor about having it done sooner and more frequently. Colon cancer starts in the colon or rectum when cells grow abnormally. Most starts as a growth called a polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. There are two types of polyps: Adenomatous and Hyperplastic/Inflammatory. The latter are generally not cancerous and are more common. The former sometimes change into cancer. If they are larger than 1 cm, this is more often the case, or if more than two are found. A condition called dysplasia also is a warning sign of cancer. This means that after the polyp is removed, there are areas in the polyp or in the lining that don�t look normal, suggesting they are cancerous in origin.
  • Other health problems:�Any number of maladies can befall someone stricken by Crohn�s disease. How it affects the rest of the body is different from person to person. Common problems can include anemia, skin disorders, arthritis, liver disease, and gallbladder disease.
  • Malabsorption:�A complication of malnutrition, it makes it difficult for vital nutrients such as fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, and proteins to make it through the small intestine. Inflammation of the intestines, a symptom of� Crohn�s disease, can also make this possible.
  • Decreased Bone Strength:�A complication of malnutrition, it increases your risk of bone fractures. If your body is not getting enough Vitamin D, is not absorbing enough calcium, or you have long-term inflammation, this is more likely to happen.
  • Growth Delays:�A dangerous complication for kids suffering from� Crohn�s disease is a lack of growth due to IBD. About one-third of kids with� Crohn�s disease and 1/10th of those with ulcerative colitis in the US will be shorter than expected. Children with either of these diseases should have a dietitian consulted by their parents.

 

What is the Treatment for Crohn’s Disease?

 

Hearing that there is no known cure for Crohn�s disease can be a debilitating blow to people suffering from it. However, developments in therapy allow for the ability to greatly reduce it symptoms and even invoke long-term remission in some patients. Given proper treatment and with a commitment by the sufferer, people afflicted with Crohn�s disease can function well and lead a long, healthy life. The good news is that if one treatment option does not work well, there are others to try. It�s a balancing act for most people, and the need to titrate that balance between medicine, changes to their diet and nutrition routines, and sometimes surgical procedures is the best way forward to getting on track and healthy.

 

  • Medication: Medication is what most people think about when they get sick, and such is the case here. Medicine for Crohn�s disease is designed to suppress the response of your immune system to the inflamed parts of your GI tract. Suppressing that inflammation can go a long way to reducing the pain from fever, pain, and diarrhea. It also gives your body time to heal up. The medication can help you avoid flare-ups (see below) and extended periods of remission to great and greater lengths of time. We�ll talk about remission later in this book.
  • Combination Therapy:�Combination therapy is exactly what it sounds like; using more than one source of treatment to get Crohn�s disease under control. This sort of treatment can also up the risk of side effects or even toxicity, so your doctor needs to analyze both you and the treatment plan to see what makes the most sense.
  • Diet & Nutrition:�The amount of diseases that get dramatically better when one starts to make drastic changes in their diet and nutrition habits is truly astounding. Good nutrition via eating the right kinds of foods for your specific form of Crohn�s disease can really lessen the painful symptoms of the disease and prevent flare-ups. Understanding your body�s needs in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals can give you a great education on why you�re developing certain side effects and how to lessen their effect. Much like when you get food poisoning or an upset stomach, reverting to a bland diet � the universally known Bananas, Apple Sauce, Rice, Toast (BRAT) method is a great way to lessen the discomfort that may occur when eating spicy foods or those that cause flare-ups.
  • Surgery:�No one wants to have a surgery especially in an area as sensitive as your GI tract. However, statistics say that as many as 66%-75% of people with Crohn�s disease will require surgery at some point. That number is daunting, but since most people don�t understand or can identify that they have Crohn�s disease until they have suffered inflammation of the intestines. Surgery is necessary when medications are not working or if the inflammation has turned into an obstruction, fissure, or fistula, that is not allowing your intestines or anus to work correctly. As mentioned earlier, these surgeries include removing a diseased portion of the bowel, known as resection, and taking the remaining healthy portions and moving them together (anastomosis). Although this sort of surgery can make a huge difference and send someone suffering from Crohn�s disease into remission, it is not a cure. Post-surgery statistics show that 30% of patients that have surgery related to Crohn�s disease have a return of symptoms within three years, and as many as 60% have a return of symptoms within 10 years.

 

How Can You Avoid and Contain Crohn’s Disease Flare-ups?

 

Flare-ups are an unfortunate but expected part of suffering from Crohn�s disease. Very rare are the patients who are diagnosed with Crohn�s disease, get treatment, and they are in remission for the rest of their lives. Eventually, a flare-up will come to any Crohn�s disease sufferer. Being prepared and understanding the causes is very important to keep a flare-up from becoming a longer-term suffering session. When a flare-up does happen, sufferers of Crohn�s disease must be on their guard to take care of themselves but also to identify possible causes of the flare-up. Doing so will make it much easier to avoid them in the future.

 

The first thing to check on when you have a flare-up is your recent diet. Lots of foods can exacerbate your GI tract and cause inflammation anywhere along the tract, from your mouth to your intestines. Foods that contain spices like garlic, chili powder, onions, paprika, and so on are among the types of food that can easily agitate the digestive tract and cause inflammation that can cause severe pain and severe diarrhea. A great way to pinpoint what foods might be causing the flare-up is to keep a food diary in which you record everything you eat. This way you can really target foods that when consumed are followed by a flare-up. It might not even be food but an actual ingredient that causes the flare-up. Knowing what foods cause these symptoms in you makes it easy to avoid them. If you are struggling to define what foods are safe for you and which ones trigger your Crohn�s disease, ask a doctor about the possibility of consulting a dietician about the matter.

 

If you�ve ruled food out as a probable cause of a flare-up, your next best bet is to analyze your patterns for taking medicine. Skipping a dose, taking the wrong dosage, or even taking pills at different times than normal can trigger a reaction or lessen the potency of the drug�s effectiveness at quelling your Crohn�s disease symptoms. If you are an adult or a teenager, the only person who can make you take your pills on time and in the correct dosage is you. If you are a parent of a child with Crohn�s disease, you must ensure they are taking the exact dosage at the exact time each day. If you are finding your current dose to not be taking good enough care of your symptoms, you must contact your doctor, explain what is going on, and work with them to find a solution or possibly change the medication itself, how often you take it, when you take it, or the dosage you are taking. Doctors want to help you find that healthy medium between being too drugged up and being in too much pain.

 

If it�s not your Crohn�s disease medication bothering you, it might be another form of medication, particularly nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Despite that tongue-twister of a name, these are some of the most well-known drugs in the world with more common names like aspirin and ibuprofen. Unfortunately for sufferers of Crohn�s disease, these analgesics also have painful side effects that can irritate the bowel and kick up inflammation quickly. If you suffer from frequent fevers, headaches, or other body pain, ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take acetaminophen (commonly found in Tylenol) to avoid the NSAIDs.

 

Another medicine that can cause flare-ups are antibiotics, frequently prescribed to treat bacterial infections. If you�ve ever been prescribed antibiotics, you�ll know that the doctor, the nurse, and the pharmacist will all insist you take them with food to lessen the chance of an upset stomach. This still happens in even the healthiest of people because it changes the balance of the bacteria in your intestines. That can cause diarrhea, and when diarrhea appears in the tract of someone suffering from Crohn�s disease, it can spell trouble.

 

If your diet is good and you are avoiding medicines that are known to cause flare-ups, there are still two more places to look among the likeliest causes. The first is if you are a smoker. Look, we all know that smoking is bad for you for any number of reasons, increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, and lung cancer among others. That same risk holds true for patients suffering from Crohn�s disease. Introducing smoke and tobacco to your digestive system is one of the worst ideas you can have. If you are tempted to smoke while going through Crohn�s disease, be aware that you are much more likely to need surgery because of it. One other cause of flare-ups is increased stress. Stress was originally thought of as one of the causes of Crohn�s disease, but in fact, it is more commonly believed to be an agitator of the disease. If you are struggling with stress and can feel it spilling over into you Crohn�s disease, consult a doctor on how to incorporate stress-management techniques. If your need is immediate, things like taking a warm bath or a long shower can help relax your muscles. Other ideas are to exercise or simply take a walk to pull out the strain from muscles you did not even know you were clinching. You can also try yoga or meditation, for which there are thousands of online resources to get you started.

 

What Can You Do When You Have a Crohn’s Disease Flare-Up?

 

It�s hard not to feel stress and/or panic when you have a flare-up of your Crohn�s disease. Some last a day, some for a week, and some a month as it really depends on the person, the circumstances, and how well they are able to handle it. Although it has no true healing powers, a positive frame of mind that this condition is temporary and that you will improve can greatly affect the mindset of a person suffering a flare-up.

 

  • Maintain a healthy diet:�It could very well be something you ate that is driving you into a flare-up, but that does not mean you should stop eating or try some radical purge diet. Proper nutrition is the essential foundation of dealing with Crohn�s disease on a day-in, day-out basis. If you have bouts of diarrhea that drain your body of fluid, adjust accordingly by increasing your fluid intake and eating bland foods that are much less likely to have spicy ingredients or high concentrations of fat that can lead to more inflammation.
  • Stay regular with your diagnostic tests:�When you are first diagnosed with Crohn�s disease and your doctor provides you with prescriptions and treatment plans, part of that plan should be regular scheduled diagnostic tests to see how your body is faring. If you have a flare-up, call your doctor and let them know about it, as well as any guesses on your part on what could have caused it. The doctor might want to move up a diagnostic test to see what sort of side effects are occurring and why you had the flare-up, this can allow the doctor to analyze what is causing it and how to prevent it from happening again.
  • Set up a support system:�No one should have to go through any disease along, particularly one like Crohn�s disease that has so many miserable side effects. No matter your age, your marital status, or what you do for a living, you�ll need a network of friends and family you can rely on for emotional and physical support when you suffer a flare-up. This will involve an initial period where you let them know what you are suffering from and give them transparency and knowledge about what Crohn�s disease is and what it does to people. While it can be very embarrassing, the more open and honest you are with the people who care about you, the easier it will be to reach out when you need help. This can be anything as simple as driving to the doctor or as serious as picking your kids up at school because you have to go to the emergency room. Other times, it�s just someone who can lend an ear and talk when you are frustrated by the flare-up in particular or what the future might bring. Make sure at least one member of your support network works or lives close-by in case of an emergency.
  • Maintain a great relationship with your doctor: We all get how busy most people are. You find a doctor, get your prescriptions filled, and see them again in 6-12 months. That�s not how things work when you�re battling against Crohn�s disease. Having a doctor you know, trust, and feel confident about in his or her ability to accurately and honestly get you on the right path from the get-go. This extends past your primary care physician as well. Getting on good terms with his or her office staff front desk, nurses, any other physicians, such as a dietician or a counselor can have enormous benefits down the line.
  • Respect your prescribed treatment: Too many people get into their heads that they know the best overtime on how their treatment should go. These are the types that end up altering their dosage, not taking medicine at the right time, or not taking it altogether. Doctors aren�t just diagnosing you to hear themselves think. They are using all the tools at their disposal to make you feel better and let your body heal. Consider that the next time you don�t feel like taking a pill.
  • Try Corticosteroids:�This medication is often prescribed to treat flare-ups for the short term. They are not recommended over a long period of time as patients can either get addicted to them or become resistant to them.
  • Get better sleep:� Research has shown that patients with Crohn�s disease are more likely to have relapses if they do not get enough sleep at night. The poor sleeping in a study of 3,173 adult patients with IBD found that many 60% of patients suffering from flare-ups reported poor sleep, linking it to the likes of depression, tobacco use, and use of corticosteroids.

 

What is Remission Like with Crohn’s Disease?

 

Remission is the stage of Crohn�s disease where the symptoms go dormant. The inflammation which infects your digestive tract goes away and the damage to your bowel, colon, and other parts of the GI tract ceases. Your immune system stops attacking your own body and returns to its normal functioning. During this time, you will notice fatigue and pain diminishing and you will cease having bouts of severe diarrhea. Diagnostic blood tests by your doctor will likely show your inflammation levels have returned to normal and lesions found in your bowel, colon, stomach, anus, esophagus, and mouth will close and start to heal. No one can say what causes remission or how long it lasts, but it clearly is a cycle. After the first flare that triggers the diagnosis of Crohn�s disease, about 10%-20% of patients report long-term remission. This statistic is on the uptrend thanks to advance studies and research that better prepare doctors and patients to deal with Crohn�s disease more rapidly and effectively. There are several types of remission associated with Crohn�s disease, with accompanying characteristics. They are:

 

  • Clinical remission: This means you have zero symptoms associated with Crohn�s disease at the time. This can happen naturally or it can be the result of the diligent taking of medicine. Note that if your remission is a result of taking corticosteroids, it�s not really considered remission, mostly because these drugs are meant only for short-term use as they can become addictive or the body can become resistant to them.
  • Endoscopic remission:�This means your doctor does not find any sign of disease when he checks your colon during an endoscopy. If there is no inflammation and no lesions or polyps are present. This can also be termed as deep healing or mucosal healing. It does not really guarantee remission however, as there is a lot more to Crohn�s disease than simply what is going on in the colon. Inflammation can occur anywhere on the GI tract, but the colon is a major part of this.. Nevertheless, the colon is a major player in the disease and is one of the most painful parts of the process, so a clean bill of health there is worth celebrating.
  • Histologic remission: This term refers to the condition where cells are removed from your colon during endoscopy and tested as normal under a microscope. This indicates there is no presence of cancer nor inflammation commonly associated with Crohn�s disease. This remission is discovered when a follow-up to a surgical procedure is done and a lack of disease activity is found, especially is the procedure involved an ileocolonic resection, which is the most common surgery associated with Crohn�s disease. In this procedure, the area where the small and large intestines meet each other, known as the terminal ileum, is removed.
  • Biochemical remission:�Blood and excrement do not contain substances that signal the presence of inflammation. This is proven by blood tests and stool samples.

 

The path to remission is different for every Crohn�s disease patient, which can make it all the more vexing when you have a much harder time than someone else in achieving it. Doctors will try lots of different medications to get you going, while others will try more aggressive routes. Here are some of the routes that your doctor might take in his or her pursuit of remission for you.

 

Medications

 

Medicine is the obvious first choice for any sufferer of Crohn�s disease. Drugs have been tested for years before gaining approval from the Federal Drug Association (FDA) and most side effects are known. Since there is no real known cause for Crohn�s disease, patients are more than likely to be put on more than one drug at a time in order to titrate a cocktail that works for you. The goals in taking medications for Crohn�s disease include reducing chronic symptoms like pain and diarrhea, helping intestines heal from the damage that the inflammation has caused, and ease the inflammation itself. The following drugs are all used to fight Crohn�s disease:

 

Steroids

 

  • Prednisone:�Also used to treat arthritis, blood disorders, severe allergies, breathing problems, eye problems, and cancer, it is the most well-known corticosteroids. It decreases the immune system�s response time. Is addictive, and the body can also start to resist its effects if taken for too long.

 

Drugs to Slow Down Your Immune System

 

Vigilant immune systems are a big cause of Crohn�s disease, although no one has been able to figure out why. Slowing the reaction and response time of the immune system can limit the inflammation damage it does on your GI tract. These drugs include:

 

  • Azathioprine: Commonly used to prevent organ rejection in people that have had a kidney transplant. Also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It�s an immunosuppressant that weakens the immune system. It can be taken by injection or by mouth.
  • Cyclosporine:�Used to prevent organ rejection for people who have had a liver, kidney, or heart transplant. Is taken orally once per day.
  • Mercaptopurine:�This drug is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth of cancer cells, slowing their growth and spread across the body. It is largely used to take on leukemia. It has rough side effects that are fairly similar to Crohn�s disease, including nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, as well as temporary hair loss, mouth sores or pain, and symptoms of liver disease.
  • Methotrexate:�It is classified as an antimetabolite that works by slowing or stopping the growth of cancer cells and suppressing the immune system. It is often used to stop juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and comes in tablet form. It is a strong medication that requires lots of water consumption to get it out of the kidneys.

 

TNF Inhibitors

 

TNF Inhibitors are drugs that help stop inflammation. In addition to Crohn�s disease, they are useful for fighting rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and ulcerative colitis. The three most frequently used with Crohn�s disease are:

 

  • Adalimumab:�Used to reduce pain and spelling in arthritis, it also is used in certain skin conditions. It works by blocking a protein found in the immune system that causes joint swelling and red, scaly patches.
  • Certolizumab:�Also used to kill tumors, it can defeat a certain type of spine condition in addition to treating Crohn�s to a degree and battling arthritis.
  • Infliximab:�A champion for chronic plaque psoriasis, it also treats Crohn�s disease and arthritis. It works by blocking the tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the body. It also decreases swelling while weakening the immune system.

 

Doctors typically start with mild drugs and then move into more strong ones to try and get you into remission. If your Crohn�s disease is atypically severe when you are first diagnosed, the opposite might be true and treatment will start with stronger drugs, drifting toward milder ones once you are in remission.

 

Surgery

 

If drugs or steroids aren�t working for you, or if your Crohn�s disease is particularly severe by the time it is first diagnosed, doctors might skip the drug regiment altogether and head straight for surgery. Up to 50% of all people diagnosed with Crohn�s disease will need surgery at some time in their life. The most common surgery will see a doctor remove parts of your intestine where there is too much damage for it to function properly. They then use staples or stitches to reconnect the healthy areas. After this kind of procedure, you will be out of commission for a while, and it might take several months before you feel completely normal again.

 

After the surgery, you will be fed through a feeding tube with liquid food or even have it injected into your veins to give your bowel the chance to both heal and rest. Once the intestines are determined to be rested and ready to return to active duty, you will be encouraged to eat a low-fiber diet in order to make your body conducive to smaller stools that reduce the risk of bowel blockage. Within a month to four months, you should start seeing the real results of such a procedure.

 

Understanding Crohn�s Disease in Children

 

Parents fear any type of health issue for their children, but being diagnosed with a problem, particularly one with no known cure can open up a lot of feelings of panic for both children and their parents. Since most people diagnosed with Crohn�s disease are 30 years old or younger, it stands to reason that it affects many children. And because it can cause malnutrition and other problems that affect growth and development, learning about Crohn�s disease can’t be understated for parents. The best way to talk to your child about having Crohn�s disease is to tell them in a language they can understand that involves the whole family, their doctors, their school, etc. Having a prepared, informed child will make what is to come much easier on them and reduce a lot of their fears of the unknown. If your child is a teenager and more responsible for the food they eat, guiding them in diet and nutrition is a big deal. Honesty is always the best answer for older children on how to manage Crohn�s disease. This is not a temporary condition that has an attainable cure right now. Helping them understand that controlling it will be their responsibility as adults are something that must come into play as well. Clearly, younger children will need more of a hands-on approach. But don�t do everything for them. Unless they are very young, this is a great chance to teach them a gradual taking of responsibility. For younger kids, there are going to be several new events happening that will be either scary or unfamiliar that you can help them transition into. These include:

 

Taking Medication

 

For younger children, being sick usually means taking a cough syrup or something similar for a few days and then feeling better. For children with Crohn�s disease, this can elevate to taking pills, getting injections, or sitting during lengthy intravenous transfusions. Taking medication over a long period of time is a new thing for most children. Many will fear it, even something as simple as swallowing pills. Start by introducing them to the medicine � what it looks like, how to take it without chewing it, and explain what the medicine. Let them know that the medicine is the bridge between them feeling bad and having to stay home feeling sick and them feeling good and being able to get out and enjoy some of their favorite pastimes.

 

It�s also important to remember that children don�t have as good as memories as we do, especially when it comes to remembering what days certain things are taking place. Well into elementary school plenty of kids don�t always know the day of the week or the time of the day without consulting a grownup. That�s why a family calendar with dates marked for medications is a great way to keep everyone on the same page. Make a big deal out of each pill swallowed and appointment completed. Praise is important. When your child feels they are doing the right thing to battle their illness, they will feel better about themselves.

 

Also, be aware that different medicines do different things and have different side effects. Make your child know that their feelings are important and valid. Ask them how the medicine is making them feel. Better or the same? Explain to them what side effects are and let them know that there are no wrong answers here. If the medicine is making them feel bad, they need to let you know, so you can let the doctor know. Medicine not working is not a sign of defeat, it just means that it�s not the right medicine for them.

 

Emotional Support

 

Emotional support is the best medicine for kids diagnosed with Crohn�s disease. It�s not a one-time conversation you have and then move forward with treatment and never talk about it again. Your child is going to have questions as they get older that manifest in many different ways. They will want and need someone to share their thoughts, their fears, and their hopes for the future. The question of �Why me?� is probably going to come up a lot, particularly for children who believe heavily in a particular faith. Some will wonder if the religious figure they worship is punishing them for some wrong they�ve committed. If someone else in the family also suffers from Crohn�s disease, the child might lash out at this relative and blame them for the illness. It is extremely difficult for a child to be different from their peers because of a physical condition, especially when it is one that deals with an already sensitive subject and one that can be rife for bullying at pretty much any age.

 

If it is too much for your child to take or if you are seeing trouble arise with their schoolwork, friends, or other previously healthy relationships, consider consulting a mental health professional, particularly one who specializes in childhood diseases and how to cope with them. Therapy, medication, or counseling (or some combination of the three) could be just what your child needs to get back on track and learn the process of coping with their illness. Older children and teenagers might need a completely different remedy � space and time alone to rationalize their feelings and decide how best to deal with it. This can include time talking to the doctor alone, without parental involvement. This should not be construed as a panic sign, but a positive that your child is taking charge of his or her own care and wants to discuss with a doctor how to cope with certain conditions. Don�t think you as the parent is in charge of every decision being made. Your child is the one with Crohn�s disease, and that will last a lifetime.

 

What is a 504 Accommodation Plan?

 

A 504 accommodation plan, also known as a 504 plan, is a government-approved legally binding document that requires a school to give your child special accommodations due to their disability. It is your job to inform your child�s school of the disability and you�ll be required to give proof of it � a simple doctor�s note will do. The plan covers your child having an unexpected flare-up of Crohn�s disease at school or if they are hospitalized and miss time. Accommodations will vary from child to child, but you must advocate for their rights at all times to ensure the school staff knows exactly what procedures must be followed, particularly in the event of a flare-up. Flare-ups can make anyone feel extremely uncomfortable as it can cause diarrhea or irregular bowel movements. In a school setting, this can be scary, humiliating, and embarrassing for a child, so all precautions must be in place, such as your child having the right to visit the bathroom at any time during the school day without being questioned, or bringing another pair of clothes to school in case of an accident. The school nurse in particular should be made aware of the situation, as she will usually be the most knowledgeable of Crohn�s disease and the best suited to help your child should they have an accident or need help during the day. If your child misses a lot of school for doctor�s appointments or hospital stays, the 504 plan should include provisions to allow them extra time to do assignments or things like take-home tests to give them the time and atmosphere to perform their best.

 

How Can You Handle Your Job When Your Child Has Crohn�s Disease?

 

Most jobs these days make all sorts of allowances for employees when it comes to paid time off (PTO) in the form of sick days and personal days. Having a child with Crohn�s disease can seem like a very personal issue and one that you don�t necessarily want to share with a lot of people, but it is necessary to inform your job, especially our human resources (HR) representative of the situation so you can best handle your responsibilities at work while also being there for your child. Your job will most likely be sympathetic to your child�s needs and do its best to accommodate you when you need to stay home with him or her or if you need to take them to the hospital. However, try and let your job know about planned hospital visits or procedures as far in advance as possible to give them the best chance to schedule someone to do your assigned tasks. If your job allows you to work remotely, try and see if you can make the accommodation for days that you might need to stay home with your child. Do everything possible to do your work, even if it is not at the precise date and time as everyone else in the office. Share your child�s schedule for surgery, blood draws, imaging, or any other scheduled appointment with your supervisor and your HR representative so they can appropriately deduct the time missed from your PTO, sick days, or family leave days, however, your company works it out. The more information that you can give your job about your schedule, the more likely they are to work with you. A company cannot legally fire you for a child�s illness, but if you do not communicate with them on the amount of time you take off, or if you are only informing them of time you need off with very little or no notice, you could find yourself getting dismissed for being unable to perform your duties and an unwillingness to keep an open dialogue.

 

Children�s Health Insurance and Crohn�s Disease

 

Your child is covered by either you or your spouse�s health insurance, but you�ll need more information than that to make sure that your child gets the best care possible. Once a diagnosis has been made by your child�s doctor, set aside some time to call your insurance company, explain the situation, and get all of your questions answered. Your insurance plan will have operating procedures based on the coverage plan you have preselected. These will include a deductible that you will likely have to meet before all expenses are paid for, co-pays for your child�s visits to the doctor, and possibly a number of treatments that are covered as part of the plan. During this meeting, you should also ask questions about prescription medications as well as which brands and drugs are covered under your plan. If certain drugs are too expensive, you can contact drug companies or look for discounts and coupons online. For health issues like Crohn�s disease, manufacturers and discount organizations often work hard to make otherwise unattainable drugs more affordable for suffering patients.

 

 

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. Although healthcare professionals today still don’t know the true cause of this health issue, several doctors and researchers believe that factors like poor diet and stress can aggravate the symptoms associated with this health issue. Common symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease can include pain and inflammation. Proper diagnosis and treatment for this health issue are essential because it can lead to a variety of complications, including joint pain and arthritis, among other health issues, if left untreated. Diet and lifestyle modifications, stress management, medication, and surgery, can ultimately help improve Crohn’s disease. For people following several of the previously mentioned treatment options, chiropractic care and physical therapy can also help relieve joint pain and arthritis, among other health issues, associated with inflammation. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*�

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

What is Folate Metabolism?

What is Folate Metabolism?

Folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body. Folate is essential for cell division and homeostasis because it acts as a coenzyme in many biological pathways, including amino acid metabolism, methionine production, and DNA methylation. Folate metabolism happens together with the methionine cycle and the choline pathway. Most folate coenzymes are found in the liver.

 

Folate is also used as a coenzyme to convert methionine into homocysteine. Vitamin B6 and B12, together with folate, are also essential for DNA synthesis. Proper dietary intake of folate is fundamental for normal cell growth and DNA repair. Folate or vitamin B12 deficiency can ultimately cause a variety of health issues, including anemia. Oral supplementation may be necessary. In the following article, we will discuss folate metabolism and foods that are high in folate.

 

Folate Metabolism Overview

 

Several of the most important functions of folate metabolism are methylation and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) production, one of the most essential methyl donors in the cell. In the following diagram, we will explain folate metabolism.�

 

Image of a folate metabolism diagram.

 

Figure 1: One carbon metabolism. ATP: adenosyl triphosphate, B6: vitamin B6, B12: vitamin B12, BHMT: betaine homocysteine methyltransferase, CBS: cystathionine-?-synthase, DHF: dihydrofolate, DMG: dimethylglycine, dTMP: deoxythymidine monophosphate, dUMP: deoxyuridine monophosphate, Gly: glycine, Hcy: homocysteine, MAT: methionine adenosyltransferase, Met: methionine, MCM: L-methylmalonyl CoA mutase, MM-CoA: L-methylmalonyl CoA, MMA: methylmalonic acid, MS: methionine synthase, MTHFR: 5,10-methyltetrahydrofolate reductase, SAH: S-adenosyl homocysteine, SAHH: S-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase, SAM: S-adenosyl methionine, Ser: serine, SHMT, serine hydroxymethyltransferase, THF: tetrahydrofolate, TS: thymidylate synthase. Adapted from: Hypo- and hypervitaminosis of B and D vitamins � Diagnosis and clinical consequences. Herrmann W. et al. 2013. Uni-Med Verlag AG.

 

Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a component that converts folate to dihydrofolate (DHF) and DHF to the active form, THF. Folate metabolism consists of three cycles. One cycle starts with a component known as 10-formylTHF which is associated with purine production and two cycles utilize 5, 10-methyleneTHF in deoxythymidine monophosphate (dTMP) and methionine production. 5-MethylTHF is one of the most predominant forms of folate found in the human body.

 

After cellular uptake, 5-methylTHF is converted into THF through the use of vitamin B12 in methionine synthase (MS). The methionine cycle is a fundamental pathway in SAM production. As previously mentioned above, B vitamin deficiencies, including folate, vitamin B6, and B12, as well as genetic birth defects can ultimately cause a variety of health issues. 5,10-MethyleneTHF is finally converted to 5-methylTHF by 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR).

 

Several of the most important functions of folate metabolism are methylation and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) production, one of the most essential methyl donors in the cell. In the following diagram, we will simplify folate metabolism.�

 

Image of a second folate metabolism diagram.

 

15 Foods That Are High in Folate

 

Folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body. It�supports cell division and promotes fetal growth and development to reduce the risk of genetic birth defects. Folate is naturally found in many different types of foods. Doctors recommend 400 mcg of folate every day for adults to prevent deficiency. Here are 15 healthy foods that are high in folate or folic acid, including:

 

  • avocado
  • bananas
  • citrus fruits
  • papaya
  • beets
  • leafy greens
  • asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • broccoli
  • nuts and seeds
  • legumes
  • eggs
  • beef liver
  • wheat germ
  • fortified grains

 

In conclusion, folate, and its synthetic form folic acid, is an important micronutrient that can be naturally found in many different types of foods. Eating many different types of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as well as fortified foods, is an easy way to increase your folate intake. These foods are not only high in folate but these are also high in other essential nutrients that can ultimately improve other aspects of your overall health.

 

For information regarding the nutritional role of folate, please review the following article:

Nutritional Role of Folate

 


 

Folate or folic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays a fundamental role in a variety of functions in the human body, including cell division and homeostasis. Folate also helps with amino acid metabolism, methionine production, and DNA methylation.�Folate or vitamin B12 deficiency can ultimately cause a variety of health issues. Oral supplementation may be necessary. In the diagrams above, we explain the process of folate metabolism.�Folate is naturally found in many different types of foods, including avocado, citrus fruits, leafy greens, broccoli, nuts and seeds, legumes, eggs, and fortified grains.�Eating many different types of healthy foods is an easy way to increase your folate intake. These foods are not only high in folate but these are also high in other essential nutrients that can ultimately improve other aspects of your overall health.�- Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

Image of the Berry Bliss Smoothie

 

Berry Bliss Smoothie

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

� 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, preferably wild)
� 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
� 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seed
� 1 tablespoons almonds
� Water (to desired consistency)
� Ice cubes (optional, may omit if using frozen blueberries)

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of Almonds.

 

Almonds have twice as much calcium as milk

 

Gram for gram this is absolutely true! According to McCance and Widdowson’s Composition of Foods (the official guide to the nutrients in food used in the UK), about 100g of almonds have 240mg of bone-building calcium while semi-skimmed (2%) milk has 120mg per 100g (3.5oz). With that being said, however, we tend to drink milk in bigger quantities than we eat almonds (and the calcium from milk is easily absorbed), so the dairy option may be a better source day-to-day.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*�

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Almas, Saneea. �Folic Acid: An Overview of Metabolism, Dosages, and Benefits of Optimal Periconception Supplementation: InfantRisk Center.� Infant Risk Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, www.infantrisk.com/content/folic-acid-overview-metabolism-dosages-and-benefits-optimal-periconception-supplementation.
  • Homocysteine Expert Panel Staff. �Folate Metabolism.� Homocysteine Expert Panel, Homocysteine Expert Panel Media, www.homocysteine-panel.org/en/folatefolic-acid/basics/folate-metabolism/.
  • Link, Rachael. �15 Healthy Foods That Are High in Folate (Folic Acid).� Healthline, Healthline Media, 27 Feb. 2020, www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-folate-folic-acid.
  • Shuhei, Ebara. �Nutritional Role of Folate.� Congenital Anomalies, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 June 2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28603928/?from_term=folate%2Bmetabolism&from_pos=3.
  • MSN Lifestyle Staff. �Coffee Is a Fruit and Other Unbelievably True Food Facts.� MSN Lifestyle, MSN Lifestyle Media, 4 June 2020, www.msn.com/en-us/foodanddrink/did-you-know/coffee-is-a-fruit-and-other-unbelievably-true-food-facts/ss-BB152Q5q?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=mailsignout#image=5.

 

MTHFR Gene Mutation and Health

MTHFR Gene Mutation and Health

The MTHFR or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene is well-known due to a genetic mutation that may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream, among other essential nutrients. Healthcare professionals believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. In the following article, we will discuss the MTHFR gene mutation and how it can ultimately affect your overall health.

 

What is an MTHFR Gene Mutation?

 

People can have single or multiple mutations, as well as neither, on the MTHFR gene. The different mutations are often referred to as “variants”. A variant occurs when the DNA of a specific part of a gene is different or varies from person to person. People that have a heterozygous or single variant of the MTHFR gene mutation have a decreased risk of developing health issues like inflammation and chronic pain, among other diseases. Moreover, healthcare professionals also believe that people that have homozygous or multiple variants of the MTHFR gene mutation may ultimately have an increased risk of disease. There are two MTHFR gene mutation variants. These specific variants include:

 

  • C677T. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of people in the United States have a mutation at gene position C677T. About 25 percent of Hispanics and about 10 to 15 percent of Caucasians are homozygous for this variant.
  • A1298C. There are limited research studies for this variant. A 2004 study focused on 120 blood donors of Irish heritage. Of the donors, 56 or 46.7 percent were heterozygous for this variant and 11 or 14.2 percent were homozygous.
  • Both C677T and A1298C. It�s also possible for people to have both C677T and A1298C MTHFR gene mutation variations, which includes one copy of each.

 

What are the Symptoms of an MTHFR Gene Mutation?

 

Symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation can be different from person to person and from variant to variant. It’s important to remember that further research around MTHFR gene mutation variants and their effects on health are still needed. Evidence regarding how MTHFR gene mutation variants are associated with a variety of other health issues is currently lacking or it has been disproven. Conditions that have been suggested to be associated with MTHFR variants include:

 

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • bipolar disorder
  • schizophrenia
  • migraines
  • chronic pain and fatigue
  • nerve pain
  • recurrent miscarriages in women of child-bearing age
  • pregnancies with neural tube defects, like spina bifida and anencephaly
  • cardiovascular and thromboembolic diseases (blood clots, stroke, embolism, and heart attacks)
  • acute leukemia
  • colon cancer

What is the MTHFR Diet?

 

According to healthcare professionals, eating foods with high amounts of folate may help naturally support low folate levels in the bloodstream associated with MTHFR gene mutation variants.�Good food choices can include:

 

  • fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, honeydew, banana.
  • juices like orange, canned pineapple, grapefruit, tomato, or other vegetable juice
  • veggies, such as spinach, asparagus, lettuce, beets, broccoli, corn, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy
  • proteins, including cooked beans, peas, and lentils
  • peanut butter
  • sunflower seeds

 

People with MTHFR gene mutations may also want to avoid eating foods that have the synthetic form of folate, folic acid, however, the evidence is not clear if that�s beneficial or necessary. Supplementation may still be recommended for people with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Furthermore, always make sure to check the labels of the foods you buy, as this vitamin is added to many enriched grains like pasta, cereals, bread, and commercially produced flours.

 

For information regarding the MTHFR and its effects on health issues like cancer, please review this article:

Folate, Methyl-Related Nutrients, Alcohol, and the MTHFR 677C >T Polymorphism Affect Cancer Risk: Intake Recommendations

 


 

MTHFR, or methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, gene mutations may cause high homocysteine levels and low folate levels in the bloodstream. We believe that a variety of health issues, such as inflammation, may be associated with an MTHFR gene mutation. People can have single or multiple MTHFR gene mutations, as well as neither. The different mutations are often referred to as “variants”. People that have a heterozygous or single variant of the MTHFR gene mutation have a decreased risk of developing health issues like inflammation and chronic pain. Moreover, doctors also believe that people that have homozygous or multiple variants of the MTHFR gene mutation may ultimately have an increased risk of disease. The two MTHFR gene mutation variants are�C677T, A1298C, or both C677T and A1298C. Symptoms of an MTHFR gene mutation can be different from person to person and from variant to variant. Following what is referred to as the MTHFR diet can ultimately help improve overall health in people with MTHFR gene mutation variants. Also, adding these foods into a smoothie can be an easy way to add them into your diet. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

 

Image of protein power smoothie.

 

Protein Power Smoothie

Serving: 1
Cook time: 5 minutes

� 1 scoop protein powder
� 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
� 1/2 banana
� 1 kiwi, peeled
� 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
� Pinch of cardamom
� Non-dairy milk or water, enough to achieve desired consistency

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Best served immediately!

 


 

Image of leafy greens smoothie.

 

Leafy Greens Hold the Key to Gut Health

 

A unique type of sugar found in leafy greens can help feed our beneficial gut bacteria. Sulfoquinovose (SQ) is the only known sugar molecule to be made up of sulfur, an extremely essential mineral in the human body. The human body uses sulfur to produce enzymes, proteins, and a variety of hormones as well as antibodies for our cells. A fast and easy way to get leafy greens into your diet is to toss a couple of handfuls of them into a delicious smoothie!

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require additional explanation as how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*�

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Marcin, Ashley. �What You Need to Know About the MTHFR Gene.� Healthline, Healthline Media, 6 Sept. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/mthfr-gene#variants.

 

Good Calories vs Bad Calories Overview

Good Calories vs Bad Calories Overview

Calories are defined as a measurement of the energy our body produces from the foods we eat. However, not all calories are created equal. If we were to eat nothing but spoonfuls of sugar all-day, by way of instance, our health would tremendously deteriorate because there simply aren’t enough nutrients in those calories from sugar. The human body needs a variety of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and many other compounds in order to function properly.

 

The foods we eat are made up of calories as well as complex mixtures of nutrients, fiber, and additives. This can ultimately affect the hormones that regulate our hunger, known as leptin, and those that manage how we burn or store calories to be used for energy, known as insulin. Our bodies are naturally programmed to protect us against long-term starvation by storing excess calories as fat. Eating “bad” calories in excess amounts can ultimately lead to obesity.

 

In a research study, a group of people was given the same amount of calories but from different food sources. The participants had no significant weight gain, regardless of whether the calories were from carbohydrates, proteins, fats, or any other combination of nutrients. However, environmental factors, such as an individual’s hormonal balance, emotions, and cravings were not taken into consideration. It’s important to understand how calories can affect your health.

 

Good Calories vs Bad Calories

 

Excess calories from processed foods are stored as fat which can lead to obesity. In the United States, obesity is the main cause of health issues like insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is naturally produced in the pancreas and helps move excess glucose from the bloodstream into the cells to be used for energy. When the pancreas recognizes high blood sugar levels, it creates more insulin to reduce glucose.

 

However, this can diminish the pancreas of insulin-producing cells which can eventually cause insulin resistance or impaired insulin sensitivity. If the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin, it can lead to prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Excess calories from sugar and processed foods can also cause inflammation which may also lead to chronic pain. So what can we do to prevent these health issues? The answer is simple: eat complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.

 

Replace highly processed carbohydrates that can increase blood sugar levels and insulin, with vegetables, beans, and whole grains. When it comes to eating complex carbohydrates like whole grains, the less processed the better! Consider eating stone-ground whole wheat, quinoa, oats, and brown rice. Then, choose lean proteins, such as fish and chicken. as well as healthy fats that come from plant sources, such as nuts, olive oil, and avocado, among others.

 

Below, we will compare the calories in common foods and drinks to demonstrate the differences and similarities in good calories vs bad calories:�

 

 

Can you tell which are the good calories and which are the bad calories? It�s important to follow the principle of �clean eating� and choose unprocessed foods in the purest forms instead of processed foods. This includes foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, or eggs. You can eat these foods without worrying too much about your daily caloric intake limit. Eating a variety of these is essential in order to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly.

 

Bad calories include processed foods which follow exactly the opposite principle of “clean eating”. Foods with high amounts of sugar and fast food offers you almost no nutrients but a lot of what we call “empty calories”. If you�re trying to lose weight to manage insulin resistance associated with type 2 diabetes, you�ll have to pay attention to your �bad� calorie intake.

 

For more information regarding the effects of good calories vs bad calories on obesity, please review this article:

Is the calorie concept a real solution to the obesity epidemic?

 


 

Our body needs nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and many other compounds from calories in order to function properly. Calories are a measurement of the energy our body produces from the foods we eat. But, not all calories are created equal. Eating bad calories vs good calories can affect the hormones that regulate our hunger and those that manage how we burn or store calories to be used for energy. Moreover, eating “bad” calories in excess amounts can cause obesity. It’s important to understand how calories can affect your health. In the United States, obesity is the main cause of health issues like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Excess bad calories can also cause inflammation which may cause chronic pain. Eating complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats can help people lose weight and prevent as well as control health issues like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Learning to identify good calories and bad calories is a helpful strategy for people who want to improve their overall health. Adding healthy foods to a smoothie can also be a fast and easy way to include good calories into your diet. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insights

 


 

 

Image of zesty beet juice.

 

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

� 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced
� 1 apple, washed and sliced
� 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced
� 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

 


 

Image of smoothie with nasturtium flower and leaves.

 

Add Nasturtium to Your Smoothies

 

Adding nasturtium flowers and leaves to any smoothie can add extra nutrients. These lovely plants are easy to grow and the entire plant is edible. Nasturtium leaves are high in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system, and they also contain calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and iron. According to healthcare professionals, the extract from the flowers and leaves have antimicrobial, antifungal, hypotensive, expectorant, and anticancer effects. Antioxidants in garden nasturtium occur due to its high content of compounds such as anthocyanins, polyphenols, and vitamin C. Due to its rich phytochemical content and unique elemental composition, the garden nasturtium may be used in the treatment of a variety of health issues, including respiratory and digestive problems. Not to mention, the flowers and leaves look absolutely lovely in smoothies.

 


 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require additional explanation as how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico*�

 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.

 

References:

 

  • Glassman, Keri. �The Difference Between Good and Bad Calories.� Women’s Health, Women’s Health Media, 11 June 2019, www.womenshealthmag.com/food/a19930112/the-difference-between-good-and-bad-calories/.
  • Denner, Julia. �Good Calories Vs. Bad Calories >> The Difference Matters.� Adidas Runtastic Blog, Adidas Runtastic Blog Media, 9 Sept. 2019, www.runtastic.com/blog/en/good-calories-vs-bad-calories/.
  • Taubes, Gary. �Good Calories Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.� CrossFit, CrossFit Media, 31 Jan. 2020, www.crossfit.com/health/good-calories-bad-calories.

 

Eating Right and Healing Quick, Post Spine Surgery

Eating Right and Healing Quick, Post Spine Surgery

Getting back to the house and eating a regular meal post a spinal operation is one of those moments when more is better. This means more:

  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Healthy foods to help the body recover quicker

The time after neck or back surgery is not only a time for the spine to heal, but for the entire body to go through a recovery process. It is a generally slow progression, but once you are able to eat normally, a high-quality diet/meal plan will help ensure a smooth and speedy recovery. �

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Eating Right and Healing Quick, Post Spine Surgery

 

The first few days after arriving home there could be nausea, which is common coming out of anesthesia and beginning pain medication. Appetite could be diminished, which is just fine because the gastrointestinal tract needs time to get back functioning properly after spine surgery.

A positive sign that the digestive system is beginning to work properly is the ability to pass gas. Recovery in a hospital, the surgical team slowly transitions from a clear liquid diet to a soft diet and finally to solid food.

Once out of the hospital, the body should be ready to eat normally. Your surgical team will discuss and provide the individual with a specific meal plan, but a general approach to a post-spine surgery diet typically follow these parameters:

More Calories

Post spine surgery, the body’s metabolism increases in order to heal. So the body needs extra calories, around twice as much for proper recovery. It is very important that these extra calories are from healthy foods like:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

 

� These will provide the body with extra vitamin C and other nutrients that the body needs for healing a wound and the recovery process that goes with it.

High-Protein

Protein is the key nutrient required for post-surgery healing and recovery. Extra calories should come from:

Functional Neurology: Foods to Naturally Increase Serotonin | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

 

� Low-fat dairy is a good source of protein that provides calcium and vitamin D for bone restoration. High-protein foods are often high in zinc, which is essential in fighting infections.

 

Eat More Small Meals

Rather than eating three regular-sized meals, try to eat four to six small, well-balanced meals. These should be spaced throughout the day into the evening. These will be easier on the digestive system, especially when increasing the calorie intake.

 

Supplement Shakes or Smoothies

Smoothies and shakes are a great way to boost calories and protein post-op. Make them with milk, soymilk, yogurt, or other high-protein food or beverage as the base. There are also prepared shakes or smoothies at the supermarket or drug store that are specifically prepared to boost calories and protein. �

 

nutritional epigenetics el paso tx.

Vitamins and Minerals

The surgeon will more than likely recommend vitamin and mineral supplements, along with other dietary supplements to promote healing. Be sure to get a doctor�s approval before taking any other supplements during recovery. �

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Eating Right and Healing Quick, Post Spine Surgery

Water and Fiber

Pain medication can cause constipation. The most important thing to do is to drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is vital to the healing process. Eat plenty of high-fiber foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. There is also a natural laxative effect from drinking prune juice or eating prunes, which are dried plums. �

 

bottled water safety in el paso tx.

If there is any trouble following the post-op diet plan or any questions about food or supplements, contact the surgeon, dietitian, or a health coach/nutritionist. At a follow-up appointment, ask how long the special diet will have to last so you can plan accordingly.


Metabolic Syndrome: What It Is & How to Fix It

 

The Functional Fitness Fellas | What is it? & Who Are They?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtsD4VRk8_Q
PODCAST: Ryan Welage and Alexander Jimenez, both medical students at the National University of Health Sciences, discuss the several new approaches that they developed in order to help people continue to engage and participate in exercise from the comfort of their own homes. Using their advanced understanding of functional medicine, biomechanics, and nutrition, they undertake explaining simple methods and techniques for complex movement protocols. Moreover, Alexander Jimenez and Ryan Welage discuss how diet can be an essential element in overall health and wellness. Dr. Alex Jimenez offers additional guidelines with the Functional Fitness Fellas, among further advice. – Podcast Insight

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Dietary and Herbal Supplements for Back Pain El Paso

Dietary and Herbal Supplements for Back Pain El Paso

Be sure to talk with your provider before taking or combining dietary and herbal supplements with prescription meds or over the counter medications. Individuals with chronic back/neck pain but want to get away from medication/s, and pain relievers, dietary and herbal supplements could be an option. There are dietary supplements as well as, herbal supplements that although used in nutrition, also have added benefits for pain and inflammation relief.

Individuals have found herbs and supplements to be helpful in reducing and alleviating their pain. It is important to understand that these are not a cure-all that will take the pain away or the depression that accompanies chronic spine-related conditions. These are made to help to manage back pain symptoms.

 

11860 Vista Del Sol, Ste. 128 Dietary and Herbal Supplements for Back Pain El Paso, Texas

Nutrition and Dietary

A healthy diet includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains which keeps the body in top form. Antioxidant foods like green leafy vegetables and berries help in fighting inflammation. Dietary and herbal supplements that research has found helpful in reducing inflammation and pain are listed. However, we must point out that several of these supplements can increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore have a discussion with your health care provider before taking any type of supplement.

Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Flaxseed and Fish Oils
  • Omega-3 fatty acids can increase the risk of bleeding and conflict with blood-thinning medications like warfarin coumadin and aspirin.

 

Glucosamine/Chondroitin

  • Studies show these supplements can help relieve arthritis pain but have not been studied as a treatment for back pain.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin can interfere with blood-thinning medications like warfarin coumadin and aspirin.

 

Methylsulfonylmethane MSM

  • MSM can help relieve arthritis pain.

Bromelain

  • This is an enzyme that can reduce inflammation
  • It can increase the risk of bleeding, so do not take this without consulting a health care provider
  • It can interact/interfere with antibiotic meds
  • Do not take if have a peptic ulcer

Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements have been used by many cultures for health and dietary benefits for a very long time. These supplements are literally made from herbs/plants valued for their flavor, scent, and medicinal qualities. Examples of herbal supplements for pain include:

  • Cayenne reduces pain signal intensity
  • Devil’s claw relieves inflammation
  • Eucalyptus clears chest congestion

 

 

Benefits of Herbs

People prefer dietary and herbal supplements instead of standard/traditional drugs and medications for a variety of reasons.

  • Some because they provide pain relief without the side effects associated with medications. An example is white willow bark, that has been used for years for its anti-inflammatory benefits. And it doesn’t upset the stomach the way medications the way aspirin does.
  • Some prefer herbal supplements because they are natural.

Herbs come in pill, capsule, tablets, teas, and liquid extracts.

Turmeric

  • Reduces inflammation and pain
  • Turmeric can increase the risk of bleeding, especially for those taking blood-thinning medication

Devil’s claw

  • Reduces pain
  • Can increase the risk of bleeding and interact with diabetes meds
  • Can affect the heart and can cause issues for those with gallstones

 

Willow bark

  • Relieves pain
  • Do not take if taking aspirin or blood-thinning meds
  • Do not take if are allergic to aspirin or salicylates
  • Do not give to children under eighteen

Capsaicin cream

  • Reduces pain and inflammation
  • It is one of the main components in chili peppers

Things to Remember

  • Dietary and herbal supplements do not have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before they are sold.
  • Herbs can have medication-like effects on the body
  • Products sold as dietary supplements and promoted as a treatment, prevention, and/or cure for a disease or condition is considered an unapproved and illegal drug

While dietary supplements and herbal supplements are primarily used to help nutritional needs, these supplements can serve medicinal purposes. Explore alternatives from conventional medications with herbal supplements, as this could be an option. Check with your health care provider before taking supplements if you are pregnant, nursing a baby, or have a chronic medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease.


 

The FASTING MIMICKING DIET & STRESS HORMONES


 

NCBI Resources

Thyme To Heal The Body

Thyme To Heal The Body

Do you feel:

  • Pain, tenderness, soreness on the left side?
  • Stomach pains, burning, or aching, 1-4 hours after eating?
  • Digestive problems subside with rest and relaxation?
  • Unpredictable abdominal swelling?
  • An overall sense of bloating?

If you are experiencing any of these situations, then something might be wrong in your body, especially in the gut. Why not try to add some thyme into your food.

Thyme

In the culinary world, thyme is usually associated with savory dishes that compliment the flavors. This leafy herb can be combined with chicken and can give food dishes like stuffing, sauces, stews and soups a boost in the flavor department. Even though thyme is a culinary herb, surprisingly, there is some history with this leafy herb that not everyone knows about yet. History shows that thyme was used as an embalmment by Ancient Egyptians, while Ancient Greece was using thyme as incense for their temples. History even showed that thyme has a �purifying� aroma that helped people ward off nightmares in the Middle Ages. In today’s world, thyme is well-known for its ability to enhance the flavors in the cooking world. However, it is even better known for its medicinal purifying properties for functional medicine.

Studies have found out that about approximately 1/3 of all deaths in the world are due to infectious diseases. In contrast, an alarming number of microorganisms have now become resistant to antibiotic therapy. Surprisingly though, scientists are trying to find ways to look for alternative antimicrobial therapies with thyme. Since plants have a natural defense mechanism that is built into them since they can protect themselves from harsh environmental factors. So, with thyme being a Mediterranean herb, its health properties are beneficial for the body and can dampen the effect of harmful bacterial pathogens.

Beneficial Properties Thyme Possess

Thymol

Some of the beneficial properties that thyme has to offer are amazing since it has been used for medicinal usages. Thyme has a naturally occurring class of compounds known as biocides. Studies show that these compounds are known to destroy any harmful organisms like infectious bacteria, while also having powerful antimicrobial properties. In a 2010 research study, it suggested that thyme can reduce bacterial resistance to some of the common drugs, including penicillin. Some other beneficial properties that thyme presents include:

Blood Pressure

Thyme has been found to help reduce high blood pressure in individuals. Researchers in Serbia have found that wild thyme can reduce the individual�s blood pressure through animal studies. It even showed how rodents are similar to people when they are dealing with hypertension in the body. While another study found out that thyme extract can reduce a raised heart rate while also lowering the bad cholesterol. The study even showed that thyme had been used for treating a variety of various diseases that can harm the body in traditional medicine. It is even possible for thyme to be used as a substitute for salt for food.

Prevent Intestinal Infections

Studies have found out thyme can neutralize certain enteric bacteria that have been associated with some intestinal diseases. In a 2017 research study, scientists have discovered that when subjects have been in contact with the Clostridium perfringens, a harmful bacterium that can harm the intestines, can be treated with thyme. The result shows that the subjects had fewer bacterial infections in their intestines while also having fewer lesions and fewer C. perfringens related deaths.

Boost the Immune System

Even though everyone can try to live a healthy lifestyle, sometimes it is hard to get all the vitamins that the body needs to maintain itself both inside and out. Research has shown that thyme can provide the body a healthy dosage of vitamins C and A. Whenever it is the cold or flu season, thyme can be beneficial to anyone who wants to prevent the cold or flu from happening or at least dampen the symptoms. One of the beneficial properties that thyme can also do for the immune system is that it can be a good source of minerals like copper, fiber, iron, and manganese that the body does need in order to function properly.

Antimicrobial and Antifungal Properties

Thyme has antimicrobial and antifungal properties that are beneficial to the body. A Portugal study had found that thyme can provide anti-cancer activity properties to people who have colon cancer. The study even showed that thyme�s chemical constituents could identify the colon cancer cytotoxicity activities and shortening its process to become worst. Another study found in Turkey showed that wild thyme could have a positive effect on breast cancer activity. The study found that wild thyme extract can be used in novel therapeutic drugs for breast cancer treatment.

For antifungal properties, studies have found that thyme can be beneficial to combatting fungal bacteria in the body like yeast infections. Researchers in Italy have found the fungus Candida albicans is common to cause yeast infections in the mouth and vaginal area. Another study found that thyme essential oil can significantly enhance the destruction of C. Albicans in the body and preventing the fungus from spreading. The results showed that the fungal strands had a biofilm production, and only thyme oil was the only one to be the most inhibitory oil to affect biofilm production of the fungal strands.

Conclusion

There are many beneficial properties that thyme can posses to help not only the body but also the immune system and the gut system as well. It is truly amazing that this herb can have purifying effects on the body and even enhance the flavors of food dishes.�Since more people are using thyme in their culinary dishes, it is no wonder that thyme is a truly, magical herb that can help the body achieve an overall sense of health and wellness. Some products that can be beneficial to the body, including the immune system, by providing support to the intestines for greater stability, bioavailability, and digestive comfort.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.


References:

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Team, Biotics Education. �Thyme for Gut Health.� Biotics Research Blog, 2017, blog.bioticsresearch.com/thyme-for-gut-health.

Alamgeer, et al. �Pharmacological Evaluation of Antihypertensive Effect of Aerial Parts of Thymus Linearis Benth.� Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25272894.

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Kim, Gil-Hah, et al. �Chemical Composition, Larvicidal Action, and Adult Repellency of Thymus Magnus Against Aedes Albopictus.� Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, The American Mosquito Control Association, 1 Sept. 2012, www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2987/12-6250R.1.

Palaniappan, Kavitha, and Richard A. Holley. �Use of Natural Antimicrobials to Increase Antibiotic Susceptibility of Drug Resistant Bacteria.� International Journal of Food Microbiology, Elsevier, 13 Apr. 2010, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168160510001868.

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Wong, Cathy. �The Use of Thyme in Alternative Medicine.� Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 28 Apr. 2020, www.verywellhealth.com/the-benefits-of-thymus-vulgaris-88803.

Yin, D., Du, E., Yuan, J.�et al.�Supplemental thymol and carvacrol increases ileum�Lactobacillus�population and reduces effect of necrotic enteritis caused by�Clostridium perfringes�in chickens.�Sci Rep7,�7334 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-07420-4


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