All That Screen Time is Affecting Your (And Your Children’s) Health!

It’s no secret that screen time affects our brains, but the blue light emitted from all types of screens particularly affects children & teens.  Blue light prevents the pineal gland, a pea-sized organ in the brain from releasing melatonin, the hormone responsible for reducing alertness and makes sleep more inviting.  Blue light also suppresses delta wavelength production in the brain, which induces sleep; As well as boosts alpha waves, which cause alertness.

You don’t have to stare directly at a screen for its rays to affect you: If enough blue light hits the eye, the gland can stop releasing melatonin. So, if your bedtime routine includes watching TV or taking your tablet or laptop to bed with you, this physically makes it harder to sleep, especially for sleep-deprived teenagers who are more vulnerable to the effects of light than adults.

“Teenagers have all the same risk of light exposure, but they are systematically sleep-deprived because of how society works against their natural clocks,” says sleep researcher Steven Lockley of Harvard Medical School. “Asking a teenager to get up at 7 a.m. is like asking me to get up at 4 a.m.”

A 2014 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of 15-to-17-year-olds routinely get seven hours of sleep per night or less.  The recommended amount for teens is 8 ½ to 10 hours.  68% of these teens were also said to keep an electronic device on all night-a television, computer, video game or something similar.  It was also reported that sleep quality was better among children 6 to 17 who always turned their devices off: 45% of them were described as having excellent sleep quality vs. 25% of those who sometimes left devices on.

A study investigated by Figueiro found that when comparing melatonin levels of adults and teenagers looking at computer screens, she was astonished by the younger group’s light sensitivity.  Even when exposed to just one-tenth as much light as adults were, the teens actually suppressed more melatonin than older people.

Another study showed that teens who either excessively played video games or had intensive phone use were associated with poor perceived health, particularly when it negatively affected sleeping habits, which in turn was associated with increased waking-time tiredness.  Girls with intensive phone use were also found to have more musculoskeletal symptoms both directly and through deteriorated sleep.  A lack of sleep has been associated with ongoing depression, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal problems due to tech use are also becoming more of a problem amongst children and teens.  “Text Neck” is a new term for chronic flexion and anterior head malposition.  When the head sits correctly above the body-with the ears over the shoulders with the shoulder blades pulled back-the head weighs approximately 10-12 lbs.  For every inch forward the head moves, the heavier it is and more stress it puts on the neck musculature and spinal cord.  

A study by the Surgical Technology International quantified this problem: As the head tilts forward 15 degrees from neutral, the forces on the cervical spine and supporting musculature increases to 27 lbs.  As the tilt increases, the forces increase to 40 lbs at 30 degrees, 49 lbs at 45 degrees and 60 lbs at 60 degrees.  This malposition also loads the discs in the spine-eccentrically loading the spine causes cracks in the discs, slipped or herniated discs.  This leads to stenosis or blockage of the spine, says Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery & Rehabilitation Medicine.  It can also cause pinched nerves, arthritis, bone spurs and muscular deformations.

To prevent developing tech-induced sleep deprivation and text-neck-shut the phones, TVs, computers, tablets, etc. off at least a half hour before bedtime.  Hold hand-held devices at eye level.  There are also apps available to warn you when your posture is not correct while on your device-The Text Neck Institute has developed the Text Neck Indicator, an interactive app that alerts users when their smartphones are held at an angle that puts them at risk for text neck.

Dr. Jessica Eckman, DC
July 4, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/blue-light-from-electronics-disturbs-sleep-especially-for-teenagers/2014/08/29/3edd2726-27a7-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S014019710600073X
http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-text-neck-20150404-story.html

Treats To Satisfy the Sweet Tooth of Every Paleo Diabetic

COconut-ICe-Cream  Chocolate banana bitesNo-Bake-Key-Lime-Pie-RE--1--

7 Sweet Treats That Won’t Leave You Feeling Deprived.

The summer is time for ice cream, popsicle, pudding, and pies but eating these things while following a paleo diet is difficult and possibly deadly to a diabetic!    It is possible though to satisfy these summer cravings while following your dietary restrictions.  I have first-hand experience.

I have eaten according to the paleo principle for almost two years.  My boyfriend is gluten-free and I have several family members who are diabetics.   Because I am usually the host of many summer cookouts, I have spent a significant amount of time finding recipes that I am proud to serve and that meet all the dietary requirements of my guests as well as myself.

As a refresher, people who “eat paleo,” avoid grains and dairy.  A full description of the paleo lifestyle is beyond the scope of this article but to find out more, check out Robb Wolf’s website by clicking here.   Persons who are diabetic should limit sugar as well as limit their carbohydrate intake that turns into sugar.[i]

1.  Frozen banana slices dipped in organic chocolateWhile bananas are somewhat high on the glycemic index, by cutting them into slices, you can divide one banana into 3 servings (about 4 grams of sugar).  By dipping just half of each slice in chocolate, you only add 1 gram of sugar to the mix.  Here are lots of great recipes and techniques courtesy of Pinterest (of course).  You will find if you click on the link that many of the frozen banana recipes are not diabetic-friendly but there some great technical tips for how to produce a really beautiful frozen banana.   https://www.pinterest.com/explore/frozen-banana-bites

2.  Strawberries “sundaes.”  This is my niece and nephews’ favorite treat in the summer because they taste great and they just love the mess (whipped cream mustaches) that they make when they eat them.  Hint:  have your kids eat them outside!  Wash and de-stem fresh organic strawberries.  Fill them with a squirt of non-dairy whipped cream and drizzle with just a little bit of organic chocolate sauce.  [Click to Tweet]

3.  Warm Apple Strudel.   If you are dying for that piece of apple pie, this might do the trick.  Peel, core and slice a small apple into chunks.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of unsweetened granola on top.  There are many unsweetened, paleo-friendly granolas on the market!  Sprinkle Stevia on top (to taste) and ¼ tsp of cinnamon.   Remember that Stevia is more than twice as sweet as sugar so go light on it! Cover with foil and put in the oven at 325 and bake for about 30 minutes.  You can also microwave it for 1 to 1.5 minutes but I am not a fan of the microwave. It actually changes the molecular structure of food!

 4.  Sugar-Free Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream.   This is a great ice cream treat.   Although made from coconut milk, it does not have a strong coconut flavor.  I found this recipe last summer on Insonnetskitchen.com.  Here is a link.  Good stuff!  http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/sugar-free-coconut-vanilla-ice-cream

5.  Peanut Butter Pudding.  Who doesn’t love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate!  This recipe was actually for a pie and the “pudding” was the filling.  Mix 1.5 cups of almond or coconut milk with 1 small box of sugar-free dairy-free instant vanilla pudding mix and mix with a wire whisk.  Add 1/3 cup of peanut butter, ½ tsp of gluten-free vanilla extract and 1 cup of frozen, fat-free, dairy-free whipped topping.  Pour into bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours.  Makes 10 servings.  Sugar: 5 grams and delicious!

6.  No Bake Key Lime Pie.  I love key lime pie.  Yes, I know that “real” key lime pie is not green but I had to make some changes to make this perfect summer treat fit my requirements.

Ingredients: 1 small box of sugar-free lime Jell-O, ½ cup of boiling water, 1 8-oz package of low-fat or fat-free, dairy-free cream cheese (Trader Joe’s makes a good one!), 1 Tb of fresh lime juice, 1 tsp grated lime peel, 2 cups frozen light dairy-free whipped topping, thawed.

Directions: Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water.  Beat cream cheese in large bowl and slowly add Jell-O until well combined.  Stir in lime juice and lime peel.  Fold in whipped topping until well blended.  Pour all into a pie pan lightly sprayed with coconut oil cooking spray.  Chill for about 3 hours.  Yum!

7.  Yogurt Popsicles: Last but not least, you must have a popsicle in the summer!  Sure, you can buy sugar-free popsicle in any grocery store but I guarantee that they won’t taste as good as these!  Why?  They are made with paleo-friendly and diabetic friendly coconut milk yogurt!  Combine 3 cups of plain, non-fat coconut milk yogurt (or strawberry flavored) with 2/3 of a cup of no-sugar-added strawberry syrup (slightly less if you use strawberry yogurt).  Mash ½ cup of sliced strawberries with a potato masher.  Put cupcake papers in a muffin tin and divide the yogurt mixture evenly between them.  Divide the mashed strawberries equally and put on top of the yogurt mixture.  Freeze for about 30 minutes until slushy.  Put popsicle sticks into the center of each cup and put back in the freezer until firm. Peel off paper before eating. Makes 6 popsicles.

So that’s it!  Hopefully, one of these options will bring back memories from the summers of your childhood.  If only we had summers without work again too!

Do you have a dessert recipe that you would like to share that both diabetic and paleo friendly?

Caroline Boardman

Republished on June 20, 2018 from June 3, 2015

Email: info@feohio.com

www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

Click here to make an appointment with one of our doctors.

[i] Note: if you are a diabetic or have any other doctor-ordered dietary restrictions, please check with your doctor about what you should and should not be eating.  This article is not intended as medical advice.

7 Natural Allergy Remedies

7 Natural Allergy Remedies

Spring & summertime bring warm weather, sunshine & blue skies, but they also bring pollen, dust, mold, & ragweed/hay fever-all of which are responsible for allergies!  Whether you suffer from sneezing, runny nose or watery eyes, allergies can lead to uncomfortable sinus congestion & if left long enough-the dreaded sinus infection.  If you act soon enough, you can nip it in the bud!  The good news is you don’t have to take over the counter or prescription drugs to get relief. Here are some natural remedies to ease those sinus blues:

  1. Natural Antihistamines:
  • VITAMIN C – In addition to being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine. Although many foods are rich in vitamin C, some foods (like citrus) are histamine triggers. Instead, supplement with a dose of 2,000 mg daily is often suggested

 

  • FLAVONOIDS – Flavonoids are plant chemicals that help create the bright colors in veggies, fruits, and flowers. Quercetin (found in cruciferous foods like broccoli or cauliflower) is one such flavonoid that fights allergy symptoms. It’s available in supplements and found in many foods.

    • OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – In addition to other well-known benefits, omega-3 fatty acids reduce allergic reactions. Good sources include salmon, walnuts, grass-fed meat and flaxseed oil.
    • STINGING NETTLE – It’s hard to imagine how someone long ago figured out stinging nettle was actually a very useful plant. Fortunately, it’s not necessary to handle stinging nettle to reap its benefits. A University of Maryland study reported:
  • 57% of participants found nettle capsules relieved sneezing and other allergy symptoms
  • 48% found nettle was even more effective than allergy medications

The researchers used a 300 mg daily dose of freeze-dried nettle. Other studies have

corroborated benefits of using nettle as a highly effective natural antihistamine.

    • BROMELAINBromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. It’s commonly used for swelling reduction in the nose and sinuses. For treating allergies, one study suggests taking   400-500 mg three times a day.
    • SALTWATER – A saline nasal rinse using a spray or neti pot helps lower symptoms by clearing allergens from nasal membranes. A saltwater gargle 1-2 times a day can also help soothe a scratchy throat.
    • GINKGO – Most known for its energy-boosting abilities, ginkgo is a powerful antihistamine as well. It’s great for things like seasonal allergies, bronchitis, asthma and more.
  1. Eat an anti-inflammatory, alkaline diet – this will help reduce your risk of allergies & other health problems.
  2. Local Raw Honey (Bee Pollen) – The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested how pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey affected people with birch pollen allergies. They discovered that patients taking honey “reported a 60 percent lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms.” And they used 50 percent fewer antihistamines compared to the control group that took conventional meds.  I recommend taking one tablespoon of RAW local honey daily, such as by stirring some into tea, adding some to oatmeal along with cinnamon, or putting some in your smoothies.

What makes raw honey so powerful at reducing allergies? One reason is that it has bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections, allergies & boost immunity. The bees living in your area go from flower to flower collecting pollen that you are suffering from. It would make sense then that eating local raw honey will help build up your immunity to local pollen. Honey also has many enzymes that support overall immune function.

 

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – At the first sign of an allergy attack, put one teaspoon of ACV in your neti pot solution for a natural “sinus flush.”
  2. Neti pots – neti pots are a natural remedy for allergies and many respiratory conditions because they help to clear the sinuses and remove congestion. Use of neti pots helps improve quality of life in sufferers of respiratory illnesses and cause little to no side effects.  Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, this form of “sinus irrigation” originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition hundreds of years ago. People living in India have received astounding results from using neti pots for centuries, and now you can, too.
  3. Essential Oils – One interesting study evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked among some of the most potent. Essential oils for allergies work by reducing inflammation and improving detoxification of harmful bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and toxins that can trigger an attack. You can use eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergy relief in many ways: inhale using a diffuser, put into your neti pot, or add to coconut oil & use as a chest rub.

Another powerful essential oil for managing allergies is frankincense oil. The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in the scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there.  Frankincense is used just as described above for eucalyptus oil.

  1. Probiotics – 80% of our immune system comes from our gut. One way to keep it healthy is to take a probiotic daily. Probiotics are beneficial “good bacteria” that live inside your GI tract and help defend you against infections, viruses, allergies and more. They are so effective that a study published in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies.

Next time your allergies flare up, try these natural allergy remedies for effective relief without the side effects associated with over-the-counter meds.

Reproduced from https://www.khromaherbs.com/blogs/news/top-natural-antihistamines-to-treat-allergies-at-home &  https://draxe.com/8-natural-allergy-relief-remedies/

Dr. Jessica Eckman
June 6, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

3 Ways to Effectively Communicate With Your Doctor

doctor-visit

How to Talk to Your Doc

Sometimes, going to the doctor is a stressful experience.  What will he/she find?  What will he/she tell me to do?  Will I need to take medication or have a procedure?  What if he/she cannot find anything wrong?  Will the doctor listen to me and really try to figure out what is wrong?

Doctors are busy.  The traditional medical office might allow for 5 minutes with the doctor. Even if you are fortunate enough to see a doctor who spends at least 20 minutes with you on each visit like we do in our office, here are some tips to make your visit is as productive as possible.

1. Be Prepared (but not over-prepared).

If this is the first time you are seeing the doctor, you filled out paperwork either immediately before or in the weeks before your visit.  Depending on the doctor, he or she may not have reviewed that paperwork before coming into the examining room. So, be prepared to answer the question, “So, what brings you here today?” in a few short sentences.  [Click to Tweet] Prior to your visit, jot down the most important things you want the doctor to know, not every symptom you’ve ever had, or your entire health history.  If you need to, you can bring your little checklist with you.  This will serve 2 purposes:  (1) give the doctor the critical information needed to diagnose and treat you; and (2) force you to really narrow down and focus on what is really bothering you.

If you see this doctor regularly, you should also prepare for your visit by jotting down specific questions, improvements, and issues that have arisen since your last visit.  You can assume that the doctor is familiar with your history at this point so there is no need to go back over any of those items unless it specifically relates to a question or issue that has come up since your last visit.

Whether this is the first visit with the doctor or one of many visits, there is such a thing as being “over-prepared.”  Information is at our fingertips thanks to the internet.  We Google everything.  35% of people say that they have gone on-line to figure out what medical condition they (or someone else) may have.[1]  But, only 41% of people say that a medical professional has confirmed that diagnosis. [1]. [Click to Tweet] So, what this means is that you may work yourself up for absolutely no reason when you try to self-diagnose on the internet.  According to  Dr. Aditi Nerurkar, many of her patients “come in after sleepless nights spent worrying about dangerous diseases they’ve learned about through web searches. ‘While I love their sense of curiosity and ownership of their health,’ she says, ‘their online searches can (and often do) go awry.'”[2]  Go ahead and do some internet research but remember when doing it to consider the source and understand that you are not a medical professional. By all means, mention your research to your doctor (briefly) but then allow the doctor to do his or her work.

2.  Bring a Current List of Medications and Vitamins

If it has been awhile since you have seen your doctor, you must give the office a current list of all medications, vitamins and over-the-counter medication you are taking.  If you have not put together a list before you go to your appointment, you cannot accurately communicate this information to your doctor either on a form or during your office visit.  This will make it hard for your doctor to discuss a treatment plan with you during your visit.  This means you cannot ask questions about that treatment plan with the doctor sitting right in front of you.  For example, if you are visiting an oral surgeon to discuss possible dental surgery in 2 weeks, your doctor will need to know what supplements/medications you are taking right now so he or she can tell you what changes you need to make before surgery. You may have questions about those changes.

3.  Be Courteous But Firm.

We have all been to a doctor at some point who breezed in and out so fast that there was absolutely no time to ask any questions even if properly ready.  There are times when this is necessary due to a medical emergency with another patient.  Otherwise, you should ask when scheduling your appointment how long you will have with the doctor that day and politely insist that you get that time.  Plan your questions (see #1 above) so that they fit within that time-frame.  You can start your appointment by telling the doctor that his or staff told you that you had 10 minutes with the doctor and that you are considerate of his or her time and schedule and that you prepared for your visit to make sure everything is addressed within that time-frame.  Remember, too, that the doctor will have certain things that he or she has to do that will take time so it might be wise to time your questions for about 1/2 of the allotted appointment time.

You should also remember that the doctor does have other patients on his schedule.  Once you have reached the end of your allotted time, you should respect the doctor and his other patients and be ready to end the appointment quickly.  If you have other questions that have not been answered, ask the doctor if you can discuss those with his staff or give them a written list of questions that the doctor or staff can answer by phone at a later time.  If you have followed the steps outlined above though, your visit should have been productive and efficient for both you and your doctor.

We would love to hear about one of your doctor visits that were either productive or that left you feeling uncertain or confused.  Maybe we can figure out a solution.

Caroline Boardman
May 23, 2018, republished from February 11, 2016

www.balancingyourchemistry.com

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

[1] http://www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media/Files/Reports/PIP_HealthOnline.pdf
[2] http://mashable.com/2012/06/15/online-medical-searches/#2XjEdh8ikZqH

 

The Interaction of Dopamine levels and Proper Breathing – Breath Your Way to Good Health!

Sometimes there is an easy common sense way to explain what looks like a complex scientific process. For instance, I recently came across a research article explaining that in rat studies dopamine was synthesized better at a lower pH. In fact, the ideal pH was 6.1 (slightly acidic) and dopamine formation actually decreased in comparison by 25% when the pH was 7.4 (slightly alkaline). Dopamine is a chemical molecule used in the brain to signal and basically functions to activate a sense of arousal and motivation in our brains, dopamine is not only tied to our motivation and reward systems it also fires through and kick-starts the motor and autonomic systems. Whenever you hear activation of the brain you also have to understand that activation and motivation in the brain mean movement. To say that differently, we are activated and motivated to do something; that requires us to move and it makes perfect sense that if we are motivated to do something then we move. This is the hard wiring of the brain and you can’t separate thinking, emotion and movement, they are wired together. Think about it what happens to our muscles and breathing when we move or exercise? We start to produce CO2 in our muscles, we breathe deeper, the ratio of inhalation to exhalation changes and during this process our blood becomes more acidic due to the gaseous exchange of CO2 and oxygen, as well as the build-up of lactic acid in our muscles. This process has a huge effect on our health! So let’s looking at three common disorders where breathing and exercise can have a simple and profound impact.

Parkinson’s Disease

In Parkinson’s disease, the part of the brain that produces dopamine (the substantia nigra) has degenerated and there is a lack of dopamine produced. To make this worse breathing becomes difficult because the posturing of the person becomes worse as the disease develops, forcing the person to become hunched over causing rigidity in the spine and ribs. If you would like to experience what it’s like roll your shoulders in and slouch foreward, now try to take in a deep breath; compare that to standing up nice and tall with shoulders back while you take in a nice deep breath. Then imagine every breath you take throughout your day is a struggle like the first one. Good news is even with Parkinson’s Disease you can exercise your breathing, therefore change your body’s pH and hopefully improve the likelihood of producing dopamine more efficiently.

ADHD

Dopamine fires up to the brain’s frontal lobes (our thinking centers) and allows us to be focused and alert. Studies have shown that these regions are smaller in an ADHD student’s brain. Studies have also shown that exercise can improve the symptoms of ADHD. Based on this and what we have explained about breathing we suggest that frequent burst of exercise that changes a person’s breathing will have a positive effect on focus, alertness, and thinking.

Anxiety

Have a look at people who are anxious and see what their breathing is like, or next time you feel anxious pay attention to how you are breathing. You will see that the breaths are short and shallow. They usually are coming from the upper ribs and neck muscles. This causes a person’s CO2 to be breathed off, therefore causing a decrease in pH and therefore decrease the chances of producing dopamine efficiently. Not good if you would like to think clearly. Bag breathing can be used in these situations and hey exercise that changes our breathing will have an even greater effect.

There are many breathing techniques out there; a simple one we recommend is to breath with a ratio of twice as long on the exhale. Start by placing your hand on your belly and push out against your hand as you breath in through your nose, feel the breath come up your lower ribs and move up through the chest stopping at full inhalation at the top of the shoulders, then slowly breath out through the mouth relaxing your neck and shoulders first, feel the breath slowly come down, relaxing the ribs and finishing by pulling the stomach in. The pace should be comfortable; the hardest part for several people is timing the exhalation to be slow and twice as long as the inhalation. So choose a ratio that is doable (ex. 4 seconds in/8 seconds out) then increase as you get better (ex. 10 seconds in/20 seconds out). Enjoy the rich free oxygen and improve your brain’s ability to produce dopamine.

Dr. David Hardy, D.C.
April 25, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Sources:

The effects of pH on dopamine and serotonin synthesis by rat brain striatal synaptosomes: Manoucher, Messripour, Year: 1992 | Volume: 24 | Issue Number: 1 | Page: 32-35

Brain development and ADHD: Amy L.Kraina F. Xavier Castellanosa  Clinical Psychology Review, Volume 26, Issue 4, August 2006, Pages 433-444.

Physical Exercise Alleviates ADHD Symptoms: Regional Deficits and Development Trajectory: Trevor Archer, Richard M. Kostrzewa Neurotoxicity Research
February 2012, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 195–209.

 

Are You Breathing The Right Way? Tools To Oxygenate Your Brain and Body

How often do you think about your breathing? If you’re thinking to yourself, “Well I’ve only done it my entire life, I know how to breathe”, my question to you is, are you sure? I’m not saying there’s a “right” way to breath, but the breathing exercise I will teach you allows you to get a deeper, fuller breath.

First, put your hand on your stomach and push in just a little bit. This is where you should expand as you inhale. Take a deep breath in through your nose and let the air fill your lungs, pushing your hand up. Your entire body, from your point of pressure to your chest, should expand if you are doing the exercise properly.  Then exhale through your mouth for twice as long as you inhaled. You should exhale all the air from your lungs, and your hand should lower as you exhale. Once you feel you have cleared the air, repeat. If you find yourself struggling to expand at the stomach properly, try it laying or sitting down.

Well, I hope you choose to start this or another breathing exercise into your daily routine. Remember, our minds and body’s need oxygen to survive, so be sure you’re getting enough of it. Even a couple good, deep breaths can help you get the oxygen you need.

Here are more examples of breathing exercises. I enjoyed learning about #4:  https://greatist.com/happiness/breathing-exercises-relax

Nadi Shodhana or “Alternate Nostril Breathing”

How it’s done: A yogi’s best friend, this breath brings calm, balance, and unite the right and left sides of the brain. Starting in a comfortable meditative pose, hold the right thumb over the right nostril and inhale deeply through the left nostril. At the peak of inhalation, close off the left nostril with the ring finger, then exhale through the right nostril. Continue the pattern, inhaling through the right nostril, closing it off with the right thumb, and exhaling through the left nostril.

When it works best: Crunch time, or when it’s time to focus or energize. Just don’t try this one before bed: Nadi Shodhana “clears the channels” and make people feel more awake. “It’s almost like a cup of coffee,” Pacheco says.

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Some scientific information on breathing and your brain:  www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2013/05/14/breathing-and-your-brain-five-reasons-to-grab-the-controls/#4bcd5cf72d95

“Your lung capacity is the total amount of air that your lungs can hold. Over time, our lung capacity and lung function typically decrease slowly as we age after our mid-20s. Some conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can significantly speed up these reductions in lung capacity and functioning. This leads to difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath.”   Fortunately, there are exercises that can help support and increase lung capacity, making it easier to keep your lungs healthy and get your body the oxygen.

And last you can use breathing exercises to help you fall asleep.

5 Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress & Improve Sleep – https://draxe.com/breathing-exercises/

I hope this information has helped you to Breathe, Breathe, Breathe.

Dallas Cain
March 7, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Do You Have This Genetic Defect? Up to 50% of People Do!

MTHFR - DNA #mthfr #genetic defect (2)

 What is MTHFR and What is So Important About Methylation?
6 Facts About This Genetic Defect You Need to Know.

I have it.  I have a genetic defect.  To be exact, it’s a MTHFR genetic mutation.  No, MTHFR is not a swear word but I will admit that I was a bit dramatic when I found out I had it.  Alzheimer’s, dementia and other mental illnesses run in my family!  I’ve done my internet research.  I’m doomed now, I thought.  I’m lucky though. I happen to work with one of the very few MTHFR-certified doctors in Ohio.  This is what I’ve learned.

First, here is a little bit of background.   The official name of the gene is methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.[1]  “MTHFR is the gene’s official symbol.”[2]  The MTHFR genetic mutation was first discovered as a result of the human genome project. The gene produces the MTHFR enzyme and people who have this mutation have a reduced ability to process folic acid/folate (which are not the same by the way) into something their body can use.  There are more than fifty known MTHFR variants; the two primary ones are C677T and A1298c.

The three symptom areas affected by the mutation are:

  1. Central Nervous System disorders due to improper production of neurotransmitters causing things like depression, aggression, postpartum depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, memory loss, dementia, Alzheimer’s, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.[3]
  2. Cardiovascular problems due to high homocysteine levels causing heart attack, stroke blood clots, peripheral neuropathy, anemia, miscarriages and congenital birth defects.[4]
  3. Environmental poisoning due to low levels of glutathione (the body’s natural detoxifier) causing, among other things, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, liver and kidney dysfunction, hypertension, tachycardia, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, immune problems, hair loss, and rashes. [5]

Now, here is what I have learned:

1.  First, even if you have the MTHFR defect, it may not be expressing itself and may never express itself. In other words, you could have absolutely no problems due this defect ever!  A gene expresses itself when it produces a protein.  In the case of a genetic defect the protein being produced is causing harm.  Your doctor, after a thorough case history, exam and testing, can tell you whether any symptoms are due to the gene’s expression and what to do if the gene is expressing itself or if it is not.

2.  Your doctor can order a blood test to find if you have these genetic variants. Or, you can do a full genetic profile at 23andme.com. 23andme does a great job, but if you have the defect, you must find a doctor with the proper training to help you find out what exactly it means to you.  Again, it might not be expressing itself at all.

3.  If you have the mutation, there is a problem with your methylation pathway. Methylation affects more than 224[6] different processes in our bodies.   When we interrupt the methylation process, it disrupts essential bodily functions.  Some of these processes are cellular repair, detoxification and neurotransmitter production and healthy immune system function. So, if the gene is expressing itself, it is critical to have the issues with your methylation pathway addressed by a properly trained doctor.

4.  Treatment protocols are complex and depend on which MTHFR gene is mutated, what pathways, and the affected areas.  Protocols also depend on how many and what combination of mutations you have.  More on this in a future blog post.

5.  Treatment will include supplementation and dietary and lifestyle changes. Depending on the gene affected, combination and quantity of defects, your treatment recommendation may include the following instructions[7]:

* Avoid folic acid or any vitamins that contain it. It can block the methylation pathway. If you pregnant, this will need, address this with your doctor.
* Avoid antacids as they block absorption of vitamin B12 and other nutrients.
* Measure homocysteine levels properly. There are a lot of companies out there that claim to test for and treat MTHFR.  Be wary. Look for a doctor with proper training.
* Inform your family members so that they can test for the MTHFR mutation.
* Eliminate gluten (especially wheat)
* Eliminate or cut dairy from your diet (use goat or a nut milk)
* Sauna or sweat somehow 1-3 times per week.
* Limit processed foods
* Eat food the colors of the rainbow.
* Filter chlorine from your drinking water and drink 2 liters per day.
* Eat small frequent meals with some form of protein limited to .7 grams per kilogram of body weight.
* Address all current and future dental corrections with a biological dentist.
* Do not eat, drink or store anything in plastic.
* Eat grass-fed, free range, hormone and antibiotic free meats and eggs.
*Supplementation may include one or more of the following: methylfolate, methylcobalamin, betaine in the form of TMG, NAC, glutathione, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, riboflavin, curcumin, mixed tocopherals (vitamin E), silymarin (milk thistle), EPA/DHA, phosphatidylcholine, nattokinase, vitamin C, vitamin D3, comprehensive multivitamin/multimineral, probiotics. Do not take any of these vitamins without consulting a doctor.

6.  Finally, other than the few sources here that I’ve listed, avoid doing your own research on the internet. It will just confuse you and turn you into a crazy person.  I know. I did it.  Find a doctor you trust.  Make sure you understand what he is telling you and follow his/her instructions.

So, ready for some good news?  My MTHFR gene is not expressing itself!  I admit that I had to hear it a few times from my doctor before I accepted the fact that I’m as healthy as I was before I found out I had it.  I admit that I went down the “rabbit hole” when I first heard the news trying to pin every little health symptom I had on my “defect.”  I admit that I almost made myself sick trying to figure out if I was sick.  I hope this article will help you avoid all of that.  Get tested, find a trained doctor you can trust and don’t make yourself crazy on the internet!

If you’ve been diagnosed with a MTHFR mutation, are you happy with your treatment?  Are you feeling awesome and in a good place emotionally?

Caroline Boardman
February 28, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Chiropractic Physician
www.balancingyourchemistry.com

To Make An Appointment, Click Here.

[1] http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MTHFR
[2] Id.
[3] http://www.methyl-life.com/symptoms-of-mthfr.html, see, also, www.mthfr.net
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Dr. Ben Lynch, www.mthfr.net.  This website will give you accurate information.
[7] See id.

3 Ways to Change Your Brain!

Brain Health – The How

With all the information and blogs out there on how to change your brain, you are probably confused on how to apply this to your life. It is for this reason I propose a simple way to categorize things. If you would like to make a change to your brain it is important to realize that each one of these categories can change your brain for the better or for the worse. Each group also has their advantages and limitations when it comes to making a positive change in your brain.

1.  Chemicals – medications/drugs, nutrition, and supplements.

Pros: other than educating yourself and/or finding the right physician; let’s be honest you don’t have to do any other work than taking it. Medications and drugs are powerful and some people need something to stabilize them. Nutrition can take a bit of work however with the rise of easy to do recipes, health stores and healthy restaurants there are so many options to choose from to help you build healthy brain tissue. Supplements can usually be described as building blocks or ways to stimulate a certain metabolic process.

Cons: It is important to realize that any chemical you use to target your brain, affects every area that has that chemical. If there is a problem or imbalance on the left side of your brain, you cannot specifically target it because of those chemicals on both sides of your brain. Chemicals are global! Let’s get specific now on the chemicals; we all know that medications come with side effects, lots of side effects.  Studies show that adverse drug effects are the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States. As for nutrition, we know that there is no one nutrition plan that works for everyone and let’s face it – people are taking too many supplements some that don’t work and some that were just junk in the first place. It is worth it to find an experienced healthcare provider that uses only the top grade products.

2. Thoughts – counseling, psychology, self-help, and education.

Pros: each one of us has our own opinions and unique experiences! We all need to socialize, feel important and learn to process our emotions. Everyone is going to come up with challenges and hard times where we need help and it will always be a good thing to have skilled people or resources to turn to.

Cons: there is a lot of the brain that we can’t talk to! If the brain has a problem processing information or is overactive clear thoughts are difficult to have. Sadly it is often common that when people are no longer able to make progress with thoughts alone or have a certain diagnosis, people can become their diagnosis and become enabled.

3.  Stimulation

Stimulation is probably the least understood of three ways to change your brain. There are a lot of new and reinvented techniques to stimulate the brain and develop better neuroplasticy that are going to help you function and perform better.  Ways to stimulate your brain involve anything that fires or excites a receptor that then fires a nerve that will send that signal to the brain. Examples are exercise, aromatherapy, chiropractic, physical therapy, touch, music, sunlight, art etc.

Pros: you are using the body to build the brain and can receive enjoyment from that activity or modality of treatment. There are several things you can do on your own to build a better brain and several techniques out there that help people. With the modern advances in neuroscience, a trained clinician can even target specific areas of a person’s brain and exercise a specific weak area.

Cons: you can over stimulate your self. Think of too much computer/screen time, too much noise, stiffness and soreness and injuries from doing too much. Stimulation takes time and requires some work. As well every person has different tolerances and vitality so there is a lot of confusion out there. The modern advances of neuroplasticity are slowly being adapted by traditional medicine and many alternative therapists and physical therapists are not well-educated in the brain and nervous system, which is why we promote seeing a board-certified chiropractic neurologist.

If you want to know what part of your brain needs the most attention and the best approach for you, come see us!

Dr. David R.A. Hardy, DC, DACNB, FABBIR
January 24, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

7 Fool-Proof Ways To Be Happy in 2018 and Beyond!

Good fortune: prosperity : a state of well-being and contentment: joy: a pleasurable or satisfying experience – Webster’s Dictionary (happiness defined)

Happiness is an often-used word. Research has shown that long-term happiness, feeling content with life, stems from feeling and being in-charge of as much of our life as possible. It’s not about having a constant smile on your face nor does it stem from money or health, but a self-belief you are on the right road.

Behavioral scientists have spent a lot of time studying what makes us happy, and what doesn’t. We know happiness can affect health and longevity, and happiness scales are used to measure social progress and the success of public policies.  But being happy isn’t something that just happens to most people.  Most of us work at it.  And we all have the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life.  Happiness comes from within.  Here are 8 ways to get there:

1.  Conquer Negative Thoughts 

One of the best things to do to become happy is to conquer negative thoughts.  We all can be a little negative.  We focus on bad experiences more than good ones.  It’s an evolutionary adaptation – over-learning from dangerous or hurtful situations we met in our lives helps us to avoid them in the future and react quickly to a crisis.

This just means that you must work a little harder to conquer negative thoughts.  How do we do this?

Don’t try to stop negative thoughts!  Telling yourself not to think about something only makes you think about it more.  Acknowledge the negative thoughts and dispel them.  Tell yourself, I am worried about money or I am obsessed with something at work.  Then treat yourself like a friend.  Think of what your friend would tell you if you were talking to them about your negativity and apply that to yourself.  (Take your own advice.)

Challenge your negative thoughts. When you are saying to yourself, “I am a failure.”  Stop and acknowledge that you may have failed at this one thing, but point out to yourself all the good things.  I have gone far in my career.  I have a great relationship.  I have great kids.  I am a kind person, etc.

Avoid negative people! We all know at least one person that can never say anything positive. They are unhappy and unwilling to even try to change that.  Avoid them!  Negativity is contagious, just as positivity is.  When you surround yourself with positive people you can’t help to start to think positively.  When you have a negative thought, recognize it, challenge that feeling and take a big step toward a happier life.

Optimism is part genetic, partly learned.  Even if you were born into a family of “gloomy Guses,” you can still find your inner ray of sunshine.  Optimism doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of a situation.  An optimist acknowledges the situation and looks for what good can come out of it.

2.  Breathe! 

Science is beginning to give evidence that the benefits of the ancient practice of controlled breathing are real.  Studies have found, such as, that breathing practices can help reduce symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and attention deficit disorder. For centuries yogis have used breath control, or pranayama, to promote concentration and improve vitality.  Buddha advocated breath-meditation to reach enlightenment.  Try it!

3.  Get up and move!   

When people get up and move, even a little, they are happier than when they are still. It doesn’t have to be rigorous activity.  Even just gentle walking can help get you into a better mood.  We all know that more activity goes together with better health and greater happiness.

4.  Spend time outdoors! 

Numerous studies support the notion that spending time in nature is good for you.  We know that walking on a quiet, tree-lined path can result in meaningful improvements to mental health, and even physical changes to the brain.  Nature walkers have “quieter” brains:  scans show less blood flow to the part of the brain associated with rumination.  Some research shows that even looking at pictures of nature can improve your mood.

5.  Find the sun! 

I know that isn’t the easiest thing to do in this part of the country, especially in winter.  But sunlight can make a difference.  Seasonal affective disorder is real.  Epidemiological studies estimate that its prevalence in the adult population ranges from 1.4 percent (in Florida) to 9.7 (in New Hampshire).   Natural light exposure – by spending time outside or living in a space with natural light – is good for your mood.  Even for people who do not have true seasonal affective disorder, sunlight makes us feel better.  So, get outside, or at least open your drapes and let the light in.

6.  The 1-minute rule! 

One of my favorite bits of happiness advice comes from Ms. Rubin, author of “Happiness at Home” and many other useful guides and articles on happiness and good habits.  She proffers a one-minute rule that is incredibly useful. Here it is:

Do any task that can be finished in one minute.  This simple advice helps you decide what to tackle in a messy room.  Do the one-minute tasks first.  Here is her list:

Hang up a coat.  Read a letter and toss it.  Fill in a form.  Answer an email. Jot down a citation. Pick up phone messages.  File a paper.  Put a dish in the dishwasher. Put away the magazines.

If you do nothing else, add the one-minute rule into your life.  It will give you a short boost of happiness after you carry out so much in a short time – and as a bonus, you will end up with a cleaner room, which will also make you happy.

7.  Choose to be happy!

Remember happiness is a choice.  You must choose happiness every day.  When you wake up in the morning, before you even get out of bed, tell yourself that today you will be happy.

Don’t worry, be happy!

Barbara Schrader
January 17, 2018

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.

Pave Your Way To Good Health – Don’t Just Fill Potholes!

When it comes to your health, most doctors are just trying to fill the potholes instead of trying to pave a road for optimal health.  SO here you are driving down this bumpy road getting thrown all over the place waiting for the next office visit to get another part changed. So, what do I mean by this analogy? I mean that doctors are reactive and narrow sighted in their thinking, even many alternative doctors. They hear a symptom, problem or concern and automatically try to come up with a single solution for that one issue instead of zooming out and looking at how the entire system is working. In the allopathic world if there is a problem they say take this medication and if that doesn’t work, we can just increase the dosage. In many alternative clinics, they suggest taking a particular vitamin or trying a new therapy. The thing is this is that this is just a limited view of a thousand-piece puzzle. The human body is interconnected with different organ systems that are constantly communicating with one another. There could be several parts of a neurological pathway, a metabolic pathway or neuro-metabolic pathway that break down and just trying to fix one problem in a vast interconnected web of problems is sheer madness.

SO, how do you begin to pave the road to health instead of just filling holes?

 

1)        Learn the pathways

Yes, there is a reason a Google search won’t make you an expert in physiology and fix your problems with a single click.  There is a huge need to find a doctor who has taken the time to understand a functional approach when it comes to your individual chemistry and neurology.

2)        Listen to the patient

A doctor needs to listen to a patient because more times than not a patient knows their bodies better than anyone else. Find a doctor that is going to take the time to listen. This can’t be done in less than 20 minutes. Sorry if your insurance company doesn’t understand that.

3)        Complete a proper exam

Healthcare has forgotten that to find out what is going on with a person you actually have to look at them. The system got used to cutting corners to get people out the door quicker. Not just that, most scans are only designed to find pathology and do not assess function! Meaning “my scan or test came back negative but I still have all these things wrong with me.” That’s because it’s a problem with how your body is functioning, not a pathology like a tumor.

4)        Run the complete set of labs and tests needed

If you don’t run the tests you are shooting in the dark. Giving someone a medication or vitamin for a symptom is often just guessing. Furthermore, some of the gold standards for testing don’t actually measure the entire system. Please watch our thyroid video for more of an explanation. Test, don’t guess!
http://www.balancingyourchemistry.com/thyroid.html

5)        Adapt and change plans

As a person’s neurology and chemistry change, so should their personal plan. If retesting a blood test shows the chemistry has shifted, they may not need to continue with their originally recommended supplements. As a person’s neurology changes the exercises or therapies should change so a person doesn’t plateau and continues to move down the road towards their health goals.

Are you concerned that your road needs repaving?  If so, come see us for a free consultation.  Just click the link below.

Dr. David Hardy, DC, FABBIR, DACNB
December 27, 2017

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar and Dr. David Hardy, Chiropractic Physicians

To schedule an appointment, click here.