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Millions Have Pre-Diabetes
What You Can Do for
New statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services
show that an estimated 40% of U.S. adults aged 40 to 74 currently have pre-diabetesa
condition characterized by blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but
not yet considered in the diabetic range. These statistics are of grave concern
since many people with pre-diabetes develop diabetes within 10 years, and are
also at an increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
With this new information,
it is now more important than ever to address blood sugar level issues, and to
begin preventive measures early on. New research suggests that lifestyle interventionsincluding
targeted nutritional support and a low-glycemic dietary programare the optimal
methods of preventing pre-diabetes and associated cardiovascular risk.
Cinnamon. Recent research suggests this aromatic
bark can lower blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerideseven in those
with established type 2 diabetes.
Catechins. Long-term consumption of these
powerful compounds derived from green tea has been found to reduce the risk of
obesity, and may decrease the risk of related conditions such as diabetes and
coronary heart disease.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid. This powerful antioxidant nutrient
helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent complications associated with type 2
diabetes, such as neuropathy.
Chromium. This is an essential trace mineral
that plays a role in enhancing the body's sensitivity to insulin, which is beneficial
to regulating blood sugar levels.
Vanadium. Preliminary research suggests
this trace mineral helps to regulate blood sugar levels and may possess insulin-like
Low-Glycemic Dietary Program
Medical Food for Blood Sugar
Dysregulation. A medical food for conditions associated with dysglycemia provides
an easy-to-use meal option that also helps to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Low-Glycemic-Load Diet. Certain foods (with a high glycemic index) can
cause dramatic increases in blood sugar, while other foods (with a low glycemic
index) cause less changes in blood sugar. It's important to select foods that
are low on the glycemic index to help maintain normal blood sugar levels.
is on the rise, and it is now more important than ever to get your blood sugar
levels checked to see if you are at risk. If you have blood sugar issues, please
schedule an appointment at my office. We can discuss a targeted nutritional program
that suits your individual health needs.
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SHOVELLING NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF WINTER BACK PAIN
light, shovel right" say back specialists
- January 9, 2003 -
new poll released today points to snow shovelling as the leading cause of back
and neck pain during the winter months. 73 per cent of Ontario chiropractors surveyed
say improper shovelling technique tops the list of winter back pain woes.
are finding that some patients experience back and neck pain as a result of improper
snow shovelling technique," said Dr. Dennis Mizel, President of the Ontario
Chiropractic Association. "Improper technique can be anything from bending
at the waist instead of the knees to throwing snow instead of pushing it. When
you combine improper technique with the average weight of one shovelful of snow
(five to seven pounds) it becomes even more evident that this is a serious problem
for both adults and the children who help them."
public opinion research firm, Pollara, recently conducted the survey among members
of the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Pollara surveyed a total of 500 chiropractors
from across the province. The survey is accurate to within ±4.4 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20.
problems can surface in patients during the winter, especially those who are unaccustomed
to participating in challenging physical activity on a regular basis," said
Dr. Kristina Peterson, a chiropractor in Thunder Bay. "Activities requiring
exertion that is higher than one's daily routine such as winter sports or pushing
stuck cars can cause back injuries. However, snow shovelling is the number one
reason patients present with back pain in the winter."
let winter be a pain in the back - 'Lift light, shovel right.' Education and preparedness
are the keys to correcting this seasonal problem. The Ontario Chiropractic Association
offers the following preventive measures to help keep backs in shape:
Warm-up. Before beginning any snow removal, warm-up for five to ten minutes to
get the joints moving and increase blood circulation. A good warm-up should include
stretches for the back, shoulders, arms and legs. This will ensure that your body
is ready for action.
1. Don't let the snow pile up. Removing small amounts of snow on a frequent basis
is less strenuous in the long run. Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight push-style
shovel. If you use a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first so snow won't stick.
2. Push, don't throw. Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it as much
as possible. If you have to throw, avoid twisting and turning - position yourself
to throw straight at the snow pile.
3. Bend your knees. Use your knees, leg
and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.
4. Take a break. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Stop
shovelling immediately if you feel chest or back pain.
in 1929, the Ontario Chiropractic Association represents the professional interests
of more than 2,800 Ontario chiropractors. Chiropractic is a regulated health care
profession recognized by statute in all Canadian provinces, and is one of the
largest primary contact health care professions in Canada. Every year approximately
4.5 million Canadians use chiropractic services. Chiropractors provide diagnosis,
treatment, and prevention of disorders related to the spine, nervous system, and
Health & Wellness
Everything you want to know about chiropractic.
In this issue of To Your Health:
A Failure to Communicate
Heart Failure Risk Doubled in Obese
Which Vitamins Prevent Chronic Disease?
Failure to Communicate
Patients who exaggerate their
pain or set unreasonable expectations of their chiropractors are known to be at
a higher risk for long-term disability. For the most effective treatment from
your doctor of chiropractic, he or she must have a clear knowledge of your symptoms
A recent survey of 30 chiropractors and 336
patients in Sweden showed that both groups had many similar goals and expectations
for treatment. For example, both doctors and patients expected the practitioner
to identify and explain a problem, and both expected treatment to reduce symptoms
and make patients feel better overall.
There were several differences
in treatment expectations, however. Patients had significantly lower expectations
of treatment success than their doctors, yet higher expectations for advice and
exercise. Patients also disagreed with their doctors of chiropractic on how many
treatments were necessary. Out of options ranging from 1-2, 3-5, 6-10, or more
than 10 treatments (or no opinion), most chiropractors felt that 3-5 treatments
are necessary for "substantial" improvement. Patients expected improvement
after 1-2 treatments, or had no opinion on what to expect.
communication between the patient and doctor can negatively affect treatment outcomes.
With any health practitioner you seek, be sure to understand one another and have
similar treatment expectations for the best results possible.
Sigrell H. Expectations of chiropractic treatment: What are the expectations of
new patients consulting a chiropractor, and do chiropractors and patients have
similar expectations? Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2002:25(5),
Failure Risk Doubled in Obese
Very obese people have
been shown to face a much higher risk for heart failure than people of normal
weight. With more and more Americans considered overweight or obese, the authors
of a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine wanted to determine if
being overweight to a lesser degree also puts a person at a greater risk for heart
Using body-mass index (BMI) to classify a person's
weight, almost 6,000 people were divided into one of three categories: normal
weight, overweight, or obese. Incidence of heart failure was compared among the
groups, who averaged 55 years old.
Overweight women were 50%
more likely to experience heart failure than women of normal weight, based on
an average of 14 years of follow-up. Obese women and men were approximately twice
as likely to have heart failure. The risk for heart failure rose consistently
for both genders as BMI increased, regardless of other factors like smoking, alcohol
consumption, or age.
To figure out your BMI, multiply your
weight (in lbs.) by 703, then divide twice by your height (in inches). Normal
weight is considered a BMI of 18.5 to 25; "overweight," 25 to 30; and
over 30 is considered "obese."
This measure of "healthy"
weight has been criticized, however, as some people who work out regularly and
are dense with muscle may be healthy despite a high BMI.
Kenchaiah S, Evans JC, Levy D, et al. Obesity and the risk of heart failure. The
New England Journal of Medicine 2002:347(5), pp. 305-313.
Vitamins Prevent Chronic Disease?
of some vitamins can lead to chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Many Americans get most of the vitamins they need from the foods they eat, but
deficiencies involving even one vitamin can lead to problems.
authors of this report in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed
nine vitamins key to preventative care in adults (vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E,
and K; folate; and provitamin A carotenoids) based on studies published from 1966-2002.
The following is a list of health conditions and vitamins that may alter their
Osteoporosis: Vitamin D, along with calcium, has
been shown to reduce bone loss and fracture risk in the elderly.
Folic acid, B6, and B12 may decrease risk for heart disease; results from studies
on vitamin E preventing heart disease are less conclusive. Beta-carotene (vitamin
A) may raise risk in smokers.
Cancer: Lycopene, although technically a non-vitamin
antioxidant, may be superior to vitamin E in helping prevent prostate cancer.
It is found in tomatoes and tomato products. Folic acid has been shown to decrease
risk for colon cancer in both genders, and breast cancer in women who drink alcohol.
Beta-carotene may increase risk for lung cancer in smokers.
Folic acid appears to reduce risk for spinal birth defects in infants whose mothers
take these supplements. Excessive vitamin A during pregnancy may cause negative
The elderly, vegans, and alcoholics are especially at risk
for inadequate intake of some vitamins. The best natural sources for these vitamins
include: Leafy greens, whole grains, and fortified grain products for folate;
fish, poultry, and legumes for vitamin B6; fish, eggs, and milk for vitamin B12;
citrus fruits for vitamin C; and margarine, nuts, and salad oils for vitamin E.
Fairfield KM, Fletcher RH. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults:
Scientific review. Journal of the American Medical Association 2002:287(23), pp.
Did you know you can actually protect your baby
before she's even born? By taking folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy,
you can prevent birth defects, based on a recent study in the Canadian Medical
Birth defects in an infant's developing
central nervous system are called "neural tube defects" (NTDs). These
defects result when the spine and brain, or the bones that protect the two, don't
form correctly during pregnancy. In 1994, Canada recommended that prior to and
during pregnancy, all women should include folic acid supplementation in their
diets because it has been shown to help prevent NTDs. The authors of this study
tracked the success of Canada's recommendation by looking at all births in Nova
Scotia from 1991-2000, and comparing the incidence of NTDs:
the 1994 recommendations;
after the recommendations; and
1998, when Canada began fortifying grain products with folic acid because of little
response from mothers to follow recommendations.
The study revealed that
following government recommendations to take folic acid supplements, the incidence
of NTDs remained the same as before. However, following government fortification
of grain products, the risk for these defects dropped by over 50%.
acid is vital for a healthy baby. Women who could become pregnant should take
folic acid daily, in addition to a healthy diet, for at least two months prior
to a planned pregnancy until at least the end of the first trimester of pregnancy.
Everybody should include folic acid in their diet for its many health benefits;
simply taking a multivitamin provides enough for most people.
Persad VL, Van den Hof MC, Dubé
Your Health is brought to you by:
Health & Wellness
Everything you want to know about chiropractic.
In this issue of To Your Health:
Therapies Not Neck-and-Neck
"Benching" Bad for Backs
Take Salt with a Grain
of people suffer from neck pain, which is most commonly seen in middle-aged individuals
and women. Chiropractors often provide a form of manual therapy called "mobilization,"
in addition to cervical adjustments, intended to increase neck flexibility and
In a recent
study from the Netherlands, 183 patients with neck pain lasting at least two weeks
were divided into three groups and received either manual therapy, physical therapy,
or continued care from a general practitioner. Manual therapy involved weekly
"hands-on" techniques in which the therapist sought to decrease restrictions
in neck range of motion; physical therapy focused primarily on exercise in 30-minute
sessions twice per week; and general practitioner care involved advice on recovery,
self-care, and ergonomics.
seven weeks of treatment, the success rate was nearly twice as high in the manual
therapy group as in the group receiving care from a general practitioner. The
recovery rates were 68%, 51%, and 36% for the manual therapy, physical therapy,
and general care groups, respectively. The manual therapy patients had half the
absences from work due to pain during the study as the other two groups. Also,
manual therapy proved better than physical therapy in all outcome measures in
this study in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
fundamental objective of manual therapy is restoration of normal joint motion.
This goal was attained in the study, with a "relatively large" increase
in neck range of motion. If you are suffering from neck pain, your chiropractor
can treat your symptoms with manual therapy, adjustments, and neck exercises to
address not just the pain, but also range of motion and strength.
Hoving JL, Koes BW, de Vet HCW, et al. Manual therapy, physical therapy, or continued
care by a general practitioner for patients with neck pain. Annals of Internal
Medicine 2002:136(10), pp. 713-722.
One of the
best methods for avoiding the spread of germs and infections is handwashing. Yet
handwashing rates in schools are low: Research has indicated that only a quarter
of middle- and high-school girls wash their hands with soap after visiting the
bathroom; less than 10% of boys appear to do the same.
purpose of a recent study in the American Journal of Infection Control was to
evaluate the effectiveness of a handwashing campaign on absenteeism rates in five
elementary schools. Two "test" classrooms and two "control"
classrooms were included from each school. Only test classrooms completed a one-hour
educational class on germ-spreading and handwashing techniques and received a
supply of hand sanitizer. Data on absences for nearly 300 children were tallied
over three months.
using the hand sanitizer were 50% less likely to be absent than children who did
not receive sanitizer and handwashing education. Also, absences were decreased
in 23 of 27 months for the handwashing groups. Researchers estimated that the
handwashing education saved each school approximately $24,000 per year in the
form of time saved by teachers (preparing take-home and remedial work).
similar to hospitals, are areas prone to the transmission of microorganisms because
of the high number of people in a small area and the sharing of objects. Teach
your children about the importance of handwashing, and provide them the means
to do so to reduce their number of sick days this year.
Guinan M, McGuckin M, Ali Y. The effect of a comprehensive handwashing program
on absenteeism in elementary schools. American Journal of Infection Control 2002:30(4),
Bad for Backs
like basketball, football, and volleyball, it is common practice to have resting
or "second-string" players sit on the bench during a game. Yet long
periods of sitting can cause low back pain, and unsupported sitting on a bench
results in hunching over, which may shift the spinal ligaments and discs out of
place and reduce stability. Athletes who warm up for play and then sit on the
bench prior to play may therefore have an increased risk for injury.
male volleyball players were measured for lower back stiffness initially; after
a 30-minute warm-up period; and again after 30 minutes of bench rest (post-warm-up).
Stiffness was measured for forward, side, and backward bends and twisting in this
recent study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
average, bench rest following warm-up led to increased lower back stiffness. Increased
stiffness was present in side and backward bending. Surprisingly, warm-up had
neither positive nor negative effects on spine stiffness, however.
common practice of sitting second-string volleyball players on the bench after
warm-up exercises for prolonged periods, then later sending them into the game,
may increase the likelihood of spinal stiffness and back injury. These results
may even apply to other sports that involve "benching" players. Players
should always continue moving to keep their muscles warm prior to play. Your doctor
of chiropractic can provide you with more tips on preventing back problems.
Green JP, Grenier SG, McGill SM. Low-back stiffness is altered with warm-up and
bench rest: Implications for athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
2002:34(7), pp. 1076-1081.
Salt with a Grain of This
love their salty foods. From potato chips and popcorn to canned and frozen foods,
the flavor and long shelf life of high-sodium foods makes them popular items.
At the same time, more Americans are dying from congestive heart failure (CHF);
roughly 5 million people in the U.S. experience CHF annually.
authors of this study in the Archives of Internal Medicine compared CHF cases
in approximately 5,000 normal-weight and 5,000 overweight individuals. Up until
21 years after an initial diet questionnaire, CHF cases were recorded and classified
based on sodium intake.
individuals in the highest sodium intake category (approximately 4,300 milligrams/day
or more) were 43% more likely to suffer CHF than overweight individuals with the
lowest intakes (approx. 1,900 mg/day or less). Sodium intake was not linked to
CHF in normal-weight persons, however.
intake of less than 2,400 mg/day of sodium is recommended by several government
health agencies, because high sodium intake can also increase hypertension and
cardiovascular disease risks. Try to eat fresh foods and prepare your own meals,
as prepackaged foods are often loaded with sodium. Start reading labels on pre-prepared
meals, too - you might be shocked at how much sodium you're already eating!
He J, Ogden LG, Bazzano LA, et al. Dietary sodium intake and incidence of congestive
heart failure in overweight U.S. men and women. Archives of Internal Medicine
2002:162(14), pp. 1619-1624.