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March 2021 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» Studies Show Chiropractic “Maintenance Care” Beneficial for Back Pain
» Drink Water, Prevent Kidney Stones
» Curb the Bacon: Why Your Favorite Processed Meats Might Lead to Cancer

Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter

What if a few servings of broccoli a week could help prevent, even fight off prostate cancer? New research indicates there may just be truth to this. A team of British researchers from the Institute of Food Research found dietary broccoli consumption of 400 grams per week activated genes that control inflammation and cancer formation in the prostate. According to researchers, when people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on, and, what broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer development and switching off other genes that help it to spread. Thus, dietary broccoli consumption was able to affect the expression of cancer formation/inflammation/spreading genes in a positive manner. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men with approximately 680,000 men diagnosed worldwide.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLoS One. July 2, 2008.


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.


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Studies Show Chiropractic “Maintenance Care” Beneficial for Back Pain

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) states that approximately 31 million Americans suffer from back pain at any given time. This adds up to over $50 billion in healthcare costs annually. And then that price tag more than doubles when you factor in lost wages and decreased job productivity.

For decades, chiropractors have not only been saying chiropractic maintenance care for back pain is beneficial, it’s also cost effective. A research project called "The Nordic Maintenance Care Program" was launched with the aim to increase knowledge regarding maintenance care, utilizing chiropractors in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway. A leading chiropractic publication, Chiropractic Economics, explained that this team put in hard work from 2008-2018 with four objectives:

  1. To define the concept of maintenance care and the indications for its use.
  2. To describe chiropractors’ belief in maintenance care and patients’ acceptance of it.
  3. To establish the prevalence with which chiropractors use maintenance care and possible characteristics of the chiropractors associated with its use.
  4. To determine its efficacy and cost-effectiveness for various types of conditions.

Maintenance

One study specifically investigated the patient perspective of maintenance care; patients were interviewed and asked to explain why they would visit their chiropractor on a regular basis. Patients stated that the purpose was:  

  • To prevent recurrences (78%);
  • To remain pain-free (68%);
  • Maintenance care as a wellness approach (17%).

Regarding the spacing of maintenance care treatments, most visits were scheduled by patients within a range of 1-3 months.

Cost-Effectiveness

A health-care register-based study found that health care use was smallest among the patients who received maintenance care from a chiropractor as opposed to those receiving care from other health care professionals.

A 2015 study by Simon Dagenais, et. al., gathered data from over 1300 studies. They discovered that compared to private health plans, chiropractic health care costs were lower. There are a lot of variables to control, but the bottom line is chiropractic maintenance care can be more effective and less costly than other forms of back pain care.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLoS One. 2018; 13(9): e0203029


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Drink Water, Prevent Kidney Stones

New guidelines released from the American College of Physicians indicate that preventing kidney stones may be as simple as drinking more water.  Experts suggest drinking enough fluids to generate two liters of urine daily in order to keep kidney stones at bay. Kidney stones are formed from solid crystals in the urine and increasing the consumption of water dilutes the solids and decreases their abilities to form into stones. It should be noted that drinking any fluids does not generate the same benefits of drinking water alone. Certain fluids such as sodas, especially those containing phosphoric acid, can actually increase the formation of kidney stones. Stick with water and consume two to three liters daily with the goal of generating 2 liters of clear urine daily. If the urine is yellow, you're likely not consuming enough fluids.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Ann Intern Med. 2014;161(9):I-24.


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Curb the Bacon: Why Your Favorite Processed Meats Might Lead to Cancer

Experts have been debating bacon for years, but could this delicious food really lead to cancer? According to a study by the World Health Organization (WHO), there's a link between the regular consumption of bacon, along with other processed meats like hot dogs, and the risk for contracting colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the bowels.  WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer also found a link between prolonged processed meat consumption and the risk for both pancreatic and prostate cancer as well. The IARC report estimated that for every 1.8 ounce of bacon consumed per day, the risk for bowel cancer rises by 18%. The findings from this report led WHO to deem processed meats as true carcinogens, just like tobacco. But not everyone is buying the argument that processed meat is as bad as tobacco. Almost a million deaths a year are caused by smoking cigarettes. While experts agree that over consumption of processed meats isn't healthy, bacon and other meats can be enjoyed in moderation without concern according to the National Resources Defense Council. The advocacy group also urges people to avoid the processed meat section and to buy fresh meat from high-quality sources instead.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. October 27, 2015.


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