Pregnancy: What To Expect In The First Trimester

Chiropractic care is very helpful during pregnancy and especially if your baby is breech.  Keeping your pelvis aligned will allow your baby to have room in the uterus and keep the pelvic outlet open and unrestricted for an easier birth.

For new expectant mothers, pregnancy can be both exciting and scary.  This is because there are a lot of people telling you many things and you want to do the best for your new addition.

There will be changes in your body during this 9 month process and here are the most common ways your body will change.

1. Morning sickness: Around the 5th week of pregnancy you may feel nauseous.  Ginger tea, eating small meals and trigger point massage can help alleviate this.  This doesn’t only happen in the morning

2. Tender breasts: Breasts will become bigger, more tender and may even feel a bit tingly.  This happens around week 6.

3. Mood Changes:  Normally around week 7, little things may set you off that may have not before.  It is okay, hormones are changing in the body and it is something that will come up on you when you least expect it.

You may also experience heartburn, constipation, food cravings, taking a disliking to foods that you never have before, headaches.

Weight of the baby at this point is pretty small so you may only gain 3 to 4 pounds.  You may even crave food a bit less and lose a couple pounds.  That is not out of the ordinary and you should not be alarmed.  Your weight should start to increase the second and third trimester.

Light meals such as avacados, bananas, crackers, bread will help keep your weight up.

Things to look out for:  Risk of miscarriage is the highest in the first trimester.  Here are some symptoms to look out for to call your Obstetrician:

Heavy vaginal bleeding
Severe abdominal pain
Sudden immense thirst
Painful urination
Fever (over 101.5), chills or backache
Severe puffiness of the hands and face
Vision problems.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call your Obstetrician’s office right away. If you don’t get someone on the phone within a few minutes, head to the nearest ER.

9 Foods That Can Help You Replenish After A Workout

After a workout, these foods will help you recover quicker and regain your energy.

1. Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt opposed to just regular yogurt packs two times as much protein and has less sugar it also has 1/2 the amount of salt that normal yogurts have.  Yogurt is a great source for calcium which helps keep the structure of your bones strong.

2. Eggs: One egg contains around 7 grams of protein.  This is used highly by body builders.  Eggs also have vitamin E and A making it a staple food for bodybuilders. Eggs also contain several nutrients such as vitamins E which is a great antioxidant and helps your nervous system and vitamin A which helps with vision, immune function and skin health.

3. Bananas:  Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, which helps reduce cramping after your workout. Bananas also are wonderful for your digestive system and are a great fiber source. Banana is a sugar but it is realatively low on the glycemic index.

4. Fruit salad: Combinations of fruits provide the vitamins and fibers necessary for the growth and repair of muscles after a workout.

5. Avacodo smoothie (add whey): Avocado is a good source of good fat.  One cup of avocados contains about 22 grams of fat, which makes up 82% of the calories contained in the fruit. Fats can be bad for you but WHFoods.com notes that the intake of fat with carotenoids helps in the overall absorption of the plant pigment.  This is actually healthy!  It also has high dietary fiber content, and when paired with whey in a smoothie, helps you gain energy after a hard workout.

6. Blueberries: This amazing fruit provides you with loads of antioxidants needed to combat the free radicals that can cause so much harm including cancer.

7. Kiwi:  Kiwi has an enzyme called “actinidin” to help in fast digestion.  Potassium is in kiwi along with vitamin C which helps boost your immunity.  It is also rich in vitamin E, but has a low glycemic index.

8. Hummus:  Hummus is a great source of protein and you can eat it with carrots or celery giving you back your energy and getting the fiber you need for digestion.

9. Coconut water: This can increase your electrolyte intake along with necessary minerals you may have sweat out.  It also contains bioactive enzymes which help with digestion and B-complex vitamins that help replenish the body.

The Old Data is Wrong… Fat is Actually Good For You!

Most Americans worry about their fat intake.  When they see their MD and get blood tests they are given scores for their saturated fats and when high, they are afraid of having a heart attack.  When you look up articles online, their are constantly conflicting information and even deceptive information out there by corporations that have a vested interest in you purchasing pharmaceuticals.

So, lets talk about a lot of misconceptions about fat levels.

What are “smart” or good fats?

According to Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS who is best known for his book “The Nutrition Myth Buster,” over the years there have been changes in the mindset of how we think about fat in our diet.  It has now been shown that fat can be your best friend, not only when it comes to losing weight but also when it comes to brain health and heart health.”  We just have to eat the RIGHT fats.

In an article published in Psychology Today, A diet high in monounsaturated fats also lead to an increase in the production and release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Monounsaturated fats come from sources of red meat, nuts, olives, avocados, olive oil, avocado oil, macadamia nuts, grape seed oil, popcorn, whole grain, oatmeal, safflower oil, almonds to name just a few foods.  The release of Acetylcholine with nerve function is critical for learning and memory.  Decreased levels lead to memory problems and can also lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Jonny goes on to emphasize a crucial point: “we need fat in our diet and we need more fat in our diet than we thought we did and our old division of good and bad fat are obsolete!”

This goes against all of the older information out there.  In the past, people were told and taught that all fats would raise cholesterol and increase our risk of a heart attack. Now it has been shown in all medical fields that there are MANY different types of “good” (HDL) cholesterol and the same can be said about fat.

In other words, the notion that “all fats are bad” is outdated and misleading.  Fats are needed for the body, just not in the large amounts that people take in each day with fast food and the high amount of sugar digested by kids and adults.  Think of it this way, why would a anyone administering high cholesterol and heart medications want to find data to support the non-use of their product.

References:

1. http://www.naturalnews.com/

2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201205/dietary-fats-improve-brain-function

How Healthy is Your Gut?

Scientists that were experimenting with fruit flies in order to try and understand how some people remain in good health well into old age are finding out that it might have something to do with the gut.

There have been other recent studies have also started linking diseases like diabetes and Parkinson’s to changes in a person’s gut bacteria. The cause of gut problems are vast and hard to find a cause to how this can happen. With age the number of bacterial cells increase and bacteria does change inside the gut.

Researchers used fruit flies because they have a very short life span. Normally they live for a period of about eight weeks and they are good to study because of the diverse ages at which they die.

“One of the big questions in the biology of aging relates to the large variation in how we age and how long we live,” Walker said.  In addition, scientists have managed to identify all of a fruit fly’s genes and are able to turn them on and off individually. That capability adds a number of variables to experiments and research.

According to Agence France-Presse:

“Springboarding off previous research in which they observed that the flies develop leaky guts within days before dying, they analyzed the gut bacteria  — collectively referred to as the microbiota — of more than 10,000 female flies.”

What they did was isolate distinct groups of flies.  Then they gave antibiotics to reduce the number of species found in the intestinal tract.  This resulted in improved digestive function as they aged.

“When we prevented the changes in the intestinal microbiota that were linked to the flies’ imminent death by feeding them antibiotics, we dramatically extended their lives and improved their health,” Walker told AFP.

Flies that were given antibiotics lived for an average of 20 days.  This is substantially longer than a normal flies lifespan.

Obviously Good Gut Health is important for a healthy body:

Working in conjunction with researchers from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida, a team took a large portion of flies that had no germs at all and whose guts were had no microbes. Those flies lived an average of 80 days or about 1.5 times longer than flies that had not been altered.

The study followed another in which researchers were able to map out how microbiota change over the course of a lifetime. The earlier study has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Cell Reports.

We all know that having a strong gut is the key for wellness.  In 2013, Natural News wrote an article which stated that researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta were surprised to discover that healthy gut bacteria helped to regrow damaged intestinal tissues: Here is what they found:

Lactobacillus bacteria was observed to stimulate the production and cellular proliferation of NADPH oxidase 1 which serve as signaling messengers for the various systems of the body that regulate normal and healthy bodily physiology. Without these important messengers, the digestive system in particular will not work well and in a sense kind of go crazy.  This will result in metabolic and infectious disorders, allergies and gut conditions like inflammatory bowel disease.

Gut problems are increasing in our community because of unhealthy eating, pesticides in our food and processed or boxed foods.  Our guts try hard to stay healthy but long abuse of foods and internal toxins make their job difficult.  Please be good to your body and give it what it needs….fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.  It will fuel your body well!

Picky Eaters Have Anxiety Issues Later in Life

Children who are picky eaters may have bigger problems than a lack of a well-balanced diet. A new study finds that kids who make a habit of saying “no” to certain foods are more likely to have symptoms of depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders later in life.

To be considered a picky eater, children kids had to dislike more than just broccoli and common other foods that most kids don’t like.  If they limited themselves to eating only preferred foods, then they were considered a moderate case.   If their diet that it was hard for them to eat with other kids, they were labeled as “severe.”

In a study by Duke University, the eating habits were analyzed for about 1,100 preschoolers ages 2-5.  Researchers visited the homes and interviewed parents and caregivers about their behaviors and food preferences.  Also, the researchers checked back with a subgroup of 200 kids each year.

What they found was that picky eaters are more common than we thought. 18% of this group were moderate eaters and 3% were severe cases.

Medical Doctors in the past have said that kids will grow out of this picky eating phase but Duke researchers believe this is not the right way to deal with selective eaters.These numbers followed a previous study that found 14% to 20% of preschoolers were selective about the foods they ate at least some of the time.

“The fact that a behavior is relatively common does not mean that it is harmless,” they wrote in an article published in the journal of Pediatrics.

Kids labeled as moderate did not show an increased risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric condition. However, if they were measured against less picky eaters, they have shown to have more symptoms of depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Picky eating may a good indicator that a young child has psychiatric issues that need to be evaluated and dealt with.

In the study, children with severe cases of selective eating were about twice as likely as to be diagnosed with depression compared with kids who ate a normal range of foods. They were also 2.7 times more likely to be diagnosed with social anxiety, according to the study.

In a Swedish study, it was shown that obese students were less likely to finish high school.  Researchers found after following these kids over time, that picky eaters faced a higher risk of having anxiety problems later in life.  This discovery is “perhaps the most clinically significant finding” in the study, the authors wrote.

Anatomically, kids that were picky eaters or had a limited diet did not grow at the rates the other children that eat balanced and nutritional diet.  According to the study, without a varied diet, the calories ingested lack the nutrients that are necessary fro growth.

Our body needs nutrition for it to get energy, stamina, and function properly.  If your child is a picky eater, instead of giving them junk to make it easier, try cooking the foods differently or look into finding out why your child is so particular.  Tackling this early can prevent psychological issues later on in life.

Why is Sugar Bad For You?

Not all types of sugars are bad.  Here are different types of sugars and the affects they have on your system:

Glucose:

Glucose is a simple sugar that your body likes.  All of your cells use Glucose as their primary source of energy.  Glucose is necessary for your body to function.  After Glucose is ingested,  it sends signals to the pancreas to produce insulin. Signals are then sent to the brain and metabolizes the food just eaten.  When the brain notices the food intake, it lets the rest of your body know that you are not hungry.  So, glucose basically lets your brain know that you are finished eating and that you don’t need to eat anymore.

Glucose, though natural, can have some issues for the body as well.  Your liver will produce what are called very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).  This is considered a bad cholesterol.  VLDL can cause cardiovascular disease.  Only 1 out of 24 calories ingested and processed by the liver turn into VLDL.

Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup:

These two are linked together here because high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose are really the same thing.  They are both contain a large amount of fructose and are highly sweet.   Sucrose is 50% fructose and HFCS is 55% fructose. The other remaining percentages consist of glucose.

In most cases, fructose is bad for you because of how the body processes it. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, which means a greater number of calories (about three times more than glucose) are metabolized by the liver and higher amounts of VLDL.  It also creates a larger amount of uric acid which leads to hypertension and high blood pressure.

Fructose also has negative affects on the brain regarding what you have consumed.  This happens because it alters a protein called “Leptin.”  This protein is important for energy intake and expenditure and is key for monitoring your appetite and keeping your metabolism working the way it should.  When you eat fructose, your body resists Leptin and you feel hungry even when you are not.  So, foods like soda contain high amounts of fructose which then trick your brain into thinking you are not full and your body thinks you are still hungry.  There have been studies showing that people who have consumed Fructose actually eat more than people who do not.

Processed v. Unprocessed Foods:

Fruit contains fructose, but as shown on the food pyramid, it shows that fruit is okay. How is that possible?  Well, it is because fruit is all natural and has large amounts of fiber.  Fiber monitors your satiety levels even though fructose does not.   This is why fruit is beneficial. The same goes for processed sugar. Sugar doesn’t exist naturally as the sugar that you buy at the store, but as a really tough stick called sugar cane.  It isn’t until you process the sugar can that all the fiber is taken out of it.  Without the fiber, you only have the bad portion of the sugar.  That’s why processed sugars can cause problems.

Is Stevia A Healthy Sugar Substitute?

Stevia has become a popular substitute for sugar.  It is much sweeter and is a good substitute for sugar.  However, Stevia can be highly processed.  If you want to make stevia at home naturally, buy a stevia plant or purchase the pure dried leaves.  You can get this easily online.  Grind them up using a spice grinder, mortar and pestle to make your own powdered version.

Here are some directions to make your own Stevia extract
SteviaExtract

If you are not up for getting a stevia plant of your own or making your own extract, remember to look for a stevia extract that is 100% pure without added ingredients (Trader Joe’s has a version in a small bottle). 

References: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/04/25/stevia-food-babe-investigates/

Sugar Cravings? What can keep the cravings down?

How often have you experienced that afternoon slump?

It’s midway through the day, you’re tired and your “get up and go” seems like it’s all gone.

Why does this happen?  Well, when your blood sugar levels are naturally out of balance, energy feels like it’s draining away. Your blood sugar levels can drop naturally, often in the late afternoon, triggering sugar cravings.

For more than 2,000 years, Gymnema sylvestre has been used traditionally as a key herb to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a healthy range.

In India, it’s called Gurmar, the “Sugar Destroyer”. That’s because, since ancient times, natural clinicians have noted that it suppresses the taste of sugar.

A really cool thing to do is the Gymnema Sweet Taste Test:

Try this simple test and be amazed – especially if you have a sweet tooth. Just place one Gymnema tablet on your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds. It might not taste great, but you’ll love what happens next. Swallow the tablet, wait a minute, then try something sweet – perhaps a few sugar crystals. Surprise – no sweet taste!  Your body will love it because:

  • Gymnema supports healthy pancreatic function and the normal production of insulin in the body.
  • By helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels within a normal range, it can help support weight management and balance energy levels.

I highly recommend MediHerb’s Gymnema because it contains one unique herb, Gymnema sylvestre leaf. It is standardized to compounds called saponins, specifically the gymnemic acids. Gymnema has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Its reputation is also well supported by modern research. There have been 130 scientific studies published on Gymnema.

Who Needs Gymnema?

Everyone who wants to prevent the natural drop in blood sugar that sometimes occurs in the afternoon and to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a healthy range. Gymnema can also be a beneficial addition to a weight loss plan, when combined together

with a calorie-controlled diet and exercise. Additionally, Gymnema may help to maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.

Compelling Benefits:

1. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a normal range when combined with a balanced diet.

2. Maintain normal cholesterol levels already within a normal range.

Eating sugar has a lot of ill effects on the body.  Cutting back on sugar will make you feel more energetic and prevent heart issues, diabetes and tons of other physical ailments.

Hope this helps anyone who was trying to find an alternative to just cutting out sugar “cold turkey”.

Are American’s (United States) Healthy?

According to research, Americans Aren’t Making the Health Grade

The above headline comes from the June 30, 2003 ABC News online. The story is in reaction to a report commissioned by the American Academy of Family Physicians which finds that a full 98 percent of the 1,000 adults polled admit they have at least one of the unhealthy habits they were asked about, such as smoking, not exercising enough, handling stress poorly or eating a less-than-healthful diet.

Among the findings from the study that were listed in the article are:

  • Twenty-six percent said they smoke at least sometimes, and half of these people acknowledged it’s a harmful habit.
  • Only 48 percent said they maintain a healthy weight.
  • About 42 percent of women and 31 percent of men said they aren’t doing well at stress management.
  • Thirty-two percent said they don’t limit dietary fat.
  • Only 25 percent said they work out vigorously five or more hours a week.
  • Thirteen percent said they don’t have time to watch their fat intake, and 47 percent gave no reason for not watching it.

When asked why they continue a habit that’s unhealthy, 24 percent said they lack willpower or self-control, and another 14 percent said stress was to blame. Dr. Michael O. Fleming, a family physician in Shreveport, La., and president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians, which commissioned the health behavior poll made this suggestion, “The main thing is to begin to take things seriously,” Fleming says. People must realize the importance of managing risk factors for disease, he says, or they’ll pay the price, probably sooner than they think.

If you are not feeling like you are as healthy as you could be and want your body to function at its highest level, give us a call.  We cover the full spectrum of wellness care at our Redwood City Chiropractic office.

References: http://www.chiropracticresearch.org/

Causes of Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

Low blood pressure is also called hypotension.  We talk about high blood pressure a lot and want to keep our readings low but sometimes too low can cause serious problems.  Low blood pressure can cause symptoms of dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

Although blood pressure varies from person to person, a blood pressure reading of 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or less systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) or 60 mm Hg or less diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is generally considered low blood pressure.

What are the causes of Hypotension?

1. Pregnancy. Because a woman’s circulatory system expands rapidly during pregnancy, blood pressure is likely to drop. During the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, systolic pressure commonly drops by five to 10 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by as much as 10 to 15 mm Hg. This is normal, and blood pressure usually returns to your pre-pregnancy level after you’ve given birth.

2. Heart problems. Some heart conditions that can lead to low blood pressure include extremely low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, heart attack and heart failure. These conditions may cause low blood pressure because they prevent your body from being able to circulate enough blood.

3. Endocrine problems. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause low blood pressure. In addition, other conditions, such as adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and, in some cases, diabetes, can trigger low blood pressure.

4. Dehydration. When you become dehydrated, your body loses more water than it takes in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration.

Far more serious is hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening complication of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and a reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching your tissues. If untreated, severe hypovolemic shock can cause death within a few minutes or hours.

5. Blood loss. Losing a lot of blood from a major injury or internal bleeding reduces the amount of blood in your body, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure.

6. Severe infection (septicemia). Septicemia can happen when an infection in the body enters the bloodstream. These conditions can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure called septic shock.

7. Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Common triggers of anaphylaxis include foods, certain medications, insect venoms and latex. Anaphylaxis can cause breathing problems, hives, itching, a swollen throat and a drop in blood pressure.

8. Lack of nutrients in your diet. A lack of the vitamins B-12 and folate can cause anemia, a condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, causing low blood pressure.

Depending on the reason for your low blood pressure, you may be able to take certain steps to help reduce or even prevent symptoms.

Here are Some suggestions to help manage this problem:

Drink more water, less alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating and can lower blood pressure, even if you drink in moderation. Water, on the other hand, combats dehydration and increases blood volume.

 Follow a healthy diet. Get all the nutrients you need for good health by focusing on a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean chicken and fish. If your doctor suggests using more salt but you don’t like a lot of salt on your food, try using natural soy sauce or adding dry soup mixes to dips and dressings.

 Move slowly when changing body positions. You may be able to reduce the dizziness and lightheadedness that occur with low blood pressure on standing by taking it easy when you move from a prone to a standing position. Before getting out of bed in the morning, breathe deeply for a few minutes and then slowly sit up before standing. Sleeping with the head of your bed slightly elevated also can help fight the effects of gravity. If you begin to get symptoms while standing, cross your thighs in a scissors fashion and squeeze, or put one foot on a ledge or chair and lean as far forward as possible. These maneuvers encourage blood to flow from your legs to your heart.

Eat small, low-carb meals. To help prevent blood pressure from dropping sharply after meals, eat small portions several times a day and limit high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. Your doctor also may recommend drinking caffeinated coffee or tea with meals to temporarily raise blood pressure. But because caffeine can cause other problems, check with your doctor before drinking more caffeinated beverages.

Hope this helps clear things up!