Exercise Really Does Pay Off!

A new study suggests that becoming physically active in middle age, even if someone has been sedentary for years, substantially reduces the likelihood that he or she will become seriously ill or physically disabled in retirement.

This study joins a growing body of research examining successful aging, a topic of considerable scientific interest, as the populations of the United States and Europe grow older, and so do many scientists. When the term is used in research, successful aging means more than simply remaining alive, although that, obviously, is the baseline requirement. Successful aging involves minimal debility past the age of 65 or so, with little or no serious chronic disease diagnoses, depression, cognitive decline or physical infirmities that would prevent someone from living independently. Basically, no dis-ease in the body.

Previous epidemiological studies have found that several, unsurprising factors contribute to successful aging. Not smoking is one, as is moderate alcohol consumption, and so, unfairly or not, is having money. People with greater economic resources tend to develop fewer health problems later in life than people who are not well-off.

But being physically active during adulthood is particularly important. In study that looked at more than 12,000 Australian men aged between 65 and 83, those who engaged in about 30 minutes of exercise five or so times per week were much healthier and less likely to be dead 11 years after the start of the study than those who were sedentary, even when the researchers adjusted for smoking habits, education, body mass index and other variables.

Whether exercise habits need to have been established and maintained throughout adulthood, however, in order to affect aging has been less clear. If someone has slacked off on his or her exercise resolutions during young adulthood and early middle-age, in other words, is it too late to start exercising and still have a meaningful impact on health and longevity in later life?

To address that issue, researchers with the Physical Activity Research Group at University College London and other institutions turned recently to the large trove of data contained in the ongoing English Longitudinal Study of Aging, which has tracked the health habits of tens of thousands of British citizens for decades, checking in with participants multiple times and asking them how they currently eat, exercise, feel and generally live.

For the study, scientists isolated responses from 3,454 healthy, disease-free British men and women aged between 55 and 73 who, upon joining the original study of aging, had provided clear details about their exercise habits, as well as their health, and who then had repeated that information after an additional eight years.

The researchers stratified the chosen respondents into those who were physically active or not at the study’s start, using the extremely generous definition of one hour per week of moderate or vigorous activity to qualify someone as active. Formal exercise was not required. An hour per week of “gardening, cleaning the car, walking at a moderate pace, or dancing” counted, said Mark Hamer, a researcher at University College London who led the study.

The scientists then re-sorted the respondents after the eight-year follow-up, marking them as having remained active, become active, remained inactive or become inactive as they moved into and through middle-age. They also quantified each respondent’s health throughout those years, based on diagnosed diabetes, heart disease, dementia or other serious conditions. And the scientists directly contacted their respondents, asking each to complete objective tests of memory and thinking, and a few to wear an activity monitor for a week, to determine whether self-reported levels of physical activity matched actual levels of physical activity. (They did.)

In the eight years between the study’s start and end, the data showed, those respondents who had been and remained physically active aged most successfully, with the lowest incidence of major chronic diseases, memory loss and physical disability. But those people who became active in middle-age after having been sedentary in prior years, about 9 percent of the total, aged almost as successfully. These late-in-life exercisers had about a seven-fold reduction in their risk of becoming ill or infirm after eight years compared with those who became or remained sedentary, even when the researchers took into account smoking, wealth and other factors.

Those results reaffirm both other science and common sense. A 2009 study of more than 2,000 middle-aged men, for instance, found that those who started to exercise after the age of 50 were far less likely to die during the next 35 years than those who were and remained sedentary. “The reduction in mortality associated with increased physical activity was similar to that associated with smoking cessation,” the researchers concluded.

But in this study, the volunteers did not merely live longer; they lived better than those who were not active, making the message inarguable for those of us in mid-life. “Build activity into your daily life,” Dr. Hamer said. Or, in concrete terms, if you don’t already, dance, wash your car and, if your talents allow (mine don’t), combine the two.

Reference: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/exercise-to-age-well-regardless-of-age/?ref=health

Is Laughing Exercise?

Is laughter a kind of exercise? That offbeat question is at the heart of a new study of laughing and pain that emphasizes how unexpectedly entwined our bodies and emotions can be.

For the study, which was published this year in Proceedings of the Royal Society B,  researchers at Oxford University recruited a large group of undergraduate men and women.

They then set out to make their volunteers laugh.

Most of us probably think of laughter, if we think of it at all, as a response to something funny — as, in effect, an emotion.

But laughter is fundamentally a physical action. “Laughter involves the repeated, forceful exhalation of breath from the lungs,” says Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford, who led the study. “The muscles of the diaphragm have to work very hard.” We’ve all heard the phrase “laugh until it hurts,” he points out. That pain isn’t metaphoric; prolonged laughing can be painful and exhausting.

Rather like a difficult workout.

But does laughter elicit a physiological response similar to that of exercise and, if so, what might that reveal about the nature of exertion?

To find out, Dr. Dunbar and his colleagues had their volunteers watch, both alone and as part of a group, a series of short videos that were either comic or dryly factual documentaries.

But first, the volunteers submitted to a test of their pain threshold, as determined by how long they could tolerate a tightening blood pressure cuff or a frozen cooling sleeve.

The decision to introduce pain into this otherwise fun-loving study stems from one of the more well-established effects of strenuous exercise: that it causes the body to release endorphins, or natural opiates. Endorphins are known “to play a crucial role in the management of pain,” the study authors write, and, like other opiates, to induce a feeling of euphoric calm and well-being (they are believed to play a role in “runner’s high”).

It’s difficult to study endorphin production directly, however, since much of the action takes place within the working brain and requires a lumbar puncture to monitor, Dr. Dunbar says. That is not a procedure volunteers willingly undergo, particularly in a study about laughing. Instead, he and his colleagues turned to pain thresholds, an indirect but generally accepted marker of endorphin production. If someone’s pain threshold rises, he or she is presumed to be awash in the natural analgesics.

And in Dr. Dunbar’s experiments, pain thresholds did go up after people watched the funny videos, but not after they viewed the factual documentaries.

The only difference between the two experiences was that in one, people laughed, a physical reaction that the scientists quantified with audio monitors. They could hear their volunteers belly-laughing. Their abdominal muscles were contracting. Their endorphin levels were increasing in response, and both their pain thresholds and their general sense of amiable enjoyment were on the rise.

In other words, it was the physical act of laughing, the contracting of muscles and resulting biochemical reactions, that prompted, at least in part, the pleasure of watching the comedy. Or, as Dr. Dunbar and his colleagues write, “the sense of heightened affect in this context probably derives from the way laughter triggers endorphin uptake.”

The physical act of laughing contributed to the emotional response of finding something to be funny.

Why the interplay of endorphins and laughing should be of interest to those of us who exercise may not be immediately obvious. But as Dr. Dunbar points out, what happens during one type of physical exertion probably happens in others. Laughter is an intensely infectious activity. In this study, people laughed more readily and lustily when they watched the comic videos as a group than when they watched them individually, and their pain thresholds, concomitantly, rose higher after group viewing.

Something similar may happen when people exercise together, Dr. Dunbar says. In an experiment from 2009, he and his colleagues studied a group of elite Oxford rowers, asking them to work out either on isolated rowing machines, separated from one another in a gym, or on a machine that simulated full, synchronized crew rowing. In that case, the rowers were exerting themselves in synchrony, as a united group.

After they exercised together, the rowers’ pain thresholds — and presumably their endorphin levels — were significantly higher than they had been at the start, but also higher than when they rowed alone.

“We don’t know why synchrony has this effect, but it seems very strong,” Dr. Dunbar says.

So if you typically run or bike alone, perhaps consider finding a partner. Your endorphin response might rise and, at least theoretically, render that unpleasant final hill a bit less daunting. Or if you prefer exercising alone, perhaps occasionally entertain yourself with a good joke.

But don’t expect forced laughter to lend you an edge, Dr. Dunbar says. “Polite titters do not involve the repeated, uninhibited series of exhalations” that are needed to “drive the endorphin effect,” he says. With laughter, as with exercise, it seems, there really is no gain without some element of pain.

References: Article by Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times on the science of fitness.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/laughter-as-a-form-of-exercise/?ref=health

Blood Pressure go up when seeing a doctor? That is called White Coat Hypertension

White-Coat Hypertension is the name given to a phenomenon whereby people visiting a doctor, and having their blood pressure checked, experience an abnormally high blood pressure reading only while at the doctor’s office. An article discussing this condition appeared in the March 25, 2003 edition of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

In the article, William B. White, MD. professor and head of the hypertension and clinical pharmacology program at the University of Connecticut Health Center said, “This alarmingly high blood pressure occurs only when the patient is in a physician’s office. The patient’s blood pressure is remarkably higher when measured by a doctor but lower when measured in a different setting, such as a senior center or at home.” Dr. White also estimated that one-third of senior citizens with mild hypertension suffer from the condition and are often treated with unneeded medications.

“I was treating a gentleman for uncontrolled and resistant [to medication] high blood pressure,’ says White. ‘One day he walked in, jumped up on the table and mentioned he’d just come from playing nine holes of golf. He looked great and felt great. I took his blood pressure and it was 298 over 100. [Normal is 130/90.] I asked him how he felt, and he said terrific. It just didn’t make any sense, until he mentioned that his blood pressure was always lower when it was measured anywhere other than a doctor’s office.”

Most folks admit to feeling nervous during a doctor’s visit. But for some, the stress of being in a medical setting goes well beyond being anxious about an exam or a shot. The article offered two suggestions to those who feel they might be a candidate for this phenomenon. First they recommend that you also have your blood pressure monitored somewhere other than the doctors office, and secondly if you’ve noticed a persistent discrepancy between your blood pressure readings at your doctor’s office and those taken elsewhere, you should let your health care provider know.

There are many places to get blood pressure cuffs so you can take your blood pressure at home too.  These are affordable and if you are working out, eating right and taking care of your stress, your readings should be in the normal range so if you believe they are high, you might want to check it at home yourself.  Also, there have been numerous studies showing that getting regular chiropractic adjustments lower blood pressure so getting treatment may help not only your general health, but your heart as well!

At Precise Moves Chiropractic in Redwood City, we do not wear white coats.  It can be scary for little kids and we want a relaxed atmosphere where you feel safe and cared for.  We also play fun and energetic music to keep your spirits up as well.  No hypertension here!

http://www.chiropracticresearch.org/

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/

Sitting For Long Hours Per Day Takes Years Off Your Life

Can someone exercise and still be a couch potato? That peculiarly modern question motivated a new study from Finland in which a group of healthy, physically active volunteers donned special shorts that measure muscular activity in the legs. The volunteers then went about their daily lives.

All were diligent exercisers. Some ran. Others lifted weights or played soccer. A few Nordic-walked. On one day during the study, they worked out as usual. On another, they did not exercise.

Throughout, the shorts measured how much they actually moved.

A growing body of science suggests that prolonged inactivity, a practice known more familiarly as sitting a lot, is both widespread and unhealthy. In a representative study published last month in The Archives of Internal Medicine, Australian researchers compared medical records and lifestyle questionnaires for more than 220,0000 Australian adults 45 and older.

They found that the more hours the men and women sat every day, the greater their chance of dying prematurely. Those people who sat more than eight hours a day — which other studies have found is about the amount that a typical American sits — had a 15 percent greater risk of dying during the study’s three-year follow-up period than people who sat for fewer than four hours a day.

That increased risk held true in the Australian study even if the people sitting eight hours a day spent at least part of that day exercising.

But that study and many others examining sitting and health have relied on self-reported measures of physical activity, like questionnaires. A few have used accelerometers to determine how many steps people were taking during the day.

No one, though, had directly studied people’s muscular activity during sitting and exercising, outside the artificial environment of an exercise physiology lab, until the Finnish researchers came up with the idea of embedding flexible electrodes into shorts fabric.

Measurement of muscle activity matters. In earlier studies with animals whose legs were immobilized with casts or traction devices, physiologists noticed swift, dramatic and deleterious changes in the levels of certain enzymes in cells throughout the animals’ bodies that affect fat metabolism and blood sugar regulation. The researchers concluded that the lack of muscular contractions in the animals’ legs had caused a chain of biological reactions that led to the alterations in enzyme production.

In the current Finnish study, after volunteers donned the shorts, the electrodes began constantly tracking contractile activity in the quadriceps and hamstring muscles, two of the largest sets of muscles in the body. The volunteers also completed detailed logs about their activities during the days of the study.

The researchers had hypothesized that they would see considerably less muscular inactivity over all on the days the volunteers exercised, says Taija Juutinen Finni, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, who led the study.

But the results did not turn out that way. There was, in fact, virtually no difference in how much time people spent being couch potatoes on the days when they exercised compared with days when they did not. On nonexercise days, about 72 percent of volunteers’ waking time, or about nine hours, was spent sitting.

When they formally exercised, volunteers used about 13 percent more energy over all than on days they didn’t exercise. But they still sat 68 percent of the time.

Surprisingly, how much people exercised or what kind of exercise they chose did not change sitting time. Whether volunteers worked out for less than an hour or for more than 90 minutes, they spent an equivalent amount of time the rest of the day being mostly torpid physically.

It seems that after exercising, the study authors concluded, people “substitute either lighter and/or sedentary activities.”

David W. Dunstan, a professor at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Australia, who has studied inactivity and wrote an editorial to accompany the new Australian paper, says he found the study fascinating. By measuring muscular inactivity using electromyography, he says, “the measurement is getting closer to the heart of the sitting problem, that being a problem of muscular disuse.”

Dr. Finni agrees. Although she and her colleagues did not look directly at the downstream biochemical effects of the inactivity, she says, their results suggest that normal exercise, which fills so few hours of even active people’s days, “may not be enough in terms of health.”

Of course, exercise remains valuable, she and Dr. Dunstan are both quick to add. It reduces risks for cardiovascular disease and other conditions and burns calories.

But exercise paired with otherwise unalloyed sitting should be avoided, Dr. Dunstan says. “It is important the general public become more conscious about what they do in their nonexercise time,” he says. Almost everybody, he says, “should look for opportunities to reduce their daily sitting time and move more, more often, throughout the day.”

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS, Columnist
NYTimes

What is Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome?

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is an uncommon, exercise-induced neuromuscular condition that causes pain, swelling and sometimes even disability in affected muscles of your legs or arms.

Anyone can develop chronic exertional compartment syndrome, but it’s more common in athletes who participate in sports that involve repetitive movements, such as running, fast walking, biking and swimming. Chronic exertional compartment syndrome is sometimes called chronic compartment syndrome or exercise-induced compartment syndrome.

Symptoms:

The pain and other symptoms associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome may be characterized by:

1. Aching, burning or cramping pain in the affected limb — usually the lower leg, but sometimes the thigh, upper arm, forearm or hand

2. Tightness in the affected limb

3. Numbness or tingling in the affected limb

4. Weakness of the affected limb

5. Foot drop, in severe cases, if nerves in your legs are affected

6. Occasionally, swelling or bulging as a result of a muscle hernia

Pain typically happens soon after you start exercising the affected limb, gets progressively worse for as long as you exercise, stops 15 to 30 minutes after the affected limb comes to rest and over time, may begin to persist longer after exercise, possibly lingering for a day or two.

Taking a complete break from exercise may relieve your symptoms, but usually once you take up running again, your symptoms usually come back unless you continue to stretch and do keep up to date with your rehabilitative exercises.

If you experience unusual pain, swelling, weakness, loss of sensation, or soreness related to exercise or sports activities, talk to your doctor because these symptoms may be associated with conditions that require emergency medical treatment. Don’t try to exercise through the pain, as that may lead to permanent muscle or nerve damage — and jeopardize continued participation in your favorite sports.

Sometimes chronic exertional compartment syndrome is mistaken for shin splints. If you think you have shin splints but they don’t get better with self-care, talk to your doctor.

What are the causes?

Your arms and legs have several groupings, or compartments, of muscles, blood vessels and nerves. Each of these compartments is encased by a thick layer of connective tissue called fascia (FASH-ee-uh), which supports the compartments and holds the tissues within each compartment in place. The fascia is inelastic, which means it has little ability to stretch.

In chronic exertional compartment syndrome, exercise or even repetitive muscle contraction causes the tissue pressure within a compartment to increase to an abnormally high level. But because the fascia can’t stretch, the tissues in that compartment aren’t able to expand sufficiently under the increased pressure. Imagine shaking up a soda bottle but leaving the cap on — an enormous amount of pressure builds up.

As the pressure builds up within one of your muscle compartments, with no outlet for release, nerves and blood vessels are compressed. Blood flow may then decrease, causing tissues to get inadequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood, a condition known as ischemia (is-KE-me-uh). Nerves and muscles may sustain damage.

Experts aren’t sure why exercise or muscle contraction creates this excessive pressure in some people, leading to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Some experts suggest that biomechanics — how you move, such as landing styles when you jog — may have a role. Other causes may include having enlarged muscles, an especially thick or inelastic fascia, or high pressure within your veins (venous hypertension).

In chronic exertional compartment syndrome, exercise or even repetitive muscle contraction causes the tissue pressure within a compartment to increase to an abnormally high level. But because the fascia can’t stretch, the tissues in that compartment aren’t able to expand sufficiently under the increased pressure. Imagine shaking up a soda bottle but leaving the cap on — an enormous amount of pressure builds up.

As the pressure builds up within one of your muscle compartments, with no outlet for release, nerves and blood vessels are compressed. Blood flow may then decrease, causing tissues to get inadequate amounts of oxygen-rich blood, a condition known as ischemia (is-KE-me-uh). Nerves and muscles may sustain damage.

Experts aren’t sure why exercise or muscle contraction creates this excessive pressure in some people, leading to chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Some experts suggest that biomechanics — how you move, such as landing styles when you jog — may have a role. Other causes may include having enlarged muscles, an especially thick or inelastic fascia, or high presse within your veins (venous hypertension).

What are the risk factors?

The condition is most common in athletes under 40, although people of any age can develop chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

People most at risk of developing chronic exertional compartment syndrome are those who engage in exercise that involves repetitive motions or activity. Young female athletes may be at particular risk, for reasons unknown.

Risk factors include engaging in such sports, exercises and activities as:

  • Running
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Biking
  • Tennis
  • Gymnastics

Overuse of your muscles or overtraining — that is, working out too intensely or too frequently — also can raise your risk of chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

Chronic exertional compartment syndrome isn’t a life-threatening condition and usually doesn’t cause any lasting or permanent damage if you seek appropriate treatment. However, if you continue to exercise despite pain, the repeated increases in compartment pressure can lead to muscle, nerve and blood vessel damage. As a result, you may develop permanent numbness or weakness in affected muscles.

Perhaps the biggest complication of untreated chronic exertional compartment syndrome is its impact on participation in your favorite sports — the pain may prevent you from being active.


Don’t try to exercise through your pain. Limit your physical activities to those that don’t cause pain. For example, if running bothers your legs, you may be able to swim. Use ice or take omega 3s until you can see your doctor and make sure this is NOT an emergency.

The following basic sports and fitness guidelines can help protect your health and safety during exercise:

  • Warm up before starting exercise.
  • Cool down when you’re done exercising.
  • Stop if you’re in pain.
  • Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program if you have any health issues.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Engage in a variety of physical activities.

Sections of this article are published on http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-exertional-compartment-syndrome/DS00789

Hip Fractures May Triple Death Rates

Women in their mid-to-late 60s who break a hip are five times more likely to die within a year compared to women of the same age who didn’t break a hip.

This death rate, according to a study published in the latest Archives of Internal Medicine, is surprisingly higher than those seen among women in their 70s and 80s who broke a hip.

“You’d think a 65-to-69 year-old would be more able to bounce back from a hip fracture,” says Erin LeBlanc, a study author and investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, which led the study. But women in their 60s have a lower risk of dying from other causes than older women, so a hip fracture is more likely to translate into a higher mortality risk.

It has long been known that hip fractures are associated with an increased mortality rate in older women, but LeBlanc says it hasn’t been clear whether it’s from the hip fracture itself or an underlying health condition. So she and a team of researchers designed a study involving about 5,500 women to look more closely at the impact of hip fractures among women in certain age groups. The study used participants in a larger, federally-funded Study of Osteoporotic Fractures, which began in 1986 and enrolled 9,700 women age 65 and older to see how changes in bone density affects the risk of fractures as women age.

During a 20-year period there were 1,116 hip fractures. Researchers categorized the women with fractures by age and then matched them with 4,464 women of the same age who didn’t break a hip to serve as controls. The study also controlled for other underlying health conditions.

The study found that a hip fracture in women ages 70-79 doubled the risk of dying within a year. For women age 80 and older death rates were similar among those who broke a hip compared to those who didn’t. But for women 80 and older who were considered to be in good health, a hip fracture nearly triples the risk of dying within a year compared other healthy women in the same age group.

LeBlanc says the findings suggest the hip fracture increases the risk of dying. She says women can take steps to reduce the risk of hip fractures by getting screened for osteoporosis, making sure they get enough vitamin D and calcium.

LeBlanc said preventing falls is also important. Removing tripping hazards like small area rugs and improving lighting in the home can help, along with strength and balancing exercises.

Balance and nutrition is key when getting older and preventing hip fractures.  As we get older our balance diminishes and we are more prone to fall.  If we do fall, we need strong bones to prevent a break.  Eat green foods, drink a lot of water and take whole food supplements for your body.   This will help your chances of not fracturing bones when you get older.

References: Article published in Wall Street Journal By Jennifer Corbett Dooren

Always Stretch Before And After Workouts!

Most people who go to the gym love to lift weights but don’t stretch out before or after their workout.  It is recommended to warm up before lifting weights and even better to also stretch after lifting weights.

Stretching before a workout helps to get your muscles ready for the load you are about to put on it and helps prevent injuries which commonly occur when a muscle is tight and a load is added.  This added load puts additional pressure on the muscle and it gives way and rips muscle tissue (ouch!).

To prevent injuries, always stretch!  We tighten up more and more as we get older so stretching and improving our flexibility and balance are key to living a pain free and healthy life.

To HCG Or Not: Dr. Oz Says Not Yet

The HCG, or “Hormone” Diet

The HCG diet promises to help you lose weight quickly. While many claim it works, it has a potentially damaging effect on your metabolism.

The diet is based on the properties of HCG, or human chorionic gonadatropin. This hormone is produced during pregnancy, so pregnant women can use the right kind of fat when burning off calories.

The HCG diet pills contain small doses of HCG which are advertised by those promoting the HCG diet as helping your body tap into stored fat and burn it off. They also advertise that HCG suppresses your appetite so you can consume as little as 500 calories a day. Initially, this diet may help you rapidly drop pounds — as any diet dropping your calorie intake will do. Ultimately, it destroys your metabolism, as you are essentially starving yourself. Another negative side effect is the loss of muscle mass, so much that you will no longer be able to effectively burn calories.

If you’re looking to naturally suppress your appetite, Dr. Oz recommends using the four Fs: fiber, fish, fowl and good fats – like walnuts and flaxseed.

I have been hearing a lot about the HCG diet on television and in articles.  It seems strange to me how easily people will inject substances into their body without really understanding the consequences.  Also, eating only 500 calories a day can’t be good for you.  It is recommended to always keep at least 1,200 calories in your body per day to make sure you have the proper amount of nutrition your body needs to function.  I went to Dr. Oz’s website to see what he thinks about it and I agree with his findings:

Most of this is directly from Dr. Oz’s  web site:

Which of the below statements is true about the hCG diet?

  • You can lose 30 pounds in one month.
  • Many dieters swear by it.
  • Doctors say it doesn’t work.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls hCG supplements illegal and fraudulent.

What’s remarkable is that all these statements are true. Let’s take a close look at the hCG diet to separate fact from fiction.

What is the hCG diet?
The hCG diet combines extreme calorie restriction with daily shots of a hormone produced by pregnant women called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG).

How much can you eat on the hCG diet?
Very little. The hCG diet requires that you eat only 500 calories a day. You would hit your daily limit with one turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese and mayo. Any diet that limits you to 500 calories a day is unhealthy, but will work, since starving yourself has always been a way to loose weight, but has also always been a really, really bad idea.

Can you lose a lot of weight on the hCG diet?
Yes. If you don’t eat, you’ll lose weight. Skipping meals and extreme restriction of food has been used by dieters for decades to try to lose weight. If you stick to a diet of only 500 calories a day, it’s possible to lose 5 or more pounds a week. But, again, starving yourself is NEVER a good idea.

If you lose weight fast, then why don’t doctors recommend it?
You don’t keep the weight off. Decades of research have demonstrated that if you diet by eating only 500 calories a day, you regain a lot of weight after the diet ends. It turns out that these crash diets lead to no more weight loss after one year than if you modestly reduce calories and increase exercise.

It’s unsafe. Common sense tells us that starving is not very good for our bodies. Your mom probably have told you this. Scientists have also proven this.  If you only eat 500 calories a day, there are serious health risks.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has investigated over a dozen deaths linked to very low calorie diets as far back as the 1970s. While dieters are unlikely to die from a limited duration hCG diet, the diet is long enough to lead to other health problems like hair loss, constipation and gallstones – a painful condition that often requires surgery.

What about the hCG injections – doesn’t that make the diet more effective?
No. Promoters of the hCG diet claim that when people are injected with hCG hormone they don’t feel hungry even though they’re not eating. The idea of using hCG injections to curb appetite was introduced over 50 years ago and has been carefully studied in over a dozen well-done trials. Every single well-done trial showed that the hCG injections were no better than injecting a salt-water placebo. In other words, people injected with hCG lost the same amount of weight as people injected with a salt-water placebo.

If hCG injections don’t make you lose more weight, do they make the diet safer? Unfortunately, the injections don’t make starving yourself any safer and, in fact, might make it more dangerous. Since the use of hCG has been shown to be no better than salt-water injections for weight loss, it is not used by mainstream physicians for weight loss. Therefore the safety of injecting a pregnancy hormone into women (and men!) when they are eating so few calories has never been studied. Although hCG injections could have long-term health effects, the truth is that we just don’t know.

People on the hCG diet say they don’t feel hungry. If it doesn’t work, how can that be?
It turns out that when it comes to hunger, humans are very suggestible. Probably earlier this week you weren’t at all hungry until someone starting talking about a favorite food or you lost your appetite at the sight of unappealing food. When we want to believe that a shot, whether it’s of saltwater or hormones, will make our hunger go away, our hunger sometimes does go away. The placebo effect is as effective for helping one not feel hungy.

Does it really matter if it’s the medicine or the power of suggestion? If the shot helps with dieting, isn’t it worth a try?
The extreme calorie restriction is known to cause serious health problems and the safety of hCG injections in this setting is completely unknown.

Do hCG drops work?
hCG is sold in stores and on the Internet as drops. Injecting over a hundred international units of hCG is not proven to work for weight loss. Similarly, drops which barely contain any hCG do not work either.

 

Are hCG drops legal?
No. The hormone hCG has never been approved to be in any product sold directly to consumers. The leader of the FDA’s Internet and Fraud Team has said all such products are illegal.

I’ve heard that a physician is providing the hCG shots for weight loss. Is that legal?
Yes. After the FDA approves medications for one indication (for example, hCG is approved for treating infertility), physicians can use approved medications in any way they wish. So, even though all studies show that it doesn’t work, physicians can still legally inject anyone with hCG. While the overwhelming majority of physicians would not give someone a medicine that has been proven to be ineffective, you can find physicians willing to compromise their ethics.

If I’m experiencing negative side effects from the HCG diet, what should I do?

  • Stop the diet if you haven’t already.
  • Inform your personal physician.
  • Inform the FDA.

Use your common sense when it comes to new fads like this.  Does it sound normal to lose that much weight so quickly?  Eating 500 calories a day does not sound right.  Our bodies need nutrients and we are not getting proper amounts when taking in only 500 calories a day.  Also, how can anyone find the energy to work out after only eating 500 calories?

I understand we all want things to happen quickly but learning how to change your lifestyle by eating healthy and exercising will keep your risk of heart disease and other physiological problems down and keep you slim at the same time.

Physical Therapy Or Chiropractic?

When someone is injured in a car accident, injured at work or during an athletic event rehabilitation is necessary.  In most cases when this happens, they usually see a medical doctor.  During their visit they are often referred to a physical therapist for exercises.  Physical Therapy is a great way to condition your muscles and body after an injury but making sure the body is moving and aligned correctly so exercises can work at its capacity is key for faster healing. Lets look at how chiropractic can help facilitate health and help with injuries.

As a chiropractor, I offer soft tissue relief and rehabilitation, exercises, physiotherapy and musculo-skeletal relief.   Combining several techniques and formats help with quicker results.

At my office, I offer a long term solution to get you healthy and functioning at your highest level.  After your pain has subsided and your bones and tissues are stabilized, you will begin an exercise program that will keep you healthy.  You just have to stick to it!

Give us a call if you have had an auto injury, hurt yourself during a sporting event or have any physical complaint. We can give you a consultation right over the phone to see if it would be beneficial for you to come in for treatment or visit another facilitator.