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July 2012

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Numbness and Weakness Helped with Chiropractic

The case of a patient being helped with one sided weakness and numbness through chiropractic care was published  on June 11, 2012  in the scientific periodical, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research. The authors of the study report that the collection of symptoms related to the nervous system, such as in this case, are termed myelopathy.

In this case, a 51-year-old woman went to a chiropractor with weakness and numbness of the left arm and hand with difficulty grasping and holding objects. Additionally, she was experiencing weakness and numbness in her left leg and occasional right leg numbness. The woman had been suffering with these problems for about 4 months prior to seeking chiropractic care.  The day before her entry into chiropractic, she had been pushing a lawnmower which made her problems much worse to the point where she had difficulty getting around.

The woman's MD had run a series of tests, including a CAT scan of the brain, that did not result in any conclusive findings, and the only medical diagnosis given to the woman was neuropathy.

Upon arriving at the chiropractic office, a neurological and chiropractic assessment was performed documenting the variety of neurological issues related to the woman's problems. Chiropractic postural spinal x-rays were also taken.  The results of the chiropractic analysis determined the presence of vertebral subluxations. The study reports that, "Chiropractors have a defining role that includes detecting subluxations and removing them so that the body can function to its optimal potential."

Chiropractic care was initiated for reduction of the vertebral subluxations. The study authors report that after just 2 weeks of care the woman had improved enough that she was no longer having problems getting around. By the third week of care, the woman indicated that her left arm was 50% improved and her left leg had improved 70%.

After 5 months of care a re-examination was performed noting dramatic improvements in all of her symptoms and test results. The study authors summed up the results by stating, "It is postulated that the resolution of the patientís symptoms are due to reduction in subluxations at several levels within the spinal column."

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10 Shocking Medical Mistakes

The above headline came from a story on June 10, 2012 by CNN. The story examined general errors in medical care, and matched these mistakes with real life stories of people who had experienced them. After this initial story, several other news outlets have also carried stories on the same subject.

The CNN story starts off with an ominous statement noting that medical errors kill more than a quarter million people every year in the United States, and may well be the third leading cause of death. According to  Dr. Albert Wu, an internist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, "Mistakes are happening every day in every hospital in the country that we're just not catching". 

The 10 "Shocking" errors listed in the CNN article are:

  1. Treating the wrong patient when the hospital staff fails to verify a patient's identity.
  2. Surgical souvenirs occur when instruments are left inside of patients because the surgical staff miscounts (or fails to count) equipment used inside a patient during an operation.
  3. Lost patients stemming from patients with dementia, who get lost and can become trapped or die from hypothermia or dehydration.
  4. Fake doctors also made the list occurring when con artists pretend to be doctors and cause much harm to unsuspecting patients.
  5. The ER waiting game, described by CNN as emergency rooms that get backed up when overcrowded hospitals don't have enough beds, causing patients to get sicker while waiting for care.
  6. Air bubbles in blood, which is when the hole in a patient's chest from a tube isn't sealed airtight allowing air bubbles to get sucked into the wound and cut off blood supply to the patient's lungs, heart, kidneys and brain.
  7. Operating on the wrong body part which happens when there is a mistake on a patient's chart or the surgical procedure itself creates an atmosphere where such errors can happen.
  8. Infection from unsafe healthcare workers or less than optimal sanitary conditions in hospitals.
  9. Look-alike tubes are also listed as a common problem because a chest tube and a feeding tube can look a lot alike causing medicine meant for the stomach to go into the chest.
  10. Waking up during surgery from an under-dose of anesthesia. In this horrifying situation the brain stays awake while the muscles stay frozen. Although the CNN report notes that most patients aren't in any pain, some do feel every poke, prod or cut, while others report excruciating pain.

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Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Helped with Chiropractic

A case study published on June 20, 2012 in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documented chiropractic helping a boy diagnosed with ADHD and bi-polar disorder. According to the study authors, ADHD affects between 3% to 7% of school age children. They report that there are three main symptoms associated with ADHD that include impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity. Additionally, the authors note that Bipolar Disorder is a psychiatric disorder with symptoms of recurrent mood episodes and has a high rate of suicide.

In this study a 16 year old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The boy had been previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He had been suffering with these problems since he was six months old. The boys mother reported that some of his actions included, "temper tantrums where he would scream and cry for no reason until he was so exhausted he could no longer cry."

In an effort to control his behavior, the boy was placed on a variety of medications with mixed results. Some of the medications seemed to control his behavior but made the boy, "non-functional" according to his mother. Other medication seemed to have the exact opposite effect exacerbating the boys uncontrollability.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included thermal scans, spinal palpation and spinal x-rays of the upper neck area. It was determined that the young boy had a subluxation of the top bone in his spine, the "atlas". After approval from his parents, a specific course of chiropractic care aimed at correction of the atlas subluxation was initiated.

During the course of the child's care, his mother kept a log of her son's symptoms to chart his progress. Initially the boy's changes were erratic with the boy experiencing anxiety attacks and fluctuating symptoms. As care continued, the boy was able to sleep better and his symptoms were showing consistent improvement.

The study notes that after 15 weeks of care, the boy and his mother reported resolution in the boy's anxiety attacks, anger outbursts, irrational social interactions, and general musculoskeletal pains. In reporting on the boy's overall improvement, the study authors state, "The patient stated that his sleep continued to improve and that his thoughts were clear, allowing him to do better in school. The patient reported the ability to cope better and that he was no longer nervous and was able to sit still."

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Americans Are Concerned About Antibiotics In Their Meat

The title above is from the June 23, 2012 issue of the International Business Times, which was one of several articles from multiple news sources on the subject.  The articles were the result of a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center poll titled, Antibiotics in Animal Feed. The poll was conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation of Princeton, New Jersey, and was given to a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. residents.

The results of the poll showed that 86% of respondents felt that people should be able to go to the supermarket and purchase meat and poultry not raised with antibiotics. Women felt more strongly about this issue than did men.

The poll also noted that 60% of those polled said they would pay more for such meat and poultry. The additional amount they were willing to pay varied with 37% willing to pay a dollar or more per pound, while 35% said they would only buy antibiotic free meat if it were the same cost as regular meat.

The study authors did report that, "The majority of respondents were extremely or very concerned about issues related to the use of antibiotics in animal feed, including the potential creation of superbugs due to overuse of antibiotics, unsanitary and crowded conditions for livestock, human consumption of antibiotic residue, and environmental effects due to agricultural runoff containing antibiotics."

According to a CNN, June 20, 2012 article, the World Health Organization has chimed in on the discussion of antibiotic usage causing superbug creation with a statement on their website that reads, "Inappropriate and irrational use of medicines provides favorable conditions for resistant microorganisms to emerge and spread.  WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said, "Worldwide, the fact that greater quantities of antibiotics are used in healthy animals than in unhealthy humans is a cause for great concern."

The CNN article quotes Jean Halloran, the Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, "The government seems unable to take this step, so we're looking at the marketplace. It's supermarkets who stock these products, and consumers who buy them." Later in the same article, she continues by pointing out that antibiotic free meat does not have to be more expensive, "We've proved meat without antibiotics doesn't have to be expensive," said Halloran. "We compared antibiotic-free meat prices to the prices of other national meat products, and found the cost to be comparable, and in some cases lower than traditional products."

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Constipation in an Infant Resolved Following Chiropractic Care - A Case Study

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, comes a study published on June 7, 2012 following the case of an infant with constipation being helped by chiropractic care. The authors noted that constipation accounts for 3% of visits to general pediatricians, and 25% of visits to pediatric gastroenterologists. The authors also report that an estimated 1.7 million US children suffered from constipation in a 2-year period from 2003 to 2004.

In this case, a 3 week old infant boy was brought to the chiropractor with a chief complaint of constipation. The history notes that according to his mother, her baby had bowel movements at only 2-day intervals since birth. The baby also suffered from irritability and frequent waking from sleep that was attributed to acid reflux. The boy was being breast fed, but still had the issues. The boy's pediatrician placed the child on a nonprescription medication for the treatment of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included visual inspection, static and motion palpation. A determination was made that the child had subluxations at both the top and bottom of his spine. Specific chiropractic adjustments were given to initiate correction of the nerve system interference caused by the infant's subluxations.

The results as reported in the case study noted that the infants improvement was immediate. The authors wrote, "His mother was very excited to report that her child had a bowel movement on the day following his first chiropractic adjustment and following each feeding."  The authors also recorded that, "The patient was also able to sleep longer during the night with less wake ups, crying, and general irritability."

The study authors reviewed several other previous studies documenting chiropractic helping patients with constipation. In their conclusion they wrote, "This case report provides supporting evidence that patients with constipation may benefit from subluxation-based chiropractic care."

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Breastfeeding Fights Obesity

Above is the title of a July 10, 2012 WebMD article highlighting the fact that women who breastfeed remain slimmer later in life.  The WebMD article, and several other news stories on the same subject were based on a study published on July 10, 2012, in the International Journal of Obesity.

The study conducted in Britain, examined the long term effects of over 740,000 postmenopausal women and recorded their height, weight, and reproductive history. The results showed that women who breastfed for at least six months had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who did not, regardless of how many children they had.

The research showed that the effects of breastfeeding were long-term in that mothers who breastfed showed less body fat 30 years after breastfeeding. The study demonstrated that just 6 months of breastfeeding had a result of a 1% decrease in body fat years later.

Lead researcher Kirsty Bobrow  of the University of Oxford noted, "Even a modest 1% reduction in BMI would substantially reduce the number of obesity-related diseases and their costs." She then commented on the surprisingly long term positive effects by saying, "We already know breastfeeding is best for babies, and this study adds to a growing body of evidence that the benefits extend to the mother as well - even 30 years after she's given birth. Pregnant women should be made aware of these benefits to help them make an informed choice about infant feeding."

Professor Dame Valerie Beral, director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University, who was also involved in the study, emphasized how big an impact a 1% reduction in body fat could have on a population by saying, "A 1% reduction in BMI may seem small, but spread across the population of the UK that could mean about 10,000 fewer premature deaths per decade from obesity-related conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers." .

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