January 2019

Resolution of Chronic Seizures in an Infant

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on December 27, 2018, documenting chiropractic bringing about the resolution of chronic seizures in an infant.  A seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain.

The study begins by explaining that seizures or epilepsy can occur from an interference with the mechanism creating an over excitement of brain firings, or from an inhibition of the mechanisms that control brain firing. The study reports that epilepsy occurs in between 41 and 187 individuals per 100,000 children.

In this case, a 15-month-old male infant who was suffering with seizures was taken to the chiropractor. The infant's history revealed a traumatic birth process that ended in a cesarean section delivery. Since the infant's mother had had difficulty with previous pregnancies, she had progesterone shots during her pregnancy with this baby. 

The infant boy began having seizures at 6 months of age with episodes occurring two to three times per week and lasting between one and two minutes each.  These initial seizure episodes did subside. The seizures returned again 8 months later. At that time, the seizures were occurring every couple of days. After a month of these issues, the infant was brought in for a chiropractic evaluation.

The mother described her baby's episodes as unresponsiveness and limpness after awakening from a nap. He would suddenly be unable to move parts of his body including his arms and legs. Additionally, the infant would have these episodes after a bowel movement. The infant would not lose consciousness and the episodes lasted from one to two minutes.

Specific forms of chiropractic adjustments specifically focused toward the correction of subluxations were started and continued over an 8 month period. As care was ongoing, it was reported that the baby continued to show improvement until he was no longer suffering with seizures at all.

In their conclusion the authors of the study stated, "The results of this case study and relevant research pertaining to chiropractic’s role in reduction and resolution of chronic seizures support the hypothesis that subluxation reduction may have a positive impact on the symptoms associated with epilepsy."


Teenager Suffering with Bedwetting and Back Pain Helped by Chiropractic

On December 10, 2018, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study showing chiropractic helping a teenager who was suffering with back pain, and was also wetting his bed at nights.

The study begins by defining bedwetting. “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, enuresis is the involuntary wetting of clothes or bedding by urine during the day or at night with nighttime bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) being the more common of the two.”

Typically, there are two modes of treatment for nocturnal enuresis. One method is behavioral changes that involves things like emptying the bladder before bed, avoiding fluids later in the day, or even bedwetting alarms that wake the subject up if moisture is detected. These have a reasonable degree of success, but are not permanent unless the altered activity is maintained. Additionally, many families report stopping the modified behavior themselves.

Medication treatment of nocturnal enuresis also has some degree of success, but comes with a variety of drug side effects including headache, nasal congestion, nosebleeds, abdominal cramping, water intoxication, allergic reactions, hyponatremia, anorexia, nausea, bad taste in mouth, and visual problems. Additionally, when the medication is stopped, there is a high degree of total relapse.

In this case, a 17-year-old boy accompanied by his parents went to the chiropractor to see if chiropractic could help his bedwetting. In addition to his primary concern, he was also suffering from both lower and upper back pain. The boy had been under medical care for the bedwetting and was given medication to be used if he attended a sleep-over. Additionally, the boy was forced to wear pull-ups at night, however, he would soak through them most nights. His parents bought him bedwetting alarms and had also tried acupuncture, all to no avail.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, spinal palpation, spinal Surface EMG scans, spinal thermal heat scans, and spinal x-rays. Based on the findings of the examination, subluxations were determined to be present and a series of specific chiropractic adjustments was started.

The study notes that on the 12th chiropractic visit, the boy’s mother reported that her son no longer had any back pain. She also reported that her son had not had “an accident” since starting chiropractic care. Prior to starting chiropractic, the boy would wet his bed at least once per week. It was also reported that the boy would regularly be sick with a fever and would wet the bed several times throughout the night. Since initiating chiropractic care, the boy had only experienced two fevers and in each case, he remained dry through the night.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “This case report provides supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care in children presenting with nocturnal enuresis.”  It should be noted that what was not discussed in this case was the positive emotional effect on a 17-year-old boy who, thanks to chiropractic, no longer wets his bed and can continue his life as a normal young man.  


Half of the People Who Think They Have Food Allergies Actually Don't

Above is the headline of a January 7, 2019, story published in Popular Science. This story, as well as several others, are based on a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network on January 4, 2019. The study showed that there was a large difference between the number of people who believe they have a food allergy, and the actual number that do.

The research was based out of Northwestern University. The researchers surveyed 40,443 American adults and asked them a series of questions related to food allergies. The answers to those questions helped researchers decide if the person had an allergy to a particular food, or if they just were not tolerating a food without actually have an allergy toward it.

According to the researchers, 19% of the U.S. population believes that they have a food allergy. The study shows that only about 11% of the population actually does have an allergy toward food.  This equates out to 26 million Americans that have food allergies.

Ruchi Gupta, a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University and a co-author of the research, noted that certain people who thought they had a food allergy based on certain symptoms, did not, “If they only had, say, bloating or stomach pain or diarrhea then we took them out because that could be a lactose intolerance or a food intolerance.”  

In a January 7, 2018, article on this study, they explain the difference by noting that someone who is lactose intolerant is deficient in the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. These people can drink a milkshake but will have symptoms and possibly bloating after they do from their inability to properly digest the milk. If a person with a true allergy to milk products drinks a milkshake, the reaction can cause their throat to close or their blood pressure to drop, as well as other allergic symptoms that can include the respiratory system, the skin, or even their cardiovascular system. A true allergic response like this can be life threatening.

In the case of lactose intolerance, you are dealing with the digestive system and the deficiency of the enzyme lactase. In the case of a true allergy to milk products, you are dealing with an immune system that over-reacts to the product ingested and causes the severe symptoms and issues.

“The common threat between each of these scenarios is that both the immune system and the digestive system are under the control of the nervous system,” says Dr. Robert Braile, a chiropractor and past president of the international Chiropractors Association. "Chiropractors do not directly treat either lactose intolerance, or food allergies, but by making sure that there is little or no interference to the nervous system, we can help people with these issues self-correct their problems to the best of their abilities.”

Dr. Braile continued to explain by noting, “Some people with food issues get great responses under chiropractic, while others seem to get only minor changes. In either case, their quality of life is improved as their body is actually functioning better when their nervous system is functioning better.”


Autism and Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a report on December 3, 2018, titled, "Autism & Chiropractic: A Selective Review of Literature."  The objective of the report was, “To evaluate current research on chiropractic in the management of children with a diagnosis of autism.”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, known as the DSM-5 or DSM-V, was changed in 2013 to include several disorders under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). According to the National Institute of Mental Health “Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a ‘developmental disorder’ because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.”

The authors of this report described the criteria needed for the diagnosis of autism. “The presence of two of the following four behaviors is a strong indication of a positive diagnosis of autism: 1) extreme attachment to routines and patterns and resistance to changes in routines, 2) repetitive speech or movements, 3) intense and restrictive interests, and/or 4) difficulty integrating sensory information or strong seeking or avoiding behavior or sensory stimuli.”

In reviewing existing literature on chiropractic and autism, the authors found 11 studies on the subject. The studies involved a variety of chiropractic techniques and all resulted in a variety of positive results.

These 11 studies involved a total of 205 children who had been diagnosed with autism and in one study, related problems such as developmental delay syndromes. Eight of the studies were case studies which followed the cases of individual children who had been diagnosed with autism and where helped by chiropractic. Most of the studies utilized a standardized test called the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC), to document the improvement of the children while under chiropractic.

The common thread of the studies that were reviewed was that all the subjects were under chiropractic care for the correction of vertebral subluxations. In most of these studies, the focus of that correction was at the upper cervical area involving the top bone in the spine known as the atlas. Several of the studies specifically mentioned that they were not treating autism but were evaluating how the correction of subluxations affected the patients who were suffering with autism.

The Association of Chiropractic Colleges defines the practice of chiropractic as it relates to subluxation by saying, “Chiropractic is Concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation. A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.”

In the reports conclusion the authors wrote, “Based on the papers that point to the upper cervical area of the spine for evaluation and correction, attention to this area may be a good source for initial conservative treatment for those who present with developmental dysfunctional disorders along the autism spectrum.”


Quality of Life with Diabetes and Sugar Levels Improved with Chiropractic

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 19, 2018, documenting the care of a young man who was suffering with diabetes mellitus and chronic mid back pain being helped by chiropractic.

The study begins by stating that type 1 diabetes mellitus has serious short-term and long- term health implications. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control report that if a 10-year-old child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the year 2000, they would probably lose on average between 18.7 and 19.0 life-years.

In explaining the chiropractic approach to health, the authors of the study wrote, "Chiropractic is a health care discipline rooted in the philosophy optimal health and performance is sustained by neurological and spinal health. Conversely, neurological stress and strain contribute to disease and dysfunction and are preceded by abnormal, unhealthy spinal alignment and posture known as vertebral subluxations. Vertebral subluxation involves a biomechanical dysfunction and a neurological compromise."

It is the neurological component of the subluxation that opens the door to studying the effects of chiropractic on a wide variety of health issues such as the one discussed in this study.

In this case study, a 26-year-old man went to the chiropractor with the primary complaint of chronic mid-back pain for the past nine years. Additionally, he had been medically diagnosed with  type 1 diabetes mellitus since he was 3 years old. The young man reported that he had managed his blood-glucose with insulin therapy via an insulin pump. He rated his mid back pain as a 7 out of 10 with 10 being the worst.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included using an SF-36 health survey form designed to measure a patient's assessment of their quality of life. In addition, the man was vigilant in continuing to monitor his blood glucose level as he had been for years.

Specific forms of regular chiropractic care were started. The care rendered was not for treatment of his diabetes, but was focused on correction of the subluxations which were determined to be present in his mid-back, known as the thoracic spine. The man was instructed not to change any of his treatments or managements of his diabetes.

After 7 weeks of chiropractic care, the man reported that his mid back pain had reduced significantly. Upon testing, it was also shown that the man had an improved blood glucose average. Since the man monitored his sugar level in real time, he reported that his blood glucose levels were lower on the days that he received chiropractic care. 

The man was reassessed 16 months later to see how his progress was maintained. From this assessment, it was shown that his mid back pain had maintained the reduction he had previously experienced. His quality of life assessment had also shown significant improvement. Additionally, it was shown that his blood glucose level had remained lower and he was able to reduce the amount of insulin that he had needed.

In the study's discussion section, the authors noted that chiropractic was the only change made in this man's daily routine. "Certain circumstances and concurrences need to be highlighted within this report. The patient did not alter his lifestyle throughout or following care. It is remarkable that he continued to consume processed foods high in sugar and still yielded the extraordinary health improvements documented. The patient stated that chiropractic care was the only change in his everyday routine. During and following correction of the thoracic spinal alignment, the patient yielded significant improvements in blood glucose levels."


Life Expectancy in US Continues to Decline for Third Year in a Row According to CDC

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), have released data on November 29, 2018, documenting that the life expectancy in the United States has continued to shorten for the third year in a row. In addition, the U.S. is not keeping pace with other advanced western nations and has the same life expectancy as Cuba, according to the World Health Organization.

The report noted that the ten leading causes of death have not changed from 2016 to 2017. The reason for the drop in life expectancy is being attributed to an increase in drug overdoses and suicides. A CNN article on this reported that, according to a report from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, drug overdose deaths reached an all-time high in 2017 of over 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7% for the year.

Some of the facts published in the CDC report include that life expectancy for the U.S. population declined to 78.6 years in 2017. They also noted that no progress has been made in the past year on the alarmingly high infant mortality rate where it is estimated that 579.3 infant die per 100,000 live births. This 2017 statistic was not significantly different from the 2016 rate.  Overall the CDC report noted that the age-adjusted death rate increased by 0.4% from 728.8 deaths per 100,000 for the population in 2016 to 731.9 per 100,000 in 2017.

In a press release on the CDC report, Robert R. Redfield, M.D., CDC Director stated, “The latest CDC data show that the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide. Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable. CDC is committed to putting science into action to protect U.S. health, but we must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier lives.”

The World Health Organization reports that the top nation for life expectancy is Japan, with a life expectancy of 83.7, followed closely by Switzerland and Singapore. Other nations that are also ahead of the U.S. in this category include Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Canada.

Dr. George Curry, president of the International Chiropractors Association commented on the new statistics by noting, “Even if we do not address the fact that there has been little medical progress on the mortality rate for the ten most common causes of death in the U.S., we cannot ignore that the common thread of the increased deaths is drugs.” He continued, “The U.S. population utilizes more medications and drugs by a wide factor than any other advanced population on the planet. The chiropractic profession has always stood as an alternative to the drug-first approach and continues to promote health from within.”