December 2003 Holiday Issue

In this issue:

The Role of Chiropractic in the Care of Children with Autism

The November/December issue of the magazine "Autism Digest" contained an interesting article on the subject of Autism and the effect of chiropractic care on those children.  The article was authored by world known chiropractor for children, Dr. Joan Fallon. In her article she notes, "While it has regularly been associated with back pain or headache, increasing numbers of parents are seeking chiropractors for children and especially for children with developmental issues." 

The article starts off by noting that Temple Grandin, an author of two books on autism, is herself autistic.  The article notes that in her books she repeatedly discusses sensory integration difficulties as being the core of her autism. Additionally, a growing numbers of professionals also tout sensory difficulties as one of the hallmarks of autism.

Dr. Fallon describes this phenomenon by saying, "Sensory integration is defined as the disorganization of the multisensory input into the body. People who experience sensory integration problems have profound and often debilitating difficulty with touch, taste, smell, sound or visual input. Non-autistics can often experience sensory issues as well, such as the irritation we feel from a band playing too loudly, or an immediate headache from a certain smell. While these may be bothersome to the typical person, such sensory stimuli can be “noxious” to the autistic child and often manifest in infancy as colic and in the older child as hyperactivity, the “inability to listen”, or unexplained behavior issues, especially in children who lack communication."

The article continues by stating that Chiropractic care should be the cornerstone of the sensory integration treatment plan for the Autistic child. Dr. Fallon notes, "Chiropractic care differs from many of the other therapies used with autistics in that it is directed to the heart of the problem: the lack of homeostasis in the body, which can, in turn, produce a disease state. Treatments are directed to the imbalances in the nervous system which inhibit sensory processing. By directly affecting the nervous system, chiropractic care for the autistic child can begin to change the many sensory integration issues by facilitating input into the organs and areas of the body involved in sensory integration, including the skin and the nervous system."

The article then explains that the imbalances in the nervous system are caused by "Subluxations" in the spine.  "The presence of Subluxation can cause illness as well as a host of other problems for the child," contends Dr. Fallon. "The chiropractor administers an adjustment as the mainstream portion of care.  The adjustment is administered in areas where there is the presence of a SUBLUXATION. Subluxation occurs where a segment of the spine consisting of two vertebrae and a disc between them, has lost their juxtaposition. Proper juxtaposition is necessary to maintain the integrity of the various systems that are located there, not the least of which is the nervous system."

Flu Shot Unable to Combat Virus Strain

The above headline is from a December 15th 2003 Associated Press story that appeared in newspapers across the country.  The story reports that the strain of virus that is currently running around the US is not the same one the flu vaccine was created for.  There are many who dispute the reasoning behind using vaccinations for the flu or other diseases in the first place. However, these concerns are from those who actually created the flu vaccine itself.

The story notes that the flu virus mutates constantly.  Each year the virus that causes flu is different than the year before. The Food and Drug Administration, with the help of its expert committee, must decide in late winter what varieties will be the biggest threats in the upcoming year. The story admits that picking the best combination is a mixture of science, luck and seat-of-the-pants instinct. Dr. Michael Decker, head of scientific affairs at Aventis, one of the three U.S. vaccine makers describes the creation of flu vaccines by saying: "By the time you know what's the right strain, you can't do anything about it."  Dr. Theodore Eickhoff of the University of Colorado added, "For the first time in many years of participating in these deliberations, I must add I am very uncomfortable with the recommendation."

Barbara Loe Fisher, president, National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), stated: "Public health officials knew last spring that it was highly likely that the A/Panama strain in the current vaccine was not going to protect against the mutated, more dangerous A/Fujian strain of flu. If there is solid new evidence that the vaccine is protective against Fujian, then it should be released. If there is no such evidence, then it is not right to lead people to believe that if they get vaccinated now, they will be protected against it."  Fisher, who was the consumer voting member of the FDA Advisory Committee, abstained from the strain selection vote on March 18, saying "I feel uncomfortable voting for inclusion of an A/Panama-like virus, when what may really be needed is an A/Fujian-like virus. So I am going to abstain and urge that the public be informed that next year's flu vaccine may not be protective against an emerging strain."

More information on this breaking story can be found at the following links: http://www.nvic.org/PressReleases/prfluvaccine.htm and http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/ap20031215_870.html.

How to Get Fat Without Really Trying

On December 8, 2003 ABC News broadcast a TV News special entitled, "How to Get Fat Without Really Trying".  The show was about the growing number of Americans that are obese, and why as a nation, America has gotten that way.  The hour long special was hosted by Peter Jennings, ABC's top news anchor.  The show revealed some startling information that gave insight into a problem that was described as the largest health problem facing Americans.

The story goes on to note several disturbing facts:

The direction of the story is to point out that although eating habits are a lifestyle choice, that choice may be influenced by the food industry and the US government.  The story noted, "Some say that personal health and well being are a matter of personal responsibility. But the processed food industry and the government know what is happening — and they are making a bad situation worse."  Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest commented about the amount of advertising of unhealthy food, "We're besieged. Wherever we go, we're encouraged to eat junk food."

The story noted that the problem is Americans are choosing foods with more sweeteners and more calories, drinking more sodas, eating more candy, and snacking all day.  The representatives from the food industry appearing on the show claimed that personal responsibility is the reason for Americans being overweight as a society. In contradiction to that view, Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition food studies and public health at New York University noted, "I don't think that you can talk about giving the public what the public wants without discussing the $33 billion a year that the food industry spends to try to promote that kind of want."

The story spent a considerable amount of time on the problem of marketing junk food to children. Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest said, "The problem is that most of the foods that are marketed to children are unhealthy foods and the children are exposed to so many messages about junk food that the cultural norm around food has changed. So that children think that they should be getting candy and cookies and chips and soda and these other junkie foods all the time."

The story also took aim at the US government for huge subsidies of only one portion of the food industry.  The story noted that during the Depression of the 1930s, the government began subsidizing farmers to save them from financial ruin, but the money never stopped. This year, the U.S. government will put roughly $20 billion into agriculture, most of it going directly to the farmers. However, most of this is given to products such as corn and soybeans which are used to produce fats and oils, the foods government says we should eat least.  The report noted that these foods got about 20 times more subsidies than health food such as fruits and vegetables.

Professor Marion Nestle, noted that the huge government subsidies cause a price reduction that then drives the purchasing habits of the public. "So what these subsidies do is to lower the cost of the ingredients that go in processed foods, particularly high-calorie processed foods, and they make those foods cheaper."   The story noted that in many other countries, advertising of junk food to children is illegal.  However, it was reported in the story that attempts in the past to regulate food advertising in the US met with strong political opposition and defeat.

The entire story can be reviewed online at the following link: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/Living/obesity_031208-1.html with additional information appearing at: http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/US/obesity_subindex.html.

Chiropractic Care For A Nine-Year-Old Boy With Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression, Asthma, Insomnia, and Headaches: A Case Report

From the July 12, 2003 issue of the peer reviewed, "Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, comes a case study of a very ill nine year old boy. According to the case study, this child was suffering from a multitude of problems including, asthma and upper respiratory infections since infancy; headaches since age 6; Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression and insomnia since age 7; and neck pain since age 8. It was noted in this child's history that he had been delivered by forceps delivery.  His mother described her son as being “constantly sick since birth.”

There has been much discussion about forceps delivery causing a variety of health problems in children.  In the December 2nd, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was a report that showed that the  forceps delivery death rate was more than twice that for vaginal delivery. (click here for more).  This situation along with other trauma the young boy had experienced offered some possible explanation for the findings of subluxations in this child.  During the patient’s initial examination, evidence of a subluxation stemming from the upper cervical spine was found. Chiropractic care was then administered to correct and stabilize the patient’s upper neck subluxations.

Following six weeks of chiropractic care, all six conditions were absent and remained absent five months later at the conclusion of care. In a follow up seven months later, no asthma attacks, headaches, neck pain, insomnia, behavioral trouble, or tics had occurred. He had not suffered any infections, nor had he used any medications other than his half-dose of Wellbutrin. His mother reported that her son’s only “problem” was becoming accustomed to being a “normal” child who was required to complete chores, walk home from school by himself, or complete school work during allotted time.

Painkiller Abuse Has Quadrupled in the Last Decade

An article from the Associated Press Oct. 31, 2003, reports that according to government figures the number of Americans who begin misusing painkillers each year has almost quadrupled from 1990 to 2001. The article noted that the conservative radio commentator, Rush Limbaugh, brought this story to the forefront with his announcement that he was addicted to pain medication and was checking himself into a treatment facility.

The AP story noted the seriousness of the problem by highlighting that most patients who become addicted have taken more medication than their doctors prescribed. Additionally, addiction can take hold quickly, within weeks, for some drugs. According to the federal government’s Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 6.2 million Americans, or 2.6 percent of adults, misuse prescription drugs of all kinds. About 4.4 million of them misuse pain relievers, taking more than their prescribed amount. The rate of full-blown addiction is about 0.3 percent, but patients who don’t follow their prescriptions are considered at risk. The rate of abuse has risen dramatically for such drugs. About 2.4 million Americans began misusing prescription pain relievers in 2001, almost quadrupling from 628,000 in 1990, according to the federal government’s Survey on Drug Use and Health.

While Limbaugh joins a long list of celebrities who became hooked on prescription drugs, such as actress Marilyn Monroe, pop entertainer Michael Jackson, country singer Tammy Wynette and football player Brett Favre among them, the article notes that many more ordinary Americans succumb to this kind of addiction.

Bad Eating Habits Start Near Age 2

In the October 27, 2003 online issue of the InteliHealth Health News comes the report on a study that shows that children's eating habits can start as early as age 2. The "Feeding Infants & Toddlers Study", commissioned by baby-food maker Gerber Products Company showed that, "By 24 months, patterns look startlingly similar to some of the problematic American dietary patterns."  The article noted that recent research has found that roughly one in every five Americans is now considered obese, double the rate in the mid-1980s.

The study was conducted by random telephone interviews in 2002 that asked parents or primary caregivers what their youngsters ages 4 months to 2 years ate on that particular day. Up to a third of the children under 2 consumed no fruits or vegetables, according to the survey. And for those who did have a vegetable, French fries were the most common selection for children 15 months and older.  Additionally, Thirty to 40 percent of the children 15 months and up had a sugary fruit drink each day, and about 10 percent had soda.

A Chicago-area dietitian, Jodie Shield, who has written two books on child nutrition, noted "If kids are having soda and soft drinks at such an early age, it's going to be very, very challenging to introduce other types of foods for them later".

The article stated that children aged 1 to 2 years require about 950 calories per day, but the study found that the median intake for that age group is 1,220 calories, -- an excess of nearly 30 percent. For those 7 months to 11 months old, the daily caloric surplus was about 20 percent.


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