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A-Z Conditions

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Other Conditions Axe Holistic Medicine Treats:

ADHD/Autism

In 2016 alone, there were an estimated 6.1 million children diagnosed with ADHD, and 2 out of 3 of those children had at least one other mental, emotional or behavioral disorder. But don’t be fooled that ADHD is a child’s disorder. Thirty to 60% of those diagnosed in childhood continue to be affected into adulthood and 4.4% of the US adult population have a diagnosis of ADHD. The statistics for Autism are even more striking. The presence of autism in American children has increased 119% from 2000 to 2010 and is the considered the fastest growing developmental disability, now affecting 1 in 68 children. 

As so many families are affected, mental health disorders continue to be a hot topic in national news. Families are looking for better, natural alternatives when ineffective medications and a host of side effects are all the traditional medical community has to offer. In terms of root issues, what you may have read about the gut-brain connection is  true. Many of these cases stem from malnutrition and gut overgrowth, leading to toxicity throughout the body. 

While the manifestation of toxicity can look different in every person, in this case the brain is targeted. Did you know that overgrowth and poor stomach acid secretion cause foods like gluten (found in wheat/barley/rye) and casein (found in all milk products) to be improperly digested and turn into substances similar to opiates? These substances, gluteomorphins and casomorphins, then cross the blood-brain barrier and have similar effects as morphine and heroin in the body. 

Gluteomorphins and casomorphins have been tested and found in the urine of patients with a slew of mental health disorders, and even in patients with autoimmune conditions. This is why gluten-free and casein-free diets work for many with ADHD and autism. But this begs the question, why doesn’t it work for everyone? One reason is that we focus on the foods and ignore the digestive environment. While glutens and caseins aren’t health promoting, the real issue is the state of the gut and persistence of toxicity present in the body. Healing the digestive tract is always the first step in managing mental health disorders. Once the gut is healthy, further sources of toxicity in the body and surrounding environment can be investigated.

Anxiety/Depression

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States, and depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, estimated to bring in $17 billion in revenue by 2020. Yet the rates continue to rise, revealing that these conditions aren’t well managed and the medications just aren’t working. Like the majority of diseases processes in the body, anxiety and depression start from the state of the digestive system. It is now known that up to 90% of serotonin, our “happy hormone”, is produced by our intestinal cells. So unhappy gut equals unhappy brain. Addressing issues like leaky gut, food sensitivities and bacterial overgrowth are imperative in depression and anxiety. But there are other factors that can be investigated as well. Mold toxicity, especially in Florida, continues to be a common occurrence we find in our office, causing more of the neurological symptoms like anxiety and depression, brain fog and fatigue. Heavy metal toxicities and nutritional deficiencies such as vitamin D can be major contributors as well, but we cannot overlook stress and emotional trauma that has not been resolved. The majority of patients diagnosed with a major condition like autoimmune disease or cancer can correlate some stressful event that triggered a decline in their health status. So addressing emotional trauma is critical in preventing further chronic diseases. This is why we offer therapies in our office like Accelerated Resolution Therapy to help manage the mental and emotional side of our health. Accelerated Resolution Therapy uses the physiological importance of our REM cycle of sleep matched with guided imagery to support healing from our stress and emotional trauma.

 

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue is a major hot topic today as we continue to see poor management of chronic conditions in traditional health care. Your primary care doctor will more than likely not recognize the term “adrenal fatigue”, let alone know how to help you manage the symptoms. Americans tend to work countless hours, don’t sleep well, are under chronic stress and not well nourished, which is a perfect lifestyle cocktail to develop adrenal fatigue. In most cases, though, it is important to note that adrenal fatigue is a symptom itself, not a root issue. Root issues like infections, gut dysbiosis, and several other types of toxicities can long-term cause adrenal fatigue. When root issues are sustained, our bodies can tire out from the prolonged stressors and then we may see abnormal levels of cortisol and DHEA in the blood. This is because cortisol is the major stress hormone in the body that is released by the adrenal glands sitting on top of the kidneys. Cortisol you may be familiar with, as it is often described as the “fight or flight” hormone. When our body is under acute stress, either physical, chemical or emotional, we will release cortisol in response to the stressor. There are multiple benefits of cortisol when released in the appropriate times at the appropriate levels. Cortisol makes glucose readily available to the tissues, heightens your awareness and focus, and acts as an anti-inflammatory hormone. However, when cortisol remains too high for too long, we might see weight gain, blood pressure dysregulation, risk for osteoporosis, muscle weakness and mood swings. On the other hand, DHEA is like the mother of male and female hormones. When the body is under a lot of stress, the precursor for DHEA, pregnenolone, can be directed more towards making stress hormones such as cortisol, instead of DHEA. Thus, we see hormonal imbalances in cases of adrenal fatigue. Common complaints of those presenting with adrenal fatigue include extreme or chronic fatigue, brain fog, sweet/salty cravings, weight gain, weakened stress response, depression, irritability and sleep disturbances to name a few. Treatment should be directed toward supporting the body and the adrenals while digging deeper to identify and eliminate root cause issues.

 

Arthritis/Degeneration

Arthritis and degeneration are two concerns that as we age everyone wants to avoid. Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S. There are two major perspectives to inflammation and degeneration of joints – the physical and the chemical. Let’s talk about the physical side first. While repetitive stress on the joints, including being an unhealthy weight, will cause wear and tear, not getting sufficient movement or having too much overuse will also cause damage to the cartilage. In addition, proper alignment and curvatures in our neck, midback and low back are perfectly designed to distribute our weight proportionally so that our discs do not take the brunt of the weight. Knowing this, chiropractic care at our office does not just provide manipulation of the joints to induce healthy range of motion, but we focus on restoring the curvatures of the spine in order to alleviate the weight off of the discs and nerves themselves. There are several modalities we offer as well that research has shown will help rehydrate discs in the spine and even improve bone density! On the other hand, chemical stress is also a major factor in degeneration. The term arthritis literally means inflammation of the joint, and so many things can cause inflammation. The foods that we eat are a good place to start. Sugary and gluten-filled foods will promote inflammation systemically and should be avoided. At the same time, eating highly nutritious and anti-inflammatory foods will help promote healthy joints. These include foods high in omega-3s (salmon, cage-free eggs, grass-fed meats), antioxidants (fresh organic vegetables), and collagen (bone broth). Herbs like turmeric, ginger, and oregano are also highly anti-inflammatory. Multiple organisms that can be harbored in our digestive systems have been correlated with joint inflammation such as Klebsiella species, Proteus mirabilis, and Yersinia. And other infections like salmonella, gonorrhea and chlamydia can also infect the joints. Sources of inflammation in every patient need to be identified and eliminated in order to prevent further progression of degeneration and arthritis.

asthma/allergies

Arthritis and degeneration are two concerns that as we age everyone wants to avoid. Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability in the U.S. There are two major perspectives to inflammation and degeneration of joints – the physical and the chemical. Let’s talk about the physical side first. While repetitive stress on the joints, including being an unhealthy weight, will cause wear and tear, not getting sufficient movement or having too much overuse will also cause damage to the cartilage. In addition, proper alignment and curvatures in our neck, midback and low back are perfectly designed to distribute our weight proportionally so that our discs do not take the brunt of the weight. Knowing this, chiropractic care at our office does not just provide manipulation of the joints to induce healthy range of motion, but we focus on restoring the curvatures of the spine in order to alleviate the weight off of the discs and nerves themselves. There are several modalities we offer as well that research has shown will help rehydrate discs in the spine and even improve bone density! On the other hand, chemical stress is also a major factor in degeneration. The term arthritis literally means inflammation of the joint, and so many things can cause inflammation. The foods that we eat are a good place to start. Sugary and gluten-filled foods will promote inflammation systemically and should be avoided. At the same time, eating highly nutritious and anti-inflammatory foods will help promote healthy joints. These include foods high in omega-3s (salmon, cage-free eggs, grass-fed meats), antioxidants (fresh organic vegetables), and collagen (bone broth). Herbs like turmeric, ginger, and oregano are also highly anti-inflammatory. Multiple organisms that can be harbored in our digestive systems have been correlated with joint inflammation such as Klebsiella species, Proteus mirabilis, and Yersinia. And other infections like salmonella, gonorrhea and chlamydia can also infect the joints. Sources of inflammation in every patient need to be identified and eliminated in order to prevent further progression of degeneration and arthritis.

Crohn's

Irritable bowel disease is marked by excessive inflammation in the digestive tract and can be divided into 2 categories – Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. While Crohn’s can affect any part of the digestive tract, ulcerative colitis typically causes chronic inflammation only in the colon. You can find more information about ulcerative colitis under the condition topic, however we will further discuss Crohn’s in this section. It is estimated that 1.6 million Americans have IBD, with 780,00 of those people having Crohn’s. The total medical cost of Crohn’s management and treatment is close to $3.6 billion per year and approximately 75 percent of people with Crohn’s disease eventually undergo surgery. Sadly, even up to 38 percent of those who undergo surgery for Crohn’s will have a recurrence of symptoms within one year of their surgery! For many years the traditional medical community has been at a loss as to the cause of the disease, reports that there is no cure, and affirms that taking prescription medications is the only way to help manage some of the symptoms. However, there is now much research, as well as alternative clinical experience, that would prove otherwise. Modifiers like your genetics, persistent stress, an inflammatory diet, and contraction of infections and viruses are all sources of inflammation found in the digestive tract. In many cases, simply adjusting your dietary habits from highly processed, sugary foods to nutrient dense foods and herbs manages symptoms profoundly better than any medications. Did you know that even taking medications like ibuprofen and Aleve have been shown to actually promote an exacerbation of Crohn’s? Avoiding these drugs, as well as antibiotics and oral contraceptives, can significantly reduce your risk of Crohn’s. For more information on how we have successfully managed many patients with IBD and testing that can be done to assess your digestive tract health, call our office today!

Chronic Fatigue

Most patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue can confirm that this condition is categorized by excessive fatigue lasting at least 6 months in duration. However, chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, irritable bowel disease, etc. all have something in common that most may not recognize. The traditional medical community has taken groups of symptoms, of which they are unsure of the cause(s), and given a name to the category. While chronic fatigue has been “labeled” by unexplained and excessive fatigue, there is actually much to investigate and evaluate in these patients. One study in particular revealed that out of 84 patients who presented with unexplained digestive complaints, 83 of them qualified for a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, 71 of them had chronic fatigue syndrome, and 60 of them had fibromyalgia. Researchers thus believe that poor digestion, nutritional deficiencies and food sensitivities all play a role in these diagnoses. Furthermore, other factors that are likely persistent in cases of chronic fatigue include viral infections, immune dysregulation, and hormonal imbalances. Chronic fatigue can be a complex condition, but keeping the foundations of a proper diet, boosting the immune system, and clearing out infections consistently reveals improvement in those with chronic fatigue.

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