DxBlog

Yoga Therapy Employment & Studio Opportunity

The Diagnosis Foundation is looking for enthusiastic and creative yoga teachers interested in implementing YogAnalysis (YA) assessment and corrective work into their private yoga instruction.  Unique opportunity to help your clients be wellthy while working in a large, integrative medical setting with referral opportunities.

  • Pay no rent or overhead. Receive generous commission percentage.  
  • Opportunity for regular hours of employment upon YA certification.
  • Must have completed at least one YA assessment and plan session. Previous experience in yoga therapy and certification as a yoga teacher are pluses.
  • Accepting applications online or at 2805 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 8, Ronkonkoma.

Please fill out employment application then email or call for appointment. 631.440.7008  Info@DxFoundation.org   or   PWallman@DxFoundation.org

YogAnalysis Workshop

Topic: Intro to YogAnalysis
Location: Cocomotion Yoga Studio, 323 C rear Route 25A, Miller Place, NY 11764
Date/Time: Saturday, April 29 2017, 2-4 PM
Includes 1/2 Hour Personal Assessment: Schedule at your convenience
Total Price: Reg. $250, Inaugural price 50% off, Cocomotion members: FREE
Reservations: Info@DxFoundation.org or call (631) 440-7008

Do you feel pain with certain yoga movements? Do you want to improve the development & mastery of your poses? The adage is “Listen to your body” but what do you listen to and what should you do with what you hear?

YogAnalysis (YA) helps you to learn how to listen to your body by Assessing each joint and muscle to gain self-awareness. The information gained by this self-study is then used to generate a customized Plan of yoga poses, asana modifications and corrective actions.  You implement this plan into your yoga practice by yourself or with guidance from a certified YA Specialist.  This Assessment & Plan (A & P) helps your yoga practice develop with less trial and error…..fewer aches and injuries……and faster growth.  You learn how to listen to your body and what to do about it!

What’s In The YogAnalysis Program
  • Workshops: Intro to YogAnalysis, Intro to Implementing the Yoganalysis Plan
  • Assessment & Plan (A & P) Sessions: Intro Screen (1/2 hour), 1st A & P (1 hour), 2nd A & P (1 hour)
  • Implementation: With or without a YA Specialist at your pace
  • Re-A & P: Periodically check your progress & modify your Plan
  • Certifications: Level I, II & III
What is Assessed?

During your private assessment session with a YA Certified physician or Specialist you are tested for:

  • Flexibility – Every major joint in every direction for hyper & hypo mobility
  • 98 muscles for balanced strength
  • Computerized Movement Imaging (CMI) for functional movements
  • What is normal, abnormal and what causes pain.

You learn what each muscle, joint & Range Of Motion (ROM) feels like!

What’s in the Plan?

At the end of your A & P session, you receive a personalized plan of action based on your results.  This includes recommendations for:

  • Yoga pose modifications
  • Which poses to do and which to avoid
  • Corrective Exercises
  • Active & passive stretches
Implementing The YA Plan

 Yoga practitioners may be guided with implementing their YA Plan by a Diagnosis Foundation (DxF) certified Level I Specialist.

  • Level I certifications requires at least 150 hours or instruction and examinations.
  • All Level I Specialists are certified instructors in at least 1 form of yoga
  • Certification content is based upon accredited courses currently taught by the Diagnosis Foundation
Who Does The Assessments & Plans

A & Ps are done by yoga teachers, physicians, physical therapists or personal trainers with:

  • DxF certified Level II or III YA Specialists
  • All Level III YA Specialists have at least 600 hours of YA training, internship, practical & written examinations
YogAnalysis Sponsored By…

The non-profit Diagnosis Foundation (DxF) is sponsoring the YogAnalysis Program. The DxF is focused on improving human safety, health and performance by promoting diagnosis which seeks underlying causes using objective and holistic methods.

A & P Screen Location

The A & P Assessment Screen for this workshop will be conducted at the DxF Health & Performance Lab.  This state of the art facilities at Long Island Integrated Medical includes: a complete gym, extensive physiotherapy, digital x-rays, MD’s, DO’s, DC’s, PT’s, acupuncture & massage therapists.  Specialties include bio-mechanics, sports, nutrition, orthopedics, weight loss, pain management, pulmonary, psychology, and neurology.

The DxF Health & Performance Lab is located at:

Long Island Integrated Medical
2805 Veterans Memorial Highway
Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

Reservations & Information

For additional information or to attend the workshop contact:
E-Mail:  Info@DxFoundation.org
Office Phone: (631) 440-7008

Healthcare Reform vs. Health Insurance Reform

Sphygmomanometer - MSThe United States spends the most money per person on healthcare, averaging 2-4 times what other industrialized countries pay.  This might not be a problem if we received the best health outcomes as a result.  Unfortunately, the opposite is true.  The US has the poorest health outcomes in the industrialized world.  The US ranks 33-36 in the world with results that are comparable to Cuba, Costa Rica and Chili regarding health outcome measures such as infant mortality rates, number of chronic diseases and life expectancy.

For decades, complaints have been leveled at various aspects of the US healthcare system that could improve outcomes, but little was changed.  Eight years ago, after repeated reports pointed out that the US healthcare system was the most expensive, yet delivered poor quality outcomes, momentum built to finally succeed in achieving reform.  What resulted however, was a change in how healthcare was paid for rather than modifying factors which delivered better health results.  The healthcare reform that is so sorely needed in this country turned out to be little more than health insurance reform.

who-paysIt is very important not to confuse these two.  Many assume that if you increase the availability of healthcare services to people who cannot afford it because of limited or no insurance, their health will improve as well. The fallacy of this assumption has been demonstrated for decades with evidence measured by groups such as the World Health Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Commonwealth Fund.

What is needed to improve the health of US citizens is not to increase access to the existing system that delivers poor results. Instead, we need to change factors that improve people’s health, such as who delivers what kinds of services.

The remainder of this article will briefly list some of the issues that impact the quality and types of care that can improve outcomes.  With the 2016 presidential election results, it is anticipated that major change will be coming again to the US healthcare system. This time, let’s keep our eye on what really matters during these discussions (healthcare outcomes) so that we don’t get distracted again by things that turn out to have poor correlations with health (insurance systems).

Potential factors to reform that improve health outcomes include:

  • Preventive services – address causes of diseases rather than waiting for diseases to emerge.
  • Fragmentation of healthcare – establish a new profession supplying a better, holistic method of healthcare diagnosis & coordination of care. A Doctor of Interdisciplinary Diagnosis
  • Objective vs. subjective diagnosis – Objective diagnostic tests measure signs that are visible to an independent observer or verifiable by equipment.  A subjective diagnosis can only be confirmed by the patient and is relatively easy to consciously or unconsciously fake or distort.  Objective testing is currently being severely underutilized for many conditions (i.e. learning, behaviour and emotional disorders).continum-of-palliative-care
  • Symptomatic care vs. treating causes – cure problems, don’t just ‘control’ them.  The state of understanding and research has progressed much faster than is put into common practice.
  • Single vs. multiple mechanism approach – Many diseases have diverse factors that can contribute to causing it. It is important to identify a broad range of potential causal factors, test for which ones are involved and treat all the factors that research evidence points to as being capable of contributing to the condition.
  • Conflicts of interest in healthcare delivery – Do you sell your jewelry to the appraiser or trust reviews written by the proprietors?  Then why get treatment from the person who does the diagnosis?  There is an inherent bias for the doctor to diagnose the condition from the perspective of the treatments they supply.  Diagnosis supplied by physicians trained in a wide range of therapies needs to separated from the provider who supplies the treatment.
  • Regulatory Reform – Government rules and laws are increasingly being written by special interest through revolving door relationships and legitimate or questionable funding mechanisms.  Federal and state governments need to primarily represent the interests of the healthcare consumer.
  • Direct to consumer marketing of prescription medications – The AMA and many other organizations have called for a halt to this practice.  Drug marketing convinces patients to put pressure on their doctors to supply medications, even when the doctors feel it is inappropriate. This practice is only allowed in the US and New Zealand.
  • Mandatory healthcare procedures – Any mandatory healthcare treatment which receives government enforcement measures, requires the highest levels of scientific, research, public and ethical support.  Special interests must not be allowed to mold mandatory policy decisions in their favor through anything less (i.e. media control of public opinion or political influence).  This is most critically important when the mandatory procedures carry with them morbidity and mortality complications.
  • Personalized healthcare vs. protocols – Every person has different genes, chemistry, experiences, diets, lifestyles, etc.  Evidence based treatment plans, insurance coverage and tort reform, needs to allow the flexibility to treat each person as an individual, not by a ‘one size fits all’ protocol book.
  • Health literacy – Informed people make more preventive choices and have less hospital stays and fewer chronic conditions. Special interests have inappropriate levels of influence on all types of health literacy education from: physician education; medical research & journals on through to the mass media and public school education.
  • ‘Mainframe’ vs. ‘mobile’ access – Technology has moved from large mainframe computers to mobile devices worn on wrists.  Regulatory burdens have stifled development of the healthcare market from producing similar improvements in cost and availability.  Sometimes these regulations are the result of a sincere desire to protect public health.  Other times, it is the result of inappropriate special interest influence being wielded to protect market share.

Let’s create true healthcare reform in this country and deliver the results that are commensurate with the amount of money we are investing.  I look forward to hearing your feedback.

Written by Dr. John M. Wallman, President – Diagnosis Foundation

Issues That Impact Learning: Potential Causes & Methods of Diagnosis

difficulty-learningThis is a very broad topic that covers learning issues ranging from totally normal through to severe disabilities.  They can be grouped into major categories such as:

  • Internal – poor self-esteem, depression, anxiety, & obsession
  • External – inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive, oppositional, disruptive
  • Processing – difficulty with: reading; speaking; writing; listening; or interpreting nonverbal communication

More specifically, these issues refer to anything that impacts the rate of nerve growth or proper function.  They can be further broken down into classifications based upon:   help-for-student

  1. Which parts of the nervous system are involved
  2. What symptoms result from the abnormal nerve function
  3. What is causing the learning issue

Classifications & Methods of Diagnosing

Which classification system, clinician and diagnostic methods to use will be based upon your clinical goal.

  • Anatomic Location – This classification is helpful when the goal is to prepare for surgery or similar interventions. Here imaging studies, (MRI, CAT scans, Ultrasound, etc) will be particularly helpful diagnostic tools.
  • Symptoms – When the goal is to suppress or control symptoms with medications without attempting a cure, reviewing the patient’s history using the DSM-5 criteria is applicable.
  • Cause – When seeking an improvement in the underlying function or attempting a cure, diagnostic methods will start with a review of patient symptoms but will then shift to more laboratory and physical testing. Imaging studies may be used to rule out pathologies. Some of the newest imaging techniques targeting brain functions are specific enough to give insights into anatomic locations as well as certain causes.

If your goal is surgery, consult a surgeon. If your goal is to control symptoms using drugs but not to seek a cure, consult a medical doctor. If your goal is to improve function by addressing the causes, consult a doctor of functional medicine or a clinical nutritionist. 

complete-neuron-cell-diagram-wcPotential Causes

  • Nerve & myelin cell membrane integrity — structural parts of the brain that ensure proper nerve function and insulation that prevents nerves from ‘shorting out’ on one another.
  • Neurotransmitters —serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine (adrenalin)
  • Nerve inflammation—allergies, prostaglandins (chemical inflammation regulators), internal corticosteroid regulation
  • Nerve fuel supply— blood sugar regulation (hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia), ATP production (converting sugar to energy at the cellular level)
  • Nerve blood supply—high or low blood pressure, plaques, capillary regulation
  • Neuro-toxins— heavy metals, pesticides, food colorings, drugs, etc.
  • Nerve metabolism – thyroid, adrenals, kidneys and liver regulate chemicals that can influence nerve function
  • Brain scars — i.e. from brain trauma, transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes), stroke, anti-oxidant deficiency (vitamin E, C, A, etc.)

One Cause – Many Symptomsall-for-one

Many of the causes of behavior issues can give different symptoms for each person.  This is because some mechanisms result in stress to many parts of the brain simultaneously, but it is the nerves that are the ‘weak link’ that will exhibit symptoms first.  For example, some people have chronic inflammation of the brain. With one person, this will cause swelling in the part of the brain controlling depression, in another, the ‘weak link’ will be in their speech centers.

One Cause – Many Reasons3-musketeers

Each mechanism that is diagnosed as involved for a person with learning issues can have different reasons for why it is involved. For example, chronic brain inflammation may be from a gluten sensitivity. For another person, it is because they have an adrenal gland that cannot produce enough cortisone. For a third person, the chronic brain swelling may be because they have high mercury levels.  To improve function, do not stop looking when you find the first cause of a learning issue.  Seeking causes needs to continue to deeper levels.

Summary

Behaviors impacting learning include a wide range of issues.  What type of clinician you consult and diagnosis methods you use will depend on your clinical goal.  Each cause of a learning issue can give different symptoms for each person.  Each mechanism causing abnormal nerve growth and function, can be for multiple reasons.  Persistent diagnostic work increases the understanding of the multi-layered causes and the potential for successful outcomes.

And The Category Is…”Essential Nutrients”

cornucopia-public-domain-photosLet’s start with a quick review of what an essential nutrient is.  It is a chemical that must be taken into to a person, digested and absorbed to reach a certain level in the blood or tissues in order for a person to function properly.  Briefly, you need to eat enough of each of these chemicals in order to:

  • Live
  • Repair
  • Grow and
  • Reproduce

If any of the essential nutrients gets too low in the body, one or more of the above functions will not happen.  These are the basic chemicals that people must ingest on a regular basis or something bad will happen to their health.  Deficiencies of essential nutrients have been linked to every major disease that humans get including: cancer; diabetes; high blood pressure; stroke; colitis; hyper & hypo thyroidism; etc.

How Many Essential Nutrients Are There?

countingThe answer to this will vary a little bit depending on who you ask, but they should all be close to 42.  The reason for the variability is that each candidate for essential nutrient status must go through a rigorous scientific process to meet the definition criteria.  People who write about essential nutrients are not always in agreement with research interpretations, or haven’t read the same studies, or have different standards of how many times a project must be repeated to be accepted, etc.

The essential nutrients fall into the following categories:

  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

Essential Amino Acids

protein-chain-wcThere are approximately 22 different amino acids that humans use.  Out of these 22, there are 9 that are essential.  If you get enough of these 9, your body can convert them into all the rest of the 22.  Here are the 9 essential amino acids.

  • Isoleucine
  • Lysine
  • Leucine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine
  • Histidine

Essential Fatty Acids

fatty-acidsThere are hundreds of fatty acids (fats & oils).  Your body can make all of these if you only make sure to get enough of two in your diet (three for children).  The essential fatty acids are:

  • Linoleic Acid
  • Linolenic Acid
  • Arachidonic Acid (for children)

The body can convert these essential fatty acids to all the other fats your body needs.  One of the recently discovered issues with fatty acids is getting the right ratios of these in your diet.  Get the wrong ratio and you will have difficulty with pain and inflammation regulation, difficulty learning and athletic performance and a whole host of neurological problems (i.e. depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders, etc.)

Here’s one example about the importance of linolenic acid.  This fatty acid is converted in your body, or in plants and animals that we eat, into omega 3 fatty acids.  One of these molecules actually makes up about 15-20% of our brains.  It plays a major role in producing the myelin sheaths that surround many nerves, providing a type of ‘insulation’ around nerves.  If your body is deficient in the omega 3 fatty acids, or gets too much of its competitor, omega 6 fatty acids, the brain will have a large number of problems.

Most US diets have excessive omega 6 fats which are very common in processed and fast foods.  This results in slow learning, poor nerve repair, and contributes to many of the neurological disorders which are epidemic in our country right now.

Essential Vitamins

fruits-and-vegetablesThis is the category of essential nutrients that most people are familiar with.  They have the longest history of research and the best understanding of their wide-ranging health implications.

  • Vitamin A – Beta-carotene, retinol
  • Vitamin B1 – Thiamine
  • Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin
  • Vitamin B3 – Niacin
  • Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic acid
  • VItamin B6 – Pyridoxine
  • Vitamin B7 – Biotin
  • Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid
  • VItamin B12 – Cobalamin
  • VItamin C – Ascorbic acid
  • Vitamin D2 & D3 – Ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol
  • Vitamin E – Tocopherol
  • Vitamin K – Naphthoquinoids

Essential Minerals

mineral-infographic-lifehackIt may seem redundant to use the term ‘essential’ in front of minerals and vitamins.  As the understanding of these nutrients has improved, it has become evident that many chemicals which were originally called vitamins turned out not to be essential, and many minerals do not have an essential function in the body while others are actually toxic (i.e. lead, mercury, cadmium)
  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

Carbohydrates

carbohydratesYou may have noticed that I did list any essential nutrients in the carbohydrate category.  Carbohydrates are sugar molecules or chains of sugar molecules (starches). There are no nutrients in the carbohydrate category that are essential in human nutrition. This means that you can live, grow, repair and reproduce without eating any carbohydrates.  It is very important to keep clear that I am referring to the carbohydrate category which includes nutrients such as: glucose; fructose; starch and sucrose.  I am not referring to foods that are rich in carbohydrates such as: grains; fruits, breads; vegetables; candy and cakes.  Some of these foods are generally regarded as very good to eat while others are considered a major detriment to health.

There are a couple of concepts in this topic however, that deserve greater explanation.

  • Fiber – There is a group of carbohydrates that are collectively known as ‘Fiber’.  They all share the properties of being: long chains of sugar and; having molecular configurations that make them indigestible for humans.  They will enter the human digestive system and leave with basically the same molecular structure. Even though they do not supply anything in the way of chemical nutrition directly to humans, they do supply mechanical properties that improves our health.  This indigestible material keeps the colon more completely full. This allows for proper intestinal transit times and prevents constipation which in turn prevents a host of potential problems such as bacterial overgrowth, autointoxication and diverticulosis.
  • Calories – Carbohydrates are a very common source of calories that are converted by the body into energy molecules that keep us alive.  Other nutrient categories such as proteins and fats can also supply our caloric needs.  Carbohydrates are so dominant in our societies for supplying our caloric needs that many people consider them essential, but diets that are carbohydrate free can be maintained for extended periods of time without ill-health (i.e. specialized Total Parenteral Nutrition, Atkins Diet).
Conclusion

conclusionThe basic concept is this, essential nutrients are chemicals that must be maintained at adequate levels in the body otherwise performance, health, safety and eventually life itself will suffer.  So many people who have very limited training in nutrition say, “just eat a well-balanced diet and you will be fine.”  This idea is not supported by research data which shows that almost everybody in the United States is low or deficient in one or more essential nutrients and by definition, almost everybody in the US is suffering sub-optimal health that could be relatively easily cured.

When is the last time you were tested for all of your essential nutrients by somebody who is trained in clinical nutrition? 

Depression: Search For The Cure

forlorn-msWhile this topic is focused on depression, it applies equally well to anxiety, high performance athletics, scholastic and any other activity that requires good nerve function.

Nerve & Myelin Cell Membrane Integrity

There are several potential causes of depression including: nerve & myelin cell membrane integrity; neurotransmitters; nerve inflammation; nerve fuel supply; nerve blood supply; neurotoxins and brain scarring.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll go into a little more depth on each of these topics.  Today we’ll briefly describe nerve & myelin cell membrane integrity, how this can contribute to the cause of depression and some considerations for how to diagnose this potential factor.

nerve-membraneNerve Membranes: The internal structures of each nerve are encased in a highly complex membrane.  The basic structure of this membrane is made up of 4 layers of proteins and lipids and is dotted with other structures.  The membrane itself conducts the nerve impulse from one nerve to the next.  Any significant alterations in the structure of the membrane will alter the ability of the nerves to fire, conduct signals of the proper strength and speed as well as communicate with adjacent nerves.

neuron-with-myelin-sheathMyelin Cell Membranes: Many nerves are surrounded by myelin. This may be considered as similar to insulation around an electrical wire.  With nerves, this myelin improves nerve conduction and prevents ‘shorting out’ on adjacent nerves.  The myelin is produced by specialized cells.  The proper functioning of the cells that produce this myelin and their membranes is thus also critical to proper functioning of the brain.

neuropathyWhat Causes Nerve Membrane Abnormalities?: One of the ways that nerve and myelin producing cell membranes can be impaired is when the raw materials that make up the membranes are deficient while that section of cell membrane is being produced during growth or learning. Once a faulty membrane is produced, that nerve will not communicate properly, may even result in the cell leaking and premature cell death.  This will not affect the entire brain at once, but will impact areas that are growing during periods of raw material deficiency.  In areas of the brain with additional stress factors (i.e. high usage, abnormal blood supply, inflammation, toxin accumulation or other nerve functioning issues) issues with membrane integrity are likely to show up first.

brain-anatomy-wcAbnormal Nerve Membranes & Depression: The particular set of symptoms that somebody develops from abnormal nerve membranes will be dependant on which areas of the brain are affected.  If the areas of the brain with abnormal membrane function are located in the regions responsible for depression, then that will be the set of psychological symptoms that develop.  If a nerve membrane issue develops in a different section of the brain, another set of symptoms will occur.

eeg-capDiagnosing Abnormal Nerve Membrane Function: Since the abnormal nerve membranes could be in different brain locations for each person, there is not one nerve function test that can be used in all cases. Also, since symptoms from this mechanism will occur as nerve cells with abnormal membranes grow or die, symptoms will fluctuate relatively slowly. (Keep in mind there may be more than one mechanism contributing to each person’s depression.)  If any nerve function test comes up positive, you could add nerve membrane integrity to the list of possible causes.  The absences of any of these tests being positive will not however rule it out as a possible cause.  Some possible non-specific tests include: EEG; Nerve conduction velocity; Deep tendon reflex; or DSM5 driven history criteria.

One set of tests that get a bit more specific are the nutrient tests for the raw materials that make up nerve and myelin cell membranes.  Some key ingredients that make up the protein and lipid layers of the membranes are:

  • omega 3 fatty acids and fish-oils
  • essential amino acids,

both of which can be measured in the plasma.  Omega 3 fatty acids make up approximately 20% of the brain by weight and are extremely deficient in the western diet.  Keep in mind, these nutrients could have been low at the time nerve cells membranes were produced, and then brough up to normal.  This will not result in any appreciable repair of the nerves that are already made, but will only affect nerve growth from that time on.

By Dr. John M Wallman, DC

Specializing in Nutrition & Exercise

This article is not intended to be medical advice and is not advising you to stop taking any medications you may currently be on.  Many SSRI medications have substantial side effects when discontinuing their use.  Please consult members of your health care provider team directly to explore the concepts in this article.

Diagnosis Detective Case File: Osteoporosis

diagnosis-dectectiveOsteoporosis has many different causes and because of this, needs diagnostic work comparable to a detective searching for a killer who wants to remain hidden.

First let’s talk about what osteoporosis is because many people confuse it with another bone issue that has a very different cause and treatment plan.  Then let’s briefly describe some of the different mechanism that can lead to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis vs. Osteomalacia

By derivative work: Chaldor (talk)Illu_bone_growth.jpg: Fuelbottle - Illu_bone_growth.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4353671

Before I describe the difference between these two diseases, it is important to understand one key concept in bone production.  In the normal state of bone growth with youngsters or later on in life with bone remodeling, oocytes (bone building cells) first produce and secrete a layer of protein called ‘Osteoid’ that looks very much like cartilage.  Once this soft, bendable protein scaffolding is laid down, calcium and other minerals will bind to this cartilage substance to stiffen it into hard bone.

Osteomalacia

osteomalaciaOsteomalacia is a somewhat common condition, particularly with children, that is also known as ‘rickets’. This issue is the result of a vitamin D deficiency that leads to problems absorbing dietary calcium.  When you don’t absorb enough calcium, your osteocytes will still be very capable of laying down the protein cartilage scaffolding, but there will not be enough calcium to stiffen it into hard bone.  In this situation, the bones will be too soft and bendable.  People with rickets frequently become bow legged from their long bones bending too much.

With x-rays, calcium and other minerals will stop the radiation from penetrating through to the film. Because there is too little calcium saturating the protein cartilage, the pictures of the bone will show low density which is called osteopenia, or too little bone mass.  Under a microscope, bones with osteomalacia will look like cartilage that is only partly mineralized.

Osteomalacia is helped very rapidly by increasing your vitamin D and calcium supplements or occasionally by correcting issues with your thyroid/parathyroid glands.

Osteoporosis

osteoporosisOsteoporosis is a very different disease that typically affects seniors.  In this condition, the body is laying down too little of the bone protein scaffolding. The bone cartilage that is there will be calcified perfectly, it is just that there are too many large holes in the bone where the protein scaffolding has not be laid down.

Unfortunately, using an x-ray or bone density study, it will look identical to osteomalacia.  The total amount of x-ray stopping minerals will be deficient in both cases, showing a low bone density.  In osteomalacia, the minerals are evenly dispersed through a nice homogeneous cartilage matrix, but with the minerals at a low density.  In osteoporosis, the bone that is there will have a high mineral content, it is just that there are too many holes in the bone.  If we add the normal density bone to the holes in the bone with no minerals at all, we get an average bone density that is low.

If we look at both of these bones under a microscope, the appearance is very different.   Under a microscope, the osteoporotic bone looks like hard, swiss cheese and the osteomalacia bone looks like bendable, lightly mineralized cartilage.

Osteoporosis typically gets very poor results from treating it with vitamin D and/or calcium.  The reason is because there is no scaffolding for the calcium and other minerals to attach too.  Successful treatments of osteoporosis are targeted towards increasing the amount of protein scaffolding in the bone which then will typically mineralize without any additional treatment.

Causes of Osteoporosis

protein-rich-foodsThis is a partial list of the causes of osteoporosis.  Some of these can easily branch off into multiple sub-mechanisms of causes.  The key thing to remember about osteoporosis mechanisms is that it is not the result of too little calcium or vitamin D.  It is because there are too many holes in the protein scaffolding where the calcium cannot attach to!

  • Low Protein Status – This can be from too little protein intake, too little protein digestion, too little absorption, increased rates of protein utilization, and increased rates of excretion.  Factors that can cause these sub-mechanisms include: excess antacids; proton pump inhibitors; lax attention to amino acid balancing in vegetarian diets; food allergies; pancreas, kidney or liver problems; protein depletion during child-bearing; excess stimulation of adrenal grands from caffeine.
  • Hypo-active Osteocytes – These are the cells that lay down the protein scaffolding in the bones.  They may be under active because they don’t have the protein raw materials to work with or because of protein deposition regulation problems.
  • Weight Bearing Exercises – The shock wave that travels up the body from the heel to the head when you take every step is a stimulus to laying down new bone scaffolding.  Insufficient activity leads to bones getting weaker.  (Think of astronauts and how their bones get extremely fragile after extended stays in microgravity.)
  •  Estrogen Decrease – Estrogen fluctuations in women during childbearing years is a slight stress to bone building contributing to women getting weaker bones than men. At menopause, there is an approximately 3 year window when bones will get rapidly weaker due to the decreased estrogen.  Once the body adapts to the new estrogen status, osteoporosis progression due to this mechanism abates.
  • Liver Status – Toxins, drugs and alcohol all put major strains on the capabilities of the liver.  This organ is responsible for many internal physiological processes that contribute to bone production rates.
  • General Health Issues – Production of the bone protein scaffolding is impacted by many more factors.  Everything from blood distribution to the osteocytes being influenced by tobacco to, every one of the 42 essential nutrients will have a role to play in slowing down bone production from optimal levels.
Wrap Up

From the above list, it is hopefully easy to see that slowing down or reversing osteoporosis is going to take a broad approach to finding the causes and potential cures.  There is no simple, single remedy that is going to work for all or even most people.  It requires detective work, and a determination to seeking out the causes.

While it is not a simple “One Disease, One Cause” type of issue, it is also not impossible to find the culprit. And it is critically important to undertake the venture.  Leaving most of these potential causes of osteoporosis undiscovered and unaddressed will lead to more problems, some of them much worse than osteoporosis.

On the good side, not only are most of these issues relatively easy to find once you start to look for them, most of them are also fairly easy to fix once you know they are involved.  The key to success is having a mind-set that is determined to seek out and optimize your health.

Stand Tall, Stand Strong!

By Dr. John M. Wallman

This article is not intended to offer a diagnosis or medical advice.  It is offered strictly for educational purposes.  Please consult members of your health care team directly to explore these or any other health care concepts.

Nutritional Support of Low Handicap Golfers

Golfer with back pain“Higher handicap players typically experience injuries that result from swing mechanics, whereas lower handicap and professional players have overuse as the major cause of their injuries.” (1)

On a fundamental basis, overuse injuries indicate that the mechanical stresses & damage to an area of the body is outstripping the body’s ability to heal this damage.  While traumas of a certain severity can easily overwhelm every body’s ability to immediately contain the damage, the nature of overuse injuries implies small, repetitive traumas.  Many of these overuse injuries can be eliminated by reducing the amount of damage, or accelerating the rate of repair. Both sides of this equation should be considered, looked for and corrected when found.  Let’s not put up with overuse injuries unnecessarily when potential cures are not being considered.

Potential Causes of Excess Overuse Injuries

This sounds kind of redundant, but there are some subtle, yet important distinctions.  We’ll just touch on this briefly before moving on to nutrition. This ‘Excess Overuse’ concept considers, “is the damage causing the overuse injury greater than it needs to be?”

Excess mechanical damage – Professional golfers get very good at their swing mechanics.  They become very efficient with their swing and utilize proper sequencing of muscle groups that contribute to their power and control. So by this ‘excess mechanical damage’ I am not referring to poor technique or inefficient strokes.  I am referring to a combination of: managing old injuries; accumulated muscle imbalances from an inherently one-sided sport and; prime movers that become stronger than the associated antagonists, synergists and stabilizer muscles.

This topic is covered in part with other posts. (see Golf: Training Driven By Diagnosis: Exercise Your Stabilizers  and Improving Your Golf: Balance Your Agonists and Antagonists and Are My Muscles Balanced )  The bottom line is, can corrections be made to reduce the amount of damage that occurs from a high volume of mechanical activity?

The Repair Side of the Equation

golfers-elbow-wcNutritional Sufficiency for Rate of Tissue Damage – The golf swing place stresses on certain tissues that accelerate the rate of tissue damage beyond the wear and tear experienced through normal daily activities.  This accelerated damage requires accelerated repair to keep the tissues healthy or preferably, to get stronger over time.

While all 42 essential nutrients will be utilized at an accelerated rate to repair this type of damage, certain key nutrients are very frequently deficient from repetitive mechanical use, at least on a local basis.  By local basis, I am referring to the nutrient levels within the damage zone of the affected tissue.  Total body levels of some essential nutrients may be adequate, but within the damage zone, you may be experiencing local deficiencies because of the accelerated repair work.

Common key nutrients utilized at an accelerated rate during physical exertion that damages biomechanical tissues include: Essential amino acids, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, manganese and to some degree the non-essential glucosamine and chondroitin.

The final issue I want to cover on the topic can contribute to both accelerating damage and accelerating repair with overuse activities.

Non-biomechanical health issues – Every organ and tissue in the body can contribute to or detract from your ability to deal with increased mechanical stress.  Let’s look at a few examples.

  • thyroid-wcIodine deficiency – This essential nutrient is utilized extensively in the thyroid gland and the number 1 cause of hypothyroidism.  A low functioning thyroid gland will result in a number of abnormal physical effects including decreased energy and a slower rate of repair.  This slower repair can make the difference between ‘losing ground’ during an intensely physical lifestyle or ‘getting stronger’.
  • adrenal-fatigue-2Phenylalanine deficiency – This essential nutrient is converted into adrenalin (released from the adrenal gland as well as certain nerves) and thyroxine (the primary thyroid hormone). People who live high stress lifestyles produce these hormones at an accelerated rate and can become depleted in the raw materials used in the manufacturing process. Unless phenylalanine is replenished at a rate to match the elevated stress hormone production, deficiency will result along with a host of affiliated symptoms such as slow repair, low energy and loss of mental focus.
  • Glutathione deficiency – This chemical is critically important for detoxifying the body from a wide range of medications and alcohol.  If the body becomes depleted of this important chemical from a history of drug and alcohol intake, the body will not be able to eliminate these toxins from the body.  They will then accumulate in the liver where they can eventually cause many symptoms including: loss of energy, slow repair and, digestive disturbances.
Summary

To get to the top of your field and stay there requires that you do more than the average person.  Mastery of demanding physical skills requires much more than additional time of practice.  The additional practice and playing time brings along a host of new problems that the amateur athlete doesn’t experience.

The low handicap golfer now needs to pay much more attention to balancing their agonists, antagonists and stabilizer muscles in order to diminish the amount of damage to their tissues. In addition, physically demanding activities require replenishing essential and non-essential nutrients at an accelerated rate as well as paying more attention to the nutritional requirements of the entire body.

By Dr. John Wallman

www.DoctorWallman.com

  1. – Bayes, MC, Wadsworth, LT, Upper extremity injuries in golf, Phys Sportsmed, 2009 Apr;37(1):92-6. doi:10.3810/psm.2009.04.1687

This article is not intended to offer a diagnosis or medical advice.  It is offered strictly for educational purposes.  Please consult members of your health care team directly to explore these or any other health care concepts.

What is NOT a potential cause of depression?

Thinking - MSa) A deficiency of the nutritional precursor to a neurotransmitter used in the brain – i.e. tryptophan or phenylalanine

b) A deficiency of Omega 3 fatty acids that make up 25% of the brain, primarily used in making myelin sheaths that ‘insulate’ nerves.

c) A vitamin A deficiency which can cause the histamine packets within White Blood Cells to be too fragile, releasing excess histamine causing an ‘allergic’ type reaction which can affect the brain.

d) A chromium deficiency which leads to hypoglycemia, neurological inflammation and hyperexcitability of the depression brain centers.

e) A Fluoxetine (i.e. Prozac) deficiency which leads to insufficient Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI).

All of the above are essential nutrients that must be eaten on a regular basis in order to: 1) live, 2) grow, 3) repair or 4) reproduce and potential causes of depression except e) Fluoxetine (i.e. Prozac).  Fluoxetine is a synthetic compound which was patented for many years.  There is no normal occurrence of this substance in humans and by definition, no deficiency state.

While many doctors recommend Fluoxetine and other similar SSRI medications to treat depression, these treatments do not address potential causes of the condition.  Finding out why somebody is depressed requires detective work to uncover which of the potential causes have abnormal laboratory test results.  Correction requires not only eliminating  whichever essential nutrient abnormalities you find, but may also involve neurological retraining.

Neurological Retraining: Why & How

Man Meditating on a Rock at the BeachNerves that fire excessively will tend to get larger, similar to the way an exercised muscle gets larger and hypertrophies.  When you correct an essential nutrient deficiency that was causing a nerve to fire excessively, the larger and stronger nerve will still remain hypertrophied. Until this nerve atrophies (gets smaller from lack of excess stimulation), it will still be capable of contributing imbalanced signals into the nervous system.

Retraining is a way to redirect behaviour patterns away from the hypertrophied nerves.  It may require behaviour modification, cognitive exercises, emotional patterning, meditation, etc.

This article is not intended to be medical advice and is not advising you to stop taking any medications you may currently be on.  Many SSRI medications have substantial side effects when discontinuing their use.  Please consult members of your health care provider team directly to explore the concepts in this article.

This article is not intended to be medical advice and is not advising you to stop taking any medications you may currently be on.  Many SSRI medications have substantial side effects when discontinuing their use.  Please consult members of your health care provider team directly to explore the concepts in this article.