Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Falling and Serious Injury in Elderly triggered by Changes in BP-Lowering Medications:
The risk of falls that cause serious injuries has been shown to go up over a 2 week period after changes in antihypertensive therapy in the elderly, whether starting, adding an agent or intensifying the current medication.
Antihypertensive-drug side effects that could potentially lead to falls include postural hypotension, problems with balance and walking, dizziness, and electrolyte abnormalities. Studies have been inconsistent about whether such side effects can worsen the risk of falls, possibly because most of the research has looked at prevalences and not whether falls were temporally linked to medication adjustments.
Anti-hypertensives are a class of drugs that are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). They seek to prevent the complications of high blood pressure, such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Evidence suggests that reduction of the blood pressure by 5 mmHg can decrease the risk of stroke by 34%, of ischaemic heart disease by 21%, and reduce the likelihood of dementia, heart failure, and mortality from cardiovascular disease. There are many classes of anti-hypertensives, which lower blood pressure by different means. Among the most important and most widely used drugs are thiazide diuretics, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor antagonists (ARBs), and beta blockers.
The study used emergency-department and inpatient claims on people who had a serious injury resulting from a major fall. Injuries included brain injury, dislocation of the hip, knee, or jaw; and fractures of the facial bones, pelvis, and hip. Then they looked at whether these injuries occurred within 15 days or other time periods in relation to starting or intensifying antihypertensive meds.
They saw 272 falls in those who began antihypertensive meds, 1508 who added a new class of drug, and 3113 who increased their dosages. These serious fall-related injuries were within 15 days of the medication change. Those injuries were fatal within 90 days in roughly 15% of the cases.
The study also emphasized the importance of a multifaceted evaluation, preferably by a geriatrician, to assess underlying fall risk, account for other medications, and consider social factors like support and living alone.
The study could not say whether blood-pressure medication initiation or intensification actually causes falls that lead to serious injury. It could only determine that there is an association between the two.
If you or a loved one is on these type of medications and your doctor makes changes, be careful to avoid falls.
Getting up and down carefully and using a cane can be helpful.
Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. Instead wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles.
Get some exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to weak legs and this increases the chances of falling.
Keep your vision sharp. Poor vision can make it harder to get around safely. Older adults should have their eyes checked every year and wear glasses or contact lenses with the right prescription strength to ensure they are seeing clearly.
Eliminate hazards at home. About half of all falls happen at home. A home safety check can help identify potential fall hazards that need to be removed or changed, such as tripping hazards, clutter, and poor lighting.
Prevention of falls in our elderly family members can save lives. At Family First Chiropractic we work with elderly patients to help ensure proper spinal/ pelvic alignment and strength, which can add stability and prevent falls.
Dr. Stephen Kelly D.C.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
CranioSacral Therapy and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition that may be experienced by anyone who has undergone a traumatic event. PTSD occurs when the body/mind has not yet recognized that a traumatic event is over. As a result, the body's sympathetic nervous system (fight/flight) is activated and the body responds by continuously mobilizing muscles and other body systems for defense and/or numbing (a freeze response).
CranioSacral therapists have been treating people with PTSD for many years now. The Upledger Institute has done studies with Vietnam veterans as well as Gulf War Veterans with very positive results. (http://www.upledger.org/programs/ptsd-relief.php). But it is not only war that can cause PTSD any trauma such as abuse, rape or even the recent fires in Fort McMurray can leave a lasting effect on the body.
CranioSacral Therapy is an alternative approach to the treatment of PTSD involving gentle, non-invasive touch that supports the self-correcting ability of the body. Craniosacral Therapy works to support the part of the body that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. Craniosacral Therapy acknowledges that emotions can become locked in the body's connective tissues as emotional memories and emotional pain. A CranioSacral therapy approach can help release the energy the body may have retained after a traumatic physical or emotional experience. A Craniosacral Therapy session is deeply relaxing to the body's central nervous system as the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) is activated and balanced. In a parasympathetic state the body decreases production of the stress hormones linked to sleep and digestive problems and a suppressed immune system. It becomes easier for people receiving Craniosacral Therapy to remain more calm and focused.
Jeannette Raskin practices at Family First Chiropractic, 142 Erickson Drive, Red Deer, Alberta. 403-347-3261. www.family1stchiro.ca.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids.
What makes these things so “essential”? The fact that our bodies don’t make these fatty acids, makes it necessary to get them from our diets. They are important part of building healthy cells, maintaining brain and nerve function and a precursor to certain hormones.
Certain types of fatty acids are called Omega-3, such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are found in fish oils. Others are called Omega-6, such as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and are found from plant sources such as nuts and seeds. The average North American diet has an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of 12:1. The ideal ratio should be around 4:1. Scientists estimate our ancestors consumed Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in a ratio of close to 1:1. As vegetable oil consumption and processed grain consumption have risen, so has the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fats. This creates a very inflammatory environment and goes a long way towards explaining why 4 in 10 people who die in North America each year die of heart disease. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 matters, but so does the total amount of each. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is neutral. What this means is that the more omega-3 fat you eat, the less omega-6 will be available to the tissues to produce inflammation. A diet with a lot of omega-6 and not much omega-3 will increase inflammation. Conversely, a diet of a lot of omega-3 and not much omega-6 will reduce inflammation.Omega 6 oils are unstable because they’re made of polyunsaturated fats. Cooking at high heats, microwaving, or frying will oxidize the fats. Oxidized omega 6 does damage to your DNA, inflames your heart, and raises your risk for several types of cancer, including breast cancer. It also interferes with brain metabolism. When companies use these oils in packaged foods, they stabilize them to increase shelf life through a process called hydrogenation. Hydrogenation takes already harmful fats and converts them into synthetic trans fat. Unfortunately, trans fat is even worse for you.
Elevated Omega-6 intake is associated with an increase in all inflammatory diseases! The list includes (but isn’t limited to):
· cardiovascular disease
· type 2 diabetes
· metabolic syndrome
· irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease
· macular degeneration
· rheumatoid arthritis
· psychiatric disorders
· autoimmune diseases
Try to eat foods high in Omega -3’s and take supplemental forms of Omega-3 from quality sources, especially when pregnant or nursing. Some other steps that can help this ratio and overall health:
1. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Products Containing Them– These oils mess up the balance of protective Omega-3 fatty acids and potentially dangerous Omega-6 fatty acids in the body. They also contribute to inflammation and arterial damage.
2. Eat more Saturated Fats and Other Healthy Fats– getting enough saturated fat from sources like animal fats, coconut oil, organic dairy, etc is essential to give the body all the building blocks it needs for proper cell and hormone function.
3. Optimize Vitamin D and Fat Soluble Vitamins- Fat soluble vitamins in proper amounts in the body have a protective effect on tissues and organs (including the heart).
4. Get Enough Omega-3s- These help balance out the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in the body and prevent inflammation. Omega-3s also can thin the blood and keep it from clotting too regularly, a risk factor in heart disease. Having a proper Omega-3 balance also helps keep triglyceride levels in check.
5. Exercise– You’ve heard this one before, yet most of us don’t get enough exercise. Exercise helps strengthen the heart and tone muscles. It increases circulation and reduces stress hormones- all good things to help reduce your risk of heart disease.
6. Reduce Stress and Get Enough Sleep– High stress levels and lack of sleep can both increase inflammation and stress hormones in the body. Both are also linked to higher levels of many diseases, including heart disease, and increased overall mortality
At Family First Chiropractic we have pharmaceutical grade supplements including essential fatty acids for adults and children. Come in and check out our great selection.
Dr. Stephen Kelly D.C.
Dr. Kelly practices at Family First Chiropractic located at 142 Erickson drive in Red Deer. Call us today to book an appointment (403)347-3261www.family1stchiro.ca
Tuesday, July 05, 2016
I woke up with a kink in my neck!
Many patients come into the office complaining they ‘slept’ wrong or have a ‘kink’ in their neck. This is often caused from sleeping in the wrong location- yes if you slept on the couch in a strange neck twisted position the bones can become mal-aligned or subluxated and you will need a chiropractic adjustment to alleviate the pain and realign the spine correctly thus reducing the neck pain. It won’t just ‘go away’ over time!
The next thing to evaluate is what kind of pillow are you sleeping on? Flat pillows do not have to correct support and do not support your neck and spine when laying in the best sleeping position -which is on the back.
Do you fingers are arms go numb? Then you are not getting the support correctly to your spine when you are sleeping. Molded pillows that support the proper curvature of the spine are the best for back sleeping. Side sleepers need a pillow that is the depth of your ear to shoulder to keep the neck in a neutral position and to prevent the nerves that go to the arm from getting impinged and your arms or hands going numb or asleep.
How should you then pick a pillow? We will show you what kind of pillow and how to use it for different sleeping issues in the office with you.
We have pillows for young children 2-5, 5-12 year olds, petite spines and regular spines.
Stomach sleepers are notorious for neck and arm pain when awakening; retraining yourself to sleep on you back and spine with enhance your sleep and reduce your pain and discomfort. No pillow in the world will make your spine better. Lying on your belly with your head rotated to one side all night is going to cause imbalances in your neck with one side of your neck muscles growing really contracted and the other side too stretched out.
As always, if you have neck pain when you wake up, you need to have yourself evaluated by a chiropractor. Good pillows are helpful but they don’t correct the bad movement patterns, imbalances and poor alignment causing the problem in the first place.