Anyone who has had joint pain will tell you that it is no laughing matter. The limitations that joint pain can place on one’s daily life can vary from minor to severe. If left unchecked, many cases of joint pain will continue to progress into a condition known as osteoarthritis (OA). OA is the most common form of arthritis, affecting over 30 million people in the US; it is the leading cause of disability among US adults. According to recent estimates, 1 in 2 people will develop OA of the knee during their lifetime; in obese patients, this risk rises to 2 in 3!!!
For many patients, the pain is secondary to the limitations it puts on their activities. For sufferers of joint pain, simple activities like taking a walk, playing with children, or household chores become torturous. The result is people simply refrain from doing things that bring them joy and fulfillment. When asked about joint pain, most people brush it off and joke about getting older, while the cumulative effects create psychological distress and barriers to fully enjoying life.
Failed knee replacement surgery: Stem Cells can help you avoid this!
In healthy human joints, there is padding between where the bones connect called cartilage. In joints affected by OA, this cartilage degenerates resulting in pain, swelling, and stiffness. OA is often the result of over-using or misusing a specific joint. The joint will begin to degrade faster than it can be repaired. Over a chunk of time, this joint destruction progresses resulting in the symptoms described above.
Stem cell injections offer a safer and more cost efficient alternative to expensive, risky surgeries. The average cost for a total knee replacement in the US is almost $50,000! Even when factoring in insurance, patients should expect to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket. The cost only rises if you factor in pre-existing conditions or unexpected events prolonging your hospital stay. This cost does not include any necessary physical therapy, in home care, or safety bars, shower benches and other home modifications, let alone the pain and suffering from recovery!
Stem cells are a type of regenerative medicine because they serve to literally regrow lost human tissue. When mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are injected into a joint, they have the special ability to determine what type of cells are needed to repair the joint, and then become that type of cell. This is possible because stem cells are the precursors to all other types of cells. These stem cells exist in all of us at high levels when we are younger, and slowly decrease as we age. By injecting high concentrations of MSC’s into problem areas, we are giving the body more raw material to use to repair itself.
Above: This graphic depicts how MSC’s can become a number of different cell types including bone, cartilage, or muscle. When injected into the body, MSC’s selectively differentiate into the cell type that is the most needed in that particular area.
Every cell in our body is assigned a specific role, but stem cells have not yet been assigned one of these roles. This gives them the unique ability to modify themselves to become the cell type that is most needed in their environment.
Stem cells have been studied ever since they were first isolated in mice embryos in 1981. Controversy caused the US federal government to limit spending on this type of research in 2001. Improved methods of deriving these cells discovered in 2006 negated the need to destroy human embryos to study them. Thanks to modern collection and cultivation practices, there is no longer any question of ethics when using this technology.
In our office, we use umbilical cord derived stem cells. When an infant is born, the umbilical cord is rich with stem cells that can be stored for later use. These stem cells are more economical and are collected by noncontroversial means. We only use stem cells sourced from umbilical tissue of voluntary donors.
Once the stem cell injection has been performed, the joint begins to repair itself with the newly injected building blocks. The underlying issues that led the joint to degrade in the first place are still in place however. The injection will not instantly correct your posture. In order for the stem cell injection be the most effective, these issues must be addressed.
At Red Tail Wellness Center, we use chiropractic coupled with trigenics myoneural technique to give each stem cell injection the best chance for success. Our doctors utilize innovative structural care to correct any issues with the biomechanics of the affected joints. If a house is built on a poor foundation is it not reasonable to expect that house to break down faster? Many clinics simply offer one stem cell injection, and cross their fingers to hope it works. We work with our patients for weeks after the injection, to ensure that the muscles surrounding that joint are working appropriately, and to create an optimal environment for the joint to regenerate. This may also include cold laser, pulsed electromagnetic therapy and traction if necessary. Every case is unique and we treat each person like a human being, not a number!
We are uniquely positioned to offer these stem cell injections with top of the line structural care, resulting in effective, lasting relief from joint pain. Stop letting joint pain rob the joy from your life and come Let Your Health Soar!
Here at RTWC, we not only offer Chiropractic, Nutritional, and Neurological rehabilitation, but we also have therapeutic equipment that permit a unique, more natural mechanism of healing the body. These therapies work to treat the underlying cause of an issue, rather than merely treating the symptoms. In office, we offer Cold Laser therapy, Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency (PeMF) therapy, LivO₂, Back on Trac traction, and Vibration Plate.
Cold Laser Therapy:
What is it?
Laser is a Light Amplification device that works by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER). Low level laser therapy (LLLT), or Cold Laser, are words to describe these medium powered lasers which are the best and most widely accepted type of laser used in rehabilitation. Historically these devices have been classified as non-thermal modality, meaning they do not generate heat within the tissue. Simply put, it’s a form of light energy that can be used to create physiological response in the body, similar to electrotherapy or ultrasound.
There are many types of lasers which are used in a wide range of application for laser technology. Lasers are classified based on their power outputs (measured in Watts or milliWatts) and the associated risk for causing biological damage. There are 5 classes of laser (1, 2, 3A, 3B, and 4). As we ascend through the classes of laser from 1-4, the power output and the risk for biological damage increase. In Cold Laser, we typically are referring to class 3A or 3B lasers.
How does it work?
There are four basic components to any laser:
Laser (Lasing) Medium
One of the key elements to laser operation is the process known as stimulated emission. Stimulated emission occurs as energy is inputted into the lasing chamber and energy is absorbed by atoms of the active laser medium, driving them to a higher energy level. As those atoms return to lower energy level, photons are released, which can go on to stimulate other atoms, amplifying the process. As amplification continues and more photons are released, they are directed out of one end of the laser chamber in a concentrated beam. In therapeutic lasers, a laser applicator is used to direct the laser beam(s) to the targeted treatment area to stimulate a physiologic response.
Laser therapy uses a process called photobiomodulation to change the condition of damaged tissue by stimulating cellular metabolism, thereby accelerating the healing process (essentially energy in the form of ATP is juiced into the tissue). As light pores into the tissue, photons are scattered, reflected and absorbed. Lasers operating in the near infrared spectrum, from 650 to 1300 nanometers, can penetrate to deep tissue structures (our Lumix 250 can penetrate 3” deep!). Light that penetrates into the tissue can be absorbed by melanin, hemoglobin, oxyhemoglobin, and water. Energy from these absorption events will be dissipated as heat, generating a soothing warmth in the tissue. The primary target for photobiomodulation is the cytochrome c complex (think detox and anti-oxidant powerhouse of the cell), which is found in the inner membrane of the mitochondria that resides within the cell. Cytochrome c is a vital component of the electron transport chain that drives cellular metabolism. As light is absorbed, cytochrome c is stimulated, leading to increased production of ATP, the molecule that facilitates energy transfer within the cell. In addition to ATP, laser stimulation also produces free nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species. Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator (increases blood flow) and an important cellular signaling molecule involved in many physiological processes. Reactive oxygen species have been shown to affect many important physiological signaling pathways, including the inflammatory response. Together, the production of these signaling molecules have been shown to induce growth factor production, to increase cell proliferation and motility, and to promote extracellular matrix deposition and pro-survival pathways.
Outside the cell, nitric oxide signaling drives vasodilation which improves microstimulation in the damaged tissue, delivering oxygen, vital sugars, proteins, and salts while removing wastes. These mechanisms of action have been proved by over 40 years of laboratory experiments using lasers of minimal power. The recent development of higher-power, Class IV systems affords the device the ability to efficiently deliver adequate doses of light deep into tissue to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and accelerate healing. The advent of cold laser therapy has made it possible to not only apply the benefits of photobiomodulation superficially, but to also treat a greatly expanded range of conditions by delivering a clinically effective quantity of photos to cells deep within the tissue (meaning, we use it on a lot of conditions at Red Tail!).
Application of Cold Laser therapy is very easy and similar to ultrasound, but there are a few key differences. In order to effectively used Cold Laser therapy, the skin should be cleaned with alcohol prior to treatment. No coupling media, lotions, gel, or ointments should be used during the delivery of Cold Laser, the laser head applicator is applied directly to the skin above the treatment area. No movement is necessary during the duration of the treatment and maintaining firm, direct contact with the head of the laser onto the skin is important because pushing down on the treatment area will squeeze the blood out of the treatment area, which prevents blood from absorbing the laser energy and preventing it from affecting the target tissue. Lastly, patients and clinicians must put on the provided protective eyewear and continue to wear them throughout the duration of the treatment (it is a laser and eyeballs don’t mix well). Even if the laser is not visible to the human eye, it can still cause damage if directed at the eye.
Although Cold Laser therapy is typically very safe, there are a few contraindications, typically associated with light sensitivity. Some of these include using the laser on cancer (tumors or cancerous areas), placing it directly on the eyes, for patients with photophobia or abnormally high sensitivity to light, when using photosensitizing medication, placing it directly over the fetus or the uterus during pregnancy, placing it on symptoms of unknown cause, over hemorrhaging lesions, or near/on a pacemaker.
Positive Physiological Effects of Cold Laser Therapy:
The benefits of using Cold Laser therapy are extensive. Some of the most pertinent benefits include the acceleration of tissue healing, increased localized circulation, pain and swelling reduction, decreased inflammation.
Cold Laser is used to treat; Alzheimer’s Angiogenesis, autoimmune diseases (all of them, including hashimoto’s hypothyroid, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), Bell’s Palsy, bone repair, brain injury/concussion, burns, cancer, cardiac disease, circulation improvement, collagen fiber growth, degenerative osteoarthritis, depression, diabetic ulcers, eczema, herniated discs, herpes, immune system, migraines, neonatal jaundice, neurological problems, nerve injuries, psoriasis, psychological problems, scar tissue and postsurgical adhesions, shingles, stroke, tinnitus, traumatic brain injury, wound healing and more!
Case Study Testimonial:
By Sophie Numbers, Neurofeedback Technician
“I sprained my ankle climbing up in Summit County and it was incredibly painful. Right after falling of the rock, I rushed to Urgent Care with fingers crossed that it was just a minor sprain. After an examination and X Ray, the doctor said that I would need to be in a boot and on crutches for about 3-4 weeks, and then in a brace for another 3 or so weeks before I would be able to use my ankle again. It was a deep sprain of my ATF (anterior talofibular) ligament. I was more than bummed as I am a yoga instructor, my neurofeedback job requires me to be on my feet all day long, and I am a fairly active person. Of course, the doctor told me to take three ibuprofen at 200mg every six hours, to ice my ankle as much as I can, and to stay off of it completely for at least a week. From my time working here at RTWC, I knew immediately that there had to be a better, more natural way to heal my ankle that didn’t involve only treating the symptoms of a sprained ankle (like swelling and pain), but that actually helped the cellular healing process. So, as I drove away from Urgent Care I texted both Dr. Ian and Dr. Henry asking what I should do. Their replies were one of the same; do not take NSAIDs, get on Cold Laser right away, get it adjusted the following day, and start moving it gently and carefully as soon as it was comfortable to do so. Also, they said that I would have to get out of the ankle boot as soon as possible to limit any other issues in my spine and hips from the imbalance the boot creates.
The next day I hobbled to work on crutches and in the boot, unable to put even an ounce of weight on my foot. The first few hours of work I was in agonizing pain and was struggling to get around the office on my crutches. Then, Dr. Ian examined and adjusted my foot (yes it was a bit uncomfortable, but the pain relief from the resulting drainage of the swelling and from reestablishing the neurological connection to my ankle was palpable) and I got on the Cold Laser machine. After just one session on the Cold Laser, I was able to put weight on my ankle (while in the boot) and after a second session the next day, I was out of the boot. Yes, out of the boot! I used the Cold Laser on my ankle every day for a week and by the end, I was walking normally on it, the swelling was pretty much completely gone, and I was back to doing gentle yoga again. After two weeks of dedicated therapy, I had 80% full mobility and 4 weeks later, I barely felt pain and was using it as though I was never injured. Incredible! I highly recommend using Cold Laser therapy and avoiding taking anti-inflammatory medications for too long as through this process, I cut my recovery time down by more than half! The most important thing I learned through this experience was that immediate relief of swelling symptoms from an injury are good, such as icing and taking a few doses of anti-inflammatory medication, but essentially what that does is just puts off the healing process and can make the healing prolonged, whereas Cold Laser therapy speeds up the natural healing process of the body and can increase recovery time substantially.”
Have you considered cold laser to optimize your health?
[LightForce Lasers]. (2013, April 10). Deep Tissue Laser Therapy Medical Animation
[QB Medical]. (2014, January 29). Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT): An Introduction
Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive technique used to treat blocked and/or inflamed sinuses. Sinuses can become inflamed from a variety of conditions, such as sinusitis (sinus infection), other chronic infections, and can even result from mold exposure (MARCoNS). This endoscopic, catheter-based technique is an alternative to sinus surgery and can be beneficial for patients who are not responding to medications for relief of their symptoms. Furthermore, balloon sinuplasty does not require incisions, cutting, the removal of any bone tissue, or anesthesia and is therefore less taxing on the patient.
Since the initial introduction of balloon sinuplasty, there has been a significant number of clinical studies that investigated this technique’s effectiveness, safety, and the patient’s benefits. At the bottom of this article is a list of several research studies supporting the efficacy of this technique for treating patients diagnosed with chronic or recurrent sinusitis, patients with frontal, maxillary and sphenoid disease, and patients with allergies, asthma, septal deviations, or a previous functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Overall, this technique delivers a significantly better patient recovery experience than surgery, including quicker recovery; less bleeding, risk of infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling; and less need for pain medications. Furthermore, patients are able to return to their normal daily activities right away.
During this procedure, a balloon is placed over a pump and is inserted into the nostril near the sinus opening. An instrument is then used to guide the balloon up into the blocked sinus so that when the balloon is inflated, it will dilate the sinus opening without cutting the mucosa or surrounding structures. In turn, the walls of the sinus passageway are widened which restores normal drainage. The procedure takes around 20 minutes and if successful, after the balloon is deflated and removed the sinus will remain open for up to 24 months. This can be especially relieving for patients who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines due to their sinusitis. Currently we are providing 3-4 recommended treatments to create a more permanent resolution of symptoms.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty right for you? Typically patients with all or some of the following symptoms may benefit from the balloon sinuplasty procedure:
Recurrent sinusitis: sinus infection occurring when the sinuses and nasal passages become inflamed. Sinuses are small air pockets located behind the forehead, nose, cheekbones, and eyes. The sinuses produce mucus, which is a jelly-like liquid that protects the body by trapping germs before entering the bloodstream. Sinusitis occurs when excess mucus formed by bacteria or allergens causes blockages of the sinus openings. This mucus buildup can encourage further bacteria and germs to grow in the sinus cavity, leading to a bacterial or viral infection. This results in minimal to extreme inflammation in the nasal passageways. Balloon sinuplasty opens the nasal passageways inducing proper drainage and clearing of the mucus buildup in the nasal passageway and therefore, a reduction in inflammation that will last long after the procedure,
Headaches, especially around the eyes: Inflammation and mucus buildup in the nasal passageways can cause mild to severe headaches, of which can be relieved from the balloon sinuplasty procedure.
Chronic bad breath and/or foul taste in the mouth: Symptoms such as these can be the result of clogged and inflamed sinuses, of which balloon sinuplasty can relieve.
Difficulty breathing through the nose
Chronic nasal problems
MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci): an antibiotic resistant staph infection that resides deep within the nasal cavity. It typically results when a person has been treated with antibiotics for a month or more and/or from mold exposure. The antibiotic resistant staph bacteria forms a biofilm, which is a layer of mucus, cellular debris, white cells, fungi, and other substances of which creates a habitat that antibiotics can’t readily penetrate. There are several mechanisms by which biofilms can form, but once formed they are very hard to get rid of. MARCoNS ultimately results in a variety of symptoms including hormone imbalances, weakened immune response, chronic fatigue and body aches. Further symptoms include reduced endorphins, mood swings, leaky gut, alternating constipation and diarrhea, and lower melatonin (poor sleep). In turn, cortisol levels first increase due to the body’s stress response, but then drop due to the body’s inability to compensate and ultimately, adrenal symptoms sets in. Balloon sinuplasty with the help of a natural antimicrobial like silver protein can clear out this bacterial infection, combating such symptoms.
Wegener’s Granulomatosis: an uncommon autoimmune disease causing inflammation and injury to blood vessels (vasculitis) that affects several organs, including the lungs, kidneys and upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include sinus pain, bloody, purulent nasal discharge, saddle-nose deformity, chest discomfort and cough, weakness, anorexia, weight loss, and skin lesions. While balloon sinuplasty is not a cure to this disease, it can cause relief of inflammation, decrease sinus pain, and prevent further infection of the respiratory tract. Many people are aware that this vasculitis is affecting their kidney or cardiac tissue but the most common reason for the development of the autoimmune disease is a upper respiratory tract infection!
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, specifically the synovium (thin membrane that surrounds the joints and produces synovial fluid that lubricates the joints). This results in severe inflammation, which can lead to pain and swelling throughout the body of which balloon sinuplasty can be beneficial to relieve. Again, the sinuplasty is not treating the rheumatoid arthritis but it is targeting an infection that may have started the disease process!
Whether you have one or several of the above symptoms/conditions, you may find extraordinary relief from your sinus pain and inflammation from the balloon sinuplasty procedure. If you have any further questions about the procedure or whether or not it is right for you, please feel free to call us at Red Tail Wellness Center to discuss your options. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to help treat your sinus issues.
Special Offer! Office consultation, Sinuplasty, Silver Protein Drain, AND Cold Laser session for just $300 ($400 value) call +1 (303) 882-8447 today!
Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure supported Research Articles:
Bikhazi, N. et al; Standalone balloon dilation versus sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis: A prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial with 1-year follow-up, Am J Rhinol Allergy 2014; May 20 [Epub ahead of print]
Cutler, Jeffrey; Bikhazi, Nadim; Light, Joshua; Truitt, Theodore; Schwartz, Michael; Armstrong, Michael; Bikhazi, Nadim; Chandler, Stephen; Cutler, Jeffrey; Ferouz-Colborn, Aliya; Gould, James; Light, Joshua; Marvel, Jeffrey; Schwartz, Michael; Truitt, Theodore (2013). “Standalone Balloon Dilation versus Sinus Surgery for Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Prospective, Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial”. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 27 (5): 416–422. doi:10.2500/ajra.2013.27.3970. PMID23920419.
Gould, James; Alexander, Ian; Tomkin, Edward; Brodner, David (2014). “In-Office, Multisinus Balloon Dilation: 1-Year Outcomes from a Prospective, Multicenter, Open Label Trial”. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 28 (2): 156–163. doi:10.2500/ajra.2014.28.4043. PMID24598043.
Levine, Steven B.; Truitt, Theodore; Schwartz, Michael; Atkins, James (2013). “In-Office Stand-Alone Balloon Dilation of Maxillary Sinus Ostia and Ethmoid Infundibula in Adults with Chronic or Recurrent Acute Rhinosinusitis: A Prospective, Multi-Institutional Study with 1-Year Follow-up”. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. 122 (11): 665–671. doi:10.1177/000348941312201101. PMID24358625.
Karanfilov, Boris; Silvers, Stacey; Pasha, Raza; Sikand, Ashley; Shikani, Alan; Sillers, Michael; ORIOS2 Study Investigators (2013). “Office-based balloon sinus dilation: A prospective, multicenter study of 203 patients”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 3 (5): 404–411. doi:10.1002/alr.21112. PMID23136057.
Cutler, Jeffrey; Truitt, Theodore; Atkins, James; Winegar, Bradford; Lanier, Brent; Schaeffer, B. Todd; Raviv, Joseph; Henderson, Diana; Duncavage, James; Stankiewicz, James; Tami, Thomas (2011). “First clinic experience: Patient selection and outcomes for ostial dilation for chronic rhinosinusitis”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 1 (6): 460–465. doi:10.1002/alr.20069. PMID22144055.
Stankiewicz, James; Truitt, Theodore; Atkins, James; Winegar, Bradford; Cink, Paul; Raviv, Joseph; Henderson, Diana; Tami, Thomas (2012). “Two-year results: Transantral balloon dilation of the ethmoid infundibulum”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 2 (3): 199–206. doi:10.1002/alr.21024. PMID22337530.
Brodner, David; Nachlas, Nathan; Mock, Presley; Truitt, Theodore; Armstrong, Michael; Pasha, Raza; Jung, Christopher; Atkins, James (2013). “Safety and outcomes following hybrid balloon and balloon-only procedures using a multifunction, multisinus balloon dilation tool”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 3 (8): 652–658. doi:10.1002/alr.21156. PMID23424023.
Weiss, Raymond L.; Church, Christopher A.; Kuhn, Frederick A.; Levine, Howard L.; Sillers, Michael J.; Vaughan, Winston C. (2008). “Long-term outcome analysis of balloon catheter sinusotomy: Two-year follow-up”. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 139(3_suppl_1): S38–S46. doi:10.1016/j.otohns.2008.06.008. PMID18707993.
Gilani, M, et al. “Methicillin Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus: From Colonizer to a Pathogen.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27393446.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Aug. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/granulomatosis-with-polyangiitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351088
“Rheumatoid Arthritis: Early diagnosis and treatment outcomes” Caspian journal of internal medicine vol. 2,1 (2011): 161-70.
Shoemaker, Dr. Ritchie. “MARCoNS.” Biotoxin Journey, 10 Oct. 2018, biotoxinjourney.com/marcons/.
Many people just like you are feeling the aches and pains of old age. But are these aches and pains normal? Just because it is common doesn’t mean you have to embrace inflammation and deterioration of your body. Just imagine growing old and still feeling your youthful, agile body move with ease. Doesn’t this sound like a dream? Well, it doesn’t have to be just a dream. You can live a life with less pain and more resilience. With a functional approach to your health your body doesn’t have to be subject to arthritis.
What is arthritis?
There are 2 major categories of arthritis. One category is understood as Osteoarthritis and the other is considered Autoimmune arthritis such as Rheumatoid arthritis. These two different diagnoses are typically thought to be inevitable diseases that develop as we age. This is a huge misconception and often we accept these diagnoses without any thought to fully heal. Research is telling us that these two different types of arthritis are actually being diagnosed in younger and younger individuals, including osteoarthritis. This tells us something about the nature of these diseases, that they might be a result of diet, lifestyle and our environment.
Osteoarthritis: This type of arthritis was previously understood as pain and inflammation in the joints caused by inflammation primarily due to obesity. The theory was that the meer excess weight contributed to the deterioration of joints and cartilage. Research has revealed that this isn’t the full story. We now know that the pain and deterioration of joints and cartilage are due to inflammation coming from different parts of the body due to visceral fat storage (fat stored around organs,muscles, and inside joints that burden the body). Osteoarthritis is now considered part of metabolic syndrome in which the hyperinsulinemia (high insulin) contributes to insulin resistance and excess fat which leads to inflammation in the body. This metabolic disorder is a digestive issue and can be reversed with food and lifestyle changes! This process closely mimics osteoporosis which is another manifestation of chronic low grade inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) is an Autoimmune disease that afflicts 1.5 million people in the United States. Many are being diagnosed younger and younger. Autoimmune diseases are all similar in their origin, in that the body’s immune system has run off the railroad tracks due to leaky gut. A leaky gut allows undigested foods and bacteria/yeast/viruses to enter the bloodstream and the immune system goes on alert to create antibodies. If this goes unnoticed, the immune system can become hyperactive and confused. It eventually can no longer differentiate between itself and foreign substances. The immune system, which is normally on alert at all times to protect the body from invaders like bacteria and viruses, turns on overdrive and cannot be shut off. In the case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, the body begins to attack tissues, joints and cartilage, which causes inflammation and chronic pain. Most frequently a doctor will check two markers, Rheumatoid factor and Cyclic Citrullinated Peptide (CCP-Ab) antibody to determine this. What is confusing is that you may not have these positive but all the symptoms of osteo or rheumatoid arthritis. There are other markers like CRP-HS, a combination of inflammatory chemicals made in the liver positive. If this is significantly elevated you may have something called polymyalgia rheumatica, and it is then treated with the same drugs as rheumatoid arthritis.
When the tissues around the joint are inflamed, either due to metabolic syndrome or autoimmune origin, the synovial fluid inside the joint becomes thick and swells. This is painful because the synovial fluid is what normally provides a slick and smooth movement when you move your joints. After inflammation continues without any resolve, the cartilage begins to deteriorate. Cartilage is the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones. Overtime, loss of cartilage and the space between joints results in loose, unstable joints, and permanent damage. For this reason, early detection and prevention of arthritis is a high priority in the medical field. But, the frustrating aspect is most providers are not looking at the infections, foods and environmental factors which are driving the condition!
What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine’s approach is always to get to the root cause of disease in a holistic and systemic approach. By looking at the body’s systems as a whole we can observe indications of illness present before severe imbalances in your blood levels are noticeable. This approach to disease is perfect for chronic diseases such as arthritis in which early detection is paramount to prevention and recovery.
Functional medicine incorporates gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, endocrine, neurological, and psychological treatments to support the entire body’s healing capacity. The functional medicine approach for arthritis recognizes that our gut comprises 70-80% of our immune system. Correcting leaky gut and improving digestion are high priorities for a functional medicine approach to both types of arthritis. This is because all arthritis is caused by chronic inflammation throughout the body. Though each category is slightly different, they both have the same functional medicine treatments focused on the gut and diet. Increasing antioxidants, gut healing and anti-inflammatory foods are ways to get ahead of the inflammation and balance the immune system. Most importantly we must ask the question “why”? Why might I have these issues rather than accepting the common assumption “its genetic” and something I have no choice in.
How does arthritis get worse?
There are many barriers for patients using conventional treatments that inhibit a full remission of arthritis. Typically NSAIDS and other anti-inflammatory drugs are used to turn off the body’s immune system. This might temporarily resolve the inflammation and pain symptoms but these drugs contribute to leaky gut and allow for foreign invaders to freely enter the body without any deterrent (for example prednisone over long periods of time increases your susceptibility to chronic infections). There are also many environmental and genetic factors that trigger RA. One study shows that prevalence of RA increased in urban cities opposed to rural cities 1. These factors must be addressed in the health of an RA patient and taking conventional drugs will not do this.
In osteoarthritis patients the importance of reducing insulin in the body is the key. This is very much a dietary and lifestyle component. Many people continue to eat a diet that is high in processed simple and complex carbohydrates in the forms of grains and packaged foods that contribute to high insulin in the body. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. Its job is to take glucose to the cells or to the liver to be stored as fat. A lifestyle that contributes to storage of fat can perpetuate hyperinsulinemia and inflammation that burdens the joints.
How does functional medicine help arthritis?
“Approximately a year ago I developed joint pain without a known cause. After some research, I visited Red Tail Wellness Center. Dr. Hollaman provided me with a foundation on which I could build on to decrease my joint pain and improve my health. He truly has a gift to help people and I’m very thankful I decided to visit Red Tail Wellness Center.” -Jan
A functional medicine treatment plan for arthritis will include nutrition therapy, supplementation, functional neurology to improve brain function, and other alternative therapies to improve cell function, especially immune system function. A functional approach recognizes that the immune system is in charge of both inflammation and anti-inflammation. Inflammation is needed in the body to allow the immune system to do its job and clean up the ‘bad guys’. The problem of auto-immunity and metabolic syndrome is not that there is inflammation, it is that there is something confusing the body to attack itself and cause chronic inflammation. Functional medicine exposes the root cause of the confused immune system and when we treat this, the body can realign the natural immune response.
Your body has the ability to heal itself and it all starts with an initial examination. During this we will cover a comprehensive neurologic and metabolic exam plus a case review. Then we will want to identify any key areas that need support and give necessary labs to show what needs to be done uniquely for your case. At the report of findings Dr. Ian Hollaman, DC, MSc, IFMCP will give you his best care recommendations and a treatment plan if he is able to help. Rest assured no stone will be left unturned as we look for the root cause!
NEW laser therapy and thyroid research article published!! - YouTube
Low Level Laser Therapy and Your Thyroid – The Latest Research shows…
Ian Hollaman, DC, MSc, IFMCP
Lasers, powerful beams of light that affect how our body functions whether it’s our eyes, our fat cells, and now research is showing our thyroid. In 2015, I wrote a blog about low level laser therapy and the thyroid based in research out of Brasil (http://www.redtailhealth.com/can-laser-help-your-thyroid/).
A new research article has now been published that takes that study to the next level showing longer term effects of low level laser on the thyroid. There have been questions whether the low level laser would be effective for long periods of time, if it permanently changes how the thyroid functions, would continued laser therapy be needed, and many more questions. This new research article begins the search into these questions.
The previous research showed that thyroid hormone replacement dose was reduced in a significant number of test subjects. In 22/23 patients in the therapy group of the study there was also an increased echogenicity (density of tissue indicating thyroid regeneration). Eleven out of 23 people in the therapy group did not need to reintroduce thyroid hormones before the ninth month of the follow-up period were as all the patients in the control group needed thyroid hormone replacement (and multiple subjects needed to increase dose). Not only did TSH levels drop in the therapy group, but so did TPO-Ab. The quality of thyroid tissue also improved in that the density of tissue increased indicating less inflammation and increased tissue capable of producing thyroid hormones.
While this was all exciting research on low level laser therapy on the thyroid, the question remained: would it last and does low level laser therapy change the number of thyroid nodules?
While there was not a statistically significant difference in the number of nodules, technically, the therapy group had fewer. However, the encouraging part of the research was the information found at 270 days post intervention of low level laser therapy and 6 years post conclusion of the therapy. The data from these two follow up dates showed a significant difference between the treated group and the control group. The average thyroid hormone replacement dosage for the control was 142mcg and low level laser treatment group averaged 94mcg. This may not seem like a lot, but we now know that levothyroxine therapy is significantly correlated to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth risk (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28223728). The least amount of medication is critical for gut health as well as thyroid health. And, this research clearly indicates that thyroid function at 6 years is significantly improved with laser therapy!
There are a few more take home points I wanted to mention. First, patients responded to laser therapy for at least 11 months. The effects of low level laser therapy are transient and therefore, new therapy sessions will be needed over time to maintain results. This may seem disappointing that the laser is not a fix all cure, but don’t despair! This clearly indicates that these patients need to address the underlying root cause for their thyroid disorder, not just use a therapy that helps the thyroid. Remember, Hashimoto’s disease is NOT a disorder of the thyroid primarily, it is an auto-immune disease and the immune system needs to be the target!
This also demonstrates there is a viable alternative to thyroid medication therapy if done in conjunction with laboratory monitoring studies and if the functional medicine approach is utilized effectively. This means hard work, many times dietary changes and an analysis of stressors and the environment. But, when you can pin down those root cause triggers we have tools to physically rehabilitate the thyroid – Low Level Laser Therapy!
Low level laser therapy with functional medicine can be a powerful combination to let your health soar!
Diabetes and Alzheimer’s – the connection no one’s talking about.
By Dr. Ian Hollaman DC, MSc, IFMCP
Until recently, we thought there were only two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2. Now we have come to learn that there is another ~ Type 3 Diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune condition seen typically in young children whereas Type 2 is a lifestyle disease due to unhealthy choices that leads to insulin resistance and high blood sugar. Type 2 has also been referred to as “adult onset” diabetes, although children are now developing Type 2 Diabetes due to poor diet and a sedate lifestyle. The symptoms of Type 3 Diabetes affects the brain specifically. It has another name you may be more familiar with ~ Alzheimer’s disease.Type 3 Diabetes marks the progression from Type 2 Diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. A dramatic decline in cognitive function and marked memory deficits highlight the key symptoms of Type 3 Diabetes.We can clearly see that your pancreas is not the only organ that changes function due to high blood sugar levels. Instead of just having insulin resistance in the muscle, liver, and fat cells, we can develop insulin resistance in the brain.
People with diabetes have a 60 percent increased risk of developing any type of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Gary Small, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute said, “these risk factors tend to add up: If you have diabetes, that doubles the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. If you have a first-degree relative—a parent or sibling, for example—with Alzheimer’s, that doubles your risk.” And if you have poorly controlled blood pressure, abdominal obesity, or sleep apnea, your risk of developing dementia is increased even more.How does type 2 diabetes lead to type 3 diabetes and Alzheimer’s?
For starters, high blood sugar leads to inflammation throughout your body and brain. This is a problem because chronic inflammation has been linked with the formation of amyloid plaques and tau tangles, abnormalities in the brain that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease. Science now understands that it is the lack of insulin — or insulin resistance that not only impairs cognition, but is implicated in the formation of those amyloid plaques.Type 3 diabetes is a form of Neuro-Diabetes. Insulin resistance can impair blood flow to the brain causing damage to the blood vessels. This means that adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients are not transported to brain cells, thus decreasing their function. This in turn causes the neurons to die off at a faster rate. Type 2 diabetes can cause toxic proteins to accumulate in the brain and it may impair the brain’s ability to clear out waste products compromising important brain functions such as the formation and maintenance of new connections between brain cells.
Just as insulin resistance plays out in the rest of the body, when there’s impaired insulin signaling in the brain, brain cells can’t use glucose properly, and brain function suffers as a result. In case that isn’t worrisome enough, when circulation to the brain is compromised, you’re also more prone to developing strokes.What you can do Nutrition. An anti-inflammatory diet can help add years to your life and life to your years. Enjoying an anti inflammatory diet designed specifically for you that includes healthy food combinations that fight inflammation and address your food allergies and triggers is key to combating diabetes.
Manage your weight and exercise. Besides being a risk factor for the development of Type 2 and Type 3 Diabetes, abdominal obesity increases your risk of heart disease and impairs brain health, and increasing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Keep your mind sharp. What you do to help your brain also helps your body. Neurofeedback can help rehabilitate your neurological functioning. Neurofeedback can retrain and repair areas of the brain that have been damaged by diabetes. Specific areas of the brain can be targeted to have the most impact. Thanks to the brain’s neuroplasticity, which is its ability to repair itself, with proper support from neurofeedback, the brain can regain strength and function in areas like working memory and executive functioning (a set of mental processes that involve planning, organizing, controlling attention, and flexible thinking). It is essential to get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep. Sleep is when the body does a majority of its repair and healing. Managing stress, anxiety and depression are also keys to brain health.
While these can feel daunting, something as simple as Neurofeedback can be most effective! It can help you overcome the symptoms that are holding you back from taking charge of your diabetes and your health!
We see the daily struggle in our client’s mood, energy and mental clarity when they have elevated blood sugar levels and Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately we can uncover the root causes of these challenges with functional medicine and link systems together that are creating these complicated challenges! By addressing the underlying hormonal, gut, environmental and lifestyle factors driving the inflammation in your body and brain, there is great potential for reducing blood sugar levels, optimizing blood pressure, reducing cardiovascular risk markers, improving weight management, lifting the fog that robs the joy from your life, and even improving your brain function!
Red Tail Wellness is Boulder and Denver’s premier functional medicine clinic focusing on metabolic conditions like Type 2 and Type 3 Diabetes. With a customized plan, you can have the tools necessary to take back your life! If you have been suffering, don’t wait! Your tomorrow will be brighter as your health soars!
Contact the Red Tail Wellness Centers and join us for our FREE health seminar: Functional Neurology: Supporting the aging brain
October 25th at 6:00pm OR October 26th at 11:00am
My name is Dr. Henry Zaremba DC. Working at Red Tail Wellness has been a dream come true for me! I am excited to be a part of the cutting-edge healthcare that is being provided in this practice. I want to focus on one particular aspect of our practice: Functional Neurology. I thought I would take this opportunity to define what functional neurology is, as well as the principles that shape it.
The primary job for our nervous system is threefold: 1) It takes information in, 2) integrates that information, and 3) generates an output in response. In order to gain an understanding of the principles that govern the function of the nervous system, we must first study the smallest functional unit of the system: the neuron.
Neurons are the building blocks of your brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Like other cells of the body, they require oxygen and fuel (glucose) in order to maintain a healthy state and function appropriately. Neurons also require stimulation from other neurons through electrical signals called action potentials. These action potentials are how information is shared between nerves. Proper stimulation along with adequate oxygen and glucose provide the neuron with the environment and tools necessary to maintain healthy function. A decrease or loss of any of these factors can compromise a neuron’s ability to conduct action potentials and do its job.
The Central Integrated State (CIS) of a neuron (or a group of neurons) is the likelihood of that particular neuron (or group) to generate an action potential, based on the total input received. Essentially, the CIS is how responsive or ‘awake’ a neuron system is at any given point in time. Neuronal systems with a higher CIS make changes at the cellular level to allow the cell to conduct more action potentials in a more efficient manner. Systems or individual neurons that have a lower CIS often undergo a process known as Transneural Degeneration.
Transneural Degeneration occurs when a neuron does not receive adequate levels of stimulus, oxygen, or glucose to maintain a healthy CIS. This process involves cellular changes to the neurons of a system where they become less adept at conducting action potentials. This property can be simplified to ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’. This can lead to functional lesions of the nervous system, where the pathways are still present, but functioning at a less than appropriate level. Over time, functional lesions put unsustainable stress on a neuron or group of neurons and can lead to named conditions like Alzheimer’s/Dementia or Parkinson’s. These concepts are closely linked with another property of our nervous system called neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity is defined as changes to the nervous system as a response to changes in our internal or external environment. This principle is the main mechanism through which our brains and nervous system can learn and adapt. Neurons and neuronal systems that receive more input, undergo changes to improve their ability to conduct action potentials. Neuroplasticity is how we can adjust future responses based on previous responses and the outcomes they create. This mechanism is the driving principle behind Functional Neurology examination and therapy procedures. If the brain can learn dysfunction, the same property that mediates this process enables the brain to be re-educated, or re-wired for more optimal function. This often involves reversing transneural degeneration and increasing the central integrated state of the affected pathways or neuroanatomical structures.
To put this into context, consider for example Parkinson’s disease. This is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects dopamine-producing neurons in an area of the brainstem called the substantia nigra. This leads to a deficiency in a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which presents as movement disorders, balance problems, and cognitive symptoms like inattention, anger and self-deprecation. Early signs like loss of sense of smell can present years before severe symptoms begin to develop since It is the result of transneural degeneration on a large scale. This process happens slowly, however, it is reversible if something is done early on. By selectively stimulating different parts of the brainstem we can use neuroplasticity to prevent or decrease the loss in dopamine and therefore prevent or slow the progression of Parkinson’s. Patients showing early signs of Parkinson’s can benefit from this type of care to the degree of never developing the disease at all but no matter how long you have had the diagnosis or have been suffering you may still benefit from addressing the root cause!
This same approach can also be applied for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Post Concussion Syndrome, Migraine headaches, and virtually any other chronic neurologic disorder. We work with our patients to investigate and address the underlying causes of their condition. Neurodegenerative disorders, like Parkinson’s, are often the result of multiple causes including metabolic, neurologic, and auto-immune. At Red Tail Wellness we are uniquely positioned to address any and all of these causes, resulting in the best outcomes for our patients.
For more information and to seek your optimal health, friend us on facebook, come to one of our FREE health lectures, or call for your first comprehensive consultation! +1 (303) 882-8447
Upcoming FREE Lecture Schedule
Autoimmmune Conditions and the Functional Medicine approach – October 11th at 6:00pm
Thyroid Conditions – the myths, the truths, & the relief! – October 18th at 6:00pm OR October 18th at 10:00am
Functional Neurology – Supporting the aging brain – October 25th at 6:00pm OR October 26th at 10:00am
Space is LIMITED so please give us a call to reserve your seat today!
Leaky (unhealthy) Gut And Hashimoto’s Hypothyroid ~ Why They Go Hand In Hand
Do you suspect you have a thyroid condition or maybe you know for certain? You have terrible fatigue, constipation, cold feet or hands, hair and skin problems, weight fluctuation, and brain fog that don’t seem to be getting any better despite eating well, sleeping, and trying to focus on what you’re doing. You are one of the 40 million Americans who suffer from Hypothyroidism! But is it really just a simple thyroid problem or is there more to the story?
If you were diagnosed with hypothyroidism via an elevated Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, TSH, or you have some of the above symptoms you most likely have an immune disorder called “thyroiditis” or “Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism”. The American Endocrine society states that 90% of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism suffer from autoimmune thyroid. But what causes it?
Like many problems in health, we need to “look to the gut” to understand why our immune system is so flared up and starting to attack our own tissue.
While researchers were studying Celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that attacks the gut they uncovered the “holy trinity” of autoimmune conditions. That is, that anyone with autoimmunity must have three things: 1) genetic predisposition, 2) an environment in the gut ripe for problems and 3) had a triggering event that turned on their genes to start making antibodies against their own tissue: it goes something like this:
Mary was born via C-section and did not breast feed very well. She took antibiotics for infections had many yeast infections. Unfortunately Mary wiped out 80% of her immune system, which is actually the healthy bacteria in the gut. Mary had kids, went through a highly emotional and stressful life event and she began to notice symptoms. Weight gain, gut problems, fatigue, feeling out of sorts and wanting to just lay in bed and let the world wash over her. On top of that, Mary’s hair was thinning, she was constipated and life felt like an endless fog that she was trying to part. Sound familiar? Mary had developed Leaky Gut and was suffering miserably. Her doctor told her “take this thyroid hormone the rest of your life”. Though she did take the medication, her symptoms persisted and her doctor said “there is nothing I can do for you but my friend the psychologist can give you his drugs if you would like”.
So what happened to Mary? As I mentioned the gut is the root of the problem. Many people in life have gut changing events like antibiotics, poor breast-feeding or elevated stress that suppresses our immune system. Add high sugar, high fat standard American diet, not enough fiber and the constant deadline driven society that we live in and the gut barrier begins to break down.
Our small intestine consists of 25 feet of tubing that has a shag carpet lining called the “microvilli”. This is where we absorb our food and where the outside world interacts with the inside world. This barrier has the surface area equivalent to a doubles tennis court! It is covered by an immune system barrier called secretory IgA. This helps to grab onto bacteria and food and slows down items as they try to pass through our barrier. Stress begins to wear this immune system down and we have large food molecules trying to get into our body coupled with bad bacteria and yeast. What prevents a flood of material into the gut are protein called “tight junctions”. These guys are the glue between our enterocytes, the single cell layer that separates the outside GI tract from the inside. What keeps these guys tight? Vitamin D! Vitamin D, which is also called “the sunshine hormone”, keeps these tight junctions working normally and with low levels coupled by inflammation in the gut we start to widen the space between cells. Then, materials start to pour through, more inflammation results and we call in the immune system to defend ourselves! Guess what? Leaky gut just started!
Now our immune system recruits “antibodies” which are lock and key proteins that fit around invaders, foods or bacteria and help to flag and destroy threats to our immune system. Unfortunately, this process is supposed to be short term and our immune system gets tired as it constantly deals with a barrage of foods and bacteria coming through the small intestine cells. When we get fed up with this process we start to turn our attack against the gatekeepers, those tight junctions, which help regulate the flow of traffic. Our immune system is pretty smart overall but because it is getting so overwhelmed with this leaky gut it starts to attack the very structures that are regulating traffic, the tight junctions. Then over time as the process continues these newly formed “self antibodies” flow through the rest of your bodies’ circulatory system and find their way into and around thyroid tissue (or joint, nervous system, cardiovascular, etc.). It just so happens that the tissue in your gut look very similar to thyroid tissue and BANG! Now you are creating antibodies against the gut tissue and thyroid. In research it’s called “molecular mimicry” but in real life it’s called Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism because now your immune system is attacking your own tissue and with nothing to stop the process you begin to suffer from thyroid symptoms: brain fog, depression, fatigue, hair loss, constipation and weight gain. Sound familiar?
The bad news is this can move on and target other tissue like joints, nerves, skin and even the brain. The good news is functional medicine can create a targeted approach to address the underlying cause and get you feeling optimal again! But, this process is not for everyone. It takes work, diet changes and supplementation that help heal not only the gut, but also the inflamed immune system. This is why Red Tail developed a specific program to heal the gut and immune system for optimal results.
Here is what it looks like:
Come to a lecture and enjoy an hour of material explaining why you are stuck in this health predicament (call us if you are >90 minutes away!).
Set an appointment if you qualify and submit your paper work 24 hours in advance.
We conduct a comprehensive neurologic and metabolic examination with a full health history case review – the functional medicine process.
The Report of Findings – Your results are explained to you with your spouse so you don’t have to play “telephone” to them and they can get their questions answered.
If we accept you for care and you are ready to tackle your health challenges we begin a program that may consist of one, or all of the following:
A 5R elimination provocation diet customized to your needs
Additional lab work to uncover more triggers and mediators
Custom, pharmaceutical grade supplementation to speed healing
Therapies such as PeMF or cold laser to encourage tissue healing
Brain therapies like neurofeedback or functional neurology
Environmental assessments and recommendations for remediation
Lifestyle changing recommendations to promote self-regulation
Exercise prescriptions to promote anti-inflammation
Nutritional coaching to create lasting changes
Applied kinesiology examination and treatments
Exit strategies so that you maintain your new found health
Everyone is evaluated thoroughly and the recommended program reflects what is absolutely critical to solve the process, not just bandage it. Our goal is to repeat labs at 8-10 weeks and definitively show regression and eventual remission. Isn’t that what we all want? See symptoms resolve but also know deep down we healed at the cellular level so we can thrive, not just survive!
If this peaks your interest please call to reserve your spot at one of our next health lectures. Join us and let your health soar! Just call 303.882.8447 today, seating is limited and attendees will be invited to take advantage of new patient pricing specials!
Next Lecture: Thursday October 4th at 6:00PM OR Friday October 5th at 10:00AM
Red Tail Wellness 4840 Riverbend Road #100 Boulder, CO. 80301
Supporting complex, chronic thyroid and autoimmune diseases in the Denver-Boulder area
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a type of psychiatric disorder that develops after witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. It can be as vivid as war and major disasters or as subtle as a being abandoned or alone in a time of need. It can happen to anyone, at any age and it affects 3.5% of adults in the United States.
Symptoms of PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD may begin within a month after the traumatic event; however, in some cases the symptoms may take years to appear. The symptoms may cause problems in your work or social situations and also in relationships. They may also reduce your capability to do the routine daily tasks.
Symptoms fall into the following four categories:
Intrusive thoughts or memories
Symptoms under this category include the following:
Recurrent, distressing, unwanted memories and thoughts of the terrifying or traumatic event.
Flashbacks of the traumatic event or reliving the event in a way that it is happening again.
Nightmares or upsetting dreams regarding the event.
Severe physical reactions or emotional distress to something, which reminds you of that event.
Symptoms under this category include the following:
Avoiding places, people, objects, situations or activities that bring back distressing memories.
You may try and avoid thinking or remembering about the event.
You may resist discussing and talking regarding what happened and what your feelings are about it.
Negative feelings and thoughts
Symptoms under this category include:
You develop negative thoughts regarding yourself, other individuals and the world in general.
Hopelessness about your future.
Problems with memory such as forgetting important aspects about the past traumatic event.
Difficulty in maintaining relationships, especially close ones.
Feeling of detachment from your friends and family.
You have less interest in those activities that you enjoyed previously.
You have difficulty in experiencing or feeling positive emotions.
Feeling of emotional numbness.
You have ongoing feelings of horror, fear, guilt, shame or anger.
Reactive and Arousal symptoms
Symptoms under this category include:
You get easily frightened or startled.
You always stay on guard for any imminent danger.
You may show behavior that is self-destructive or reckless such as you may drive too fast or drink too much alcohol.
You may have trouble in sleeping.
You may have trouble in concentrating.
You may be irritable or have aggressive behavior or anger outbursts.
In children of six years of age and below, the following signs and symptoms of PTSD may also occur:
Your child may re-enact the various aspects of past traumatic or terrifying event via play.
Your child may have frightening dreams or nightmares of the event.
Physical Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD frequently co-exists with other various mental and physical health diseases ranging from heart disease to depression and among the most common physical manifestations of post traumatic stress disorder is physical or body pain.
Connection between Physical pain and PTSD
A straightforward connection between physical pain and PTSD is that certain traumas are often physical and cause immediate bodily injury and pain. Some traumas however do not cause immediate physical symptoms. They are more subtle. The emotional signs and symptoms of PTSD may also cause physical pain. Disturbances of sleep, anxiety and hyper-arousal, they all lead to physical stress and tension ultimately damaging your health. Back pain, migraines, body aches and stomach pains can stem easily from symptoms of PTSD.
To further this idea, many other issues, which co-exist with PTSD such as anxiety, depression, obesity and substance abuse, may also trigger the symptoms of physical pain.
PTSD and Neurofeedback
Many people who suffer from PTSD require professional therapy to recover from their symptoms that may be quite disabling and intense. Neurofeedback (NF) also referred to as neurotherapy or EEG biofeedback is an innovative therapy to treat PTSD. This therapy uses the capacity of the brain to change or reshape its networks. It helps by training your brain to function in a better way and research shows that it helps to relieve anxiety, sharpen attention, improve behavior and learning and enhance mood without medication.
The process of neurofeedback is simple, non-invasive and painless. By simply sitting and watching a movie, you are able to affect your brain waves through the feedback seen and heard in the dimming of the screen and sound. This training creates new, healthy brainwave patterns and allows the brain to function more efficiently and effectively.
According to a study published in the journal PLOS one, NF has been found to produce significant improvement in the symptoms of patients suffering from chronic PTSD. In another study published in the Journal Medical Psychotherapy, the effects of NF on the symptoms of combat related PTSD of Vietnam veterans were studied. The study demonstrated that NF therapy produced relief in symptoms of PTSD and provided long term prevention of relapse of PTSD! Very few interventions exist currently without psychiatric medications which provide such dramatic relief.
PTSD is a kind of psychiatric disorder that occurs after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. It may manifest itself as both emotional and physical symptoms. One of the most attractive aspects of neurofeedback therapy is that it does not require counseling or the painful reliving of memories, which drive symptoms. Neurofeedback is an innovative therapy that is gaining much attention in recent times and is quite successful in relieving symptoms of PTSD.
If you or a family member suffers from PTSD please contact Red Tail Wellness Centers and schedule your brain map/QEEG so you can let your health soar again!
Bessel A. van der Kolk, Hilary Hodgdon, Mark Gapen, Regina Musicaro, Michael K. Suvak, Ed Hamlin, Joseph Spinazzola. A Randomized Controlled Study of Neurofeedback for Chronic PTSD. PLOS One. December 2016;
Eugene G. Peniston, Paul J. Kulkosky. Alpha-Theta Brainwave Neuro-Feedback for Vietnam Veterans with Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Medical Psychotherapy. 1991; 4: 47-60.
ASD or autism spectrum disorder is a type of developmental disorder, which affects behavior and communication. Though patients suffering from autism may get diagnosed from the disorder at any age; but, it is considered a developmental disorder as its symptoms appear during the initial two years of a child’s life.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is a guide used in the diagnosis of mental disorders, states that people suffering from ASD have the following:
Difficulty with interaction and communication with other individuals
Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests
Symptoms, which hurt the ability of the person to function optimally at work, school and other walks of life
Causes of ASD
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) at least 1 in 70 kids in the USA suffer from ASD (autism spectrum disorder), which is an alarming number.
Though, scientists suggest that aberrations in genes that act together with certain environmental factors as the causative factor of ASD; however, several studies have highlighted that neuroinflammatory processes play a more critical role in the causation of ASD. Over the last decade, intense research has been done to find out how exactly immune dysfunction alters brain function and causes autism.
According to a review published in the journal ‘Current opinion in neurology’, autoantibodies (antibodies that target tissues of your own body) targeting brain proteins have been found in both children suffering from autism and their mothers. The review further states that there is alteration in both humoral and cellular immunity in patients with autism. Moreover, in some patients with autism active inflammation in the central nervous system has been found (>60%).
Another review published in the journal ‘Immunology letters’ suggests that ASD is characterized by immune dysfunction. Symptoms of immune dysfunction present in ASD are neuroinflammation (inflammation in the nervous system), increased responses of T lymphocytes, presence of autoantibodies etc. Research is pointing at a reaction to foods in the child’s diet that may cross react with cerebellar proteins, diminishing brain development and executive function (cerebellum fires to the frontal cortex which is critical to behavioral control, mood and attention so anything generating inflammation in one area may create problems in others). These responses are associated with core symptoms of ASD including repetitive behaviors and impaired communication and poor social interactions. Hence, it can be suggested that the immune dysfunction present in ASD patients affects neurological processes and various aspects of neural development; thereby, resulting in changes in behavior and communication.
Another study published in the ‘journal of neuroinflammation’ found various biochemical compounds related to inflammation in the plasma of patients suffering from autism. These chemicals can change blood flow, impact nutrient utilization and impede “neuroplasticity”, or the process of neurons connecting and creating a healthy neuron-network.
Heavy Metal Exposure Raises the Risk of ASD
It has been found that exposure to heavy metals such as lead, copper, aluminum, cadmium and mercury at various stages of development of the child may raise the risk of ASD. Prenatal exposure to heavy metals can result in defective brain development of the fetus. Consuming fish, using aluminum cooking utensils and living nearby gasoline stations has been found to result in maternal exposure to toxins.
According to a study published in the journal ‘behavioral neurology’, environmental exposure of children to toxic heavy metals during their developmental period plays a vital role in the causation of autism. The exposure to these heavy metals may be prenatal or postnatal. Some of the possible sources of exposure to heavy metals include fertilizers, chemical products, building materials, industrial paints, fish (which has high amounts of mercury), dental fillings containing silver, and preservatives containing mercury (thiomersal) present in vaccines. Lead is present in the dirt found near roads or in paint on old houses. Children who eat paint chips or who have pica (an illness in which the child eat non-nutritious things such as paint or drywall) may get toxic levels of lead in their blood.
Females who have chronic heavy metal exposure and have accumulated high levels of heavy metals such as mercury in their body tissues and blood may pass these metals to their growing fetus or infants through breastfeeding.
Vaccinations as a Potential Source of Heavy Metal Exposure
It has been found that mercury present in the preservatives used in vaccines is also a potential source of heavy metal exposure for children. Moreover, vaccines given for measles, mumps and rubella or MMR that is given during early life is also correlated to the disorder.
The causative factors of autism or ASD remains controversial and elusive, but both environmental and genetic factors have been suggested. However, recent studies suggest that exposure to heavy metals during key phases of development of a child may play a vital role in the causation of ASD. Moreover, autism is a neuroinflammatory condition and not a genetic aberration, which results from immune dysfunction resulting from environmental factors such as heavy metal exposure. This is the most important point as many so called “Autism advocacy groups” would like to normalize the behavior found in kids suffering with autistic spectrum. There is no doubt many children grow into healthy, productive adults even with Autism but for others this condition rules their life and their parents’ lives. Instead of saying we have a new “normal”, functional medicine and functional neurology looks to the reasons why someone developed incorrectly, what inflammatory triggers they have and how we can rehabilitate the brain to improve function and create less dependence on medication.
If you are curious about how we can provide a deeper level of natural support to your child then please join us for our ADD/ADHD & Autistic spectrum lecture at Red Tail Wellness Centers in North Boulder this Wednesday, August 1 @ 6:00PM. Limited seating available so RSVP is required!
Looking forward to providing you with the info to let your family’s health soar!
Ian Hollaman, DC, MSc, IFMCP
Farida El Baz Mohamed, Eman Ahmed Zaky, Adel Bassuoni El-Sayed, Reham Mohammed Elhossieny, Sally Soliman Zahra, Waleed Salah Eldin, Walaa Yousef, Youssef, Rania Abdelmgeed Khaled, Azza Mohamed Youssef. Assessment of Hair Aluminum, Lead, and Mercury in a sample of autistic Egyptian Children: Environmental Risk Factors of Heavy Metals in Autism. Behavioral Neurology. October 2015; 2015: 545674.
Afaf El-Ansary, Laila Al-Ayadhi. Neuroinflammation in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of neuroinflammation. 2012; 9: 265.
Gamakaranage C. Heavy Metals and Autism. Journal of Heavy Metal Toxicity and Diseases. September 2016; 1:3.
Charlotte Madore, Quentin Leyrolle, Chloe Lacabanne, Anouk Benmamar-Badel, Corinne Joffre, Agnes Nadjar, Sophie Laye. Neuroinflammation in Autism: Plausible Role of Maternal Inflammation, Dietary Omega 3 and Microbiota. Neural Plasticity. September 2016; 2016.
Jennifer Mead, Paul Ashwood. Evidence supporting an altered immune response in ASD. Immunology letters. January 2015; 163(1): 49-55.
Paula Goines, Judy Van de Water. The Immune System’s Role in the Biology of Autism. Current Opinion in Neurology. April 2010; 23(2): 111–117.