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Vitamin D: Essential for Health (3 of 4)


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Vitamin DOver the past few weeks we’ve discussed the importance of vitamin D in our diets and the epigenetic role the hormone plays in expressing a multitude of traits (D1). We also defined what vitamin D is and how much we need in order for our bodies to function properly (D2). To further our discussion, we will identify the best sources to obtain vitamin D, touch on risk factors for deficiency, and identify some of the signs that may indicate a person is vitamin D deficient. Additionally, we will highlight some easy new ways to monitor your baseline biomarkers to ensure you are maintaining levels of the nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Sources of Vitamin D

For most of us, our primary source of vitamin D comes from sun exposure; UVB irradiates 7-dehdrocholesterol in the skin to synthesize the vitamin before it is metabolized into its active form. It is thought that 15 minutes of sun exposure every day is adequate for most (Holick, 2006). Food sources of vitamin D are relatively scarce. The most vitamin D rich foods include oily fishes; salmon, mackerel, and sardines while foods such as egg yolks and fortified dairy products also provide a source of the nutrient. Mushrooms also contain vitamin D. Because it may be difficult to achieve sufficient amounts of the vitamin from your diet, supplements also play an important role in order to achieve intake quantities recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board. It should be noted however that because vitamin supplements are not regulated by the FDA, you should look for supplements that have USP (United States Pharmacopeial Convention) verification mark. Supplements with the USP mark on the label have been verified to contain the amount of the nutrients they advertise.

Vitamin D deficiency Pandemic

Despite the vital role vitamin D plays in our overall health, vitamin D deficiency is recognized as a worldwide pandemic (Holick & Chen, 2008). Across the globe, it is estimated that over 1 billion people are either vitamin D deficient or insufficient and in the U.S; an estimated 50 million teens, half of children ages 1-5 and 70% of children ages 7-11 are either deficient or insufficient (Holick, 2010). It is also estimated that between 50-100% of the elderly in both Europe and U.S. are vitamin D deficient (2010). If these numbers shock you…they should! As previously discussed, vitamin D facilitates numerous physiological processes essential for health. From neurological function to bone health, cardiovascular function to immune system regulation, and the prevention of many cancers…it has been well documented that insufficient or deficient amounts of vitamin D leads to a myriad of health problems. While I believe everyone should have their blood levels checked, some general risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • Obesity: vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in body fat. The higher the body fat the lower the bioavailability (Patrick, 2013)
  • Insufficient sun exposure: sunscreens block UVB rays thus preventing vitamin D synthesis from taking place. Also, those in northern latitudes (above 37˚ N latitude) don’t receive sufficient sun exposure during winter months due to atmospheric conditions. Unprotected sun exposure should be limited to  15 minutes a day (2013).
  • Dark Skin Pigment: melanin acts as a natural sun screen, therefore darker skin pigment reduces the amount of vitamin D that can be synthesized through sun exposure (2013).
  • Aging: As we get older our bodies become less efficient at producing the active metabolite (2013).

So what are the signs of vitamin D deficiency?

As you’ve probably already guessed, the signs of vitamin D deficiency vary. Some symptoms you may be deficient include:

  • Bone and joint aches and pains
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Frequent sickness or ailments

Because these symptoms are so general it is important that you see a physician, family practitioner, or a host of other outlets to have your vitamin D metabolite blood levels checked on a regular basis.

Next time, we will conclude are series on vitamin D. Please remember to share your questions or comments, either on our website or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading and until next time, stay healthy!

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Holick, M. F. (2006). High Prevalence of Vitamin D Inadequacy and Implications for Health. Mayo Clinic Proceedings (pp. 353-373). Boston: Elsevier Inc.

Holick, M. F. (2010, January). The Vitamin D Deficiency Pandemic: a Forgotten Hormone Important for Health. Public Health Reviews, 32(1), 267-283.

Holick, M. F., & Chen, T. C. (2008). Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1080S-6S.

Norman, A. W. (2008). From vitamin D to hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system essential for good health. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 491S-9S.

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of modalities designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to: degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

 

Vitamin D: Essential for Health (1 of 4)

Vitamin DIn April of 2003, scientist speaking on behalf of the Human Genome Project announced they had reached their goal. The collaborative efforts of scientist from across the globe had successfully mapped the entire human genome, the DNA sequences that make up Homo sapiens. The research findings gave rise to a whole new set of fascinating questions about human biology. For example, what caused the gene for a particular trait to be expressed or “turned on” in one person, while that same gene is “silenced” or inactive in another?  These inquiries sparked renewed interest in the field of epigenetics. Epigenetics studies heritable and non-heritable changes in gene expression that are not a consequence of altering DNA nucleotides. In other words, epigenetics is how our environment interacts with our genes to affect our appearance, behavior, and biological functions; the link between nature and nurture.

So what does this have to do with vitamin D…? Well, amidst all of the new biochemical studies, research suggest that vitamin D may be responsible for regulating the expression of over 1000 different genes (Patrick, 2013). Many of these genes regulate biochemical pathways associated with certain cancers, autoimmune disorders, transcriptional regulation (copying of a DNA segment to mRNA which will be used to make a protein), and cardiovascular disease (Hoessein-nezhad, Spira, & Holick, 2013), in addition to many other physiological functions. Of course, we are already familiar with the vital role vitamin D plays in the absorption of calcium and magnesium, necessary micronutrients needed to produce dense bones and prevent osteoporosis in adults or rickets in children.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will dedicate a series of articles discussing the latest developments in vitamin D research, the essential role vitamin D plays in our bodies, and the source of vitamin D in our diets. We will also look at the current recommendations for vitamin D levels in the blood and discuss some easy ways to monitor your own baseline blood levels so that you can put the information to use and optimize your personal health! Until next time…

References

Hoessein-nezhad, A., Spira, A., & Holick, M. F. (2013, March). (R. P. Moray Campbell, Ed.) Public Library of Science, 8(3). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058725

Patrick, R. P. (2013, August 14). The “Vitamin D Sweet Spot” and its Relationship To Aging. Retrieved from Wellness FX: http://blog.wellnessfx.com/2013/08/14/the-vitamin-d-sweet-spot-and-its-relationship-to-aging/

Surgical Alternative-Rehabilitative and Therapeutic Massage Therapy offers a combination of services designed to help people suffering from acute or chronic pain, return to a pain-free and active lifestyle. We can help treat pain associated with a variety of conditions including, but not limited to degenerative discs, herniated or ruptured discs, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpel tunnel, neuritis, whiplash, muscle strains and sprains, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, cluster headaches and migraines. In addition we also aid clients who experience pain from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, lupus, and scoliosis.

For more information on the services we provide or for a free consultation, please contact us via the channels listed below or visit our Facebook page. Thank you for your support!

For an appointment please visit our website to use our interactive calendar feature or call us at (813) 948-6300.

Web:  http://surgicalalternative.com/

Email: info@surgicalalternative.com

The healing effect of Manual Therapy Protocol for symptoms of Fibromyalgia Syndrome!

fibromyalgia-trigger-points

Recently, research investigators have been studying the therapeutic effects of  manual therapy protocol on improving with pain and quality of life.  The study measured quality of sleep, function, pressure pain threshold, and depressive symptoms in both men and women and men with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Eighty-nine patients were randomly assigned to experimental or control group, according to an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. The experimental group (24 female, 21 male) received 5 sessions of manual therapy and the control group (24 female, 21 male) did not receive any intervention.

Pressure pain thresholds (PPT), pain, impact of FMS symptoms, quality of sleep and depressive symptoms were assessed in both groups at baseline and after 48-hours of the last intervention in the experimental group, according to the abstract.

Here are the results:

• Manual therapy protocol was effective for improving pain intensity, widespread pressure pain sensitivity, impact of FMS symptoms, sleep quality and depressive symptoms.

• Gender differences were observed in response to treatment: women and men get similar improvements in quality of sleep and tender point count, whereas women showed a greater reduction in pain and impact of FMS symptoms than men, but men reported higher decreases in depressive symptoms and pressure hypersensitivity than women.

If you would like to read the original article, Click Here.

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How come Grandma can “FEEL” a storm coming?

storm-headache

The next time you watch the weather forecast, notice the barometric pressure. Numbers such as 30.04 will be followed by “rising,” “falling,” or “steady.” Typically, when a low pressure front is coming, it signals not only a change in the weather, but a drop in the barometric pressure, which is pressure against the Earth’s atmosphere. Remember when Grandma would say, “Rain’s coming, and I can feel it in my joints?” She actually knew this because of what happens to our bodies when the barometric pressure changes.

That means that the pressure against your body drops as well, and your joints and areas that are injured can begin to swell. This swelling causes increased inflammation, and we require hormones to deal with this increased activity in our bodies. Increased use of these hormones can cause them to deplete.

We have, nestled atop each kidney, a small gland that produces both adrenaline and cortisone. These two hormones help us with energy, mood, immune function, pain management and the famous “Flight or Fight” response. The steroid cortisone is fundamental in managing pain, immune function and energy. When cortisone levels drop, pain level and illness increase. Adrenaline is famous for energy and strength.

Did you ever notice how your cold or pain gets worse at night? That’s because our bodies slow production of both adrenaline and cortisone in the evening so we can go to sleep. It’s part of our circadian rhythm. The downside is the fact that we don’t have these hormones that help us feel better, either. So, our cough gets worse, and our pain goes through the roof.

Something similar happens when a storm is coming. Did you ever know someone who could “smell” snow or rain before it came? What they “smell” is a change in the electrical charge in the air. It’s been described as a “metallic” smell. All atoms have either a positive or negative charge so they can bind to form molecules. As the barometer falls, the positive charge, or “ions” increase which causes a depletion of cortisone in the body. This happens to all creatures that have adrenal glands—in other words, all mammals.

People who are chronically stressed either physically or emotionally may experience weather changes more acutely. The elderly will experience it more acutely as well, as their bodies don’t have the ability to overcome these changes as easily as they did when they were younger. Because of our dependency on caffeine, we drink another cup of coffee, eat chocolate or sip tea in order to suppress fatigue that signals a drop in pressure, but don’t understand why our knees hurt more. There’s only so much cortisone produced daily unless we take medicines or drugs that increase this steroid. Unfortunately, doing so, on a chronic basis, can kill you. Think about the athletes who have died of chronic steroid use after their heart gives out.

So what can we do to manage this, aside from moving to southern California? Well, depending on the problem, whether it is pain, mood, or energy, there may be a solution. If the problem is simply energy, then we are warned to stay away from simple carbohydrates such as sugar, starches, and junk food. Eat foods that will sustain you and not bring the “crash” you feel after that morning doughnut. Don’t assume that caffeine is the answer, either. Consult a nutritionist if you need to come up with ideas for controlling simple energy problems.

Chronic pain, chronic fatigue and depression all present unique challenges. They all can be affected by nutrition, exercise, sunlight and barometric pressure, as well as by chemical imbalances. It is not a good idea to self-diagnose and self-treat when there may be medical problems causing these fluctuations in mood, energy and pain. But once diagnosed by a professional, there are things that we can do to improve our response to the environment.

Chronic pain can respond to pain management techniques. To be effective, though, these techniques require daily practice. Choices include relaxation or hypnosis techniques, biofeedback, acupuncture, acupressure, Reiki, massage, chiropractic, and aquatherapy. You may have to try several before you find one that you like and that works well for you.

Chronic fatigue still is poorly understood, although it can have a profound effect on mood. Diet, particularly the avoidance of carbohydrates, can help.

Depression has been described as a “chemical imbalance” but that is only part of the story. There are theories of genetics or the environment, such as family influence, prenatal care, or biohazard exposure. It also can be a manifestation of electrical problems in the brain, and that can be treated with neurofeedback. But the barometric pressure can have a profound effect on mood as well. How we interpret changes in our mood will have major effects on the mood itself. For instance, if we interpret a simple burst of adrenaline as anxiety, then we may have a panic attack. If we are tired from a long week, we can see this as depression rather than a body that just needs a rest.

Can Grandma predict the weather? Yes, sometimes she can, especially if she has arthritis or bursitis. Most of us don’t need a sophisticated meteorologist’s maps and predictions to know if we are hurting. But perhaps we can take measures to diminish the impact that an impending storm may have on us. We can eat properly, exercise, avoid the negative effects of drugs or alcohol, and use pain management techniques to control the chronic pain. Beware, however, of rebound pain that we can experience the day after “extra” doses of pain meds, whether they are for a bad back, joint or muscle pain, or a headache. The pain often can be as bad or worse the next day because of withdrawal from the medicines taken the day before.

Consult a professional about your mood, pain, or energy. Help can be simply a phone call away. You can check on the Internet as well. For chronic pain, Google the type of pain you have and look at professional websites such as The American Chronic Pain Association or The American Council for Headache Education. For more information about neurofeedback, visit www.eeginfo.com.

Healthy Holiday Recipes

Since the holidays are right around the corner, we are always on the lookout for healthy alternatives for some of the heavier and more indulgent foods that we may eat.  Please feel free to look through some of our favorite recipes that we found and collected for your viewing.

Have a great holiday season everyone!

GLUTEN FREE CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

ROAST BEEF & HORSERADISH SPIRALS

BITE SIZED CRAB CAKES WITH WASABI MAYO

HERB AND NUT COVERED GOAT CHEESE LOGS

SLIDERS WITH SHALLOT DIJON RELISH

EASY GUACAMOLE

GRILLED STONE FRUIT ANTIPASTO PLATE

 

Yoga for the Holidays!

During the busy times of the year, we tend to disregard our bodies and what our bodies are telling us.  One of the best preventative things you can do while busy this holiday season is Yoga.  We have aligned with one of Tampa Bays Premier Yoga Studios- Sun Yoga!

Some of the primary benefits of yoga include:

  • Increased range of motion
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased blood flow
  • Overall relaxing feeling
  • Low impact –  great for rehab and elderly!

Yoga has many more benefits that range from better heart health to better overall psychological awareness and attitude.

We recommend yoga to any and all of our clients on various skill levels.  By engaging in yoga sessions, we can all feel the benefits and prevent further or future damage!

If you have any questions or would like to speak about yoga, please feel free to CONTACT us today for more information, or you can CONTACT SUN YOGA here!

Proper Bending and Lifting Techniques

Is it really almost time to go in our attics to pull down those seasonal boxes?  Whether you are
preparing to do this or just have straitening you may want to accomplish before your family
and friends arrive, here are a few tips to help keep you from causing yourself back pain:

  • Use your leg muscles to lift/lower your self as opposed to just bending over. Bend at your knees not at your back.
  • Pull in your belly button while lifting. This will help hold your pelvis in the proper position which will minimize strain on the spine. (Maintain this while lifting, carrying, and lowering)
  • Lift close to your body. Your spine is more stable and strong.
  • Know your limit! Carry lighter packages and make more trips.
  • When in doubt ( too heavy or awkward) wait for help. The risk are not worth it and jeopardize setting you back with pain and immobility…. no one wants to make time for that!

We would all like to take a moment and wish everyone a safe and healthy beginning to our holiday seasons!  By following the tips provided above, you can prevent a number of injuries before they even happen.

If you do encounter one of the issues that comes from improper lifting and bending, please CONTACT US today, or SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT to see one of our expert therapists.

Post War Veterans invited for FREE PTSD Treatment

With July 4th passing last week, I was reminded of all of the veterans that have protected our rights as citizens of the United States.  During this month, I will be offering FREE therapy to veterans diagnosed with PTSD.  During your sessions we will be working to help issues such as insomnia, cramping, muscle pain, and other possible injuries due to service.  If you are interested in your FREE treatment, please CONTACT US today to schedule your appointment.

Plantar Fasciitis tips and tricks by Surgical Alternative

Plantar Fascitis Tips and Tricks for treatment

We have been encountering more people each day that are complaining of the accompanying symptoms of plantar fasciitis.  This is an injury that occurs when the plantar fascia tendon becomes inflamed or damaged due to wear and tear.  Since this tendon acts as a shock absorber for each and every step that you take, there is a great deal of pain involved when suffering from plantar fasciitis.  Our first suggestion would always be to CONTACT US for more information regarding your injury and how to treat it, but in the mean time, we figured we would give you some things you can do at home to help on a temporary basis.  Please See Below:

Ice The Area of the Plantar Fascia tendon

By applying ice for 20 to 30 minute increments to the Plantar Fascia tendon, you can alleviate many of the painful symptoms while relaxing or sitting.  This may help reduce the swelling and pain after hard workouts or active walking or standing.

Support the Plantar Fascia tendon (Plantar Fasciitis)

By supporting the arch of the foot where the Plantar Fascia tendon is located may relieve some pain.  You can either get additional supports for your shoes, or you can even use athletic tape around your ankle and under the foot to support your arch as well.  By adding additional support, it takes some of the stress off of the damaged tendon.  NOTE: This is acceptable with proper exercise and stress on the foot.  By using additional support over time, you will weaken the tendon.

Exercise and Stretch the Area (Plantar Fascia Tendon)

By working daily to stretch and exercise the Plantar Fascia tendon in regulated and safe increments you can increase the strength of the tendon while also allowing it to not become as painful.  Most of the stretching exercises focus on the calf muscles, since most of the stress that causes Plantar Fascitis comes from the lower leg.  Foot and Ankle stretching can also help to alleviate the foot pain of Plantar Fasciitis.  You can achieve this by grabbing a soft material such as a sheet or towel between your toes.

Surgical Alternative to Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

By using our proven methods of alternative therapy, Surgical Alternative can give you relief from the foot pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis.  With our deep tissue massage, reflexology and other methods you will be able to function without the pain and discomfort of Plantar Fasciitis.

 

Why Use Surgical Alternative – Testimonials and Reviews (Part 1)

In the past months, we have not only grown as an institution, but also have touched many of the lives here in the tampa florida area by our methods of set bodywork, deep tissue massage, and other services.  Once a patient is affected by our services, they in many cases become advocates for those services.  In the next few weeks, we will be releasing testimonials from many of our existing clients so that new or upcoming patients can gain a grasp on what to expect when visiting our offices.

The first Testimonial is Adam Hayes in New Tampa, Florida.  Adam writes:

Since I was six years old, I have suffered from cluster headaches. These are excruciating headaches that are completely debilitating for hours or days. These would occur 5-6 times a year and last for 1-3 days at a time. The worst part is the stress of not knowing when they will appear or when they will disappear.
I have seen dozens of doctors, sat through every neurological test and even had doctors who wanted to perform cortizone injections into the base of my skull to try and alleviate the pain.
After dealing with this issue for over 25 years, I thought it was just an affliction that I’d have to live with forever. A friend of mine recommended that I give SET therapy a chance. I figured it was going to be yet another failed attempt and more money wasted. Boy was I wrong! After seeing Peggy and Pam, I have been relatively cluster free for almost 2 years now. The only time I’ve gotten a headache has been when I’ve gotten lazy and not attended my appointments like I should.
I can’t stress enough how much this has improved my quality of life. There is no more worry, no more stress, no more excruciating pain. Thank you Peggy and Pam!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              – Adam Hayes
If you would like to learn more about our services, and how surgical alternative can help you, please CONTACT US today for your evaluation!
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