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» Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure
» Live in a High-Income Country? Donít Expect the Highest Life Expectancy
» Young and Overweight? Your Heart May Suffer
» ADHD May Be on the Rise in U.S. Children

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

Chiropractic Cuts Blood Pressure

March 16, 2007 -- A special chiropractic adjustment can significantly lower high blood pressure, a placebo-controlled study suggests.

"This procedure has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination," study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center.

Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.

X-rays showed that the procedure realigned the Atlas vertebra -- the doughnut-like bone at the very top of the spine -- with the spine in the treated patients, but not in the sham-treated patients.

Compared to the sham-treated patients, those who got the real procedure saw an average 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number).

None of the patients took blood pressure medicine during the eight-week study.

"When the statistician brought me the data, I actually didn't believe it. It was way too good to be true," Bakris says. "The statistician said, 'I don't even believe it.' But we checked for everything, and there it was."

Bakris and colleagues report their findings in the advance online issue of the Journal of Human Hypertension.

Atlas Adjustment and Hypertension

The procedure calls for adjustment of the C-1 vertebra. It's called the Atlas vertebra because it holds up the head, just as the titan Atlas holds up the world in Greek mythology.

Marshall Dickholtz Sr., DC, of the Chiropractic Health Center, in Chicago, is the 84-year-old chiropractor who performed all the procedures in the study. He calls the Atlas vertebra "the fuse box to the body."

"At the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain -- if the Atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line -- it doesn't cause any pain but it upsets these centers," Dickholtz tells WebMD.

The subtle adjustment is practiced by the very small subgroup of chiropractors certified in National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) techniques. The procedure employs precise measurements to determine a patient's Atlas vertebra alignment. If realignment is deemed necessary, the chiropractor uses his or her hands to gently manipulate the vertebra.

"We are not doctors. We are spinal engineers," Dickholtz says. "We use mathematics, geometry, and physics to learn how to slide everything back into place."

What does this have to do with high blood pressure pressure?

Bakris notes that some researchers have suggested that injury to the Atlas vertebra can affect blood flow in the arteries at the base of the skull. Dickholtz thinks the misaligned Atlas triggers release of signals that make the arteries contract. Whether the procedure actually fixes such injuries is unknown, Bakris says.

Bakris began the study after a fellow doctor told him that something strange was happening in his family practice. The doctor had been sending some of his patients to a chiropractor. Some of these patients had high blood pressure.†

Yet after seeing the chiropractor, the patients' blood pressure had normalized -- and a few of them were able to stop taking their blood pressure medications.

So Bakris, then at Rush University, designed the pilot study with 50 patients. He's now organizing a much bigger clinical trial.

"Is it going to be for everybody with high blood pressure? No," Bakris says. "We clearly need to identify those who can benefit. It is pretty clear that some kind of head or neck trauma early in life is related to this. This is really a work in progress. It is certainly in the early stages of research."

Dickholtz has been teaching, practicing, and studying the NUCCA technique for 50 years. He says high blood pressure is far from the only thing an Atlas misalignment causes.

"On the other hand, if people have high blood pressure, there is a tremendous possibility they need an Atlas adjustment," he says.

 

 

Author: www.WebMD.com Health News by Daniel J. DeNoon
Source: Rush University Hypertension Center Chicago IL
Copyright: Journal Of Human Hypertension 3


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Live in a High-Income Country? Donít Expect the Highest Life Expectancy

Two new studies are revealing some startling facts about recent life expectancies in high-income countries like the U.S.: They're declining, but for surprising reasons. The first of the studies examined life expectancy trends among 18 countries with high income. Overwhelmingly, most of them experienced simultaneous declines in 2015 for the first time in decades. In the U.S., drug overdoses due to the opioid epidemic are to blame for a large number of young adult deaths. In other high-income countries, a harsh flu was mostly behind declining life expectancies during the 2014-2015 season. Most were able to rebound their rates during 2015-2016, but the U.K. and the U.S. were not among them. Meanwhile, a second study adds that the opioid epidemic is just the beginning Ė deaths from alcohol abuse and suicide are also on the rise in the U.S., not to mention death during middle age due to diseases of the organs, including the heart, digestive system, and lungs. The second study also suggests that lower life expectancies may have psychological and socioeconomic origins. In short, what causes people in low socioeconomic groups to make bad health choices like smoking, abusing alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods?† The German researchers behind the study, from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, suggest that stress from income inequality, social exclusion, and more can be the starting point.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The BMJ, online August 22, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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Young and Overweight? Your Heart May Suffer

Young adults who are overweight are at high risk for high blood pressure and damage to the heart, just like older adults. According to a study from the U.K.'s University of Bristol, the correlation between a high BMI (body mass index) and cardiovascular issues applies to young people, too. To come to their conclusions, researchers studied data collected from over 3,000 young people born during the '90s, who were 17 years old when the study took place. Researchers also looked at the cardiovascular scans of 400 high-risk, 21-year-old adults. The 17-year-olds' average BMI was in the so-called "healthy" range. The average blood pressure of the group was also in the range considered "healthy" (under 130 mmHg for a systolic reading and under 80 mmHg for a diastolic reading).† In general, young adults who had higher BMIs in the study also had a better chance of developing high blood pressure. They additionally found that having a high BMI correlates to a higher left ventricular mass index (meaning the left ventricle of the heart is enlarged). This means that the young adults who weighed more correspondingly had more blood pumping through their bodies every minute. Over time, this may lead to a variety of heart issues, including a thickened heart muscle and high blood pressure. According to a Harvard Medical School researcher, this may be because those at a higher weight have bodies with higher metabolic demands. They may also have more inflammation due to their increased amount of fat cells.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online July 30, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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ADHD May Be on the Rise in U.S. Children

According to a new study published in JAMA Network Open, diagnoses of children with ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) have increased significantly since 1997. Researchers found that the diagnosis rate for children with ADHD increased from 6.1% in 1997 to 10.2% in 2016. However, according to Dr. Wei Bao, there could be lots of reasons for this dramatic rise. For example, doctors are much better at diagnosing ADHD than they were 20 years ago. Dr. Bao also said that more people today are aware of the condition and its symptoms, which can lead to more kids getting screened and subsequently diagnosed. Bao and his fellows are researchers at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. They came to their conclusions by reviewing the National Health Interview Survey over 20 years. In particular, they honed in on answers to one question: Whether survey-takers' children had ever been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD (attention-deficit disorder). For scope, the most recent iteration of the survey from 2015-2016 collected data on over 18,000 children from age 4-17. Of that number, nearly 2,000 received an ADHD diagnosis. Though the research results are startling, experts advise parents and doctors to take the increase in children with ADHD with a grain of salt. This is because ADHD is commonly misdiagnosed.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Network Open, online August 31, 2018.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2019


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