Nerve Function and Peripheral Neuropathy

I heard a great podcast by Ben Greenfield this week and someone asked a question about supplementation for nerve function. There are many conditions affecting nerve function and one that we treat in our office is Peripheral Neuropathy.

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition characterized by extremity pain, numbness, burning pain, and weakness, usually of the hands, arms, legs, and/or feet. Peripheral Neuropathy refers to a condition that results when there is damage to the Peripheral Nervous System, the network of nerves outside the spinal cord. Symptoms can include numbness or tingling, pricking sensations, muscle weakness, paralysis, extreme sensitivity to touch, burning pain (especially at night), and in extreme cases organ or gland dysfunction. Peripheral Neuropathy can be acute (symptoms occur suddenly, progress rapidly, and resolve slowly) or chronic (symptoms are slight, progress slowly, may take months or years to resolve, and can be recurrent and worsening over time.)

There are many causes of Peripheral Neuropathy including physical injury or sudden trauma, diseases or disorders, exposure to toxins in medications, hazardous environmental and industrial materials, and heavy alcohol consumption. Diabetes, Chemotherapy Treatment, Spinal Stenosis, and Spinal Disc Degeneration are all common underlying conditions of Peripheral Neuropathy.

We treat Peripheral Neuropathy in our office with K-Laser. K-Laser treatment has seen a 90% improvement in symptoms of Peripheral Neuropathy which is huge! K-laser is a class IV laser and a 30-minute treatment with a class IV laser is equivalent to 12 hours of continuous treatment with a class III laser. Below are some awesome studies on Peripheral Neuropathy and treatment with the K-laser

  • (K-Laser) patients experienced significant reduction in modified total neuropathy scores at all time points. There were no observed complications among patient treated with (K-Laser). (K-Laser) may improve neuropathy symptoms through a number of plausible mechanisms including prevention of neural apoptosis and enhancement of neurite outgrowth. Among patients with chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, (K-Laser) produced a significant reduction in neuropathy symptoms. Click here for full study.
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common types of peripheral neuropathy. It is considered to be progressive and irreversible. However, treatment with K-Laser has shown that may not be true. In this 4-week study patients treated with the laser had a significant increase in nerve conduction. Microcirculation (skin blood perfusion) was increased by 35.8% at the heel, big toe, and little toes. Patients reported a 26.4% decrease in pain levels. The results showed motor, sensory, and circulation improvements in just 4 weeks of treatment with the laser. Click here for full study.
  • Laser is showing promising results to treat pain in the extremities. The laser produces an anti-inflammatory effect and increases microcirculation resulting in increased healing. The increased microcirculation induces tissue repair processes and helps reduce pain. This allows increased oxygen and nutrition to the damaged area. Click here for full study.

There are supplements that you can take to help assist with nerve function and healing.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine is involved in lipid transport (important for mitochondrial function). Acetyl-L-Carnitine is neuroprotective in the central nervous system and has been shown to increase peripheral nerve regeneration. Clinically it has been shown to help with diabetic neuropathy and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy(1).

R-Lipoic Acid which is the most active form of alpha-lipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid seems to delay or reverse peripheral neuropathy through its antioxidant properties. It can increase glutathione which is an endogenous antioxidant. Alpha-lipoic acid has been shown to improve motor-nerve conduction velocity and also to protect peripheral nerves from ischemia in rats.  Patients treated with 600mg of alpha-lipoic acid had reduced pain, numbness, and hypersensitivity(2). 

Co-Q10 is great for a lot of condition. A study completed on rats showed treatment with Co-Q10 prevented nerve impairment, improved sensory symptoms. Co-Q10 has sown to improve endothelial function and blood flow so it improves oxygen to the peripheral nerves. Another study showed significant improvements in diabetics with peripheral neuropathies in patients with type two diabetes(3).

B-Complex which I personally love for many things including energy! One study found that higher doses of vitamin B complex resulted in significant short-term pain reduced and decreased hypersensitivity (4).

Returning To My Alma Mater

This past weekend I had the privilege to return to my Alma Mater The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and share my story with students. Everyone’s story is unique and it is always a privilege to encourage others in their path. achieving your goals is never easy and sometimes there are hurdles that are discouraging. However, God always has a plan that is better than we could ever imagine!

I graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2012 with a B.S. in Chemistry. During my time at Pembroke, I was the Vice President and President of the Health Careers Club. I tutored as a Supplemental Instruction leader for General Chemistry I and II. I participated in research during my senior year and it was published in the Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research. I enjoyed my time at Pembroke. Pembroke is a smaller university with most classes averaging 30 students or less. Because of this, I was able to build relationships with my professors and many still keep in touch.

I was excited to see students come out on a Friday afternoon to participate! After the talk, we even had fun with some functional movement activities. Thank you, UNC Pembroke: Chemistry and Physics for allowing me to come speak! Thank you to all the students who come out on a Friday afternoon to participate!

#Bravenation

 

My Soda Replacement = Kombucha

I love Coca-Cola. I love the fizzle and every completely non-healthy thing about it. However, there really is not one healthy thing about a soda so I have not had one in months. The thing about sugar in general is it makes you crave more sugar! Once sugar is removed you will be amazed at how your cravings vanish. I have not even craved a soda since I started drinking Kombucha. When I crave fizzy this is what I turn to and it has a ton of health benefits!

Kombucha has many benefits for your gut. Gut health is very important since 80% of your immune system is located in your gut! Kombucha is fermented black tea and sugar. It contains a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) that acts as a probiotic food. During the fermentation process, Kombucha becomes carbonated and produces vinegar, vitamins, and probiotics.

Kombucha contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Antioxidants fight free radicals which can damage our cells.

Acetic acid is also produced during the fermentation process (also found in vinegar). Acetic acid is able to kill harmful microorganisms. In the gut, Kombucha helps balance and restore good bacteria. The B vitamins in Kombucha help increase energy levels.

One study completed on rats found that in just 30 days Kombucha improved their LDL and HDL markers (1).

Kombucha does contain some sugar content. You can make your own Kombucha at home and reduce the sugar content. If you do make your own at home it is important to prepare it properly and reduce the risk of contamination.

The key when trying to restore good bacteria to your gut is variety! There are many great fermented food options to add to your diet.

Why is Bulletproof Coffee So Great?

I’ve been drinking Bulletproof coffee for close to a year now. Instead of eating breakfast I drink my coffee instead. This allows me to intermittent fast for 16-18 hours and save $6 from my morning coffee run. There has been a ton of research that shows the benefits of intermittent fasting and giving your body a break from constantly digesting food but that is a whole post on its own!

Bulletproof coffee is made by using good clean coffee beans, Brain Octane, and grass-fed butter or ghee. This combination suppresses hunger, gives you energy, and provides mental clarity for hours.

Bulletproof coffee beans are processed to minimize mold and toxin contamination that can occur in other coffee beans. When I run out I will sometimes use Organic, single origin, fair trade certified, 100% arabica coffee (that is a mouth full, right?).

Brain Octane is a purified form of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil that is made from 100% pure coconut oil. Brain Octane is converted to ketones that your brain can use for energy. It also helps balance your hunger hormones to help keep you full.

Grass-fed butter gives you essential fatty acids, butyrate, and short chain fatty acids. Butyrate is great to feed your gut bacteria. Butyrate also helps control the growth of the cells lining your gut. Butyrate has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. So, this combination can help decrease inflammation.

This coffee is smooth and delicious. It has become my favorite part of my morning routine. I modify my Bulletproof coffee sometimes and will add collagen. I love to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top for an added taste.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

On the weekends I like to try something new. I meal prep during the week so it is nice to have something different on the weekends. This week I have been craving mac and cheese. I have not had macaroni and cheese in years! So, I tried a healthier version and it turned out amazing! It is very easy to make too.

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of grass fed butter
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Roast cauliflower on 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. While that is in the oven place remaining ingredients in a pot and heat. Once cauliflower is finished mix and enjoy! If you try it let me know how you like it 🙂

Happy Sunday!

Boosting Your Immune System

According to the CDC this seasons influenza activity has been increased than in years past. There are steps you can take to boost your immune system and defend yourself against infections including the flu. Research is showing that optimizing your vitamin D levels may be far more effective in protecting against the flu than the flu shot.

Dr. John Cannell, introduced the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be the reason for someone contracting the flu. One study showed that in individuals who had significant vitamin D deficiency and began taking a vitamin D supplement they reduced their risk of respiratory infections such as the flu by 50%! Individuals who already had high vitamin D levels still reduced their risk of the flu by 10%.

There are blood tests that can be ordered to see where your vitamin D levels are.

Vitamin C  and Zinc are also important in boosting your immune system. There are also some great essential oils that help combat cold symptoms. Oregano and Frankincense are great to keep on hand!

This article is a great read! I encourage everyone to take some time to read through it. Educating yourself is so important to protect yourself and your family. Doctors are wonderful, educated individuals but they are also human. Research information for yourself in order to make a decision.

https://www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/public/1281.cfm

Strengthen Your Gut Lining

Recently I was listening to a podcast about leaky gut and they mentioned a product called Restore. Both speakers praised this product. Since I have had some gut issue of my own I decided to do some research and purchase a bottle.

Most of our immune system is in our gut. So if we have gut issues or leaky gut it can impact our health in many ways. With leaky gut the tight junctions in our gut become weak. This can allow toxins and undigested food to leak into our bloodstream where they are not intended to be. Disruption of the tight junctions is associated with inflammatory diseases processes.

Glyphosate is an herbicide commonly used on crops to kill weeds and grasses. Hundreds of millions of pounds of glyphosate are used on US farms and more than 1.2 billion pounds are used worldwide each year. Glyphosate has been shown to increase gut permeability. A study was done to see if lignite extract could block glyphosate from causing injury to the gut lining. They found that lignite caused the tight junctions to strengthen even in the presence of glyphosate. Hence allowing fewer toxins to leak through into the bloodstream.

Restore is a soil-derived supplement that helps protect and strengthen the gut lining. It is a carbon-rich, alkaline liquid, composed of Terrahydrite. By strengthening the tight junctions in the gut there will be a decreased amount of toxins that leak into the bloodstream thereby relieving the immune system from working overtime. Restore has also shown to create a beneficial shift in the gut bacteria.

The office I just started working for sells Restore so I bought a bottle to try. There is no taste. I’ve been using it for a week now and have seen improvements in the skin issues I have been dealing with. My nephew even takes it because there is no flavor and it tastes like water.

While we cannot live like a hermit and should be able to enjoy life and food! Glyphosate is unfortunately in most of our food supply so Restore is a great option to help combat it and protect your gut.

Gildea JJ, Roberts DA, Bush Z. Protective Effects of Lignite Extract Supplement on Intestinal Barrier Function in Glyphosate-Mediated Tight Junction Injury. J Clin Nutr Diet. 2017, 3:1. doi: 10.4172/2472-1921.100035

Whipped Body Butter!

I recently starting making my own body butter and it has done wonders for my skin! I’m all for using more natural ingredients but only if it doesn’t require a long list and all day to make. When I started looking at all the additives in common lotions it made me think twice about applying it to my skin. Luckily this body butter does not require a long list of ingredients, it is not time-consuming, and it is healthy for your skin! You can use this base recipe and substitute any essential oil you would like!

What you will need:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup raw shea butter
  • 1/8 cup jojoba oil
  • 20-30 drops essential oils, I mixed geranium, frankincense, and lavender

Jojoba oil has many benefits for healthy skin. It is rich in vitamin B and E. Jojoba oil along with coconut oil and shea butter are great moisturizers. Frankincense contains Boswellia that is an anti-inflammatory compound. Lavender is very calming and helps reduce stress. Geranium is great at helping relieve skin irritation and can also tone! You can switch these oils out to create a different scent in the lotion.

You will add your coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil into a glass container and place inside a pot filled with water. Heat until mixture melts. Now place into the refrigerator until solid (usually 1-2 hours). Remove from refrigerator, add essential oils, and use a mixer to blend all ingredients together. Now enjoy and feel the difference in your skin!

 

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Essential Oils

I recently received my essential oils in the mail! It is like Christmas day again. I also ordered some all-natural organic face cream. I have used it for two days and can already tell a notable difference in how soft my skin is.

You can use essential oils for so many things. You can use them as chemical free cleaning products; diffuse them; skincare; hair care; and natural remedies etc.

For example, Geranium, Frankincense, and Lavender are wonderful for the skin. Frankincense is the most referenced oil in the bible. It is great at helping boost the immune system. Frankincense contains Boswellia which is an anti-inflammatory compound.

Lemon oil is great for cleaning, natural detoxification, and can even be used with raw honey to sooth sore throats.

Lavender is great to help reduce stress and lower cortisol levels. Just add a couple of drops in a diffuser and place it close by.

Essential oils are 10-70x more concentrated than when in the plant form. This means that 15 ml bottle of lavender oil is equivalent to 150 lbs of flowers! You do have to do some research to make sure the brand you are using is organic therapeutic grade oils.

Do you use essential oils?! If so, what are some of your favorite ways to use them?

Did you know chiropractors are primary care providers?

Chiropractic approaches health by relying on the body’s natural healing ability. We believe that the relationship between the spine and nervous system contribute to many disease processes. Doctors of chiropractic are physicians who see the body as a whole and give special attention to: spinal mechanics, musculoskeletal, vascular, neurological, and nutritional connections.

 

A chiropractic physician is considered a primary health care provider and also a portal of entry to the health care system. Chiropractic physicians appreciate the demand for intervention with doctors in a different specialty, when needed. If a patient’s condition needs an allopathic physician then a referral is made.

 

Chiropractic physicians must pass four national board exams and a physical therapy exam in order to be eligible to sit for state board examinations. Training between doctors of chiropractic and medical doctors are very similar in regards to basic science course work. Where the training differs is with chiropractors having nutritional classes and spinal adjusting whereas medical doctors have pharmacology.

 

Chiropractic
Class Hours
Subject Medical
Class Hours
520 Anatomy-Embryology 508
420 Physiology 326
271 Pathology-Geriatrics-Pediatrics 335
300 Chemistry 325
114 Microbiology/Bacteriology 130
370 Diagnosis 374
320 Neurology 112
217 Radiology 148
65 Psychology/Psychiatry 144
65 Obstetrics-Gynecology 198
225 Orthopedics 156
2,887 TOTAL HOURS 2,756
1,598 Specialty Courses 1,492
4,485 Total Class Hours 4,248

NOTE:   Adapted from: Chapman-Smith, D. The Chiropractic Profession. NCMIC Group Inc. 2000.