Dehydration and Health

dehydration and healthDehydration occurs when a person doesn’t drink enough water to restore fluid loss throughout the day and night. Inadequate water intake creates serious health problems; dehydration will impact physical and mental well-being over time. Many people are unaware of how much water they need to drink every day to keep their organs healthy. At Acupractic, Dr. Lisa Oskardmay reminds people to drink enough water every day and find new ways to achieve this critical health goal.

Low water volume impedes healing and exacerbates muscle and joint pain. Delirium and other metal disequilibrium increase the rate of injury. Back pain, neck tightness, headaches, shoulder tendonitis, hip dysplasia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and plantar fasciitis are painful conditions that heal more slowly with depleted body water. Other severe health conditions associated with dehydration include heat injury, urinary and kidney problems, seizures, and hypovolemic (low blood volume) shock. Other issues include constipation, lack of sweating, dry, shriveled skin, fever, confusion, sunken eyes, tachycardia, and unconsciousness.

What Causes Dehydration?

The loss of 10-15% of body water causes severe dehydration. Common causes of excess water loss include diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, fever, and polyurea. Excessive coffee, alcohol, or other diuretic beverages can promote water loss through increased urination. Hopefully, following episodes of excess water loss, people recognize that it is essential to drink more water to restore lost fluids. Nonetheless, many people walk around every day suffering from inadequate water intake even without these high loss scenarios because they do not make water drinking a regular habit throughout the day.

The US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an average adequate daily fluid intake for men is 15.5 cups (124 oz=3.7 liters), and for women is 11.5 cups (92 oz=2.7 liters). Another way to think about this is to strive daily to drink about ¾ of an ounce of water for each pound of body weight; a 150 lb person should drink 112.5 oz of water a day. Spread over a day; that is about one glass of water an hour.

It is vital to drink water-filled beverages rather than sodas, coffees, or other drinks that contain elements the body needs to remove or substances that increase diureses like caffeine and alcohol. Many drinks have artificial sweeteners, coloring molecules, flavoring agents, and other factors that impact their purity and impede the kidney’s natural elimination function that pure water enhances.

Many people do not drink enough water because they drink bottled water which is expensive and wasteful. In contrast, it may seem prudent to buy bottled water if you mistrust tap water; strongly re-consider the actual cost of this decision. Most tap water is at least as safe as bottled water which sits around in plastic bottles all day. If you still need to drink bottled water, consider using a home filter like Brita or getting a refillable water bottle with a built-in filter. Additionally, water bottling companies spend a lot of money marketing their products. It is unnecessary to spend money on water when it is free, safe, and available in sinks and water fountains everywhere.

Some people do not like the taste of water. It is ok to add natural flavors to the water to enhance its taste. Lemon, lime, essential oils, and non-caffeinated teas may help.

Some people work in professions where it is challenging to take bathroom breaks, so they avoid drinking water to keep from needing to use the restroom. Nurses, teachers, doctors, pilots, and anyone who has trouble taking breaks may find themselves in this situation. Try to drink more water at the start of each day and increase awareness to stay hydrated.

At Acupractic Natural Center, our goal is to help each person achieve better health. Naturally, We are about 60% water- the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, the lungs are about 83% water, the skin contains 64% water, the muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and the bones are 31% water. Even mild dehydration over time will significantly impact each organ and tissue’s ability to function, heal, and perform. Call (919) 929-1400, email schedule@acudocnc.com or visit our website acudocnc.com to schedule your appointment today.

Tips for Snow Shoveling to Avoid Injury

Shoveling snow can result in back injuries or worse. We all need to get out of the house eventually following a huge snowfall like the one we just experienced here in Durham, NC. Keep a few things in mind, however, prior to going outside to shovel that snow. Back injuries and heart attacks due to snow shoveling are all too common and can be avoided. When shoveling snow, take a moment to assess the situation and realize the job may take more time than you think. Don’t rush the process—hurrying will add to the possibility of falling as well as increase the stress of the situation. Get your warm high traction boots on, suit up, grab your shovel, and head outside once you’ve taken a few moments to consider how to best approach the task. Wet snow is going to be very heavy. When you dig your shovel down into the snow, assess how heavy each shovel full is before trying to lift it, especially if you plan to twist around and pile that shovel full to the side.Twisting with the added weight of snow can injure your back quickly; doing that repetitively can cause spinal joint irritation or even a herniated disc. You may not feel the effects of injury immediately due to the numbing effects of cold so be sure to take breaks periodically. Be aware of the amount of cardiac exercise involved in moving snow, as well. Crouching, digging, lifting and twisting heavy loads repeatedly in the cold puts a lot of strain on your heart, especially if you are stressed in a hurry. Stay safe out there!

Storms Affect Arthritis

How does weather affect pain levels?  Many people say that they can tell when a storm is coming on because their arthritis flares up. Studies show that a 10 degree drop in temperature creates a commensurate increase in pain levels. A drop in barometric pressure makes people more physically uncomfortable. When it rains or humidity levels are high people also experience more pain. Arthritis can feel worse around the time a storm is brewing because factors that disturb the weather outside also increase inflammation in your body. Cold constricts already damaged joint surfaces causing more friction, humidity causes more swelling of already swollen areas and decreased barometric pressure irritates joints and muscles.

Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. A rheumatic condition, arthritis is associated with many things:  heredity and genetics, viruses, wear and tear, diet, immune system function, and stress. Joints affected may be widespread or limited to specific areas such as the hands, hips, feet, or back. Blood test markers such as ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) or CRP (C reactive protein) to measure inflammation will be elevated in arthritis. While stormy weather may make you want to stay in bed and eat comfort food, this may not be the best approach to reduce pain and inflammation.

When pain intrudes it is important to remember to move your body to reduce stagnation of systems that heal you. Prepare in advance to include a bit of movement in your daily plan on stormy days. This can include walking around the house, attending to chores, or venturing outside if weather permits. Movement will mobilize tissues, detoxify, and warm the body.

If cold worsens pain, try to stay warm. Wear warm clothes and socks and shoes in cold environments. If you can get to one, an infrared sauna can be very healing. A warm Epsom salt bath can deep heat your muscles, joints, and bones to reduce arthritis pain. Warmth will reduce cold in the body and help to detoxify.

When the weather is bad, eating well can improve your mood and mental state and reduce pain. To reduce inflammation, try to eat more naturally occurring fruits and vegetables which will provide you with lots of fiber and vitamin C and A to heal your joints and reduce swelling. Drink warm tea to reduce inflammation and warm the interior.  Increase the consumption of healthy proteins and fats, especially Omega 3 rich fish and flax oil to help improve the inflammation fighting Omega3:Omega 6 ratio.

As always, it is a good idea to drink adequate water throughout the day. Drink water rather than sodas, fruit juices, or alcohol to keep arthritis pain levels down. Especially avoid artificially sweetened beverages using aspartame as these increase inflammation in the body. Stevia is a better choice for non-sugar sweetener.

Chiropractic adjustments to the spine and extremities can help reduce pain and inflammation and acupuncture treatments to the meridians and channels of the body are supportive therapies if you need additional help. These healing treatments can keep arthritis flare ups at bay for the long run.

While preparing for stormy weather keep these tips in mind to help you survive any weather related event. Arthritis may help you predict an oncoming storm, but it doesn’t have to incapacitate you.

 

Electro acupuncture shown to stimulate stem cell production and release in the body.

Stem cell therapy is a fairly new, but increasingly widely used medical treatment for many conditions. Promise using stem cell injections has been shown for rotator cuff repair, knee tendonitis, Parkinsonism and even Type 1 diabetes.  Stem cells derived from the recipient’s own body or another source are injected into specific regions to promote tissue regrowth and repair- stem cells then attach and rebuild missing or damaged tissue. While not FDA approved, the treatment holds promise and clinics are moving forward to provide such treatments. Nonethless, there are dangers and risks associated with this new treatment.

The human body utilizes stem cells naturally to heal itself in virtually every organ, muscle, ligament is contains. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could increase our own healing response internally using stem cells our body already makes?

In the NIH grant funded medical journal Stem Cells Journal (May 2017) (https://stemcellsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/stem.2613), its authors show that electro-acupuncture applied to specific points in the body stimulates significant release of stem cells by action of the hypothalamus. Release of stem cells may provide another reason why acupuncture treatment helps improve healing for such conditions as arthritis and asthma.  With the production of stem cells occuring in ones own body, this may obviate the need for harvesting and injection of stem cells back onto the body, a costly and potentially more dangerous route than allowing the body to use its own resources, stimulated by electroacupuncture.

People who receive acupuncture frequently experience healing on several levels. Stimulation of pluripotent stem cells may be one mechanism of action.

 

Chiropractic care is holistic care.

Most patients coming into a chiropractic office do so to reduce musculo-skeletal pain. Pain is a great motivator and educator; but the chiropractic adjustment does more than just reduce pain; used correctly, the spinal adjustment will improve health on many levels.  Since our nervous system  controls every aspect of the body- from muscles to organs to balance to mentation- the chiropractic adjustment has the potential to improve health, not just reduce pain.

A spinal adjustment is designed to mobilize subluxated spinal segments using specifically applied hands-on or mechanical means. The spine is an extension of the nervous system- bony vertebra protect the spinal cord while serving as attachments to muscles and ligaments to support the body. The healthy spine and nervous system support posture and daily activities without derangement- we normally don’t think about it much until something goes wrong.

The chiropractic examination involves the following procedures:  History, Inspection, Vitals, Palpation, Range of Motion active and passive, Orthopedic testing, Neurological exam, and Imaging. This complete exam provides insight into the condition of the spine- just like when you go to the dentist and have your teeth examined or go to the GP and have blood work performed, an annual chiropractic exam can alert you to the presence of spinal derangement early.  When a subluxation is detected, specific mobilization to that segment can be applied to correct it, thus reducing the local symptoms as well as the far-reaching implications of impaired nerve input to internal organs, muscles and ligaments.

When your spine and spinal cord are healthy, you are able to stand tall with improved strength and awareness. Schedule your annual exam today to take the next steps toward a healthier you- inside and out.

Holistic Care

Holistic care refers to healthcare that tries to integrate the whole person rather than symptom based `comprehensive` care that tends to look at one symptom at a time. Persons with chronic disease often experience an involvement of multiple body systems. A comprehensive care approach to patient care is often used with the belief that a health care team will ensure that a patient’s needs will be covered. Instead, this approach is reductionist in practice and leads to fragmentation of care, and the difficult patients often slip through the cracks of the health care system. However, a holistic theory-based approach puts a patient’s perceived needs first and offers care not only for the body but also for the human spirit.

“The RBG Workout” by Bryant Johnson shows you how to get strong so you can be your best.

After seeing the movie RBG at a local theatre, I was impressed with this dynamo RBG and wrote to her trainer. He sent me a t shirt and copy of his book. I have referred several of my chiropractic and acupuncture clients to the book, and bought more copies for the office. It is my contention that working out in the manner outlined in this compact book will heal most people remarkably well. When combined with other natural healing methods, exercise is a powerhouse- just like Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In his book RBG Workout, trainer Bryant Johnson concisely describes how he came to work with the famous Justice RBG following her first bout with cancer 18 years ago. Her husband told her that she looked like an Auswitz survivor and suggested she get a trainer- the rest is history. She worked through that bout of cancer, all the while also working as a Supreme Court Justice; the training regimen Bryant created for her helped her to heal and gain strength, endurance and confidence. Several years later she was struck with pancreatic cancer and she survived this awful diagnosis as well. I have no doubt that her willingness to perform the workout exercises detailed in his book are at least partly responsible for her remarkable ability to heal from cancer as well as to maintain the mental clarity and agility she demonstrates on the Supreme Court.

The book starts out with a nice introduction from RBG herself. Following that, it describes easily performed stretches that work on preparing the body for a workout- the stretches are nicely described using basic home equipment. Next, the exercises are described, first demonstrated on gym equipment, then using basic weights and straps for people who can’t get to a gym or prefer to work at home. As always, timing and repetitions are detailed so that even a beginner can get some idea of how to do the exercises without overdoing them.

Many people would benefit from the workout described in nice detail in the book RBG Workout. It’s a full body exercise regimen that could be done a few times a week in total. If you have any questions,call my office. We are here to help.