In an effort to cut back on refined sugar, which is pro-inflammatory, obesity inducing and can lead to
diabetes, many people look to artificial sweeteners to get a sugar fix. The problem is that artificial
sweeteners have been linked to dangerous side effects. With these options causing health problems,
how can we enjoy a sweet treat in moderation, safely? There are natural sweeteners that can provide
some health benefits while satisfying your sweet tooth.
- Honey is a nice alternative that has antioxidant benefits which may help prevent cancer or heart
disease. It is also antibacterial and anti-fungal.
- Maple syrup is another natural sweetener which provides a nice benefit of antioxidants. The
polyphenol antioxidants can also help to fight against inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
- Stevia is last but certainly not least. This is a zero-calorie sweetener which is actually an herb
(the leaf of a plant). Ideally this sweetener is used in its natural form of a green leaf, like
steeping in tea for example. Beware of some brands which refine the herb to a ground white
substance that resembles refined sugar. The best thing about stevia is that there is no sugar at
all, so it is ideal for diabetics and those trying to lose weight.
Have you heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”? Well, one of the issues with sitting all day is
what we are sitting and doing. Typically sitting is done in front of a computer, tablet, or cell phone. The
posture that is used for these devices tends to be one that leads to tight muscles and aches and pains.
When we sit with a tablet or cellphone in our lap, we have our head tilted down and forward. Also, the
arms come forward and turn inward. The thumb joints can become stressed from overuse of texting or
typing. These things combined stress the muscles of the upper back and neck. This muscle tension can
lead to headaches, and pain. Forward head posture leads to 10x more pressure on the back of the neck
and upper back.
This is not to say that we all must give up our devices, although limiting time spent in the digital world is
never a bad idea, the pain associates with “tech neck” can be avoided by adjusting our posture and
improving ergonomics. Some simple guidelines include:
- Bring the head and neck into a neutral position- this means keeping the chin parallel with the
floor, not pointing at it. Also, the head should be tucked back into a position in which the
openings for the ears are over the tops of the shoulders
- Keep your device at eye level. You may need to raise up your computer monitor up or simply
hold your phone or tablet up to meet your eyes.
- Take frequent breaks. Your ligaments shorten after 20 minutes in a position. Therefore, if
sitting on your device for long periods of time the ligaments shorten and this forward head with
rounded forward shoulders begins to become our regular posture. Taking frequent breaks helps
to combat any changes in posture.
Regardless of the type of arthritis you may have, inflammation is likely to be a component that is
contributing to your joint pain. Inflammation in a joint can present with swelling, redness, heat, and
pain. While there is a vast array of medications that can help calm the symptoms of inflammation, diet
is another important component that should be considered.
The foods we choose to consume can either increase inflammation in the body, or aid in decreasing
inflammation, thus relieving pain. Therefore, choices in nutrition become a very important decision in
how we will influence inflammation and pain in the body. Diet guidelines for decreasing inflammation
may be general, such as avoiding gluten and dairy, since these have been shown to be pro-inflammatory
in the general population. Alternatively, nutrition guidelines can also be looked at from a more
individualized approach. A blood test can determine exactly which foods are causing a response from
your immune system. This is referred to as a food sensitivity test, and it can be a valuable tool in
controlling arthritis symptoms with diet.
Changes in diet and lifestyle are not easy to commit to. With all the nutrition information available, it
can be overwhelming to determine what will be best to control your symptoms. Here at GCSP we take
an integrated approach to incorporate nutritional counseling with the care from your Rheumatologist to
provide the maximum relief from your arthritis symptoms.
Vertigo is a condition characterized by dizziness. The patient experiences symptoms which may come
and go and feel like the room is spinning. Many different mechanisms can trigger the brain to feel off
balance or dizzy. While there are different causes to vertigo, the most common cause can be effectively
treated by a well-trained chiropractor.
The inner ear contains a labyrinth of canals which sense the direction of movement. Inside these canals
are small crystals which move through the canals in liquid. This movement of crystals is relayed back to
the brain, so that the body can sense which way it is moving in space. The dizziness happens when
these crystals are out of position. They spontaneously start telling the brain that the body is moving,
when it’s not. It can be very disorienting and uncomfortable for the patient experiencing these
The good news is that the treatment is minimally invasive and highly effective. I have treated several
cases of this positional vertigo. Without the use of medication, my patients have experienced fast relief
from their dizzy symptoms. Feel free to call our office to see if your dizzy symptoms can be resolved
What is chiropractic care and how can it help me with my arthritis?
Chiropractic care is a safe and effective method of treatment. It combines spinal adjustments, soft
tissue massage, and rehabilitative exercises in order to decrease pain and increase range of motion. The
goal of treatment is to get you back to life’s normal activities, without pain, and in the quickest amount
of time possible. Some stigmas about chiropractic cause people to be fearful about treatment. The
truth is that treatment can be very gentle and still be effective. It serves as a perfect adjunct to the care
you are already receiving from your doctor.