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Why Is Vitamin E Important?

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. Free radicals are also in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun.

The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them.

Some Signs of Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency is very rare in healthy people. It is often linked to certain diseases in which fat is not properly digested or absorbed. Examples include Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and certain rare genetic diseases and ataxia. Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it.

Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system.

Can Vitamin E Be harmful?

Vitamin E that is naturally present in food and beverages is not harmful and does not need to be limited.

In supplement form, however, high doses of vitamin E might increase the risk of bleeding (by reducing the blood’s ability to form clots after a cut or injury) and of serious bleeding in the brain (known as hemorrhagic stroke). Because of this risk, the upper limit for adults is 1,000 mg/day for supplements of either natural or synthetic vitamin E. This is equal to 1,500 IU/day for natural vitamin E supplements and 1,100 IU/day for synthetic vitamin E supplements. The upper limits for children are lower.

Some research suggests that taking vitamin E supplements even below these upper limits might cause harm. In one study, for example, men who took 400 IU (180 mg) of synthetic vitamin E each day for several years had an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Vitamin E Can Interact With Medication

Vitamin E dietary supplements can interact or interfere with certain medicines that you take. So, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking vitamin E supplements.

Vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding in people taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medicines, such as warfarin (Coumadin®).

In one study, vitamin E, plus other antioxidants, reduced the heart-protective effects of two drugs taken in combination (a statin and niacin) to affect blood-cholesterol levels.

What Foods Contain Vitamin E?

People should get most of their nutrients from food and beverages, according to the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Foods contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other components that benefit health. In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements are useful when it is not possible to meet the needs for one or more nutrients (for example, during specific life stages such as pregnancy).

You can get vitamin E by eating a variety of foods including the following:

Wheat Germ Oil

One tablespoon of wheat germ oil contains roughly 20.2 milligrams (101% DV) of vitamin E. It also contains a host of antioxidants, which help wheat germ oil promote regularity, stabilize blood sugar, support heart health, manage weight, and support immunity.

Sunflower Seeds

A quarter cup of sunflower seeds provides about 11.6 milligrams (58% DV) of this micronutrient. These seeds are also high in B vitamins, manganese, and other minerals. As such, they can help lower the risk of heart disease, combat cancer, support the thyroid, protect bones and muscles, balance blood sugar, and promote skin health.

Almonds

One ounce of almonds holds approximately 7.3 milligrams (37% DV) of vitamin E. Almonds nutrition also supplies healthy fats, protein, and several other vitamins and minerals. Almonds are good for the heart, brain, skin, blood sugar, weight management, nutrient absorption, digestion, immune health, teeth, and bones.

Hazelnuts

Supplying approximately 4.2 milligrams (21% DV) per ounce, hazelnuts have been shown to help promote heart health, manage diabetes, boost brain health, combat obesity and disease, and contribute to healthy nails and skin. Hazelnut nutrition is especially high in manganese, copper, magnesium, and B vitamins as well.

Spinach

A cup of cooked spinach provides about 3.7 milligrams (19% DV) of this vitamin. Known for its high vitamin K content as well, spinach nutrition is an immune-boosting powerhouse that can defend against chronic disease, while supporting eye, bone, skin, and brain health.

Avocado

With 3.1 milligrams (16% DV) in a cup, avocado benefits come from its tremendous nutrition profile, including its high vitamin E content. This superfood provides a healthy dose of good fats and just about every important micronutrient. That is why avocado is good for the heart, gut, skin, eyes, hair, brain, and immune system.

Turnip Greens

Turnip greens nutrition provides 2.7 milligrams (14% DV) of vitamin E in one cooked cup, as well as plenty of vitamins C, A, and K, along with other micronutrients. These greens benefit the heart, bones, eyes, and more.

Butternut Squash

There are about 2.6 milligrams (13% DV) of vitamin E in one cup of cooked butternut squash. Also high in antioxidants, butternut squash is good for combating inflammation, certain cancers, bone maladies, and symptoms of PMS. It also can help with weight loss, physical performance, and boosting energy.

Pine Nuts

Pine nut nutrition supplies roughly 2.6 milligrams (13% DV) of vitamin E in a one-ounce serving. Along with its other vitamins and minerals, pine nuts can help lower bad cholesterol, maintain healthy weight, reduce blood pressure, support bone health, improve eye health, and stabilize mood.

Peanuts

So long as you are not allergic to peanuts, they can support metabolism and even aid in fat loss when consumed with omega-3 foods. One ounce also contains 1.9 milligrams (10% DV) of vitamin E.

Olive Oil

One tablespoon of olive oil contains approximately 1.9 milligrams (10% DV) of this micronutrient. One of the healthiest oils around, olive oil benefits extend to the whole body, proving beneficial to the heart, waistline, brain, and immune system. In fact, olive oil may help combat cancer, slow aging naturally, and lower risk of diabetes.

Sweet Potato

A cup of cooked sweet potatoes contains 1.4 milligrams (7% DV) of this vitamin. One of the healthiest potatoes available, a sweet potato is high in antioxidants, providing an immune boost, along with being a healthy carb option.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes provide about 1.3 milligrams (7% DV) of vitamin E in one cooked cup. Also high in vitamins A, C, and K, tomatoes are versatile and support the immune system, along with eye health and so much more.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD.

Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

*Source: Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), draxe.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants (flowers, herbs, or trees) as therapy to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Aromatherapy may be used with other complementary treatments, such as massage or acupuncture, as well as with standard medical treatments to manage symptoms caused by cancer, stress, insomnia, and other health issues.

Essential oils are most often used with a diffuser or by diluting them with carrier oil and applying them to your skin.

Aromatherapy research with cancer patients has studied the effect of essential oils on anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and other health-related conditions.

Safety testing on essential oils has found very few side effects.  

Aromatherapy products do not need approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants to improve the mind, body, and spirit.

Patients with cancer, as well as other health conditions, use it to improve their quality of life to reduce stress, anxiety, pain, nausea, and vomiting caused by the health issue or the treatments.

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are the fragrant (aromatic) part found in many plants, such as the leaves, bark, or peel. The fragrance is released if the plant is crushed or a special steam process is used.

There are many essential oils used in aromatherapy, including, but not limited to, Roman chamomile, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, ginger, cedar wood, and bergamot.

Each plant’s essential oil has a different chemical make-up. This effects how it smells, is absorbed, and how the body uses it.

Essential oils are very concentrated. For example, it takes about 220 pounds of lavender flowers to make about 1 pound of essential oil.

 How Do You Use Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is used in several ways.

In indirect inhalation, the patient breathes in an essential oil by using a room diffuser, which spreads the essential oil through the air, or by placing drops on a tissue or piece of cotton nearby.

During direct inhalation, the patient breathes in an essential oil by using an individual inhaler made by floating essential oil drops on top of hot water.

If you use massage as a method for aromatherapy, then one or more essential oils is diluted into carrier oil and massaged on to the skin.

You can also mix essential oils with bath salts during a bath or mix them with lotions/carrier oils and apply them to bandages.

The types of essential oils and the ways they are combined vary depending on the condition.

Studies Using Aromatherapy

Clinical trials of aromatherapy have studied its effect in treatment of anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and other health-related conditions in cancer patients.

A trial of 103 cancer patients studied the effects of massage compared to massage with Roman chamomile essential oil. Two weeks later, a decrease in anxiety and improved symptoms were noted in the group that had a massage with essential oils. The group that had massage only did not have the same benefit.

Another study of 58 patients with various cancers who completed six aromatherapy sessions showed a decrease in anxiety and depression compared with before the sessions began.

Newly diagnosed patients with acute myeloid leukemia, who were hospitalized to receive intensive chemotherapy, inhaled an essential oil through a diffuser overnight for three weeks. Patients were given the choice of lavender, peppermint, or chamomile. Improvement was reported in sleep, tiredness, drowsiness, lack of appetite, depression, anxiety, and well-being.

A study conducted with patients using radioactive iodine, which may cause damage to salivary glands, found increased saliva production during treatment, which may decrease damage to salivary glands. In a randomized controlled trial, patients who inhaled a mixture of lemon and ginger essential oils had increased saliva production compared with the placebo group.

In a study of adult patients, at the time of stem cell infusion, tasting or sniffing sliced oranges was more effective at reducing nausea, retching, and coughing than inhaling an orange essential oil.

Women having breast biopsies were randomly assigned to receive lavender-sandalwood or orange-peppermint essential oil drops placed on a felt tab and attached to their hospital gown or to have no scent on the felt tab. Women who received the lavender-sandalwood aromatherapy tab had less anxiety than women who received the orange-peppermint aromatherapy tab or the no-scent tab.

In a study of inhaled lavender essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, or no essential oil, in cancer patients having needles inserted into a central venous port catheter, found patients who inhaled lavender essential oil reported less pain.

Side Effects or Risks to Aromatherapy

Safety testing on essential oils shows very few side effects or risks when they are used as directed. Most essential oils have been approved as ingredients in food and fragrances and are labeled as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Swallowing essential oils is not recommended.

Allergic reactions and skin irritation may occur when essential oils are in contact with the skin for long periods of time. Sun sensitivity may occur when citrus or other essential oils are applied to the skin before going out in the sun.

State law does not regulate aromatherapy, and there is no licensing required for practicing aromatherapy in the United States. Practitioners often combine aromatherapy training with another field in which they are licensed; for example, massage therapy, nursing, acupuncture, or naturopathy.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation.

Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

 A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine immediately beyond the stomach). Peptic ulcers are also called stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers, or peptic ulcer disease.

Researchers estimate about 1-6 percent of people in the United States have peptic ulcers.

What Causes Ulcers?

People are more likely to develop peptic ulcers if they are infected with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which may spread from person to person through contact with an infected person’s vomit, stool, or saliva.

People who are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, are also more likely to develop ulcers.

NSAIDs relieve pain, but they also make the stomach lining more prone to damage and ulcers. You have a higher chance of developing a peptic ulcer due to the NSAIDs you take, and the chance goes higher if you take them over a prolonged amount of time, take high doses of them, if you take them along with other medicines that increase the risk for ulcers, and if you are already infected with H. pylori.

Those are the two most common causes of peptic ulcers. Other reasons can be if you are an older adult or someone who smokes. 

Other possible reasons are infections caused by certain viruses; fungi or bacteria other than H. pylori; medicines that increase the risk of developing ulcers, including corticosteroids; medicines used to treat low bone mass; and some antidepressants, especially when you take these medicines with NSAIDs, and if you have surgical or medical procedures that affect the stomach or duodenum.

What Are the Complications of Peptic Ulcers?

Peptic ulcers can lead to complications such as bleeding in your stomach or duodenum, a perforation, or hole, in the wall of your stomach or duodenum, which can lead to peritonitis (an infection of the lining of the abdominal cavity); the ulcer may also penetrate through the stomach or duodenum and into another nearby organ.

Symptoms

Peptic ulcers may cause symptoms of indigestion, pain or discomfort in the upper part of your abdomen (anywhere between your belly button and breastbone), feeling full too soon while eating a meal, feeling uncomfortably full after eating a meal, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and belching.

Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer. The pain may be dull or burning and may come and go over time. For some people, the pain may occur when the stomach is empty or at night, and it may go away for a short time after they eat. For other people, eating may make the pain worse. In addition, many people who have peptic ulcers do not develop any symptoms until an ulcer leads to complications.

Some known complications could be black or tarry stool, or red/maroon blood mixed with your stool; red blood in your vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; sudden, sharp, or severe abdominal pain that doesn’t go away; feeling dizzy or fainting; a rapid pulse; or other symptoms of shock.

Natural strategies for support

While stomach and duodenal ulcers can be quite a challenge to live with, the good news is that, overtime, sometimes you can help them heal naturally. The following are some nutrients and compounds to use to support the healing process. While these are not FDA approved to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure ulcers, some people have seen results by applying these strategies.

Liquid Nutrition & Fasting

Fasting and liquid nutrition can be critical in the healing process.

Eating solid foods cause wear and tear and may hinder ulcers from healing. Liquid nutrition in the form of smoothies, broth, juices, and so forth, can provide key nutrients to support healing without the irritation.

Using liquid nutrition in the form of smoothies, protein shakes, bone broth, and juices will gently stimulate the digestive process. 

Intermittent Fasting can be a great starting point for reducing stress on the gut. Intermittent fasting is going for longer periods of time without eating, which naturally confines eating to a smaller window of time. It allows your gut to heal while reducing inflammation.

Reduce Stress

When the body is under stress, digestion is not prioritized. This results in under-production of stomach acid and enzymes. Digestive juices provide a protective role in sterilizing the food we eat, which maintains the optional balance in the microbiome.

Eating while chronically stressed slows down bowel motility, causing food to remain in the small intestines and the colon longer than necessary. This promotes bacterial growth and inflammation. The overgrowth of bacteria then produces toxins that enter the bloodstream, which causes more inflammation throughout the body.

Treat H Pylori

H pylori is an opportunistic bacterium that will infect and spread rapidly in people with a compromised immune system. Although this bacterium is natural and beneficial in small amounts, it can be very dangerous when allowed to propagate without control.

The secretion of mucus protects the stomach lining from irritation by food and microorganisms. H. pylori reduces the stomach’s ability to produce mucus and irritates the stomach lining. Inflammation is created and irritation becomes so severe that pain receptors fire off. This is how stomach ulcers are formed.

Ginger

Ginger is frequently used to improve the digestive process. Nine different substances have been found within ginger that stimulates serotonin receptors in the gut, which provides enhanced benefits to the gastrointestinal system.  

The stimulation of these serotonin receptors enhances bowel motility and helps to reduce gut-related inflammation. Additionally, ginger has powerful anti-nausea benefits, which is very helpful for individuals with stomach ulcers, as nausea is a very common complaint.

Ginger has also been found to have a gastro-protective effect because it balances digestive juices, improves digestive function, and suppresses H. pylori.

Turmeric

Turmeric appears to have immense therapeutic ability, especially in preventing damage from H. pylori infections. It may also increase mucus secretion, protecting the stomach lining against irritants. As a supplement, curcumin is considered turmeric’s active compound, and it has been shown to help protect the stomach lining and aid in the healing of ulcers.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays a key role in healing and protection of the gastric mucosa from injury. The lower the levels of vitamin C in the blood, the more likely you are to be infected with H. pylori.

Vitamin C deficiency has been repeatedly linked with peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. Vitamin C plays a key role in protecting and healing the stomach and intestinal mucosa.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

*Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); Draxe.com.

Deb Abraham Spalding

Part 1: The Path to Healing Starts with NRT

Dr. Lo of the Nutritional Healing Center in Frederick has been a valuable Catoctin Banner Team member for several years. He advertises his business in The Catoctin Banner, and he’s the author of the “Ask Dr. Lo” monthly column. As the publisher of this newzine, I didn’t realize just how valuable Dr. Lo would become for me personally until February, when a friend said I needed to go see him and scheduled an appointment for me. 

I had spent months battling various aches and pains that prompted me to visit my doctor and emergency room (three times) for a series of ailments. The first was a band of chest pain that scared me enough to go to the emergency room in the middle of the night. Next was a torn calf muscle that had escalated from a fall. The third was severe back and abdominal pain that I thought could become something life-threatening. 

My assumptions were proven wrong as CT scans, x-rays, and blood tests revealed no explanation for every pain I had except the calf pain. For everything else, I was completely “normal!” I’ve decided that “normal” these days must be the constant state of tolerating aches and pains! I was baffled and embarrassed. But there had to be an explanation for pain so severe that I needed help to put my pants on. 

Walking into Dr. Lo’s office was my first successful step on my path to healing. Day one was a series of tests completed with Dr. Lo’s assistant, Mary, followed by Dr. Lo’s interpretation of the test reports. Dr. Lo’s patients will never remove clothing during a visit, nor will they have blood or body fluids extracted for testing. Isn’t that interesting? 

After analyzing my test reports, Dr. Lo asked me to lay on his chiropractic table. (I have yet to have a chiropractic adjustment since seeing Dr. Lo.) Then he asked me to place one hand over my area of concern, my abdomen/belly button in my case, and put my other arm up in the air. He had me resist his attempts to move my raised arm while he placed various vials of substances (food, chemicals, minerals, etc.) against my thigh. With each placement of a vial and each push of my arm, he’s asking my body if it has a problem with the substances in the vials. He narrows down the vials from sides of a case to rows and then to individual vials to determine the culprits responsible for a person’s dis-ease. 

This is called Nutritional Response Testing (NRT). So far, I’m halfway through my twelve-visit program with Dr. Lo. In the beginning, Dr. Lo revealed that I was toxic. I had filled myself with so much unhealthy food and exposed myself to metals that had caused my body to express itself in pain.  

I had an ionic foot bath at the end of my first appointment. There were all kinds of toxins pouring out of my feet! I started to feel better immediately. Over the next several weeks, the toxins left my body through a series of rashes. I’ve lost weight and I no longer have pain, not even joint pain. Now, I’m learning to deal with my stress levels and, with all of that pain behind me, I’m ready to be more active to rebuild muscle mass. I’m on an exciting journey! 

Dr. Lo has a wall filled with degrees and certifications. He’s a Doctor of Chiropractic and has run a large practice that he’s paired down over forty years to the specific method he primarily uses today called Nutritional Response Testing or NRT. He’s still a chiropractor, but chiropractic is just one tool in his tool kit.

You’ve heard the old saying, “You are what you eat,” right? Well, it’s true that we’re eating poisons and pesticides and bugs and metals and a whole bunch of man-made junk that our bodies DO NOT LIKE. When our bodies don’t like something, it presents us with aches and pains, inflammation, rashes, acne, flatulence, chronic dis-ease, and eventually disease. Dr. Lo can help identify our unique intolerances by asking our bodies to communicate via muscle testing. 

Chiropractic adjustments are important to keep our energy pathways open, but I’ve learned they can be only temporary relief if we don’t determine whether there’s a nutritional component that’s at the root of our pain. Get this! After just six weeks through Dr. Lo’s NRT program, my sciatic back pain — for which I’ve been tolerating and seeking chiropractic help over the past twenty years — is GONE! 

Dr. Lo understands that there’s a level of disbelief to overcome with NRT. He found NRT because he had his own health emergency in 2006. While working at his large chiropractic practice in Crofton, Maryland, he experienced vertigo and was physically sick. Even he, a doctor, couldn’t find an accurate analysis for his problems. He found a doctor who used an Applied kinesiology approach to nutrition. This doctor found that Dr. Lo had a virus in his ear. This journey led Dr. Lo down his own path to healing. He was looking for answers and went to a session at BWI Airport and discovered NRT. 

By 2009, he had cut back his practice and now enjoys life, especially playing Pickleball. He found the road to healing himself and took his practice along with it. His discoveries changed his practice from a large enterprise taking insurance for chiropractic to stopping the insurance game and focusing on nutrition with chiropractic as a tool. 

We haven’t been schooled to believe that we know the answers for our health. We’ve been schooled to seek out a doctor’s testing and interpretation and then take the pills that are prescribed. Now we’re a society that’s getting sicker and sicker. 

Dr. Lo is our sleuth. He’s our tenured NRT practitioner. He’s dedicated his life to truly helping others. In many cases he has shown a path of miracles.

Dr. Lo is shown in his office where he meets with clients.

Photo by Deb Abraham Spalding

Ask Dr. Lo

Vitamin C and the Possible Benefits For You

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People can also be exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, car exhaust, etc.

The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease.

What Foods Provide Vitamin C?

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. You can get the recommended amounts of vitamin C by eating a variety of foods, including citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruits), as well as red and green peppers and kiwifruit, which have a lot of vitamin C.

Other fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes, Brussel sprouts, and tomatoes also have vitamin C.

The vitamin C content of food can be reduced by prolonged storage and by cooking. Steaming or microwaving may lessen cooking losses. Many of the best food sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, can be eaten raw.

What Kinds of Vitamin C Dietary Supplements Are Available?

Most multivitamins have vitamin C. Vitamin C is also available alone as a dietary supplement or in combination with other nutrients. The vitamin C in dietary supplements is usually in the form of ascorbic acid, but some supplements have other forms, such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids.

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin C?

Most people in the United States get enough vitamin C from the foods they eat. However, certain groups of people are more likely to have trouble getting enough vitamin C.

   People who smoke and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke, in part because smoke increases the amount of vitamin C that the body needs to repair damage caused by free radicals.

   Infants who are fed evaporated or boiled cow’s milk, because cow’s milk has very little vitamin C and heat can destroy vitamin C. Cow’s milk is not recommended for infants under 1 year of age. Breast milk and infant formula have adequate amounts of vitamin C.

   People who eat a limited variety of foods may also need additional Vitamin C added to their diet.

   People with certain medical conditions such as severe malabsorption, some types of cancer, and kidney disease, requiring hemodialysis, also need additional Vitamin C.

What Happens If I Don’t Get Enough Vitamin C?

Vitamin C deficiency is rare in the United States. People who get little or no vitamin C for many weeks can get scurvy. Scurvy causes fatigue, inflammation of the gums, small red or purple spots on the skin, joint pain, poor wound healing, and corkscrew hairs. Additional signs of scurvy include depression, as well as swollen, bleeding gums, and loosening or loss of teeth. People with scurvy can also develop anemia. Scurvy is fatal if it is not treated.

What Are Some of the Effects of Vitamin C On Health?

Scientists are studying vitamin C to understand how it affects health. Here are examples of what research has shown.

Cancer prevention and treatment.    People with high intakes of vitamin C from fruits and vegetables might have a lower risk of getting many types of cancer, such as lung, breast, and colon cancer. However, vitamin C supplements have not been proven to protect people from cancer.

It is not clear whether taking high doses of vitamin C is helpful as a treatment for cancer. Vitamin C’s effects appear to depend on how it is administered to the patient. Oral doses of vitamin C cannot raise blood levels of vitamin C nearly as high as intravenous doses. A few studies in animals and test tubes indicate that very high blood levels of vitamin C might shrink tumors. However, more research is needed to determine whether high-dose intravenous vitamin C helps treat cancer in people.

Cardiovascular disease. People who eat lots of fruits and vegetables seem to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Researchers believe that the antioxidant content of these foods might be partly responsible for this association because oxidative damage is a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. AMD and cataracts are two of the leading causes of vision loss in older people. Researchers do not believe that vitamin C and other antioxidants affect the risk of getting AMD. However, research suggests that vitamin C, combined with other nutrients, might help slow AMD progression.

In a large study among older people with AMD who were at high risk of developing advanced AMD, those who took a daily dietary supplement with 500 mg vitamin C, 80 mg zinc, 400 IU vitamin E, 15 mg beta-carotene, and 2 mg copper for about six years had a lower chance of developing advanced AMD. They also had less vision loss than those who did not take the dietary supplement.

The relationship between vitamin C and cataract formation is unclear. Some studies show that people who get more vitamin C from foods have a lower risk of getting cataracts.

The common cold. It seems that people who take vitamin C supplements regularly might have slightly shorter colds or somewhat milder symptoms when they do have a cold.

Can Vitamin C Be Harmful?

Taking too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach cramps. In people with a condition called hemochromatosis, which causes the body to store too much iron, high doses of vitamin C could worsen iron overload and damage body tissues.

The daily upper limits for vitamin C include intakes from all sources—food and supplements—and are: Birth to 12 months—not established; Children 1-3 years—400 mg; Children 4-8 years—650 mg; Children 9-13 years—1,200 mg; Teens 14-18 years —     1,800 mg; Adults—2,000 mg.

Does Vitamin C Interact With Medications or Other Dietary Supplements?

Vitamin C dietary supplements can interact or interfere with medicines that you take. Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.

Vitamin C and Healthful Eating

People should get most of their nutrients from food and healthy beverages. Foods contain vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other components that benefit health. In some cases, fortified foods and dietary supplements are useful when it is not possible to meet needs for one or more nutrients (for example, during specific life stages such as pregnancy).

*Source: Office of Dietary Suplements (ODS).

Ask Dr. Lo

Benefits of Cruciferous Vegetables

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

What Are Cruciferous Vegetables?

Cruciferous vegetables are vegetables that belong to the Brassicaceae family of plants. These plants get their name from the New Latin word “Cruciferae,” which means cross-bearing, due to the cross-like shape of their flowers.

These vegetables are native to Europe, the Mediterranean, and the temperate regions of Asia, and now cultivated around the world.

Cruciferous vegetables are low in calories and packed with nutrients. Although the individual nutrition profiles can vary, cruciferous vegetables tend to be high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, as well as dietary fiber.  

Which Vegetables Are Considered Cruciferous?

Here are some common cruciferous vegetables you may want to try: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, garden cress, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, mustard, and watercress. 

Reasons to Eat Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are packed with cancer-fighting properties. Not only are they high in antioxidants that can help neutralize cancer-causing free radicals, but they also contain compounds like glucosinolates and indole-3-carbinol, which have been shown to ward off cancer.

Multiple studies have shown an association between consumption of cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. For example, one review comprised of 94 studies reported that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was linked to a lower risk of lung, stomach, colon, and rectal cancer.

Inflammation is a normal immune response, designed to protect the body against illness and infection. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is believed to contribute to conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Cruciferous vegetables top the charts as one of the best foods when it comes to relieving inflammation. One study in 2014 published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with up to a 25 percent reduction in markers of inflammation among 1,005 women.

Reducing inflammation can also benefit inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and asthma.

Cruciferous vegetables supply a good amount of dietary fiber in each serving. A half cup of cooked brussels sprouts, for example, contains two grams of fiber, knocking out up to nearly 10 percent of your daily fiber needs with just one serving.

Fiber slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar. A 2016 study out of China found that a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables was associated with a significantly decreased risk of type 2 diabetes among 306,723 participants.

Cruciferous vegetables help promote weight loss, so load up your plate with them.

Since these vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber, they move slowly through the gastrointestinal tract, promoting satiety and warding off cravings. One 2009 study conducted at the Brigham Young University College of Health and Human Performance followed 252 women over a 20-month period and found that each gram of fiber consumed reduced body weight by half a pound and dropped body fat by 0.25 percent.

Another study published in PLOS ONE found that each serving of cruciferous vegetables was associated with 0.68 pounds of weight loss over a two-year period. It takes more than just adding a serving of cruciferous vegetables to your diet each day to reach your weight-loss goals. In addition, eat plenty of varieties of fresh fruits and veggies, minimize your intake of ultra-processed foods, and get in some exercise each week.

Cruciferous vegetables have also been shown to combat heart disease. Upping your intake is an easy way to help keep your heart stay healthy and strong.

Some studies have found that increasing your consumption of vegetables, in general, could decrease your risk of heart disease and heart problems. A massive study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition followed 134,796 adults over an average period of 10 years and found that a higher intake of vegetables—and especially cruciferous vegetables—was associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease.

Cruciferous vegetables may also improve your immunity against disease. In addition, their nutritional content is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, and Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show these vegetables have antimicrobial properties that give your immune defenses a boost against sickness-causing pathogens. 

Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone responsible for regulating the reproductive system. However, too much estrogen can disrupt your balance of hormones and cause symptoms like bloating, irregular menstrual periods, a decreased sex drive, and headaches.

Researchers have found that there may be an association between cruciferous vegetables and estrogen levels. This is thanks to the presence of indole-3-carbinol, a compound, found in cruciferous vegetables, that helps regulate estrogen activity and metabolism. Because of this compound, filling up on cruciferous veggies may be able to help regulate estrogen levels to prevent adverse side effects.

Another way to help balance hormones is by eating enough healthy fats and making sure you get enough sleep at night.

Be Mindful

Despite the many health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, keep in mind a few possible side effects.

One common concern is the association between cruciferous vegetables and gas. The fiber found in these vegetables undergoes fermentation in the large intestine, which can cause excess flatulence. For this reason, it is best to increase fiber intake slowly, chew food thoroughly and pair with higher fluid intake.

There is also some concern about the relationship between cruciferous vegetables and thyroid problems. When eaten raw, the digestion of cruciferous vegetables in the intestines releases goitrogens, which can increase the need for iodine and can cause damage to the thyroid gland.

However, research shows that it would take a large amount of raw cruciferous vegetables to cause thyroid damage. If you do have thyroid issues, it is best to eat your cruciferous vegetables cooked and limit your intake to about one to two servings per day.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Recalled Foods & Why It’s Important to Know

Why It’s Important to Know What Foods Have Been Recalled

Real-time notices of recalls and public health alerts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which regulates beef, poultry, and processed egg products, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are listed at FoodSafety.gov. You can also get FDA and USDA recall information via the mobile app Food Recalls. To find a specific recall, you can scroll through all the items listed on the site or by category. You can also find information on the CDC website under foodborne outbreaks.

It is important that consumers be aware of recalls because recalled foods may cause injury or illness, especially for people who are pregnant or have weakened immune systems because of age, chronic illness, or medical treatment.

Recalls are very specific, meaning all information must match for a product to be considered part of a recall. If a product does not match all the information in the recall completely (brand, product name, use- or freeze-by date, EST number, etc.), then it is not considered part of the recall and is safe to use.

If the product details in the recall notice match the details on the food product you have at home, do not open or consume the product. You can return the product to the place of purchase for a refund, or you can dispose of the product following the instructions provided in the recall notice to make sure no one will consume it.

What is a Food Recall?

   A food recall occurs when a food producer takes a product off the market because there is reason to believe that it may cause consumers to become ill. In some situations, government agencies may request or require a food recall. Food recalls may happen for many reasons, including but not limited to a discovery of organisms, including bacteria such as Salmonella or parasites such as Cyclospora. People can become infected with Cyclospora by consuming food or water contaminated with the parasite. People living or traveling in countries where cyclosporiasis is endemic may be at increased risk for infection.

Food recalls may also happen when there is a discovery of foreign objects such as broken glass or metal in a product.

There are also recalls when there is a discovery of a major allergen that does not appear on the product label.

What is a Public Health Alert or Safety Alert?

   A public health alert or a safety alert is issued to inform the public about potential health risks in food products. These are typically issued in cases where a recall cannot be recommended. For example, a Federal agency may be aware of an outbreak of foodborne illness, but the source has not yet been identified, or illnesses may occur due to improper handling of a particular product and the agency may issue an alert to remind consumers of safe food handling practices.

What to Do with a Recalled Product

A food product that has been recalled due to a possible germ contamination or illness can leave germs around your kitchen and contaminate surfaces, including the drawers and shelves in your refrigerator.

If you have already prepared a recalled food item in your kitchen or still have it in your refrigerator, it’s important to throw out the food and clean your kitchen.

Wash all cookware and utensils (including cutting boards) with hot soapy water.

Clear off counters and refrigerator drawers and shelves and wash them with hot soapy water.

Wipe contaminated surfaces, shelves, or drawers and rinse dishes and cookware with a sanitizing solution and let them air dry. You can use a diluted bleach solution (1 tbsp. unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water).

Products recalled due to an undeclared allergen put family members at risk with an allergy to that substance. If the product has not been served, then throw it away or return it for a refund. If the product has been served, wash with soap and water any surfaces—plates, pots and pans, utensils, and counters—that the product may have had contact with.

Outbreaks

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also posts food safety alerts and investigation notices for multistate foodborne disease outbreaks on its website.

A foodborne outbreak occurs when two or more people get the same illness from the same contaminated food or drink. When an outbreak is detected, public health and regulatory officials work quickly to collect as much information as possible to find out what is causing it, so they can take action to prevent more people from getting sick.

This action includes warning the public when there is clear and convincing information linking illness to a contaminated food. Federal, state, and local officials may investigate an outbreak, depending on how widespread it is.

Separate government agencies are responsible for protecting different segments of the food supply. Your state or local public health agency may also list state-specific recalls and outbreak alerts on their websites.

What To Do If You Suspect You Have a Foodborne Illness?

Promptly reporting your illness helps your local or state health departments to identify foodborne outbreaks. Health departments track reports of illness and look for groups of people with similar illnesses who have eaten the same foods.

Sometimes, local or state health officials may interview you over the phone to find out what you ate and did in the week before you got sick. They may also ask for copies of receipts, your shopper card number, or leftover food for testing.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

What Is Nutritional Response Testing?

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Let me start by telling you when and how my journey into Nutritional Response Testing® started.

It all began on December 16, 2006. The holiday season was in full swing, and my office was very hectic. I had no time for lunch and grabbed a bite to eat from whatever the patients had brought in to share, which happened to be mainly cookies and chocolates.

That afternoon, around 4:00 p.m., I broke out in a cold sweat, felt shaky, and experienced vertigo right in the middle of treating a patient. I ran to the bathroom, threw up, and then returned to finish treating the patient. Finally, after about an hour, I did not have the strength to treat any more patients. I just could not work anymore. I had my staff cancel all the remaining patients. My blood pressure was 190/165, my pulse was 90, and my temperature was normal.

I had my chiropractic assistant take me to my family doctor, who tried to stop my vertigo and vomiting with pills and shots, with no success. The medical doctor finally gave me a shot to knock me out, and my assistant drove me home.

Only a week before this event, I had bragged about never missing a day of work because of illness or injuries. Now, I had to miss two days in a row. For the next two months, I went through a journey, with which some of you can identify. First, I saw a neurologist who could not find anything wrong with me. My blood pressure was back to normal with no medication, and my brain MRI was normal. A scheduled visit to the GI doctor did reveal twelve polyps, but none of them were cancerous.

In the meantime, between medical doctor visits, I was seeing three different chiropractic colleagues. They gave me a variety of treatments, including activator adjustment, manual manipulation, cold laser, and nutrition and diet modification. However, with all of the medical testing I had, they could not find the cause of my vertigo.

I had a Nutritional Response Testing® session, and it revealed I had a virus in my ear, malfunctioning kidneys, parasites, adrenal fatigue, and multiple food allergies. All of these issues came from eating too much sugar and my stressed-out body just could not handle it. That resulted in my immune system breaking down. I continued with my acupuncture appointments and herbal remedies, but unfortunately, they did not help at all. However, the cold laser did help to eliminate my vertigo, and the diet change and nutritional support was an effective approach for handling the root cause of the problem.

So, what is Nutritional Response Testing® you may be wondering? It is a noninvasive system of analyzing the body in order to determine the underlying causes of ill health. When these issues are corrected through safe, natural, and nutritional means, the body can repair itself in order to attain and maintain more optimum health.

Nutritional Response Testing® analysis tests your body’s neurological reflexes on the surface of the body. These reflexes are the body’s way of telling us what and how well your nervous system is working. It is the nervous system’s responsibility to regulate the body’s functions for every organ. The testing includes organs, glands, joints, muscles, etc.

In my practice, adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism are the most common conditions we handle, followed by digestive issues, allergies, and food sensitivities. We are also helping post-COVID long-haulers, those with autonomic nervous system dysfunction and patients with chronic ailments with their recovery.

Unfortunately, we live in a polluted environment with chemicals and heavy metal toxicity; we breathe in bad air, eat highly processed food, take drugs with bad side effects, and have a lot of stress from listening to bad news and engaging in negative social media. 

Besides sleeping well, getting adequate exercise and practicing mindfulness, nutrition is an important part for attaining better health.

You may need our help if you have one or more health conditions that won’t go away and have visited many doctors—even alternative practitioners—yet the results weren’t what you had hoped for. In addition, if your health conditions are significantly affecting your life, you might be realizing that these conditions will probably not get better unless the real source of the problem is identified and corrected.

We let our patients know that they are in charge of their own heath. These three questions are important to ask yourself: How good do you want to get? How fast do you want to get there? How long do you want to stay there?

The body has the full potential to repair itself when given the right nutrition. Your chances of recovery have never been higher than with Nutrition Response Testing®.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.  

Magnesium and Its  Health Benefits

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Magnesium is a nutrient that helps the body stay healthy. Magnesium is important for many processes in the body. It helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and aids in making protein, bone, and DNA. It is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body and used in over 300 different physiological processes.

What Foods Provide Magnesium?

  Magnesium is in many natural foods and is added to fortified foods. You can get the recommended daily amounts of magnesium by eating a variety of foods. These foods include legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, avocados, dark chocolate, bananas, milk, yogurt, and other milk products.

Am I Getting Enough Magnesium?

The diets of many people in the United States provide less than the recommended amounts of magnesium. Men older than 70 and teenage girls and boys are most likely to have low intakes of magnesium.

What Happens If You Do Not Get Enough Magnesium?

In the short term, getting too little magnesium does not produce obvious symptoms. When healthy people have low intakes, the kidneys help retain magnesium by limiting the amount lost in urine. Low magnesium intakes for long periods, however, can lead to a magnesium deficiency. In addition, some medical conditions and medications interfere with the body’s ability to absorb magnesium or increase the amount of magnesium that the body excretes. 

Very high doses of zinc supplements can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb and regulate magnesium.

Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. Extreme magnesium deficiency can cause numbness, tingling, muscle cramps, seizures, personality changes, and an abnormal heart rhythm.

People with gastrointestinal diseases (such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease), type 2 diabetes, long-term alcoholism and older people are more likely to get too little magnesium.

What Are Some Effects of Magnesium On Health?

Research has shown that magnesium has positive effects on high blood pressure and heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.

Magnesium that is naturally present in food and beverages is not harmful and does not need to be limited. In healthy people, the kidneys can get rid of any excess in the urine. However, magnesium in dietary supplements and medications should not be consumed in amounts above the upper limit, unless recommended by a healthcare provider.

High intakes of magnesium from dietary supplements and medications can cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. Extremely high intakes of magnesium can lead to irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

Following are some signs of magnesium deficiency. Always check with your health practitioner if you think you are having a health issue.

Poor Cognitive Processing

Are you having bouts of brain fog, poor concentration, or constant memory issues? The brain contains the highest concentration of mitochondria in the male body (females have a higher concentration in their ovaries). Mitochondria are heavily reliant on magnesium for energy production so a deficiency can hamper your brain performance significantly.

Headaches & Chronic Migraines

Sufferers of chronic migraines often have lower levels of magnesium in their bodies. Magnesium also plays the additional key role of regulating neurotransmitter production, which can also influence migraines.

Constipation & IBS

Proper magnesium intake softens stools by drawing water into the bowels, which supports healthy elimination. If stools become too hard, they move slower through the colon and become a problem. Additionally, magnesium plays a major role in regulating muscle contractions in the intestines. This is why a magnesium deficiency often results in constipation.

Fatigue

Magnesium is highly involved with energy production. As mentioned before, the mitochondria in your cells heavily rely on magnesium to produce energy. Your mitochondrial function primarily determines your energy levels. Additionally, magnesium supports the adrenal glands, which can play a part in energy production as well.

Insomnia

You can see improvement with insomnia because magnesium is involved in the production of GABA in the brain. GABA is a chemical that promotes relaxation. If you do not have enough magnesium to produce adequate amounts of GABA, your sleep may suffer.

Muscle Spasms & Cramping

Magnesium is important for proper nerve transmission and plays a vital role in muscle contraction. When magnesium is depleted, muscle contractions can become weak and uncoordinated, leading to involuntary spasms and painful cramps.

In addition, when magnesium stores are low in the body, the nervous system can become hyper-excitable (meaning easily overstimulated) which can increase muscle tension. Magnesium can play a role here by helping to elicit an overall calming effect on the mind and body while soothing and relaxing the muscles.

Heart Arrhythmia

The heart is a muscle that constantly contracts inside our bodies without needing to be consciously controlled. Just as with other muscles in the body, the heart relies heavily on magnesium for proper contractibility. This is thought to be due to its role in regulating calcium and potassium concentrations in the muscle tissue. This includes rapid heartbeats, slow heartbeats, and sudden changes in heart rhythm for no apparent reason.

Numbness and Tingling

If you often feel numbness or tingling sensations in your body, such as in the hands and feet, this is likely due to a change in nerve activity. Because of its role in healthy nerve transmission, magnesium deficiency may be partly playing a role. Some studies have shown that magnesium may be able to relieve or prevent numbness and tingling in the extremities.

Supporting Your Magnesium Levels

Follow these strategies to boost your magnesium levels.

Magnesium Rich Foods

There are great food sources that are easy to incorporate into your daily life. Pick a few high magnesium foods and incorporate them on a regular basis.

Epsom Salt Baths

Perhaps one of the most relaxing ways to get more magnesium into your body is by taking an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts are actually a form of magnesium that can absorb into the body through the skin. 

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Visit the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Are You Taking Care of Your Lymphatic System?

Your lymphatic system is crucial for your immune system and for protecting you from inflammation and illness. If your lymphatic system is congested, it cannot protect you as effectively and can make you prone to infections and disease. Keeping your lymphatic flow smooth and free from lymph congestion can be critical to your health.

What Does Your Lymph System Do For You?

Your lymph system is a network of blood vessels and lymph nodes working together to carry fluids from your tissues to your blood and vice versa. It is your body’s inner drainage system.

You can find lymph nodes in your throat, groin, armpits, chest and abdomen.

Besides your lymph vessels and nodes, your lymph system includes several organs such as your tonsils, spleen, thymus, and adenoids.

All of these play a critical role in fighting infection, recovering from illness, and healing wounds. They recognize harmful organisms and trigger the creation of infection-fighting white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Your lymph system also helps to keep bodily fluids in balance and takes care of fluid buildup or swelling due to injury or health issues.

Ways Your Lymph System Can Become Congested

Being under a lot of stress can lead to lymph congestion. When you are under stress, your body creates stress-fighting hormones, which result in free radical waste products that can lead to a variety of health problems.

Chronic illness may lead to lymph congestion, because when your body is fighting microbes, your body is creating more white blood cells to fight them and may fill up your lymph nodes, backing up the system, and creating swelling.

Another reason for lymph congestion is digestive imbalance. Digestive imbalances may irritate the intestinal villi causing lymph congestion because a majority of your lymphatic system surrounds your gut.

Not drinking enough water and lacking physical activity can result in your lymph fluid slowing down. Your lymph system relies on pressure from muscle movement and breathing to move fluids around. A sedentary lifestyle or chronic dehydration may slow and congest your lymph system.

In addition, nutrient deficiencies may lead to lymph congestion as well. Iodine, magnesium and vitamin C are all important to mitigate the harmful effects of environmental toxins and to support your lymph system in protecting your body.

Ways to Improve Your Lymphatic System

Exercising daily may be one of the easiest and most effective ways to boost the health of your lymphatic system. Whether you are lifting weights at the gym, dancing around your home with your kids, or going for a jog with the dog you are encouraging the health of your lymphatic system and improving immune function.

Another excellent way to purify the lymphatic system is through the practice of rebounding. Rebounding is a low impact exercise, which involves jumping on a trampoline. It promotes the flow of lymph through the body and is believed to increase the drainage of toxins from organs and muscle tissue.

Use Stress Reduction Techniques to encourage the flow of lymph through your body. Some of these techniques may involve yoga, Pilates, deep breathing exercises, stretching, and maintaining good posture. These practices relieve congestion and stimulate the circulation and detoxification of lymph through the body.

When lymph becomes stagnant in extremities, a buildup of pathogenic substances, inflammatory markers and cellular debris can wreak havoc on the immune response leading to a decline in health.

These stress reduction techniques encourage the contraction and relaxation of muscle, which push debris out of organs, and decreases the likelihood of debris buildup and becoming stagnant. A simple stretch upon waking up is an easy way to initiate the circulation of lymph fluid throughout your body.

The rib cage is a major lymphatic pump in our bodies, which is essential for increasing lymphatic flow. So take in deep breaths throughout the day if possible.

One key mechanism by which our bodies remove toxins is through perspiration. That can be through exercise or using an infrared sauna. Infrared saunas offer a non-invasive form of light therapy, which heats internal muscles and organs thereby pushing toxins into circulation for their removal from the body.

The Ayurvedic practice of dry brushing boosts circulation and therefore boosts lymph flow and detoxification. Dry brushing helps to remove dead skin cells and toxic waste as well as stimulate sweat glands by opening pores and promoting underlying lymphatic circulation.

This practice is as simple as using a coarse bristle brush and moving the brush along the skin towards the heart.

Consuming a diet of anti-inflammatory foods, specifically fruits and vegetables, helps to hydrate the body and promote an alkaline environment.

Some of the best foods that detoxify the lymphatic system are red fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, cranberries, beets, cherries and raspberries. These foods boost lymphatic function and help thin bile, which is a major component to the regulation of the immune response in the gut. Consuming a diet rich in omega-3s is also critical to fighting inflammation and fighting infectious agents. 

Hydration is key to the proper function of the lymphatic system as it is primarily made up of about 95% water. Sipping on lemon water is a great detoxification strategy because it not only hydrates the body but it also encourages an alkaline environment.

Your clothes may be restricting lymphatic vessels, which may hinder the adequate flow of lymph fluid, so choose your attire appropriately.  Try not to wear tight-fitting undergarments which can cause the inability for fluid to be drained from the breast, arms and chest into surrounding lymph nodes. It is also recommended to never wear tight-fitting clothes while sleeping.

Getting a massage can also help. Connective tissue massages such as shiatsu massage can relieve symptoms of chronic pain and fatigue. Therapeutic self-massage treatments can be found online and offer techniques for increasing the flow of lymph fluid throughout the body.

Patients who suffer from the most common lymphatic disease known as lymphedema can benefit from a type of massage called the Manual Lymph Drainage technique performed by specialized practitioners.

Chiropractic care may also help remove anatomical disruptions, which block the flow of lymph fluid. Chiropractic care assists to remove these obstructions and relieve tension from the lymphatic vessels stimulating detoxification.

Lymph congestion can affect your entire body. Symptoms of lymph congestion may include fatigue, stiffness, muscle and joint pain, bloating, holding onto water, breast swelling during your cycle, itchy and dry skin, brain fog, headaches, weight gain, swollen glands, cold hands and feet, chronic sinusitis, colds, sore throats, or ear issues, skin problems and cellulite.

So using some of the above techniques can be a good way to help the lymph system stay decongested.

Your lymphatic system is essential for your immune system and for protecting you from inflammation and illness. Keeping your lymphatic flow smooth and free from lymph congestion can be crucial to your health and well-being.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation.  Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing ® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Omega-3 Fatty Acids & Why We Need Them

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for a number of functions in the body. This makes them vital to your health and wellbeing. Every single cell in your body—and especially the tissues of your brain—require omega-3 fatty acids to function properly.

The two most important (that are often deficient in people today) are EPA and DHA, which are derived from fish and certain types of algae.

You find omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in seafood, such as fatty fish (e.g., salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (e.g., crab, mussels, and oysters). A different kind of omega-3, called ALA, is in foods like nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts). 

What Are the Benefits of Consuming a Diet Rich In Omega-3?

Omega-3 fatty acids are some of the most important nutrients you can put in your body. Not only are they extremely anti-inflammatory, but they actually make up some of the most important structures of the body, like your brain and nervous system. Not getting enough in your diet increases your risk of many chronic illnesses.

EPA and DHA are found in mother’s milk, algae, fish, and grass-fed meat products. EPA and DHA can be synthesized in the body from ALA; however, it is a very inefficient process and can put excess stress on the liver. ALA is derived from plant sources of omega-3, such as green plants, flax, chia, hemp, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

Omega-3 is most beneficial when consumed in proper ratios. The most important balance to consider is omega-3 fats in relation to omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fats are important for inflammatory processes in the body; however, consuming too much in relation to omega-3 can become excessively inflammatory.

Our cells actually need these fats in order to function properly. Every cell in the body is made up of a combination of cholesterol, saturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats.

Saturated fats and cholesterol help to maintain the structural integrity of the cell membrane, while polyunsaturated fats allow fluidity. This fluidity is important for the transportation of materials, cellular communication, and other processes that occur across the cell membrane. The polyunsaturated fats that make up part of our cell membranes are actually the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA.

Health Issues Can Improve When Consuming Omega-3

Depression and anxiety have been associated with something called neuroinflammation. This means inflammation in the brain. Because increasing omega-3 intake can be highly anti-inflammatory, this can make it an important consideration in anxiety and depression. This is backed up by several studies demonstrating the effectiveness of EPA and DHA in mitigating depressive symptoms.

Some evidence suggests that lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids are correlated with higher levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is normally released in response to stress. Chronically elevated CRH due to inadequate omega-3 intake could contribute to depressive or anxious feelings.

Some preliminary evidence from a study published by Oxford in 2014 suggests that higher levels of dietary omega-3 intake are associated with lower instances of insomnia and fewer interruptions in sleep. Another factor to consider is that chronic inflammation can have a detrimental impact on sleep quality due to increased levels of circulating stress hormones. Omega-3 intakes can help to mitigate inflammation and improve sleep by lowering associated stress hormones.

DHA is particularly important for the development and maintenance of eye health. DHA is found in high amounts in the retina where it plays important roles in maintaining photoreceptor membrane integrity and ensuring optimal production of vision through light transmission. Inadequate intake has also been associated with conditions of dry eyes and poor eye structure development in children. And low intake of omega-3 is associated with increased rates of macular degeneration and retinopathy. 

Poor immune function is often a result of chronic inflammation, especially in cases of autoimmunity (overactive immune system), so targeting underlying inflammation is extremely important for improving immune function. In fact, a study performed on children up to the age of three showed that adequate DHA early in life is important for lowering instances of allergies and upper respiratory infections.

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA, are incredibly important for the development of healthy brain tissue. It has been shown to provide many benefits such as improved cognition, lowered stroke risk, improved cerebral blood flow, improved ADD/ADHD symptoms, reduced migraines, and decreased risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Adequate omega-3 intake has been shown to be important for optimal bone health. Like several of the conditions listed so far, poor bone health is associated with chronic inflammatory conditions in the body. Additionally, omega-3 intake may improve bone health by helping to regulate calcium balance and osteoblast activity. It has been mostly animal-based studies pointing toward the importance of DHA for bone health.

Fish oil’s ability to mitigate inflammation has a powerful impact on the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases. One of the primary heart conditions, calcification of the arteries, is heavily influenced by inflammation and improper calcium metabolism. Adequate omega-3 intake helps to promote a healthy calcium metabolism. The anti-inflammatory benefits of omega-3 fats further promote heart health by helping to prevent the oxidation of the artery lining and cholesterol.

Omega-3 fats have been shown to also improve cholesterol, triglyceride values, and may help to lower blood pressure in some cases.

What Are the Best Food Sources of Omega-3s?

Now that you understand the many benefits of increasing your intake of omega-3 fats, the best sources are getting plenty of EPA and DHA from food-based sources such as wild-caught fish, shellfish, and algae.

Some of the top sources include sockeye salmon, sardines, mackerel, mussels, crab, and algae. There can be some conversion of ALA into DHA from foods like walnuts, flax, and chia. Conversion of ALA into DHA is typically not enough to reach optimal levels, however.

It may be beneficial for vegans and vegetarians to consume high DHA algae on a regular basis to meet their needs.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. For more information, check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Sleep Apnea & Natural Ways to Help You Cope With It

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Sleep apnea is a common condition in which a person’s breathing is interrupted or paused during their sleep and is often preceded by heavy snoring. It is most common in men and older people, affecting more than 18 million Americans.

This condition is linked to obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression, and other health conditions.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and complex.    

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, affecting three to seven percent of the population, and is caused by a blockage in the airway. With obstructive sleep apnea, breathing stops because the throat muscles relax and the airway narrows as you sleep. The person struggles to breathe but cannot inhale effectively because the airway has collapsed.

With central sleep apnea, the airway is not blocked, but the brain does not signal the muscles to breathe. Your brain does not send proper signaling to the muscles that control breathing—your brain does not tell your muscles to breathe. People with central sleep apnea periodically do not breathe at all or breathe so shallowly that oxygen intake is ineffectual.

Complex or combined sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive and central types. This type is often referred to as treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Some Causes of Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea is usually associated with a serious illness, especially an illness or injury in which the lower brainstem (which controls breathing) is affected. Risk factors include being 65 or older and being male. Other risk factors include having congestive heart failure, having had a stroke, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or kidney failure, and using narcotic pain medications.

Risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are mostly due to the narrowing of the airway. Excess weight greatly increases your risk because the fat deposits around your throat and neck can obstruct your breathing.

A narrowed airway can also be due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Nasal congestion from seasonal allergies can also cause difficulty in breathing. This increases your likelihood of developing sleep apnea. There is also a close association between obstructive sleep apnea and asthma.

Using alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers relaxes the muscles in your throat. Smoking can also cause or worsen your condition.

Symptoms

Symptoms of sleep apnea include severe snoring, excessive daytime fatigue or sleepiness, morning headaches, waking with a dry mouth, irritability, difficulty concentrating, low energy, and unrefreshing sleep.

One of the main symptoms is loud or severe snoring. Gasping for air or choking during sleep. You may awaken out of breath during the night. Usually, people with sleep apnea have difficulty staying asleep.

Sleep apnea also impacts your daytime function, so you may notice excessive daytime sleepiness and difficulty with concentration or attention.

Some Natural Strategies

Some natural strategies may help you achieve optimal sleep. While the following strategies are not FDA-approved to prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure sleep apnea, they can improve overall sleep quality. By addressing factors in your life contributing to sleep apnea, there is a good chance you can lessen the health impact it has on you.

One of the best strategies for improving sleep apnea is to consume a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and eliminate foods that promote inflammation. Even healthy foods can be inflammatory if you have a sensitivity or intolerance to that food, so be sure to remove any foods to which you are sensitive.

Healthy fats are an essential part of a healing diet. Healthy fats are found in coconut, olives, avocados, and their oils, as well as in grass-fed butter and ghee. These healthy fats are an efficient source of fuel for the body to combat inflammation and support brain function.

High inflammatory foods that may aggravate sleep apnea are refined sugars and grains and any foods that are easily metabolized into sugar. In addition, highly processed vegetable oils, such as canola, grapeseed, and safflower, are highly inflammatory. They upregulate inflammation and create extra acidity in the tissues.

Foods rich in antioxidants are good to consume. They are found in many fruits and vegetables. Look for colorful fruits and vegetables such as berries, avocados, citrus fruits, spinach, sweet potatoes, kale, and red peppers.

Losing excess weight can be helpful. Around 60-70 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight or obese. Weight loss has been shown to be very effective in reducing the symptoms related to obstructive sleep apnea.

Regular exercise is beneficial for preventing and improving sleep apnea. Exercise has many health benefits, including increasing your energy level, helping you lose weight, and strengthening your muscles.

Research shows that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to better quality sleep, falling asleep more quickly, and improved daytime performance. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that your body cannot produce. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish such as salmon and sardines, nuts (especially walnuts), and seeds such as flaxseeds and chia seeds. If you opt for a supplement, you will want to find a brand that is molecularly distilled to take out any heavy metals and other unwanted contaminants. If you do take a supplement, be sure to discuss this with your practitioner, as they have a blood-thinning effect and can be contraindicated if you are on blood-thinning medications.

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to obstructive sleep apnea and the activation of numerous inflammatory processes. Low levels of vitamin D can contribute to and worsen the impact of sleep apnea on glucose metabolism.

Ensuring you have healthy levels of magnesium can be helpful in improving sleep apnea. Magnesium is an essential macro-mineral that the body needs in large amounts. Low magnesium levels are linked to poor quality sleep. Foods high in magnesium are dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, dairy products, and certain vegetables like broccoli. You can also do Epsom salt baths to support your magnesium levels.

Breathing through your nose, rather than your mouth, as you sleep promotes more restful and better quality sleep. When we breathe from our noses, this activates the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system signals rest, regeneration, healing, and digestion. Nose breathing lowers stress hormones, aids digestion and healing, and promotes relaxation.

Mouth breathing, on the other hand, activates the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system activates our fight or flight response, signaling the production of greater amounts of stress hormones and elevating blood sugar. This can interfere with sleep and contribute to sleep apnea.

Signs that you may be breathing from your mouth at night are bad morning breath, dry mouth/thirst in the morning, and poor oral hygiene issues.

Changing your sleep position can relieve obstructive sleep apnea by improving airflow. Sleeping flat on your back causes the throat to relax and block your airway.

Elevating your head and sleeping on your side can prevent relaxed throat muscles from blocking your airway and make breathing easier. Elevating your head around four inches helps your tongue and jaw move forward during sleeping.

Following these additional strategies to improve sleep quality may help improve your sleep apnea. If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Lactose Intolerance

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Lactose intolerance means that you have trouble digesting foods with lactose in them. Lactose is the natural sugar found in milk and foods made with milk. Between 30 million and 50 million Americans are lactose-intolerant.

For most people, lactose intolerance does not require treatment. Instead, you may want to avoid foods that have lactose. Other than dairy products, lactose is sometimes added to prepared foods such as breads, cereals, frozen dinners, instant potatoes, soups and breakfast drinks. You can also find lactose in lunchmeats, margarines, cake, cookie, pancake and biscuit mixes, powdered coffee creamers and salad dressings.

Taking a lactase tablet just before eating foods with lactose can also be helpful. The tablet will give your body the lactase it is missing. You can also choose lactose-free dairy products.

Remember to check the Nutrition Facts label on products you buy to see if they have lactose, milk, or milk byproducts, which may also be listed as whey, curds, or nonfat dry milk powder.

Symptoms

If you have lactose intolerance, your body cannot digest lactose. Most people are born with the ability to digest lactose, but up to 75 percent of people lose the ability, as they grow older.

Lactose intolerance can causes symptoms such as stomach cramps and diarrhea after you eat foods with lactose. Other symptoms may be nausea and stomach cramps. Although it is uncomfortable, the condition is not medically serious. Symptoms of lactose intolerance usually begin within 30 minutes to 2 hours after you eat or drink foods with lactose.

Dairy sensitivities may also lead to chronic symptoms, including headaches, bloating, fatigue, skin problems, and gas. They also increase inflammation in your body and may lead to leaky gut syndrome, digestive troubles, autoimmune conditions, and other chronic health problems.

Lactose intolerance and a milk allergy are two different issues. Lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system. It causes uncomfortable symptoms but is not life threatening.

A milk allergy is caused by a problem with your body’s immune system. Milk allergies are more common in children younger than three years old. Symptoms can range from mild (rashes or itching) to severe (trouble breathing or wheezing). A life-threatening reaction caused by an allergy is anaphylaxis and it is a medical emergency.

If you cannot tolerate any amount of milk or milk products, you should find other ways to get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are needed for healthy bones and teeth and essential functions of the body like a steady heartbeat. Alternatively, you can try lactose-free dairy products.

Non-Dairy Alternatives

If you cannot tolerate dairy at all here are some great alternatives to try; coconut, hemp, almond, cashew, and flax milk are great plant based options. Though be mindful if you have a nut allergy.

Coconut milk comes from the coconut’s white flesh. To produce thick coconut milk, manufacturers extract the liquid of the grated flesh of mature coconuts by squeezing them with cheesecloth. To create thin coconut milk, they use the flesh inside the cheesecloth and mix it with water. Thick coconut milk is fantastic for coconut rice, rice pudding, and baked goods. It is also higher in healthy fats. Thinner coconut milk, on the other hand, is perfect for smoothies, shakes, and as a plain milky drink. Coconut is rich in healthy fats. It is also a fantastic source of magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron and offers anti-inflammatory and antibiotic benefits

Hemp milk has an earthy and nutty flavor. It is made of hemp seeds and water. You can even make it yourself by blending hemp seeds with water at a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio depending on the consistency you prefer. You may want to add stevia for sweetness. Hemp milk is a source of healthy fats, protein, calcium, and iron.

Almond milk is also a popular alternative. It has a creamy texture, which can remind you of regular dairy. It also offers a nutty flavor. You may also make your own almond milk at home. Blend one part raw, soaked almond with two parts of water, then strain to remove any solids for creamy, homemade almond milk. It is low in calories and much lower in carbs than cow’s milk. It is rich in magnesium, riboflavin and thiamin. 

Cashew milk is getting increasingly popular. You may also make your own. Just like with almond milk, blend one part raw, soaked cashews with two parts of water, then strain to remove any solids. It is a great source of healthy fats, protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron.

Flax milk is another non-dairy alternative. You can buy it flavored or plain. It is rich in vitamins A, D, and B12. It is low in calories and sugar. Just like hemp milk, flax offers anti-inflammatory benefits with a good balance of omega fatty acids.

When shopping for plant based dairy, always read the labels as some brands use added sugar and other added ingredients. Try to buy organic, natural, without added sugar or many other additives or make your own.

Best Dairy If You Can Tolerate It or Are Taking Lactase Pills

Some people are simply unable to tolerate any dairy, while others are able to enjoy some healthier options.

Grass-fed raw milk is one of the healthy options out there if you can tolerate dairy. It is rich in protein, enzymes, calcium, vitamin K2 and E, beta-carotene, selenium and other nutritional benefits. It can be difficult to find raw milk in some states, but most stores do carry raw cheese.

If you cannot get grass-fed raw milk from your local farmer, grass-fed pasteurized milk is your next best option.  It is widely available. It offers a good omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio and is rich in conjugated linoleic acid to support metabolism and immune health.   

Many people who are sensitive to dairy may actually only have issues with cow’s milk. If you are one of these people, goat or sheep milk may be a fantastic option for you. They both offer a rich taste and are much easier to digest than cow’s milk. The form of the casein protein in goat and sheep’s milk is different and more easily digested than cow’s milk. 

They are rich in calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Most goats and sheep are pastured and are not treated with antibiotics and hormones like cows are. However, it is crucial that you make sure that you pick true pasture-raised options. Both of these are rich in healthy fats and clean protein, however, sheep dairy is a bit higher in both.

Camel milk has been a dietary staple in the Middle East and a medicinal drink in Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries. Recently, it has been gaining popularity in the West and is increasingly available in the US at health food stores, family farms, and online. It has a smooth and refreshing taste with plenty of health benefits. It is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, selenium, and zinc

Final Thoughts

Here are some great ways to manage and support your digestive symptoms other than relying on taking lactase pills on an ongoing basis.

•    Reduce the amount of dairy foods in your diet, or choose only lactose-reduced or lactose-free milks.

•    It is important to include calcium-rich foods in your diet if you avoid dairy products, as well as to get enough vitamin D (from the sun and/or supplements). Eat plenty of foods high in calcium, such as broccoli, leafy greens, beans, salmon, sardines and almonds. Studies indicate that these steps can help protect your bones and support cardiovascular health.

•    You can experiment with eating yogurt and aged cheeses to see if these are better tolerated than milk. Yogurt is fermented and it contains active cultures (beneficial probiotics) that can help with digestion.  Aged, hard cheeses contain less lactose and may be tolerated in small amounts.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick.

Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

*Sources: Office on Women’s Health (OWH); drjockers.com & draxe.com.

Endometriosis

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues experienced among women and one of the leading causes of infertility.

It may affect more than 11 percent, more than 6½ million women in American between the ages of 15 and 44. It is especially common among women in their 30’s and 40’s. 

For women with endometriosis, the lining tissue of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. The misplaced tissue responds to the monthly hormones by thickening and shedding with every menstrual cycle; however, the thick tissue is outside of the uterus and is unable to pass through the vagina and out of the body. The endometrial flow is then trapped and may cause inflammation and pain. Adhesions, or scar tissue, may form and stick one organ to another. It can even cause the fallopian tubes to close, which can lead to infertility.

Most often, endometrioses is found on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, tissues that hold the uterus in place, and outer surface of the uterus. Other sites for growths can include the vagina, cervix, vulva, bowel, bladder, or rectum. Rarely, endometriosis appears in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, brain, and skin.

Symptoms of Endometriosis

With many women, the progression of endometriosis symptoms is slow, developing over many years. Each woman experiences a different range of pain, which can make a diagnosis difficult. The pain typically begins in the lower abdomen and intensifies during a women’s menstrual period or sexual intercourse. As the pain becomes more severe, it may begin to radiate through the lower belly, back, and legs—it is often described as cramp-like pain.    

The most common symptoms of endometriosis can include very painful menstrual cramps, chronic lower back and pelvis pain, painful periods, irregular periods, painful intercourse, increased pain during bowel movements, increased pain during urination, excessive bleeding, spotting and bleeding between cycles, painful digestion, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, infertility, joint pain, nerve pain, chronic fatigue, and bloating.

Inflammation is also an issue and the forming of scar tissue and adhesions (type of tissue that can bind your organs together) can be a problem. The scar tissue may cause pelvic pain and make it hard for you to get pregnant.

Causes Endometriosis

No one knows for sure what causes this disease, but possible causes are problems with menstrual period flow. Retrograde menstrual flow is the most likely cause of endometriosis. Some of the tissue shed during the period flows through the fallopian tube into other areas of the body, such as the pelvis. Genetic factors can be a reason because endometriosis seems to run in families.

A faulty immune system may fail to find and destroy endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus, and research shows that the hormone estrogen appears to promote endometriosis.

Treatments for Endometriosis

While there are many conventional treatments for the symptoms of endometriosis, there are also many natural ones as well.

A healthy diet is a great way to start when attempting to relieve symptoms naturally.

Begin by eliminating foods that lead to inflammation. This includes dairy, processed foods, refined sugars, caffeine, and carbohydrates. Eliminate these foods from your diet for at least three weeks, paying close attention to your body. You may also want to eliminate alcohol, soy, and other high-estrogen foods from your diet because of their estrogenic effects.

A 2004 study published in Human Reproduction found that there is a significant reduction in the risk of developing endometriosis in women who consume green vegetables and fresh fruit.

So, try to add these beneficial anti-inflammatory foods to your diet: green leafy vegetables, celery, beets, broccoli, blueberries, salmon, pineapple, walnuts, coconut oil, chia seeds, flaxseeds, turmeric, ginger, and bok choy.

Magnesium-rich foods also help soothe the uterus and reduce pain. These include pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, avocado, almonds, bananas, chard, and spinach.

Iron-rich foods are important as well because they replenish the loss of iron in the body, which is a result of excess bleeding. Some foods containing iron include liver, beefsteak, navy beans, black beans, spinach, egg yolk, prunes, artichokes, and collard greens.

In addition, you can help to reduce inflammation, relieve joint, and muscle pain, and regulate hormone production, with omega-3 foods.

Add flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, salmon, trout, tuna, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel to your diet.

If you are suffering from constipation as an endometriosis symptom, eat high-fiber foods like quinoa, vegetables, berries, coconut, figs, artichokes, peas, okra, brussel sprouts, turnipsand acorn squash.

Acupuncture may also be effective, safe, and well-tolerated as an adjunct therapy, according to a study conducted at Harvard Medical School for endometriosis-related pelvic pain. For the study, 18 young women, ages 12–22 with laparoscopically diagnosed endometriosis-related chronic pelvic pain, were analyzed. Participants in the active acupuncture group experienced 62 percent less pain after four weeks, which differed significantly from the control group’s average reduction.

In addition, the essential oil, clary sage, was found to help balance hormones naturally and has been found to effectively reduce pain and cramping when applied topically.  You can apply two to four drops added to a carrier oil, then apply it topically over the abdomen, and then apply a warm compress over the area to relieve the pain.

Can You Prevent Endometriosis?

You cannot prevent endometriosis. However, you can reduce your chances of developing it by lowering the levels of the hormone estrogen in your body. Estrogen helps to thicken the lining of your uterus during your menstrual cycle.

To keep lower estrogen levels in your body, you can exercise regularly (more than four hours a week). This will also help you keep a low percentage of body fat. Regular exercise and a lower amount of body fat help decrease the amount of estrogen circulating through the body.

Avoid large amounts of alcohol because it raises estrogen levels. No more than one drink per day is recommended for women.

Avoid large amount of drinks with caffeine. Studies show that drinking more than one caffeinated drink a day, especially sodas and green tea, can raise estrogen levels.

Does Endometriosis Go Away After Menopause?

For some women, the painful symptoms of endometriosis improve after menopause. As the body stops making the hormone estrogen, the growths shrink slowly. However, some women who take menopausal hormone therapy may still have symptoms of endometriosis.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

What Are Endocrine Disruptors and Should You Be Concerned?

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Endocrine disruptors are natural or synthetic chemicals that mimic or block the action of natural hormones and that may disrupt the body’s endocrine system. Your endocrine system is made up of several organs called glands. These glands, located all over your body, create and secrete hormones. Hormones are chemicals that coordinate different functions in your body by carrying messages through your blood to your organs, skin, muscles, and other tissues. These signals tell your body what to do and when to do it.

A wide range of substances, both natural and man-made, are thought to cause endocrine disruption. They are found in everyday products, including plastic bottles, metal food cans, detergents, flame-retardants, food, toys, skin creams, and pesticides.

Endocrine Disruptors: The Dose Does Not Make the Poison

When it comes to chemicals and toxicology, it seems logical to think higher doses of something are more dangerous because the health impacts are immediate and obvious. However, with endocrine disruptors, even seriously tiny doses can lead to devastating health effects. Sometimes, these health impacts do not show up for years or even decades down the line after exposure. In addition, unlike high-dose poisonings, it is not as easy to make the cause-and-effect connection.

Our hormonal systems are so delicate that even tiny exposures to endocrine-disrupting chemicals at key points of development could set us up for disease later in life. We are talking exposures measured in the parts per billion. To put that into context, it is like one drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The ‘Dirty Dozen’ Endocrine Disruptors

With more than a thousand potential hormone disruptors out there, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists created a list of the 12 most damaging and prominent endocrine disruptors to avoid.

BPA

This synthetic hormone can trick the body into thinking it is the real thing. It has been linked to everything from breast and other cancers to reproductive problems, obesity, early puberty, and heart disease. According to government tests, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies.

You can avoid BPA by eating fresh and avoiding food out of cans. Say no to receipts, since thermal paper is often coated with BPA. Avoid plastics marked with a “PC” for polycarbonate, or recycling label #7. Not all of these plastics contain BPA, but many do. For more tips, check out: www.ewg.org/bpa/.

Dioxin

Dioxins form during many industrial processes when chlorine or bromine are burned in the presence of carbon and oxygen. Dioxins can disrupt the delicate ways that both male and female sex hormone signaling occurs in the body. Recent research has shown that exposure to low levels of dioxin in the womb and early in life can both permanently affect sperm quality and lower the sperm count in men during their prime reproductive years. Dioxins are very long-lived, build up both in the body and in the food chain, are powerful carcinogens, and can affect the immune and reproductive systems.

It is very hard to avoid because the ongoing industrial release of dioxin has meant that the American food supply is widely contaminated.

Atrazine

Researchers have found that exposure to even low levels of this herbicide can turn male frogs into females that produce completely viable eggs. Atrazine is widely used on the majority of corn crops in the United States, and consequently, it is a pervasive drinking water contaminant. Atrazine has been linked to breast tumors, delayed puberty, and prostate inflammation in animals, and some research has linked it to prostate cancer in people.

You can avoid it by purchasing organic produce and get a drinking water filter certified to remove atrazine. For help finding a suitable filter, check out EWG’s buying guide: www.ewg.org/report/ewgs-water-filter-buying-guide/.

Phthalates

Did you know that a specific signal programs cells in our bodies to die? It is totally normal and healthy for 50 billion cells in your body to die every day! However, studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates can trigger “death-inducing signaling” in testicular cells, making them die earlier than they should. Studies have also linked phthalates to hormone changes, lower sperm count, less mobile sperm, birth defects in the male reproductive system, obesity, diabetes, and thyroid irregularities.

You can avoid it by avoiding plastic food containers, children’s toys (some phthalates are already banned in kid’s products), and plastic wrap made from PVC, which has the recycling label #3. Some personal care products also contain phthalates. It is best to read the labels and avoid products that simply list added “fragrance,” since this catchall term sometimes means hidden phthalates. Find phthalate-free personal care products with EWG’s Skin Deep Database: www.ewg.org/skindeep/.

Perchlorate

This is a component in rocket fuel and contaminates much of our produce and milk, according to EWG and government test data. When perchlorate gets into your body, it competes with the nutrient iodine, which the thyroid gland needs to make thyroid hormones. This means that if you ingest too much of it, you can end up altering your thyroid hormone balance. This is important because these hormones regulate metabolism in adults and are critical for proper brain and organ development in infants and young children.

You can reduce perchlorate in your drinking water by installing a reverse osmosis filter. As for food, it is difficult to avoid perchlorate, but you can reduce its potential effects on you by making sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet.

Fire Retardants

In 1999, some Swedish scientists studying women’s breast milk discovered that the milk contained an endocrine-disrupting chemical found in fire retardants, and the levels had been doubling every five years since 1972! These incredibly persistent chemicals, known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs, have been found to contaminate the bodies of people and wildlife around the globe—even polar bears. These chemicals can imitate thyroid hormones in our bodies and disrupt their activity. That can lead to lower IQ, among other significant health effects. While several kinds of PBDEs have now been phased out, they are persistent, so they will contaminate people and wildlife for decades to come.

It is virtually impossible to avoid, but passing better toxic chemical laws that require chemicals to be tested before they go on the market would help reduce our exposure. A few things that you can do in the meantime include: use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which can cut down on toxic-laden house dust; avoid reupholstering foam furniture; take care when replacing old carpet (the padding underneath may contain PBDEs). Find more tips at www.ewg.org/pbdefree/.

Lead

Lead harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a staggering array of health effects, including permanent brain damage, lowered IQ, hearing loss, miscarriage, premature birth, increased blood pressure, kidney damage, and nervous system problems. Few people realize that another way lead may affect your body is by disrupting your hormones. Research has also shown that lead can disrupt the hormone signaling that regulates the body’s major stress system.

You can avoid lead exposer by keeping your home clean and well maintained. Crumbling old paint is a major source of lead exposure, so get rid of it carefully. A good water filter can also reduce your exposure to lead in drinking water. Studies have also shown that children with healthy diets absorb less lead.

Arsenic

This toxin is in your food and drinking water. In smaller amounts, arsenic can cause skin, bladder, and lung cancer. It also messes with your hormones! Specifically, it can interfere with the normal hormone functioning that regulates how our bodies process sugars and carbohydrates, which has been linked to weight gain/loss, protein wasting, immunosuppression, insulin resistance (which can lead to diabetes), osteoporosis, growth retardation, and high blood pressure.

You can reduce your exposure by using a water filter that lowers arsenic levels.

Mercury

This naturally occurring, but toxic metal, gets into the air and the oceans primarily though burning coal. Eventually, it can end up on your plate in the form of mercury-contaminated seafood. Pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal can concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. Mercury can also bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. The metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.

You can avoid mercury in your seafood by choosing wild salmon and farmed trout.

Perfluorinated Chemicals

(PFCs)

This is what industry used to use when making non-stick cookware. They are so widespread and extraordinarily persistent that 99 percent of Americans have these chemicals in their bodies. One particularly notorious compound called PFOA has been shown to be “completely resistant to biodegradation.” That means that even though the chemical was banned after decades of use, it will be showing up in people’s bodies for countless generations to come. This is worrisome because PFOA exposure has been linked to decreased sperm quality, low-birth weight, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and high cholesterol, among other health issues.

You can avoid this by not using non-stick pans (also older ones found at secondhand stores), as well as stain and water-resistant coatings on clothing, furniture, and carpets.

Organophosphate Pesticides

Neurotoxic organophosphate compounds that the Nazis produced in huge quantities for chemical warfare during World War II were never used. After the war ended, American scientists used the same chemistry to develop a long line of pesticides that target the nervous systems of insects. Despite many studies linking organophosphate exposure to effects on brain development, behavior, and fertility, they are still among the more common pesticides in use today. A few of the many ways that organophosphates can affect the human body include interfering with the way testosterone communicates with cells, lowering testosterone and altering thyroid hormone levels.

You can avoid these compounds by buying organic produce and using EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which can help you find the fruits and vegetables that have the fewest pesticide residues: www.ewg.org/foodnews/.

Glycol Ethers

Shrunken testicles is one thing that can happen to rats exposed to chemicals called glycol ethers, which are common solvents in paints, cleaning products, brake fluid, and cosmetics. The European Union says that some of these chemicals “may damage fertility or the unborn child.” Studies of painters have linked exposure to certain glycol ethers to blood abnormalities and lower sperm counts. In addition, children who are exposed to glycol ethers from paint in their bedrooms have substantially more asthma and allergies.

You can reduce your exposure by checking out EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning (www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/) and avoid products with ingredients such as 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME).

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation.  Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing ® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior.

Many studies have looked at how meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, stress, certain psychological disorders, and pain. A number of studies also have helped researchers learn how meditation may work and how it affects the brain.

While there are many definitions of mindfulness, one that encompasses the basic idea is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment.” Being present involves acknowledging and accepting your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, while not being overly reactive or overwhelmed by them.

What Is the Difference Between Mindfulness and Meditation?

Meditation is an ancient practice, and there are many ways to meditate—mindfulness being one of them.

There are usually four elements in common with all meditative practices. The first is being in a quiet location with as few distractions as possible. The second is being in a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions). The third is focusing your attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath). The fourth practice is having an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them).

What Science Studies are Finding About the Effectiveness of Meditation?

Many studies have investigated meditation for different conditions. There is evidence that it reduces blood pressure, as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It also is helpful for symptoms of anxiety and depression and for helping people with insomnia.

In a 2016 NCCIH-funded study, adults ages 20 to 70 who had chronic low-back pain received one of the following treatments: either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) training, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), or traditional care. The MBSR and CBT participants had a similar level of improvement, and it was greater than those who got traditional care, including long after the training ended.

Results of a 2009 NCCIH-funded trial involving 298 university students suggest that practicing Transcendental Meditation lowers the blood pressure of people at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

The findings also suggested that practicing meditation helps with psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility, and coping ability.

A 2014 literature review of 47 trials of 3,515 participants suggested that mindfulness meditation programs show evidence of improving anxiety and depression.  A 2012 review of 36 trials found that 25 of them reported better outcomes for symptoms of anxiety in the meditation groups compared to control groups.

In a small, NCCIH-funded study, 54 adults with chronic insomnia learned mindfulness-based stress reduction, showing a significantly greater reduction in insomnia severity compared with non-meditative procedures.

A 2014 research review suggested that mind and body practices, including meditation, reduce chemical identifiers of inflammation and show promise in helping to regulate the immune system.

Results from a 2013 NCCIH-supported study involving 49 adults suggest that eight weeks of mindfulness training may reduce stress-induced inflammation better than a health program that includes physical activity, education about diet, and music therapy.

Some research has also suggested that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially help to improve many health problems and promote healthy behaviors.

   In a 2012 study, researchers compared brain images from 50 adults who meditate and 50 adults who do not meditate. Results suggested that people who practiced meditation for many years have more folds in the outer layer of the brain. This may increase the brain’s ability to process information.

In addition, a 2013 review of three studies suggests that meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse changes that take place in the brain due to normal aging.

What Are the Basics of Mindfulness Meditation?

People practice mindfulness meditation in order to become intentional and aware of their thoughts and surroundings. While mindfulness meditation can be a formal practice in which you sit down in silence with your eyes closed, you can also practice in many other ways, such as paying closer attention to the things you do each day, rather than multitasking or being distracted.

Here is what you can expect when practicing mindfulness:

     Rather than completing tasks while “going through the motions,” daydreaming or zoning out, instead you practice focusing on what you are actually doing and feeling. You notice your thoughts and emotions, rather than letting your mind wander.

     The idea is to be aware of what you are experiencing right now, rather than reviewing the past or planning for future events.

     During guided mindfulness meditation, you typically keep your focus on something constant, such as your breath or sounds in your environment. Your exact focal point varies depending on the meditation techniques you are using.

     You may choose to focus on a prayer, chant, or an image in your mind, a candle flame or a religious image. For example, in transcendental meditation, you repeat a mantra to yourself silently, which serves as your focal point, while in Vipassana meditation (one of the oldest Buddhist meditation practices), you usually fixate your attention on your breath.

     While trying to pay attention to the object in focus, you listen to your own thoughts without being caught up in them. You notice how thoughts continuously pop up but then leave or change if you do not follow them.

     You use the practice to gain self-awareness. Rather than trying to stop your thoughts or judge them, you approach them with curiosity and compassion.

How To Start

Here is how to practice mindfulness if you are a beginner, using a basic meditation technique that focuses your awareness on your breath:

     Start by deciding how long you want to practice. In the beginning, it is recommended that you stick to short but consistent sessions, such as 5 or 10 minutes per day, in order to build a habit. As you advance, you may want to meditate for as long as 20 to 60 minutes daily.

     Choose a location where you are comfortable and undistracted.

     Decide which posture works best for you, choosing one that allows you to feel comfortable but alert. You may want to sit with crossed legs and a straight spine or lay down, but keep in mind that the goal is not to fall asleep. You can also use a chair, a meditation cushion, bolster, blanket, etc.

     Keep your body relaxed, eyes either closed or slightly open but soft, and arms loosely dangled by your side. Try to relax your muscles but not to hunch or stiffen your back or neck.

     Bring your attention to your breath, focusing on the sounds, feelings in your body, or anything else that grabs your attention regarding your breath.

     This is when your mind will start to wander, which is expected and normal. Gently return your attention to your breath. Your mind will likely keep generating thoughts that distract you, but the whole point of the meditation is to practice observing your thoughts without needing to react.

     No matter how much your attention keeps drifting away from your breath, try not to judge yourself or give up. When time is up, take a moment to notice how your body feels and any change in your emotions. Pause for a few moments and notice if you feel any more clarity or calmness.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo will demonstrate Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body and determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Ulcerative Colitis: What Is It?

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation or sores in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum.  It happens when abnormal reactions of the immune system cause inflammation and ulcers on the inner lining of your large intestine.

Ulcerative colitis can begin gradually and become worse over time. However, it can also start suddenly. Symptoms can range from mild to severe. In between periods of flares, most people have periods of remission. Periods of remission can last for weeks or years.

How Common Is Ulcerative Colitis?

Research suggests that about 600,000 to 900,000 people in the United States have ulcerative colitis and is more likely to develop in people between the ages of 15 and 30, although the disease may develop in people of any age. Those with a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child—with IBD are more likely to develop ulcerative colitis, especially those of Jewish descent.

What Are the Complications of Ulcerative Colitis?

Ulcerative colitis may lead to complications that develop over time, such as anemia, bone problems, such as osteopenia or osteoporosis. Problems with growth and development in children, such as gaining less weight than normal, slowed growth, short stature, or delayed puberty. Colorectal cancer, because patients with long-standing ulcerative colitis that involves a third or more of the colon are at increased risk and require close screening.

Some people with ulcerative colitis also have inflammation in parts of the body other than the large intestine, including the joints, skin, eyes, liver and bile ducts.

People with ulcerative colitis also have a higher risk of blood clots in their blood vessels.

What Are the Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis vary from person to person. Common symptoms of ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, passing blood with your stool or rectal bleeding, cramping and pain in the abdomen, passing mucus or pus with your stool, a constant urge to have a bowel movement even though your bowel may be empty and an urgent need to have a bowel movement. Symptoms can also include fatigue, or feeling tired, fever, nausea or vomiting and weight loss.

What Causes Ulcerative Colitis?

The following factors may play a role in causing ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis sometimes runs in families. Research suggests that certain genes increase the chance that a person will develop ulcerative colitis. Abnormal immune reactions of the immune system may play a role in causing ulcerative colitis. Abnormal immune reactions lead to inflammation in the large intestine. The microbes in your digestive tract—including bacteria, viruses, and fungi—that help with digestion are called the microbiome. Studies have found differences between the microbiomes of people who have IBD and those who do not.

Eating, Diet, & Nutrition

If you have ulcerative colitis, you should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Ulcerative colitis symptoms may cause some people to lose their appetite and eat less, and they may not get enough nutrients. In children, a lack of nutrients may play a role in problems with growth and development. Healthier diets appear to be associated with less risk of developing ulcerative colitis. It may be helpful to keep a food diary to help identify foods that seem to make your symptoms worse.

It is important to understand that a healthy diet is the foundation. Certain foods trigger an aggressive immune response and inflammation in the digestive tract, and these foods need to be pinpointed and removed from your diet.

Some problematic foods include dairy products, spicy foods, and refined sugar. There are also beneficial foods that reduce inflammation and help with nutrient absorption, like omega-3 foods and probiotic foods.

People with ulcerative colitis may also want to swap out unhealthy fats for healthier options. This is because unhealthy fats, such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, trans-fats and refined vegetable oils, can cause chronic inflammation. Healthy fats, on the other hand, are essential for everything from hormone production to cancer prevention, brain development, and weight loss.

Removing refined sugars and grains can also be helpful. During processing, refined grains are stripped of many important vitamins and minerals, producing a final product high in calories, carbs, and sugar, but lacking in essential nutrients.

White rice, pasta, and noodles are a few examples of refined grains that are low in the important micronutrients that your body needs. Swapping these foods out for healthy whole grain alternatives is a great way to squeeze some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet.

Exercise is also an important factor in treating ulcerative colitis, since the benefits of exercise are so wide-ranging. Moderate-intensity exercise reduces stress, which is a root cause of this inflammatory disease. Exercise (especially yoga and swimming) also stimulates digestion, boosts the immune system, and aids relaxation.

Relaxation is a vital element in combating ulcerative colitis because it calms the body and allows it to digest food more easily. Meditation, stretching, and breathing practices can help improve circulation, regulate the digestive system, and keep the body out of fight or flight mode.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Better yet, come to our Free Nutritional Seminars, held on the third Wednesday of every month. Call us for the time of the class. Dr. Lo will demonstrate Nutritional Response Testing®, using it to analyze the body and determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

What Are the Causes of Varicose & Spider Veins?

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are twisted veins that can be blue, red, or skin-colored. The larger veins may appear rope-like and make the skin bulge out.

Varicose veins are often on the thighs, the backs and fronts of the calves, or the inside of the legs near the ankles and feet. During pregnancy, varicose veins can happen around the inner thigh, lower pelvic area, and buttocks.

What Are Spider Veins?

Spider veins, or thread veins, are smaller than varicose veins. They are usually red. They may look like tree branches or spider webs. Spider veins can usually be seen under the skin, but they do not make the skin bulge out as varicose veins do.

Spider veins are usually found on the legs or the face.

Who Is Most Likely to Get Varicose and Spider Veins and What Are The Symptoms?

Women are more likely to have varicose veins and spider veins. Pregnancy, older age, and obesity can also increase your risk of varicose veins and spider veins.  They are often painless and do not usually cause health problems.

Some people do not have any symptoms with varicose veins and spider veins. If you do have symptoms, your legs may feel extremely tired, heavy, or achy. Your symptoms may get worse after sitting or standing for long periods. Your symptoms may get better after resting and putting your legs up.

Other symptoms that may be more common with varicose veins include throbbing or cramping, swelling and itching.

Changing hormone levels may affect your symptoms. Because of this, women may notice more symptoms during certain times in their menstrual cycle, during pregnancy or menopause.

What Causes Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

Problems in the valves in your veins can prevent blood from flowing normally and cause varicose veins or spider veins.

Your heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients through your arteries to your whole body. Veins then carry the blood from different parts of your body back to your heart. Normally, your veins have valves that act as one-way flaps. However, if the valves do not close correctly, blood can leak back into the lower part of the vein rather than going toward the heart. Over time, more blood is stuck in the vein, building pressure that weakens the walls of the vein. This causes the vein to grow larger.

Also sitting or standing for a long time, especially for more than 4 hours at a time, may make your veins work harder against gravity to pump blood to your heart.

Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on your veins. Women who have obesity are more likely to get varicose veins than women are with a healthy weight.

During pregnancy, the amount of blood pumping through your body increases to support your unborn baby. The extra blood causes your veins to swell. Your growing uterus also puts pressure on your veins. Varicose veins may go away within a few months after childbirth, or they may remain and continue to cause symptoms. More varicose veins and spider veins may appear with each additional pregnancy. For some women, varicose veins shrink or disappear after childbirth. For others, varicose veins stay after childbirth, and symptoms continue to get worse.

As you get older, the valves in your veins may weaken and not work as well. Your calf muscles also weaken as you age. Your calf muscles normally help squeeze veins and send blood back toward the heart as you walk.

The hormone estrogen may weaken vein valves and lead to varicose veins. Using hormonal birth control with estrogen and progesterone, or taking menopausal hormone therapy, may raise your risk of varicose or spider veins.

What Can I Do At Home to Help Varicose Veins and Spider Veins?

If your varicose veins or spider veins bother you, you can take steps at home or work to make blood flow in your legs better.

However, you may not be able to prevent varicose veins and spider veins, especially since you cannot control certain factors like heredity, pregnancy and aging

You can get regular physical activity. Muscles in the legs help your veins push blood back to the heart, against the force of gravity. If you have varicose veins or spider veins in your legs, any exercise that works the muscles in your legs will help prevent new varicose veins or spider veins from forming.

Lose weight, if you are overweight or obese. Extra weight makes it more difficult for your veins to move blood back up to your heart, against the force of gravity. Losing weight may help prevent new varicose veins or spider veins from forming.

Do not sit or stand for a long time. If you have to sit or stand at work or home for a long time, take a break every 30 minutes to stand up and walk around. This makes the muscles in your legs move the blood back up to your heart more than when you are sitting or standing still without moving around.

Wear compression stockings. Compression stockings help increase blood flow from your legs.

Put your feet up. Rest your feet on a stool as much as possible when sitting to help the blood in your legs flow back to your heart.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Better yet, come to our Free Nutritional Seminars held on the third Wednesday of every month. Call us for the time of the class. Dr. Lo will demonstrate Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body and determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

DEALING WITH HEMORRHOID PAIN

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins around your anus or in your lower rectum. There are two types of hemorrhoids: the external hemorrhoid and the internal hemorrhoid. 

Hemorrhoids are normal in all individuals from birth. These vascular structures or “cushions” help regulate bowel movements at the end of the rectum. People who experience the discomfort of hemorrhoids are often dealing with enlarged hemorrhoids.

Many people are reluctant to talk about their problems with hemorrhoids, but this is a common issue and can cause challenges for many people’s quality of life.

Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women, equally, and affect about 1 in 20 Americans. About half of adults older than age 50 have hemorrhoids.

Are There Complications from Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids sometimes cause complications, including blood clots in an external hemorrhoid, skin tags (extra skin left behind when a blood clot in an external hemorrhoid dissolves), and an infection from a sore on an external hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid can also become strangulated when the muscles cut off the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid that has fallen through.

Symptoms and Causes of Hemorrhoids

The symptoms of hemorrhoids depend on the type you have. If you have external hemorrhoids, you may have anal itching, one or more hard tender lumps, and an ache or pain, especially when sitting.

Also, be aware that too much straining, rubbing, or cleaning around that area may make your symptoms worse. For many people, the symptoms of external hemorrhoids go away within a few days.

If you have internal hemorrhoids, you may have bleeding from your rectum (bright red blood on stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement) or a hemorrhoid that has fallen through the opening, called a prolapse. Internal hemorrhoids that are not prolapsed most often are not painful. Prolapsed internal hemorrhoids may cause pain and discomfort.

Keep in mind that although hemorrhoids are the most common cause of these symptoms, not every symptom is caused by a hemorrhoid. Some hemorrhoid symptoms are similar to those of other digestive tract problems. For example, bleeding from your rectum may be a sign of bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or cancer of the colon or rectum.

Ways to Treat Hemorrhoids

You can try treating your hemorrhoids at home for a week by making some lifestyle changes. Try adding foods high in fiber to your diet, or take a fiber supplement such as psyllium. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day, and stop straining during bowel movements. Also, do not sit on the toilet for long periods and avoid regular heavy lifting.

If your hemorrhoids are painful, you can try sitting in a tub of warm water (called a Sitz bath) several times a day to help relieve the pain. You can also try applying over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or ointments made for hemorrhoids, which may relieve mild pain, swelling, and itching from external hemorrhoids.

Also, maintaining a healthy digestive system is one of the simplest ways you can prevent and treat uncomfortable hemorrhoids. Increasing oral fluids is one of the first lifestyle changes recommended to patients struggling to find relief from their hemorrhoids. Optimal hydration improves lymphatic drainage and has total body inflammation-reducing effects.

Straining the abdomen and pelvic floor muscles while having a bowel movement may be easily treated by avoiding constipation. Hydrating throughout the day with purified water is a great way to loosen stool, making bowel movements easier.

Our toilets may be one reason that people suffer from hemorrhoids. Once you find your way to the toilet, do not sit, but rather squat. One tip on doing so is to have a step stool nearby your toilet, on which you can then place your feet.

Squatting is common in undeveloped countries and is a natural position to go to the bathroom. Doing so removes strain off the rectum while relaxing muscles, which better allows the passing of a bowel movement and prevents bleeding from swollen veins. Furthermore, when you have the urge to use the bathroom, allow your body to have a bowel movement immediately rather than waiting, thus avoiding problems like constipation, which can lead to hemorrhoids.

Following are some more helpful tips to help you avoid hemorrhoids. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause dehydration and constipation. Avoid both unhealthy fats like fried foods and processed foods and certain spices, which can irritate and worsen hemorrhoids. Eat well and add fiber-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to improve digestion and decrease the transit time that stool sits in the colon. Eliminate any known allergens from your diet that can cause constipation: common triggers include gluten, eggs, dairy, and shellfish. Include fermented foods into your daily meals to maintain healthy gut bacteria and improve stool evacuation from the digestive tract. Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a common risk factor that is associated with hemorrhoids. Exercising regularly increases the likelihood of having a regular bowel movement. Do not wait for a big urge to use the bathroom. The bowel not only loses its softness from water being taken back up into the body, but it also allows toxins to be absorbed as well, so try to train your bowels to evacuate by squatting on the toilet the same time every day. Try to limit being seated for long periods; doing so puts pressure on the veins, the same as if you were sitting on a toilet for too long.

Foods You May Want to Avoid If You Have Hemorrhoids

If you have hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend eating more foods that are high in fiber and avoiding foods that have little or no fiber, such as cheese, chips, fast food, ice cream, processed meats, microwavable dinners, and prepared packaged foods and snack foods such as cakes, cookies, candy, and so forth.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Better yet, come to our Free Nutritional Seminars held on the third Wednesday of every month. Call us for the time of the class. Dr. Lo will demonstrate Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body and determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

*Source: https://www.niddk.nih.gov; https://www.nlm.nih.gov, https://www.drjockers.com.

Are You Dealing With Constipation?

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Constipation is a condition in which you may have fewer than three bowel movements a week; your stools are hard, dry, or lumpy; they may be difficult or painful to pass, or you may have a feeling that not all stool has passed.

Constipation is not a disease, but it may be a symptom of a medical problem and can last for a short or a long time.

How Common is Constipation?

Constipation is common among all ages and populations in the United States. About 16 out of 100 adults have symptoms of constipation, and it rises to about 33 out of 100 for adults over the age of 60.

Certain groups of people are more likely to be constipated, including women, especially during pregnancy or after giving birth; older adults; non-Caucasians; people who eat little to no fiber; people who take certain medications or dietary supplements; and people with certain health problems, including functional gastrointestinal disorders.

What Causes Constipation?

You may be constipated for many reasons, and constipation may have more than one cause at a time. Causes of constipation may include slow movement of stool through your colon; delayed emptying of the colon from pelvic floor disorders; colon surgery; functional gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome; and certain medications and dietary supplements.

Certain medications and dietary supplements that can make constipation worse are antacids that contain aluminum and calcium; anticholinergics and antispasmodics; anticonvulsants; calcium channel blockers; diuretics; iron supplements; and medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease, depression, and ones used to manage pain.

In addition, life changes and changes to your daily routine can cause constipation. For example, your bowel movements may change if you become pregnant, as you get older, when you travel, when you ignore the urge to have a bowel movement, if you change your medications, and if you change how much and what you eat.

Certain health and nutrition problems can also be a cause of constipation, like not eating enough fiber; not drinking enough liquids or dehydration; not getting enough physical activity; celiac disease; and disorders that affect your brain and spine, such as Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord or brain injuries.

Conditions that affect your metabolism can also cause constipation. Conditions such as diabetes; conditions that affect your hormones, such as hypothyroidism; inflammation linked to diverticular disease; as well as intestinal obstructions, including anorectal blockage and tumors and anatomic problems of your digestive tract.

What Helps Get Things Moving?

Oftentimes, there are many things you can try at home for constipation.

Try changing what you eat and drink. This can make your stools softer and easier to pass. Try eating more high-fiber foods and make sure you drink plenty of water. Adults should be trying to get 25 to 31 grams of fiber a day. Reducing your consumption of caffeinated and sugary beverages throughout the day may be your first battle in getting proper hydration. These drinks can offset the osmotic balance of the gut and inhibit gut motility.

Increase your water consumption to include drinking a minimum of half of your body weight in ounces daily and three-quarters of your body weight in ounces during the summer. Drinking 16 ounces of water when you first wake up is a great way to support healthy bowel activity.

Increasing the amount of physical activity you perform daily will also help treat symptoms of constipation. 

One movement that is particularly effective for stimulating bowel activity is rebounding off a small trampoline. This light bouncing motion helps to stimulate intestinal contractions and move fecal material. 

Exercise has countless other health benefits, including combating fatigue, relieving stress, reducing signs of depression and anxiety, lowering pain sensitivity, as well as improving the frequency of your bowel movements.

Try to train yourself to have a bowel movement at the same time each day to help you become more regular. For example, try to have a bowel movement 15 to 45 minutes after a meal, because eating helps your colon move stool. So, sit on the toilet 15 to 45 minutes after you eat if that is convenient for you. If that is not, then find a time that will work for you every day.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to have a bowel movement and use the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to go. Try to relax your muscles or put your feet on a footstool to make yourself more comfortable. Our ancestors used to poop in a hole in the ground. In many cultures, the toilet is much lower to the ground than the traditional western world has it. Squatting down deep is not only very good for our back and legs, but it also helps to open up the colon in such a way as to get a better release of fecal material.

This process has been shown to relieve the tension from your intestines and allows for a much easier elimination process. 

If you think certain medications or dietary supplements are causing your constipation, talk with your doctor. He or she may change the dose or suggest a different medicine that does not cause constipation. Do not change or stop any medicine or supplement without talking with a health care professional.

The body demands fat for the optimal functioning of our organs and cellular processes. Fat helps regulate hormone function and is partly responsible for intestinal motility. One clinical study showed that consuming a high-fat diet for only three days decreased the period for which food remained in the stomach. Good fats to consume include coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flakes, grass-fed butter or ghee, avocados, olives, and olive oil.

Salt is a life-sustaining nutrient that promotes thyroid function, adrenal health, and electrolyte balance. Alterations to these life processes very easily can create symptoms of constipation.

Research supports that you should be consuming a minimum of 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day. You can consume the sum of the salt you need from natural sources, such as beets; carrots; spinach; turnips; fish; and sea vegetables like kombu, kelp, and dulse.

Most people with chronic constipation have very low stomach acid levels. Stomach acid is important for triggering the entire digestive system by properly breaking down proteins and stimulating the release of bile from the liver and gallbladder, as well as pancreatic enzymes from the pancreas.

Stress depletes our ability to produce adequate stomach acid, which then causes poor digestion and inflammation in the gut, worsening stress and inflammation in the body. 

Increase the healthy bacteria in your gut by consuming fermented foods and beverages. Fermented foods contain live and active cultures of bacteria, which support intestinal health. Add fermented veggies like sauerkraut, kimchi, and homemade pickles into your diet, as well as coconut water, kefir, and kombucha.  You do not need much. Start with one to two tablespoons per day and see how you feel. Try to work up to a half-cup, daily.

Magnesium is one of the most popular supplements used to treat constipation for its ability to relax the muscles, encouraging the movement of stool. Increasing your uptake of magnesium-rich food sources can help you overcome constipation.  Excellent plant sources include green veggies, nuts, and seeds.

The signs you would be getting too much magnesium would be loose stools, light-headedness, or leg cramps, in conjunction with high-dose magnesium intake. 

Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia, and flaxseeds, are excellent sources of fiber in your diet. Combined with increased water intake, chia seeds swell and form a gelatinous substance, which easily moves through the digestive tract.

Flaxseeds exhibit much of the same laxative activity as chia seeds and can be easily added to your foods.

Pumpkin seeds are a nutrient-dense food source and contain minerals that promote digestion. 

You may want to try an over-the-counter laxative for a short time. There are fiber supplements, osmotic agents like milk of magnesia, stool softeners, lubricants, and stimulants.

If you have been taking laxatives for a long time and can’t have a bowel movement without taking a laxative, reach out to your practitioner.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

*Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and https: drjockers.com.

Heart-Healthy Living

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Understanding a heart-healthy lifestyle is important. It involves understanding your risk, making good food choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. Taking preventive measures may lower your risk of developing heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being.

Understand Your Risks

Your risk for heart disease depends on many factors, some of which are changeable and others that are not. Risk factors are higher for heart disease if you: Have high blood pressure; have high blood cholesterol; are overweight or obese; have prediabetes or diabetes; smoke;        do not get regular physical activity; have a family history of early heart disease (your father or brother was diagnosed before age 55, or your mother or sister was diagnosed before age 65); have a history of preeclampsia (a sudden rise in blood pressure and too much protein in the urine during pregnancy); have unhealthy eating behaviors; are older (age 55 or older for women or age 45 or older for men).

Each risk factor increases a person’s chance of developing heart disease.

Some risk factors cannot be changed. These include your age, sex, and a family history of early heart disease. However, many others risk factors can be modified. For example, being more physically active and eating healthy are important steps for your heart health.

Women and Heart Disease

Women generally get heart disease about 10 years later than men do, but it is still the number one killer of women. After menopause, women are more likely to get heart disease, in part because estrogen hormone levels drop. Women who have gone through early menopause are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not gone through menopause. Middle-age is also a time when women tend to develop other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure.

Get Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checked

Two of the major risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.

Your blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and your blood vessels.

Most adults should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year. If you have high blood pressure, you will likely need to be checked more often.

Your blood pressure is considered high when you have consistent systolic readings of 140 mm Hg or higher or diastolic readings of 90 mm Hg or higher. Based on research, your doctor may also consider you to have high blood pressure if you are an adult or child age 13 or older who has consistent systolic readings of 130 to 139 mm Hg or diastolic readings of 80 to 89 mm Hg and you have other risk factors for heart disease.

High blood cholesterol is a condition in which your blood has unhealthy levels of cholesterol—a waxy, fat-like substance.

Many factors affect your cholesterol levels. For example, age, sex, eating patterns, and physical activity level can affect your cholesterol levels.

A blood test can show whether your cholesterol levels are in range. Your cholesterol numbers will include total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol and “good” HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Ask your doctor what your numbers mean for you.

The following foods are the foundation of a heart-healthy eating plan: Vegetables such as leafy greens (dandelion, collard greens, kale, cabbage), broccoli, and carrots); fruits such as apples, cherries, oranges, pears, grapes, and mangoes; whole grains such as plain oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa; fat-free or low-fat dairy foods such as  organic milk, cheese, or yogurt; protein-rich foods (fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids; lean meats such as lean beef or pork tenderloin or chicken or turkey; eggs; nuts and seeds; legumes such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans); foods high in monounsaturated fats (nuts such as walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, and pine nuts; nut and seed butters; salmon and trout; avocados).

Foods to limit would be processed foods high in added sugar and salt, trans fats, and alcohol. Understanding nutrition labels can help you choose healthier foods.

Limit Sodium

Adults and children over age 14 should eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. If you have high blood pressure, you may need to limit sodium even more.

Read food labels and choose products that have less sodium for the same serving size.

Choose low-sodium, reduced-sodium, or no-salt-added products.

Choose fresh, frozen, or no-salt-added foods instead of pre-seasoned, sauce-marinated, brined, or processed meats, poultry, and vegetables.

Eat at home more often, so you can cook food from scratch, which will allow you to control the amount of sodium in your meals.

Flavor your foods with herbs and spices instead of salt.

When cooking, limit your use of premade sauces, mixes, and instant products such as rice, noodles, and ready-made pasta.

Limit trans fats as much as possible. This includes foods made with partially hydrogenated oils such as some desserts, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza, stick margarines, and coffee creamers.             Read nutrition labels and choose foods that do not contain trans fats. Dairy products and meats naturally contain very small amounts of trans fats. You do not need to avoid these foods because they have other important nutrients.

Limit Added Sugars

You should limit the amount of calories you get each day from added sugars. This will help you choose nutrient-rich foods.

Some foods, such as fruit, contain natural sugars. However, added sugars do not occur naturally in foods. They include brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, raw sugar, and sucrose.

Read the labels and choose foods without added sugars. 

Limit Alcohol

Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol you drink. Your doctor may recommend that you reduce the amount of alcohol you drink or that you stop drinking alcohol.

Alcohol can: (1) Add calories to your daily diet and possibly cause you to gain weight; (2) Raise your blood pressure and levels of triglyceride fats in your blood; (3) Contribute to or worsen heart failure in some people, such as some people who have cardiomyopathy; (4) Raise your risk of other diseases such as cancer.

If you do not drink, you should not start. You should not drink if you are pregnant; are under the age of 21; taking certain medicines; or if you have certain medical conditions, including heart failure.

Manage Stress

Research suggests that an emotionally upsetting event, particularly an angry one, can serve as a trigger for a heart attack or angina in some people. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other heart disease risk factors. Some of the ways people cope with stress—drinking alcohol, using other substances, smoking, or overeating—are not healthy ways to manage stress.

Learning how to manage stress and cope with problems can improve your mental and physical health. Consider healthy stress-reducing activities such as: (1) Talking to a professional counselor; (2) Participating in a stress-management program; (3) Practicing meditation; (4) Being physically active; (5) Trying relaxation techniques; (6) Talking with friends, family, and community or religious support systems.

Get Regular Physical Activity

Regular physical activity can help you lose excess weight, improve physical fitness, lower many heart disease risk factors such as “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels, and manage high blood pressure. Physical activity can also lower stress and improve your mental health, as well as lower your risk for other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, and cancer

The more active you are, the more you will benefit. Participate in aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes at a time throughout the week. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommends that each week, adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity.

Another way you can begin to increase your activity level is by reducing how long you sit at a given time. Breaking up how long you sit will benefit your overall health.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke, quit. Smoking can raise your risk of heart disease and heart attack and worsen other heart disease risk factors. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke.

If you have trouble quitting smoking on your own, consider joining a support group. Many hospitals, workplaces, and community groups offer classes to help people quit smoking.

Talk to your doctor if you vape. There is scientific evidence that nicotine and flavorings found in vaping products can damage your heart and lungs.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Not getting enough sleep or good-quality sleep over time can raise your risk for chronic health problems. The amount of sleep you need each day will change over the course of your life.

Sleep helps heal and repair your heart and blood vessels, helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full, helps support healthy growth and development, and helps support a healthy immune system.

Over time, not getting enough quality sleep, called sleep deficiency, can raise your risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

You can take steps to improve your sleep habits. First, make sure that you allow yourself enough time to sleep. Some sleep strategies are to: (1) Spend time outside every day, if possible, and be physically active; (2) Avoid nicotine and caffeine; (3) Avoid heavy or large meals within a couple hours of bedtime; (4) Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed; (5) Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day; (6) One hour before you go to bed, shut off all electronic devices and avoid exercise and bright light; (7) Take a hot bath or use relaxation techniques before bed; (8) Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Symptoms & Risk Factors of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer starts when cells in the prostate begin to grow out of control. The prostate gland is a small, walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid. The size of the prostate can change as a man ages. In younger men, it is about the size of a walnut, but it can be much larger in older men. Sometimes prostate cancer is referred to as a silent disease because in the earlier stages—sometimes lasting for years—the tumor in the prostate gland is not big enough to cause any pain or prostate cancer symptoms.

Symptoms

When a man does develop prostate cancer the early warning signs can be:

     A man can start having difficulty with normal urination, to include the feeling of a burning or painful sensation, having trouble starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine, weak urinary stream, experiencing dribbling or leaking of urine, more frequent need/urge to urinate, excessive urination at night, or urinary retention (not being able to urinate).

     He may have erectile dysfunction, painful ejaculation or a decrease in fluid when ejaculating.

     He may have blood in the urine or semen.

     A man may develop pressure or pain in the groin and rectum.

     He may also have pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, pelvis, or thighs.

Prostate Cancer Risk Factors

Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed; others, like a person’s age, cannot be changed.

However, having a risk factor, or even several, does not mean that a man will get the disease. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors.

The following describes several factors that might affect a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer.

Age: Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men older than 65.

Race/ethnicity: Men of African descent are an estimated 73 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with white men. In addition, when it does develop in these men, they tend to be younger. Asian men who live in Asia have the lowest risk, but their risk increases if they adopt a “modern Western lifestyle.”

Family history: Prostate cancer seems to run in some families, which suggests that in some cases there may be an inherited or genetic factor. Still, most prostate cancers occur in men without a family history of it.

   Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. (The risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those who have a father with it.) The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young when they got the cancer. 

Obesity or being overweight:    Certain studies have found that obese men have a greater risk for developing aggressive prostate cancers (but not slow-developing types). They are also more likely to have a difficult time recovering from surgery, and they have a greater risk of dying from prostate cancer.

Other dietary/lifestyle factors: A man is more likely to develop prostate cancer if he smokes or uses drugs and if he has poor dietary habits, especially eating a highly processed diet that includes refined or trans fats, lots of added sugar, and processed carbohydrates.

There also seems to be an association between a lack of vegetables in the diet (especially cruciferous veggies, like cauliflower and broccoli) and a higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

A lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle, along with low vitamin D levels, puts a man at higher risk. In addition, due to little sunlight exposure, men who live north of 40 degrees latitude (north of Philadelphia or Utah in the U.S.) have the highest risk for dying from prostate cancer of any men in the United States.

Excessive calcium intake, particularly from supplements, can put a man at higher risk, along with exposure to certain toxic chemicals.

In addition, tall height in a man, especially those who are tall and obese develop prostate cancer more commonly.

Reduce Chances of Getting Prostate Cancer

The following are ways to mitigate your chances of getting prostate cancer:

(1) Eat a Healthy Diet and Manage Your Weight. Many studies have evidence that lifestyle changes, especially diet modifications, can decrease the chances that you will develop prostate cancer, as well as reduce cancer recurrence and help slow the progression of cancer. A healthy, unprocessed food diet is also important for preventing obesity.

Avoid all trans-fatty acids (found in many fried foods, fast food, highly processed foods, and margarine).

Try to eat about 2.5 cups or more of veggies every day as part of an anti-inflammatory diet. Try to include a variety of veggies in your diet, especially leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, which have recently been connected to cancer prevention.

Eat wild-caught fish, which provide omega-3 fatty acids.

Eat foods high in zinc and selenium, which support prostate health.

(2) Get enough exercise. Studies suggest that people who are more physically active have better protection against developing many types of cancer, as well as overall improvements in health and better protection against obesity. Getting daily exercise has numerous benefits, both for your mind and body. Exercise helps reduce inflammation, improve circulation, support the immune system, and can help you control your weight. It can also improve feelings of well-being and reduce stress, depression, or anxiety.

(3) Treat other health conditions and check your medications. Many of the same lifestyle habits that lead to conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and depression can also increase your cancer risk. These are also associated with worsened sexual function, including contributing to erectile dysfunction. Work on overcoming health challenges through diet and lifestyle changes as much as possible. Recovery from serious diseases, including cancer, is easier if you’re metabolically healthy and not battling other health problems.

If you’re taking any medications, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about how they may contribute to negative side effects. For example, some medications, such as SSRIs (used to treat depression), beta-blockers (used for high blood pressure), and medications used for insomnia and anxiety, can affect your prostate. These may have a negative impact on sexual dysfunction because they can cause decreased libido, impairment in arousal, erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, and delayed or absent orgasm.

(4) Do not supplement with calcium. Taking high doses of calcium may increase your risk, so talk to your doctor about whether calcium supplements are needed. It is suggested that you avoid taking more than 1,500 milligrams of calcium from supplements per day, although calcium from food sources (like leafy greens and fermented dairy) is unlikely to be a problem.

(5) Do not smoke and modify your drinking of alcohol. If you currently smoke, get help with quitting. Talk to your doctor about useful interventions, speak with a therapist, or start an online program that specializes in smoking cessation. Drink alcohol only in moderation and avoid use of recreational drugs.

(6) Get quality sleep and manage stress. Find ways to relax; connect with others and wind down. If your job is a major source of stress on a daily basis, consider what you can do to change your situation. Take up hobbies, stay active, and join groups in your community to connect with others. Studies have found that people with more social support tend to live longer, happier lives.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

*Content Source: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/about/what-is-prostate-cancer.html; https://drjockers.com/prostate-cancer/.

Helpful Hints for Those With Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard, pebble-like pieces of material that form in one or both of your kidneys when high levels of certain minerals are in your urine.

Kidney stones vary in size and shape. They may be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a pea. Rarely, some kidney stones are as big as golf balls. Kidney stones may be smooth or jagged and are usually yellow or brown.

A small kidney stone may pass through your urinary tract on its own, causing little or no pain. A larger kidney stone may get stuck along the way. A kidney stone that gets stuck can block your flow of urine, causing severe pain or bleeding.

What Types of Kidney Stones Are There?

There are four main types of kidney stones. Calcium stones, including calcium oxalate stones and calcium phosphate stones, are the most common types of kidney stones. Calcium oxalate stones are more common than calcium phosphate stones. Calcium from food does not increase your chance of having calcium oxalate stones. Normally, extra calcium that is not used by your bones and muscles goes to your kidneys and is flushed out with urine. When this does not happen, the calcium stays in the kidneys and joins with other waste products to form a kidney stone.

Uric acid stones may form when your urine contains too much acid. Eating a lot of fish, shellfish, and meat—especially organ meat—may increase uric acid in urine.

Struvite stones may form after you have a UTI. They can develop suddenly and become large quickly.

Cystine stones result from a disorder called cystinuria that is passed down through families. Cystinuria causes the amino acid cystine to leak through your kidneys and into the urine.

Who Is Likely to Develop a Kidney stone?

Caucasian ethnicity and male gender are associated with higher rates of kidney stones. Men tend to develop kidney stones in their 40s through 70s; rates increase with age. Women are most likely to experience kidney stones in their 50s.

Kidney stones are on the rise; about 11 percent of men and 6 percent of women in the United States have kidney stones at least once during their lifetime. If you have a family history of kidney stones, you are more likely to develop them. You are also more likely to develop kidney stones again if you have had them once and if you do not drink enough liquids.

Symptoms & Causes

Symptoms of kidney stones can include sharp pains in your back, side, lower abdomen, or groin;  pink, red, or brown blood in your urine; a constant need to urinate; pain while urinating; the inability to urinate or can only urinate a small amount and cloudy or bad-smelling urine.

Your pain may last for a short or long time or may come and go in waves. Along with pain, you may have nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills.

However, many kidney stones are painless until they travel from the kidney, down the ureter, and into the bladder. Depending on the size of the stone, movement of the stone through the urinary tract can cause severe pain with sudden onset. People who have kidney stones often describe the pain as excruciating.

How Can I Prevent Kidney Stones?

In most cases, drinking enough liquids each day is the best way to help prevent most types of kidney stones. Drinking enough liquids keeps your urine diluted and helps flush away minerals that might form stones. Unless you have kidney problems, drinking half your body weight in ounces of water is a good idea. Remember, if you live, work, or exercise in hot weather, you may need more liquid to replace the fluid you lose through sweat.

Studies have shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can reduce the risk of kidney stones. Studies have also shown that being overweight increases your risk of kidney stones.

The type of kidney stone you have can affect food choices. Based on the type of kidney stone you had, you may be able to prevent kidney stones by making changes in how much sodium, animal protein, calcium, or oxalate is in the food you eat.

For example, if you have calcium oxalate stones, you will want to reduce very high oxalate foods, such as nuts and nut products, peanuts, rhubarb, spinach, and wheat bran.

Eating large amounts of animal protein may increase your chances of developing kidney stones due to uric acid buildup. Although you may need to limit how much animal protein you eat each day, you still need to make sure you get enough protein. Plant-based options are beans, dried peas, and lentils.

Even though calcium sounds like it would be the cause of calcium stones, it is not. In the right amounts, calcium can block other substances in the digestive tract that may cause stones. It may be best to get calcium from low-oxalate, plant-based foods.

Your chance of developing kidney stones increases when you eat more sodium. Sodium is in many canned, packaged, and fast foods. It is also in many condiments, seasonings, and meats. Here are some tips to reduce your sodium intake. Adults should aim to consume less than 2,300 milligrams a day. One teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams of sodium. If you have had calcium oxalate or calcium phosphate stones, you should follow this guideline.

Check the Nutrition Facts label found on many foods. Low in sodium is 5 percent or less, and high in sodium is 20 percent or more.

Consider writing down how much sodium you consume each day.

Cook from scratch. Processed and fast foods, canned soups and vegetables, and lunchmeats usually have high amounts of sodium.

Look for foods labeled no salt added, unsalted, and lightly salted.

Check labels for ingredients and hidden sodium, such as sodium bicarbonate (the chemical name for baking soda); baking powder, which contains sodium bicarbonate and other chemicals; disodium phosphate; monosodium glutamate or MSG; sodium alginate; sodium nitrate; or nitrite.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of illness or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com

Sugar…Why It’s Bad

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Ten things you may not realize that can affect your blood sugar and tips to help you handle diabetes.

When you first found out you had diabetes, you most likely tested your blood sugar often to understand how food, activity, stress, and illness can affect your blood sugar levels. By now, for the most part, you have got it figured out. Then, something makes your blood sugar zoom higher. You try to adjust it with food, activity, or insulin, and it dips low. You are on a rollercoaster that no one with diabetes wants to ride.

Do you know all of the blood sugar triggers?

Knowledge is power! Here are some surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:

1. Sunburn—the pain causes stress, and stress increases blood sugar levels.

2. Artificial sweeteners—more research is needed, but some studies show they can raise blood sugar.

3. Coffee—even without sweetener, some people’s blood sugar is extra-sensitive to caffeine.

4. Losing sleep—even just one night of too little sleep can make your body use insulin less efficiently.

5. Skipping breakfast—going without that morning meal can increase blood sugar after both lunch and dinner.

6. Time of day—blood sugar can be harder to control the later in the day it gets.

7. Dawn phenomenon—people have a surge in hormones early in the morning whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can spike.

8. Dehydration—less water in your body means a higher blood sugar concentration.

9. Nose spray—some have chemicals that trigger your liver to make more blood sugar.

10. Gum disease—it is both a complication of diabetes and a blood sugar spiker.

What Makes Blood Sugar Fall?

Watch out for other triggers that can make your blood sugar fall.

1. Extreme heat—extreme heat can cause blood vessels to dilate, which makes insulin absorb more quickly and could lead to low blood sugar.

 2. Household chores—cleaning the house or mowing the lawn can lower blood sugar. Many of the chores you do every week count as moderate physical activity. Small amounts of exercise add up.

3. Food with probiotics—foods that have healthy bacteria (probiotics), such as yogurt, can improve digestion and may help you control your blood sugar. Some yogurts have added sugar and fruit, so be careful. Reach for the ones with no added sugar, and count the carbs. Your best choice is plain yogurt without extra sugar.

4. Cinnamon—a sprinkle of this spice can add flavor without adding salt, carbs, or calories. Some studies suggest it also can help the body use insulin better and may lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Doctors need more research to know for sure. However, too much cinnamon can have negative effects.

5. Sleep—blood sugar can dip dangerously low during sleep for some people with diabetes, especially if they take insulin. It is a good idea to check your levels at bedtime and when you wake up in the morning. A snack before bed may help. For some people, blood sugar can rise in the morning—even before breakfast—due to changes in hormones or a drop in insulin.

   6. Female hormones—when women’s hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control.

   If an activity, food, or situation is new, be sure to check your blood sugar levels before and after to see how you respond.

Tips To Find a Balance

While other factors are at work, the food you eat plays a huge role in balancing your blood sugar levels and minimizing the highs and lows. By understanding how certain foods affect your blood sugar, you can take charge of the outcome. Most importantly, you can more easily keep your blood sugar within the right range so that you can feel your best.

1. Carbs—carbs can have a big impact on blood sugar. Essentially, it is the balance of the amount of insulin in your body and the carbs you eat that determine your blood sugar. So, whether you choose whole carbs or empty carbs, you will start to see (and feel) the impact on your body.

2. Read food labels—trying to figure out the healthiest option when comparing two foods is not always easy. Learn how to decode nutrition information and packaging claims on the labels so that you can make the best decisions for your health.

3. Plan ahead—Most people with diabetes would agree: The hardest part about managing blood sugar is timing and balancing meals and snacks while still trying to live a “normal” life. Therefore, plan for the day and always have healthy snacks in case your day does not go as planned. Know where you can quickly get a healthy snack if you do not have one on hand.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health.

The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center

Is Secondhand Smoke Putting Your Health in Danger?

Secondhand smoke is composed of sidestream smoke (the smoke released from the burning end of a cigarette) and exhaled mainstream smoke (the smoke exhaled by the smoker. Most nonsmokers do not want to breathe tobacco smoke. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, and secondhand smoke contains many of the same chemicals that are present in the smoke inhaled by smokers. Because sidestream smoke is generated at lower temperatures and under different conditions than mainstream smoke, it contains higher concentrations of many of the toxins found in cigarette smoke. The National Toxicology Program estimates that at least 250 chemicals in secondhand smoke are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.  When nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, they inhale many of the same cancer-causing chemicals that smokers inhale. The Surgeon General has concluded that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; even small amounts of secondhand smoke exposure can be harmful to people’s health.

Secondhand smoke contains a number of poisonous gases and chemicals, including hydrogen cyanide (used in chemical weapons), carbon monoxide (found in car exhaust), butane (used in lighter fluid), ammonia (used in household cleaners), and toluene (found in paint thinners). Some of the toxic metals contained in secondhand smoke include arsenic (used in pesticides), lead (formerly found in paint), chromium (used to make steel), and cadmium (used to make batteries).

Children Are Most Exposed in the Home

The home is the place where children are most exposed to secondhand smoke. Children who live in homes where smoking is allowed have higher levels of cotinine (a biological marker of secondhand smoke exposure) than children who live in homes where smoking is not allowed. As the number of cigarettes smoked in the home increases, children’s cotinine levels rise.

Both babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant and babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are more likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) than babies who are not exposed to cigarette smoke. Mothers who are exposed to secondhand smoke while pregnant are more likely to have lower birth weight babies, which makes babies weaker and increases the risk for many health problems. Babies whose mothers smoke while pregnant or who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth have weaker lungs than other babies, which increases the risk for many health problems. Secondhand smoke exposure causes acute lower respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, in infants and young children. Secondhand smoke exposure causes children who already have asthma to experience more frequent and severe attacks. Secondhand smoke exposure causes respiratory symptoms, including cough, phlegm, wheeze, and breathlessness, among school-aged children. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are also at increased risk for ear infections. 

Protecting Yourself and

Loved Ones from Secondhand Smoke

Protecting yourself from secondhand smoke is important because breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be harmful. The Surgeon General has concluded that the only way to fully protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of secondhand smoke is through 100-percent smoke-free environments. Opening a window, sitting in a separate area, or using ventilation, air conditioning, or a fan cannot eliminate secondhand smoke exposure. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by making your home and car smoke-free, asking people not to smoke around you and your children, and making sure that your children’s day care center or school is smoke-free. You can also choose restaurants and other businesses that are smoke-free, thanking businesses for being smoke-free and letting owners of businesses that are not smoke-free know that secondhand smoke is harmful to your family’s health. You can also teach children to stay away from secondhand smoke. You should avoid secondhand smoke exposure especially if you or your children have respiratory conditions, if you have heart disease, or if you are pregnant.

If you are a smoker, the single best way to protect your family from secondhand smoke is to quit smoking. In the meantime, you can protect your family by making your home and vehicles smoke-free and only smoking outside. A smoke-free-home rule can also help you quit smoking

There Is No Risk-Free Level of Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

Scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Breathing even a little secondhand smoke can be harmful to your health. It causes lung cancer. It is known that concentrations of many cancer-causing and toxic chemicals are potentially higher in secondhand smoke than in the smoke inhaled by smokers. It can cause heart disease. Breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time can have immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, interfering with the normal functioning of the heart, blood, and vascular systems in ways that increase the risk of heart attack. Even spending a short time in a smoky room can cause your blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability. Persons who already have heart disease are at especially high risk of suffering adverse effects from breathing secondhand smoke, and should take special precautions to avoid even brief exposure. It also causes acute respiratory effects. Secondhand smoke contains many chemicals that can quickly irritate and damage the lining of the airways. Even brief exposure can trigger respiratory symptoms, including cough, phlegm, wheezing, and breathlessness. Brief exposure to secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack in children with asthma. Persons who already have asthma or other respiratory conditions are at especially high risk for being affected by secondhand smoke, and should take special precautions to avoid secondhand smoke exposure.

Conclusions

Smoking is the single greatest avoidable cause of disease and death. Millions of Americans, both children and adults, are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. Also, in some states, it is still legal to smoke in bars.

Secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and in adults who do not smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30 percent and lung cancer by 20-30 percent.

The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Conventional air-cleaning systems can remove large particles, but not the smaller particles or the gases found in secondhand smoke. Routine operation of a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning system can distribute secondhand smoke throughout a building. So only by eliminating smoking in indoor spaces can you fully protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Interested in quitting? You can access a telephone quit-line serving your area by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1¬800-784-8669) or visit www.smokefree.gov.

If you are struggling with health issues, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free consultation. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Resource: https://digitalmedia.hhs.gov