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by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) happens when your stomach contents come back up into your esophagus.

Stomach acid that touches the lining of your esophagus can cause heartburn.

Doctors also refer to GER as acid indigestion, acid reflux, acid regurgitation, heartburn, and reflux.  

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more serious and long-lasting form of GER.

GER that occurs more than twice a week for a few weeks could be GERD. GERD can lead to more serious health problems over time. A review study published in the journal, Gut, reports the following range of GERD prevalence estimates in global populations: North America—18-28 percent • Europe—9-26 percent • East Asia—3-8 percent • the Middle East—9-33 percent • Australia—12 percent • South America—23 percent.

Who Is More Likely to Have GERD?

Anyone can develop GERD; however, you are more likely to have GERD if you are overweight or obese, a pregnant woman, taking certain medicines, a smoker, or regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

What are the Complications of GERD?

Without treatment, GERD can sometimes cause serious complications over time, such as esophagitis, an inflammation in the esophagus. Adults who have chronic esophagitis over many years are more likely to develop precancerous changes in the esophagus. Another possible problem is an esophageal stricture, which happens when your esophagus becomes too narrow. Esophageal strictures can lead to problems with swallowing. You may also develop respiratory problems. With GERD, you might breathe stomach acid into your lungs. The stomach acid can then irritate your throat and lungs, causing respiratory problems, such as asthma, chest congestion, or extra fluid in your lungs, a dry, long-lasting cough or a sore throat, hoarseness, laryngitis, pneumonia, and wheezing. GERD can sometimes cause Barrett’s esophagus. A small number of people with Barrett’s esophagus develop a rare yet often deadly type of cancer of the esophagus.

What are the Symptoms of GER and GERD?

If you have gastroesophageal reflux (GER), you may taste food or stomach acid in the back of your mouth.

The most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is regular heartburn, a painful, burning feeling in the middle of your chest, behind your breastbone, and in the middle of your abdomen. Not all adults with GERD have heartburn. Other common GERD symptoms include bad breath, nausea, pain in your chest or the upper part of your abdomen, problems swallowing or painful swallowing, respiratory problems, vomiting, and the wearing away of your teeth.

What Causes GER and GERD?

GER and GERD happen when your lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or relaxes when it should not, causing stomach contents to rise up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or relaxes due to increased pressure on your abdomen from being overweight, obese, or pregnant. Certain medicines, including those that doctors use to treat asthma and high blood pressure, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants can also cause GERD, as can smoking, inhaling secondhand smoke, and a hiatal hernia.

How Do Doctors Diagnose GER?

In most cases, your doctor diagnoses gastroesophageal reflux (GER) by reviewing your symptoms and medical history. If your symptoms do not improve with lifestyle changes, you may need testing.

If your GER symptoms do not improve, if they come back frequently, or if you have trouble swallowing, your doctor may recommend testing you for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). To confirm a diagnosis of GERD, or check for complications, your doctor might recommend an endoscopy. Your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light and camera (endoscope) down your throat to examine the inside of your esophagus and stomach. An ambulatory acid (pH) probe test may be ordered. A monitor is placed in your esophagus to identify when, and for how long, stomach acid regurgitates there. An esophageal manometry test measures the rhythmic muscle contractions in your esophagus when you swallow. Or your practitioner may order an X-ray of your upper digestive system taken after you drink a chalky liquid that coats and fills the inside lining of your digestive tract.

How Do You Control GER and GERD?

You may be able to control gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by not eating or drinking items that may cause GER, such as greasy or spicy foods and alcoholic drinks, not overeating, not eating two to three hours before bedtime, losing weight if you’re overweight or obese, quitting smoking, and avoiding secondhand smoke.

Making lifestyle changes can reduce your GER and GERD symptoms. You should lose weight if needed. Wear loose-fitting clothing around your abdomen because tight clothing can squeeze your stomach area and push acid up into your esophagus. Stay upright for three hours after meals, avoid reclining and slouching when sitting, and sleep on a slight angle by raising the head of your bed six to eight inches. Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.

Eating, Diet, and Nutrition

You can prevent or relieve your symptoms from gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by changing your diet. You may need to avoid certain foods and drinks that make your symptoms worse. You may need to decrease fatty foods; eat small, frequent meals instead of three large meals; and avoid eating or drinking items that may make GER or GERD worse, like chocolate, coffee, peppermint, greasy or spicy foods, tomatoes and tomato products, and alcoholic drinks.

Instead, eat healthy and balanced amounts of different types of healthy foods to avoid symptoms of GERD. Good choices are berries; melons; bananas; and vegetables such as spinach, kale, bok choy, green beans, and cucumbers. Lean proteins like eggs, chicken, and turkey are good choices, as are healthy fats like olive oil and avocado. Fatty fish, such as salmon and trout, are good choices, as are oats, ginger, aloe vera, and avocados.

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.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety is a normal response to stress. However, when it becomes hard to control and affects your day-to-day life, it can be disabling. Anxiety disorders affect nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or fear about an event or situation and is a normal reaction to stress. It helps you stay alert for a challenging situation at work, study harder for an exam, or remain focused on an important speech. In general, it helps you cope.

Unfortunately, anxiety can also be disabling if it interferes with daily life. It can make you dread nonthreatening, day-to-day activities like riding the bus or talking to a coworker. Anxiety can also be a sudden attack of terror when there is no threat.

Physical symptoms may include weakness, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, nausea, upset stomach, and dizziness.

What Are Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders happen when excessive anxiety interferes with your everyday activities, such as going to work or school or spending time with friends or family. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorders in the United States.

Major Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Those with GAD worry excessively about ordinary day-to-day issues like health, money, work, and family. With GAD, the mind often jumps to the worst-case scenario, even when there is little or no reason to worry. One may have muscle tension and other stress-related physical symptoms, such as trouble sleeping or upset stomach.

Panic Disorder. A panic disorder is diagnosed when someone has sudden attacks of terror when there is no actual danger. Panic attacks may cause a sense of unreality, a fear of impending doom, or a fear of losing control. A fear of one’s own unexplained physical symptoms is also a sign of a panic disorder. People having panic attacks sometimes believe they are having heart attacks, losing their minds, or dying.

Social Phobia. A social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is diagnosed when people become very anxious and self-conscious in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have an intense fear of being watched and judged by others. They may get embarrassed easily and often have panic attack symptoms.

Specific Phobia. A specific phobia is an intense fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Specific phobias could be fears of closed-in spaces, heights, water, objects, animals, or specific situations. People with specific phobias often find that facing, or even thinking about facing, the feared object or situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety.

Each anxiety disorder has different symptoms. They all involve fear and dread about things that may happen now or in the future.

Other Conditions That Are Not Considered Anxiety Disorders But Are Similar

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). People with OCD have unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that cause anxiety. They may check the oven or iron again and again or perform the same routine over and over to control the anxiety these thoughts cause. Often, the rituals end up controlling the person.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD starts after a scary event that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm. The person who gets PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, or the harm may have happened to a loved one or even a stranger.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?

Your doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your symptoms and your medical history. Your doctor may also do a physical exam or other tests to rule out other health problems that could be causing your symptoms.

Anxiety disorders are diagnosed when fear and dread of non-threatening situations, events, places, or objects become excessive and are uncontrollable. Anxiety disorders are also diagnosed if the anxiety has lasted for at least six months and interferes with social, work, family, or other aspects of daily life.

How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?

Treatment for anxiety disorders depends on the type of anxiety disorder you have and your personal history of health problems, violence, or abuse.

What If My Anxiety Disorder Comes Back?

Sometimes, symptoms of an anxiety disorder come back after you have finished treatment. This may happen during or after a stressful event. It may also occur without any warning.

You can also talk to your doctor about ways to identify and prevent anxiety from coming back. This may include writing down your feelings, or meeting with your counselor if you think your anxiety is uncontrollable.

Complementary or alternative medicine can also help manage anxiety disorders. Some alternative medicine therapies that may help anxiety are regular physical activity, which raises the level of brain chemicals that control mood and affect anxiety and depression. Studies show meditation may improve anxiety. Regular meditation may help by boosting activity in the area of your brain responsible for feelings of serenity and joy.

How Do Anxiety Disorders Affect Other Health Conditions?

Anxiety disorders may affect other health problems that are common in women, including depression. Anxiety disorders can happen at the same time as depression. When this happens, treatment for both anxiety and depression may not be as effective. IBS symptoms are common in people with anxiety disorders. Worry can make IBS symptoms worse, especially gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as upset stomach or gas. GI symptoms can also be stressful and lead to more anxiety. Although treatments for IBS can help treat anxiety, it is important that you treat both conditions.

Anxiety disorders are common in women with certain diseases that cause chronic pain, including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraine.

Anxiety and depression increase the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death for American women. Anxiety can also make recovery harder after a heart attack or stroke.

Stress and anxiety can trigger asthma attacks, while the shortness of breath and wheezing during asthma attacks can cause anxiety. Studies show that breathing retraining may help asthma control and ease anxiety.

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

   Parkinson’s Disease

What Is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease, the second most common disorder of this type after Alzheimer’s disease. It progresses slowly as small clusters of dopaminergic neurons in the midbrain die. The gradual loss of these neurons results in reduction of a critical neurotransmitter called dopamine, a chemical responsible for transmitting messages to parts of the brain that coordinate muscle movement.

Studies have shown that the symptoms of Parkinson’s usually appear when 50 percent or more of the dopamine neurons in the midbrain have been lost. Symptoms begin gradually and typically worsen over time.

How Many People Does Parkinson’s Disease Affect?

It is difficult to know exactly how many people have Parkinson’s disease, but it is estimated that at least 500,000 people in the U.S. currently have the disease. The average age of onset is about 60, and prevalence is increasing as the population ages.

The majority of people diagnosed have late-onset sporadic Parkinson’s, which does not have a clear genetic cause. About 10 percent have early-onset Parkinson’s that often begins before the age of 50. Parkinson’s strikes people of all races, ethnic groups, nationalities, and income levels. Actor Michael J. Fox, singer Linda Ronstadt, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and boxer Muhammad Ali, are among the celebrities who lived or are living with Parkinson’s.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown. Most researchers agree that the disease is caused by both genetic and environmental factors, and by interactions among these factors.

A full understanding of Parkinson’s risk requires integrated efforts to study both genetic and environmental factors. If environmental exposures can be identified, it may lead to new targets for prevention and intervention.

What Are the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

Common motor symptoms of Parkinson’s are tremors or shaking in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face, also rigidity or stiffness of limbs and trunk, slowness of movement, and difficulties with balance, speech, and coordination. There are also non-motor symptoms, which may develop years before the onset of motor problems. These may include poor sense of smell, constipation, depression, cognitive impairment, and fatigue.

Pesticides

Accumulating evidence indicates that pesticide exposure is associated with an increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. Many animal studies have provided evidence for this, and several human studies are beginning to reveal that some specific pesticides and classes of pesticides may be linked to Parkinson’s.

Organochlorine insecticides comprise the pesticide class most commonly associated with the disease. Most of these chemicals were banned in the 1970s and 1980s, but because their chemical structures resist breakdown, they can remain in the environment and food chain for a long time. The organochlorine class includes pesticides like DDT, used for mosquito control, and dieldrin, used for termites.

A study published in 2011 by NIEHS (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) researchers and collaborators at the Parkinson’s Institute and Clinical Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., showed a link between the occupational use of two pesticides, rotenone and paraquat, and Parkinson’s. People who reported use of either pesticide developed the disease 2.5 times more often than nonusers did.

Rotenone directly inhibits the function of mitochondria, the structures that create energy to run the cell, while paraquat increases production within cells of certain damaging oxygen derivatives. People who used other pesticides with a similar mechanism of action were also more likely to develop Parkinson’s.

Dietary Factors

Both in-house researchers and grantees are continuing to explore the role that diet and lifestyle play in the onset, progression, and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

How much fat a person consumes in their diet is one area under study. Unfortunately, the findings over the years have been inconsistent. However, in a new study, NIEHS researchers and their collaborators discovered that some fats in a person’s diet may be associated with lower risk for Parkinson’s.

Researchers are also exploring the role of vitamin D deficiency in the development of Parkinson’s. Vitamin D, which can enter the body through food or sunlight, plays an important role in maintaining good balance and muscle strength, and in protecting the body from infections and diseases. Researchers are looking into if working outdoors may help reduce the risk of Parkinson’s.

Another dietary component under study is the possible role of caffeine in the onset and progression of Parkinson’s. Animal studies have shown that caffeine can protect the brain’s dopaminergic neurons, indicating caffeine may reduce the risk of the disease. Researchers also looked at data from a large sample of older Americans, and found that higher caffeine intake was associated with lower risk of Parkinson’s in both men and women. A collaborative study found that coffee consumption may be more protective among individuals with one genotype as compared to individuals with another genotype.

Exercise

NIEHS in-house researchers have shown that exercise may protect against Parkinson’s disease. In a large population of U.S. older adults, higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity in midlife were associated with lower risk of Parkinson’s.

Exercise may also benefit patients with the disease, by improving balance and reducing depression, and increasing overall quality of life. For example, a recent study found that tai chi training in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s improved balance and reduced falls.

Identifying Symptoms

Identifying premotor symptoms that may occur years before the disease sets in is one new area of research that NIEHS is pursuing. By thinking of Parkinson’s as a systemic illness that takes decades to develop, researchers will be better poised to understand the cause of the disease and its initial progression. Some of the early warning indicators of premotor symptoms include constipation, loss of smell, excessive daytime sleepiness, mood or anxiety disorders, and sleep disorders. Many of these symptoms may occur years before Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed. Although it is difficult to identify a single early symptom that is specifically tied to the disease, researchers are working to identify whether a combination of symptoms may help characterize high-risk populations.

Free Consultation

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

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects the bronchial tubes. Your bronchial tubes carry air into and out of your lungs. When you breathe, your lungs take in oxygen. The oxygen travels through your bloodstream to all parts of your body.

In people who have asthma, the lungs and walls of the bronchial tubes become inflamed and oversensitive. When people with asthma breathe in “asthma triggers,” such as smoke, air pollution, cold air, mold, or chemicals, the bronchial tubes tighten in response. This limits airflow and makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma triggers may be different for each person and may change over time.

Who Gets Asthma?

Before age 15, asthma affects more boys than girls. After age 15, asthma is more common among girls and women than among boys and men. Researchers believe the hormones estrogen and progesterone might affect women’s airways. Changing hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy and menopause may affect airways in women with asthma.

Some women are more at risk for asthma.

Asthma is more likely to affect Puerto Rican and African-American women than women of other racial and ethnic groups; also, women who live in cities, especially in low-income areas. Air pollution, indoor allergens (such as cockroaches), and tobacco smoke are more common in urban, low-income areas.

How Does Asthma Affect Women?

Women may experience more asthma symptoms than men. Women with asthma go to the hospital for asthma treatment more often and use more quick-relief or “rescue” medicines than men use.

Women with asthma report more trouble sleeping and have more anxiety than men with asthma have.

Women’s lungs are smaller than men’s lungs. This may make women more sensitive to asthma triggers and make it harder for women to breathe during an asthma attack.

What Are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness are symptoms of asthma.

You may have only one or two of these symptoms, or you may have all of them. You may also get asthma symptoms only at night or in cold weather, or after exposure to allergens or other triggers when you have a cold or are exercising.

How is Asthma Diagnosed?

Asthma can be difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, bronchitis, anxiety disorders, and heart disease. Your practitioner will ask what triggers your symptoms; they may also ask about your health history, do a physical exam, and ask about your daily habits. In addition, what types of allergens or irritants might be in your workplace or home.

Your practitioner may also do tests. Spirometry is a test, using a machine called a spirometer, that measures how much air you can breathe. It also measures how fast you can blow air out. Bronchoprovocation is when stress is put on your lungs while you are exercising or breathing, in increasing doses of a special chemical or cold air.

Your practitioner may want to also test for other problems that might be causing symptoms. These include sleep apnea, vocal cord problems, or stomach acid backing up into the throat.

How is Asthma Treated?

Asthma is a chronic disease. However, some people are able to manage asthma so that symptoms do not happen again or only occur rarely.

You can take steps to control asthma and prevent problems by working with your practitioner to set up and follow a personal asthma action plan and staying away from your asthma triggers.

What are Common Asthma Triggers?

What triggers one person’s asthma may not trigger another person’s asthma. Common triggers include tobacco smoke, animal urine, saliva, and dander. Dust mites, cockroaches, air pollution, mold, pollens, fragrances (including personal care products, lotions, and candles), physical activity, cold air, wood smoke, preservatives in alcohol called “sulfites,” and certain chemicals in cleaning products or other types of chemicals you might use at work or at home.

You may not want to use household products with chemical irritants and stick with “fragrance-free” products if fragrances trigger your asthma. Keep cockroaches away. Clean up food spills and clutter right away. Seal cracks that cockroaches and other pests can get through. Vacuum once a week. If you can, use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Dust with a damp cloth to trap dust mites. Stay away from pet dander. If pet dander triggers asthma, keep your pet out of your bedroom and regularly vacuum areas where they spend time. Do not smoke. Do not allow anyone to smoke inside your home or car. Wash off allergens or pollutants. Shower after going outside so that you wash off any allergens or pollution. Wash bedding in hot water regularly to kill dust mites.

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.

& Nutritional Healing Center

Alzheimer’s disease is an age-related brain disorder that gradually destroys a person’s ability to remember, think, learn, and carry out even simple tasks. “Dementia” describes a variety of diseases and conditions that damage brain cells and impair brain function, which includes Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. It is often difficult to distinguish among the different types of dementias because some of the change processes in the brain are similar to other forms of dementia.

The terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s” should not be used interchangeably. The two conditions are not the same. Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia.

Dementia is a broader term for conditions with symptoms relating to memory loss, such as forgetfulness and confusion. Dementia includes more specific conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and others with related symptoms. Other types of dementia are vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), mixed dementia, frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, Huntington’s disease, and Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. 

Cognition and Aging

Our brain health and our thinking and reasoning abilities, called cognition, may decline as we get older. Changes are gradual and vary from no change to small changes (mild cognitive impairment) or severe changes (dementia).

Most agree that the components of good brain health include: language, thought, memory, ability to plan and carry out tasks, judgment, attention, perception, remembered skills, the ability to live a purposeful life.

Some people never develop a serious decline in cognitive function, and not all who develop mild cognitive impairment develop dementia.

Possible Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. Memory problems are typically one of the first warning signs of cognitive loss. According to the National Institute on Aging, in addition to memory problems, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may experience other symptoms such as memory loss that disrupts daily life, getting lost in a familiar place, or repeating questions. They may also have trouble handling money and paying bills; have difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure; have decreased or poor judgment; misplace things and are unable to retrace steps to find them; and changes in mood, personality, or behavior.

If you or someone you know has several or even most of the signs listed above, it does not mean that you or they have Alzheimer’s disease.

Some causes for these symptoms, such as depression and drug interactions, are reversible. However, they can be serious and should be identified and treated by a healthcare provider.

Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are not currently known, but research suggests a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors may contribute and affect each individual differently. The most recognized risk factor for developing cognitive decline and dementia is advancing age. According to the National Institute on Aging, the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years after age 65, and the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia increases dramatically after age 80.

Alzheimer’s Stages

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, which means the symptoms will gradually worsen over time. Alzheimer’s is broken down into seven stages:

Stage 1—There are no symptoms at this stage, but there might be an early diagnosis based on family history.

Stage 2—The earliest symptoms appear, such as forgetfulness.

Stage 3—Mild physical and mental impairments appear, such as reduced memory and concentration. These may only be noticeable by someone very close to the person.

Stage 4—Alzheimer’s is often diagnosed at this stage, but is still considered mild. Memory loss and the inability to perform everyday tasks are evident.

Stage 5—Moderate to severe symptoms require help from loved ones or caregivers.

Stage 6—At this stage, a person with Alzheimer’s may need help with basic tasks, such as eating and putting on clothes.

Stage 7—This is the most severe and final stage of Alzheimer’s. There may be a loss of speech and facial expressions.

As a person progresses through these stages, they will need increasing support from a caregiver.

Who has Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias?

Experts estimate that more than 5.5 million Americans may have Alzheimer’s disease. More than 90 percent of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia cases occur in people age 60 and older. A small number of people, age 30 to 60 years, develop “early-onset” Alzheimer’s disease. This “early-onset” form of the disease often runs in families.

In American communities, only about half of the people who would meet the criteria for Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias have been diagnosed. In addition, there is a higher incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among Blacks and Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s disease by 2050, with many more affected by other forms of dementia.

Prevention and Treatment

Currently, there are no medications that definitively prevent, treat, or cure these conditions, and medical professionals are unable to diagnose the disease before symptoms occur.

Scientists are evaluating whether strategies like exercise, changes in food habits, maintaining relationships with friends and family, or “brain games” can prevent or slow Alzheimer’s disease or related conditions. These activities also could improve quality of life for the person with memory loss and the care partner. The medical field is still learning about this disease, and health professionals’ knowledge and understanding continues to grow as research, technology, and clinical practices evolve.

Treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia addresses several different areas: helping people maintain mental function, managing behavioral symptoms, and slowing or delaying the symptoms of the disease.

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.

This Is My Story

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

This year marked my 35th anniversary practicing chiropractic and 13 years using Nutritional Response Testing NRT® in Maryland.

After graduating from National University of Health Science, I started my private practice in Crofton, Maryland, in 1984. I continued my postgraduate training and was awarded as a Fellow of the International Academy Clinical Acupuncture, a Fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management. I served on the medical team for the 1996 Track and Field Olympic Team and as a treating doctor on the U.S Greatest Athlete Decathlon Club in the 2004 Olympic trial. I have also served as the treating chiropractor for the Ballet Theater of Maryland, the only professional Ballet Company in the State. Along the way, I have taken care of many professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians. I was at the height of my career until misfortune struck and resulted in the very reason I got into NRT®

It all began on December 16, 2006. It was the holiday season and our office was very hectic. I was busy treating patients, trying to close the books for the year-end taxes and getting ready for two big Christmas parties at my house, with 50-70 guests. I had no time for lunch and just grabbed a bite to eat from whatever patients brought in—mainly cookies and chocolates.

On that Tuesday 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, throwing up, and returned to finish treating the patient. This went on for about an hour, and I finally could not do that anymore. We had to cancel all the patients in the next two hours, and I asked my chiropractic assistant, Tony, to take my blood pressure. It was 190/165, my pulse was 90, and my temperature was normal.

He drove me to my family doctor who tried to stop my vertigo and vomiting with pills and shots, but had no success. The doctor finally gave me a shot to knock me out, and he asked Tony to drive me home. My doctor tried very hard to help me out and had spent over an hour past their closing time. I was thankful and appreciated that very much. They had been our family physicians since 1984, and we were lucky to have them; they are friendly and open-minded.

Just about a week before this, 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 healing 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. I had an MRI to rule out cancer or a stroke, which came back normal.

Next, I visited an ENT specialist who found I had slight hearing loss in my left ear. All the bloodwork came back normal, and he did not know what caused the vertigo. The next stop was the urologist. The PSA was slightly high, but the digital exam and biopsy was normal. A scheduled visit to the GI doctor and a colonoscopy revealed 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. After all the medical testing, the doctors could still not find the cause of my vertigo. Interestingly, a chiropractic evaluation revealed I had a virus in left ear, malfunctioning kidneys, parasites, adrenal fatigue, and multiple food allergies. All of these came from eating too much sugar and my stressed out body just could not handle it, resulting in an immune system breakdown. I did try acupuncture and some herbal remedies, which did not help at all. While the cold laser helped to eliminate the symptom of vertigo, diet change and nutrition support were the proper treatment for me and got to the root of the problem.

After two months of medical testing and alternative care, I lost ten pounds and felt about 80-90 percent better. I started playing tennis again, but had lost the stamina, quickness, and finesse. Therefore, I continued searching for a better answer and went through many seminars. Finally, I attended Dr. Ulan’s Nutrition Response Testing Seminar and found it to be what I needed. The program is simple, easy to follow, thorough, and relatively inexpensive.

Nutritional Response Testing allows me to pinpoint the cause of your problem with laser sharp accuracy and provide you with your personalized, specific nutrition evaluation. If five patients come in with symptoms and diagnosis of hypothyroidism, each one of them may have a different treatment program; it depends on the cause.

Since I have been on the NRT® Program, I regained my quickness and stamina on the tennis court. I started to win games and matches again. As my opponents have said, “He is back!” Since being in Frederick, I have become quite an opponent on the pickleball court as well!

I sold the practice in Crofton last December to concentrate on my practice in Frederick, which I started in March 2017, as I semi-retired with my wife to Thurmont. We enjoy the slower pace of life in this area, In my spare time, I discovered pickleball and play up to six or seven times a week. When not playing pickleball, I enjoy working out and swimming at the YMCA in downtown Frederick. On the weekends, my wife and I enjoy eating out at local restaurants and hiking a couple of miles in the mountains near our home with our dog.

Life is good, but nothing gives me more pleasure and satisfaction than seeing my patients and helping them achieve their optimal health, especially with the conditions their own doctors could not help them with or diagnose. When I figure out the cause of my patients’ ill health and find out what nutritional supplements and diet changes can help them, their body begins healing itself and they begin the journey to regaining their health and feeling better.

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.

Ask Dr. Lo: Why Can’t I Sleep? ‘

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. If you have insomnia, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. As a result, you may get too little sleep or have poor-quality sleep. You also may not feel refreshed when you wake up.

Is My Insomnia Acute or Chronic?

Insomnia can be acute (short-term) or chronic (ongoing). Acute insomnia is common and often brought on by situations such as stress at work, family pressures, or a traumatic event. Acute insomnia lasts for days or weeks.

Chronic insomnia lasts for a month or longer. Most cases of chronic insomnia are secondary, which means it is the symptom or side effect of some other problem. Certain medical conditions, medicines, and substances can cause secondary insomnia.

In contrast, primary insomnia is not due to medical problems, medicines, or other substances. It is its own distinct disorder, and its cause is not that well understood. Many life changes can trigger primary insomnia, including long-lasting stress and emotional upset.

Digging Deeper into Secondary Insomnia

Secondary insomnia is the symptom or side effect of another problem. It is often a symptom of an emotional, neurological, or other medical disorder. Some examples of emotional disorders are depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Examples of neurological disorders are Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Many other disorders or factors can cause insomnia like conditions that cause chronic pain, conditions that make it hard to breathe, an overactive thyroid, as well as gastrointestinal disorders, stroke, restless legs syndrome, and sleep-related breathing problems.  Menopause and hot flashes can also cause insomnia.

It can also be a side effect of some medicines like certain asthma medicines, allergy and cold medicines, and beta-blockers.

Commonly used substances like caffeine, stimulants, tobacco, alcohol, and sedatives can also cause insomnia.

Treating the underlying cause of secondary insomnia may resolve or improve the sleep problem, especially if you can correct the problem soon after it starts.

Primary Insomnia

Primary insomnia is not a symptom or side effect of another medical condition. It is its own distinct disorder, and its cause is not well understood. Primary insomnia usually lasts for at least one month.

Many life changes can trigger primary insomnia. It may be due to major or long-lasting stress or an emotional upset. Travel and work schedules that disrupt your sleep routine also may trigger primary insomnia.

Even if these issues are resolved, the insomnia may not go away. Trouble sleeping can persist because of habits formed to deal with the lack of sleep.

Who is Affected by Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common disorder. It affects women more often than men. The disorder can occur at any age. However, older adults are more likely to have insomnia than younger people.

People who might be at an increased risk for insomnia include those who have lower incomes, work at night or have frequent major shifts in their work schedules, and those who travel often across time zones and have an inactive lifestyle.

Young and middle-aged African Americans also might be at increased risk for insomnia. Research shows that, compared with Caucasian Americans, it takes African Americans longer to fall asleep. They also have lighter sleep, do not sleep as well, and take more naps. Sleep-related breathing problems also are more common among African Americans.

Sleep History

To get a better sense of your sleep problem, your doctor will ask you for details about your sleep habits. Before your visit, think about how to describe your problems. Some things to think about is how often you have trouble sleeping and how long you’ve had the problem, what time you go to bed and get up on workdays and days off, how long it takes you to fall asleep, how often you are wake up at night, and how long it takes to fall back asleep. Also, think about whether you snore loudly and often or wake up gasping or feeling out of breath, how refreshed you feel when you wake up, and how tired you feel during the day and how often you doze off or have trouble staying awake during routine tasks, especially driving. 

To find out what’s causing or worsening your insomnia, your doctor may ask you more questions. Are you worried about falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting enough sleep; what do you eat or drink and do you take medicines before going to bed; what routine you follow before going to bed, what the noise level, lighting, and temperature are like where you sleep; and what distractions, such as a TV or computer, are in your bedroom.

To help your doctor, consider keeping a sleep diary for one or two weeks. Write down when you go to sleep, wake up, and take naps. (For example, you might note that you went to bed at 10:00 p.m.; woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not fall back asleep; napped after work for two hours.) Also, write down how much you sleep each night, as well as how sleepy you feel throughout the day.

Lifestyle Changes

If you have insomnia, you may want to avoid substances that make it worse, such as caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants. The effects of these substances can last as long as eight hours.

Be aware of certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines that can disrupt sleep. Know that an alcoholic drink before bedtime might make it easier for you to fall asleep. However, alcohol triggers sleep that tends to be lighter than normal. This makes it more likely that you will wake up during the night.

Try to adopt bedtime habits that make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Follow a routine that helps you wind down and relax before bed. For example, read a book, listen to soothing music, or take a hot bath. Try to schedule your daily exercise at least 5 to 6 hours before going to bed. Try not to eat heavy meals or drink a lot before bedtime.

Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Avoid bright lighting while winding down. Try to limit possible distractions, such as a TV, computer, or pet. Make sure the temperature of your bedroom is cool and comfortable. Your bedroom also should be dark and quiet.

Go to sleep around the same time each night and wake up around the same time each morning, even on weekends. If you can, avoid night shifts, alternating schedules, or other things that may disrupt your sleep schedule.

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.

Ask Dr. Lo

COPD: Making Breathing Difficult for Millions of Americans

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a progressive disease that refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems, to include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. COPD not only affects the 16 million Americans who have this disease, but also the millions more who are undiagnosed.

Understanding COPD

To understand COPD, it helps to get familiar with how the lungs work. The air you breathe goes down your windpipe into the bronchial tubes or airways in your lungs. The bronchial tubes branch many times into thousands of smaller, thinner tubes called bronchioles. These tubes end in bunches of tiny round air sacs called alveoli.

  Small blood vessels called capillaries run along the walls of the air sacs. When air reaches them, oxygen passes through the air sac walls into the blood in the capillaries. At the same time carbon dioxide (CO2) moves from the capillaries into the air sacs where the lungs expel the CO2.

   In COPD, less air flows in and out of the airways. This can be due to the airways and air sacs losing their elastic quality. The walls between many of the air sacs become damaged or thick and inflamed if the airways make more mucus than usual, becoming clogged. As a result, the air sacs lose their shape and become floppy. This damage can lead to fewer and larger air sacs instead of many tiny ones. If this happens, the amount of gas exchange in the lungs is reduced.

Most people who have COPD have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but the severity of each condition varies from person to person. Thus, the general term COPD is more accurate.

What causes COPD?

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD. Most people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. Pipe, cigar, and other types of tobacco smoke also can cause COPD, especially if the smoke is inhaled. This includes secondhand smoke. Up to 75 percent of people who have COPD smoke or used to smoke. However, up to 25 percent of people with COPD never smoked. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants—such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dusts—also may contribute to COPD. People who have a family history of COPD are more likely to develop the disease if they smoke.

A rare genetic condition called alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency can also cause the disease. People who have this condition have low blood levels of alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT), a protein made in the liver. Having a low level of the AAT protein can lead to lung damage and COPD if you are exposed to smoke or other lung irritants.

Some people who have asthma can develop COPD. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Treatment usually can reverse the inflammation and narrowing that occurs in asthma.

Symptoms

At first, COPD may cause no symptoms or only mild symptoms. As the disease gets worse, symptoms usually become more severe. Common signs and symptoms of COPD include an ongoing cough or a cough that produces a lot of mucus, this is often called smoker’s cough, shortness of breath, especially with physical activity, wheezing, whistling, or squeaky sounds when you breathe and chest tightness.

If you have COPD, you often may have colds or other respiratory infections such as the flu, or influenza.

Not everyone who has the symptoms described above has COPD. Likewise, not everyone who has COPD has these symptoms

If your symptoms are mild, you may not notice them, or you may adjust your lifestyle to make breathing easier. For example, you may take the elevator instead of the stairs.

Over time, symptoms may become severe enough to cause you to see a doctor. For example, you may become short of breath during physical exertion.

When you do visit your doctor, let your doctor know about these symptoms and if you have an ongoing cough; let your doctor know how long you have had it, how much you cough, and how much mucus comes up when you cough. Also, let your doctor know whether you have a family history of COPD.  

The severity of your symptoms will depend on how much lung damage you have. If you keep smoking, the damage will occur faster than if you stop smoking.

Severe COPD can cause other symptoms, such as swelling in your ankles, feet, or legs, weight loss, and low muscle endurance.

Some severe symptoms may require treatment in a hospital. Seek emergency care if you are experiencing a hard time catching your breath or talking, your lips or fingernails turn blue or gray, a sign of a low oxygen level in your blood, people around you notice that you are not mentally alert or your heartbeat is very fast. 

Outlook

COPD is a major cause of disability, and it is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

COPD develops slowly. Symptoms often worsen over time and can limit your ability to do routine activities. Severe COPD may prevent you from doing even basic activities like walking, cooking, or taking care of yourself.

Most of the time, COPD is diagnosed in middle-aged or older adults. COPD has no cure at this time. However, treatments and lifestyle changes can help you feel better, stay more active, and slow the progress of the disease.

If you do have COPD, the most important step you can take is to quit smoking. Quitting can help prevent complications and slow the progression of the disease. You also should avoid exposure to the lung irritants mentioned above.

Follow your treatments for COPD exactly as your doctor prescribes. They can help you breathe easier, stay more active, and avoid or manage severe symptoms.

 Prevent COPD Before It Starts

The best way to prevent COPD is to never start smoking or to quit smoking.  If you do smoke, talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit.

Lyme Disease: Recognize the Signs and Symptoms

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic

& Nutritional Healing Center

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease (3 to 30 days) after a tick bite are fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. The erythema migrans (EM) rash occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons with Lyme’s, beginning at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days). It expands gradually over a period of days, reaching up to 12 inches or more across. Sometimes, it will clear as it enlarges, resulting in a target or “bull’s-eye” appearance.

Later signs and symptoms (days to months) of untreated Lyme infection include severe headaches and neck stiffness, additional EM rashes on other areas of the body, arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and other large joints. More symptoms are facial palsy; intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones; heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat; episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath; inflammation of the brain and spinal cord; nerve pain; shooting pains; numbness and tingling in the hands or feet; and problems with short-term memory can occur at later stages.   

Of note about Lyme’s is that a small bump and/or redness at the site of a tick bite that occurs immediately and resembles a mosquito bite is common. This irritation generally goes away in one to two days and is not a sign of Lyme disease.

A rash with a very similar appearance to EM occurs with Southern Tick-associated Rash Illness (STARI), but is not Lyme disease.

Ticks can spread other organisms that may cause a different type of rash.

How do ticks transmit Lyme disease?

The blacklegged tick (or deer tick) spreads Lyme disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States. The western-blacklegged tick spreads the disease on the Pacific Coast.

Ticks attach themselves to any part of the body and are often found in hard-to-see areas, such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. In most cases, the tick is attached for 36 to 48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.

Most people are infected through the bites of immature ticks, called nymphs. Nymphs are tiny (less than 2 mm) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months.

Adult ticks also transmit Lyme disease but are much larger and are more likely to be removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult deer ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year.

Ticks not known to transmit Lyme disease include Lone Star ticks, the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick.

How do I limit my exposure to ticks?

Tick exposure can occur year-round, but ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September). Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tick-borne infections. You and your family can take several steps to prevent and control Lyme disease.

Before you go outdoors, know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks.

   Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. Permethrin is used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear, and will remain protective through several washings. There are many insect repellents—some natural—that can help you combat your exposure to ticks. Always follow the product instructions. Use some precautions when using insect repellent. Do not use on babies younger than two months old, do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under three years old, try to avoid contact with ticks by staying away from brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter, and stay on well groomed trails when walking or hiking outdoors.

Once indoors, check your clothing for ticks. Tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, consider a longer dry time. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is best, as cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks.

Examine your gear and pets. Ticks ride into the home on clothing and pets.

Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors is shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tick-borne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check.

Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks: under the arms, in and around the ears, inside the belly button, back of the knees, in and around the hair, between the legs, and around your waist.

How do I prevent ticks from getting on my pet?

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tick-borne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tick-borne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it is suggested that you use a tick preventive product on your dog.

Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect. Signs of tick-borne disease may not appear for 7 to 21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick. Ask your veterinarian about the best tick prevention products for your dog.

Note that cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of chemicals. Do not apply any tick prevention products to your cats without first asking your veterinarian.

In September 2018, the FDA put out a warning about “Potential Adverse Events associated with Isoxazoline Flea and Tick Products.” For additional information, please talk to your veterinarian.

How do I prevent ticks in my yard?

Here are some simple landscaping techniques that can help reduce tick populations. Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns. Place a 3-foot-wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.

Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked. Stack wood neatly and in a dry area (discourages rodents that ticks feed on). Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees, and place them in a sunny location, if possible.

Do you think you may have Lyme disease?

Are you struggling with some of the symptoms mentioned in the article? Call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650 for a free screening. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. We hold free seminars at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Food allergies happen when your body’s defense system, called the immune system, triggers immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to bind with a food protein (the allergen). This activates cells throughout the body to release large amounts of chemicals such as histamine. Allergic reactions can occur throughout the body: the respiratory system, digestive tract, skin, eyes, ears, throat, or cardiovascular system. Reactions usually occur within a few minutes to an hour after eating the offending food. You may first feel itching in your mouth as you start to eat the food. Other symptoms include stuffy, itchy nose; swelling of the lips, face, tongue, throat, or other parts of your body; vomiting; diarrhea; sneezing; itchy, watery eyes; stomach cramps; red, itchy skin; or a rash. True food allergies usually begin in the first or second year of life; childhood allergies may be converted into other “allergic” conditions like eczema or respiratory illnesses. About four percent of adults and up to eight percent of children have a food allergy.

What Foods Commonly Trigger Allergic Reactions?

The foods that most often cause allergic reactions in adults are the same for women and men. They include shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, milk, eggs, wheat, and soybeans.

Food Allergies Can Be Life Threatening

For some people, an allergic reaction to a food is uncomfortable but not serious; for others, an allergic food reaction can lead to death. A life-threatening reaction caused by an allergy is called anaphylaxis.

For these people, even the smallest amount of exposure—eating a food or even touching someone who is eating the food—can be dangerous. If you have anaphylactic reactions to certain foods, your doctor may give you a prescription for injectable epinephrine. You need to carry this medicine with you at all times so that you or someone you are with can give you an emergency injection, if needed. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include hoarseness; throat tightness or a lump in your throat; wheezing; chest tightness or trouble breathing; rapid heart rate; dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting; tingling in the hands, feet, lips, or scalp; and clammy, grayish, or bluish skin.

Should I Stay Away from Certain Foods During Pregnancy?

Avoiding peanuts or other highly allergenic foods during pregnancy is not necessary, unless you are allergic to these foods. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, avoiding certain foods in pregnancy does not prevent food allergies in children, though breastfeeding may prevent or delay food allergies. Also delaying the introduction of solid foods beyond four to six months of age does not prevent food allergies. Some people have also thought that food allergies can be prevented if parents delayed giving their babies certain solid foods (such as fish, eggs, and milk). However, current medical research does not support this idea.

Babies can have a reaction to a mother’s breastmilk, but this is due to something the mother is eating. Babies who are highly sensitive usually react to the food within minutes. Babies who are less sensitive may still react to the food within 4 to 24 hours. Symptoms may include diarrhea; vomiting; and/or green stools with mucus and/or blood; rash, eczema, dermatitis, hives, or dry skin; fussiness during and/or after feedings; inconsolable crying for long periods and sudden waking with discomfort; wheezing or coughing.

These symptoms do not mean your baby is allergic to your milk, but rather to something you are eating. If your baby ever has problems breathing, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Are All Symptoms a Food Allergy or Could it be a Food Sensitivity?

You could be experiencing food sensitivities. Some health problems cause the same symptoms as food allergies, but are really food sensitivities. This can make it hard to know for sure whether you have a food allergy.

Food sensitivities can cause symptoms similar to allergies, but reactions are slower and milder. It can take hours or even days before symptoms appear. Immunoglobulins A, G or M (IgA, IgG, IgM) are often involved. Sensitivities may contribute to chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, arthritis, depression, sinusitis, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), migraines, irritable bowel syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), rashes, lactose intolerance, and more. Inadequate digestion or digestive disturbances like inadequate digestive enzymes or damaged intestinal walls with increased intestinal permeability are often involved.

What is Food Intolerance?

If your symptoms come from a food intolerance, it means the immune system is not directly involved and reactions are not life threatening, though health and quality of life are usually affected. The symptoms of food intolerance can be indigestion, bloating, fatigue, migraines, memory problems, toxic headache, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. Digestive symptoms usually predominate. A common intolerance is lactose intolerance: difficulty digesting milk sugar, resulting in symptoms like abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Insufficient lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose, is involved. Some people do not produce enough lactase. Pasteurization of milk destroys lactase and changes milk sugar into another form. Some intolerances are due to food additives rather than a food. Common culprits are sulfites (inducing asthma in some people) MSG, aspartame, other artificial sweeteners, preservatives, yellow dye No. 5, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. Reactions always arise from individual susceptibilities. While an allergic reaction is triggered by small amounts of a particular food, a food intolerance may occur only with a large amount of frequent consumption. Symptoms can be chronic or delayed by hours or a couple of days. Addiction to “offending” foods is common, as they sometimes relieve symptoms for a while. Far more people have food intolerances than true allergies. Most allergies involve the eight foods mentioned above, but intolerances can involve any food.

Do You Think You Have a True Allergy?

A study from Bastyr University has shown that a single person’s blood sent to a number of laboratories for food allergy testing had very different results, depending on the lab the blood was sent to. Unfortunately, this kind of testing can be inaccurate. Dr. Lo, at the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center, uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. Call 240-651-1650 for a free evaluation to see if you have a true allergy or not. We also offer free seminars held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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

Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a disorder that slows or stops the movement of food from your stomach to your small intestine. Normally, after you swallow food, the muscles in the wall of your stomach push the food into the small intestine to continue digestion. When you have gastroparesis, your stomach muscles work poorly or not at all, and your stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Gastroparesis can delay digestion, which can lead to various symptoms and complications.

Who is more likely to get gastroparesis?

You are more likely to get gastroparesis if you have diabetes, have had certain cancer treatments like radiation therapy on your chest or stomach area, or if you have had surgery on your esophagus, stomach, or small intestine, which may injure the vagus nerve. Diabetes can also damage the vagus nerve, and nerves and special cells, called pacemaker cells, in the wall of the stomach. The vagus nerve controls the muscles of the stomach and small intestine. If the vagus nerve is damaged, or stops working, the muscles of the stomach and small intestine do not work normally. The movement of food through the digestive tract is then slowed or stopped. Gastropareses can also show up in people with scleroderma, hypothyroidism, nervous system disorders (such as migraine), Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, as well as in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), eating disorders, and amyloidosis.

What populations are the most affected?

Gastroparesis does demonstrate a gender bias, affecting more women than men. Approximately 80 percent of idiopathic cases are women (a disease or condition which arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown). The prevalence of delayed gastric emptying in Type 1 diabetics has been reported to be 50 percent and in Type 2 diabetics, reports range from 30 percent to 50 percent. Post-surgical gastroparesis is recognized as inadvertent vagal nerve damage or entrapments following upper abdominal surgery; examples are fundoplication for the treatment of GERD, bariatric surgery, peptic ulcer surgery, anterior approach for spinal surgery (scoliosis), heart and lung transplant, or pancreatic surgery.

What are some of the symptoms, causes, and complications?

The symptoms of gastroparesis may include feeling full soon after starting a meal, feeling full long after eating a meal, nausea, vomiting, as well as excessive bloating and belching, pain in your upper abdomen, heartburn, and poor appetite. 

More severe symptoms include pain or cramping in your abdomen; blood glucose levels that are too high or too low; red blood in your vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds; sudden, sharp stomach pains that don’t go away; feeling extremely weak or fainting; and difficulty breathing. If you are dehydrated, have extreme thirst and dry mouth, are urinating less than usual, feel tired, have dark-colored urine, have sunken eyes or cheeks, light-headedness or fainting, malnourished, losing weight without trying, loss of appetite, and abnormal paleness of the skin.

Certain medicines may also contribute to delayed gastric emptying or affect motility, resulting in symptoms that are similar to those of gastroparesis. These medicines may make your symptoms worse: narcotic pain medicines, some anti-depressants (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, and venlafaxine), some medicines that block certain nerve signals, and some medicines used to treat overactive bladder.

Some of the complications of gastroparesis may include food that stays in the stomach too long and ferments, which can lead to the growth of bad bacteria. Food in the stomach can also harden into a solid collection, called a bezoar. Bezoars can cause obstructions in the stomach that keep food from passing into the small intestine. People who have both diabetes and gastroparesis may have more difficulty since blood sugar levels rise when food finally leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine, making blood sugar control more of a challenge.

Can gastroparesis be diagnosed?

Some ways to diagnose gastroparesis can be with physical exams, identifying your symptoms, and certain medical tests. It is important to go over the details of your current symptoms and medicines, as well as current and past health problems such as diabetes, scleroderma, nervous system disorders, and hypothyroidism.

Be sure to inform your practitioner about all prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, and dietary supplements you are taking; whether you have had surgery on your esophagus, stomach, or small intestine; whether you have had radiation therapy on your chest or stomach area; and if you have been diagnosed with any health issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and so forth.

Can gastroparesis be treated?

Treatment of gastroparesis depends on the cause, how severe your symptoms and complications are, and how well you respond to the different treatments. Sometimes, treating the cause may stop gastroparesis. If diabetes is causing your gastroparesis, then controlling your blood glucose levels may help. When the cause is unknown, then the focus is on relieving symptoms and treating complications.

Changing your eating habits can also help control gastroparesis. Getting the right amount of nutrients, calories, and liquids will treat the disorder’s two main complications: malnutrition and dehydration.

Emphasis is also placed on helping the muscles in the wall of your stomach work better,  controlling the nausea and vomiting, and reducing the pain.

How important is controlling blood glucose levels?

If you have gastroparesis and diabetes, you will need to control your blood glucose levels, especially hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia may further delay the emptying of food from your stomach. It is very important to make sure your blood glucose levels are not too high or too low and do not keep going up or down, so stabilizing them is important. You can prevent or delay nerve damage that can cause gastroparesis by keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range. Meal planning and physical activity are ways to help you keep your blood glucose levels within your target range.

If you struggle with health issues and would like a free screening, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. We also offer free seminars, held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. 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


As a parent, you can do a lot to help your child reach and maintain a healthy weight. Staying active and consuming healthy foods and beverages are important for your child’s well-being. You can take an active role in helping your child learn habits that may improve their health. Why Should I Be Concerned? You should be concerned if your child has extra weight because weighing too much may increase the chances that your child will develop health problems now or later in life. In the short run, he or she may have breathing problems or joint pain, making it hard to keep up with friends. Some children may develop health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Some children also may experience teasing, bullying, depression, or low self-esteem. Overweight children are at higher risk of entering adulthood with too much weight. The chances of developing health problems such as heart disease and certain types of cancer are higher among adults with too much weight. How Can I Help My Child Develop Healthy Habits? You can play an important role in helping your child build healthy eating, drinking, physical activity, and sleep habits. For instance, teach your child about balancing the amount of food and beverages he or she eats and drinks with his or her amount of daily physical activity. Take your child grocery shopping and let him or her choose healthy foods and drinks, and help plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks.
Here are some other ways to help your child develop healthy habits: • Be a good role model. Consume healthy foods and drinks, and choose active pastimes. Children often copy what they see. • Talk with your child about what it means to be healthy and how to make healthy decisions. • Discuss how physical activities and certain foods and drinks may help their bodies get strong and stay healthy.
• Children should get at least an hour of physical activity daily and should limit their screen time (computers, television, and mobile devices) outside of schoolwork to no more than two hours each day. • Chat about how to make healthy choices about food, drinks, and activities at school, at friends’ houses, and at other places outside your home. • Involve the whole family in building healthy eating, drinking, and physical activity habits. Everyone will benefit. • Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Some studies link excess weight to not enough sleep in children and adults. How much sleep your child needs depends on his or her age. What Can I Do To Improve My Child’s Eating Habits? Besides consuming fewer foods, drinks, and snacks that are high in calories, fat, sugar, and salt, you may get your child to eat healthier by offering these options more often: • Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; • Lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, and eggs; • Fermented food and dairy products; • Fruit and vegetable smoothies; • Water, kombucha, or carbonated drinks without added sugar.
You also may help your child eat better by trying to: • Avoid serving large portions. Start with smaller amounts of food and let your child ask for more if he or she is still hungry. If your child chooses food or drinks from a package, container, or can, read the Nutrition Facts Label to see what amount is equal to one serving. Match your child’s portion to the serving size listed on the label to avoid extra calories, fat, and sugar. • Put healthy foods and drinks where they are easy to see and keep high-calorie foods and drinks out of sight—or do not buy them at all.
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Helping Your Child Who is Overweight
by Dr. Thomas K. Lo, Advanced Chiropractic
• Eat fast food less often. If you do visit a fast-food restaurant, choose healthier options, such as sliced fruit instead of fries. • Try to sit down to family meals as often as possible, and have fewer meals “on the run.” • Discourage eating in front of the television, computer, or other electronic device. To help your child develop a healthy attitude toward food and eating: • Do not make your child clean his or her plate. • Offer rewards other than food or drinks when encouraging your child to practice healthy habits. Promising dessert for eating vegetables sends a message that vegetables are less valuable than dessert.
To help your child eat less candy, cookies, and other unhealthy snacks, try these healthier snack options instead: • Air-popped popcorn; • Hummus with veggies; • Fresh, frozen, or fruit canned in natural juices; • Fresh vegetables, such as baby carrots, cucumbers, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes; • Nuts and seeds if the child is not allergic. How Can I Help My Child Be More Active? Try to make physical activity fun for your child. Children need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day, although the activity does not have to be all at once. Several short 10- or even 5-minute spurts of activity throughout the day are just as good. If your child is not used to being active, encourage him or her to start out slowly and build up to 60 minutes a day. Reward your child’s efforts to become active and eat healthier with praise and love.
To encourage daily physical activity: • Let your child choose a favorite activity to do regularly, such as climbing a jungle gym at the playground or joining a sports team or dance class.
• Help your child find simple, fun activities to do at home or on his or her own, such as playing tag, jumping rope, playing catch, shooting baskets, or riding a bike. • Limit time with the computer, television, cell phone, and other devices to two hours a day. • Let your child and other family members plan active outings, such as a walk or hike to a favorite spot. How Else Can I Help My Child? You can help your child by being positive and supportive throughout any process or program you choose to help him or her achieve a healthy weight. Help your child set specific goals and track progress. Reward successes with praise and hugs. Tell your child that he or she is loved, special, and important. Children’s feelings about themselves are often based on how they think their parents and other caregivers feel about them.
If your child struggles with weight and you would like to bring him or her in for a free evaluation, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240651-1650. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. We also offer free seminars held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road Suite 107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.
*Resource for the article was the National Institute of Health (NIH) (https://www.nih.gov/institutes-nih/nihoffice-director/office-communications).

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Your thyroid produces hormones that control many activities in your body, some of which are metabolism, body temperature, and how fast your heart beats. The two main thyroid hormones are T3 and T4. Diseases of the thyroid can cause it to make either too much or too little amounts of these hormones. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid disease. One in eight women will develop thyroid problems during her lifetime.

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid gland is located in front of the trachea in your neck. The gland is divided into two lobes (right and left) and is connected in the middle by a thin bridge of thyroid tissue, known as the isthmus. Because of the two connected lobes, the thyroid is described as being shaped like a butterfly or a bow tie.

How do thyroid problems affect women?

In women, thyroid diseases can cause many issues, including problems with your menstrual cycle making your periods very light, heavy, or irregular. Your periods may also stop for several months or longer, a condition called amenorrhea. Thyroid disease also affects ovulation. This can make it harder for you to get pregnant. Sometimes thyroid problems can even be mistaken for menopause.

What kinds of thyroid disease affect women?

The thyroid disorders hypothyroidism; hyperthyroidism; thyroiditis, especially postpartum thyroiditis; goiter; thyroid nodules; and thyroid cancer tend to affect more women than men.

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism means your thyroid does not make enough thyroid hormones, also called underactive thyroid. This slows down many of your body’s functions, like your metabolism. The most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States is Hashimoto’s disease. In people with Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid. This attack damages the thyroid so that it does not make enough hormones. Hypothyroidism is also caused by hyperthyroidism treatment (radioiodine), radiation treatment of certain cancers, and thyroid removal.

What are the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism?

Symptoms of hypothyroidism develop slowly, often over several years. At first, you may feel tired and sluggish. Later, you may develop signs and symptoms of a slowed-down metabolism, which may include feeling cold when other people do not, constipation, muscle weakness, weight gain, even though you are not eating more food. Joint or muscle pain, feeling sad or depressed, and feeling very tired can also be symptoms. In addition, other symptoms can include pale, dry skin; dry, thinning hair; slow heart rate; less sweating than usual; puffy face; hoarse voice; and more than usual menstrual bleeding.

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid, causes your thyroid to make more thyroid hormone than your body needs. This speeds up many of your body’s functions, like your metabolism and heart rate. The most common cause of hyperthyroidism is Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is a problem with the immune system.

What are the signs and symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

At first, you might not notice the signs or symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Over time, a faster metabolism can cause symptoms such as weight loss, even without changing your eating habits; rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of your heart; feeling nervous or anxious, and feeling irritable. You may have trouble sleeping; experience trembling in your hands and fingers or increased sweating; feel hot when other people do not; have muscle weakness, diarrhea, or more bowel movements than normal; have fewer and lighter menstrual periods; experience changes in your eyes that can include bulging of the eyes, redness, or irritation. Hyperthyroidism can raise your risk for osteoporosis. In fact, hyperthyroidism might affect your bones before you have any of the other symptoms of the condition. This is especially true of women who have gone through menopause.

What is thyroiditis?

Thyroiditis is inflammation of the thyroid. It happens when the body’s immune system makes antibodies that attack the thyroid. Causes of thyroiditis include autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis; genetics; viral or bacterial infection; and certain types of medicines. The two common types of thyroiditis are Hashimoto’s disease and postpartum thyroiditis.

What is postpartum thyroiditis?

Postpartum thyroiditis, or inflammation of the thyroid after giving birth, affects 10 percent of women. It often goes undiagnosed because symptoms are much like the “baby blues” that may follow delivery. Women with postpartum thyroiditis may feel very tired and moody.

Who is at risk for postpartum thyroiditis?

If you have an autoimmune disease, like type 1 diabetes, your risk is higher. Your risk is also higher if you have a personal history or a family history of thyroid disorders, had postpartum thyroiditis after a previous pregnancy, or have chronic viral hepatitis.

What is a goiter?

A goiter is an unusually enlarged thyroid gland. It may happen only for a short time and may go away on its own without treatment. Goiter is more common in women before menopause. Some common causes of goiter include Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, and thyroid cancer. Usually, the only symptom of a goiter is a swelling in your neck. It may be large enough that you can see it or feel the lump with your hand. A very large goiter can also cause a tight feeling in your throat, coughing, or problems swallowing or breathing.

What are thyroid nodules?

A thyroid nodule is a swelling in one section of the thyroid gland. The nodule may be solid or filled with fluid or blood. You may have just one thyroid nodule or many. Thyroid nodules are common and affect four times as many women as men. Researchers do not know why nodules form in otherwise normal thyroids.

What are the signs and symptoms of thyroid nodules?

   Most thyroid nodules do not cause symptoms and are not cancerous.  Some thyroid nodules make too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism. Sometimes, nodules grow so big that they cause problems with swallowing or breathing. You can sometimes see or feel a thyroid nodule yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and raise your chin slightly. Look for a bump on either side of your windpipe below your Adam’s apple. If the bump moves up and down when you swallow, it may be a thyroid nodule.

What is thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer happens when cancer cells form from the tissues of the thyroid gland. Most people with thyroid cancer have a thyroid nodule that does not cause any symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may have swelling or a lump in your neck. Some people get a hoarse voice. Most thyroid nodules are not cancerous.

Who is at risk for thyroid cancer?

About three times as many women get thyroid cancer as men. The number of women with thyroid cancer is also going up. By 2020, the number of women with thyroid cancer is expected to double, from 34,000 women to more than 70,000 women. Thyroid cancer is more common in women who are between the ages of 25 and 65, had radiation therapy to the head or neck to treat cancer, have a history of goiter, or have had a family history of thyroid cancer.

If you are struggling with some of the thyroid issues listed above and would like a free evaluation, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses Nutritional Response Testing® to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. We also offer free seminars held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

As you age, you are likely to find that your sense of taste starts to decline. You were born with 10,000 taste buds, but after age fifty, that number gradually starts to decrease.

Loss of taste can be permanent or temporary, depending on the cause. As with diminished vision and hearing, people gradually lose their ability to taste as they get older, but it is usually not as noticeable as loss of smell. Medications and illness can make the normal loss of taste worse.

Problems with taste can be caused by anything that interrupts the transfer of taste sensations to the brain, or by conditions that affect the way the brain interprets the sensation of taste. Some people are born with taste disorders, but most develop them after an injury or illness. Some causes of taste problems are listed below.

Medications

Taking medications can affect your ability to taste. Some antibiotics and antihistamines, as well as other medications, can cause a bad taste in the mouth or a loss of taste. One type of taste disorder is characterized by a persistent bad taste in the mouth, such as a bitter or salty taste. This is called parageusia and it occurs in older people, usually because of medications or oral health problems. If you are taking medications such as certain antibiotics or antihistamines or other medications and notice a persistent bad taste in your mouth, talk to your doctor. You may be able to adjust or change your medicine to one that will not cause a problem with taste. In many cases, people regain their sense of taste when they stop taking medications or when the illness or injury clears up.

Upper Respiratory and Middle Ear Infections 

Respiratory infections, such as the flu, can lead to taste disorders. In many cases, people regain their sense of taste when they stop taking medications or when the illness or injury clears up. You can help prevent respiratory infections, such as the flu, with proper hygiene by washing your hands frequently, especially during the winter months. In addition, if you work and it is feasible, you may want to consider staying home until you recover.

Radiation for Treatment of Head and Neck Cancers

People with head and neck cancers who receive radiation treatment to the nose and mouth regions commonly experience problems with their sense of smell and taste as an unfortunate side effect. Older people who have lost their larynx or voice box commonly complain of poor ability to smell and taste.

Exposure to Certain Chemicals

Sometimes, exposure to certain chemicals, such as insecticides and solvents, can impair taste. Avoid contact with these substances, and if you are exposed to them and experience a problem, see your doctor.

Head Injury

Previous surgery or trauma to the head can impair your sense of taste because the taste nerves may be cut, blocked, or physically damaged. To reduce the risk of injuries to the head, everyone should wear a seat belt when riding in a car. People who participate in sports where they may incur a head injury, such as bicycling, should wear protective helmets and gear.

Surgeries

Some surgeries to the ear, nose, and throat can impair taste. These include third molar—wisdom tooth—extraction and middle ear surgery.

Poor Oral Hygiene and Dental Problems

Gum disease can cause problems with taste, and so can dentures and inflammation or infections in the mouth. If you take several medications, your mouth may produce less saliva. This causes dry mouth, which can make swallowing and digestion difficult and increase dental problems. Practice good oral hygiene, keep up to date with your dental appointments, and tell your dentist if you notice any problems with your sense of taste.

Smoking

Tobacco smoking is the most concentrated form of pollution to which most people are exposed. Smokers often report an improved sense of taste after quitting. For free help to quit smoking, visit Smokefree.gov.

Other Causes

Other causes of impaired taste may include Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes dry mouth and dry eyes. Also nutritional deficiencies, especially vitamin B-12 and zinc, can cause impaired taste.

Taste is one of our most robust senses. Taste helps us recognize when food is good or bad for us. However, even more important, loss of taste can cause a loss of appetite, especially in older adults, which can lead to loss of weight, poor nutrition, weakened immunity, and even death.  Be sure to see your doctor if you have had a taste problem for a while or if you notice that your problem with taste is associated with other symptoms. Let your doctor know if you are taking any medications that might affect your sense of taste. You may be able to change or adjust your medicine to one that will not cause a problem with taste. Your doctor will work with you to get the medicine you need while trying to reduce unwanted side effects.

Loss of taste can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Not only can it lead to decreased appetite and poor nutrition, but it can also contribute to depression. Loss of taste can also lead you to use excess salt or sugar on your food to enhance the taste, which could be a problem if you have high blood pressure or diabetes.

If you are struggling with some of the symptoms listed above and would like a free evaluation, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses a non-invasive way to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. We also offer free seminars that are held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road #107 in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

 

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Depression is a serious mental health condition, and women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with it. Depression is not a normal part of being a woman. Most women, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment.

So What is Depression?

Depression is when you feel sad (including crying often), empty, or hopeless most of the time (or losing interest in or taking no pleasure in daily activities) for at least two weeks. Depression can affect your ability to work, go to school, or have relationships with friends and family. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United States. It is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It can affect the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things and others.

Depression is different from feeling “blue” or “down” or just sad for a few hours or a couple of days. Depression is also different from the grief that we can experience over losing a loved one or experiencing sadness after a trauma or difficult event.

Depression is Categorized in Different Ways

Major depressive disorder, also called major depression, is a combination of symptoms that affects a person’s ability to sleep, work, study, eat, and enjoy hobbies and everyday activities.

Dysthymic disorder, also called dysthymia, lasts for two years or more. The symptoms are less severe than those of major depression but can prevent you from living normally or feeling well.

Other types of depression have slightly different symptoms and may start after a certain event. These types of depression include:

Psychotic depression — a severe depressive illness, happens with some form of psychosis, such as a break with reality, hallucinations, and delusions.

Postpartum depression —diagnosed when a new mother has a major depressive episode after delivery. Depression can also begin during pregnancy, called prenatal depression.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight.

Bipolar depression — the depressive phase of bipolar illness and requires different treatment than major depression.

Who Gets Depression?

Depression is more than twice as common for African-American, Hispanic, and white women compared to Asian-American women. Depression is also more common in women whose families live below the federal poverty line.

What Causes Depression?

There is no single cause of depression. There are many reasons why a woman may have depression. Here are a few of those reasons: (1) Women with a family history of depression may be more at risk, but depression can also happen in women who don’t have a family history of depression; (2) In someone who has depression, parts of the brain that manage mood, thoughts, sleep, appetite, and behavior may not have the right balance of chemicals; (3) Changes in the female hormones estrogen and progesterone during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, postpartum period, perimenopause, or menopause may all raise a woman’s risk for depression. Having a miscarriage can also put a woman at higher risk for depression; (4) Serious and stressful life events, or the combination of several stressful events, may trigger depression in some people. Examples of stressful events may include trauma, loss of a loved one, a bad relationship, work responsibilities, caring for children and aging parents, physical or mental abuse, and other life circumstances; (5) Dealing with a serious health problem, such as stroke, heart attack, or cancer, can lead to depression. Some medical illnesses, like Parkinson’s disease, hypothyroidism, and other diseases can cause changes in the brain that can trigger depression; (6) Women who feel emotional or physical pain for long periods are much more likely to develop depression. The pain can come from a chronic (long-term) health problem, accident, or trauma.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Not all people with depression have the same symptoms. Some might have only a few symptoms, while others may have many. How often symptoms happen, how long they last, and how severe they are will likely be different for each person.

If you have any of the following symptoms for at least two weeks, you may want to talk to someone who can help you: Feeling sad, “down,” or empty, to include crying often; Feeling hopeless, worthless or useless; Losing interest in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed; Decreased energy; Difficulty staying focused, remembering, or making decisions; Sleeplessness, early morning awakening, or oversleeping and not wanting to get up; Lack of appetite that leads to weight loss or eating to feel better, leading to weight gain; Thoughts of hurting yourself; Thoughts of death or suicide; Feeling easily annoyed, bothered, or angered; Symptoms can also be constant physical symptoms that do not get better with treatment, such as headaches, upset stomach, and pain that does not go away.

Can Exercise Help Treat Depression?

Researchers think that exercise may work better than no treatment at all to treat depression, and they think that exercise can help make depression symptoms happen less often or be less severe. People with depression often find it very difficult to exercise, even though they know it will help make them feel better.  Walking is a good way to begin exercising if you have not exercised recently.

Are there Other Natural or Complementary Treatments for Depression?

Researchers continue to actively study natural and complementary treatments for depression. They have found that natural or complementary treatments that have little or no risk, like exercise, meditation, and relaxation training, may help improve your depression symptoms and usually will not make them worse.

If you are struggling with some of the symptoms listed above and would like a free evaluation, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses a non-invasive way to analyze the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. We also offer free seminars, held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located at 7310 Grove Road, Suite 107, Frederick, MD. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

 

*Resource for the article was the Office on Women’s Health (OWH).

 

Many of us enjoy the sun. Some of us even worship it, and sunlight is essential to many living things; however, sunlight also has a dangerous side. It can harm your skin and even your eyes. The good news is that you can take some simple steps to protect your body from sun damage and still enjoy the sun’s healthful effects.

Our bodies are built to make good use of the sun. Sunlight helps keep our sleeping patterns on track, so we can stay awake during the day and sleep soundly at night. Getting too little sun, especially in winter months, can leave some people prone to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder. Sunlight also helps our skin make vitamin D, which is needed for normal bone function and health. Yet, sunlight can also cause damage.

Sunlight travels to Earth as a mixture of both visible and invisible rays, or waves. Long waves, like radio waves, are harmless to people. However, shorter waves, like ultraviolet (UV) light, can cause problems. The longest of the UV rays that reach the Earth’s surface are called UVA rays. The shorter ones are called UVB rays.

Too much exposure to UVB rays can lead to sunburn; UVA rays can travel more deeply into the skin than UVB rays, but both can affect your skin’s health. When UV rays enter skin cells, they upset delicate processes that affect the skin’s growth and appearance. Over time, exposure to these rays can make the skin less elastic. Skin may even become thickened and leathery, wrinkled, or thinned like tissue paper. “The more sun exposure you have, the earlier your skin ages,” says Dr. Barnett S. Kramer, a cancer prevention expert at NIH.

Your skin does have ways to prevent or repair such damage. The outermost layer of skin constantly sheds dead skin cells and replaces them. You might have noticed this type of skin repair if you have ever had bad sunburn. Your skin may peel, but it usually looks normal in a week or two.

“When you’re exposed to ultraviolet radiation, there’s a repair process that goes on constantly in each one of your exposed cells,” says Dr. Stephen I. Katz, director of NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. However, long-term damage to your skin can remain.

As you get older, it becomes harder for skin to repair itself. Over time, UV damage can take a toll on your skin and its underlying connective tissue. As a result, your skin may develop more wrinkles and lines.

Too much sun exposure can also raise your risk for skin cancer, the most common type of cancer in the United States. When UV light enters skin cells, it can harm the genetic material (called DNA) within.

DNA damage can cause changes to cells that make them rapidly grow and divide. This growth can lead to clumps of extra cells called a tumor, or lesion. These may be cancerous (malignant) or harmless (benign).

Skin cancer may first appear as a small spot on the skin. Some cancers reach deep into surrounding tissue. They may also spread from the skin to other organs of the body.

Each year, more than two million people are treated for two types of skin cancer: basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers are seen in both older and younger people, and they are rarely life threatening.

Melanoma is a less common but more serious type of skin cancer that is diagnosed in more than 68,000 Americans each year. Another 48,000 are diagnosed with an early form of the disease that involves only the top layer of skin. Melanomas arise from the cells that provide pigment (color) to the skin.

Your risk for melanoma is higher if members of your family have had skin cancer or if you have already had melanoma or other skin cancers. A major risk factor for melanoma is having a large number of moles, or having large flat moles with irregular shapes. Sunburns, especially during childhood, may also raise your risk for melanoma.

“If you’ve had skin cancers in the past, then you’re at a particularly high risk for developing another skin cancer,” Kramer says. “Over the long run, there is a high rate of new lesions developing.”

“One of the major factors affecting skin health is genetics, which determines the pigment content of your skin. This affects how much protection you have from natural sunlight,” explains Katz. Although darker-skinned people have a lower risk for sun-related damage and disease, people of all races and skin color can still get skin cancer.

“Certain genetic mutations contribute to melanoma onset in certain people. You find much less non-melanoma skin cancer in African Americans, people from the Middle East, or even Asians from the Near East,” Katz says.

The best way to protect skin health and prevent skin cancer is to limit sun exposure. Avoid prolonged time in the sun, and choose to be in the shade rather than in direct sunlight. Wear protective clothing and sunglasses, and use sunscreen between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Sunscreen is especially important at that time, when the sun’s rays are most intense.

“The time to really start sun protective behavior is not when you reach adulthood, but years before,” Kramer says. “The message to parents is: Now is the time to start protecting your child against skin damage from sun overexposure, when your child is developing sun exposure habits and when they have many more years of potential sun exposure ahead of them.” Among other skin-protecting habits, teach children and teens to avoid the use of tanning beds.

Sunscreens come labeled with a sun protection factor (SPF), such as 15, 30, or 50. A sunscreen labeled SPF 15 means it will take you 15 times as long to get a sunburn as it would if you had no sunscreen on. A sunscreen labeled SPF 30 means it would take you 30 times as long to burn.

The effectiveness of sunscreens is affected by several factors. A sunscreen’s active ingredients can break down over time, so be sure to check the expiration date on the container. The amount of sunscreen you use, and how often you use it, affects your protection from the sun. Perspiration and time spent in the water can also reduce sunscreen effectiveness.

Some people look to the sun as a source of vitamin D, but it takes just a brief time in the sun to do the trick. “You need very little exposure—something like 20 minutes a day to the backs of your hands, arms, and face—to get enough,” Katz says.

Several factors—like cloudy days or having dark-colored skin—can reduce the amount of vitamin D your skin makes. However, you can also get vitamin D from foods or dietary supplements. Check with your healthcare provider about whether you should be taking vitamin D supplements.

Limit time in the sun to protect your skin against early wrinkles, damage, and disease. “Being sun smart is a good thing,” Katz says, and if you spot a suspicious mark on your skin, be sure to get it checked out, Kramer advises.

If you are worried about your skin health and want to get healthy from the inside out, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses a non-invasive way of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. They also offer free seminars, held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

Autoimmune Diseases

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), autoimmune disease happens to be one of the top ten leading causes of death in females of all age groups up to sixty-four years of age.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates up to 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease and that the prevalence is rising. The AARDA states that it is more like 50 million Americans suffer from autoimmune disease. According to AARDA, the discrepancy is because the NIH numbers only include twenty-four diseases for which good epidemiology studies were available.

Autoimmune diseases result from a dysfunction of the immune system. The immune system protects you from disease and infection. Sometimes, though, the immune system can produce autoantibodies that attack healthy cells, tissues, and organs. This can lead to autoimmune disease and can affect any part of the body. More than eighty autoimmune diseases have been identified; some are relatively well known, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, while others are rare and difficult to diagnose.

Some autoimmune diseases are life threatening; most are debilitating, requiring a lifetime of treatment. There are treatments available to reduce the many symptoms and effects of autoimmune diseases, but most autoimmune diseases are rare and patients can often spend years seeking a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, commonly used immunosuppressant treatments can lead to devastating long-term side effects.

The causes of autoimmune diseases remain largely unknown. There is growing consensus that autoimmune diseases likely result from interactions between genetic and environmental factors. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is supporting research to understand how these factors work together to compromise the body’s ability to defend itself and develop into autoimmune diseases.

Unraveling the connections between genetic predisposition and environmental triggers is a major focus for NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency testing program headquartered at NIEHS. The good news is that progress is being made through multiple research efforts, some of which are noted below.

A 2012 study by NIEHS researchers found that over thirty-two million people in the United States have autoantibodies. Earlier studies have shown that autoantibodies can develop many years before the clinical appearance of autoimmune diseases. The study, which looked at the most common autoantibodies, antinuclear antibodies, found that they are most prevalent among women. This research suggests that the hormones, estrogen and progesterone might be affecting the immune system.

A study of residents in Libby, Montana, who have experienced significant exposure to asbestos minerals due to mining in the area, suggested a link between asbestos exposure and lesions in the lungs. Sixty-one percent of Libby residents tested had autoantibodies and were more likely to have two types of lung abnormalities.

An NIEHS study also found an association between ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and the development of an autoimmune muscle disease, myositis, particularly in women.

Low birth weight and low socioeconomic factors in childhood were associated with the later development of rheumatoid arthritis as an adult.

Recognizing that individuals are rarely exposed to one chemical at a time, NIEHS grantees studied what happens when mice are exposed to two suspected triggers for autoimmune diseases. Previous studies had shown that exposure to trichloroethylene, a solvent and degreasing compound, induced autoimmune hepatitis in autoimmune-prone mice. This study found that when the mice were also exposed to mercuric chloride, a compound used as a disinfectant and also used in photography, disease development accelerated, and a unique liver-specific autoantibody response occurred.

NIEHS grantees studying blood samples of Brazilian mothers exposed to methylmercury, an environmental contaminant passed on to humans by eating contaminated fish, found elevated levels of autoantibodies in the blood of both mothers and their fetuses.

NIEHS and NTP researchers demonstrated that a certain enzyme creates mutations in DNA and is a major player in the development of autoantibodies. The discovery of the role of this enzyme establishes it as a potential target for therapy in autoimmune disorders, such as lupus.

NIEHS brought together an interdisciplinary group of experts to evaluate the state of the science regarding the role of the environment and the development of autoimmune diseases. The experts have identified future research directions, identifying promising mechanistic theories and animal models, and identifying some specific environmental agents that may be involved in the development of autoimmune diseases. The findings included:

(1) Exposure to solvents, which are used in thousands of products, including paint thinners, cleaning supplies, and nail polish, contributes to the development of systemic sclerosis.

(2) Smoking contributes to the development of two types of rheumatoid arthritis.

(3) Exposure to fine particles of crystalline silica, a basic component of quartz, granite, and many other minerals, contributes to the development of several autoimmune diseases. Workers exposed to these minerals are particularly at risk.

(4) Eating gluten, present in wheat and some other grains, contributes to the development of celiac disease, a disorder that affects the small intestine and commonly causes chronic diarrhea and fatigue.

If you feel you are dealing with an autoimmune issue, call the Advanced Chiropractic & Nutritional Healing Center at 240-651-1650. Dr. Lo uses a non-invasive way of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of illness, aches and pains. They also offer free seminars, held at the office on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays. The office is located in Frederick. Check out the website at www.doctorlo.com.

How are you feeling about your current health status?

Perhaps you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Are you suffering from diabetes, arthritis, or joint pain? Maybe its digestive issues, heartburn, bloating, gas, constipation, or weight issues. If you identify with any of the previous, you might be what I like to call “functionally ill.” Functionally ill individuals perform all of their daily tasks but they suffer from many of the complaints I just listed. We often make up excuses or find ways to rationalize why we feel so lousy.

As a country, we spend billions of dollars annually on health and weight loss, and yet we still feel lousy, in spite of all the doctors we visit and the sophisticated medical equipment they use. We spend more on medical care than any other nation in the world, yet according to the World Health Organization’s ranking of the world’s health systems, neither Canada nor the United States ranks in the top 25. Many of us go to our doctor with complaints and are given a drug that never really fixes the problem. The symptoms may be gone but the drug we are given could be hard for our liver to eliminate and eventually cause more problems.

So how did we get to feeling so lousy? Each year, we consume about four pounds of chemical preservatives and additives. What happens to these chemicals and additives? If you are like most people, you assume our body just processes them. Most people never consider what happens if our body does not break down or eliminate these chemicals.

Our digestive system suffers greatly because of the diet most of us are eating. A lot of us eat processed and packaged foods like bread, dairy, meat, fast foods, fried foods, fatty foods, cake, candy, and ice cream, which are loaded with chemical preservatives and additives. Food affects our cells; it either nourishes them or damages them. This can lead to disease.

The four stages of disease are: (1) Poor digestion; (2) Sluggish liver; (3) Poor elimination; (4) Weakened immune system.

If you burp after meals, have stomachaches, indigestion, heartburn, or reflux, and suffer from constipation, diarrhea or allergies, you may have trouble with your stomach and digestion.

If you experience hormonal imbalances, suffer from moodiness, irritability or confusion, have high cholesterol, PMS, frequent headaches, bad breath, constipation or diarrhea, you may have a sluggish liver.

If you experience chronic constipation or diarrhea, are bloated, overweight, have regular gas, chronic lower-back pain, frequent headaches, abnormal cravings for food, skin problems like rashes and acne, you may have poor elimination.

If you experience brain fog, suffer from itchy, watery eyes, allergies, hot flashes or overheating, frequent headaches, bags or dark circles under your eyes, and frequently feel depressed or experience low energy, you may have a weakened immune system.

So how do you know where to begin? To get healthy, you must first identify what is hindering your health or holding you back. There are no quick fixes, at least not lasting ones. The body has the full potential to repair itself when given the correct nutritional regimen. Nutritional deficiencies cause organ dysfunction, which can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, skin rashes like eczema, depression, or other symptoms. Generally, chronic health problems do not suddenly develop overnight. These take a long time, often years of improper diet, causing nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, as well as environmental influences to get you into the health condition you are currently experiencing.

At Advanced Chiropractic and Nutritional Healing Center, we use a technique called Nutrition Response Testing® (NRT). It is a non-invasive way of analyzing the body to determine the underlying causes of ill or non-optimum health. NRT allows us to identify nutritional deficiencies. All of our programs are safe for children, elderly and everyone in between. Supporting the body’s effort to keep itself healthy and running efficiently is not difficult, but it will take some unlearning of wrong concepts and learning some correct ones. Find out if you are a NRT case. Call our office 240-651-1650 or attend one of our free nutritional seminars, held on rotating Tuesdays and Thursdays, featuring a drawing for a free footbath detox at every seminar. The center is located at 7310 Grove Road in Frederick.

Hypothyroidism

by Dr. Thomas K. Lo

Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.

The thyroid, known as the master gland, is butterfly-shaped and sits in a notch just below your throat. The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine, found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Thyroid cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are released into the blood stream and transported throughout the body, where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy). Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism, brain development, breathing, heart and nervous system functions, blood cells production, muscle and bone strength, body temperature, menstrual cycle, weight gain and loss, cholesterol levels, and skin hydration.

It makes sense that thyroid imbalances can make your life seem entirely off-kilter. The most common form of thyroid imbalance is hypothyroidism. It occurs when your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone to support your daily activities.

Women often call my office because they are exhibiting thyroid symptoms. Thyroid-related issues can arise at any age and may not necessarily show up on routine lab tests. Subclinical hypothyroidism is a term used when someone is experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism, but whose blood test results are sill in the “normal” range for thyroid hormone production.

The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely, depending on the severity of the hormone deficiency. The more obvious signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism may include: severe fatigue, loss of energy, weight gain, difficulty losing weight, depression and depressed mood, joint and muscle pain, headaches, dry skin, brittle nails, brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss, irregular periods, PMS symptoms, calcium metabolism difficulties, cold intolerance and lower body temperature, constipation, sleeping more than average, diminished sex drive, puffiness in face and extremities, bruising/clotting problems, allergies that suddenly appear or get worse, persistent cold sores, boils or breakouts, tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome, memory loss, fuzzy thinking, and difficulty following conversation or train of thought.

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, seek a free consultation or attend one of the free classes offered at the Nutritional Healing Center. You may find the probable causes of hypothyroidism. For more information, or to register, please call 240-651-1650.