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Vaginal Birth and Breast-feeding Reduce Allergies, Asthma

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Vaginal Birth and Breast-feeding Reduce Allergies, Asthma


Vaginal delivery and breast-feeding diminish the incidence of allergy and asthma in children up to the age of 18 years, according to new research.
“This is one of the largest cohorts of its kind in the country — it’s a longitudinal study,” said David Hill, MD, PhD, from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “It’s not a snapshot in time in a child’s life.”
Hill and his colleagues compared the records of 158,422 children to see how the method birth and feeding practice influenced the number of allergic conditions reported by each young person over a period of 18 years.
We have studies looking at the effect of breast-feeding or birth method for a single condition, Hill he told Medscape Medical News, “but we wanted to know the risk of progression throughout the allergic march. We wanted to see the compounded degree of morbidity and, in some cases, mortality because of these characteristics in early life.”
Hill presented results from the study — which looked at atopic dermatitis, IgE-mediated food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and asthma — at American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting in Houston.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting: Abstract A306, presented November 7, 2019; abstract P359, presented November 10, 2019.

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Middle-Aged Muscle Mass Tied to Future CVD Risk in Men

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Middle-Aged Muscle Mass Tied to Future CVD Risk in Men


Higher levels of lean muscle mass in middle age may be linked to lower 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, regardless of traditional risk factors such as diet, income, smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels, a study found.
Stefanos Tyrovolas, PhD, of the Centre for Biomedical Research in Mental Health in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues with the ATTICA study published their findings online today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.





J Epidemiol Community Health. Published online November 11, 2019. Full text

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10 exercises for a pinched nerve in the neck

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10 exercises for a pinched nerve in the neck


A pinched nerve is a nerve that has become irritated or compressed. The nerve is not necessarily pinched, but people use this term to refer to a range of symptoms. A pinched nerve can occur at various sites in the body, including the neck. When it affects the neck, doctors call it cervical radiculopathy.
A person with a pinched nerve in the neck may experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in their neck, shoulders, hands, or arms. Pinched nerves often appear with age or due to arthritis or wear and tear on the spine.
Many people with pinched nerves are reluctant to exercise because of pain and tingling. However, staying still can actually make the pain worse because it can cause tension and wasting in nearby muscles.
The following exercises may help relieve the pain and discomfort of a pinched nerve in the neck:

a gif of side bendsShare on Pinterest

Side bends help reduce neck and back tension while building strength. To do a side bend:
  • Stand with the hands clasped over the head.
  • Keep the neck and head straight.
  • Lean slowly from the core to the right and then the left, without letting the body bend forward or arch backward.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • For a more intense workout, add handheld weights.

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Sitting in the same position for long periods, especially with crossed legs, can damage the nerves and muscles. Instead, take frequent walking breaks.
Try to walk around the house or office for 10 minutes for every hour of sitting.
To get the most out of walking and help ease a pinched nerve, keep the head in a neutral position. The ears should be level with the shoulders, and the jaw should be loose, not clenched.

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Study Finds H.Pylori Linked to Atrial Fibrillation

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Study Finds H.Pylori Linked to Atrial Fibrillation

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.

Study finds that a common bacteria known as to cause ulcers may now also be responsible for irregular heart rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation (AF).
Dr. Annibale Montenero, lead researcher and chairman of Multimedica General Hospital’s Cardiology Department and Arrhythmia Center, has discovered a strong link between the bacteria helicobacter pylori and an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is a heart disorder affecting about 2.2 million Americans, according to the American Heart Association.
Atrial fibrillation/flutter is a disorder of the heart’s rhythm. In atrial fibrillation, the heart’s two upper chambers (the atria) quiver or flutter instead of beating effectively. Unfortunately, the blood isn’t pumped out completely. This has the potential to cause the blood to pool and clot.
Is Atrial Fibrillation Dangerous?
If a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.
Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation:
  • Sensation of feeling heart beat (palpitations) 
  • Pulse may feel rapid, racing, pounding, fluttering, or it can feel too slow
  • Pulse may feel regular or irregular 
  • Dizziness, light-headedness 
  • Fainting 
  • Confusion 
  • Fatigue 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Breathing difficulty, lying down 
  • Sensation of tightness in the chest
Is Atrial fibrillation Dangerous?
If a blood clot in the atria leaves the heart and becomes lodged in an artery in the brain, a stroke results. About 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.
How the Study was Conducted
59 patients suffering from persistent atrial fibrillation were administered a series of tests including a test to measure the levels of C-reactive protein in the blood and a test for H. pylori.
The results of these tests were then compared with results from the control group, which included 45 healthy people.
In addition to having C-reactive protein levels roughly 5 times higher than the control group, researchers found AF patients were also shown to be 20 times more likely to show levels of H. pylori.
In the overall analysis, 97.2 percent of atrial fibrillation patients were positive for H. pylori compared with just 5.3 percent of controls.
Investigators note that the link between H. pylori and atrial fibrillation is “highly significant.
Based on the findings, physicians are advised to check their AF patients for H. pylori and eliminate it whenever it is found.
References
Montenero AS, Mollichelli N, Zumbo F, Antonelli A, Dolci A, Barberis M, Sirolla C, Staine T, Fiocca L, Bruno N, O’Connor S. Helicobacter pylori and atrial fibrillation: a possible pathogenic link. Heart. 2005 Jul;91(7):960-1.
LINK

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The Truth About Mail-In DNA Tests

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The Truth About Mail-In DNA Tests


First off, just view these tests as something fun to do and not a unique way to look at yourself, your siblings or your parents on a genetic level.  You will not learn anything special that is life-changing unless there is a chance that you are born to the wrong parents or one of your parents had an affair of which you are the product (or, in the unlikely chance, that you were switched at birth).  This failure to be consistent is especially true if you use different services as was proven recently when I used one service in 2018 and my TWIN BROTHER used another service in 2019 and discovered different percentages of our background.  To drive this subject home, I used a service in early 2018 which placed 46% of my genes into a region of Panama despite the fact that I am 100% European Jewish (Lithuanian for the most part)!


Lots of Info and Some Confusion

If you’re curious about where your ancestors came from or concerned about diseases you might be likely to get, mail-in DNA tests make it easy to get some answers. Dozens of companies offer them, and they can be done with a sample of your saliva or a swab of your cheek. The catch is, you may learn “facts” about yourself that aren’t quite factual.

Myth: Predict Chances of Disease

These tests look for information in your genes that shows you might be more likely to get a specific disease, such as Alzheimer’s or cancer. But they can’t tell if you’ll end up getting it. They can’t even really tell you your chances of it. Other things, like your lifestyle or habits, affect your risk of getting diseases, too.

Myth: The Study Covers All Conditions

The field of genetics is growing quickly, but only so many tests are available. So while you may get information about certain conditions, you might not get any about a less common disease you’re concerned about.

Myth: Map Your Family Tree

Each company has its own database of samples from people who live in different areas of the world, and they match yours against the others in the database. So your results won’t include everyone who’s been tested — they’ll only include people who’ve been tested by the company you choose.

Myth: Same Info for Siblings

Everyone gets 50% of their DNA from each parent, but what’s in each half can be different. So it’s totally possible that you got more of your mom’s European DNA and your sister got more of her Asian DNA. Add your dad to the mix, and things get scrambled further. Just as siblings don’t always look alike, their DNA might not look alike, either.

Myth: Nutritional Needs

Some testing companies offer personalized advice on dietary supplements based on your test results. Some even try to sell them to you. But no studies show that genetic tests can give you useful information about those or dietary choices.

Myth: Effects of Toxins

Not everyone who smokes gets cancer, and some DNA testing companies suggest that the reason for that is in your genes. It may be, at least in part, but there’s no strong science that proves genetic tests can tell you how well your body handles certain things in the environment.

Myth: Insurance Rates

Laws are in place to protect you from being denied health insurance or charged more for it. But those laws don’t apply to life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance. That means it’s possible your genetic test results could be used by the companies that sell these types of insurance.

Myth: Government Regulations

Most of these tests are made privately and can be sold to you without any proof that they work as advertised. That may soon change, though. The FDA is coming up with guidelines for genetic tests.

Myth: All Tests Are the Same

While no testing company can guarantee that the information it gives you is 100% accurate, some are better than others. If you decide to try at-home DNA testing, look for one that meets the U.S. standards called Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and check to see if the tests have been approved by the FDA.

Myth: Personal Info

Read the fine print. Most companies make an effort to keep personal data “private,” but that can mean different things. Make sure you understand what data they’re collecting and who will see it.

Myth: Harmless Fun

At-home DNA tests can be entertaining, even if they’re not always accurate. But they can cause stress, too. Sometimes genetic tests reveal not-so-happy surprises, like a family member not being related to you or the possibility that you’ll get a certain condition. You might talk with a genetic counselor before deciding whether to get tested. And if you decide to do it, the counselor can help you understand the results.

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Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Linked to Stroke and Plaque Buildup in Carotid Arteries

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Vitamin Deficiency Linked to Stroke and Plaque Buildup in Carotid Arteries

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., MS

A study published in the the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that people low in vitamin B12 had an increase risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.
The study focused on the relationship between homocysteine, B-12 and carotid artery plaque.
The study showed that higher blood levels of B vitamins are related to lower concentrations of homocysteine leading to decrease plaquing in the carotid arteries. However, an elevated blood homocysteine level revealed a strong risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
How the Study was Conducted
The study examined 421 people with the average age being 66. Vitamin B12, homocysteine levels and degree of plaque in the carotid arteries (via ultrasound) were evaluated.
The Results
Seventy-three patients (17%) had vitamin B12 deficiency with significant elevation of homocysteine. In addition and most important, carotid plaque was significantly larger among the group of patients who had deficiency of vitamin B12 In conclusion, the authors found that low blood vitamin B12 levels are a major cause of elevated homocysteine levels and increased carotid plaque area.
Dr. Grisanti’s Comments
Have your physician order a blood homocysteine test and a methylmalonic acid (MMA) test. This is the most specific test for B12 status NOT the serum B-12 blood test.

Reference
Kwok T, Chook P, Qiao M, Tam L, Poon YK, Ahuja AT, Woo J, Celermajer DS, Woo KS., Vitamin B-12 supplementation improves arterial function in vegetarians with subnormal vitamin B-12 status. J Nutr Health Aging. 2012;16(6):569-73.
Robertson J, Iemolo F, Stabler SP, Allen RH, Spence JD. Vitamin B12, homocysteine and carotid plaque in the era of folic acid fortification of enriched cereal grain products. CMAJ. 2005 Jun 7;172(12):1569-73.

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Health Studies from the New York Times

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Does fish make children smarter? There is some evidence that it might.
In two reviews of data from 44 studies, researchers have concluded that eating seafood during pregnancy and childhood is associated with improved performance on tests of mental skills.
The analyses, published in the journal PLEFA, included 29 studies with 102,944 mother-child pairs, and 15 reports on 25,031 children under 18.
—-
Trans Fats may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Trans fatty acids, known to increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes, have now been linked to an increased risk for dementia.
Researchers measured blood levels of elaidic acid, the most common trans fats, in 1,628 men and women 60 and older and free of dementia. Over the following 10 years, 377 developed some type of dementia.
Trans fats, which are added to processed food in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, increase levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Meat and dairy products naturally contain small amounts of trans fats, but whether these fats raise bad cholesterol is unknown.
After controlling for other factors, the scientists found that compared with those in the lowest one-quarter in blood levels of elaidic acid, those in the highest were 50 percent more likely to develop any form of dementia and 39 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in particular. Elaidic acid levels were not associated with vascular dementia considered alone. The study is in Neurology.
——
Walking more may help your sleep

Taking more steps during the day may be related to better sleep at night, according to an encouraging new study of lifestyle and sleep patterns. The study, which delved into the links between walking and snoozing, suggests that being active can influence how well we sleep, whether we actually exercise or not.

——
Eating yogurt and fiber may lower the risk for lung cancer.
Fiber is the main source of prebiotics, the nondigestible foods that promote the growth of probiotics, and yogurt is a probiotic food. Scientists suspect that a healthy microbiome may explain the link.
The study, in JAMA Oncology, pooled data from 10 studies of diet and lung cancer incidence involving more than 1.4 million adults. Over an average follow-up of eight years, they found 18,882 cases of lung cancer.

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One Third of CVD in US Blacks Linked to Hypertension

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One Third of CVD in US Blacks Linked to Hypertension

One third of cardiovascular disease cases in the US black population are associated with hypertension, new research shows.
“Our data support focused efforts to diagnose and treating hypertension in black individuals, and even more importantly, attempting to prevent the development of hypertension in the first place with lifestyle modifications,” said lead author, Donald Clark III, MD, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson.


The study was published online in JAMA Cardiology on October 23.


JAMA Cardiol. Published online October 23, 2019. Abstract.

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REUTERS: Chiropractic care for back pain tied to lower odds of opioid use

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REUTERS: Chiropractic care for back pain tied to lower odds of opioid use
People with chronic back and neck pain who receive chiropractic care may be less likely to use opioid painkillers, a research review suggests.
Researchers examined data from six previously-published smaller studies with a total of more than 62,000 participants with spinal pain. Across all of the studies, 11% to 51% of the patients used chiropractic care.
People who saw a chiropractor were 64% less likely to use opioids than people who didn’t, researchers report in the journal Pain Medicine.
“Patients with spinal pain who visit a chiropractor may receive treatments such as spinal manipulation, massage, acupuncture, exercises and education as appropriate,” said lead author Kelsey Corcoran of Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
“These therapies may lead to decreased pain, improved range of motion and increased function,” Corcoran said by email. “If a patient’s pain is well controlled by the treatment they received from a chiropractor, they may subsequently need less pain medications or even none at all.”
Chiropractors don’t prescribe opioids. However, all of the studies in the analysis examined whether receipt of chiropractic care was associated with whether patients also received opioid prescriptions from other clinicians.
It’s not clear from this analysis whether people already using opioids to manage pain might be able to cut back or eliminate opioid use after getting chiropractic care.
In four of the six studies, chiropractors were either the first provider patients saw or part of the initial treatment plan for back or neck pain. One limitation of the review is that the included studies didn’t specify what exact type of chiropractic care patients received or the severity or frequency of pain symptoms.
“Patients visiting chiropractors are likely to be different than those visiting MDs in terms of their pain complexity,” said Dan Cherkin, an emeritus senior scientific investigator at Kaiser Permanente Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington.
“In general, I think that patients wishing to avoid Rx (especially opioid) would do well to seek care from providers who can provide potentially helpful alternatives to opioid treatments – this could include chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, pain psychologists, yoga instructors, and mindfulness-based stress reduction classes, etc.,” Cherkin, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.
The challenge is that some of these options aren’t always available or covered by insurance, Cherkin added.
Still, organizations such as the Veterans Health Administration and the American College of Physicians currently recommend that patients try conservative treatments commonly delivered by doctors of chiropractic instead of opioids, said Christine Goertz, a researcher at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who wasn’t involved in the study.
“The current study indicates that patients who follow these recommendations are, in fact, less likely to receive an opioid prescription,” Goertz said by email.
“Treatments provided by a doctor of chiropractic, such as spinal manipulation, may decrease pain from muscle strain, inflammation and spasm in the back muscles and/or impact the way that the body perceives pain through either the brain or the spinal cord,” Goertz added. “Patients who find effective ways to treat their pain, such as chiropractic care, may be less likely to turn to opioids.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/31JyYAT Pain Medicine, online September 27, 2019.

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Bad Habits for Your Back

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Bad Habits for Your Back


man hunched over tablet


Sit Hunched

Do it too much, and it can flatten the natural curve of your spine and damage the cushioned disks between the bones. This can lead to early arthritis and other problems. Gently stretch and move your head and neck in all 4 directions every half hour. To ease any pain or spasm, try applying an ice pack or heating pad to the area. Be sure to cover the skin with a light towel or cloth first. See your chiropractor if the pain won’t go away. 
cupcakes

Too Many “Treats”

Choosing the wrong foods too often can lead to inflammation and leave out nutrients you need to be strong. Your body needs lean protein, whole grains, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats like those from avocado and salmon to build strong muscles, bones, and soft tissue in your back. Be sure to get nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, too.

Sleep on the Wrong Mattress

It should be firm enough to support your back, but soft enough to fit the shape of your body. Your ideal mattress can depend on how you sleep and whether you already have back pain. Want to see if a firmer one might help? Put yours on the floor for a couple of nights without the bedsprings. Some stores let you return a mattress, even after several weeks, if it causes back pain or other problems. 
man sleeping on back

Sleep on Your Back …

For some people, this position can cause low back pain or make it worse. But it can be hard to change how you sleep, since it’s a habit you’ve probably had for a long time. It may help to put a rolled towel or pillow under your knees to keep the natural curve of your back. You also can try different pillow heights for your neck to find what’s comfortable.
man sleeping on stomach

… Or on Your Belly

It’s better not to do it, especially if you have a back problem. You’re more likely to toss and turn, which can strain both your neck and lower back. If you’re a belly sleeper and don’t want to switch positions, it can help to lay your head on a very soft pillow or none at all to keep your neck in the right position.
pregnant woman sleeping

How Should You Sleep?

Side sleepers seem to have the most luck avoiding back pain. Slip a pillow between your legs to take pressure off your hips and lower back, and tuck your legs slightly toward your chest. This position can be especially comfortable for people who already have back pain and for pregnant women.  It may help to put a pillow on your side to aid in comfort.

Sit Too Long

It stresses your back muscles, neck, and spine. Slouching makes it worse. Sit straight in a chair that supports your back, and set the height so your feet rest naturally on the floor. But no matter how comfortable you get, your back won’t like sitting for long stretches. Get up and move around for a couple of minutes every half hour to give your body a break. 

Skip Exercise

You’re more likely to have back pain if you’re not active. Your spine needs support from strong stomach and back muscles. Lifting weights can help. So can everyday activities like climbing stairs and carrying groceries. Low-impact exercises like walking, biking, or swimming can help protect the disks between the bones in your spine. Make it a habit for most days. Don’t be a “weekend warrior” who overdoes it and gets injured.

Smoke

Smoke, and you’re 3 times more likely to get lower back pain. It can curb blood flow, including to your spine. That can make the cushioning disks between your bones break down quicker. It also can weaken bones and give you osteoporosis, and it can slow healing. Even coughs from smoking can cause back pain. If you smoke, make quitting your top health priority and ask your doctor for help.  is there anything that smoking is good for?  I don’t think so…
children with backpacks

Overload Your Bag

Heavy weights can strain your back and tire out muscles that you need to support your spine. This can affect kids who lug many books. Your child’s backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 20% of their body weight. Large, padded, adjustable shoulder straps help spread the weight evenly. But only if you use both straps. Slinging your pack or heavy purse over only one shoulder can cause strain.
man biking

Ride the Wrong Bike

Or just a badly adjusted one. It’s bad for your back if you have to hunch over to grab your handlebars the way pro cyclists do. (They train hard to do it safely.) You also may have back pain if you’re too stretched out or cramped up on your bicycle. A physical therapist can help you find a bike that’s a good fit and suggest exercises to help if you have lower back pain. 
woman with sore feet

Wear High Heels

You may overuse muscles in your lower back and harm your posture and your spine, especially as you age. If you wear them at the office, you might bring a pair of walking shoes for your commute. Regular foot and leg stretches, like rolling your foot on a tennis ball, can help prevent pain and strengthen muscles.

Should You Do Yoga?

Too much of any exercise — including yoga — can cause back pain. But in some cases, yoga can help relieve low back pain. There are lots of online resources and videos to help you get started. A yoga instructor can ensure that you use the proper form. Just 10-20 minutes a few times a week of this mind-body exercise might make you feel better. But don’t overdo it, and stop if it hurts.  Chiropractic Lane (973-344-5656) teaches and encourages the use of yoga.
woman doing crunches

Do Situps Incorrectly

Never let them flatten the natural curve in your spine. You don’t want to let your hip flexor muscles, which connect your thighs and lower back, do the work. When those muscles are too strong or too tight, they pull the lower spine, which can cause pain. Front and side planks — where you support your stiff body on your hands, elbows, and feet — are easier on your back and build core strength better.

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