New Research Links Processed Sugar to Cancer Growth

Sugar and Cancer In the previous post, I discussed how sugar and artificial sweeteners can affect a child’s brain. ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression, poor memory and other issues are often traced back to a sugar-heavy diet. Scientific studies suggest that the early onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can be linked to high sugar consumption.

This is why it’s so important to limit sugar intake and help kids establish good eating habits at a young age. Food and drinks with added sugar and artificial, manmade sweeteners are the ones to avoid.

Of course, if you pass on anything that comes in a can, a box, a carton or a drive-thru, you’ll eliminate the vast majority of sugar-heavy and artificially sweetened food products from your diet. Continue reading

How Sugar Can Affect a Child’s Brain

Children's brains and sugarWe know that the American diet for children is largely toxic and leads to obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor development, and many other chronic illnesses. But we rarely discuss what it does to the brain.

Poor diet, especially one that is loaded with added sugar and artificial sweeteners, has a direct impact on a child’s brain chemistry. After all, obesity isn’t just a problem in the belly. It’s a problem in the brain because too much sugar creates a never-ending cycle of food cravings that cause kids to overeat.

Added sugar and manmade artificial sweeteners, which are toxic to the liver and reproductive organs, cause an immediate biochemical change in the body. As a result, certain neurotransmitters are released in the brain. Some children are more sensitive to these neurotransmitters and become depressed, anxious, or hyper. Some have memory issues and struggle to think clearly. Many have learning disabilities at school.

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Why Acupuncture Has Become a Go-To Treatment for Athletes

acupuncture for athletesIn the previous post, we discussed how an integrated treatment plan helped Carlos, a then 17-year-old high school pitcher with a 90-plus mile per hour fastball, recover from a herniated disc and bulging disc. Thanks to a combination of chiropractic care, nutrition, physical therapy, and the Cox Technic system for spinal decompression, Carlos is back on the mound for his senior season.

Another form of treatment in the Natural Healthcare Center shed that has become popular with athletes who push their bodies to the limit is acupuncture. From NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson to New York City Ballet dancers, more and more world-class athletes now view acupuncture as a critical part of their training and wellness programs.

Although the average person views acupuncture as a way to relieve pain, an athlete gains the greatest benefits during training – before an injury. Acupuncture can boost an athlete’s energy, improve overall performance, and help an athlete recover from a workout more quickly. Acupuncture can also reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep, and increase awareness and mental clarity.

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How Carlos Got Back to Throwing Heat, and the Value of Integrated Therapy

Proodian healthcare Patient Success StoryI don’t claim to be a scout for a big league baseball team. But when I encounter a young man like Carlos, who at the time was 6-foot-6 and threw a baseball 90 miles per hour as a 17-year-old, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he could hear his name called at some point in a Major League Baseball draft.

Carlos came to Natural Healthcare Center in April of 2015 with pain in his hip and the lower right side of his back. Our integrated treatment plan included chiropractic care, physical therapy and sports nutrition counseling. The pain went away, but it would return when Carlos resumed the high level of activity that’s normal for serious athletes.

We sent Carlos to have an MRI, which revealed a herniated disc and a bulging disc. We dug deeper into our integrated toolshed of services and treated Carlos with the Cox Technic system of spinal decompression and pain management. We also continued with chiropractic care and nutrition, and focused his physical therapy on lumbar core stabilization.

Today, Carlos is fully rehabbed, training for his senior season, and throwing heat. Continue reading

Integrated Medicine: Separating Buzz from Substance

Integrative Medicine About 15 years ago, “integrated” became a big buzzword. Companies in different industries started using “integrated” in their sales presentations, marketing campaigns, and business models. Some companies started using “integrated” in the name of the business.

You have integrated marketing, which is designed to make sure different marketing tactics are part of a single cohesive strategy and support the same objective and message.

You have integrated technology, which is designed to simplify the management of technology and make sure all departments within an organization have access to a single version of accurate, up-to-date data.

You even have integrated pest management, which is designed to coordinate methods for controlling pest populations and reduce the usage of pesticides and other chemicals.

I don’t claim to be an expert in any of these industries. But in the world of healthcare, I can tell you that the phrase “integrated medicine” is used far too casually – and often in a deceptive way. Continue reading

Natural Treatment Options for Arthritis

ArthritisIn the previous post, I discussed the differences between osteoarthritis, which is the gradual degeneration of cartilage and bone at the joints caused by wear and tear, and autoimmune arthritis, which occurs when the body’s immune system attacks normal cells at the lining of joints.

Most people think the default treatment for arthritis is a pain-relieving pill. After all, every case of arthritis involves joint inflammation. A variety of anti-inflammatories can be used to reduce inflammation, and because various forms of arthritis can cause severe pain on a day-to-day basis, pain medication can indeed be part of a treatment plan.

However, medication is not the only treatment option. At Natural Healthcare Center, our goal is to minimize the use of medication and stimulate the body’s natural healing powers, whether we’re treating arthritis or any other condition. Osteoarthritis, like any condition that ends in “itis,” is an inflammatory disorder and should be treated nutritionally with an anti-inflammatory diet.

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Preventing Neurodegeneration by Taking Care of the Brain

what is neurodegenerationAll of us are born with a certain number of brain cells. Over the course our lives, brain cells inevitably become damaged and die. Yes, the brain actually shrinks, so if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

This is the process of neurodegeneration. Neurodegeneration is a combination of two words – “neuro,” which refers to nerve cells, and “degeneration,” which refers to progressive damage.

The quicker your brain cells die and degenerate, the faster brain function deteriorates. You start to deal with depression, headaches, anxiety and fatigue. You have difficulty making decisions and suffer from memory loss. This leads to serious neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Continue reading

Why Not All Forms of Arthritis Are the Same

Arthritis When you hear the word “arthritis,” it’s similar to when you hear the word “cancer.” Most people tend to lump all forms of arthritis or cancer into the same group. Just like there are many forms of cancer, there are many forms of arthritis that fall into one of two general categories – osteoarthritis and autoimmune arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the wear and tear, the degeneration of cartilage and bone at the joints as we get older. If you live long enough, you’re probably going to develop osteoarthritis. It’s a chronic condition that affects about 27 million Americans, mostly over the age of 65.

Osteoarthritis affects joints anywhere in the body, but most commonly occurs in the knee, hips and spine. A number of lifestyle factors contribute to osteoarthritis, including running and other repetitive joint trauma, the physical demands of a job, accidents, deconditioning and weight gain. An inflammatory diet also increases the likelihood of arthritis. Continue reading

When is Fasting Okay?

Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years. In fact, it’s a Biblical term. Every religion has a time of fasting when people stop consuming food, drink or both for a certain period of time to purify the body, mind and spirit.

There are medical reasons for fasting. For example, we’re often required to fast before surgery so digestion isn’t affected by the changes to the body that occur while we’re under anesthesia. We’re often required to fast before a blood test in order to get a more accurate baseline count.

Fasting has also been used to treat disease. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, known for the Nutritarian Diet that focuses on eating foods that are rich in micronutrients, has conducted research that suggests fasting can reduce the side effects of chemotherapy treatment for cancer and increase the likelihood of a cure. Continue reading

Instead of Resolving to Lose Weight, Resolve to Do This

New Years ResolutionsThis is one of my favorite weeks of the year because I usually get to spend an entire week with my wife and kids as I look forward to the New Year. Unfortunately, a lot of people quickly leave the joy of Christmas behind and become depressed or feel guilty about how they look, their relationships, or their career.

This helps to explain why nearly half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Of course, the most common resolution is to lose weight, whether that means going to the gym or trying the latest fad diet.

The problem with the average exercise regimen is that most are unsupervised. Instead of following a customized fitness program developed by a professional, most people do what they see other people do – run on the treadmill, lift weights, take an aerobics class, and so on. Continue reading

What if There’s NOT a Doctor in the House?

Doctor in the houseMy wife, Stacy, and I were out enjoying a nice dinner a couple of months ago when a look of horror came over Stacy’s face. A man behind me passed out and fell backwards, and the back of his head slapped against the table, knocking him unconscious.

Fortunately, this was not a life-threatening situation, although he did have a concussion. I was able to provide emergency care until the ambulance arrived. The folks at the restaurant were very appreciative and gracious and bought us dinner.

A few weeks later, Stacy and I were sitting at the corner of a bar, having dinner. It was already late and we didn’t want to wait for a table. This time, Stacy screamed. Continue reading

Emails Expose Coke’s Attempt to Deflect Blame for Obesity

Crushed Soda CanIn September, I wrote that Coca-Cola was attempting to change science and buy a new “truth.” This post came after it was revealed that Coke was funding the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), which claimed that good health is more about exercise than nutrition.

I asked the following question of the folks at Coke:

“Do they think we’re so stupid that we would believe research funded by Coca-Cola is anything but a desperate attempt to reverse declining sales of Coca-Cola products?”

In a development that should surprise nobody, emails acquired by the Associated Press prove that Coca-Cola was more than a little influential in the activities and messaging of the GEBN. Continue reading

Healthy Foods that Can Make You Feel Bloated

Mid section of woman with stomach pain in hotel roomWe all know that junk foods can make us look and feel lousy. The body wasn’t designed to absorb and digest processed foods, artificial sweeteners, soda, bad fats and pretty much anything you would get from a box, a can or a drive-thru.

Aside from the long-term health issues these “foods” cause, they give us belly fat and make us gassy. They make the gut feel swollen, or bloated.

Most people think bloating is the result of overeating, and that is certainly a common cause. It can also be caused by eating too quickly. But bloating is often caused by what we eat – including healthy foods.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is a condition that can cause bloating. SIBO occurs when an abnormally high amount of bacteria grow in the small intestine, making it more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. This can lead to conditions such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and gastritis. Continue reading

Startling Facts about Obesity and Its Impact in New Jersey

obesity statistics

I often discuss the global epidemic of obesity and how it leads to chronic illness, which is crippling healthcare systems around the world. But what is the state of obesity in New Jersey, right here in our own backyard?

The numbers may shock you.

According to data released by the New Jersey Department of Health in October of 2015, 26.9 percent of New Jersey adults are obese, and 36.3 percent are overweight. That means nearly two thirds (63.2 percent) of New Jersey adults are either obese or overweight.

If we continue at this pace, nearly half (48.6 percent) of New Jersey adults will be obese by 2030.

The numbers aren’t any better for our children. One in four children ages 10-17 and 23 percent of high school students are obese or overweight.

But here is one statistic that truly frightens me. In New Jersey, more than 14 percent of low-income children under the age of 5 are obese. New Jersey has the highest rate of low-income childhood obesity among the 44 states that report this data. Continue reading

Why We Should Be So Thankful for Our Health

Being Thankful for HealthThis week, as we gather with friends and family, and volunteer our time to help those in our communities who are less fortunate, we can’t help but reflect upon everything for which we are thankful.

As I get ready to hit the big 5-0 in three months, I’m extremely thankful for my health. I’m thankful that I’m physically able to run around with my five very active kids. I’m thankful that I have the energy to work 12-hour days on my feet, write seminars and blog posts, and conduct research that helps me become better at what I do. As Mark Twain said, “The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.”

I thank God every day for my good health. I also thank God every day for giving me the ability to control my good health.

All of us are capable of making decisions each day, with help from qualified professionals, that affect how we feel. But achieving and maintaining good health requires a wellness plan.

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Do You Want Your Child Learning about the McDonald’s Diet in School?

McDonals in schoolsYou may have heard about the Iowa school teacher who ate nothing but McDonald’s’ food for 90 days and lost 37 pounds. He created a video that went viral, wrote a book, and appeared on a bunch of TV shows.

He was also hired by McDonald’s to be a brand ambassador. That means he goes to schools around the country to teach children about good nutrition. He has already spoken to kids from nearly 100 schools.

Oh boy. Where do I start?

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Understanding Diagnostic Imaging, Part 2

Dr. Proodian checking xrayIn Part 1 of this post, I discussed what diagnostic imaging is and what it does – a test that provides a doctor with a window into the body so we can diagnose and gather information about a person’s health and recommend the right treatment.

I also discussed three of the most common types of diagnostic imaging ordered by doctors – x-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Here are three more tests that doctors use to pinpoint the cause of our health issues.

Diagnostic Ultrasound

While x-rays, CT scans and MRI use electromagnetic and radio waves to create images of the inside of the body, diagnostic ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves. Also called sonography, ultrasound exams typically use a sonar device outside of the body, although some require a device to be place inside the body.

Most of us associate ultrasound with pregnancy. It enables doctors to see a pregnant woman’s uterus and ovaries and monitor the health and growth of the baby. However, diagnostic ultrasound can also be used to diagnose gallbladder disease and some forms of cancer, discover irregularities in the genitals and prostate, evaluate a lump in the breast, or assess blood flow. Continue reading

Understanding Diagnostic Imaging, Part 1

Dr. Proodian checking xrayDiagnostic imaging is one of those terms that can cause anxiety in a lot of people. They figure that a doctor would only order such a test if there was a serious problem. However, it’s important to keep in mind that diagnostic imaging will just rule out certain conditions just as often as it detects a problem.

Let’s start by clarifying what diagnostic imaging is and does. Diagnostic imaging is a test that allows a doctor to look inside your body. Much can be learned through medical history, visual exams and blood testing, but doctors often need to look deeper to find out what’s going on.

Diagnostic imaging is a tool that allows us to do just that. As the name suggests, diagnostic imaging helps us diagnose and gather information about a person’s condition and determine the most effective treatment.

Here are some of the most common types of diagnostic imaging: Continue reading

Halloween Can Be Healthy if You Do This

Healthy Halloween tipsHalloween is believed to date back to the eighth century when Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day to honor all saints and martyrs.

All Saints’ Day followed some of the traditions of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people lit bonfires and wore costumes to drive ghosts away. The poor would knock on the doors of the rich, receiving food in exchange for prayers for the souls of the rich homeowner’s dead relatives. Children later took up this practice.

Pleasant, right?

All Hallows’ Eve was the night before All Saints’ Day and eventually became Halloween. Halloween came to America with a flood of new immigrants during the mid-1800s, including millions of Irish who were escaping Ireland’s potato famine. It was during this time that people began dressing up in costumes and knocking on neighbors’ doors asking for food or money.

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What’s the Difference between a Migraine and a Headache?

Headache or MigraineNine out of 10 Americans get headaches. Some headaches are worse than others. When a headache is really bad, many people assume it’s a migraine. But before you start popping pills, it’s important to try to figure out what kind of headache you have.

A headache involves dull, unpleasant pain or pressure that can occur on both sides of the head or specific areas, like the forehead, temples, or the back of the neck. There are dozens of causes of headaches – far too many to mention in a single blog post. Some of the most common types of headaches include:

  • Tension headaches, caused by stress, anxiety, muscle strains and other factors
  • Cluster headaches, which typically occur on one side of the head and are often accompanied by common cold symptoms like a runny nose, nasal congestion or watery eyes.
  • Sinus headaches, which often come with a sinus infection

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