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Musculoskeletal and Gut Health | El Paso TX

Musculoskeletal & Gut Health

The gut has a significant impact on the rest of the body systems. Research has shown an overlap in risk profiles when assessing the gut and its connection to the other human body systems. For example, the chronic health conditions linked to gut dysfunction are eczema, leaky gut, brain fog, headaches, inflammation, swelling, and an abundance more. 

The Gut

The human gut is flooded with pathogens and bacteria. These gut pathogens are essential for health and proper function. The bacteria that infest the gastrointestinal tract is combined with both positive and negative commensals. The digestive tract associated with these microbes is known as the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome has an essential role in disease and overall health. There are over 1000 microbial species living within the gut. 

The growth and involvement of the human microbiome begin at birth. An infant does not have many pathogens. However, at birth, they are quickly colonized. As infants pass through the mother’s birth canal, they are exposed to the mother’s microbiome. This process heavily influences the child’s intestinal flora. Infants who were born via cesarean section showed a reduced number of microbes by the age of just one month. 

Additionally, the human microbiome contains genes that are linked to metabolic processes. The bacteria in the human gut produce essential nutrients such as vitamins and hold a high responsibility to synthesize amino acids. The lining of the gut consists of tight junctions. Over time, these tight junctions can become irritated if the bacteria is off balance or food is not being digested properly. When food becomes an irritant, it causes the body to create additional inflammation. The undigested food particles then begin leaking out of the gut, back into the bloodstream. 

Inflammatory Pathways Impacted By Gut Health 

The intestinal epithelium layer is the main component separating the immune system and the external environment. Cells alert threats from pathogens by signaling the immune system through receptors that are associated with specific bacteria in the gut. These responses lead to the release of peptides, cytokines, and white blood cells. These responses can even trigger cell death. 

The gut-brain axis is communication that relies on neural, hormonal, and immunological signaling. This communication is directly related, and stress has been shown to influence the integrity of the gut and its production, ultimately leading to changes in metabolism. 

IBS is abdominal pain or discomfort associated with inflammation and changes in gut habits. Those who have higher bad bacteria levels in their gut suffer from more inflammation and side effects associated with IBS. 

Inflammatory pathways can disrupt many body functions. Some have been linked to metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes is a complex disorder influenced by genetic and environmental factors, it may also involve the composition of the intestinal microbiota. 

Gut Health and The Musculo-Skeletal System 

As previously stated, the gut microbiota is now recognized as a major contributor to health-related issues of the host. With imbalanced microbiota (associated with undernutrition, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, etc.), we see the influence of skeletal muscle and how it is impacted in relation to growth, performance, aging, and chronic diseases. 

Conversely, microbial imbalance alters the intestinal barrier (leaky gut), allowing the passage of endotoxins (like undigested food particles and lipopolysaccharides). These endotoxins trigger innate immunity, leading to low-grade inflammation and, as a consequence, muscular disorders. 

Additionally, we see muscle loss and weakness linked to increased morbidity and mortality recently related to systemic inflammation.

Chiropractic can be defined as “a system of healthcare which is based on the belief that the nervous system is the most important determinant of a person’s state of health.” Chiropractic treatments include the manipulation of the spine. With the manipulation of the spine, digestive disorders have seen improvement. Regular chiropractic visits are also shown to help decrease overall inflammation.  

InBody

Considering the topic of inflammation, the use of the InBody 770 provides an ECW/TBW ratio. This ratio considers science down to the orthomolecular level and is an inflammation indicator. Additionally, the InBody 770 report shows a breakdown of the water in each limb. This chart is helpful in understanding and pinpointing where inflammation is occurring. Additionally, we use the InBody 770 to see a patient’s SMM (skeletal muscle mass), body fat mass, percent body fat, visceral fat (a risk factor indication related to heart attack, stroke, and type two diabetes), and phase angle. The video below provides more information on how a BIA analysis works to provide this information.

Ways To Help Your Gut 

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH AND REDUCE INFLAMMATION. I HIGHLY RECOMMENDED HAVING LAB TESTING DONE TO TEST YOUR MICROBIOTA AND SEE WHAT STRAIN STRENGTH AND TYPE OF PROBIOTICS WILL HELP YOUR BACTERIA. ASIDE FROM THAT, EATING FERMENTED FOODS AND AVOIDING INFLAMMATORY TRIGGERS WILL REDUCE INFLAMMATION AS WELL. ANOTHER TEST I RECOMMENDED IS A FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST. THIS TEST WILL SHOW WHAT FOODS YOU ARE HAVING REACTIONS TO, AND THE SEVERITY OF THE DAMAGE CAUSED EACH TIME YOU INGEST THEM. -KENNA VAUGHN, ACSM-CEP, SENIOR HEALTH COACH 

Sample reports for both of these tests are shown below: 

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References: 

Bull, M. J., & Plummer, N. T. (2014). Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 13(6), 17–22.  

Gizard, F., Fernandez, A., & De Vadder, F. (2020). Interactions between gut microbiota and skeletal muscle. Nutrition and metabolic insights, 13, 1178638820980490. https://doi.org/10.1177/1178638820980490 

Segen JC. Dictionary of alternative medicine. Stamford: Appleton and Lange; 1998.  

Gut Health El Paso TX

A New Perspective On The Gut, Nervous System, and Chiropractic Care

The human body is more complex than scientists understand. Constantly, new research is being conducted and published that dives deeper into the bodies of multiple systems, uncovering new thought-provoking information. As of late, a lot of research is being conducted revolving around the human gut/gastrointestinal system. Originally thought, the gut was made to store and digest food. However, now we see that the gut is the real mastermind behind everyday bodily functions. The gut has now been linked to headaches, inflammation, and autoimmune disease. 

Background 

The digestive tract is one of the essential immune support organs. In fact, it is the immunological powerhouse that houses more than 80% of our antibody-producing cells. This means that our gut is the first line of defense when it comes to unwanted antigens. The gut is so powerful that researchers began to question and test its true abilities. 

The Gut 

The thought of the body having two brains sounds fictional, but scientists have begun referring to the gut as the body’s “second brain.” Researchers found that the brain in the human skull, working with the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the gut working with the Enteric Nervous System (ENS), can function separately. Although the two use the same “hardware,” the ENS can manage every aspect of digestion and is a nearly self-contained network of neurotransmitters and proteins. 

Just throughout the small intestine, there are more than 100 million nerve cells. If you combine the number of nerve cells in the human GI tract, you will find that there are more nerves in the gut than there are in the human spine. This allows the ENS the capability to help with ION transport and GI blood flow. 

Nearly every substance the body contains to control the brain can simultaneously be found in the gut. One of these substances being serotonin. 95% of serotonin is housed in the gut. A cell referred to as the enterochromaffin squirts serotonin into the wall of the gut, which then communicates with the nerve cells to get things moving. 90% of communication occurring is from the gut to the brain. When we take this into consideration with chiropractic care, we see how it is all connected. Chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system includes bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissue. All of these work together to support your body’s weight and help you move to perform daily functions. Injuries, disease, and aging can cause pain, stiffness, and other problems with movement and function. The muscular system is an organ system that consists of skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles. Smooth muscle is what lines the interior of the gut. As we know, the muscle systems in vertebrates are controlled through the nervous system. In fact, studies have shown that chiropractic care helps to reduce constipation, low back pain, and overall well-being. This study shows how the gut and digestive systems are directly connected to chiropractic care.

Inner Defense System 

As previously mentioned, the gut is our inner defense system. The mucosal layer that is associated with lymph node tissue is our primary source of immunological function. Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT) is the first to see foreign invaders and put up a fight. GALT produces two levels of defense, the most abundant being secretory IgA. Secretory IgA binds to antigens to provide protection against microbes. 

It is important to note that secretory IgA in itself is NON-Inflammatory. However, when secretory IgA is fighting, it sends off signals for help from other immune cells, such as IgG and IgM, which do produce an inflammatory response. 

Most individuals who have an autoimmune disease have worn-out IgAs. The goal of the gut and its defense system is to keep nutrients in while bouncing antigens off. In the case of autoimmune diseases, we see nutrients leaking out and antigens coming in.

InBody

In order to gain a better understanding of the health of our patients, we use the InBody 770. This allows us to assess health down to the orthomolecular level. With the use of the InBody, we can see phase angle, visceral fat (higher visceral fat has an association with type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke), intracellular water, extracellular water (this is related to inflammation and swelling), lean muscle, and percent body fat. These numbers are critical when considering a health condition, especially if the extracellular water is high. We see a direct overlap in risk profiles with excess extracellular water to other inflammatory diseases and markers. 

With more research shining a light on these, we see the true the gut and how it comes into play with autoimmune disease and inflammation. 

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THE GUT IS GENUINELY SO POWERFUL AND HIGHLY OVERLOOKED. I CAN SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE IN HAVING AN AUTOIMMUNE CONDITION WHERE NOT A SINGLE DOCTOR MENTIONED MY DIET OR MY GUT! NOW, KNOWING THIS INFORMATION AND BEING SURROUNDED BY PATIENTS WHO SUFFER FROM A DISEASE SIMILAR TO MINE, IT IS THE FIRST PLACE WE LOOK. THE GUT IS THE POWERHOUSE AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SO. -KENNA VAUGHN, SENIOR HEALTH COACH 

References 

University, Functional Medicine and Ronald Grisanti , directors. Physiology of the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue, Enteric Nervous System and Mucosal Barrier. Functional Medicine University – The Leader in Online Training in Functional Diagnostic Medicine, 2010,.

Rédly M. (2001). The effects of chiropractic care on a patient with chronic constipation. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 45(3), 185–191. 

blueberry strawberry smoothie El Paso tx

Strawberry & Blueberry Inflammation Fighting Smoothie

Inflammation Fighting Smoothie

Dark leafy greens as well as certain fruits are a great way to help the body naturally fight off inflammation. We’ve put together a simple smoothie that can be consumed every morning to fuel your body and help reduce inflammation.

¾ cup orange juice
½ cup ice
½ spinach
1 cup strawberries, sliced
½ cup blueberries
2 tbsp flax seed

Additionally, it is great to add powder pre and probiotics to smoothies. This ensures we are feeding the microbiome the healthy bacteria it needs to flourish.

For additional protein, add in 1 scoop protein powder or 5oz of greek yogurt

Gluten Sensitivities & Our Genes

What is gluten? Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Unfortunately, gluten is the stable of the American diet and hidden in many foods, like soy sauce for example. 99% of people who have a problem with eating gluten do not even know it. They associate their poor health and discomfort with other instances. However, this is becoming an epidemic as those who have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity (diagnosed or undiagnosed) have a significantly higher chance of developing heart disease. So far, there have been 55 diseases that are linked to eating gluten.

Osteoporosis and Gut Health | El Paso TX Health Coach

Osteoporosis & Gut Health

Osteoporosis is a disease process based on stem cell and immunological dysfunction and it is where this dysfunction collides with energy regulatory mechanisms leading to weak and brittle bones. The skeleton is a large block of calcium that the body taps into to survive. This leaves the skeleton depleted of essential nutrients if not properly maintained. One thing that is important is to work on skeletal health from a metabolic level.

Arthritis: A Functional View

There are currently 54 million adults who suffer from Arthritis. Additionally, about 9% of adults have some type of arthritis-attributed activity limitation. The CDC predicts the number of those diagnosed with arthritis will only continue to rise in the years coming. Arthritis means inflammation of the joints. With Arthro meaning joint and itis referring to inflammation, it is clear that joint inflammation is the symptom being referred to. Many conventional approaches to arthritis treatment are aimed at reducing the inflammation of the joints. These medications also come with a heavy dose of side effects including kidney failure, gastritis, and bleeding in the stomach. Looking from a functional perspective, we pinpoint what is causing the inflammation in the first place. By resolving the overall inflammation in the body and creating a holistic plan to treat and reduce what is causing the inflammation, the joint inflammation ultimately subsides.

PCOS and genes

Functional Wellness: PCOS

The first Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) conference was held in 1990 and discussed what PCOS is and how they were diagnosing and treating patients. They looked at oligo-anovulation, no ovulation, and too many androgens. Now, we use the Rotterdam criteria. This criterion groups together anovulation abnormal ovulation, clinical hirsutism acne (signs of hyperandrogens), and an ultrasound to view the presence of 12 or more follicles and determines if you have two out of those three then you are diagnosed with PCOS. There are multiple pathways that PCOS develops. Ultimately, these pathways are categorized into 4 groups: LIfestyle induced PCOS, Poor Fat Digestion/Sugar Burner, Inflammatory Diet/Poor Food Choices, and Genetic Predisposition.

Depression: Integrative Approached | El Paso Health Care

Depression: Integrative Approaches

Depression is a natural response of the body and brain when there are biochemical imbalances occurring. These imbalances can involve toxicities, inflammation, metabolic issues, and genetic predispositions. When we are in a stressful state that lasts for too long, dysautonomia occurs and we burn out, leading to depression. Bun out is what occurs when any system is operating at too high of levels for too long. No matter what the issue is, depression or adrenal exhaustion, all chronic health issues can be related back to stress. We have the ability to test the neurotransmitters and take on depression from a holistic approach.

Depression: A Holistic View | El Paso Texas Health

Depression: A Holistic View

11% of the population is on some type of antidepressant. Many on antidepressants are on them for years or life. However, as a functional health care provider, we know that 95% of the body’s serotonin is housed in the gut, not the brain. So if depression is a lack of serotonin, the first place you should look is the gut! Fixing the balance within the gut and decreasing inflammation have shown positive results in regards to depression.

Helpful Tips For SIBO | El Paso Texas Chiropractor

Helpful Tips For SIBO Relief

SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth is an issue in many individuals. With SIBO, many patients experience IBS as well. Over ⅔ of SIBO cases are chronic and long-term treatment is needed. For the most symptom relief, patients find a diet to be an essential factor. These four diets are great options for a place to start:

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
Low FODMAP Diet (LFD)
Cedars-Sinai Low Fermentation Diet (C-SLFD)
SIBO Specific Food Guide (SSFG)