The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on January 24, 2019, documenting the improvement with chiropractic of a young girl who had been suffering with irregular bowel movements.
If a child is 4-years-old or older, and has already been potty trained but still soils his or her pants with stools, the term for this condition is encopresis. By the age of four, children should be able to control themselves enough to not have this issue occur except under rare or extreme circumstances. Medical treatment for encopresis typically involves medications, some behavioral modifications, and dietary changes.
It is estimated that approximately 1-2% of children under the age of ten suffer from encopresis. Boys are much more commonly affected by this condition with 80-90% of all cases being in males.
In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor for an evaluation of an issue not related to encopresis. It seems the girl’s gymnastics coach had observed that her hips were uneven. The girl’s health history included having asthma, for which she had received allergy shots. She also had suffered for elbow dislocations before she was 4-years-old. Additionally, her history did record that she was suffering with irregular bowel movements. She was taking 4 Colace pills per day to regulate her bowels. It was later revealed that she was having accidents where she would soil herself and her clothing.
A chiropractic examination with spinal x-rays was performed. From the examination, it was determined that there were multiple areas of vertebral subluxation in the girl’s spine, affecting her nervous system. Based upon the findings of the examination and x-rays, specific age-appropriate chiropractic adjustments were used to address the subluxations.
During the course of chiropractic care, gradual improvements were seen with the girl’s regularity of bowel movements and with the incontinence she was experiencing. After one month of care, it was reported that the girl was virtually “accident free.” Beyond the one-month point of her care, the girl was no longer having accidents and was able to sleep in normal panties for the first time ever. After a two month follow-up, there was no longer any reports of the problem and the girl was leading the life of a normal 9-year-old.
In their discussion about the mechanism of how chiropractic could help this girl’s case the authors wrote, “Chiropractic adjustments act as a physical means to correct vertebral subluxations and reduce dysfunction in the body.” They continued, “When this dysfunction is removed and musculoskeletal stresses are reduced, afferent input to the central nervous system is regulated, decreasing the sympathetic hyperactivity. This mechanism may be attributed to how chiropractic adjustments help alleviate fecal incontinence in this case study.”
Above is the headline of a January 7, 2019, story published in Popular Science. This story, as well as several others, are based on a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Open Network on January 4, 2019. The study showed that there was a large difference between the number of people who believe they have a food allergy, and the actual number that do.
The research was based out of Northwestern University. The researchers surveyed 40,443 American adults and asked them a series of questions related to food allergies. The answers to those questions helped researchers decide if the person had an allergy to a particular food, or if they just were not tolerating a food without actually have an allergy toward it.
According to the researchers, 19% of the U.S. population believes that they have a food allergy. The study shows that only about 11% of the population actually does have an allergy toward food. This equates out to 26 million Americans that have food allergies.
Ruchi Gupta, a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University and a co-author of the research, noted that certain people who thought they had a food allergy based on certain symptoms, did not, “If they only had, say, bloating or stomach pain or diarrhea then we took them out because that could be a lactose intolerance or a food intolerance.”
In a January 7, 2018, article on this study, they explain the difference by noting that someone who is lactose intolerant is deficient in the enzyme lactase needed to digest lactose, the sugar in milk. These people can drink a milkshake but will have symptoms and possibly bloating after they do from their inability to properly digest the milk. If a person with a true allergy to milk products drinks a milkshake, the reaction can cause their throat to close or their blood pressure to drop, as well as other allergic symptoms that can include the respiratory system, the skin, or even their cardiovascular system. A true allergic response like this can be life threatening.
In the case of lactose intolerance, you are dealing with the digestive system and the deficiency of the enzyme lactase. In the case of a true allergy to milk products, you are dealing with an immune system that over-reacts to the product ingested and causes the severe symptoms and issues.
“The common threat between each of these scenarios is that both the immune system and the digestive system are under the control of the nervous system,” says Dr. Robert Braile, a chiropractor and past president of the international Chiropractors Association. “Chiropractors do not directly treat either lactose intolerance, or food allergies, but by making sure that there is little or no interference to the nervous system, we can help people with these issues self-correct their problems to the best of their abilities.”
Dr. Braile continued to explain by noting, “Some people with food issues get great responses under chiropractic, while others seem to get only minor changes. In either case, their quality of life is improved as their body is actually functioning better when their nervous system is functioning better.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), have released data on November 29, 2018, documenting that the life expectancy in the United States has continued to shorten for the third year in a row. In addition, the U.S. is not keeping pace with other advanced western nations and has the same life expectancy as Cuba, according to the World Health Organization.
The report noted that the ten leading causes of death have not changed from 2016 to 2017. The reason for the drop in life expectancy is being attributed to an increase in drug overdoses and suicides. A CNN article on this reported that, according to a report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, drug overdose deaths reached an all-time high in 2017 of over 70,000, while the suicide rate increased by 3.7% for the year.
Some of the facts published in the CDC report include that life expectancy for the U.S. population declined to 78.6 years in 2017. They also noted that no progress has been made in the past year on the alarmingly high infant mortality rate where it is estimated that 579.3 infant die per 100,000 live births. This 2017 statistic was not significantly different from the 2016 rate. Overall the CDC report noted that the age-adjusted death rate increased by 0.4% from 728.8 deaths per 100,000 for the population in 2016 to 731.9 per 100,000 in 2017.
In a press release on the CDC report, Robert R. Redfield, M.D., CDC Director stated, “The latest CDC data show that the U.S. life expectancy has declined over the past few years. Tragically, this troubling trend is largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide. Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable. CDC is committed to putting science into action to protect U.S. health, but we must all work together to reverse this trend and help ensure that all Americans live longer and healthier lives.”
The World Health Organization reports that the top nation for life expectancy is Japan, with a life expectancy of 83.7, followed closely by Switzerland and Singapore. Other nations that are also ahead of the U.S. in this category include Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Canada.
Dr. George Curry, president of the International Chiropractors Association commented on the new statistics by noting, “Even if we do not address the fact that there has been little medical progress on the mortality rate for the ten most common causes of death in the U.S., we cannot ignore that the common thread of the increased deaths is drugs.” He continued, “The U.S. population utilizes more medications and drugs by a wide factor than any other advanced population on the planet. The chiropractic profession has always stood as an alternative to the drug-first approach and continues to promote health from within.”
The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 19, 2018, documenting the care of a young man who was suffering with diabetes mellitus and chronic mid back pain being helped by chiropractic.
The study begins by stating that type 1 diabetes mellitus has serious short-term and long- term health implications. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control report that if a 10-year-old child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the year 2000, they would probably lose on average between 18.7 and 19.0 life-years.
In explaining the chiropractic approach to health, the authors of the study wrote, “Chiropractic is a health care discipline rooted in the philosophy optimal health and performance is sustained by neurological and spinal health. Conversely, neurological stress and strain contribute to disease and dysfunction and are preceded by abnormal, unhealthy spinal alignment and posture known as vertebral subluxations. Vertebral subluxation involves a biomechanical dysfunction and a neurological compromise.”
It is the neurological component of the subluxation that opens the door to studying the effects of chiropractic on a wide variety of health issues such as the one discussed in this study.
In this case study, a 26-year-old man went to the chiropractor with the primary complaint of chronic mid-back pain for the past nine years. Additionally, he had been medically diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus since he was 3 years old. The young man reported that he had managed his blood-glucose with insulin therapy via an insulin pump. He rated his mid back pain as a 7 out of 10 with 10 being the worst.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included using an SF-36 health survey form designed to measure a patient’s assessment of their quality of life. In addition, the man was vigilant in continuing to monitor his blood glucose level as he had been for years.
Specific forms of regular chiropractic care were started. The care rendered was not for treatment of his diabetes, but was focused on correction of the subluxations which were determined to be present in his mid-back, known as the thoracic spine. The man was instructed not to change any of his treatments or managements of his diabetes.
After 7 weeks of chiropractic care, the man reported that his mid back pain had reduced significantly. Upon testing, it was also shown that the man had an improved blood glucose average. Since the man monitored his sugar level in real time, he reported that his blood glucose levels were lower on the days that he received chiropractic care.
The man was reassessed 16 months later to see how his progress was maintained. From this assessment, it was shown that his mid back pain had maintained the reduction he had previously experienced. His quality of life assessment had also shown significant improvement. Additionally, it was shown that his blood glucose level had remained lower and he was able to reduce the amount of insulin that he had needed.
In the study’s discussion section, the authors noted that chiropractic was the only change made in this man’s daily routine. “Certain circumstances and concurrences need to be highlighted within this report. The patient did not alter his lifestyle throughout or following care. It is remarkable that he continued to consume processed foods high in sugar and still yielded the extraordinary health improvements documented. The patient stated that chiropractic care was the only change in his everyday routine. During and following correction of the thoracic spinal alignment, the patient yielded significant improvements in blood glucose levels.”