(Keywords: HIP PAIN, osteoporosis, vitamin D, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, chiropractic help)
Several months back we mentioned in our newsletter (Issue #18) the importance of a walk in the sunshine to get your vitamin D levels up in order to prevent hip pain. The problem though is that the further from the Equator you live, the less skin there is exposed to that sunshine in the winter months, and it has precious little power from November to February if you live far from the equator.
A vitamin D deficiency is linked not only to osteoporosis and broken bones, hip pain, but new research also links vitamin D to diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Two new studies have uncovered evidence that low levels of Vit D could lead to poor blood sugar control among diabetics and increase the risk of developing metabolic syndrome among seniors.
Metabolic syndrome is a grouping of health risks factors:
Study 1: Johns Hopkins Medical School
Researchers reviewed 124 type 2 diabetes patients between who sought specialty care at an endocrine outpatient facility. More than 90% of these patients, between 36-89, had either Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, despite the fact they had had routine primary care visits before their specialty visit.
About 6% of the patients were taking a Vit D supplement at the time of visit.
Those who had lower Vit D levels were also more likely to have higher average blood sugar levels.
"The finding supports the active role of Vit. D in the development of Type 2 diabetes, study co-author Dr. Esther Krug, in a news release from the Endocrine Society. "Since primary care providers diagnose and treat most patients with Type 2, screening and Vit. D supplementation as part of routine primary care may improved health outcomes of this highly prevalent condition," Krug added.
Study 2: The Netherlands VU University Medical Centre
A second study involving nearly 1300 white Dutch men and women over the age of 65 found almost half were Vit D deficient, while 37% had metabolic syndrome.
"Because the metabolic syndrome increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, an adequate vitamin D level in the body might be important in the prevention of these diseases," said Dr. Marelise Eekhoff.
Regardless of gender, those with insufficient amounts of vitamin D in their blood were more likely to have metabolic syndrome than those with sufficient amount of Vitamin D.
"It is important" added Eekhoff, "to investigate the exact role of Vit. D in diabetes to find new and maybe easy ways to prevent it and the cardiovascular diseases linked to diabetes."
The best nutritional sources of Vitamin D are fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring... and cod liver oil.
The Heart Foundation recommends eating fatty fish at least twice a week. The Omega-3 helps keep your cholesterol levels in order, and Vitamin D is vital for a host of factors - in the Metabolic Syndrome, but also in osteoporosis and the inevitable ensuing hip fracture and severe hip pain and disability.
A walk in the sun increases Vitamin D levels, and strengthens the bones, doubly decreasing the risk of osteoporosis. It's the loss of independence more than the pain and the cost of a pin or total hip replacement that so disrupts the lives of patients with osteoporosis.
It is goes without saying that the right bed is vital if you are suffering from hip pain. Or even if you have a perfect back. Skimping on your bed and you'll simply spend the money on your chiropractor, worse a surgeon.
I recommend the Dutch option: two mattresses on one double bed.
There's no perfect bed, but do consider Memory Foam Mattresses ...
Don't rely on the sunshine for all your vitamin D. Remembering that excessive exposure to the sun causes potentially serious skin diseases.
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Interesting challenges of the day
1. Mr B has the trophy for the most acute neck in February. He has quite advanced lower neck arthritis for a forty year old, thanks to a severe fall on the head from a trampoline. But this is upper cervical pain. Right rotation is simply impossible. Luckily he is improving rapidly, eighty percent better he says after three treatments. See cervical facet syndrome.
2. Mrs C is a new patient with a long history of lower back pain, hip pain and pain in both feet. We'll see how we get on, Rome wasn't built in a day.
3. Miss U sprained her ankle two months ago, wearing high heels. She still has severe mid foot pain. Xrays and perhaps a CT scan.
4. Mr V is 86 years old and hurt his back helping his wife into the car. Just one treatment of the sacroiliac joint and he's eighty percent better. It's not always like that.
5. Mr W lay on his back knocking down a pillar. Turning his head causes severe vertigo. He needs the Epley exercises, not pills, research shows. Update, he's fine.
6. Mrs X, a young mother has severe lower back pain, with numbness down the posterior thigh, calf and side of foot. It started after a long drive in the car. Update, she's forty percent less painful after four treatments, but the leg is still numb. Update two; she 60% better, but it's slow and is going to take the full 6 weeks to heal. Further update; a setback, after lifting her child she now has leg pain. It's going to the be difficult.
7. Mrs Y, a 70 year old woman is on maintenance care fo a nasty lumbar stenosis despite having to do everything at home. Her husband has a hospital acquired infection in the shoulder. After 4 operations he is incapacitated and going rapidly down hill.
8. Mrs Z, an 78 year old woman is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But at over 200 lbs she is not losing weight, in fact gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. Referral to a dietician to crack the whip.
9. Mr A, a 73 year old engineer, still working, is doing fine after a long episode of lower back pain. Some pain on the side of the hip remains after five treatments. Reassured him it's not hip arthritis.
10. Mrs B, a 64 year old woman has had Scheuermanns disease; it's left with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment, provides she come every six weeks or so for treatment.
11. Mr C, a young engineer fell off his mountain bike injuring his cervical spine and pelvis. Luckily both responded very quickly to a few chiropractic adjustments. Update: his neck is sore again. It all goes back to a whiplash injury ten years ago when he was rammed by a fully laden truck carrying a load of stone. Time for Xrays.
12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.
13. Both Mrs E and I can't believe how much better her lower back and leg pain are. Surgery for a scoliosis and spondylolysthesis three years ago helped greatly for one year. But then her leg went lame and weak. He was responded extremely well despite all expectations.
And so the day goes. Chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly? Bunkum.
Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?
Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional
response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor.
You write a superb newsletter, too.
Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question
Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.
You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.
The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.