(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 came initially for a painful and stiff neck and then asked whether chiropractic could help the cold numb feeling running down the side of his thigh for six months. Meralgia paresthetica is a double crush syndrome with the nerve affected in the back and groin. He's 80% improved after five treatments.
2. Mrs C has a long history of severe, disabling migraine headaches since having her wisdom teeth removed. She clenches her teeth at night. After six treatments she has no migraines but some jaw joint discomfort remains; a bite plate is in the offing.
3. Mrs U has the trophy for the worst back this year. After major surgery with plates and screws two years later she still had paresis in the lower leg and severe disabling back pain. She's doing far better than expected, in no little part due to a lift in her shoe for a very short leg.
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 her foot. It started after a long drive in the car. After six treatments she is 60 percent better, but it's slow and is going to take the full 6 weeks to heal.
And now a setback, after lifting her child she now has leg pain. It's going to the be difficult.
7. This lady is a 70 year old woman, is on maintenance care for a nasty lumbar stenosis despite having to do everything at home. Her husband has a hospital acquired infection after a total shoulder replacement. After four operations he is incapacitated.
8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.
9. This man is 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. I reassured him it's not hip arthritis.
10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.
11. Mr C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.
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 most medical sites state but that's so much 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.
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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.