Posts Tagged With "Prescriptions"
“What you eat today, walks and talks tomorrow.”
-Babe the Pig
This is from the movie "Babe" my daughters favorite movie at the current time, and even though you could interpret it a number of different ways, there is no doubt that what you eat controls each and every cell in your body. Since eating is something we all do, it seems like a good idea to put the conversation forward: Are your genetics influenced by the foods you eat, and even more importantly, do you have the power to control how your genes are turned on or off through nutrition?
The answer is: YES. The new future of medicine is known as Epigenetics- looking at how the genetic code is affected by environmental influences, and how we have the real ability to turn wellness or illness genes on or off through the foods we chose to put in our bodies. If you were to hear someone say, "it's all in my genes" it's true, but what you don't hear people say is, "but I have the power to control them." Now I'm not talking about hair color, eye color, skin color etc, these things are in the genetic code and make up your physical appearance. But lets say someone is meant to be 6 foot 5, but they were fed a horrible diet as a child- malnourished and under exercised. It's likely they wouldn't make it to that height due to the genetic code being altered by deficiency states.
It's the same with many of today's epidemic diseases in the modern world like heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and obesity. In a family where both parents have diabetes type 2, some will argue there is a genetic link for their child to get diabetes type 2 when they are older. In truth, if the child was fed a healthy diet devoid of simple carbohydrates and bad fats, and full of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins (with adequate exercise) it is very unlikely that this grown adult will get diabetes, for if the gene existed, it wouldn't be turned on. However in today's world we see children getting type 2 diabetes, a sure sign that if we continue to eat (and stay sedentary) the way we do, gene destruction will happen at an alarming rate.
The bright side to all this is that you have the power over what you put in your body and even though you don't know every "bad" gene in your body, you do have the say in what your genes can do. Many will disagree with me here, but I have seen all to many times that when people improve their nutritional status, their bodies become efficient, leaner, and free of disease, while their minds are calmed and bright. Even those who are what we considered "diseased, can benefit from a clean whole foods diet, sometimes even reversing their conditions and/or optimizing their current states. Take this month to educate yourself and others about the importance of healthy food, and remember you aren't helpless to your genes.
Recently the British Medical Journal published a retrospective cohort study that followed just over 62,000 children from birth to age 10 to explore a hypothesis that medically attended head injury in children before age 2 may be causal in developing ADHD by age 10. Children that received burns before age 2 were also studied, and both groups were compared to children who before age 2 had neither a burn or head injury. The findings were somewhat compelling:
- Of the 62,088 children studied, 2782 (4.5%) suffered head injury and 1116 (1.8%) suffered burn injury before age
- Males had higher rates of injury in these cases
- The injured children were of greater deprivation, or lower socioeconomic class.
- The children who had already sustained a head injury/burn prior to age 2 had a higher percentage of head injuries after age 2.
- Children with a head injury before age 2 were TWICE as likely to be diagnosed as having ADHD as the comparison group, but not more likely that the burn group. Basically both head injury and burns doubled ADHD diagnosis before 10.
- In all 3 groups the risk of ADHD diagnosis increased among children who had a head injury AFTER age 2.
So what were the researchers conclusions? That head injury itself does not seem to be causal in the development of ADHD, rather that head injury prior to age 2 may be due to the increased risk behavior of those children with ADHD and can only be used as a marker, not a cause. Interestingly enough they also state that children with ADHD are more vulnerable to post-concussive syndrome with a mild traumatic brain injury.
Most of my practice deals with those who have sustained a traumatic injury of some kind, whether head, body, or emotional (likely all three). Many of the adults that I treat started having problems in childhood as a result of an UNTREATED head injury, and many of the children that I see have the ADHD diagnosis or would easily fit into the criteria. I am excited that the mainstream is looking at the correlation of these factors, but now the question is HOW ARE MILD HEAD INJURIES TREATED?
NCR has given me a whole new aspect of treating these patients by allowing me to remove the obstacle to cure and possibly save a child a lifetime of this diagnosis. Many parents who are reluctant to have their children treated after an injury state that they want to wait until the child is older, more mature, etc, but after looking at this study I must ask the question...WHY WAIT? Perhaps we can stop the negative sequeli of head injury now and spare the diagnosis of ADHD in the future.