Month: November 2006

Steroid users more likely carry guns, commit fraud

By Michael Dorausch, D.C. news staff

According to a recent Swedish study, with an article appearing in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, the use of anabolic steroids may be associated with antisocial lifestyle behaviors involving several types of crime, including illegal weapon possession and fraud.

A big burly Swede walks up to a woman in a bar and the woman says, “Is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” He says “I’m happy to see you” and moves a little closer to her. Excited, she reaches down then exclaims, “liar, that is definitely a pistol!” That’s one possible way anabolic steroid abusers commit fraud and crimes involving concealed illegal weapons.

anabolic steroid syringesAccording to Swedish researchers, anabolic steroid users were found to have an increase in weapons offenses, yet steroid use did not appear to be associated with violent crimes (such as murder or rape) or crimes against property.

The study involved 1440 Swedish residents tested for anabolic steroid use between 1995 in 2001. Individuals in the study were referred for testing from inpatient and outpatient clinics, as well as police stations and customs offices. Out of the group, 241 tested positive for anabolic steroid use.

According to the research, those who tested positive were about twice as likely to have been convicted of an illegal weapons violation and one and a half times as likely to have been convicted of fraud. Researchers found there was no difference in the rate of violent crimes, sexual offenses or crimes against property between the group that tested positive for steroids and those that tested negative.

Researchers made several hypotheses and offered some suggestions as to why the results turned out as they did. One explanation was that criminals involved in crimes such as armed robbery or the collection of crime related debt, would benefit from being more muscular and/or having a heavy build.

It was also suggested that the increase in aggressiveness associated with anabolic androgenic steroid use might also be advantageous in carrying out premeditated crimes against people. Researchers concluded that while steroids are primarily associated with violent outbursts of anger and impulsive behavior, the results show that there may also be a link to crimes involving preparation and advance planning.

My thoughts on all this…

I began wondering about all this research regarding anabolic steroid users and their associated criminal behavior. Let’s not forget that some of the health hazards and major side effects from abusing anabolic steroids can include liver tumors and cancer, jaundice (yellowish pigmentation of skin, tissues, and body fluids), high blood pressure, increases in LDL (bad cholesterol), kidney tumors, severe acne, and trembling.

Also for men, side effects include the ever so popular shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts, and an increased risk of prostate cancer. No wonder they’re so angry.

Have you seen those needles? Anabolic steroid users are jamming needles (about 2 inches long) into their butts or thighs (less common) on a regular basis. While it’s more common to inject weekly, or every few weeks, some abusers inject daily.

I thought if you were going to rob a bank maybe it would be a good idea to be on steroids so you could lift those massive bags of money we always see in the movies. I did some research of my own and discovered that there are 490 bills in a pound. A million-dollar bag loaded with dollar bills would weigh over 2000 pounds, too much for any anabolic human to lift. However, a $1 million bag of hundreds would only weigh about 20 pounds.

Next time I go to the gym, I’ll grab the 20 pound dumbbells and work on my million-dollar biceps, but first I’ll get a chiropractic adjustment for my billion-dollar body, so that it’s in optimal shape. @ 7:16 pm | Article ID: 1163053002

MVA’s leading cause of school bus-related injuries for children in USA

By Michael Dorausch, D.C. staff writer

According to a new study, from the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at Columbus Children’s Hospital, the number of kids in America injured in nonfatal schoolbus accidents each year is more than double the estimates suggested in former studies, with motor vehicle crashes topping the list of injuries.

school bus designs have not changed much since 70sAn estimated 23.5 million children travel billions of miles on school buses in the United States each year. The CIRP study is the first to use a national sample to describe nonfatal school bus-related injuries to children and teenagers treated in hospital emergency departments across the country.

According to the study, which was published in the November 06 issue of Pediatrics, from 2001 through 2003 there were an estimated 51,100 school bus-related injuries that resulted in treatment in an U.S. emergency department. That is about 17,000 injuries annually.

This most recent study represents a more comprehensive look at school bus related injuries than previous studies, which have generally focused on fatal or crash related injuries.

On school bus-related injuries, one of the study’s authors stated, “Our results indicate that they are more than three times more common than earlier estimates. In addition, the findings from this study indicate that traffic-related crashes are the leading mechanism of nonfatal school bus-related injury for children in the U.S.”

According to the study, the highest proportion of injuries occurred during the months of September and October with children aged 10 to 14 years old suffering the most injuries compared with all other age groups. Traffic-related accidents, where the child was injured as a passenger on a school bus as a result of a collision between the bus and another motor vehicle, topped the list of causes and accounted for 42 percent of the total injuries. Among all the patients, strains and sprains were the most commonly encountered injury.

Data for the study was collected from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The analysis included all patients 19-years-old and younger in the NEISS database, who were seen in a hospital emergency department for a nonfatal school bus-related injury during the three-year period.

The authors emphasized that, since the data was collected from NEISS, only kids seen in a hospital ER after their accident, were counted.

Children receiving chiropractic care after injuries, or ones that were treated by their parents, school nurses/doctors or pediatricians, were not incorporated into the total injuries reported.

The National Coalition for School Bus Safety believes children deserve seat-belts on school buses. According to the NCSBS web site, “the basic design of the Large Yellow School Bus has not been changed since 1977.” @ 7:38 pm | Article ID: 1162881538

What we will be doing here

The original thought behind creating blog pages for Planet Chiropractic was to develop a place where we could discuss topics that did not belong on our chiropractic news pages. As the blog section develops we’ll be getting into more topics here.

The first two section we’ll be focused on involve chiropractic schools and chiropractor salaries. At Planet Chiropractic, we get more emails daily on those topics than any other (except the topic of new patients emailing and/or calling looking for chiropractors in their area).

Salaries along could go into a wide range of discussions but most of what will get posted here are basic answers to many questions asked about income related to practice.

As far as schools go, we do not plan to get involved as to what schools one should attend. We intend to provide again, answers to many questions we get asked daily. From things as simple as “is there a school near me?” to questions as complicated as “I’ve been a Medical Doctor for seven years and I am about ready to kill myself from the frustration involved in my field. Do I have to take any additional coursework to become licensed to practice chiropractic in my state?”

Whole Foods Stock Goes On Crash Diet

By Michael Dorausch, D.C. staff writer

Whole Foods stock (WFMI) on Friday dropped by 23% with share volume of over 45 million and an end of day stock price around $46, the company’s lowest share price since February of 2005.

The Austin-Texas based grocery giant released fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday after the markets closed.

According to the CEO for Whole Foods Market, competition from other major grocers is blamed for the drop, and growth for 2007 is expected to be a bit stunted.

News articles from across the nation painted a less than healthy picture for the organic style grocery chain. Some headlines from major news outlets read as follows… Whole Foods’ Shares Drop On Signal of Slower Sales — Washington Post, Investors shred Whole Foods — Chicago Tribune, Whole Foods stock plummets 23% — The Courier News, Whole Foods hits 52-week low — Philadelphia Inquirer

whole foods fruit kiwi strawberriesSince the 1980s, Whole Foods has been providing organic products and produce to mostly health-conscious shoppers, at premium prices. But analysts have warned that a slowing in consumer spending combined with intense competition from mainstream grocery stores and megastores, such as Wal-Mart, may present Whole Foods with a serious challenge.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is planning to put more than 400 organic items on its grocery shelves. Trader Joe’s, popular in states such as California, Arizona & Nevada, is moving into the Northeast, and the state of Georgia. Even Target is planning to move into the healthier organic food model.

While growing competition may not be good for Whole Foods stock prices, having healthier choices and a greater selection of locations for getting quality nutrition, is good for American consumers.

Here in West Los Angeles, I typically pass several major grocery outlets (Ralph’s, Vons, Albertson’s) to shop at places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. For most wellness minded consumers, I would expect that to be the norm, especially in an area like Southern California. As a nation, maybe we’ll start eating better when we have more choices to do so.

Chiropractic tip of the day: Eat healthy, get plenty of rest, exercise at least three times a week, and see your chiropractor on a regular basis to ensure your spine and nervous system are functioning optimally. @ 5:13 pm | Article ID: 1162786453

Crystal meth not good for babies

By Michael Dorausch, D.C. staff writer

US scientists have recently published a report with findings that babies can be exposed to methamphetamine or “crystal meth” while in the womb.

The study, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, involved analysis of hair samples by researchers who determined that crystal meth is able to cross the placenta directly to the developing fetus.

While research authors suggest that though the precise effects of the drug on a fetus are not fully known, the evidence so far points to restricted fetal growth and developmental problems. Not good news for babies whose moms are using methamphetamines.

According to the study, crystal meth users were also more likely to use other drugs, with cocaine being the most predominant.

Methamphetamine, sometimes referred to as methylamphetamine or desoxyephedrine, is a psychostimulant used primarily for recreational drug purposes. It is sometimes prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy under the brand name Desoxyn. Meth causes euphoria and excitement by acting directly on the brain’s reward mechanisms, causing a cascading release of norepinephrine and dopamine, thus making it highly addictive.

At this point you may be thinking… do we really need scientific research to determine whether methamphetamines are safe for babies in the womb? It’s probably OK to suggest that we can add meth, crank, yaba, and other methamphetamine related substances to the list of things pregnant moms should not be smoking, injecting, ingesting, or consuming.

Remember, fetal development is also affected by exposure to nicotine, cigarette smoke, heroin, methadone, cocaine, alcohol, and many other substances.

Wanna feel euphoric naturally while pregnant? Try getting a chiropractic adjustment. Not only is chiropractic safe for both mom and baby, many moms have reported easier births, improved sleep, reduced sciatic pain, greater energy, as well as other benefits. @ 7:18 am | Article ID: 1162577957

Mercury in your child’s flu vaccine

By Michael Dorausch, D.C. staff author

California government health officials today agreed to override a statewide ban on a mercury based compound (thimerosal) so that more kids under the age of three could get flu shots even though recent research suggests the shots may not be safe or effective.

Mercury in Flu VaccinesWhile it may be business as usual at the medical cartel drug them till they’re dead clinics in California, some people may want to actually wake up and pay attention to what’s going on here.

Health officials will likely tell parents that it’s far more important for their babies to receive flu vaccines, even though they contain the mercury compound, in order to protect them from deadly bouts of the flu.

The lifting of the ban on the mercury preservative will allow a major vaccine manufacturer to ship 500,000 more doses to the State of California, even though several California flu shot locations say they have no shortage of either adult or pediatric vaccine.

There is no doubt that someone will suggest that there is little scientific evidence linking the mercury thimerosal compound to increased rates of autism, a majorly controversial topic. Tell that to the parents and researchers that fought for several years to have thimerosal banned from childhood vaccines, finally having that ban go into effect this year.

But the cartel death star has struck first and the ban has been waived for at least the next six weeks thanks to pressure on the State of California from four or more medical groups.

Speaking of scientific evidence, it has only been a few days since the British Medical Journal published a report that concluded there is little scientific proof that inactivated influenza vaccine is safe and effective for children and adults.

Parents should be asking some serious questions. Why, when major medical research publications have just released independent analysis reports with findings that past studies related to flu vaccination cannot show safety or effectiveness, are health officials in California reintroducing banned potential toxins into baby’s body’s?

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) is calling on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to stop recommending annual flu shots for all infants and children until methodologically sound studies are conducted.

BMJ: Influenza vaccination: policy versus evidence
NVIC: Studies Fail to Demonstrate Safety or Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine in Children and Adults

Planet Chiropractic: Autism, mercury poisoning, thimerosal and the flu vaccine @ 8:15 pm | Article ID: 1162538175

Chiropractic recommendations on infant sleep position and SIDS

By Jeanne Ohm, D.C.

What is your recommendation about infant sleep position? We have a two month old (our third) who is having a really hard time staying asleep on her back. She seems to be happier on her tummy and seems to have no trouble lifting and turning her head when face down. I know about the medical establishment’s recommendation about back sleeping to reduce the risk of SIDS but wondered if there was more to the story?

When our six children were young, it was still the recommendation to put children on their bellies to sleep. Being Doctors of Chiropractic, my husband and I chose not to. Basically, what we saw in our practice was that our patients who were stomach sleepers had chronic neck problems and even when they began chiropractic care, they did not hold their cervical (neck) adjustments well. From a biomechanical perspective it did not seem right to put our children on their stomachs either. We chose to have them sleep with us, primarily on their sides.

It is true that the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that children sleep on their backs to reduce the incidence of SIDS. Since this “Back to Sleep” program was initiated, the incidence of SIDS has been shown to decrease.

ICPA Pathways MagazineBeing a Doctor of Chiropractic I am always concerned with “cause”. When I heard about this “Back to Sleep” campaign and its results, I looked at the biomechanics. Why would back sleeping reduce the incidence of SIDS? From a biomechanical perspective it was clear to see that when a baby is placed on his or her back, there is no stress to the baby’s neck or lower cranium. However, when a baby is placed on his or her belly for sleep, the head and neck will be in constant rotation to one side or the other. This rotation along with the pressure and weight of the head holding it in rotation causes continuous irritation to the cervical spinal cord and nerves. This area in the neck is also the area where the respiratory centers are. This continued irritation during sleeping hours may adversely affect that area of the spinal cord and therefore adversely affect proper breathing function.

SIDS is defined as a condition where a baby just stops breathing. Although a cause has not yet been defined, most studies relating to SIDS have explored and discovered a malfunction of the respiratory system in the infant.

My question has always been–what then can cause this malfunction? Why would a primary system like respiration just stop? Since it is the nerve system that controls respiration, what could have happened to affect normal nerve function responsible for respiration? Was there any potential injury or trauma to the nerve system causing interference to normal respiratory function?

When you look at the amount of pulling and rotation done by most operators in the majority of births today, there is good reason to believe that this type of pulling has caused irritation and even injury to the cervical spine and therefore the nerves it protects. Even in what is considered to be “natural births” there is often undue pulling and stretching of the infant’s spine.

Now take a baby who has even slight irritation or injury to the cervical nerves because of pulling at birth and picture placing this same baby on his or her stomach for the many hours he or she sleeps. As mentioned, this belly position will force the baby’s neck to be rotated to one side or the other creating what is called “noxious stimulation” to the cervical nerves and spinal cord. The result is additional irritation to a possibly already injured area. From a bio mechanical point of view, this spells SIDS.

You mentioned that your child has difficulty sleeping on her back. Is she also arching her spine? Is she sensitive when you touch her neck and the back of her head (the occipital portion)? Does she seem to have a tilt in her neck to one side or the other when you lie her on her back or hold her up in front of you? All of these signs are indicators that she is experiencing spinal nerve stress and would benefit from a chiropractic check up.

I would suggest that you give serious recall as to how “gentle” your child’s birth was, research the safe options and advice about co-sleeping to offer her more comfortable sleeping postures and make a choice that is right for your baby. Additionally, you can locate a Doctor of Chiropractic on our membership directory who cares for infants. Alleviating any spinal nerve stress early in life will have profound effects on your child’s overall health and well-being.

(This article originally appeared in Pathways magazine and was republished with permission of the author.)

– – – – – – – – – –
Dr. Jeanne Ohm has been a practicing family chiropractor since 1981. She has been a guest speaker for numerous TV networks, radio shows and community lectures on the topic of Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyles. Dr. Ohm is the executive coordinator for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (I.C.P.A.) and is the editor of the ICPA’s public education magazine: Pathways

Pathways to Family Wellness: Quarterly Publication of the ICPA

The ICPA publishes a quarterly magazine providing timely articles and updates relevant to your Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle. This full color, 48 page magazine called “Pathways” contains informative articles designed for parents, educators, practitioners and other interested readers.

Parents interested in more information regarding children and chiropractic can visit the ICPA Research Foundation @ 8:49 am | Article ID: 1162496976

Medical study links SIDS to brain stem problems

By Michael Dorausch, D.C. staff writer

Researchers in Boston yesterday released a study suggesting that babies who die of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, have serious abnormalities in the brain stem region, which controls breathing and heart rate.

The recent findings add greater evidence to the theory that SIDS is caused by biological and/or mechanical differences in the brain, particularly in the brainstem region.

According to medical research, some scientists believe that SIDS babies are born with a genetic defect that keeps them from responding to stressors such as a lack of adequate oxygen while laying face down. Other experts believe that the cause may be mechanical in nature, suggesting that atlanto-occipital instability at the level of the brainstem (the first movable bone in one’s neck), creates disturbances that affects breathing rate, and respiratory reflexes.

Many doctors and experts advise that all babies be put to sleep on their backs rather than on their stomachs in order to prevent crib death.

This most recent study was based on the autopsies of 31 SIDS victims, with about three quarters showing serotonin abnormalities in the brain stem. Serotonin, is best known for its role in mood elevation, but it serves many functions in the brain. In the brainstem, at the level of Occiput-Atlas (the base of ones skull), serotonin helps regulate breathing and other automatic bodily functions.

This was an important study in determining the role of brainstem function and SIDS. Most researchers agree that SIDS is likely to be a complex disorder with many possible factors linked to causation.

Medical science will likely look to treat any found underlying abnormalities with drugs, while chiropractic research experts will continue to suggest all newborns be checked by a qualified chiropractor for atlanto-occipital hypermobility or instability.

Chiropractic and SIDS related articles, research and references
The Chiropractic Journal: Subluxation and sudden infant death syndrome
StopSIDS: SIDS & The Spine: An Annotated Research List @ 7:16 am | Article ID: 1162491419

Tis the season for the flu

By Darrel Crain, D.C.

Don’t you just love the changing of the seasons? Winter, then spring, then summer, then flu…wait a minute, what day does the flu season actually begin? I checked all the calendars in my house, but I could not find a single one that marked the starting day of flu season.

After looking in a few newspapers I concluded nobody really knows for sure. Various reports pegged the opening at the first of September, the first of October, and even the first of November, according to one Canadian newspaper. Two things they all agreed on, though. First, the flu bug will probably be terrible this year, and second, everyone should get a flu shot.

Most Americans, however, just aren’t buying it. According to a recent poll, the flu is pretty far down the list of things we worry about. Most of us turn up our nose rather than roll up our sleeve.

My favorite advice from health leaders on how to avoid the flu is reserved for those flu seasons when the supply of flu shots is running low. “Don’t worry, you’ll be okay, just make sure to get plenty of rest, take vitamin C and eat a healthy diet!”

Speaking of Canada, an ambitious public health experiment with flu shots was begun in Ontario in 2000, called the Universal Influenza Immunization Campaign (UIIC). Flu shots for everybody, on the house!

Ontario taxpayers paid $38 million to vaccinate everybody, anticipating it would decrease the number of flu-related emergency room admissions, as well as decrease the number and severity of influenza cases.

After five years, disappointment and failure was reported in the June, 2006 issue of the medical journal, Vaccine. “Despite increased vaccine distribution and financial resources towards promotion, the incidence of influenza in Ontario has not decreased following the introduction of the UIIC.” What about hospital admissions? “Based on this study, a universal influenza immunization campaign is unlikely to affect ED [emergency department] volume.”

It’s pretty much the same story south of the U.S.-Canada border. After nearly thirty years of escalating efforts of mass flu vaccination here, “We could not correlate increasing vaccination coverage after 1980 with declining mortality rates in any age group,” according to a 2005 report by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Do you suppose our health leaders are just too tired and overworked to squeeze in time to read up on actual scientific results? “Vaccination is the single best way to help prevent influenza and its complications…” exclaimed Daniel B. Jernigan, MD, of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Blind enthusiasm for flu shots is apparently quite contagious inside the government. Our wise leaders recently donated more than $1 billion of U.S. taxpayer money to the grateful vaccine makers so they can upgrade their facilities and crank out more shots. “The federal government has created a demand for vaccines by putting money on the table…The profitability is back and the low margins are gone,” noted Jose Rasco, an investment strategist at Merrill Lynch.

Oh well, as long as our leaders insist on sticking to the whole flu shot ritual, we need to help them brighten up the fearful and depressing way the thing gets promoted. I’ve been giving the whole flu season thing some serious thought, and I think I’ve come up with some surefire suggestions that will fire up people’s enthusiasm.

First of all, the kickoff for the season itself is too vague. What day does it begin? We need a special day each year. The Official Flu Season Opening Day should be a holiday–fun, exciting, a celebration! We need parades, marching bands, celebrity interviews, the whole bit.

And what about a slogan? “One for the money, two for the flu!” No? How about, “Don’t be caught without the shot!” Probably we should have a national contest to come up with a slogan. First prize: flu shots for the whole family.

I imagine the pharmaceutical boys can easily figure how to capitalize on this thing, “The Official Flu Season Nasal Spray!” And there is no reason to limit the market to health products either, think “Official Flu Season Beer!” and so on.

Vaccine enthusiasts also need to take a cue from Halloween candy enthusiasts. Have you noticed over the last few years that more people are decorating their yards with gaudy, giant Halloween lights and displays that resemble the gaudy, giant lights and displays we used to save for Christmas? Yards of America, decorate yourself for the flu season!

Imagine giant, six-foot high, lighted syringes pointing skyward, hooked up to the garden hose. Can you picture it? At the end of the needle a fine spray nozzle will squirt out water in celebration of the mighty flu shot.

Advertising agencies need to pitch in and design some cute little dancing flu germs, you know, like the dancing raisins, only scarier. They can be dancing right next to the big syringe, except for a few dead ones impaled on the giant hypodermic.

I know what you are thinking, loads of people these days opt for getting the flu shot squirted up their nose instead. These folks could set out giant, illuminated noses in their yard, with the squeeze thingie that delivers the flu spray sticking out of one nostril.

I have only scratched the surface here folks, the possibilities for having fun during the flu season are endless. Once we get enough businesses making tons of money selling all this flu season fun stuff, the whole thing will take off with a life of its own.

This year the CDC reports that we have record numbers of flu vaccine available so that all the gentlemen, ladies and bald-headed babies who wish to can get a shot.

Now, if only our health leaders will take my advice, make this thing fun and quit trying to scare the daylights out of us. Don’t they realize Halloween already has the market on scary?

Come to think of it, witches and goblins are scary, but nowhere near as frightening as all the mercury, formaldehyde, aluminum and other stuff in the flu shots. Hold on, that’s it, what a great idea! Halloween is the perfect new Official Opening Day for Flu Season.

© Darrel Crain, 2006 All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Opinions? Rants? Call Darrel Crain at 619-445-0100

Dr. Darrel Crain
Family Chiropractor
Natural Health Writer
President, CCA San Diego County District @ 5:26 am | Article ID: 1162484838