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How Leaky Gut Affects Your Weight

At Team Health Care Clinic, we work with many people who are experiencing digestive symptoms. Leaky gut is
one of the most common problems, causing a number of health issues including weight gain and obesity.

So, just what is leaky gut?

Normally, the cells that line the intestinal tract are held together in tight junctions by linking
proteins. When these proteins break down, the junctions loosen and allow elements to enter the bloodstream that
should remain in the gut. This would include various bacteria, viruses and improperly digested food. This will cause
inflammation and put increased stress on the immune system. A recent study from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart,
Germany shows that increased gut permeability or ‘leaky gut’ is related to weight gain, obesity and fatty liver. This study
concluded that improved diet and weight loss will improve leaky gut as well as fatty liver.

Besides fatty liver, other conditions have been linked with leaky gut:

Nutritional supplements are often incorporated into the treatment of leaky gut.

Nutritional supplements are often incorporated into the treatment of leaky gut.

● Multiple Sclerosis
● Rheumatoid Arthritis
Thyroid Disease
● Colitis
● Lupus
● Eczema
● Inability to Lose Weight
● Anxiety and depression

One of the main causes for leaky gut is an upset of the
microbiome, the beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive
tract. This upset can have many sources such as:

● stress
● poor diet with too many sugars and starches and not enough fiber
● antibiotics
● pain medications including over the counter pain relievers
● lack of exercise
● insomnia
● overgrowth of Candida
● hypersensitivity to various foods, especially gluten

Leaky gut can be identified through a blood test. It can also be treated, mostly by eating better and losing weight.
Additionally, it can be helped by utilizing nutritional supplement support like probiotics, glutamine and other nutrients.
If you are experiencing any of the above conditions your should consider having your gut evaluated take the necessary steps to stop the leak.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

 

  • Most of our kids have settled into their school routines, which require a greater use of computers and technology than ever before. Team Health Care Clinic’s physical therapists see many patients in our clinic with poor posture from technology use. With today’s technology we have seen a decline in good posture, and an increase in pain– often referred to as “tech neck.” Technology is here to stay, so self-awareness, education, and practicing good posture habits are necessary for our overall health. Posture Good Posture When you are in neutral posture the shoulders are back and the ears are in line with the shoulders and the arms hang at the sides with the palms toward the legs. Poor Posture There is an increased forward curve of the neck that causes the head to move forward. The head is perched forward, the shoulders are rounded and possibly a head tilt or rotation. Effects of Poor Posture The muscles on the front of the neck and the mid back are stretched from the forward movement of the head, and become weak. The muscles on the back of the neck and the front of the shoulders become tight. These muscle imbalances cause neck pain Continue Reading

  • You have probably heard the phrase “What a pain in the butt!” There are many for whom this becomes quite literal as they experience pain, numbness, tingling or a combination of these in the buttocks and can also radiate into the back of the leg and even into the foot. These symptoms can have a variety of causes but one less common one is Piriformis Syndrome. The piriformis is a flat band-like muscle in the buttocks that originates just above your tailbone(sacroiliac region) and attaches to the top portion of the femur or upper thigh bone. With overuse from things such as long distance running, prolonged sitting, dehydration or even electrolyte abnormalities the piriformis muscle may spasm. The sciatic nerve is nearby which can be affected by the muscle spasm and nerve irritations cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling along the back of the leg and into the foot. One way to help a muscle in spasm is to gently stretch it out. To stretch the piriformis, lay on your back with your knees bent. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and pull right knee up towards chest angled towards left shoulder. Repeat other side. Other conditions Continue Reading

  • It is has been known for some time that being overweight has an impact on and is related to developing conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that being overweight or obese gives one a greater chance of getting 13 different types of cancer. The CDC was able to make a statistical analysis of cancer and overweight/obesity trends between the years 2005 and 2014. Here’s what they found: Being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk of 13 different types of cancer. Overweight and obesity related cancer accounted for 40% of all cancers diagnosed in 2014. About 55% of cancers diagnosed in women and 24% of those diagnosed in men are related to being overweight or obese. The incidence of overweight and obesity related cancers increased significantly in adults during the 2005-2014 period. The list of cancers includes cancer of: breast, colon, kidney, endometrium, thyroid, pancreas, multiple myeloma, ovary, esophagus, stomach, gallbladder and meningioma. The definition of overweight was a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 24.9. As part of our regular care at Team Health Care Clinic we conduct an evaluation of body composition, including BMI. Our providers Continue Reading

  • Getting nervous or anxious is so common that nearly everyone will experience it at some time in their life. However, when anxiety is so severe or frequent that it begins to interfere with one’s life, it should be evaluated for the cause. Our providers diagnose and treat patients with anxiety regularly. In today’s post, we review some common symptoms and causes of anxiety along with a lesser-known treatment option: neurofeedback. What is Anxiety? Anxiety related disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the US, comprising an estimated 40 million adults. The following are a partial list of some of the more common early symptoms: A worrisome nature Sleeping difficulty Irrational Fears Self consciousness Stomach problems Tight muscles Rapid breathing/pulse Self doubt Diagnosing Anxiety There are many helpful questionnaires that can assist one in determining if they have anxiety. Whenever possible, I like to use a test called Qualitative Electroencephalography (QEEG) to help me identify anxiety in my patients. QEEG is a painless, non-invasive test that measures the electrical activity in the brain at 19 locations. Much like an EKG for the heart, abnormal patterns can be identified. The QEEG pattern most associated with anxiety is too much beta Continue Reading

  • At Team Health Care Clinic in Champlin, MN our team sees clients daily that have trouble with balance. Physical therapists offer many different techniques to treat balance with attention to your specific needs. Trouble with balance makes it difficult for people to hold themselves upright and steady when they are trying to walk, stand and even sit. Although the risk of having poor balance increases with age, balance issues are common in every age group. What causes loss of balance? There are 4 areas that help our bodies control balance: Vision Inner ear (vestibular) Proprioception and muscle control Brain – coordinates all of these systems to help us maintain our balance. Medical conditions and lifestyle factors may contribute to a loss of balance, including: Poor joint mobility Muscle weakness Inner ear problems Medications Sedentary lifestyle Medical conditions such as a Stroke or Parkinsons’ disease Poor Balance: What does it feel like? A person with a balance issue may feel swaying, dizziness, vertigo, tripping, stumbling, and many times touching walls and furniture as they walk. Balance can be fine in a static position doing just 1 thing at a time. But when you try dynamic movements with multiple tasks, such as Continue Reading

  • What can be more natural than using your own body’s natural healing properties to stimulate healing? Instead of taking drugs or another artificial means of treatment, Platelet Rich Plasma makes use of your body’s natural ability to heal itself. By concentrating healing properties and applying them directly to injured tissue, we can initiate or speed up healing in a previously unresponsive tissue or joint. At our mutli-specialty wellness clinic, we have seen an explosion of interest in Platelet Rich Plasma procedures and we’re excited to offer another treatment option that supports our mission of natural healing. Our patients have experienced fantastic results since we began offering Platelet Rich Plasma in mid 2017. PRP treatment requires a 2-step procedure: Harvesting and Administration The PRP is harvested initially by drawing blood from the patient’s own body and spinning it down in a high-speed centrifuge. This divides the blood into red blood cells at the bottom and plasma at the top of the tube. In the middle is a thin layer of platelet rich plasma that contains super concentrated healing constituents such as growth factors, cytokines, and platelets. These goodies are then carefully extracted and drawn into a tube, ready to be injected Continue Reading

  • People often ask me, “How do I know if my brain is degenerating?” At Team Health Care Clinic, we take the health of the brain as seriously, if not more, than any other aspect of the body and of one’s health. In many areas of our body, pain will help indicate when something is wrong. Pain is not the primary means of how the brain exhibits dysfunction and thus it shows up in other ways. Common signs of brain degeneration include depression or fatigue as a result of brain-related activity, such as reading or driving. Even when these signs aren’t apparent, degeneration may still be occurring. Having a better understanding of what each part of the brain does leads to a better understanding of what degeneration of that area may look like. Where does brain degeneration occur? Let’s review the two most common regions that we see degeneration in the brain occurring in our practice. Frontal Lobe The frontal lobe sits behind the forehead and is the largest lobe of the brain. This area of the brain is what separates humans from other animals, as it gives us personality. It allows us to suppress impulses such as violent tendencies and socially Continue Reading

  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been popular for treating joint pain, but there are other conditions that we treat with PRP at Team Health Care Clinic. After we saw how effective PRP could be for our patients with knee pain, tennis elbow, arthritis and other joint pain, our medical team decided to explore some of the lesser known uses for PRP. Research has shown that PRP can be used for conditions such as dry eyes, chronic sinus congestion, and acne. In today’s blog, we take a look at how PRP can help people suffering with these conditions. What is PRP? Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a regenerative medicine derived from your own blood. It is obtained by drawing your blood and spinning it in a special device to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. By separating it in this way we can get concentrated levels of your own platelets, growth factors and other ingredients which stimulate a healing process. We then take all those concentrated ingredients and use them to supercharge your healing ability. What are some of the lesser-known conditions that can be treated with PRP? PRP is an all-natural treatment option for people who suffer from Continue Reading

  • Non-surgical spinal decompression was introduced to Minnesota by Team Health Care Clinic years ago.  Since then, we have continued to successfully perform this treatment protocol for people with back pain with Vertebral Axial Decompression (VAX-D).  In our clinic alone, there have been hundreds of patients that were spared surgery by completing VAX-D services. Since that time we have seen many clinics come and go claiming they have spinal decompression services.  It was the “wild west” with even simple traction units being touted as spinal decompression. But what is spinal decompression and how is better or different than simple traction? Spinal Decompression Reduces Pressure on Lumbar Discs When it comes to spinal decompression, it’s all about the pressure reduction achieved. Much like gauging the air pressure in a car tire, scientists have been able to measure the pressure on a disc in various positions. What they found is as follows: Notice that traction does not create a negative pressure on the disc. In other words, traction in the form of inversion tables, intersegmental traction units and many other devices claiming to be spinal decompression, are creating pressure reductions similar to lying down.  No negative pressure means no suction effect and that Continue Reading

  • Inflammation has been a buzzword in recent years as researchers have continued to find links between inflammation and symptoms like headaches, fatigue, memory loss, brain fog and many more. In previous blogs, we have talked about the three needs of a neuron, or brain cell. These include glucose, oxygen, and stimulation. Your brain cannot branch out and make new connections unless it receives proper stimulation to specific areas, and to do this, you must provide the proper chemical environment for those cells to do so. This means having an adequate oxygen supply, and just as importantly, a proper glucose (blood sugar) response.  So, what happens when blood sugar levels are too low or too high? How can this lead to inflammation? And what can I do to prevent this from happening? Blood Sugar Imbalances One of the most important things you can do for your brain is to maintain stable blood sugars. When blood sugar is chronically low, it’s called hypoglycemia. On the flip side, if blood sugar is too high, it’s called hyperglycemia or insulin resistance. Common Symptoms of Hypoglycemia Feeling agitated or nervous Eating to relieve fatigue Becoming light headed if meals are missed Increased energy after meals Cravings for sweets Continue Reading

How Leaky Gut Affects Your Weight

At Team Health Care Clinic, we work with many people who are experiencing digestive symptoms. Leaky gut is
one of the most common problems, causing a number of health issues including weight gain and obesity.

So, just what is leaky gut?

Normally, the cells that line the intestinal tract are held together in tight junctions by linking
proteins. When these proteins break down, the junctions loosen and allow elements to enter the bloodstream that
should remain in the gut. This would include various bacteria, viruses and improperly digested food. This will cause
inflammation and put increased stress on the immune system. A recent study from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart,
Germany shows that increased gut permeability or ‘leaky gut’ is related to weight gain, obesity and fatty liver. This study
concluded that improved diet and weight loss will improve leaky gut as well as fatty liver.

Besides fatty liver, other conditions have been linked with leaky gut:

Nutritional supplements are often incorporated into the treatment of leaky gut.

Nutritional supplements are often incorporated into the treatment of leaky gut.

● Multiple Sclerosis
● Rheumatoid Arthritis
Thyroid Disease
● Colitis
● Lupus
● Eczema
● Inability to Lose Weight
● Anxiety and depression

One of the main causes for leaky gut is an upset of the
microbiome, the beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive
tract. This upset can have many sources such as:

● stress
● poor diet with too many sugars and starches and not enough fiber
● antibiotics
● pain medications including over the counter pain relievers
● lack of exercise
● insomnia
● overgrowth of Candida
● hypersensitivity to various foods, especially gluten

Leaky gut can be identified through a blood test. It can also be treated, mostly by eating better and losing weight.
Additionally, it can be helped by utilizing nutritional supplement support like probiotics, glutamine and other nutrients.
If you are experiencing any of the above conditions your should consider having your gut evaluated take the necessary steps to stop the leak.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

 

Vertigo, Dizziness, Loss of Balance | Causes and Treatment Options

Dizziness and balance problems are serious issues that can affect many aspects of life including your ability to work, participate in activities and even your independence.

By addressing specific areas of the brain to “reactivate” the communication pathways, the brain can be stimulated and your function can be restored. At Team Health Care Clinic, we have the expertise to address specific areas of the brain to reactivate the communication pathways, stimulate the brain to restore function and ultimately resolve your dizziness issues.

Team Health Care Clinic is a great resource for patients experiencing dizziness, balance issues or vertigo.

If you or someone you know is suffering from loss of balance or dizziness, contact us for a free consultation.

Leading Drug Free Treatment for Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia and ADHD: rTMS

rTMS or Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is a drug free, noninvasive treatment best known for depression and is currently offered at Team Health Care Clinic in Champlin, MN.  rTMS is an FDA cleared device for treatment of depression but has also been shown to be beneficial for ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, and other brain-based disorders.  Since the earliest studies were focused on people with depression, virtually all insurance plans, including Medicare, cover rTMS for resistant depression.

What is rTMS?

rTMS is a medical grade magnet that is used to balance the speed of the frequency of firing of the nerves in the brain.  The magnet sends a signal that can be varied to stimulate or slow down the nerves in specific regions of the brain, depending on the patient’s disorder.

For example, people with depression, concussions and ADHD are found to have a slowing of the frequency of firing of the brain.  People with anxiety and insomnia are often found to have a faster than normal firing of the brain. In our clinic, we use a 19-lead electroencephalogram, or EEG to determine the frequency of firing in the brain.

An EEG measures the electrical firing of the brain much like an EKG measures the heart.  Huge data bases have been developed that have allowed us to make comparative studies of our patient’s EEG versus a normative data base.  We can now objectively determine if a patient’s symptoms are related to abnormal firing of the brain and require a modality such as rTMS to speed up or slow down the firing. No guesswork!

A cautionary warning to all readers considering rTMS:  Not all rTMS providers select their patients based on this objective high-tech EEG testing.  Many are still determining their patient’s candidacy by their symptoms alone.  We find our patients are impressed and feel validated when the objective testing determines that their brain is simply not firing as it should.

rTMS is NOT electroconvulsive therapy.

rTMS should not be confused with electroconvulsive therapy or even medication management where side effects are potentially severe such as cognitive impairment, sexual dysfunction, weight gain and many others.  Our patients resume normal activity following a treatment session as the worst side effect may be a mild headache.  Even this is rare.

As one patient put it, “what do I have to lose?” when she considered her treatment options for anxiety.  rTMS is a low risk, highly success option for qualified candidates.  Here is what one rTMS patient had to say about his results:

If you are interested in learning more about rTMS, call our clinic at 763-323-1492 to schedule an “rTMS consultation and examination” with one of our medical providers.

Joe Bertsch, DC

Joe Bertsch, DC

 

Getting Back In the Game: Sports Injuries and Physical Therapy

School is back in session, fall weather is here and the kids are back to practice and games. It’s the season for football, soccer, tennis, dance, and volleyball. Unfortunately, when sports are in full swing, so are the number of sport injuries we see in the physical therapy department at Team Health Care Clinic. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE working with young people at our clinic, but seeing them miss out on their favorite activities is a bummer.

 

Some of the common sports injuries we see are:

  • Ankle sprainsAnkle sprain
  • Hamstring strains
  • Tennis elbow – sports that require gripping activity cause this, not just “tennis”
  • Hip flexor strain
  • Sciatica
  • Shoulder injuries

 

These most common types of injuries are strains and sprains. They are injuries that affect the soft tissues such as muscle, ligaments and tendons in the body.

Sprains are injury to ligaments. These structures connect bone to bone and give joints their integrity. These injuries are sustained when a joint is stretched beyond its normal motion causing tearing or disruption to the ligament.

Strains are injuries that affect the muscles and tendons. Tendons attach muscles to the bone. Strains are muscles that have been over stretched or over used with repetitive motions. Injuries can be caused by a trauma such as a collision or over training. There is usually pain, swelling, and an altered movement pattern when these tissues are affected.

 

You can reduce your risk for soft tissue injury by:

  • Warming up and stretching: this will increase the blood flow to your muscle tissues. Your muscle now responds like a warm piece of taffy vs. a cold piece of taffy. The muscle is going to be more flexible.
  • Condition for your activity: do some pre-season work outs to prepare your body and gradually increase your intensity.
  • Stop when you are fatigued: this reduces the risk of over use and abnormal movement patterns placing you at risk for injury.
  • Wear appropriate footwear and protective gear: contact sports without a helmet? You get the idea.
  • Cross train: this prevents over training and repetition injuries.

 

Fellow parents and coaches, we need to be attentive to our athletes. Child and teen athletes are especially prone to injuries, because they are still growing. During growth spurts, muscles are placed under more stress and stretch. Along with this they experience muscle imbalances and weakness. Look for signs of discomfort, a reduced desire to play or different movement patterns. This is a warning that could indicate something significant is going on. Pressure to participate can lead to decisions to play while injured, and put our athletes at risk for additional injuries. Continuing to play while injured prolongs their recovery and places them at risk. The biggest risk factor for a soft tissue injury is a previous or untreated injury. If an athlete has an injury and it is persisting, they need to seek care. Doing so early on will prevent further damage, and not delay their return to get back in the game.

Andrea Newport, PT

Andrea Newport, PT

Reduce Inflammation, Improve Brain Function

What if I could tell you how to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 50% and serious cardiac events by 90%? Lets also add improved attention, mood, skin, joint pain, and resistance to concussion. This treatment intervention will help these and most other conditions by improving the health of billions of your cells, reducing inflammation and improving brain function. At Team Health Care Clinic in Champlin, MN we make sure our patient’s road to restored health starts with addressing this key foundational marker of health.

So what is this foundational treatment? It is omega 3 fatty acids. You probably have heard of this important nutrient– also called fish oils. You may even be taking them. However, if you are like me and almost every one of our patients, you may be missing one very important step to make sure you are benefiting from your fish oils. That step is determining if you are even taking a  therapeutic dose and, if so, whether or not it is improving your health markers.

You can’t know unless you test.

In order to reap the immense benefits of taking omega three fatty acid‘s, you must have therapeutic levels in your blood. Omega-3 deficiency in the United States is rampant. In our informal study of our patients and staff who were actually taking omega-3 fatty acid‘s, over 90% had levels that were determined to be far too low when tested. You can’t know how much omega 3 fatty acids you should be taking unless you test. For this reason we have partnered with a company, Brainspan, to provide this important testing for our patients.

Brainspan tests for inflammation, leaky cells and brain function.

The following foundational markers of health are obtained by this test:

  1. Inflammation ratio looks at an important ration of “bad fats” to “good fats.” Two generations ago that ratio was generally 3:1. Currently that ratio in the US is 20:1 due to our diet changes. If you don’t get your ratio to 5:1 or better you likely have systemic inflammation which ultimately results in chronic disease.
  2. Leaky cell assessment determines your actual omega 3 levels. These fats are critical components of your cell walls. When your levels drop to below 8%, your cell walls begin weakening. The report will tell you how much you need to take and for how long to get to therapeutic levels.
  3. Brain function is assessed using a brief web based cognitive function test for attention, memory and processing speed.

Taking the Brainspan test is easy and painless. The information obtained from the Brainspan test gives our providers an advantage over others who simply make recommendations based on what is generally understood about Omega 3 fatty acids. Our patients often mention that they feel more in control of their health.

Those who are interested in taking the Brainspan test should speak with their provider. If you do not have a provider who offers Brainspan, contact us to purchase your Brainspan kit, currently available in our clinic for $99.

Jay Bertsch, DC

Jay Bertsch, DC

 

Why Can’t I Sleep?

All too often, I hear the complaint from patients that they are having trouble sleeping at night. Whether it’s falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting up in the morning, it seems the majority of people in our day and age struggle with getting good, let alone enough, sleep. So what can lead to these challenges? Lets take a look at a few possibilities.

Technology

Sleep
From phones, to tablets, to TV’s and more, we are bombarded with a constant barrage of stimulating light. These devices give off a blue-wavelength spectrum of light, a very short wavelength, which makes it difficult for our brains to shut down at night. This type of light actually suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone, and can alter the circadian rhythm, which allows us to have proper, consistent sleep/wake cycles. It may be time to shut that phone down before going into bed, and consider reducing or eliminating that time in front of the TV during late times at night as well.

Low Blood Sugar

Dysglycemia, or blood sugar dysregulation, is running rampant among our society. You don’t have to have diabetes to have trouble controlling blood sugar, and sleep is just one area that may be affected as a result. When our diets are high in carbohydrates and sugars, our body quickly breaks these down for use for quick energy. What happens when we eat a dinner high in carbs or a late night snack high in sugar, such as ice cream? We may go to bed feeling full and satisfied, but the quickly broken down and absorbed carbs can’t sustain the energy our body needs through a full night of sleep. So our body taps into our adrenal glands to secrete cortisol, our stress hormone, to pull blood sugar out of our stores and into our blood stream so our body, and our brain, can continue to function while we sleep. With this quick spike in cortisol, along with adrenaline hormones, in the middle of the night, our brain quickly wakes us up as we get put into fight or flight mode. This often takes place sometime between 2 and 3am. If this is you, consider having a healthy snack high in protein before bed, so your body has something in can break down and use over the course of a night of sleep.

Stress

The world we live in tends to be busy, go-go-go, and thus, stressful. But does that high stress life you live really affect your sleep? It most certainly Stress causes poor sleepdoes. As mentioned above, cortisol, our stress hormone, plays a large role in our sleep. During the day our cortisol levels are higher, to keep us alert and awake. At night, they drop and should be at their lowest point in the middle of the night, so we can sleep. When morning comes cortisol increases to help us get up and ready for the day. But when stress levels are high in a person’s life, the pattern of cortisol can be thrown off. Often, one may feel awake at night and have a hard time falling asleep, while mornings are nearly impossible to get out of bed. Adding to the story, melatonin, our sleep hormone, works in an inverse relationship, where it should be low during the day and high at night to help us sleep. When these become out of range or even reversed, our sleep patterns are greatly affected.

 

 

3 Steps to Better Sleep

1. Turn off your phone, tablets, and TV while in bed, and maybe even an hour or so prior.
2. Avoid high carb meals for dinner, and especially high sugar snacks before bed.
3. Consider doing an easy test that measures cortisol levels in your saliva throughout the day, to see if your levels are where they should be. This test can be ordered and reviewed in our Champlin wellness clinic.

It’s time you start taking control of your sleep. Sleep is one of the most critical parts to optimal brain health and every poor night of sleep can lead to more trouble down the road. Call today to discuss with one of our providers about how we can help you.

Erik Starr, DC

Erik Starr, DC

ADD | Sleep Disorders | Anxiety – Neurofeedback Treatment

If brainwave patterns are unhealthy, it can result in a number of health challenges:

ADD
Anxiety
Sleep Disorders
Autism
Trauma (Injury, Stroke, Concussion)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)

The good news is that the brain is extremely adaptable and with proper “training,” called Neurofeedback, our brains can correct brainwave patterns. Team Health Care Clinic is excited to offer neurofeedback therapy to our patients as part of our Brain Health Protocol.

Watch this video to learn more.

Healing Your Brain After a Concussion

Concussions affect millions of people each year and lead to a wide array of symptoms that include: headaches, difficulty concentrating and nausea. In our clinic, people come to us for concussion testing and treatment. We offer natural, non drug therapies that actually help heal injury to the brain as a result of a concussion.

What Is a Concussion?

A concussion occurs when the brain crashes into the hard bone of the skull. This can happen from a direct blow (as in a sports injury), a whiplash injury (common in auto accidents), or even a fall. This direct damage to the brain causes inflammation and may result in:

  • HeadacheConcussion Treatment
  • Nausea
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Seeing stars
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Fogginess
  • Trouble balancing
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound

What Happens to the Brain After a Concussion?

Over half of your brain is immune tissue. When a concussion occurs, immune cells in your brain are activated. Think of these cells as vacuum cleaners. They go around and clean up debris left over from the resulting inflammation. They tend to stay on anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to do their job and then calm down. But if the brain is not properly taken care of, these “vacuum cleaners” will stay on for months, which means you will continue to experience symptoms. This is why it is crucial to have a proper assessment and treatment of any injury to the brain.

Assessing and Treating a Concussion

Our chiropractors combine a standard concussion assessment with a functional neurological examination to pinpoint specific areas of the brain that have been impacted. We examine each area of the brain and brainstem to first see if a concussion has taken place, then decide what type of treatment is necessary to help the brain heal. This includes:

  • Nutrition Support to decrease inflammation and allow the healing process to begin
  • Brain Rehabilitation using exercises that target specific pathways in the brain that have been damaged

If left untreated, damage to the brain may become permanent and irreversible, so it is important to take action immediately. If you or anyone you know has suffered from the effects of a concussion, a thorough assessment and targeted natural therapies are available to help heal your brain.

Erik Starr, DC

Erik Starr, DC

 

 

Baseline Concussion Screening and Sports Physicals

At Team Health Care Clinic, we enjoy the opportunity to connect with our community in general but particularly our local athletes. To that end, our chiropractors, medical providers, and physical therapists created a unique sports physical not offered in other clinics.

Any local athlete who enters our clinic receives a baseline concussion tests that will be used to compare in the future should a concussion occur. Our clinic uses the Mayo associated King Devick eye test as well as a high tech medical device that precisely measures an athletes balance. King Devick Test

Mayo is impressed with the King Devick test because it is an objective eye test that athletes can’t manipulate. Since at least 55% of our brain is used for eye movement, many concussions are demonstrated as eye malfunction including difficulty with reading, computer use and screen use in general. The problem is the standard eye exam in a doctor’s clinic simply isn’t able to observe subtle eye deficiency.

The King Devick does this so well that 12 of 30 National Hockey League team trainers have now switched to the King Devick test over other outdated tests. The trainers get the player’s baseline score before the season begins then retest it from the locker room after a suspected concussion. It over rides the zealous athlete who wants to return to play and convinces the trainer before they are ready.

Symptoms of Concussions

In addition to eye movement deficiency, we often see concussed athletes lose their balance and spatial awareness. Think of a boxer who gets punched too hard and staggers to the corner. Sometimes it is that obvious and everyone in the gym can see they are concussed. This is an obvious cerebellum injury and can affect all aspects of brain function even though the imbalance is what catches our eye. But how do we determine when they are fully recovered and it is safe to return?

We use balance plates, a medical device that can measure their baseline balance score and compare after the injury. It also does a comparison to others in the same age group. It is more sensitive and objective than typical balance tests.

Concussion Treatment

Last year a few local athletes did return with suspicion of a concussion. We were able to retest them with the King Devick and balance plates tests to determine if they had a concussion. In those athletes that did, we were able to incorporate our team to determine the best course of therapy.Football player

The options may include vestibular (balance) exercises, eye exercises, light and sound therapy, interactive metronome and anti-inflammatory supplements for the brain to return the athlete to full recovery as soon as possible. In some cases, we will even do an EEG/Brain Map to determine if Neurofeedback or TMS is an option.

If you have an athlete who has not received a baseline test, schedule an appointment for a sports physical and the concussion screening is included. If your child is injured, don’t put them on the sidelines and just hope they get better with time. Consider an exam to determine the precise rehab protocol for the region of the brain injured.

Joe Bertsch, DC

Joe Bertsch, DC

4 Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease

At Team Health Care Clinic, we work with people who have dementia or who are concerned and want to prevent it.  I was quite interested when I found an article from a study showing decreased brain size, and therefore risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s, is related to four controllable lifestyle factors.

The study, from the Radiological Society of North America, involved over 1,600 people during the course of seven years. It measured brain size and its relationship to risk factors.  Their conclusion was that decreased brain size and, therefore, dementia is related to these controllable factors.

Alzheimer’s Risk Factors

  1. Alcohol consumptionAlzheimer's is related to decreased brain size
  2. Smoking
  3. Diabetes
  4. Obesity

It turns out that alcohol consumption and diabetes were associated with smaller volume of the whole brain.  Smoking and obesity were linked with decreased volume of the part of the brain associated with memory retrieval as well as emotional and social behavior.

Dementia, of which Alzheimer’s Disease makes up between 50%-70% of the cases, is a growing concern.  As our population ages the incidence of dementia is continuing to grow.  Deaths from dementia have doubled in the last 25 years and care costs are in the hundreds of billions.  Also, there is no treatment for dementia.  Prevention is the key.

The above list is not exhaustive and there are other causes for dementia.  However, these are the biggest offenders and they are preventable!  Dementia is a slow developing, chronic condition closely tied to lifestyle choices.  This means that we have the time and the ability to make changes.  The prescription never changes.  Eat a low starch and low sugar diet, exercise, don’t smoke and drink only in moderation.

Our clinic does provide nutritional and brain health support for all of this.  However, it’s up to you to do the work and help yourself.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI