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

 

Dizziness and Vertigo: The Vitamin D Connection

Each day at Team Health Care Clinic, patients come to us with symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. These may be symptoms that have been there for a matter of hours, or even years. People often experience severe bouts of dizziness, strong sensations of spinning and nausea. To help our patients get relief from these debilitating symptoms, we provide treatment and make recommendations that address the causes of dizziness and vertigo. 

What Causes Dizziness

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of dizziness that we see in our Champlin clinic. This condition is caused by calcium crystals that become dislodged from their usual position in the inner ear.

How Vitamin D HelpsCauses Dizziness Vertigo

The main role of vitamin D in the body is to help maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D is responsible for absorbing calcium, which plays many roles in maintaining a healthy body, including strengthening bone and decreasing fractures. Vitamin D also helps in protecting against osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer, and other diseases.

We are now learning about the role vitamin D plays in helping patients with dizziness and vertigo. Past studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can lead to BPPV. Additionally, research has shown that those who have BPPV and are also deficient in vitamin D have more severe symptoms of vertigo.

This two-fold role that vitamin D deficiency plays in causing BPPV and making the symptoms more severe makes it even more important that your levels are in the proper range. If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked before, a simple blood test can be done to see if your levels are in a functional range.

Chiropractic and Physical Therapy for Dizziness

Our chiropractors and physical therapists work with a multitude of patients who have dizziness and vertigo, including BPPV. We provide chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy, nutrition support and more to help decrease symptoms and get our patients feeling better faster.

Each of the doctors and physical therapists in our clinic are trained in repositioning the crystals in the inner ear to provide relief from the vertigo that patients experience. The name of this procedure is called an Epley Maneuver. This safe, quick, and very effective maneuver can be done in just a minute or two. Patients often feel immediate relief. 

Erik Starr, DC

Erik Starr, DC

Abdominal Pain, Diarrhea and Bloating: Is SIBO the Cause?

SIBO or Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is an all too common condition that can have profound health effects. It is a problem that many people have, but very few have even heard of.  The symptoms of SIBO include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating and gas, especially after eating starch or sugar
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

Many of these symptoms are associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  In fact, some studies have shown that almost 80% of IBS occurs as a result of SIBO.  Also associated with SIBO are the following conditions:

  • 53% of people who use an acid medication
  • 66% of people with celiac disease with persistent symptoms
  • 15% of the elderly population
  • 33% of people with chronic diarrhea
  • 90% of alcoholics

So, what is SIBO?

SIBO is a condition where the bacteria that normally live in your large intestine, and are very beneficial there, have migrated into your small Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain, Gas caused by SIBOintestine. Unfortunately, they are not beneficial in the small intestine and will begin to cause digestive problems when they take up residence in that area.  When we feed these bacteria the wrong foods, which include starches and sugars, it increases their metabolism and they give off various gases causing many of the symptoms that are listed above.

The treatment for SIBO requires two things. First, one must nutritionally support the small intestine and its terrain. This involves the use of nutrition supplements but, more importantly, the avoidance of certain foods, particularly refined carbohydrates.

The second thing that needs to be done is that one must address the underlying mechanisms or the causes of SIBO. Those include such things as:

  • Neurodegenerative disease, particularly Parkinson’s syndrome.
  • Brain trauma/concussion
  • Poorly controlled diabetes
  • Hypothyroid disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Post intestinal surgical alterations
  • Immunodeficiency

As one can see, SIBO is a condition that affects many people. Unfortunately, quite often the standard gastroenterologist either doesn’t consider it or does not have a great treatment for it. It is a condition with which we are quite familiar at Team Health Care Clinic. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea that no one seems to be addressing, please call the clinic for a consultation.

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Tim Bertsch, DC, DABCI

Physical Therapy and Joint Replacement

A joint replacement (arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure where an arthritic, injured, or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint. The artificial joint can be made of metal, plastic, or ceramic. Joint replacements are done in the knee, hip, and shoulder to name a few. Replacing a joint that is painful and not functioning helps to restore the movement like a healthy joint. Physical therapists play a large role in the joint replacement process.

Physical Therapy Before Replacement

  • Education:

You will be educated about your joint replacement procedure, what to expect at the hospital, and aftercare at home. Your doctor may even have an education class they require you to take prior to your procedure.

  • Exercises:

Often times, people physical therapy to start strength exercises before surgery. You will also become familiar and confident with your exercises, and will be able to resume them right after surgery. Increasing strength in the muscles around the joint will improve your recovery and decrease the level of therapy services needed after surgery.

  • Assistive device preparation:

If your joint replacement is in the hip or the knee you will be using a cane or a walker initially after your surgery. Physical therapists fit your device and help you practice walking and climbing stairs.

Physical Therapy After Replacement

Patients will continue with therapy after their surgery for several weeks.

After joint replacement our goal is to decrease pain and swelling, monitor healing, start strength exercises, and walking.

  • Pain and swelling:

This can make it difficulty and uncomfortable to perform your therapy exercises. We monitor the swelling, incision healing and help with techniques to decrease the pain.

  • Exercises:

We will teach you range of motion exercises that are safe to perform with your new joint. We will also work on exercises to gain strength in the muscles around your new joint to provide support with movement. Over a brief time of doing your exercise routine you will gain better function of your joint.

  • Gait training and balance:

If you have a hip or a knee replacement, our Champlin physical therapy providers will guide you in walking with your assistive device and progress to walking without it. We will work on balance and agility with you movements, so you feel confident walking on uneven surfaces such as grass or stepping off a curb.

 

We continue to progress your tailored therapy program to meet your needs and, returning you to your activity level the injured joint was limiting you from.

Andrea Newport, PT

Andrea Newport, PT

Neurofeedback: Natural Treatment for ADHD and Brain Based Disorders

Parents of children with ADD, ADHD and other brain based disorders are increasingly searching for non drug treatment options for their children. They are right to be concerned. For over 20 years, researchers have studied the long term effects of drugs used to treat the symptoms of these conditions. Several years ago, our search for ADD ADHD non drug treatments led the doctors at Team Health Care Clinic to Neurofeedback.

Neurofeedback therapy has proven to be safe and effective for individuals with brain based disorders like  ADD, ADHD and Autism. At our Champlin, MN clinic, we have successfully used neurofeedback training to address the cause of these brain based disorders.

Understanding the ADHD Brain

To determine if Neurofeedback training is an appropriate course of action, we use an EEG test to understand the electrical activity of the brain. An EEG test is conducted when electrodes are attached to scalp to measure brainwaves in 19 different locations. The electrodes only receive information and do not put electricity into the brain. People with brain based disorders have commonalities in their EEG test results that help us to understand when a treatment protocol using Neurofeedback is necessary.

Neurofeedback: ADD ADHD Non Drug Treatments 

ADD ADHD non drug treatments Think of neurofeedback training like a brain that has a mirror to itself. When the brain receives cues about itself, it is able to self correct. It is not magic. The self correction happens through a visual or auditory feedback  in the form of a TV screen or music. When the brain does the correct thing, the patient is rewarded with watching a movie or listening to music. There is no medication used and nothing introduced into the body.

Although it’s a few years old now, this CNN news story  does a good job of explaining how neurofeedback works.

Neurofeedback is Effective

  • A search of the Pubmed website (National Institute of Health) revealed 152 medical studies for neurofeedback ADHD and 54 for neurofeedback and anxiety. These are just two of the more common symptoms of a brain not functioning as it should.
  • Neurofeedback trains the brain and doesn’t treat symptoms, so it can potentially have a benefit to most abnormal brain symptoms.
  • Incredibly, there were 830 medical studies on neurofeedback and its effect for a wide variety of brain conditions.

Neurofeedback brain training is just one of the methods we use at Team Health Care Clinic to help the brains of patients of all ages to function better. I have been fortunate enough to see some remarkable changes in my patients with ADD ADHD non drug treatments and I encourage anyone looking for a natural treatment option to check out Neurofeedback.

In our clinic, we offer a free consultation to those who are interested in learning more about brain based therapies for the treatment of Anxiety, ADD, ADHD, Autism, and other conditions. Click here to request an appointment.

Jay Bertsch, DC

Jay Bertsch, DC