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American Family Spine and Health llc, Concord NC Chiropractor
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Stroke Risks While Under Chiropractic Care
Debunking the Myth that Chiropractic Causes Stroke
A report on the scientific literature. 

Gerard Clum DC, President, Life Chiropractic College West
According to the American Heart Association (2010), a stroke " a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, behind diseases of the heart and cancer. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die...Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke)...The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can't reach the region that controls a particular body function, a stroke will ensue, then that part of the body won't work as it should" (

The AHA (2010) also posts signs and symptoms of an impending stroke. These include numbness or weakness of one side of the face, sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding, problems seeing out of one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and severe and sudden headaches with no known cause.

The blood supply to the brain is provided through the vertebral arteries and the carotid arteries. Problems in any of these arteries can result in the development of a thrombus (clot) or an embolism. If the thrombus is large enough it can occlude the normal blood flow. If an embolism occurs, it can move through the circulation into the brain and occlude blood flow. Either way, a stroke can be the result of these situations. One of the unique characteristics of strokes of this nature is that they can involve neck pain and headache.

Many patients will seek chiropractor care for neck pain and headaches. In the great majority of cases, the pain involved is not related to a stroke. However, on occasion, it may be. When the pain is related to a stroke, some of these patients developed a full range of stroke symptoms. Over the years, reports in the popular press and the scientific literature have suggested or stated outright that in patients who experience a stroke following chiropractic care, the stroke was caused by the chiropractor! We now know that this is very unlikely to be the case. What is far more likely is that the patient developed a thrombus or embolism in their vertebral arteries, producing neck pain and headache. This person sought health care for the pain. Whether they saw a chiropractor or their medical provider, they would progress on to a stroke at virtually the same rate. While the argument that the chiropractor caused the problem is convenient, the science indicates that it is in all likelihood a mistake to draw such a conclusion.
In 2008, Cassidy, Boyle, Côté, He, Hogg-Johnson, Silver, and Bondy  studied the occurrence of this problem in the province of Ontario over a nine year period with a database representing almost 110 million person-years (12.2 million people, studied over 9 years equals 110 million person-years). The purpose of this study was to investigate if an association between chiropractic care and vertebral basilar artery stroke exceeded the association between medical primary care providers and vertebral basilar artery stroke. The premise was that if there was a greater association between chiropractic care and this stroke then one could logically say there was a cause and effect relationship between chiropractic care and this problem. There was no greater likelihood of a patient experiencing a stroke following a visit to his/her chiropractor than there was after a visit to his/her primary care physician. The results were conclusive; there was no greater association between manipulation (chiropractic adjustments) and ischemic stroke or TIA's (transient ischemic attacks).

The research did conclude that overall, 4% of stroke victims had visited a chiropractor within 30 days of their strokes, while 53% of the stroke cases had visited their medical primary care providers within the same time frame. The authors offer the perspective that because neck pain is associated with some stroke, patients visit their doctors prior to the development of a full-blown stroke scenario. Cassidy et al. (2008) noted, "Because the association between chiropractic visits and [vertebral basilar artery] stroke is not greater than the association between PCP [medical primary care providers] visits and [vertebral basilar] stroke, there is no excess risk of [vertebral basilar] stroke from chiropractic care" (p. S180). In fact, the incident of chiropractic vs. medical care was substantially lower in certain situations based upon the data.

In 2010, Murphy considered the argument that a chiropractic manipulation could cause stroke and concluded, "...if this is a possibility, it would have to be considered so rare that a case-control and case crossover study covering over 109,000,000 person-years failed to detect it" ( He also reports that "... in 20% of cases of [vertebral artery dissection and stroke] the individual does not have neck pain or headache and in a very small percentage of vertebral artery dissections can occur in a person who has no symptoms of any kind. Thus, in cases in which an asymptomatic individual experiences [vertebral artery dissection and stroke] after [chiropractic manipulation] it is not clear whether manipulation was a cause or contributing factor to the dissection or whether the patient had an asymptomatic arterial dissection prior to the chiropractic visit" (Murphy, 2010, He concluded his report with the following, "...current evidence indicates that [vertebral artery dissection and stroke] is not a 'complication to [chiropractic manipulation]' per se. That is, the weight of the evidence suggests that [chiropractic manipulation] is not a cause of [vertebral artery dissection and stroke]..." (Murphy, 2010,

The real issue is not whether chiropractic or medical primary care causes stroke, as the research conclusively refutes this, but rather it is an issue of public awareness and perception. The argument must shift to the real issue of protecting the public and making people aware of the importance of recognizing risk factors and of gettiing immediate care to avoid long term disability or death.

Murphy (2010) offers the following advice, "...engage in a public health campaign to educate the public about the warning signs and symptoms of this uncommon but potentially devastating disorder...public education materials regarding stroke in general are available from organizations such as the American Stroke Association ( accessed 1 April 2010) the National Stroke Association ( accessed 1 April 2010) the British Stroke Association ( accessed 22 May 2010), the Heart and Stroke Association of Canada (http:/ / site/ c.ikIQLcMWJtE/ b.2796497/ k.BF8B/ Home.htm?src=home accessed 22 May 2010) and the National Stroke Foundation - Australia ( accessed 22 May 2010)..." (

1. American Heart Association, Inc. (2010). About stroke. Retrieved from
2. American Heart Association, Inc. (2010). Warning signs. Retrieved from
3. American Heart Association, Inc. (2010). Ischemic (clots). Retrieved from
4. Cassidy, J. D., Boyle, E., Côté, P., He, Y., Hogg-Johnson, S., Silver, F. L., & Bondy, S. J. (2008). Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: Results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Spine, 33(45), S176-S183.
5. Murphy, D. R. (2010). Current understanding of the relationship between cervical manipulation and stroke: What does it mean for the chiropractic profession? Chiorpractic & Osteopathy, 18(22),

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The importance of dietary fiber cannot beoverstated. If Americans had proper fiber in their diet, it could save the health care system almost $4.5 BILLION a year.
What we eat affect future generations! It’s true. When we don’t get enough fiber, it changes the healthy bacteria in our gut which affects our overall health. Our gut health gets passed on to our children and future generations.
What Is The Deal With Fiber?
You probably have heard about “gut health”. The bacteria in our gut are essential for keeping a strong immune system and warding off autoimmune diseases and other health related problems. Short chain fatty acids help regulate the immune system and fiber is the fuel to keep these fats active. The fermenting fiber has anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties which are needed to keep colon cells healthy.  
The scary part is, once your gut bacteria have been depleted, it is very difficult to build it up again. And this bears repeating: You pass your gut health on to your children!
The recommended daily amount of fiber you should be getting is 30 to 32 grams. If you aren’t getting enough fiber, you are starving the healthy bacteria in your gut. Most Americans fall dismally short, so EAT your VEGGIES! People who eat more fruits and vegetables have a more diverse gut microbiome.
Are you getting enough fiber? One telltale sign of not getting enough fiber is if you are constipated. Small stools equal big hospital bills.
Surprising facts about Gut Flora…
- Poor gut flora can cause leaky gut, which allows undigested food particles into your blood stream. This can cause allergic reactions and other problems such as:
Type-1 diabetes
Celiac disease
Crohn's disease
Irritable bowel syndrome
Reduced of the production of immunoglobulin A in the lungs, adding to the rise in allergies.
- Breastfeeding helps establish healthy gut flora. Establishing gut flora plays a role in helping to mature a baby’s immune system, especially in the first 20 days after birth.
- Gut flora is passed from the mom to the child during birth in the birth canal. Cesarean births impact healthy gut flora. Vaginal and cesarean births have completely different gut flora.
Research by Dr. Campbell-McBride has revealed that nearly all mothers of autistic children have abnormal gut flora. Again, this is significant because newborns inherit their gut flora from their mothers at the time of birth.
According to her research, babies who develop abnormal gut flora also have a higher risk for suffering vaccine reactions. If your baby has suboptimal gut flora, vaccines can become the proverbial "last straw" — the trigger that "primes" his/her immune system to develop chronic health problems, including autism.
According to Dr. Campbell-McBride, in children with GAPS, the toxicity flowing from their gut throughout their bodies and into their brains continually challenges their nervous system, preventing it from performing its normal functions and processing sensory information.
- Exercise early in life can actually help create healthy gut flora which in turn promotes healthy brain development. Put down the electronics and get outside!!!
- Antibiotics kill all types of bacteria, including beneficial bacteria and reduce the diversity of the gut microbiome. This can promote secondary illnesses.
Reduce Chronic Diseases like Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Stroke, Cancer. Pass On A Healthy Legacy
Eat REAL food
Eat a diet high in fiber. Including a wide range of whole, non-processed foods. Legumes, fruits, vegetables, fermented foods, seeds, mushrooms, root vegetables and nuts.
Use a probiotic
Avoid antibiotics
Avoid sugar and artificial sugar substitutes
Vaginal birth vs cesarean whenever possible

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Turmeric: Wonder Drug in Your Spice Cabinet
You have most likely eaten Curcumin and may not have even realized it. Curcumin is contained within Turmeric (much like vitamin C is in an orange). Turmeric is an herb most commonly seen in Indian cuisine such as curry.

Besides being delicious, the Curcumin in Turmeric has vast medicinal properties. It is packed with anti-oxidants and it has been proven to fight free radicals, rejuvenate cells, cleanse the liver, protect the heart, it is used as an anti-inflammatory and supports the brain.

And if that weren’t enough to make you run to your spice rack, Turmeric boosts levels of norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin (mood elevating chemicals within our body). Turmeric helps with focus, cognition and memory. Regulates metabolism of fat, helps brighten skin and due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce joint pain.

Turmeric is rich in vitamins and minerals and can help fight infections with it’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.

This spice is wonderful when used in cooking with oil because it is fat soluble. This means that you need to fat as a carrier to absorb and integrate the Curcumin for use. Conversely, this is also why the capsule version (Turmeric or Curcumin) isn’t necessarily absorbed into your system.
Surprising ways Turmeric can enhance your life:
Whiter teeth
Make your own toothpaste from turmeric powder. Mix equal amounts of Turmeric and coconut oil into a paste and brush as you normally would.
Help for a sprained ankle (or any joint)
Make a paste with one part salt and two parts turmeri, mix with enough water to make it spreadable. Slather on the affected joint and wrap in an old cloth that you don’t mind staining. Use once a day by leaving on for 20 minutes to an hour. (Note: this WILL temporarily stain skin.)
Reduce Swelling
Ingesting turmeric can help reduce swelling. Taking turmeric amplifies the effect of bromelain (an anti-inflammatory derived from pineapple enzymes). Take 250 to 500 milligrams (mg) each of turmeric and bromelain, three times a day between meals.
Help for swimmer’s ear
Use warmed garlic oil and turmeric to help push the water out of ears after swimming.
Calm a stomach ache
500 mg of turmeric four times daily to treat an upset stomach.
Ease the ache of Arthritis
Curb cancer
Curcumin slows the growth and spreading of cancer. (Researchers have reported that in lab studies, curcumin can kill cancer cells and also slows the growth of the surviving cells.)
Slow Alzheimer’s
Studies show that Curcumin cleanses Alzheimer's-associated brain plaque.
Liver detox
Rev up metabolism
Natural antiseptic
Make into a paste for cuts and burns.
Drink turmeric longevity tea twice a day to lengthen your life span:
Boil four cups of water, add one teaspoon of ground turmeric, let steep for 10 minutes, strain, and add honey and/or ginger to taste.
Natural tie-dye
Turmeric stains fabric … so have some fun with tie-dye. Add 3 Tbls of turmeric to boiling water.
Or use to dye Easter eggs….
And of course, spice up food!
Both delicious and vibrant, turmeric can add color and flavor to your favorite recipes. Turmeric is a main ingredient in curry, which can by bought premixed or mix up your own.
Sprinkle on avocado, salads or cook with cauliflower. You can even use turmeric to make a cake! Use your imagination and the internet for fun, inspired recipes using turmeric.

Note: Turmeric is strong. Consult a doctor to see if adding turmeric to your diet is right for you.

For more Health Tips, visit
You are always welcome to schedule a consultation with Dr. Peter Clark.
Call  704-792-2700 or visit our office in Concord, NC

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Another Look At Statins.
Is saturated fat or cholesterol the problem?... Probably neither.
Previously, the thought was that the higher the percent of fat consumption the higher the chance of heart disease. And cholesterol from fat has been viewed as a major risk in heart disease. But new research is showing this to be untrue.
As an example…. Lithuanian’s consume less saturated fat than most of the world and yet have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world.
As opposed to France where the average Frenchman consumes considerably more saturated fat, yet the French have lower heart disease deaths.
The rethinking of Cholesterol.
All cholesterol (LDL - low density lipoprotein and HDL - high density lipoprotein) are lipoproteins (meaning fats combined with proteins). Lipoproteins are carried through the body in blood. Large LDL particles are not harmful, as they are carried back to the liver and flushed from the body. The smaller denser LDL particles can potentially be a problem, because they can squeeze through the lining of your arteries. If they oxidize, they can cause damage and inflammation.
Therefore how and to what extent the fats combines with the protein particles needs to be the focus, not the fat itself. By looking at the number of LDL particles (rather than the amount of LDL cholesterol), is a better assessment of the risk of heart disease.
Are they Statins being prescribed based on a false hypothesis and are doing more harm than good? 
Noted by Dr. Frank Lipman:
“the medical profession is obsessed with lowering your cholesterol because of misguided theories about cholesterol and heart disease. Why would we want to lower it when the research actually shows that three-quarters of people having a first heart attack, have normal cholesterol levels, and when data over 30 years from the well-known Framingham Heart Study showed that in most age groups, high cholesterol wasn't associated with more deaths?
In fact, for older people, deaths were more common with low cholesterol. The research is clear – statins are being prescribed based on an incorrect hypothesis, and they are not harmless."

Sherif Sultan, a professor of Vascular and Endovascular surgery notes that many people have in fact improved their health by getting off statins.
Satins promote calcification of your arteries - arterial calcification increases heart disease.
Satins deplete the body of CoQ10. CoQ10 helps the mitochondria burn fuel more effectively.
Satins increase insulin resistance. Insulin resistance promotes chronic inflammation and releases free radicals. Chronic inflammation can lead to disease including heart disease (ironically), thyroid disruption, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and cancer to name a few.
Satins raise blood sugar, increasing risk of diabetes. (Drug induced diabetes, often misdiagnosed as type 2 diabetes (and prescribed additional drugs)).
Satins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2. Raising the risk for atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart failure.
Satins reduce Squalene which can raise the risk of immune system dysfunction.
Satins interfere with the mevalonate pathway, a central pathway for your body’s steroid management.
Satins are toxic to the mitochondria. They can impair mitochondria heart muscle function, alter intracellular signaling proteins and disrupt the energy molecules of your body.
What are the REAL Causes Heart Disease?
Anything that causes damage to your artery walls, interferes in disease processes, and causes blood clotting are the real culprits of heart disease.
A diet with ADDED SUGARS, particularly, processed fructose, are a large cause of metabolic dysfunction and heart disease. One of the bigger factions to raise the odds of dying from heart disease is the use of added sugars. Larger than age, sex, activity level or bmi.
Sugar and fructose can cause damage to the endothelial wall or inner wall of a blood vessel (including heart). Once the wall is damaged, a “scab” is formed for repair. the endothelial wall grows over the scab causing a thickening of the wall. This condition is called atherosclerosis. 
Playing an even greater part in heart disease is TRANS FATS. These synthetic fatty acids are exactly that…. synthetic. They are produced during a hydrogenation process. (They are not present in fats from animal or vegetable products.) Trans fats prevent the productions of prostacyclin, which is necessary to keep your blood flowing. Without prostacyclin, blood clots form.
While some fats might be okay to consume at room temperature, they “oxidize” when heated. Never cook with vegetable oils such as soybean, corn, and sunflower oils .
Easy lifestyle changes to protect YOUR heart.
Avoid ALL trans fat hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils - replace them with healthier fats such as coconut, avocados and raw nuts, coconut oil, even butter or lard.
Exercise! Exercise protects your heart by normalizing insulin and leptin levels.
Get out! Go outside and get Vitamin D. Vitamin D reduces hypertension, atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. (if you can’t get out or it is winter, take a Vitamin D supplement.)
Keep your nervous system free from interference! Get your spine checked regularly at American Family Spine and Health. Call today 704-792-2700!

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Weight Loss Secret #32.
Avoid "Portion Distortion"
When you're trying to lose weight, one of the best skills you can learn is accurately sizing up portions.
Studies show that almost everyone—heavy people and thin ones, nutrition experts and normal folks—underestimate how much they're eating a lot of the time.
People tend to underestimate what they’re eating… by 20 to 40 percent.
Try these three easy tips to measure your portions without having to break out your measuring cups:
1. Compare things: 3 ounces of meat or protein is about the size of a deck of cards, a medium potato is the size of a computer mouse and a 1/4 cup is the size of a golf ball.
2. Use your hand: for small-framed women, 1 teaspoon is about the size of the tip of your thumb, 1 tablespoon is the size of your thumb and 1 cup is the size of your fist.
3. Measure once: when you're at home, you're using the same bowls and utensils over and over again. Find out how much they hold. Measure out the amount of soup that your ladle holds. If it's ¾ cup you'll know forever that two scoops equal a satisfying 1½ cup serving. On the flip-side, you can measure out a given portion of a particular favorite food and serve it in the dish you'll almost always use when you eat that food. Once you know that one serving of something... reaches only halfway up your bowl, you'll know to stop there.
Tip: Cooking individual-size portions like Broccoli & Goat Cheese Souffle (…/broccoli_cheese_souffle.html), which is made in a 10-ounce ramekin, will help you control HOW MUCH you’re using… without even thinking about it.
Dr. Peter Clark, D.C.
3630 Poplar Tent Rd
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 792-2700

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The most common cause of age related blindness is Macular Degeneration.
There are two forms of macular degeneration. Dry which is the version that causes few symptoms but can turn into the more aggressive Wet version. Wet macular degeneration is where the blood vessels start to grow in the back of your eye, causing your vision to blur and can eventually cause blindness.
A healthy diet can help to slow down or even prevent age related macular degeneration. Some supplements are also showing promise to help the dry version from turning into the wet version.
The second most common cause of age related blindness is cataracts. Cataracts can also can be slowed or prevents with proper diet.
Antioxidant-Rich Diet Helps to protect Your Vision
Macular degeneration and cataracts are due to free radical damage. In many cases these problems can be prevented by eating foods rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in foods such as:
    •    Purple foods such as blueberries, blackberries, concord and muscadine grapes, red cabbage etc.
    •    Green leafy vegetables and orange and yellow fruits and vegetables. Mom was right after all! Eat your carrots (and peppers, kale, spinach etc)
    •    High quality animal-based omega-3 fats like those found in krill oil and wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Or found in a fish oil supplement.
    •    Foods containing Bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids also defend your skin agains the damaging effects of stress, pollution and age. And Bioflavonoids may help stave off Alzheimers. Foods high in Bioflavonoids are: Red Bell and Sweet Peppers, Strawberries and Berries, Citrus Fruit, Broccoli (raw is best), Brussel Sprouts, Tropical Fruit, Garlic (also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties), Spinach and Teas (particularly Green Tea).
    •    Vitamin D, found to some extent in various foods such as meats, but primarily created in response to direct sun exposure on bare skin. Vitamin D is particularly important for those with genetic risk factors for age related macular degeneration.
    •    Egg yolks also are high in Lutein (as are the dark leafy greens, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables). And adding eggs to your salad can increase the absorption of carotenoid.
Microalgae create a highly effective antioxidant called astaxanthin. There are only two main sources of astaxanthin: 1. The microalgae that produce it and 2. the sea creatures that consume the algae, such as salmon, shellfish, and krill.
Studies have demonstrated that astaxanthin offers potent protection against a number of eye-related problems, including:
Cataracts, Macular Edema, Macular Degeneration, Inflammatory eye diseases, Glaucoma
and more
Natural Strategies That Help Protect Your Vision
Don’t smoke. If you do, quit!
Get regular exercise
Avoid processed foods and added sugars
Avoid trans fats
Avoid artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame
With proper diet, you can keep your eyes healthy throughout your lifetime!

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Banana Nutrition Properties

Bananas are one of the most widely consumed fruits in the world for good reason. The curved yellow fruit packs a big nutritional punch. Bananas are one of the healthiest foods around, packed full of vitamins and minerals and just made to be carried around for healthy snacking

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If you want a natural alternative to antibacterial cleaners around your home, try 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Simply put each liquid into a separate spray bottle, then spray the surface with one followed by the other. (it is 10 times more effective than using either spray by itself and more effective than mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one sprayer)
This spray combination is more effective at killing bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.

Did you catch that in the last post? Written way down near the end of the article...
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