Is there a neurological connection for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

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Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been recognized as one of the most common and best-studied disorders among the group of functional gastrointestinal disorders. It is a functional bowel disorder in which abdominal pain or discomfort is associated with defecation or a change in bowel habit. In the Western world, IBS appears to affect up to 20% of the population at any given time but in Asian countries, the median value of IBS prevalence defined by various criteria ranges between 6.5% and 10.1%, and community prevalence of 4% is found in North India. Those attending gastroenterology clinics represent only the tip of the iceberg. The disorder substantially impairs the quality of life, and the overall health-care costs are high. IBS has therefore gained increased attention from clinicians, researchers, and pharmaceutical industries. It is often frustrating to both patients and physicians as the disease is usually chronic in nature and difficult to treat. However, the understanding of IBS has been changing from time to time and still most of its concepts are unknown. In this review we have discussed, debated, and synthesized the evidence base, focusing on underlying mechanisms in the brain and bowel. We conclude that it is both brain and bowel mechanisms that are responsible. The clinical implication of such mechanisms is discussed.

While there is no “one thing” that causes IBS, recent studies have shown that genes, inflammation, gut microbiota, psychosocial stress, and early learning may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IBS. it should also be noted that brain-gut interactions cannot be excluded from the pathophysiology of IBS, as brain imaging studies have clarified the roles of the anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala, insula and the brain stem in response to visceral stimulation. (these structures produce both visceral pain and negative emotions that are typical symptoms of IBS patients!

RESOURCE: HTTPS://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PMC/ARTICLES/PMC4692018/ 

What is gastroparesis?

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Were you aware that up to five million people in the United States have gastroparesis, yet many remain undiagnosed?

For some, it’s too embarrassing to talk about with a doctor. For others, they simply can’t get a helpful diagnosis from their healthcare provider. Neither should be the case, as this condition can worsen over time and result in preventable surgery.

Gastroparesis is a disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents. Normally, the stomach has regular contractions to move food down into the small intestine for digestion. Gastroparesis results from poor regulation from the vagus nerve that controls this movement. When the nervous system is compromised, the muscles of the stomach and intestines don’t work normally and food moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract. Symptoms include: heartburn, pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, vomiting of undigested food (sometimes several hours after a meal), feeling full after only a few bites of food, weight loss due to poor absorption of nutrients or low caloric intake, abdominal bloating, unstable blood glucose levels, lack of appetite, gastroesophageal reflux, and abdominal spasms.

Our office has experience supporting people who are struggling with this condition so please consult with us so that we can devise a plan for you or a loved one.

Is there hope for fibromyalgia?

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We don’t want to scare you but it turns out that more than five million people suffer from fibromyalgia in the United States, of which 80% are women.

What’s even scarier is that many of these people don’t know it yet as the condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose with some common symptoms including excessive sweating, heightened senses, digestive disorders, a lack of Vitamin D, joint pain, fatigue, problems with urinating, and sleep problems. As you can see, these symptoms can seem like symptoms of almost anything, which is why many conventional doctors tend to be dismissive about these symptoms.

While no two fibromyalgia patients experience the same symptoms, it has been shown that patients will report psychological symptoms in addition to the physical ones such as pain and fatigue. Brain fog is a very common symptom of fibromyalgia, as are depression and anxiety. Brain fog leads to problems with memory, concentration, organizational skills, and other cognitive problems while depression and anxiety can seem like a vicious circle of bottomless pits.

There are many medications that aim to hide to the symptoms of fibromyalgia, however more and more people are turning to holistic methods to treat their condition, one of which being our effective Functional Neurology therapies.

Our state-of-the-art therapies have been developed in a way that allows for customization of each aspect starting with the area of the brain that it targets.

What treatment should I do for back pain?

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If you’re part of the 80% of Americans suffering with back pain, you need to realize that “toughing it out” and skipping a visit to your healthcare provider is a very dangerous game.

Not seeking proper treatment for your pain can worsen the condition in terms of joint degeneration or chronic muscle spasm. If the pain is sensed by your nerves for long enough, the body will adapt to this ‘new normal’ and potentially lessen the pain sensation and adapt to a new, lower functioning level.

Back pain can be a wide variety of problems, but it’s generally recommended to pay a Functional Neurologist a visit if your pain isn’t going away, shoots up the neck or down the leg, is accompanied by tingling or weakness, worse in certain positions, or is partnered with bowel and urination problems.

Treatment for back pain may include chiropractic treatments to enhance the proprioceptive feedback into the nervous system; spinal decompression for disc bulges and herniations, movement based exercises, balance exercises, eye exercises, other sensory stimulation, mental exercise prescription as well as modifications to everyday living and nutritional approaches.

Back pain is no joke and we’re trained and ready to customize our effective therapies to get you back on your feet, pain free.

Is depression a neurological problem?

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Did you know that there are different types of depression including seasonal affective disorder, major depression, postpartum depression, psychotic depression, persistent depressive disorder, manic-depressive illness, and bipolar disorder?

While they all affect us somewhat differently, the one thing they most certainly all have in common is that they make us feel hopeless.

Our approach to eliminating the feeling of hopelessness is growing in popularity with every success story, and it all begins with our customizable therapies.

Through each method, we look at brain imbalances that occur when one part of the brain is not working as efficiently as another. This limits hemispheric communication and can severely disrupt normal inhibition of stress, anxiety, blood pressure, and hyper-emotional responses.

After our non-invasive examination, we are able to understand and locate the discrepancies that are creating an imbalance in our "mood," and since our brains have the ability to adapt, we can then treat these regions using Functional Neurological rehabilitation to the lobes of the brain affected.

Are you ready to balance your brain and get back to living the life you’ve dreamt of?

Are there any alternatives to help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

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Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?

If so, you’re part of the 20% (and growing) of society that experiences the same prolonged tiredness and depression.

If you haven’t been officially diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), but suffer from unrefreshing sleep, extreme fatigue (for seemingly no reason), brain fog, difficulty recalling events, difficulty focusing, or muscle pain and headaches, there’s a good chance you may be living with CFS.

Whether you’ve come to terms with feeling this way all the time or are still begging for an answer that the conventional medicine approach has no answer to, you should know that there is certainly a solution out there, and Functional Neurologists are trained to find it for you.

In fact, Functional Neurologists like to call this condition ME, short for Myalgic Encephalopathy. We use this term instead of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” as we feel it disrespects the realness of the symptoms for each patient. Thus, ME is our common name. (Myalgic means muscle aches or pains and encephalomyelitis means inflammation of the brain and spinal cord).

While no known cure for ME/CFS exists, Functional Neurologists are experts in addressing the underlying health imbalances through diet and lifestyle changes as well as customized supplementation and other therapies. These effective therapies can relieve symptoms, increase function, and allow the person to engage in daily activities again.

Would you be open to feeling less tired without the use of side-effect laden pharmaceuticals (some of which make you MORE drowsy)?

How do I know if I have had a concussion?

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There are many things each and every one of us should be educated in like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver, but have you given thought to knowing the signs of a concussion?

Not many people know what to look for, yet any one of us can fall victim to one at any given moment!

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Many times, this is a fall, sport contact, or auto accident. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching and damaging brain cells.

While initially the injury may not specifically cause any pain, if left untreated, it can cause severe damage and long-term side effects including hindering the ability to learn, hear, speak, remember things, balance, and even show emotion.

You may have suffered a concussion if you’ve lost consciousness (even momentarily), or are experiencing different sized pupils, slurred speech, nausea, unusual agitation, convulsions or seizures, headaches, drowsiness or inability to wake up, weakness, dizziness, decreased coordination, and/or vomiting and nausea.

The signs of a concussion vary from individual to individual as not all head traumas will be exactly the same.

If you are exhibiting even 1 symptom after falling or otherwise jolting your head, it’s best to play it safe and seek medical attention immediately.

Functional Neurology plays a huge role in aiding in holistic recovery from conditions including concussions, as the drug-free therapies that have been developed are quite effective in retraining the brain and can be customized for each patient.

What helps carpal tunnel syndrome?

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OUCH!

After sitting at your desk like you always do, you’re suddenly feeling a pinching pain and weakness in your hand and wrist radiating up the arm. It probably feels a little numb… and it is probably Carpal Tunnel.

Most figure that surgery is their only option when this occurs, however Functional Neurology can prevent the condition from worsening and can possibly reverse the pain through specific therapies.

Our clinical success comes from first determining exactly where the nerve is being pinched. As Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is often accompanied by a “double crush syndrome” (a damaged or pinched nerve along its path from the brain's parietal lobe, cerebellum, neck, shoulder, and forearm into the wrist), Functional Neurologists look at all aspects of the cause as once the nerve is damaged at the wrist, it becomes more susceptible to injury elsewhere.

By incorporating a unique series of therapies and methods, we can quickly address your condition and return you to normal daily activities. Treatments might include: spinal decompression, computer wrist traction, shoulder, elbow and/or wrist adjustments, infrared and cold laser therapy, massage, and nutritional support.

Don’t wait for your Carpal Tunnel pain to get worse - the time to act is now!

Can symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome be improved?

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Asperger’s Syndrome is classified under the autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, as well as, restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interest. They may also have speech marked by a lack of rhythm, an odd inflection, or a monotone pitch.

Individuals suffering from this syndrome have been termed “high-functioning” due to relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development, a key distinguishing factor in comparison to other autism spectrum disorders.  

Though, just because they have been deemed “high-functioning” does not mean that they would not benefit from Functional Neurology. As you may know, the nervous system works to monitor the internal and external environment. It draws meaning from multiple sensations, and then formulates an appropriate response. When this is not occurring appropriately, we see the ‘symptoms’ of Asperger’s Syndrome.

Following the examination, an individualized patient plan will be devised to address and improve function of the deficient areas. By retraining and rewiring the nervous system, the individual can experience improved communication and attention skills as well as work on obsessive or repetitive routines and physical clumsiness.

Improvement starts with an open mind to a state-of-the-art, holistic approach!

What is neuroplasticity and what are neuroplasticity therapies?

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Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to regenerate connections between neurons. This is GREAT news for all of us, as we can fall victim to concussions and other sudden brain traumas at any minute. There are currently many neuroplasticity therapies that have been developed to allow the brain to heal or improve in function:

VISION THERAPIES:
Eye exercises may be recommended to help strengthen certain parts of the brain that affect function.

COGNITIVE TRAINING:
These brain exercises focus the mind on certain activities or puzzles.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE:
Gentle adjustments may be performed to enhance blood flow to the brain and improve brain function.

CORE STRENGTHENING:
Perfect for those with poor core strength, which can be observed in poor posture, or slumping forward when they sit.

VESTIBULAR (BALANCE) REHABILITATION:
This therapy is provided to children or adults who have difficulty feeling comfortable in their space or have trouble with motion, spinning, or have other vestibular processing or proprioceptive problems.

LIGHT, SOUND, SCENT, AND TOUCH:
These stimulations help with the integration of some primitive reflexes.

We also encourage you to read The Brain That Changes Itself and The Brain’s Way of Healing, by psychiatrist and neuroplasticity researcher, Norman Doige, MD. His books explore the vast world of research surrounding how neuroplasticity can be leveraged to heal the brain and recover function in many different circumstances ranging from chronic pain to Parkinson’s to ADHD, Autism, and even Sensory Processing Disorders.