Could Cold Laser Be a “Secret Weapon” for Sports Performance and Recovery?

More Strength? More Speed? Less Soreness? Faster Recovery? And without illegal performance enhancing drugs?

Sounds too good to be true, but that is what many studies have concluded that Cold Laser therapy can do for athletes looking to get a competitive edge.

One study even found the results to be so beneficial that they questioned if they should even be allowed to be used for performance boosting purposes!

Since 2004 I have been using Erchonia Cold Lasers on some of the top local high school and college athletes in Southern California, and also on many pro athletes from various sports. Most came in initially for an injury, but what always amazed me was how many would stay because they said they performed much better when they got laser compared to when they did not.

At first I thought it might be a placebo effect, as I had not seen any studies to support this idea. However, as patients conducted their own ‘experiments’ of playing in a game without laser therapy, and comparing their results of performance after laser, I consistently heard from the athletes that they felt 1) faster, 2) stronger, 3) better endurance, and 4) better recovery.

So out of curiosity I looked for research that might support these findings.

I found this study published in the Journal of Biophotonics from Dec 2016, which had such good findings that they actually said, We raise the question of whether PBM should be permitted in athletic competition by international regulatory authorities.”  (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27874264)

Wow! So good they were not sure it should even be permitted! (PBM by the way stands for ‘photobiomodulation,’ which is another word for a specific type of cold laser therapy).

They found that laser therapy can increase muscle mass gained after training, and decrease inflammation and oxidative stress in muscle biopsies”.

Even more recently, the March 2017 edition of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that LLLT increased time-to-exhaustion in competitive cyclists, suggesting this intervention as a possible non-pharmacological ergogenic agent in cycling.” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28422520#)

They found that the lower total energy dosage in the study was MORE effective than a higher energy dosage (measured in joules/cm2).

In yet another study, this time in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research from Dec 2016, the results found Photobiomodulation  therapy significantly (p ≤ 0.05) improved the average time of sprints and fatigue index in BST. Photobiomodulation therapy significantly decreased percentage of change in blood lactate levels (p ≤ 0.05) and perceived fatigue (p ≤ 0.05).” (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27050245)

Could lasers really make you stronger?

This study from the Nov 2016 journal Lasers in Medical Science found just that. They stated that With an apparent lack of side effects and safety due to no thermal damage to the tissue, we conclude that the application of phototherapy yields enhanced strength gains when it is applied before exercise. The application may have additional beneficial value in post-injury rehabilitation where strength improvements are needed.”    (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27371449)

This is just a small nugget of the studies supporting just how good properly used cold lasers are if you are an athlete looking to get an edge on the competition, or if you are a parent looking for a way to safely and legally get your kids a leg up.

The problem with it is that unfortunately there are not many doctors out there who really know how to use their lasers, or who may have the wrong kind of laser for this type of treatment. However, if you can find someone who is well trained and has the right kind of laser, the results can be amazing.

Hopefully in the future this will be more commonplace, as my biggest problem I see for my patients has been when they go off to college, even Division I schools, and the medical staff there is still treating people in 2017 with the same technology and methods from the 1970s.

Not saying there is anything wrong with those methods, but the athletes are missing out on some amazing, safe, non-invasive methods and they always report back to me that they wished they could find someone near their school who used lasers like this.

I have had kids fly back from Texas, Florida, New York, and all over the country when they are on break specifically to get a “laser tune up” to get back into top gear. So if you are a doctor, I highly recommend you look into this amazing technology so you can help more patients that need this. And if you are a player or parent, it might be worth your time to try this kind of therapy out and see what your results are.

 

Could Your Water Be Making Your Thyroid Worse?

As if there was not enough to worry about, there always seems like there is one more layer to go deeper, right?

Not all water is problematic, but a study published in the 2014 edition of the Scientific World Journal found that a common additive to water has been linked to Hypothyroidism, Cognitive Impairment, Enzyme disruption, Arthritis and bone degeneration, and even cancer.

So just what is this ingredient? Well, it is one that most of us have been told is really good for us and essential for public health…Fluoride. 

For a great detail of the pros and cons of its addition to the water supply, I highly recommend that you check out the full text of the study and its references to other studies. You can click HERE to view it on PubMed.org.

While there have been studies that show that topical application of fluoride can have some benefits in cavity prevention, many studies show that ingestion of it has some serious adverse effects on many systems in the body.

This particular study concluded that the “mechanisms through which fluoride exacerbates hypothyroidism include competitive binding with iodine, as well as synthesis obstruction of T3 and T4.

And how many of you out there with Hashimoto’s have problems with low T3? (that is, if you can even get your doctor to order that test…)

So when we look at that statement, it is pretty powerful. Many patients are already low in iodine, which impairs thyroid function. However, paradoxically they cannot supplement with it because it can increase antibody activity and increase the rate of destruction of thyroid cells (click here to see Dr Kharrazian’s article for his take on the iodine controversy), and now fluoridated water can make their iodine problem even worse.

Also, many patients have trouble converting T4 to T3, and again fluoride complicates it even further.

Of important note is a study from April 2016 in the journal Biological Trace Elements Research, which found that the greatest damage to thyroid follicular epithelial cells occurred when the patient was exposed to both iodide and fluoride.

Furthermore, they found that “iodine-deficient children ingesting fluoridated water have been found to demonstrate intellectual deficits even at water fluoride levels of 0.9 ppm”.  

The study also found that fluoride can also impair the absorption of calcium and magnesium as well, while also disrupting the activity of key enzymes, like cytochrome P450, which is important for numerous biological processes, such as oxygen binding, photosynthesis, respiration, and detoxification.

When your body’s detoxification pathways are hindered, this can also have a negative impact on thyroid function,

When it comes down to children and fluoride in the water, there is some very worrisome data on Chinese populations. A 2012 study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that “Children who lived in areas with high fluoride exposure had lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-exposure or control areas.”

So What Increases Our Risk of High Exposure to Fluoride?

The studies I referenced here recommend that you look at ALL sources of fluoride to get an idea of your combined total exposure. First, you can contact your local water agency to find out what the fluoride level is in your local water. You can install home filtration units to remove the fluoride from the water to minimize your exposure. The CDC states that in areas where fluoride is added to the water it averages 0.7 ppm, though other sources say it can be higher than that.

My favorite thing, drinking TEA, can increase your intake of fluoride and risks for overexposure. Boiling water can double the concentration of fluoride in the water, and many teas have high levels, which varies by brand and type. Cereals and some condiments also contain it.

Then there are the fluoridated mouthwashes and toothpastes. You have to add all these up to get an idea of your exposure. The studies I cited stated that you can get a great reduction in cavities by dietary changes, such as eliminated processed carbs and sugars, and by having good overall nutritional health and hygeine.

Again, I highly recommend that you read for yourself the studies I cited here and come to your own conclusions about what is best for you and your family.

Feel free to message me @drkirkgair, or follow me on facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo.

 

Is the Blood Type Diet “RIGHT” for You?

I had a great question today from a reader.
 
She wanted to know if the Blood Type Diet was accurate and helpful.
I am sure many of you have come across this diet that has you eat a certain way if you are Type A, another if Type O, another if type B or AB.
 
I know there are doctors out there who claim great success with it, and some readers may have had success as well.
 
But I wanted to see if there was any peer reviewed, published literature to support the claims. I searched PubMed and found that a review had already been done about it. You can read it for yourself here: 
 
Before I get to that, the problem I find with this diet is that it is far too general for most auto immune patients.
I have seen patients come in eating this diet, and when I run food reaction panels on them, such as from Cyrex Labs, they are often highly reactive to what this diet has had them eating.
For example, soy is a recommended food for type A on this diet, yet I have several A patients who have an immune reaction to this food, and eating it will trigger a reaction as if they had eaten gluten.
I have had some type AB patients react to different dairy proteins, yet that is a recommended food for their “type”.
And then there are the patients who have Hashimoto’s antibodies, who may get flared up from the high iodine in kelp foods recommended for other types.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25355748
 
I know there are patients who have used this diet and had good results with weight loss or increased energy. However, there are others for whom it will have them eating foods that their INDIVIDUAL biochemistry does not tolerate.
This is why I prefer running labs on patients. We can cut out a lot of the wasted time on protocols that may not work for THEIR individual immune system.
 
As for the research on the blood type diet, the review found no studies to support the use of that diet, even for weight loss purposes. 
Of course there are people who have had great results following the blood type diet, and this does not negate those people’s results. My main emphasis is pointing out that it is always better to get lab tests to really know which foods are right for you, and which ones your immune system reacts negatively towards.
With that info, you can then customize an eating plan to avoid reactive foods and also a plan to increase your tolerance for foods by healing the gut. Dr Kharrazian has just created a Mucosal Tolerance Protocol that we started using in our office to support gut tolerance to foods.
What have your experiences and thoughts been about this diet? Please share them in the comments section, or message me if you have private questions.
You can also follow me on Twitter @drkirkgair or at www.FaceBook.com/ThyroidInfo
 

Is Giving UP Gluten REALLY Necessary for Hashimoto’s Patients, or Just Fad Hype?

Unless you are newly diagnosed, chances are you have heard a lot about the connection between eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, oats) and auto immune diseases like Hashimoto’s.

You also have probably heard from your doctor, online nutritionists, and many mainstream media outlets and late night talk show hosts saying it is a lot of BS, and that you actually NEED gluten to be healthy.

So Who Is Right?

And also, just how strict do I really need to be? Can’t I have a little cheat? What if I don’t have any gut symptoms?

To find out the answer, I searched through research articles on PubMed. I already knew my stance on the issue, but wanted to make sure there was current research that supported it.

The September 2015 edition of the journal Gastroenterology  found high “proportions of patients with NCWS or CD develop autoimmune disorders, are ANA positive, and showed DQ2/DQ8 haplotypes”. (note- NCWS is non-Celiac wheat sensitivity.)

In the March 2015 journal Cerebellumgluten was further linked to neurological disorders such as gluten ataxia, where there were no gut symptoms whatsoever, and occurred most commonly in patients with Hashimoto’s and other auto immune diseases. Check out this quote from the study:

“As with celiac disease, patients with GA (gluten ataxia) are often found to have an increased prevalence of additional autoimmune diseases the commonest of which include hypothyroidism, type 1 diabetes mellitus and pernicious anemia. Gastrointestinal symptoms are seldom prominent and are not a reliable indicator for the presence or absence of enteropathy. In this respect, gluten ataxia resembles dermatitis herpetiformis, an autoimmune dermatopathy triggered by gluten where gastrointestinal symptoms are not prominent even in the presence of an enteropathy.” (parenthesis and bold added by me for emphasis and clarification)

Wow. That is pretty powerful. How many of you with brain symptoms has ever had your doctor consider a possible gluten connection?

Did you know that a study from 3 years ago showed an increased need for T4 in patients with atypical Celiac disease?

How about that the need for increased T4 dosage reversed when the patient adopted a gluten free diet?

This study was in the March 2012 journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Have you ever had your endocrinologist consider that this may be another reason your T4 is not working as it should, or did they ridicule you when you asked about it?

As far back as 1999, the Italian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology   concluded the following:

The prevalence of coeliac disease in patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases is significantly increased when compared with the general population (p = 0.009) but not with patients affected by non autoimmune thyroid disorders (p = 0.18). We suggest a serological screening for coeliac disease in all patients with autoimmune thyroid disease measuring anti-endomysial antibodies, considering that early detection and treatment of coeliac disease are effective in preventing its complications.”

I could go on and on with studies that show the connection between gluten reactions, both non-celiac and celiac, and auto immune diseases, but it would quickly turn into a book.

The 2013 study in the journal Brain and Nerve by Yoneda even showed connections between Hashimoto’s encephalitis and gluten ataxia, which caused not only thyroid symptoms but neurological symptoms.  Thus gluten intake actually triggered not only reactions in the thyroid but also the brain.

Ok, so there IS a connection, but can’t I have an occasional cheat?

I remember talking to my friend Dr Datis Kharrazian about this. My wife had gotten seriously ill from her thyroid and mine was wreaking havoc on my life as well.

He asked if we were gluten free. I told him “mostly, like 95%.”

His response was that there was no such thing as mostly gluten free…just like you could not be mostly pregnant…you either ARE or ARE NOT…

It wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. He then told me something that the immunologists at Cyrex Labs confirmed when I had a consultation with one of their top doctors.

Just ONE exposure to gluten, one little bite of a “cheat”, could trigger an immune flare up that lasts 6 months to one year.

One year…that is HUGE.

I highly recommend that you go onto www.PubMed.org and search for yourself. The number of research studies is mind boggling.

Also check out www.CyrexLabs.com to read about the cutting edge tests that they are running for food reactions, environmental toxins, chemicals, metals, etc.

I hope this gives you some helpful info, and be sure to talk this over with your functional medicine or functional neurology practitioner for customized help.

You can follow me @drkirkgair or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo

 

Should Hashimoto’s Patients Get Flu Shots, Or Will It Make You Worse?

Boy, talk about a hot topic that gets emotions flaring!

Any medical procedure you do has a risk to benefit ratio, and you have to consider that to see if you think it is worth doing. With this post I am just going to lay out the facts so you can make an informed decision about what you think is best for you.

You already know what the benefit can be of the vaccine, so let’s look at what the risks would be for an auto immune person.

First off, I highly recommend that before you get any shot that you read the insert. Inserts for all the flu vaccines can be found on this page. http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Influenza/Influenza-Vaccine-Package-Inserts.aspx

The info there will tell you exactly what is in the vaccine, such as the preservatives and adjuvants, and also provide you with a list of what the potential reactions are to the vaccine, as well as what percentage of people had reactions in their trials.

Here is what the FluMist vaccine insert said about patients with underlying illness getting their vaccine:

“The safety of FluMist Quadrivalent in individuals with underlying medical conditions that may predispose them to complications following wild-type influenza infection has not been established.”

So basically they do not know if it can make you worse or not.

When it comes to negative reactions from vaccines, the preservatives and adjuvants are potential causes. Patients who have Hashimoto’s antibodies may also have antibodies against common vaccine ingredients such as FORMALDEHYDE, MERCURY (thimerosal in vaccines), MSG, and EGGS.

Exposure to those ingredients can ramp up the immune system. I would recommend any Hashimoto’s patient to consider taking the Cyrex Labs Array 11 test and Array 4 test to see if you have antibodies against these substances if you are considering flu shots. If you do have these antibodies, then you know that a vaccine that has those in them could potentially flare you up.

(Many people think that  mercury is no longer in vaccines, but it is still used as a preservative in multi use vials.)

Neurosurgeon Dr Russell Blaylock has written about the dangers of MSG for brain function due to its excitatory neurotoxic properties and how it can destroy brain cells. Many Hashimoto’s patients suffer from brain fog, and MSG exposure has the potential to make that worse. Dr Mercola wrote an article about MSG and vaccines that you can read here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/06/08/msg-vaccines.aspx

Hopefully this will give you some info to make a more informed decision. Again I am not saying you should not get the vaccine, as that is a decision you should make after reading these inserts, taking those tests, and talking over this information with your functional medicine practitioner. If you have children, I would also recommend running those tests on them as well. If they have those reactions and you still want to get them vaccinated, you can talk to your doctor about receiving a formulation that is modified and does not include the adjuvants and preservatives that they react to.

For more info, be sure to to follow me on twitter @drkirkgair or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo

As always, this article is for information purposes only and is not intended to replace your conversation with your licensed healthcare provider. This is not a pro or anti vaccine article, but instead is designed to give you resources to make an informed decision about what is best for you and your family.

Could Cold Laser Rapidly Improve Your Sports Injury?

If you are an athlete, one of the most frustrating things is dealing with a sports injury.

Unfortunately, most doctors never played sports and don’t understand just what a big deal missing 4 to 6 weeks is. That is over half a season of high school ball!

I played all levels of sports except pro, and understand just how important every week and every practice is. A recent study from the 2013 edition of the journal Laser Therapy  found that cold laser therapy was effective in 65.9% of ALL sports injuries, and had an even higher rate in Jumper’s knee, elbow tendonitis, and achilles tendonitis. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3799051/)

This confirms what I have seen in my office over the past 11 years. I have had basketball players come in with ankle injuries and jumper’s knee, who were told their season was done, only to return to full participation 2 weeks later after laser therapy.

I have also had baseball and softball players come in with elbow tendonitis, also being either shut down for months or recommended surgery, only to return to full participation after laser therapy. Best of all, they have stated that they feel like they can throw with the same velocity that they did prior to injury.

As with most laser studies, no side effects were noted. I have been using these methods on NFL champions and MLB hall of famers for over a decade, and am consistently amazed at the results. The only catch is that you have to find a doctor who actually knows how to use a laser, and unfortunately many are too lazy to actually get trained in how to use the device appropriately.

The take home message from this study is that if you are looking for a safe and effective method to get back into the game quickly and without side effects, cold laser looks like a good option.

Could Cold Laser Be The Next Big Thing In Helping Thyroid Patients?

A lot has been written about the connections between Hashimoto’s and gluten, environmental toxins, leaky gut, etc. However, very little has been discussed about the potential use for Cold Laser therapy, even though several recent research studies found some promising results.

Hashimoto’s antibodies can lead to destruction of thyroid tissue, which can result not only in the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, but also changes in thyroid appearance on ultrasound, and the presence of abnormal blood markers.

Currently, most traditional medical treatments aim to control the symptoms or get the TSH and T4 into the medical normal range while often ignoring the underlying root causes and the destruction that occurs in the gland.

The exciting thing about these studies on lasers and their effects on the thyroid is that they appear to not only trigger tissue regeneration, they also seem to help normalize function and decrease the need for medications, without any side effects.

The most recent study comes out of the July 2015 edition of the journal Photochemistry and Photobiology.  In this study, the thyroid glands of rats were damaged with gamma radiation, and then were treated with low level laser of 632 nanometers for 6 sessions. The study concluded that the laser improved the rats thyroid function, liver function, antioxidant levels, and blood cell markers. No side effects were noted. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25975382 

The August 2014 edition of the journal Photomedicine and Laser Surgery found that cold laser treatment to patients with autoimmune thyroid disease significantly increased levels of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25101534) Why is this important? The August 1991 edition of the Journal of Autoimmunity found that TGF-β1 could calm down and suppress auto immune attacks, and that it may even prove helpful in causing remission of Graves disease. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1777015)

Patients with autoimmune thyroid disease often have altered blood flow within the thyroid. The 2012 journal ISRN Endocrinology found that 10 laser treatments improved blood flow within the thyroid, as visualized with Dopplar ultrasound. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23316383)

But perhaps the most exciting study I came across was in the August 2010 journal Lasers in Surgery and Medicine. Patients were given 10 treatments over 5 weeks. They found that all patients needed less thyroid medication, including 47% who did not require any medication through the 9-month follow-up. Can you imagine being able to go 9 months without needing thyroid medication?

Furthermore, the medication dosage needed in the other participants decreased, and remained decreased even 9 months later. TPOAb (thyroid antibody) levels also decreased,  and thyroid tissue appearance improved on ultrasound. This means that thyroid tissue damaged by auto immune attacks was actually getting repaired with laser stimulation. Again, no side effects were noted. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20662037)

These are just a few of the exciting studies that support the use of lasers in thyroid disease, but the applications go even beyond just the thyroid. As far back as December 1993, there was a far reaching study from Japan in the Keio Journal of Medicine that found that laser therapy on cancer cells “inhibits growth and increases cell-specific destruction”, and that “other immune system-related diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, some forms of eczema, asthma and asthma-related ulceration, have responded well to” laser therapy. I found numerous other studies that also suggested that cold laser was effective even for helping with thyroid cancers. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8126975)

So let’s review what these studies found. Cold laser therapy was shown to:

  1. Reduce TPO antibody levels
  2. Reduce the need for T4 medications in a majority of patients, even 9 months after treatment, and eliminate the need in nearly half the patients in one study
  3. Increase the amount of cellular antioxidants such as glutathione
  4. Improve thyroid tissue and vascularization on ultrasound examination
  5. Increase levels of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), which calms down the auto immune activity and may have the potential to cause remission of Graves’ disease
  6. Decrease the activity of inflammatory molecules such as nuclear factor kappa beta and interleukin 6
  7. Stimulate the repair of tissue damaged by the thyroid auto immune attack
  8. Have no side effects

These are all pretty powerful findings. I was surprised to find the data going back over 20 years supporting cold laser’s use on auto immune diseases, considering that most of us have never heard about it in mainstream media or from our doctors.

Obviously more studies are needed, but the current research suggests that lasers may provide significant help for the growing numbers of auto immune thyroid patients out there. Have any of you out there tried this therapy or heard about it from your doctor? If you have, please comment with what your results have been.

Please check out my facebook page at www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo, or follow me on twitter @drkirkgair.

This information is for informational purposes only and should not replace the diagnosis and treatment of your qualified healthcare professional. Do not undertake using a laser on yourself without proper evaluation and supervision of a licensed healthcare provider. As always, Dr Gair recommends that you seek the help of a healthcare professional trained in functional medicine and following their advice.

How To Boost Sports Performance & Prevent Injuries, Especially In Today’s World of Year Round Sports

If you play sports or have kids who do, injuries and sore muscles are pretty much inevitable.

It can be really frustrating when you can’t perform at your best because of a nagging injury, or when your young superstar has a big showcase this weekend but might not be able to play well enough to impress the scouts.

We all pretty much know how important stretching, icing, water intake, and healthy foods are, but recent studies suggest that there are newer ways to dramatically boost performance, improve recovery, and prevent injuries, and chances are you have never heard of them.

Here are the major breakthroughs in sports performance and recovery…

Cold Laser Therapy

This has long been a secret of top tier professional athletes and Olympic champs. Now this technology is available for the average athlete who doesn’t have a million dollar contract…yet.

When many patients walk into my office for help with sports injuries or to enhance performance and they see my lasers, the first thing they usually think is “how is that crazy red light that looks like a barcode scanner going to help me?!”

I understand how they feel, because I thought the same thing when I was introduced to them in 2004. However, there is an abundance of research studies that show that we really already are in the age of “Star Trek” when it comes to advanced, non-invasive methods to dramatically alter human performance and recovery, and lasers are at the forefront. Here are just a handful of the studies that illustrate this fact…

-The Feb 2015 edition of  Lasers in Medical Science found that laser therapy “improves muscular performance and accelerates recovery mainly when applied before exercise.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24249354

– The Jan-Feb 2013 edition of the Journal of Athletic Training found that laser therapy “administered to skeletal muscle immediately before resistance exercise can enhance contractile function, prevent exercise-induced cell damage, and improve postexercise recovery of strength and function.”

-The same study concluded that laser therapy done before sports could “positively affect physical performance by delaying the onset of fatigue, reducing the fatigue response…and protecting cells from exercise-induced damage.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23672326

-The Nov 2014 edition of Lasers in Medical Science found that lasers applied BEFORE exercise “significantly increases performance, decreases DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) , and improves biochemical markers related to skeletal muscle damage.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24942380

What is great about this study is that they also used blood tests to verify that the lasers had an impact. Several studies showed lasers decreased lactic acid (blood lactate levels), creatine kinase, the inflammatory marker C reactive protein, and decreased the onset of fatigue, such as this one in the 2009 edition of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19731300

– The Jan 2015 edition of Lasers in Medical Science concluded that laser therapy “can increase cytochrome c oxidase activity in intact skeletal muscle and …can enhance performance and protect skeletal muscles against fatigue development and tissue damage.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24957189

Why is increasing cytochrome c oxidase important to an athlete? This is necessary for your mitochondria to be able to make ATP, which means ENERGY for your cells. More cytochrome c oxidase = more ATP = more energy = better sports performance. Pretty powerful. And no side effects.

It gets even more amazing…

Ever hear of STEM CELLS?

It turns out that cold lasers can actually stimulate your body to make stem cells, which can then be used to repair the damaged muscle tissue.  This finding was presented in the Nov 2012 journal Photonics & Lasers in Medicine. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23626925

I have been using lasers for sports injuries since 2004 on Super Bowl champion athletes, World Series Champion athletes, and all the way down to youth travel teams, and have consistently been amazed at the results that they get not only with injury recovery but also by enhancing performance legally, without banned substances.

Functional Medicine, Genetic Testing, & Food Reaction Testing

Many of you may have never heard of this, and this really starts sounding like science fiction. Pros are hacking their diets with some of these tests I am going to discuss to get into Beast Mode more frequently.

We can now actually run blood tests to see what foods work for your body, what genes you have that could put you at higher risks for a knee or achilles tendon injury, and to see what nutrients and in what amounts you need for optimal performance. Amazing times we live in!

In the April 2015 edition of the journal PLoS One, they found that “recent genetic research provides valuable information to help reduce sports injuries and to optimize nutrition. There are many genetic studies for health and disease that can be mined to provide useful information to athletes about their individual risk for relevant injuries.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4412532/

The July-Aug 2015 edition of the journal Nutrition had this finding: “we advocate the need to adopt an individualized diet for each athlete performing a specific sport or in a specific period of training, clinically supervised with inclusion of blood analysis and physiological tests, in a comprehensive nutritional assessment.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26059364

So just what are the tests that are recommended? At minimum, an athlete should get their Vitamin D level tested, as well other markers such as serum iron, homocysteine, inflammatory markers like C reactive protein, ESR, and uric acid, thyroid function tests including antibodies, blood sugar status including an HBA1C, and more.

Genetic testing for injury risk can also be done, although that is far less common. It could be beneficial because then the athlete could perform specific training activities to strengthen the weak area to prevent injury, or even change which sport or position they are playing.

Food reaction panels, like the ones from Cyrex Labs, can tell if an athlete is eating foods that are actually triggering inflammation, sapping their metabolism, and even triggering auto immune attacks on their muscles, brain, nerves, thyroid, joints, or other tissues.

Many athletes I have tested are reactive to grains like rice and gluten, or proteins like casein and whey.

An incredibly high percentage of athletes are downing whey protein shakes every day to enhance performance, and for some of them this is actually triggering inflammation, tissue destruction, and sapping performance.

Cyrex’s tests can even tell if you are able to eat raw versus cooked versions of foods, and even sauces, spices, and fillers. They also have a fantastic test for Celiac and gluten sensitivity.

This is statistically pretty important to athletes. Current rates of Celiac disease are 1 to 2 people in every 100. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity rates are estimated to be between 5% and possible 15%, which means that is at least 1 in every 20 athletes. 

Eating that food can not only create stomach discomfort, but can create neurological symptoms, muscle weakness, depression, poor coordination, and more. None of these are good for a top athlete. In some athletes, it can actually trigger them to attack their own body tissues, like muscle, joint, bone, etc. Cyrex’s Array 5 can tell you exactly what tissues you attack when you eat foods you react to.

So What Do I Do Now?

Well, if you read all the way to here, sports performance is pretty important to you. The difficult thing will now be finding a provider who knows how to utilize these methods for athletes.

For finding a laser doctor, I recommend going to www.Erchonia.com and using their “find a provider” search option. You can enter your zip code and find someone near you. You will still need to question them, however, to see how much training they have completed in working with athletes, as not all will know what I have shared with you here.

For the blood testing, you will need to search for a Functional Medicine trained specialist. You may have a tough time finding someone who does both like I do.  I wish I could provide a better resource for finding someone who knows how to use functional medicine for sports, but unfortunately I do not. However, here is a resource of providers who have received similar training to mine, although they tend to specialize more in thyroid disorders and chronic illnesses compared to sports performance: www.thyroidconnections.com

I hope you found this article helpful and that you are excited about the potential for you or your future superstar.

You can contact me at laserchiro@yahoo.com, follow me on twitter @drkirkgair, or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LaserChiropractic or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo, or at www.LaserChiropractic.net

As always, please consult with your personal physician before trying any of the methods discussed in this article. This article is not intended to provide a diagnosis or offer a treatment plan or medical advice for any condition. 

 

 

 

Could Vitamin D Actually PREVENT Hashimoto’s, Diabetes, and Even Cancer? And If So, How Much Do You Need?

Ah, Vitamin D…the “sunshine vitamin”. When most of us hear about it, we usually just associate it with healthy bones…but it is actually so much more than that.

Many people have the mistaken idea that “all you have to do is get a little sun and you will have enough.” This simply is not the case, as I routinely find severe deficiencies even in kids and people who are outside all day playing sports or working.

Deficiency in the US is currently 41.6% of causcasians, 69.2% of Hispanics, and a whopping 82.1% of African Americans, according to a study in the Jan 2011 edition of the journal Nutrition Research.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306

I got curious to see if there was any research that showed not just that vitamin D was good for those who already have auto immune diseases like Hashimoto’s and Diabetes, but if any studies showed it could help prevent your kids from developing the same disease. What I discovered in the research studies is very promising!

So what else does Vitamin D do besides make healthy bones?

It is involved with the regulation of over 900 genes, influences and modulates the immune system, modulates inflammation, has a role in fighting preventing cancer, and even plays a role in brain function and diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Vitamin D deficiencies are also associated with other conditions besides just Rickets and Osteoporosis, such as PCOS, Lupus, Diabetes, Celiac, and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Grain Brain author, Dr David Perlmutter, thinks optimal vitamin D levels are so important that has made a video that explains why he tests ALL his patients… http://www.drperlmutter.com/delightful-vitamin-d/

What Does The Research Say About The Link Between Low Levels and Auto Immune Disease?

When searching through peer reviewed articles on this topic, I found several promising studies.

In the May 2013 edition of the journal Endocrine Practice, they found the following:

“We demonstrated that serum 25OHD (vitamin D3) levels of HT (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) patients were significantly lower than controls, and 25OHD deficiency severity correlated with duration of HT, thyroid volume, and antibody levels. These findings may suggest a potential role of 25OHD in development of HT and/or its progression to hypothyroidism.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23337162

Several other studies found the same thing. One study in the 2015 edition of Scientific World Journal found that “lower serum D levels were associated with higher thyroid antibody levels.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25654127

Other studies also linked low vitamin D to Childhood Obesity, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Cancer, Diabetes, Insulin Sensitivity problems, and more.

Can Optimal Levels Reduce Risk?

In the May 2014 Journal of Endocrinological Investigation found that higher levels of Vitamin D on blood tests could actually reduce the risk of Hashimoto’s.

“Our study suggested that higher serum 25OHD levels was associated with decreased risk of HT  (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) so that each 5 ng/ml increase in the serum 25OHD levels results in 19 % decrease in odds of HT.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24639121

This is huge. So if you raised your D level from a mild deficiency of 25 ng/ml to the recommended 50 ng/ml, you would decrease your odds by 115%. Pretty powerful for such an inexpensive supplement.

And the Dec 2012 journal AutoImmune Review found “Basic, genetic, and epidemiological studies indicate a potential role of vitamin D in the prevention of autoimmune diseases.”   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22776787

There were many more articles that had similar conclusions for not just Hashimoto’s but also other auto immune diseases ranging from Diabetes to Lupus to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

And this study from the British Journal of Dermatology in Aug 2002 even showed a protective benefit from cancer, as vitamin D was shown to help with the “inhibition of tumour invasion and metastasis potential” and that it has “an inhibitory effect on the spread of MM (malignant melanoma) cells.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12174089

So What Level Is Optimal, and How Much Is Safe And Necessary to Take to Get There?

When looking at all these studies, in general the minimum level seemed to be 50 ng/ml. Compare that to the fact that most patients are being told their levels are “fine” if they are in the 30 ng/ml range.

Other studies suggested that the target range should be 60-80 ng/ml for auto immune and cardiac patients, and between 80-100 ng/ml for cancer patients.

The Feb 2001 edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that doses of 4000 IU (100 mcg) per day were safe. The Mayo Clinic has various ranges depending on the condition, and some doses are much higher than those in this study.

My recommendation is to find a good functional medicine practitioner and get your D3 level tested instead of just going off a chart for a condition. This way you and your provider can work at getting the right dosage for you to get into your optimal range.

When I have patients who are deficient in my office, we will usually start them off with a daily dose of sublingual D3 with cofactors and will test them each 1 to 2 months until we hit the target range.

Some patients may need only 4000 to 6000 IU per day, while others need it much higher. This is why blood testing is crucial, especially follow up testing. I have seen patients come in who had been on supplements for years who were still deficient.

So What Do I Do If I Am One Of Those Patients Who Remains Deficient Despite Supplementing?

First thing I would do is to look at which type of vitamin D you are taking. D2 has been shown to be ineffective at raising blood levels, yet that is the form I regularly see doctors prescribing. In fact, large HMOs still do this despite the evidence that it is ineffective. Studies show D3 to be more effective.

Second, if you have gut issues, such as Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or had gastric bypass surgery, it will be more difficult for you to absorb D3. This is why I utilize the sublingual forms with my patients. You may also require a form that has co-factors in it such as vitamin K for better utilization.  Still others may have genetic issues that affect absorption.

Third, work with your doctor on gradually increasing your dose safely until you can get the level to increase. Once you get to your target level, then you will work on your daily level to maintain it at optimal. I would recommend testing the level at least twice per year.

I hope you found this article helpful. You can follow me at www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo, www.Facebook.com/LaserChiropractic, or @drkirkgair. You can also join my mailing list to get my latest blog posts sent to you free.

And remember to discuss all these issues with your healthcare provider before starting a supplementation protocol.

Rheumatoid Arthritis? Recent Studies Show Cold Laser Can Decrease Inflammation & Repair Damaged Tissue

Recently, a patient asked me if Cold Laser could help with RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, since it had worked so well on her son’s injured shoulder and she wondered if it could help other more serious conditions.

While I had seen patients with the condition improve when I treated them, especially if we did the functional medicine protocols in combination with laser, I wasn’t sure if there were any studies that supported this.

I actually found several that showed that Cold Laser not only decreased the INFLAMMATION associated with Rhuematoid Arthritis, it also stimulated the formation of new cartilage and bone and slowed down the tissue necrosis (death).

As with all the other studies I have seen, there were no side effects to the therapy.

Here are a couple of studies that you can take a look at. This study in the Feb 2013 journal Lasers in Medicine and Surgery had this conclusion:

“LLLT both at early and late RA progression stages significantly improved mononuclear inflammatory cells, exudate protein, medullary hemorrhage, hyperemia, necrosis, distribution of fibrocartilage, and chondroblasts and osteoblasts compared to RA group (p < 0.05). We can conclude that LLLT is able to modulate inflammatory response both in early as well as in late progression stages of RA.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22538842

This study from Russia (their research in cold lasers was actually decades ahead of US research) showed that cold lasers “not only increases the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects but also has the antioxidant properties”.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25876429

Now, for the most effective alternative combination, I would also recommend that you get tested to see what foods are triggering the antibody flare up.

A great test is available from Cyrex Labs (www.cyrexlabs.com). Many patients with auto immune diseases have “leaky gut”, aka intestinal permeability. Cyrex’s Array 2 is great for assessing if you have this.

Auto immune patients are often reactive to gluten, casein, and other foods. Cyrex’s array 3 and 4 tests for gluten and gluten cross reactors, which have been shown to be able to trigger auto immune flare ups.

I would also make sure that your vitamin D level is optimal. Many studies suggest that optimal blood levels for an anti-inflammatory effect and for immune support range from 50 to 80 ng/ml.

Also be sure your Omega 3 to Omega 6 ratio is well balanced. Anemias, blood sugar imbalances, and chronic infections should also be addressed.

I hope you find this helpful. Feel free to message me with questions or sign up for my free email health tips. You can also follow me on twitter @drkirkgair or on facebook at either www.Facebook.com/LaserChiropractic or www.Facebook.com/ThyroidInfo

As always, be sure to check with your qualified healthcare provider before starting any of these protocols.