Tag Archives: hyperglycemia

Are Injections Your Best Option For Pain?

One of the more common modes of musculoskeletal pain treatment these days is that of an injection.  While various variations and alterations are made regarding the exact content and site of injection, in the majority of cases the basic formula remains the same.

There are two main components to an injection.  First we have the corticosteroid in which cortisone is commonly utilized.  The role of the steroid is to aggressively attenuate inflammation by dampening the immune system.  When you are inflamed, you will usually be feeling some level of pain or discomfort as the chemical mediators involved in the inflammatory process stimulate the pain pathways of your nervous system, and thus the perception of pain is experienced.

While this may effectively address a compartmentalized target, it does so at the expense of the rest of the body.  Inflammation is a main and necessary component of the immune system.  A steroid dampens the immune system, lessening the inflammation, but also compromising  overall immune function which is kind of important.

The widespread effects of steroids are seen when they are utilized as a method of control for an autoimmune condition.  In an autoimmune disease, the immune system has become imbalanced and has turned against the body that houses it, causing tissue destruction.  Patients who find themselves in this predicament often find relief with the use of corticosteroids as it knocks the entire immune system down a level, thus temporarily lessening the self destruction (rather than rebalancing the immune system, addressing the root of the dysfunction).

Some other side effects of corticosteroid injections include risk of infection, hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar), peripheral nerve damage (median nerve commonly injured in carpal tunnel injections) adrenal insufficiency (adding dysfunction to the commonly over worked “stress glands), immunosuppression, osteoporosis, and actual TENDON RUPTURE.

The tendon element can get dicey, as injections are now commonly utilized for such a wide range of sport type injuries including sprains and strains, bursitis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, etc.  The logic behind aiming an injected dose of a corticosteroid at what is presumed to be a tendon issue comes into question when we discover the tendon doesn’t actually succumb to inflammation.

The term tendonitis (meaning inflammation of the tendon) is actually a misnomer due to the lack of inflammation. The proper term for the reduced mobility, strength and discomfort originating in the tendon is actually tendinosis but many clinicians (present company included) continue to use the outdated, falsely descriptive term.

As we explained above, the therapeutic property of the corticosteroid intended to be utilized in this instance is that of an anti-inflammatory agent.  If the tendon is incapable of becoming inflamed this is a poorly misguided effort.  Additionally, studies have shown that injections weaken the tendon and can actually lead to eventual  rupture.

The other commonly used component of these injections is a local anesthetic like lidocaine.  This provides immediate relief to the area as the pain signals are silenced by this chemical agent.

The dangerous aspect of using this or any numbing, pain blocking agent is that it puts a gag on the body as it tries to convey the idea that something isn’t right.  The underlying dysfunction persists, but miraculously you feel fine.  This creates a false sense of security and can lead to doing too much, too soon causing re-injury, escalation of the injury or a new injury.

Injections for common musculoskeletal injuries have become so popular due to our constant demand for the quick, easy fix.  The inflammation; the pain; they came about for a reason.  Something isn’t right in the way we move, our strength, stability or mobility and it has manifested in the irritation of a particular and tissue and now you and your potentially reduced training load.

If you want to be in this thing for the long haul, capture this opportunity to discover the breakdown, remedy the issue, and make your parts happy (and quiet) again.  As annoying, nagging, uncomfortable, disruptive, (insert adjective) as pain can be, it truly is a gift from the body letting you know to knock it off or make a change.  Simply silencing this signal may get you through temporarily.  It may even provide lasting relief.

However, it may not. It may actually leave you right where you started or worse.  The alternative can be more time consuming.  The alternative may take a little trial and error to find a unique to you treatment program, rather than a one size fits all remedy.  The alternative may involve looking beyond an injection site for pain and addressing the whole person and kinematic chain.

To me this non-invasive approach logically makes more sense as the primary mode of intervention.  If it does to you as well, and you’d like to give it a shot before getting a shot, we are ready and waiting to collaborate with you.

 

REFERENCES

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2084363/

http://www.m.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/cortisone-injection-soft-tissues-joints

The Sour Side of Sugar’s Sweet Seduction

In the ever evolving world of nutrition a clear villain has emerged. It is a villain cloaked in mouth-watering and opioid receptor stimulating deliciousness. It is a villain that can be somewhat of a chameleon, hiding in large volumes in seemingly “healthy” foods. I am of course speaking of your favorite and mine: sugar.

(Unfortunately this sugar classification also includes high carb foods like grains. Translation: all that bread will eventually be broken down into the simple sugar: glucose.)

Mounting research implicates sugar (namely high fructose corn syrup and other processed/refined varieties) as a major culprit behind a plethora of diseases well beyond the obvious, but never understated obesity and diabetes. As a realist I realize that complete elimination of sugar is not much of a practical or desirable option, however a reduction in consumption would serve us all well, especially if you are having other seemingly unrelated health issues.

So other than coming to terms with the fact that you may be consuming way too much sugar, how do you know if you possibly are having issues with the way your body handles sugar? And why is this an issue anyway? Well, sit back, relax (dump your soda down the drain) and I’ll try to give it to you in a raw, unsalted nutshell.

We’ve heard the terms hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but we will mainly be referring to dysglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia. These are conditions in which your blood sugar levels are not being handled properly and can be anywhere along the chain of dysfunction. Therefore addressing and correcting becomes imperative for health.

If you are someone who is consuming too many carbohydrates or sugar on a regular basis it is likely that your pancreas will become overactive in its secretion of insulin. This will lead to blood sugar levels rapidly swinging from high to low after a meal.

A clinical picture of this is marked by a drop in energy levels, mood swings, and overall cognition. This can be seen as spacing out easily, poor short term memory, becoming agitated if going too long without eating, and being prone to crashing in the later part of the afternoon. This is what’s known as reactive hypoglycemia, a form of insulin resistance which goes hand in hand with diabetes.

This person typically misses meals, eats foods high in sugar, craves sugar and salts throughout the day, depends on caffeine to function, and has a hard time waking up in the morning or sleeping through the night. Fatigue, brain fog, and headaches are also amongst the effects of this condition.

This could also lead to or be a contributing factor behind becoming hypoglycemic. This condition is marked by fatigue, mental confusion, lethargy and headaches and can also be caused by adrenal fatigue, poor diet, hypothyroidism or drug side effects.

A clinical picture of this would be someone who craves sweets throughout the day, is irritable if they miss a meal, eating can relieve fatigue, feeling shaky, jittery or having tremors, depending on coffee to get started or keep going, feeling lightheaded if meals are missed, getting agitated, easily upset or nervous or being forgetful.

Another possibility is to escalate from the reactive hypoglycemia to insulin resistance. The chronic release of insulin due to high carb/sugar loads eventually fatigues the cells to the point where they no longer want to accept the insulin or the glucose it is trying to deliver.

Clinically this entails feeling like you need a nap after every meal, craving sugar after every meal, being constantly hungry even after big meals, increased belly fat, insomnia, and facial hair or thinning hair in women (due to the fact insulin resistance promotes testosterone production in women), or breast and hip growth in men. It can also include frequent urination, migrating aches and pains, and overall difficulty losing weight.

Insulin resistance has also been linked to other coveted conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, obesity, hormone metabolism disorders and certain types of cancer.

A key factor to be aware of is that if you are dysglycemic in any way, your adrenal glands will also be activated in the body’s attempt to stabilize your blood sugar. The same holds true in reverse, as when your adrenal glands (stress glands) are on overdrive and they severely alter your body’s ability to effectively handle blood sugar.

Dysfunction on both fronts can be at the root or a main contributor to hypothyroidism, a weakened and inflamed digestive tract, a weakened immune barrier of the gut, lungs and brain, hormonal imbalances, clogging of the body’s attempts at detox and impairment of fatty acid metabolism.

So what to do? If any of these pictures we painted sounds like you it would be wise to investigate further and take action prior to escalation and emergency reactions. Rather than addressing each one of these symptoms separately with a potential side effect causing pill, imagine if you could clear up many issues simply be addressing your diet.

As we’ve said in the past, the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” holds true in a variety of venues, but never more so than with the diet. Outside of the obvious weight gain, the systemic effects can be devastating.

If you are ready to get serious and commit to investigating and potentially remedying your issues, please give us a call (321-848-0987) as it would be our pleasure to collaborate with you on your liberating journey towards optimal, all natural health.

It’s what we do.

Come join us.