Gluten free products are advertised more and more as a healthy alternative but most people don’t understand what gluten is or if they should be worried about it. Gluten is a protein found in healthy foods like wheat, barley, rye, and wheat varieties like spelt, kamut, farro and durum, plus products like bulgar and semolina. In addition to being in breads and pastas gluten is used in many packaged foods, soups and sauces as a filler or as a thickening agent. Checking the labels on processed foods is the only way to find ingredients that contain gluten. Look for the grains mentioned above plus: brewer’s yeast, oats, and malt. Oats don’t contain gluten but are most often contaminated with it by being processed on the same equipment as other grains. So if your oats don’t specifically say “gluten free” then they may contain some gluten.
For a long time doctors believed that the only problem people had with gluten was Celiac disease. Celiac is a very serious condition in which gluten triggers the destruction of a person’s intestines. People with celiac disease can’t eat any gluten at all without severe consequences. We now are seeing more research coming out that says that people with Celiac disease have destruction of more than just their intestines. It affects their nerves, muscles and other tissues as well.
Another condition that is now recognized as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity causes a reaction to gluten that damages peoples’ bodies but does not cause the same extent of damage to their intestines as celiac disease. The number of people that are sensitive to gluten but do not have celiac disease may be very high. In these people the reaction to gluten causes their immune system to attack their own body. This is known as autoimmunity and can cause symptoms that are widely varied from brain fog, to pain, inflammation and fatigue.
If you have symptoms that are hard to explain and may come and go like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, or what seem to be thyroid symptoms, gluten may be a factor. There are two ways you can find out. The first is to get a laboratory test of your blood or saliva. These tests, which can be expensive, look for antibodies to gluten which indicate that your immune system is reacting to it. The second way is to do an elimination diet. In an elimination diet you cut gluten out of your diet completely for at least three weeks and then try it again to see what happens. If your symptoms disappear and then come back after you start eating gluten again then you are probably having a reaction to gluten that is effecting your immune system and damaging your body. An elimination diet usually excludes other foods that commonly cause autoimmunity too. These include milk, soy, eggs, non-gluten grains and a few others. This is because one or more foods may cause irritation in the intestine and cause symptoms. If we just eliminate one of the causes and not the others we might think that there was no problem with the gluten in the first place because we are still having a reaction to the other foods.
I think the important point to take away is that there is not one magic diet that is right for everyone and it is important to remember that sometimes even ”healthy” foods are not good for everybody. At our office we conduct a thorough history and exam before we formulate a plan to work through each individual’s issues.
One of the most common questions we get from new patients is “Do you accept my insurance?” They are under the impression that if we don’t they can’t come see us. This could not be further from the truth! Our office offers affordable fees for patients with or without insurance. We can check on your plan and let you know what coverage you have, including what your deductible and co-payments are. The deductible is the portion of your medical care that you must pay out of pocket before the insurance pays anything. After that insurance will pay a portion of the bill based on what your co-payment is. The co-payment is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket every time you visit the doctor even after your deductible has been paid. Most of the time our fees are less than people’s co-payments.
The media is filled with people talking about health care, health insurance, Obamacare, pre-existing conditions, etc. It can be a very spirited and contentious debate. But what does it really mean for the average person trying to earn a living and get decent medical care?
As a physician I have seen my patients’ insurance benefits go down and their out-of-pocket expenses go up each year. When I began practice nearly 20 years ago, dealing with insurance companies was much easier, but even then the doctor I worked for, who had been in practice for nearly 30 years, was already talking about how insurance coverage was not what it used to be. An insurance company is motivated by profit and that means maximizing the money coming in and minimizing the money going out. Over the years they have found ways of paying less for services by either denying claims or by cutting the amount they pay to doctors for their services. Doctors accept the lower fees because being on the list of participating providers drives more patients to their offices. However, with lower insurance payments, doctors are forced to see more patients in less time. It takes time to listen to a person, find out what is wrong and more importantly what is causing the problem. It takes time to explain to patients how they should be making changes that will help them be healthier and prevent or reduce future health problems. And it takes time to prescribe the right treatment. Doctors are being squeezed and patients are at risk of being shortchanged while paying higher premiums. The quality of health care is being compromised at the benefit of the insurers.
Doctors are left with few options. Many are leaving private practice to work in hospitals, run by big corporations. Where once doctors would build their practices over generations often seeing parents and then their children and grandchildren and building caring relationships that last, now all too often they are over-booked trying to fulfill their corporate quotas and watching the clock. Many doctors who are unwilling to compromise patient care are choosing not to accept insurance anymore. These doctors provide quality care to patients who pay them out of pocket for service that they and their doctor agree is necessary without having to ask permission from, or be restricted by, the corporate insurance business.
We should all be aware of how changes in the insurance system are affecting the quality of our health care and we should ask ourselves: is this the kind of health care system we want?
ACT or “Acoustic Compression Therapy” is a new and exciting way to find and treat joint pain caused by . Check out these new videos to learn more about how it works and how we use it here at Life Chiropractic PSL.
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – Dr. Marty Rukeyser, a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist is
excited to announce the first Acoustic Compression Therapy technology on the Treasure Coast is now available at Life Chiropractic. The PiezoWave machine uses focused sound waves to treat the areas of pain.
It is extremely effective in treating pain caused by joint injury or inflammation even in chronic conditions that have failed other types of treatment. “We have used the new technology successfully to treat conditions in the neck, spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, knees and hips,” stated Dr. Marty Rukeyser.
This new system uses the same technology that is used in breaking up kidney stones. By creating a sound wave that can be focused inside tendons, ligaments, cartilage, muscle or bone, our system compresses and releases the tissue stimulating the cells to begin their natural repair process.
Dr. Marty’s office is located at 1230 SE Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie. He has over 15 years of experience and features state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. His staff is well trained in personal service. They accept insurance, offer affordable care plans and have (3) massage therapists on staff.
For more information, please call (772) 398-8888 or visit online at lifechiropracticpsl.com.
If you’re overweight and tired you’ve probably suspected that it’s your thyroid. It’s just one of those things. In fact I have worked with more than a few patients that were excited when I told them they had problems with their thyroid. It was such a relief to know there was a reason for all their struggles.
The thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck that’s pretty much the gas pedal for the whole body. The hormones that are made in the thyroid tell all the other parts of the body to do their jobs. So when the thyroid is working right your body burns calories doing all the things it should: growing, healing, moving, staying alert and warm. When it is working too slow (hypothyroidism) we feel tired, depressed, constipated, can’t lose weight, our skin gets dry and our hair starts falling out. The opposite happens when the thyroid is working too fast (hyperthyroidism), we get agitated, jittery, we have heart palpitations, can’t sleep and have night sweats.
Either way thyroid disease is serious and may require medication or surgery to control it. Hypothyroidism is more common and in the US the vast majority of it is caused by an auto-immune condition called Hashimoto’s Disease. In Hashimoto’s your body’s own immune system attacks your thyroid gland causing it to not produce as much thyroid hormone and everything slows down. A trip to your doctor would usually include a test for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which is made in the brain and is supposed to get the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. If your doctor finds it high he or she may prescribe medicine to replace the thyroid hormone that is not being made.
Sadly this is where the story usually ends. Some patients do fine and this solves the problem, but for many the symptoms don’t go away or come back after a while. To continue to improve your health it is important to make sure you are treating the reason the thyroid is being damaged in the first place. The truth is that hypothyroidism is more complicated than just measuring TSH and prescribing medicine. The best thing to do is to take a careful look at what happens to thyroid hormone after it is made, in the liver, in the brain, and for most patients to get the immune system back under control to help prevent the situation from getting worse.
If you suspect that your thyroid gland is not working correctly talk to a doctor who can thoroughly evaluate the complex web of problems that contribute to the way you are feeling and give you a plan that gets you back on track to optimum health.