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Prolotherapy in the Treatment of Chronic Rotator Cuff Pain

Prolotherapy is an injection-based treatment used for chronic musculoskeletal conditions as well as for bodily pains. Research studies also suggest that prolotherapy can be an effective treatment option for conditions that can cause movement dysfunction such as rotator cuff lesions. Rotator cuff lesions are one of the major causes of dysfunction and chronic shoulder pain in patients. A study published in the Journal of Orthopedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research, aimed to explore the effectiveness of using prolotherapy to treat patients suffering from rotator cuff lesions. The study used 120 patients suffering from chronic rotator cuff lesions for a period longer than six months. The patients were divided into two groups: the control group which was treated only with exercise, and the treatment group which was treated with ultra-sound guided prolotherapy injections. The study lasted a period of twelve weeks. Both the control as well as well as the treatment group were instructed to perform an assigned set of physical exercises at home in addition to receiving their respective in-clinic treatments. The study used Visual Analog Scale, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index, Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index, and shoulder range of motion tests to asses all participants shoulder levels of functionality prior to beginning the study, at the third week mark, sixth-week mark, twelve-week mark, and after one-year follow-up.  Out of the initial 120 participants that were recruited and approved for the study, only 101 completed all the treatments and protocols instructed and were included as part of the results. The study used a within-group comparison method to asses the results of both control and treatment groups and found that overall, both groups reported significant improvements of shoulder mobility and decrease of pain. The study also found significant differences in the Shoulder Pain and Disability Index, Western Ontario Rotator Cuff Index, and Range of motion tests results between both groups at the sixth and twelve-week assessments, with the prolotherapy group having better scores and less pain. The study concluded that prolotherapy is an effective treatment option for patients suffering from chronic rotator cuff lesions.

If you are interested in learning more about prolotherapy or receiving prolotherapy treatments, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.



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Filed under Acupuncture, Arthritis, decrease pain, fatigue, Inflammation, Prolotherapy, seattle naturopath, trigger point injections, trigger points, Uncategorized

Basic summary on MTFHR mutation detrimental health effects

Multiple studies have been conducted on the subject of MTFHR mutations and their impact on how our body work on a daily basis. MTHFR’s function in our body is to perform a process called methylation inside our cells. By doing so, MTHFR can help create, convert, and alter compounds within our cells. Methylation impacts many processes. It is involved in cellular repair and the production of DNA. It helps with neurotransmitter production and it is also vital in the formation and development of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Research studies including “Assocation between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and depression: an updated meta-analysis of 26 studies” and  “ Angiotensin converting enzyme and MTFHR gene variations in fibriomyalgia syndrome” have found that there is in fact a strong link between MTFHR variations and detrimental health conditions such as depression, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, among others. These studies have also shown that active forms of vitamin B12 and folinic acid are helpful in treating the negative effects of the mutation.

Today, over 60% of the world’s population has a vartiation on their MTHFR gene. Although some people never present negative side effects or health conditions due to this muation, an increasing number of people suffer consequences from the mutation. This in part is because epigenetic plays a huge role. Epigenetic is the non-genetic influence of gene expression.  Simply put, our diet, stress levels, environment, lifestyle can have an impact on how the gene is expressed. Screening for MTFHR mutation is highly recommended for all patients who suffer from chronic mental, neurological, pain conditions such as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and ADHD, as well as histamine related conditions such as hives and itchy skin.

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Filed under Allergies, B 12 injection, epigenetic, fatigue, gene, seattle naturopath, Uncategorized

Genes and diet: making healthier choices lower the chances of detrimental gene expression changes

Let’s talk about Epigenetics! The field of Epigenetics studies the different changes in organisms caused by the modification of gene expression rather than alteration in the genetic code itself. Now, you may be wondering how is this field relevant to you, your health and your everyday life style choices? Environmental factors such as your daily diet, smoking patterns and stress levels have been shown to impact gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms. In other words, research studies suggest that your lifestyle habits directly impact your organism and the way your genes are expressed.

Let’s take a look at one particular study that focused on testing this idea! A recent experiment performed by BMC Physiology scientists on mice, had the purpose of determining how their immune system responded to a typical Western diet. When mice were fed a Western diet, systemic inflammation occurred which was entirely expected. However, what was particularly interesting was that the Western diet fundamentally changed their immune system. After eating a high calories, low nutrient food, not only did the mice exhibit more systemic inflammation, but their white blood cells became programmed to remain hyper-sensitive to inflammatory triggers. In other words, their diet caused a drastic change tot their cellular “memory”, making their cells more vulnerable to inflammatory responses. These results may help explain why chronic inflammation is behind so many lifestyle-related diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Studies like this one and many others conducted recently, show significant evidence that demonstrate the impact that your environment and life style choices have on your body. They also suggest that making healthier choices lower the chances of detrimental gene expression changes.

If you’d like to learn more about ways to improve your diet or get tested for food
allergies, give Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center a call and we’d be happy to schedule an appointment for you!

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Filed under decrease pain, Digestion, epigenetic, Food allergy, gene, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome, Uncategorized

How can food allergies worsen your seasonal allergies?

An allergy is a heightened sensitivity to some foreign object that enters the body. This causes the body’s immune system to overreact by trying to defend itself. The body would normally only react towards more harmful substances such as bacteria in the air, however if you are suffering from an allergy, then even the most harmless substances will cause the body’s overreaction. Allergens can stimulate the body’s immune response by breathing it in, touching it, or ingesting it from food. Once the body is exposed to the allergen, a wide range of immune responses and symptoms can occur. These vary from mild symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, stomach ache, fatigue, and itchy eyes. However, they can become more severe such as anaphylaxis.

One of the most common types of allergy is a food allergy. Food allergies cause the body to carry out an immune response after ingesting the food that they are allergic to. In fact, many types of foods may even cause an immune response to occur. This is due to the fact that many foods contain histamines. Histamines are what cause the immune response and if one is already suffering from seasonal allergies, certain foods may worsen and increase the severity of the symptoms.  Therefore, it is beneficial to not only stay away from foods that contain histamines, but it is also critical to know what types of food your body may be allergic to. Being informed of allergens will help one to avoid increasing and stimulating any other immune responses.

If you are experiencing allergy symptoms or want to receive an allergy test, call Dr. Lee at the Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center (206) 319 – 5322.

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Filed under Allergies, Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, Food allergy, headaches, Leaky gut syndrome, Skin Conditions, Uncategorized

Looking for Prolotherapy in Seattle

Prolotherapy is an injection-based complementary and alternative medical therapy for chronic musculoskeletal pain. It has been used for approximately 100 years, however, its modern applications can be traced to the 1950s when the prolotherapy injection protocols were formalized by George Hackett, a general surgeon in the U.S. The name prolotherapy is based on the presumed “proliferative” effects on chronically injured tissue. It has also been called “regenerative injection therapy.”

Prolotherapy treatment commonly consists of several injection sessions delivered every 1 week to 4 weeks over the course of several months. During an individual prolotherapy session, therapeutic solutions are injected at sites of painful and tender ligament and tendon insertions, or in adjacent joint spaces. Injected solutions (“proliferants”) is used to cause local irritation, with subsequent inflammation and tissue healing, resulting in enlargement and strengthening of damaged ligamentous, tendon and intra-articular structures. These processes were thought to improve joint stability, biomechanics, function and ultimately, to decrease pain. The potential of prolotherapy to stimulate release of growth factors favoring soft tissue healing has also been suggested as a possible mechanism.

Prolotherapy has been best assessed as a treatment for low back pain, osteoarthritis and tendinopathy, each of which is a significant cause of pain and disability, and is often refractory to best standard-of-care therapies.

Low back pain

In the Ongley study1, the intervention and control groups differed markedly on the make-up of initial injections and type of spinal manipulation associated with the injections. Significantly more subjects in the prolotherapy (88%) group reported at least 50% reduction in pain severity compared to controls (39%). Also, prolotherapy subjects, compared to controls, reported significantly decreased pain and disability levels.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Reeves et al. assessed prolotherapy as a treatment for knee and finger OA.2 Subjects with finger or knee pain and radiological evidence of OA were randomly assigned to receive 3 injection sessions of either prolotherapy with dextrose and lidocaine, or lidocaine and bacteriostatic water (control group). In the finger OA trial, intervention subjects significantly improved in ‘pain with movement’ and ‘flexion range’ scores compared to controls; pain scores at rest and with grip showed a tendency to improvement. In the knee OA trial, subjects in both groups reported significant improvements in pain and swelling scores, number of buckling episodes, and flexion range of motion compared to baseline. At 12-month follow-up in both studies showed improved radiological features of OA on plain x-ray films: authors reported decreased joint space narrowing and osteophyte grade in the finger study, and increased patellofemoral cartilage thickness in the knee study. These radiological findings may suggest disease modification properties of prolotherapy.

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Do you have food allergy?

Food allergies or food intolerances are very common in the US. Some theories as to why these are increased incidence of food intolerance include an increased stress load on the immune system from the pollutants, chemicals, foods and water, earlier weaning and the premature introduction of solid foods to infants, less variety in foods eaten. Symptoms of food intolerance may be mild to debilitating and may occur immediately after ingesting the offending  food. However, the majority of symptoms are delayed and show up several days, making food allergy identification more difficult. The reactions can be caused by a food protein, starch or food component, or a contaminant such as food coloring or preservative. Many reactions express themselves in many forms and in many different areas of the body. Some common signs of food allergy are:


Digestive: gas, diarrhea, colic, canker sores, constipation, irritable colon, irregular stool pattern

Urinary: chronic bladder infection

Respiratory: chronic earaches, sinusitis, chronic bronchitis

Immune: chronic repeated infections

Skin: acne, eczema, hives, itchy skins

Muscles: headache, painful joints

Treatment of food allergy

Identifying and eliminating the offending food or food from the diet can eliminate stress on the body and allow the body to heal. The whole treatment must consist not only of avoiding the allergens but also improving the function of the digestive system and immune system and correcting nutritional deficiencies. Consider Nettles 2-3 capsules 3 times a day to reduce allergic reaction, reduce histamine in the body and strengthen the body’s resistance.

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Eat up to fight aging

A growing number of foods have been shown to combat inflammation, which interferes with healthy tissue repair and triggers genetic changes that can lead to cancer, heart problems, diabetes, depression and other types of life-threatening disease.

While you probably know that the Mediterranean diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and fish) is a weapon in fighting inflammation, you might also want to try out these superfoods.

Already eating kale and spinach? Try: Swiss chards. These leafy greens, as well as turnip and collard greens, are good sources of vitamins A and C, folic acid, and flavonids, all of which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that work to reduce the amount of free radicals.

Already eating oatmeal? Try: Quinoa. These whole grains, as well as brown rice, bulgur, barley, millet, and wheat berries may enhance health by lowering the levels of CRP (C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation), stabilizing blood sugar, and providing needed antioxidants.

Already eating almonds: Try: Walnut. Walnuts and flaxseeds are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid, another omega-3 fatty acid that quells inflammation. Add a handful of chopped walnuts or sprinkling of ground flaxseeds to your oatmeal or salad.

Already ready eating wild salmon? Try: Trout. Cold-water fish like these, as well as tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut, sablefish, and anchovies, are rich sources of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids – specifically DHA and EPA. These essential fatty acids are critical to cell function, such as energy production, fat metabolism, immune reaction, brain function, and supple radiant skin. The American Health Association recommends at least two 3.5oz serving of fatty fish per week. Looking for protein- rich alternative to fish? Try organic omega 3 enriched eggs.

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