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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stress & its toll on you!

Most people take stress very lightly, especially when I bring it up, so sometimes (those of you who are skeptical), I have run salivary cortisol tests to show just how much stress is impacting your endocrine/hormone system.

Take the time to read these two pieces. This series looks promising!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/work-life-balance/stress-public-health-enemy-no-1/article1778188/page1/

Click on the different body parts to see how stress affects each organ. Stress affects the entire body! That's why I try to practice "big picture medicine". The goal is to change medicine so that we don't give a pill for every symptom. We have to think globally because different parts of the body speak to each other and are inter-related. That's why even the foods you eat can affect your skin or how balancing your gastrointestinal track can have an effect on autoimmune related disorders.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/time-to-lead/work-life-balance/how-stress-affects-the-human-body/article1765389/?from=1778188

Happy Halloween everyone! Don't eat too many candies! =)

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"

Friday, October 22, 2010

ADHD diagnosis & your child's birthday - the correlation

Two interesting articles published in the September issue in the Journal of Health Economics shows that children who were younger than their classmates were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and were more likely to be medicated for ADHD. This raises some intriguing points about diagnosis and expectations that we (parents & teachers) place on children. An older child will act differently than a younger one. A child that is 10 months younger that his/her peers is probably less mature psychologically than their older counterparts, yet we expect all kids to act and behave uniformly. Perhaps we need to factor in birthdays when making these diagnoses. See references below should you wish to read the studies in its entirety.

In the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, we are shown the same correlation between birth dates and hockey players. Gladwell shows that a disproportionate amount of NHL players were born in the early months. The theory being that earlier birthdays equals greater physical maturity and hence they tend to do better at sports at a younger age. A guy that hits puberty first will have a significant height and strength advantage over his less mature teammate. The 'older male' having shown greater promise at a younger age leads to more coaching and ice time, which leads to even better play and thus increases ones skill level. This pattern repeats itself from peewee hockey to the minors and leads to a greater chance of making it to the NHL. Mind boggling, isn't it how the day you're born can play such an important factor in your life. If I recall properly, I've also read papers linking your birthday to other health factors as well.

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"

References

  1. Elder TE. The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: evidence based on exact birth days. J Health Econ. 2010;29:641-656. Abstract
  2. Evans WN, Morrill MS, Parente ST. Measuring inappropriate medical diagnosis and treatment in survey data: the case of ADHD among school-age children. J Health Econ. 2010;29:657-673. Abstract

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why this one thing is a MUST if you want to lose FAT!

I harp on this all the time with my patients who are trying to lose weight......so much so that I feel like a nag. But I know I'm doing the right thing so I keep on doing it hoping that it sinks in. Sometimes my nagging works and patients know that I'm going to ask about it so they just do it to please me. haha Whatever works right? So what is this magical thing that's so important for weight loss?

SLEEP!!!

We are sleep-deprived as a society! And now thanks to research that appears in the Oct. issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, I have even more ammunition to push my position. The research out of the University of Chicago shows that a person who sleeps too little will inhibit their fat loss by 55%! A staggering amount. This was a cross over trial meaning that they used the same individuals keeping the diet constant with the only variable changing being sleep. For one period of the study, they slept for a hearty 8.5 hrs and then for the other period, they slept for 5.5 hrs. No exercise, just diet in the study.

When the dieters got 8.5 hrs of sleep, slightly more than half of the weight they lost was from fat, whereas only one-forth of the weight lost was from fat during the period they got 5.5 hrs a day.

It should be noted that the diets were strictly controlled in this study, but in the real world, sleep deprivation also leads to an increase in appetite and one would raid the fridge. That's because a lack of sleep increases a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you hungry.

Take home message: Get at least 8 hrs of sleep per night and some of you may need more.

Yours in health,

Ian Koo, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Naturopathic Essentials Health Centre
"The care you want, the health you need"