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Chiropractors are skilled at finding nutritional deficiencies.

Posted Nov 13 2009 10:02pm

As a Chiropractor and health care provider, when patients are interested in there nutritional status, I give them a questionnaire which helps me assess their nutritional health.  There are a number of well established clinical signs and symptoms associated with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  Additionally, certain nutrition and lifestyle behaviors and the use of certain medications can promote vitamin and mineral deficiencies, usually from a lack of intake or accelerated depletion of specific nutrients.

Studies indicate that 91 percent of North Americans are nutritionally deficient and do not ingest the RDA levels for each vitamin and mineral on a daily basis. Further, those levels for many nutrients are considered to be suboptimal according to many anti-aging and nutrition experts, especially in regard to certain antioxidants, vitamin D and  selenium. An additional complicating factor is that many people engage in dietary and lifestyle behaviors which encourage nutrient loss and/or take mediations that impair absorption, or promote excretion and accelerate loss of vitamins and minerals from the body. This becomes very important considering the role that vitamins and minerals play in the prevention of cancer heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, cataracts, macular degeneration and other health problems.

The questionnaire I use in my chiropractic office to assess nutritiona deficiencies is in two parts and is too long for me to reproduce in this column. The first part deals with lifestyle factors while the second part addresses drug and medication intake. If you are interested in the questionnaire, please call the office. I would be happy to have you come in and take the “test” and have me review it with you. Some of the questions address the following.

Drinking more that 3 alcoholic beverages per week will deplete Vitamin A, all the B’s, Vit C, D, E and potassium. More than two cups of coffee or caffeinated tea of any kind per day will deplete the body of Vitamins C, B and minerals. B vitamins will also be depleted if you smoke, have cracks at the margin of your lips or scaly skin at the outer margin of your nose above your lips. Of course, stress is a major problem for not only your nutrition as it creates hormonal imbalances leading to decreased Vitamin C, B and many minerals, but it also creates changes in your skeletal system. This can cause headache, neck pain and back pain.

In terms of drug and medication use, you are probably aware that medications have side effects. What you may not realize is that the side effects may not be noticeable until way down the road.
Regular use of laxatives will deplete your body of Vitamins A, D, E and Calcium. Over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin will lower your levels of folic acid, iron and Vitamins C and K. Even Antacids like Maalox, Tums, Mylanta and Rolaids will affect your levels of Vitamins A, B1, B12, folic acid, chromium and iron. Contraceptives, Sedatives, estrogen replacement drugs, antidepressants, heart medications such as those for blood pressure and cholesterol will all affect vitamins and minerals in your body. As a chiropractor, I try to encourage people to take supplements to counter these effects. I am not convinced that diet alone will counter these issues. So try to eat well and take a good quality supplement if you have to take medication.

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