Scoliosis is labeled as an "Idiopathic" disease in four out of five cases, meaning "Unknown cause of disease." Experts claim that they don't know what does cause Scoliosis, but they are emphatic that it is not due to "diet, posture, genes, or carrying heavy things." This leads us to ask, "How do we know Scoliosis is not due to diet, posture, genes, etc.?" Because it's idiopathic. No one ever said medicine had to be logical.
There is confusion among the experts about a possible genetic link. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says,"scoliosis can occur in several people within a family. When it does, there is probably a genetic component to its cause." "Probably," but not for sure. And here's a radical thought, is it more likely that people within the same family eat the same food (for better or worse) and that's why scoliosis "occurs...within a family"?
Boston Children's Hospital goes so far as to say, "...no one genetic link has been confirmed."
However, in 2007, Dr. Anne Bowcock at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis claims to have found that Gene CHD7 is the culprit. The problem with this theory is that it leaves current patients in Medical No Man's Land, without hope except for braces and the surgeon's knife, while the industry develops and tests drugs.
“If we understand the genetic basis of the condition, we can theoretically predict who is going to develop scoliosis and develop treatments to intervene before the deformity sets in. It may take many years to accomplish these goals, but I think it will eventually happen.”Within weeks of Dr. Bowcock's announcement, paleontologists at the University of California Santa Cruz published a study showing that genes of Neolithic mankind responded to their diet. Drs. George Perry and Nathaniel Dominy concluded that people who descend from high-starch eating ancestors have many extra copies of the amylase gene which assists starch digestion than those people who descend from their more carnivorous contemporaries.
So, if diet could change the genetic structure of the caveman, is it possible that the Modern Diet ~~ or some other environmental influence~~ could also predispose today's children to be at risk for Scoliosis, if there is, indeed, a genetic cause?
And here's the most important question. If genes can change for the worse and cause disease, can genes be repaired, and the person healed? In other words, if poor diet is the trigger for genetic damage, can't a proper diet be the impetus for healing, without the long, tortuous years of waiting for Dr. Bowcock's team to develop treatments? A whole new science is developing called Nutrigenetics, or sometimes called Nutrigenomics, that is dedicated to studying the gene-diet-disease link.
For a child faced with inevitable surgeries and braces, what's it going to hurt to look at the diet with its possible deficiencies, to consider environmental factors, and to seek professional care from a knowledgeable, compassionate chiropractor?
In my estimation, there is always a "cause," but sometimes it is not pleasant or politically correct to face the truth. Many factors are at play in keeping the cause of Scoliosis 'idiopathic': [insert name of deep-pocket lobby], federal regulators who more often than not go to work for those they previously regulated, and maybe not the least of all, ingrained bigotry and biases against considering simple, unprofitable solutions like diet all work against people knowing the truth and having access to real solutions.
The spine is made of bone and connective tissue. Minerals in great quantity are needed for skeletal and connective tissue health. For instance, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus are essential for bone; potassium is needed for muscle, tendon, and ligament strength. Are children getting these essential minerals? No, emphatically no. Listen to this expert testimony:
"Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until depleted soils from which our food comes are brought into proper mineral balance?"Now for the shocker. These quotes were spoken in 1936. They are from the 74th Congress, Second Session, Senate Document #264. This is 2012. Do you think the situation has improved in 76 years? Our children are visible answers to that question.
"The alarming fact is that foods now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contain enough of certain minerals are starving us - no matter how much of them we eat. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the minerals he requires for perfect health because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them."
"Laboratory test prove that the fruits, the vegetables, the grains, the eggs, and even the milk and the meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago (which doubtless explains why our forefathers thrived on a selection of foods that would starve us!)"
"No man today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his stomach with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health, because his stomach isn't big enough to hold them! And we are turning into big stomachs."
"It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99% of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack or one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer, shorten our lives."
Here are some starting points to consider if "Scoliosis" is affecting someone you love.
1. TOO MUCH SUGAR
Sugar depletes all the minerals critical to bone health, as well as B Vitamins; the average consumption is an unbelievable 150+ pounds per person annually. Sugar causes the body to become acidic, and bone minerals are pulled out to keep the blood in a homeostatic, slightly alkaline range.
Chromium helps with sugar metabolism, but many people do not consume foods with this mineral, even moreso with the emphasis on gluten-free or low-carb diets. Chromium foods include onions, tomatoes, brewer's yeast, oysters, whole grains, bran cereals, potatoes and black pepper. Honestly, do you or your kids eat oysters regularly? Or whole grains prepared properly by soaking or sprouting? Or potatoes baked with the skin on...french fries don't count!! Bran cereals are problematic with pulling out fat-soluble vitamins.
Worse than sugar is high fructose corn syrup. Though some damage control by the HFCS industry is being desperately attempted by calling this poison "Corn Sugar", a rose is a rose... Any and all foods containing this sweetener that makes children's muscles flacid and flabby and gives them an alcoholic's fatty liver should be avoided with the utmost diligence.
2. TOO MUCH FLUORIDE
Fluoride is the enemy of collagen and bones. Fluoride causes premature and excessive wrinkling of the skin and sagging of tissues (like breasts!!). In areas that are fluoridated, hip fractures and joint pain are more common, due to the destructive nature of this chemical being pervasive in food and water. Fluoride calcifies the pineal gland, reducing the production of melatonin, which is critical for quality sleep.
"It should be noted that many of my friends who do have scoliosis have sleeping problems... That's because the pineal gland isn't functioning like it used to and has below average melatonin. That's just the observation and hence some melatonin supplements and morning sun gazing is needed to reset the body's clock....Pineal glandular damage that I am aware of is the excess calcification and fluorides that are found in several thousand parts per million and this is high preventing normal functioning...The fluoride accumulation leads to long term pineal gland damage...avoid fluoridated and chlorinated toxins." --Ted at Earthclinic
3. NOT ENOUGH IODINE
Fluoride is naturally chelated out by sufficient IODINE, but very few people get enough of this critical mineral. Iodine cannot be attained through iodized salt. The chloride portion of the sodium chloride molecule commonly called "salt" prevents uptake of the iodine (the halogens Chlorine, Bromine, and Fluorine are antagonistic to Iodine). The Japanese get around 12.5mg of iodine daily; compare this to the RDA for American diets of 150mcg. If these amounts were dollars, it would translate to $1,250 vs. $15. Imagine sending the bank $15 for your monthly mortgage payment! Imagine even worse consequences for the human body deficient in iodine!!
In 1963, commercial bakers switched iodated flours to brominated flours, thus in one move eliminating a source of iodine and replacing it with a toxic halogen. The next year, 1964, Pepsico gave America one of the worst soft drinks of all, Mountain Dew, which contains brominated vegetable oil. Bromine affects thyroid health, and an unhealthy thyroid can result in bone loss. Considering that bromine causes psychotic disorders, and Mtn. Dew is the #4 top selling soda, it's no wonder that sales of drugs for depression, even among children, are growing. Anti-depressant drugs contain either fluoride or aspartame, adding fuel to the fire.
4. NOT ENOUGH SATURATED FAT
Saturated fat is needed for uptake of minerals. Substitution of new-fangled fats like margarine and refined oil for the saturated animal fats of traditional diets may be a key factor in scoliosis.
Without Vitamin K-2, found in butter, cream, egg yolks, hard cheeses like Edam and Gouda, and liver (every child should get liver at least once a week), calcium hardens the arteries and soft tissues, and does not get taken up by the bones. Low-fat milk, now preached as ambrosia by the Diet Gods, is one of the worst foods children could possibly consume. Every protein food has fat with it. The fat in milk is essential for the uptake of the calcium and for proper digestion of protein. If a child drinks low-fat milk exclusively, I guarantee there will be allergies (evidence of malabsorption of protein) and bone problems. Yet, do you know of any school district that serves children WHOLE MILK?
Refined oils like canola, corn, and soybean oil are replacing the good saturated fats, and even promoted by the USDA and FDA as "healthy" polyunsaturated fats. This is nutritional malpractice. Refined oils cause a chronic, underlying inflammation, and inflammation leads to bone loss. (See #7)
Cottonseed oil, an industrial oil that was never meant for human consumption, is often hydrogenated and used in many commercial baked goods as margarine. Hydrogenated fats do not nourish the axon and myelin sheath of nerve tissue. Hydrogenated fats interfere with the proper metabolism of essential fatty acids, which are needed for hormone health. Without proper hormone production (pregnenolone in the adrenal glands), there is not proper bone turnover, and connective tissue and muscle integrity greatly suffer.
5. NOT ENOUGH MAGNESIUM
Balance is the key to health. Calcium is needed for bones, but today we see too much calcium in relation to magnesium. The body pushes out excess calcium through the urine, and unfortunately it takes magnesium with it. The proper ratio of calcium to magnesium is said to be 2:1, but it is more commonly 6:1 in the American diet. (Many health professionals believe the ratio should be 1:1.)
Calcium is over-sold as the magic bullet to bone health. This is because the Milk Lobby has a louder voice than the Green Leafy Vegetables lobby, so no one will ever see an ad, "got Spinach?" The quantity of calcium in the American diet is not the problem. It's ABSORPTION. Without enough stomach acid (made from minerals) and a proper amount of saturated fat and complimentary magnesium, calcium is very detrimental to health.
Foods with high magnesium include almonds, sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, black beans, dark chocolate, molasses, and even WATERMELON SEEDS. Please teach your children to eat the whole piece of watermelon, and not to spit out an excellent source of life-giving magnesium. Watermelon seeds by themselves are roasted and eaten as a snack by children in Africa. For every one cup of seeds, there is 556mg of magnesium. This means that if a slice of watermelon contains about 1/4 cup of seeds, there could be an extra 139mg magnesium just in the seeds! Need I mention that "Seedless Watermelons" are from Nutrition Hell?
Instead of serving your child peanut butter that can have aflatoxin mold, why not mix up Almond Butter with some Tahini (sesame seed paste, found in the Middle Eastern foods aisle) and Molasses? Or for older children, make a snack of Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, and Dark Chocolate morsels? (get real dark chocolate, not the Toll House morsels.) And Refried Black Beans topped with some quality Cheddar cheese rolled up in a traditional corn tortilla (corn, lime, water) is a powerhouse of nutrition.
There are some easy, affordable remedies to improve the calcium/magnesium balance and remove excess calcium from the body with simple baking soda and magnesium citrate. Sun-gazing improves pineal function and a vibrational therapy called Atlas Profilax replicates the frequency of magnesium.
6. NOT ENOUGH POTASSIUM
Without sufficient magnesium, potassium levels will be low. Potassium gives strength to muscles; muscles connect to bone via tendons. Sugar depletes potassium very quickly and can often result in a trip to the chiropractic office due to subluxations when the bones are not held in place properly with muscular support. Potassium is lost in sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Signs of potassium deficiency are loss of muscle strength, especially in the calf of the leg, fatigue, mental confusion and memory loss, psychotic behavior, poor sleep (see #2 above and scoliosis's connection to poor sleep), and constipation. I interviewed a pediatrician last year and asked her what she considered the Number One issue with children. Without hesitation, she replied, "Constipation."
Once again, dark green leafy vegetables to the rescue! Spinach contains potassium and fiber. Cooked (steamed) and served with plenty of butter, spinach will build healthy bones. Raisins, baked potatoes, and coconut water are also very high in potassium. Not many kids will refuse a green smoothie made with Spinach, Mango, Banana, and Coconut Water. Call it 'Shrek Juice' or 'Dragon Snot,' and they will giggle their way to good health.
7. NOT ENOUGH OLD-FASHIONED FOODS
Bone stock and gelatin were mainstays in our grandmother's day. The soup pot was rarely empty. Whole chickens were boiled with the addition of a bit of vinegar to pull out the minerals and dissolve the cartilage. The liquid stock was used to make everyone's favorite, Chicken and Dumplin's, or even that cure-all, Homemade Chicken Soup.
Today we separate out the prized muscle meat and rarely get bone stock. The canned stuff that is promoted on holidays is not stock; that is broth made from meat and fat. Stock is made from bones. Plus, it most likely has a neurotoxic dose of MSG or autolyzed yeast, which is problematic in itself.
Those skinless, boneless chicken breasts may be easy and quick, but they are not a complete food. They are heavy on an amino acid called L-Tryptophan, which causes inflammation if not balanced with glycine and L-Proline. Glycine and L-Proline are abundant in that old-fashioned dessert: Gelatin.
Do not dare think that Granny is suggesting that you prepare the gelatin found in the grocery store that is nothing but artificial colors and chemical flavors, that is fruit-flavored but never came near any real fruit! For my family, I purchase gelatin by the pound or five-pound bags from Now Foods. A little pricier is the gelatin from Great Lakes, which offers a hydrolyzed gelatin that mixes instantly in liquid. You can also purchase unflavored gelatin at the grocery store ("Knox"), but this is a porcine source, and our family does not consume pork or boiled pork skins.
Inflammation is really harsh on the health. Children are not spared its ravages. Inflammation releases cytokines, and cytokines result in bone loss. A diet high in refined oil, excitotoxic MSG and aspartame, low-fat commercial dairy, and muscle meat causes a chronic, low-grade inflammation. Depending on the part of the body affected, this can present as arthritis, Crohn's, colitis, IBS, asthma, COPD, kidney disease, or neuropathy (pain). With all these systems of the body affected by inflammation, how is it that skeletal irregularities could not be considered part of the picture in scoliosis?
And guess what? The drugs given for these diseases of malnutrition cause more bone loss!! Just one popular medication given to suppress inflammation, Prednisone, causes loss of calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin D, zinc, Vitamin C, B-6, folate, selenium, and chromium. Prednisone or its cousin corticosteroids are prescribed for asthma. Childhood asthma is the number one reason for school absenteeism. It's no wonder then, that 10% of children are said to have Scoliosis.
9. HIDDEN BACTERIAL AND VIRAL INFECTIONS
Many children are getting vaccines that are laden with foreign DNA and viral particulate matter, and this material must be dealt with by the body. Often it is stored in nervous tissue, including the spinal cord. A healing technique developed by Dr Gary Young, ND, called Raindrop Therapy using essential oils is very promising.
Within the last ten years, Dr. Gary Young, ND., from Young Living Research Clinic, Springville, UT. has discovered that a majority of scoliosis sufferers have a virus in the spine, causing the spine to painfully go out of alignment. After doing several thousand applications of a technique called Raindrop, he watched hundreds of patients with scoliosis, have a realignment. Today, thousands are now benefiting from this discovery and avoiding the unnecessary operations currently being used as a method of treatment.10. HORMONAL IMBALANCES
Dr. Young's theory after seeing the successful results, is that scoliosis is a VIRUS OR BACTERIA that lies dormant or active along the spine. These pathogens create inflammation, which contorts and disfigures the spinal column. For this reason, many people who use rods, only find later the operation did not help, for the virus was still intack within the spine. This means if the virus activates again, it takes the rods and spinal cord out of alignment together! As the virus progresses, it creates a greater disturbance to the bone and tissues.
Scoliosis affects mostly girls, and at a time when the body demands great amounts of a hormone called progesterone. Yet, due to the Modern Diet with its plethora of soy foods, and the environment that is awash in xenoestrogens, the young girl's body is likely to be lacking in this hormone. She is most likely to be imbalanced, and what is known as Estrogen Dominant. Progesterone supplementation should be investigated, as well as including foods like green peas, nuts, seeds, and egg yolk for superior hormonal production.
Before letting doctors cut into my child's central nervous system, I would do all I could to address the nutritional imbalances that may be present. I would seek a qualified CHIROPRACTOR and do the least invasive first. Surgically fusing bones or inserting rods and pins will not correct the problem if it, indeed, is due to malnutrition. It is hard to admit that in America, the Land of Plenty, our children could be starving and their bodies crying out for real food. But, my friends, that is exactly the case. Taking a hard, objective, informed look at our pantry, freezer, and fridge is not optional if we want our children to be spared the ravages of Modern Disease caused by the Modern Diet.
Spend some time looking at the health of children when they ate the Traditional Diet, as taught by the Weston A. Price Foundation and Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation. Get a copy of Dr. Price's book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It's a hefty tome, but don't be discouraged. Just look at the pictures of children who ate their native diet, and then look at them as Dr. Price documented them after several years on the Modern Diet. As they say, it's worth a thousand words.
Concurrently, I would work on eliminating all hidden infections using essential oils. Last but not least, consider that hormones must be balanced for optimal health in many areas.
The body was made to heal itself. Given the proper tools as described above, it will certainly do so, regardless of what "disease" label assigned.
RESOURCES and REFERENCES
Earthclinic, Scoliosis: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/scoliosis.html
Fluoride reduces bone strength and causes collagen loss: http://www.fluoridealert.org/studies/bone06/
Dr. Flechas on iodine, bromine: http://www.iodine4health.com/overviews/audiovisual/flechas_audiovisual.htm
Hydrogenation evils: http://www.dldewey.com/hydroil.htm
Magnesium benefits: http://magnesiumforlife.com/
Potassium increases muscle strength: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/salud/salud_potassium.htm
Weston A. Price Foundation: http://www.westonaprice.org/about-the-foundation/beginner-tour
Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: http://ppnf.org/store/nutrition-and-physical-degeneration
Price-Pottenger Foundation: http://ppnf.org/
Inflammation and Bone Loss: http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/content/201/3/309.full
Now Brands Gelatin: www.luckyvitamin.com/p-4736-now-foods-beef-gelatin-powder-5-lbs
Great Lakes Gelatin: www.greatlakesgelatin.com/consumer/products.php
Essential oils and Raindrop Therapy: http://scoliosis.homestead.com/raindroptherapy.html
Natural Progesterone: http://www.jonbarron.org/anti-aging/barron-report-hormonal-balancing-progesterone