How Dehydration Affects Your Brain, Energy Levels, and Body

Most people know that dehydration is bad for them, but you may be surprised at how it can affect you.

Right now, we are still encountering the sweltering heat of summer —high temperatures are breaking records here in DC and around the world — and the Northern Hemisphere may experience its hottest year ever recorded.

There is typically a spike in dehydration in the mid- and late-summer months, when the heat index is the highest.

Aside from the general lightheaded feeling and dry mouth that individuals commonly recognize as dehydration, there are many hidden dangers that affect your physical and mental health. Our brains are highly influenced by hydration status and even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can result in impaired brain function. Dehydration has been shown to negatively impact concentration, and functions such as problem-solving, motor coordination, and attention suffer the most.

Although it’s still unknown exactly when cognitive errors occur, studies show that the most severe impairments start to transpire at a 2 percent drop in body mass, a water weight loss that can happen quickly.

Surprising Benefits of Staying Hydrated

I usually tell my patients to go with the formula of 1/2 your body weight in ounces, so if you weigh 200 lbs., then you want to try to drink 100 ounces per day.

There are many benefits of staying hydrated — some you may not know about!

  • Prevent headaches: Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines, and increasing your water intake can help.
  • Think more clearly: You may feel foggy and have trouble concentrating without enough water. Drinking up to be more productive at work!
  • Relieve constipation: Increased fluid intake can help alleviate symptoms of constipation. Low water consumption has been shown as a risk factor for constipation in young and elderly individuals.
  • Lose weight: Drinking water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate. Sometimes what we mistake for hunger is actually thirst.

Signs of dehydration include feelings of thirst, dizziness, heat cramps, nausea, mood changes, fatigue, and frequent headaches. In extreme cases, when left untreated, you may end up having to go to the emergency room for treatment.

How easily a person becomes dehydrated is dependent on their body mass. Younger children and infants need to monitor their hydration more than an adult would because they have a lower total body weight and a higher concentration of water. An infant’s total body water is 70 percent whereas it’s about 65 percent in older children and 60 in adults; infants and children can also turn over electrolytes and water faster than other age groups, meaning they lose water more quickly than adults.

Tips on Staying Hydrated Safely

  • Hydrate throughout the day: Drinking too much water can dilute the body, leading to a low sodium and salt intake in the blood and, in extreme cases, cause seizures. Stay hydrated by taking in fluids throughout the day, not all at once. Keep a water bottle with you!
  • Eat for the weather: Especially in hot weather and the summer months, try to consume fruits and vegetables and other foods that have high water content.
  • Exercise around the sun and heat: It’s great to stay active, but it’s best to exercise when the sun isn’t at its peak. Exercise indoors if it’s especially hot and humid outside, or go out for your walk, run or bike ride before the sun rises or after the sun sets. (Be sure to wear reflective, light weight clothing.)

Following these tips on hydration and ensuring that you always carry around extra liquids when out in the sun is a great way to ensure you don’t experience dehydration.

Stay cool! (And hydrated!)

 

Patient Appreciation Week

Come enjoy free food and drinks with us to celebrate all of our amazing patients! Hop on a roller table or get a free seated massage for no charge! Stop by Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, July 23 – 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., or 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.!

 

Why It’s Important to See a Chiropractor Following a Car Accident – Even a Minor One

It’s common, after a car accident–even a minor one–to get out of the car and walk around and think, “I’m fine. Thank goodness I wasn’t hurt.”

After a crash, you can experience a big surge of adrenaline that can act almost like a numbing agent, making you feel less pain and leading you to think you are fine. However, many times, that pain will kick in later, once the adrenaline has left your system and your body calms down.

Many times, the pain won’t present itself until the next day, or even a few days later. All of a sudden, your neck can feel incredibly stiff and sore, and it may be extremely painful to turn your head from side to side, indicating whiplash. A similar feeling may happen in your back, arms and legs. You may notice red marks on your neck and chest where your seatbelt stopped you from going through the windshield. And for some reason, your abdomen may be sore, like you got punched in the stomach, even if you don’t see any obvious signs of bruising.

That’s because your body actually experienced a more traumatic event than you even realize, in the form of three separate collisions.

One car crash actually adds up to three separate collisions that your body experiences, within fractions of a second of each other. Those are:

  1. The physical collision of cars causes your car to buckle and bend as it hits something and comes to an abrupt stop.
  2. Your body collides with something in the interior of your car, such as the steering wheel or strap of your seatbelt.
  3. Your body’s internal organs hit the wall of your chest or your skeleton.

Seeing a chiropractor following a car crash can help significantly reduce pain and discomfort injuries that you may not know about immediately.

Reducing inflammation. Common injuries following a car crash — one that is not detectable by an X-ray — are micro-tears in the ligaments and muscles. This can lead to painful and uncomfortable inflammation in the body. An adjustment from a chiropractor can relieve tension and realign your spine, thereby reducing back pain and stiffness as well as inflammation.

Prevent internal scar tissue. Pain medication can help following a car accident, but it can sometimes mask a more serious problem such as the formation of internal scar tissue. Chiropractic care can help prevent scar tissue from forming and relieve pain without the need for pain medications, which can become addictive, by addressing the root cause of the pain and healing it naturally.

Restoring range of motion. Pain and inflammation can cause uncomfortable stiffness that is often not helped by pain medication. A chiropractic adjustment can restore blood flow to all your internal organs and remobilize your spine, which can even speed up the healing process and help you to get moving again without discomfort.

Catching problems urgent care or your physician may miss. It’s not uncommon for people to go to the hospital or be seen by their primary care physician and be cleared of injuries following a car crash, yet still continue to experience pain after they go home.

Urgent care and primary doctors often look only at the “big picture,” but they can miss the more subtle causes of pain such as inflammation, a slightly misaligned spine and more, and merely prescribe pain medication that doesn’t get to the root cause. Your chiropractor is uniquely qualified to catch these often undetectable injuries and treat them, sometimes even without the need for any medication at all.

As an added benefit, seeking the care of a chiropractor following a car accident can speed up the processing of your car insurance claim? Particularly if the accident was the other driver’s fault, seeking treatment immediately can often help ensure you receive the compensation you are due by obtaining documentation from the chiropractor.

Putting off seeing a doctor and/or chiropractor following a car accident can often end up being a mistake. Avoiding treatment can often only extend the amount of time you are in pain, or even allow subtle injuries to worsen, leading to long-term pain and discomfort.

If you have any questions about an injury or car accident, or even just your body’s regular health and wellness, please don’t hesitate to contact Ashburn Family Chiropractic, where we will treat you like family and help get you back in full health!

 

How Can Chiropractic Care Benefit Runners?

The running world is a tight-knit, global community – those who love it, really love it, and are incredibly passionate about it. Most runners have a regular routine of runs every week, even on vacation. And now that warm-weather months are upon us, running season is already starting to kick up a notch in our area.

While running has many health benefits, both physical and mental, it can also take a toll on the back, the knees, the joints and the muscles. When you run for an extended period of time, you are literally “pounding the pavement” with your bones, joints and muscles, over and over again. For this reason, doctors who treat runners say they most often see injuries to the knees, ankles, hips and back, and causing shock to their musculoskeletal systems.

For these reasons, runners need to pay close attention to the care of their bodies.

Why are we telling you this? Besides the fact that we care about the health and wellness of all our patients and their friends and loved ones, we are pointing this out because many runners may not know how regular chiropractic care can be beneficial to devoted runners.

Here are just a few ways chiropractic care can improve a runner’s performance, and overall health:

Treating Chronic Pain: Running can sometimes lead to pulled muscles, sprains, strains, and a buildup of lactic acid in the soft tissue. Chiropractic treatments can help soothe those muscles, relieve that pain, and also speed up the recovery time and healing of common repetitive injuries.  In addition, regular treatment helps reduce the possibility of being injured in the same areas repeatedly.

Improve Joint Mobility: Chiropractic adjustments and treatments can help correct musculoskeletal imbalances, which in turn will increase a runner’s joint mobility, upping their overall performance. In addition, chiropractic adjustments can help heal damage from past injuries that may be holding a runner back. As Olympic marathon runner Desiree Linden says, after a stress fracture forced her to drop out of the 2012 Olympics, regular chiropractic care helped her work through old scar tissue and get her back to peak performance. “My stride feels a lot more normal. I feel really smooth now,” she described.

Prevent Future Injuries With a Properly Aligned Core: Taking care of yourself when you’re healthy can be the best way to avoid future injuries. As previously mentioned, running involves repeated (and literal) “pounding the pavement.” Almost no one in the world is born with perfect alignment – but regular chiropractic adjustments and treatments can help keep your core properly aligned; and when you have a properly aligned core, you’re much less susceptible to injury, and running will even feel easier. Joints can’t flow through the full range of motion when misaligned.

Focus on Function, Not Treatment of Pain: This largely goes along with the previous point. It’s much healthier, and feels better, if you focus on improving your body’s function, rather than waiting until you are experiencing pain and then come in for treatment of that pain. Some of the most common injuries from running are “overuse injuries” including plantar fasciitis, shin splints, ankle sprains, knee pain and hip pain. By being focused on function, and not always working to relieve pain, you and your chiropractor can catch injuries before they happen, and get you back on track faster.

In short, chiropractic care can improve several aspects of a runner’s performance, including:

  • Coordination
  • Reaction Time
  • Balance
  • Heightening Accuracy
  • Amplifying Precision
  • Building Stronger Muscles

As a runner, you always choose the best running gear (shoes, hats, clothing, sunglasses, heart rate monitors, etc.) to give you the ultimate data, comfort and power – why not also choose to up your body’s performance and comfort with regular visits to the chiropractor?

If you have questions about how Ashburn Family Chiropractic can help your body, or improve your performance, please contact us!

Springtime Allergies Making You Miserable? These Tips Can Help

It’s that time of year – spring! And with the coming of spring means the coming of allergy season for so many.

If you’re already feeling the symptoms – itchy red eyes, congestion, headaches and the like – we are here to help. Read below for allergy survival tips, as well as some treatments and products we can offer to ease your discomfort.

Springtime Allergy Survival Tips

  • Keep your car’s ventilation system on recirculate. This will help prevent some of the outdoor allergens like pollen from entering the car. If your car has a pollen/dust filter, make sure to change it at the beginning or end of each season.
  • Change all your in-home furnace filters to HEPA filters, and change them often during pollen/allergy season.
  • Purchase a home HEPA filter, and leave it running constantly during allergy season.
  • Consider trying Ashburn Family Chiropractic’s Standard Process Purification and Cleansing Program, to help detoxify your body and rid it of as many allergens as possible, and relieve many of your symptoms.

Recommended Products For Every Kind of Allergy Sufferer

Mild to Moderate Allergies:

  • Allerplex: Helps relieve most mild allergy symptoms and reactions. Adults can take 2 capsules up to 4 times per day, and children and adolescents can take half-doses.
  • Antronex: This beef liver extract may support the body’s natural ability to remove excess histamine. Adults can take 1-2 capsules up to 6 times a day. Children can take quarter-doses, young adolescents half-doses.
  • Epimune Complex: This vegetarian supplement containing carefully processed fungi and mushrooms have been shown to help reduce allergy symptoms by boosting the body’s immune system response to allergens. Adults and adolescents can take up to 2 capsules a day, children can take one-half to one capsule per day.

Moderate to Severe Allergies:

  • Albizia Complex: This herbal supplement can help reduce histamine release and support the body’s immune system to naturally reduce allergy symptoms. Relief is usually felt after a few weeks once the supplement is built up in the body. Adults can take 1-2 tablets up to 3 times a day, children can take quarter- or half-doses.
  • Euphrasia Complex: This herbal formula can help reduce mucous formation, runny noses and watery eyes due to allergies. Adults can take 1-2 tablets up to 3 times a day as needed.

Sinusitis:

  • Fen-Gre: This formula helps break up mucous and congestion and gets it moving out of the body. Adults can take 2 tablets up to 4 times a day. Children can take half-doses.
  • Andrographis Complex: This supplement helps to strengthen the body’s immune system and has potent antibacterial properties. Adults can take 1-2 tablets up to 4 times a day. Children can take quarter- to half-doses.
  • Golden Seal 500mg: This natural herb can help restore the mucous membranes in the sinus, upper respiratory and GI tracts. It also has potent microbial properties. Adults can take 1 tablet up to 3 times a day, children can take quarter- to half-doses.

Homemade Nasal Irrigation Recipe:

Mix the following ingredients in a Neti pot or other clean, sterile container and flush the sinuses with it up to 2-3 times a day. Make a fresh batch for each use. (Do not use if allergic to any of the ingredients)

  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ml Albizia
  • 1 ml Eyebright (over-the-counter herb)
  • 1 ml Golden Seal

Do You Experience Allergies Year-Round?

If so, there may be more at work in your body than seasonal allergies. Food allergies and sensitivities can compound airborne allergic reactions, keeping the body in a constant, elevated immune state. Talk to your doctor about whether you may want to eliminate certain common food allergens such as wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs and soy from your diet for a few weeks to see if your symptoms diminish or go away.

Come See Us!

Contact us to learn more about Ashburn Family Chiropractic’s Standard Process Purification and Cleansing Program, or other ways our treatments may be able to help you.

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