The Daily Sprout

Your guide to healthier living.

NO, they are not! While there really isn’t much risk at all associated with the x-rays you’ll receive here at the office, it is very common for people to be hesitant about getting them taken even once, and more so for follow-up x-rays. I’ll admit I was hesitant before as well. So where does that fear or radiophobia come from?

The graph above shows the expected health risk associated with the dose of radiation. The straight, or linear line that starts right at zero and is angled upward is from the “linear no threshold effects theory” (LNT) which its origins date back to the early 1900’s. It was observed that high levels of radiation would cause mutation or cancers. It was theorized that the dose had a direct relation to the cancer risk. Which they did have sufficient evidence to back this up but only at the high levels of exposure, but there was little evidence to support that low levels or radiation had any harmful side effects.

The early studies were based on relatively high levels of radiation that made it hard to establish the safety of low level of radiation, and many scientists at that time believed that there may be a tolerance level, and that low doses of radiation may not be harmful. A study in 1955 on mice exposed to low dose of radiation suggest that they may outlive control animals.[11] The interest in the effect of radiation intensified after the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and studies were conducted on the survivors. Although compelling evidence on the effect of low dosage of radiation was hard to come by, by the late 1940s, the idea of LNT became more popular due to its mathematical simplicity. 

The other line on the graph that dips below the line for a dosage from 0-10 REM, which suggests a positive health benefit or decreased rate of cancer, is a reflection of the radiation hormesis theory. This theory is based on much more current evidence and studies but is considered controversial because it goes against what has been believed to be true for many years.

Radiation hormesis is the hypothesis that low doses of ionizing radiation (within the region of and just above natural background levels) are beneficial, stimulating the activation of repair mechanisms that protect against disease, that are not activated in absence of ionizing radiation. The reserve repair mechanisms are hypothesized to be sufficiently effective when stimulated as to not only cancel the detrimental effects of ionizing radiation but also inhibit disease not related to radiation exposure (see hormesis).[1][2][3][4] This counter-intuitive hypothesis has captured the attention of scientists and public alike in recent years.[5]

So where do X-Rays in our office fall on this graph? A typical lumbar set of radiographs, that’s 2 pictures taken from front to back and from the side will give the patient at dose of 2.2 mSv which is about .22 REM (I use the lumbar as example because this will give the greatest dose in any of the x-rays we’ll take). Some other numbers for comparison:Natural Background3.1 mSv/year10Domestic Pilots2.2 mSv/year11Average US Exposure6.2 mSv/year107 Hour Airline Flight0.02 mSv12Chest x-ray (2 views)0.10 mSvChest CT7.0 mSv

There essentially is no more risk with getting x-rays at our office than you’d have with taking a domestic flight. With most of our health decisions, there’s always the question of risk vs. reward. The knowledge of the condition of your spine, and the ability to then work towards improving it, will always outweigh the almost non-existent risk of cancer from plain radiographs.

-Dr. Mark


LNT Theory –

Radiation Hormesis –

Radiation Dose converter –

X-Ray Risk –

I have been stressed out.  I tell you, DON’T STRESS… and I have been stressed.  A ton of that stress is related to the development of the property around HealthSprout, that I am driving.  I have whispered to some of you, that I am involved with other projects in Milton as well, and those aren’t stressful, only the one in Woodstock.

So the difference is moreso proximity, than anything else.  I am in the middle of it.  Do you ever notice, how in life, there are things that you end up in the middle of, and by being in the middle, you find yourself more caught up in details, items that cannot be helped, or fixed, but simply must be?

God would tell us to call it all Joy, because through these trials, we will find our patience, and we will endure because of our faith.  I have recently had what likely adds up to my 100th time in this development, where a closed door, opened with a perfect answer.  And through that, my patience has improved, and my faith has grown.  So as we come into this week of Thanksgiving, I want to encourage all of you, to stop.  Pause and look at your surroundings.  I want you to consider what you can be thankful for, that might truly be an “unthankable” challenge.

Could you give thanks for the illness of a loved one?  That seems like a hard thing to do.  But perhaps God has an incredible plan through that illness, even if it involves taking them from this earth.  I can tell you that through the last several days, I have given thanks that we do not have fires here.  In the midst of horrible weather and endless rain, it might be hard to be thankful for that weather, but aren’t you glad that we do not have endless dry grasses, and strong winds to fuel a fire.  My heart goes out to the families who lost so many loved ones.

Through our trials, our faith is tested, and patience is produced.  If you read James 1:2-18, you will see the wisdom in the thought, to realize that through the trials, we become better.  We become stronger, and more resilient.

My parting thought on this Thanksgiving Daily Sprout, is that we, people of America, have a ridiculously blessed life.  As migrants reach Tijuana, in an attempt to come into America…. migrants that I don’t necessarily want to see them all enter our country, but at the same time I think, “where will the go”.  It is easy for me to see myself as truly blessed, as I will likely never have to join a caravan, a homeless caravan, walking towards Canada in search of opportunity.  Without money or shelter.

We are blessed with what we have here, and so on this Thanksgiving, I ask that we all pause and realize that even in our struggles, our blessing is great.

God bless you and your families! – Dr. E

No, it wasn’t me… I didn’t start the original keto, though I have been teaching it for years.  The first keto diet, that was really good at helping people lose weight (not a health focus here), was Atkins.   This diet, by the way, has not gone away.  I know some people think Dr. Atkins died, and then everybody just forgot about it, but if you visit the website, you might recognize the branding that you still see today.

This logo that can be found in just about every grocery store, is still kicking.  Why?  Because it works.  It works at just that, helping you lose weight.  NOT creating greater long term health.   One of the biggest issues, is that there was too much protein in the diet, and protein at a high level will cause inflammation, and inflammation will cause disease, which will lead to death of course.  So, you could say, that with one minor tweak, the 60 Day Turnaround will save your life over what Atkins would do.

That tweak thus far, is simply reducing meat.  This is inflammation:

Arterial inflammation, driven by diet, vs any other reason.  Did you know that a lack of diuretics in your system is not the CAUSE of inflammation?  No more than the lack of Advil is not the cause of a headache.  There are true causes behind these things.  And in many cases it is food.  Adjusting the spine can relieve both (see high blood pressure studies on the Daily Sprout Page), but I have at least a dozen cases where children with chronic headaches got off gluten, and suddenly their headaches were gone.   Huh.

There is one more big change between 60 Day Turnaround and Atkins and Keto… the commitment to vegetables.  I preach this, as it is the most important component.  You need to eat 13 servings a day, if you want to give yourself the opportunity for optimal health.  It is rare that you will ever hear anybody in the Keto and Atkins camps talking about minimum servings of vegetables.  Yet, the nutrient density afforded from such pursuit, will always bring health.

There are supplements to help you get there, if you just can’t eat enough.  I get it, most days it is a huge challenge for me to eat enough.  So, the process is to strive first, supplement second.  At the end of the day, I look in my pantry, pull out my Juice Plus, and review my day.  I take anywhere from 2 to 10 capsules.  Based on my day and my leftover need.

Commitment to simple processes like these will allow you to pursue a low carb diet, that drives ketosis in the body, and help you to avoid inflammation, and ultimately be healthier.

Juice Plus is available online, I recommend it for all of my patients.  Juice Plus

Be well and Be blessed!  – Dr. E

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