The Luck of the Draw

Some people do all the right things and still develop serious health problems. Others flaunt their bad habits and are able to live long lives, dying peacefully in their sleep at the age of 95. For example, high blood pressure (hypertension, HTN) is a common chronic disease in the United States. With HTN a person's heart has to work much harder, all the time, to pump the blood needed by the rest of the body. HTN is associated with heart attacks and stroke, and hypertensive heart disease is a leading cause of death. 1

HTN is often described as a lifestyle disease. 2,3 Those who are overweight and/or obese (this characterizes two-thirds of American adults) are at increased risk for HTN, as are persons with diabetes. People who don't exercise regularly are more likely to develop high blood pressure, as are those who smoke cigarettes. In fact, overweight/obesity, lack of exercise, and tobacco use are the top three causes of HTN.

Obviously, achieving an average weight, exercising regularly, and stopping smoking (or never starting) are three main lifestyle actions related to decreasing one's risk of developing HTN. But some people who are slim, have exercised all their lives, and do not smoke may still develop high blood pressure. In such a case, HTN is termed "essential hypertension". The person has a very healthy lifestyle, there are no risk factors for HTN, and still they become hypertensive. That is the luck of the draw, otherwise known as a genetic predisposition to this disease.

In a contrasting example, a few people may smoke two packs of cigarettes a day since age 15, drink a quart of gin every few days, and never get really sick. They don't develop lung cancer or liver cancer and have no problems with HTN or heart disease, and live lives that fly in the face of all received wisdom in the field of public health. They continue to thrive well into their 80s and beyond and love to tell their well-meaning friends and relatives, "I've never been sick a day in my life" while lighting up another cigarette. Such persons are described by epidemiologists as outliers, those whose health parameters represent an outlying 2.5% or less of the standard values. Their luck of the draw lies in possessing an indestructible constitution.

Of course the exceptions only prove the rule. Their existence does not suggest that rules for good health should not be observed. Regular vigorous exercise and a healthful diet containing plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables are important for all of us, young and old. Chiropractic care is an important component of the lifestyle mix. Chiropractic care helps people, young and old, achieve the best health possible. This natural form of health care helps take the "luck" out of the equation. We can make our own luck and chiropractic helps us do that in the arena of health and well-being.

1Zhang WW, et al: Hypertension and TIA. Int J Stroke 4(3):206-214, 2009
2Schmid AA, et al: Current blood pressure self-management: a qualitative study. Rehabil Nurs 34(6):223-229, 2009
3Pascual JM, et al: Body weight variation and control of cardiovascular risk factors in essential hypertension. Blood Press 18(5):247-254

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Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota

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Testimonials

  • "Dear Dr. Zabawa,
    I want to thank you for being my #1 healthcare provider.
    I have been under chiropractic care for 40 years and of the many chiropractors I have been treated by,
    you and your precise atlas adjustment are the best.
    It really is gentle and effective. I've had migraines, scoliosis, herniated L4-L5, and sciatica -
    and in the 11 yrs of being under your care I have had no problems or re-occurrence of any
    of my former symptoms.
    You are the best and I thank you."
    Judy B.
  • "Hi, I'll always remember the wonderful things you've done for me at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    I thank Dr. Zabawa for getting me up and running!
    My last chiropractor said there was nothing else they could do for me, and I felt as if my life was over.
    (I couldn't even play video games without pain.)
    Now that I've been introduced to your atlas adjustments: I'm lifting weights again, working (making money),
    and yes - even playing video games. Wow!
    THANK YOU!!!!!"
    Lyle H.
  • "We've had 40 years of various types of chiropractic therapies (sometimes weekly),
    but have never felt truly aligned until now."
    Marsha & Alain M.
  • "I was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child, and through good habits & care have managed to avoid surgery.
    About 30 years ago my research into spinal maintenance led me to upper cervical chiropractic
    (specifically orthospinology) over general chiropractic.
    This is just phenomenal. When my atlas is adjusted and my spine is aligned, it is amazing how good I feel.
    It helps the nerves and muscles of the body function so well, and I believe it has been the key to slowing
    the spinal degeneration caused by my scoliosis.
    * And it's so non-invasive! *
    Now that I live in Sarasota, I am so glad to be under the care of Dr. Zabawa.
    It's no surprise that he came highly recommended. I have always been impressed with
    the professionalism and care I've received at Atlas Chiropractic of Sarasota.
    It compares to anywhere in the country."
    Kyle Ann M.
  • "Very thorough. Quick recovery after a car wreck!"
    Nathaniel B.
  • "For 3 years I had been having headaches every day.
    I even went to a neurologist for my headaches, but he said they were a condition of menopause :(
    A friend suggested going to Dr. Z because of the unique procedure he uses and the great results.
    Dr. Z took care of me and within about 3 months my daily headaches were gone.
    What a relief!
    I don't think I've had one since :)"
    Allaesia M.
  • "I lived in pain with an undiagnosed broken back for 23 years since a horse & buggy accident as a teenager.
    When I injured my back again as an adult, the x-rays showed that I had fractured a vertebra back then,
    as well as this time.
    I received some help from going to regular chiropractors in recent years, but still lived in pain.
    I am so thankful that I found Dr. Zabawa.
    After 35 years and lots of pain, within a month or so
    I was PAIN FREE!
    It is amazing how such small adjustments to the atlas vertebra in my neck have made such
    a big difference to my life.
    To this day, I come in periodically to maintain my new found health.
    Praise and glory to God."
    Mary T.