Dr. Adam Baumgardner

Cramps, Spasms and Electrolytes

As a chiropractor I’m dealing with spasm all the time. A lot of the time it is because of a dysfunctional joint. That said though we can do a lot to help our muscles relax while we heal. The adjustment will help it relax, but what you do at home can be the difference between seeing me 1-3 times or many times for the same problem. If the muscles are more likely to spasm then the joint is likely to lock up again and you end up back in my office.

While it may sound obvious because everyone knows to eat a banana if you have a cramp there is a little more too it. You would need to eat 10 bananas to get the 4 grams of potassium you need in a day. This isn’t our only electrolyte either.

There are lots of lists of potassium rich foods. Here is one. Try to get in that 3-4 grams a day. Don’t forget to salt your food. Sodium and chloride are electrolytes to!

Magnesium is often not in the foods we eat in the levels we think. Pesticides prevent the uptake from soil that is often depleted already. If your muscles spasm when you rest or things are tighter in the morning this electrolyte could be running on empty in your body.

I always prefer to get nutrients from food when I can. If there is one I often suggest to people to supplement it is magnesium.

Special considerations

Exercising a lot: Try putting some of this in your water. It will compensate for what you loose and has no sugar in it. Doesn’t taste great, but if you need it you won’t notice as much.

Low Carb Diet (any of them): You will need more salt in your food and you will dump potassium at first. Plus if you notice the potassium rich foods aren’t low carb… That said Pills don’t do it because they don’t have enough in them. We carry a this powder at the office you can get. Bonus, it has some magnesium in it to.

Cramps even though you have plenty of electrolytes: You could have a PH problem that is preventing the use of the electrolytes you have. Try taking 2 table spoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in 10 ounces of water in the morning. This has also been shown to help with weight loss!

5 for Health and Holidays

As we head into this Holiday Season there are a few tips I would give you for your health. Most of them are geared to helping you eat healthier and keeping stress under control. These two things getting out of control lead to depressed immune systems and “Flu Season.”

  1. Keep hydrated. Sip water every 5 minutes all day long. This will help two things. It will help you feel better in general and it will keep you from being overly hungry and binge eating on foods that aren’t great for you.
  2. Have healthy snacks on hand. Nuts are great. Protein shakes, cut up veggies and dips (like Hummus), and berries are also going to be much healthier options than the other stuff that will be convenient.
  3. Start the day with lots of protein. This has been found to keep hunger cravings in check in children and adults.
  4. Plan your meals that won’t be as healthy. It is better to say “I am going to eat my foods at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but then go back to my diet” than say “I’m going to stick to my diet as best I can” and then fall off at the Holiday. In the latter you have failed and aren’t as likely to get back on the healthy horse.
  5. Do your stress relieving activities without fail. Meditate in the morning and as you go to sleep. Keep your house clean. Read from the best books. BREATH! You can also come in and laser. ūüėČ

Two Tests For Health

People often think that they have to spend a lot of money on tests.

This can be true. THYROID testing can be a couple hundred dollars. The advanced FOOD SENSITIVITIES tests can be the same. Just to test inflammation markers to make sure you haven’t STRESSED YOUR BODY out can be $150. There are two tests I like that won’t cost you more than a one time < $100 purchase and you can do them every day!

The first is a Basal Metabolic Temp test. You will need a $10 shake out kind of Thermometer from Walgreens or Amazon. it is easy to do:

More accurate
Use this for BMT
  • Shake out the thermometer the night before and put it by your bed.
  • When you wake up in the morning don’t even sit up.
  • Reach over turn off your alarm and pick up the thermometer.
  • Put it in your mouth under your tongue for 3 minutes.
  • Write down your temp.

Why do this? Because it shows how well your body is doing… especially your THYROID. If it is in the 97.6-98.6 range you are doing great. 97-97.6 you are doing ok. Less than 97? You need to figure out why your body is stressed and fix it. Not sure where to start? We can talk about that, but the added bonus of the test is that as you make changes you will see your temp improve and you know you are on the right track! Just being dehydrated has caused mine to go down a whole degree! (Plug here for you to come in and do a Hydration Eval using our Bio-Impedance scale)

The second test is your Heart Rate Variability (HRV) You will need a Heart rate monitor and the SweetBeatApp. Every morning while taking your temp you will also track your HRV. If it is doing well you can exercise however you like. If it is low you have STRESSED YOUR BODY and need to recover and do some healing. Lower intensity exercise, meditation, restorative nutrition, sauna, etc. This will keep you from over training or over taxing your body beyond its ability to repair. Bonus here is that you can also use the SweetBeatApp to figure out FOOD SENSITIVITIES.


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Mental Health and Physical Stress

English: Upper Yosemite fall with reflection

The mind and body are not separate. They reflect each other! (Photo credit Mbz1)

Integrated Practices for physical and mental health

Many are surprised when they find out that Dr. Barbara Baumgardner and I work together on many cases of Stress, Depression, Anger and Mental Health.¬† They often will say a ‘Psychologist and a Chiropractor working together… how does that work?’¬† It isn‚Äôt really that confusing when you understand that mental health can also be a reflection of physical health.


One excellent example of this is that of hormones. Low thyroid hormone can lead to depression.  Lower sex hormones can lead to a loss of libido.  Having high levels of the hormone cortisol during a stressful time can lead to lower production of neurochemicals like serotonin, leading to loss of self control, or Dopamine, making you feel less satisfied or loose interest in things that you used to find joy in.


Pain is a big motivator for people.¬† It can also modify their behavior.¬† Next time you see someone stub their toe try to have a calm, rational conversation with them! ¬†Sometimes people have dealt with pain or physical stressors like a¬†blood sugar issue for so long they don‚Äôt even recognize the need for help. ¬†They don’t know why they are angry or unhappy with their lives. ¬†They just are!

Psychosomatic Stress



Classic example: Japanese woman experiencing real stomach pain due to stress (Photo: tototo)

Many don’t know that we hold stress in our bodies.  Psychologists have recognized for many years now that mental health issues can manifest in a very physical way.  This is not imagined, but a real physical outcome.  This can manifest as high blood pressure, digestive distress, or even muscular complaints.  These are not things that can be imagined up, but are a real sign the the brain is in charge and if it is stressed it will show in the rest of the body!

What I can do

Because of the number of patient referrals from Dr. Barbara I have felt the responsibility to go and learn how I can help support the body in its effort to deal with these types of issues.  I approach these cases with a combination of care that might include:

Through aiding the body with the pain, psychosomatic issues, and hormone balances in this way we take much of the physical stress off of the patient.  They are then able to focus on their mental health and see much greater progress.  


It is always a pleasure to work with patients who want to become, not only mentally healthy, but also physically healthy so that the work they do is much longer lasting and effective.  It is certainly easier on their pocketbook in the long run!