The human brain, our beautifully designed master control center, is under attack from many modern environmental issues.
Alarmingly, we're seeing increased cognitive impairment from young to old - Autism to Alzheimer's, anxiety, depression, neuro-degenerative diseases (Parkinson's, ALS) brain fog, stroke, memory and neurological issues. Although some of the increase is due to an aging population, we're seeing brain impairment at all age levels and the incidences are getting worse. Losing one's cognitive function is an ultimate fear and exploring the issue of prevention is the subject of this article.
Unlike our ancestors, we now must contend with the daily assault of Wi-Fi, chemicals and what I like to call the "Dirty Dozen for the Brain." Modern technology has improved our lives in a myriad of ways, and we can't live in a bubble. But, to start, let's look at what may be affecting us daily and what we can do to avoid or at least minimize the Dirty Dozen- and keep our brains healthy.
Wouldn’t you like to be able to calm your emotional brain?
This upcoming workshop will explain WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT FUTURE ILLNESS and how YOU CAN INFLUENCE THE HEALING PROCESS by understanding and correctly processing your childhood story and overcoming current life conflicts.
Functional Medicine is a medical approach which involves testing for the underlying causes of disease and designing a treatment plan to address the root cause of the disorder, not just the symptoms. It views and treats the body as a whole, integrated system. Many factors can lead to illness, such as lifestyle choices, environmental exposures, and genetic makeup, and all factors should be considered for personalized treatment.
At this moment, your unique genetic makeup and that of the people you love can be predisposing you/them to all types of medical and psychiatric disorders, even before symptoms show up. Why live in the dark, hoping and praying that health problems are not sneaking up on you? Now, you can bring the light of inexpensive, often insurance covered, genetic testing into your life and take charge of chronic ailments now, possibly prevent them from happening or put them off for decades.
As the saying goes, If we don't test, we've guessed. Isn't health too important to make guesses about?
Functional Medicine is the Rosetta Stone of Modern Genetics
Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of periods resulting from the loss of ovarian follicular activity. Menopause is 12 consecutive months with no period, and this is only known with certainty in retrospect. Perimenopause is the two to eight years preceding menopause and one year following the final menses.
Interestingly, we women begin life with all the follicles we will ever have! Throughout our lives, through ovulation and apoptosis (the dying off of cells), we lose follicles. Women experience menopause when the follicles in their ovaries are exhausted. Think of it as the cycle of the ovaries- first they are asleep, then at birth they wake up, and once they have served their purpose, they go back to sleep again.
In industrialized nations, menopause usually occurs between ages 48-52, with the mean age in the U.S. at 51 years. Menopause occurring in a woman under the age of 40 is considered premature menopause. Factors that can affect when a woman goes into menopause are genetic factors, environment, lifestyle, and systemic diseases, and an integrative and preventive medicine approach takes these factors into consideration. Genetics plays a key role as a woman’s age at menopause is associated with her mother’s menopausal age.
Symptoms and Concerns of Perimenopause and Menopause
National Integrated Health Associates (NIHA) is pleased to announce that Kent Handfield, MD, MPH, is now board certified in functional medicine from the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).
Dr. Handfield is recognized nationally as an IFM Certified Practitioner (IFMCP) and is part of over 1000 Certified Functional Medicine Practitioners in the United States and around the world.
Dr. Handfield is board certified in dermatology, and the IFM certification adds to his list of credentials. He treats skin, hair and nail issues for patients of all ages and skin types at National Integrated Health Associates in the Washington, D.C., Chevy Chase area.
Peptide therapy is a newly developed medical treatment that has gained new heights in Precision and Functional Medicine for its efficacy, safety and ease of use. These small proteins, or “peptides” are made of a certain sequence of amino acids. Peptides signal the different body organs and tissues to manufacture and release hormones and different substances that are used to induce certain biochemical reactions and changes leading to new cell formation, changes in action or reaction optimizing and augmenting cellular function.
Whether peptide therapy is used for weight loss, to increase physical agility and fitness, help with digestion processes, neuromuscular function or tissue healing, the advantages are too numerous to talk about in one article.
Prediabetes is a diagnosis given to the individuals whose blood sugar levels are higher than normal but have not fully meet the diagnostic criteria for Diabetes Mellitus type 2 (DM type 2). At this stage, the patient's fasting blood glucose level is still within normal limits. Most of the patients with prediabetes are diagnosed by an elevated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), which is a simple blood test.
It is important to understand that prediabetes and most of the DM type 2 diagnoses are more than just a "sugar" problem. What else is going on here?
Prediabetes raises a red flag for the abnormalities in human body metabolism and energy processing, which may involve the endocrine, neuro-endocrine system, cardiovascular system and digestive system alone or in combination. As part of a holistic primary care approach, it is important to examine the additional factors that may be involved. Among different individuals, the leading cause may vary. But the common theme in many of the cases has to do with aging and genetic-environmental interactions.
When we talk about aging, in addition to the common understanding of "wear and tear" on the body, there is a problem that has become noteworthy in recent years. Sometimes, what we see happening is:
Ever since I was a bright-eyed and bushy tailed medical student, roaming the hallowed halls of the University of Virginia Medical School over 40 years ago, the mantra of modern medicine was drilled into my head, that all disease is caused by two factors – genetic predispositions and environmental stressors – and that someday, we will know enough about the genetic side of the equation to make far greater contributions to our patient’s well-being and health.
That day has arrived, but like any other monumental shift in history, it takes a while for the sea change to happen. Genetic testing will soon become a routine standard of care for all healthcare practitioners, and it promises to revolutionize personalized medicine in the years ahead.
Genetic Testing for Drug Sensitivities, Disease Risk, Cancer and More
Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as… “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”
Several decades ago I had noticed the benefits of mindfulness-based interventions that I taught to cancer patients and to others suffering from serious chronic disorders, and I was happy to see formal publications appear in journals attesting to my clinical observations and efforts. A meta-analysis of the effects of mindfulness-based studies appeared in the journal Psycho-Oncology: Journal of Psychological, Social and Behavioral Dimensions of Cancer in 2008.
When Ledesma and Kumano published a meta-analysis over a decade ago, concluding that “The results suggest that MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) may improve cancer patients' psychosocial adjustment to their disease,” I was hopeful that finally Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and other mindfulness-based strategies would be incorporated into mainstream oncology and into healthcare in general.
It is now firmly established that any illness is a systemic, multi-factorial process.
What does this mean?
We know now that illness requires a “perfect storm” of many factors in order to manifest a disease process. Some of the factors coming together in order to cause such a systemic imbalance to activate in the body are genetics, ancestral influences, environment, lifestyle, general stress levels, toxic load, and adult trauma, among many others.
There is one more very important contributor to chronic disease: your childhood experiences.
A ground-breaking study was conducted by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente in the early 1990s. It correlates early childhood trauma with an occurrence of physical and mental illness later in adulthood. It is called the “ACE Study”, short for “Adverse Childhood Experiences Study”.
It studies what happens when bad things happen to good children.
The Connection Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Illness Later in Life