Author Archives: Zuzanna Walter

The Long-Term Impact of Hormone Therapy on Breast Cancer Risk 

For several decades, hormone therapy and its risk-to-benefit ratio have been a controversial topic within the scientific community. First published in 2002, reports from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) presented data on the complicated benefits and potential adverse events associated with menopausal hormone therapy. Prior to this, estrogen therapy was put into question due to its association with an increased risk of endometrial hyperplasia and cancer, however, it subsequently rose to popularity again following the discovery that the addition of progesterone was able to minimize the associated risks

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What to Expect at the 2020: Medicine Revolutionized | Longevity, Aging, and Immuno Competency Event

Our latest online virtual conference 2020: Medicine Revolutionized | Longevity, Aging and Immuno Competency (LAIC) is taking place next week, August 21 & 22. This revelatory event will connect healthcare professionals with the latest clinical education to support the current and changing needs of patients and clinicians alike. At our novel educational event, world-renowned faculty members will provide a strategic clinical roadmap for practitioners looking to improve their patients’ health spans, relieve unwanted symptoms of aging, and boost their immune competency.

With an emphasis on participant engagement, live-streamed sessions will enable attendees to interact directly with leading experts in the industry throughout the duration of the conference; they will be able to ask questions and receive answers from faculty members in real-time. Using an interactive, easy-to-navigate virtual format, our integrative educational conference will connect clinicians from across the globe with leading healthcare experts in the setting of their choosing to deliver critical, strategic principles of anti-aging and integrative medicine.

The Latest Clinical Topics in Integrative Medicine

Neuroresiliency and Issues

During the first session of the LAIC event, experts will lead participants through the most clinically current and relevant topics within the field of neuro resiliency including neuroinflammation and its effects on neurodegeneration, an in-depth look at the TBI-neuro-immune axis stressor, as well as cellular responses to stress and their connection to chronic disease. As the final component, the session will explore a comprehensive approach to psychiatric illness as tied to neurological issues. 

Endocrine, Hormonal Effects on Immune System 

The second session of day 1 will cover the wide-ranging effects of hormones on the immune system, including the association between the endothelial glycocalyx and vascular health, the impact of immune factors on cardiovascular disease in female patients, as well as the role of hormones in cognition. Finally, the session will end with a comprehensive look at the role of sex hormones and autoimmunity to conclude the first day of the LAIC event.

Immune System Restoration 

Day 2 of the LAIC event will primarily focus on immune system restoration, covering subjects ranging from current concepts in mast cell activation syndrome to the role of cannabinoids in adaptive immunomodulation. World-renowned experts in the field will also delve into the transcriptomics of inflammation, updates in information medicine for the 21st century, the miracle molecule phosphatidylcholine and its role in cell membrane repair and rejuvenation, as well as the benefits of low dose naltrexone. Later on in the day, our faculty will discuss immunoregulatory peptides as well as other immunomodulatory natural compounds to conclude the Immune System Restoration session.

Speaker Spotlight

Andrew Heyman, MD, MHSA 

Internationally recognized expert in Integrative Medicine, Dr. Andrew Heyman is the current Program Director of Integrative and Metabolic Medicine at The George Washington University. Prior to this position, he worked as an administrator for the University of Michigan Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Center, where he managed a $7 million NIH grant to research alternative therapies for cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Heyman’s research efforts focus on the stress response and neuroendocrinology, cardiometabolic disease, men’s health, and clinical outcome research methodologies. He is clinically active as the owner of a four-physician integrative medicine practice at the Virginia Center for Health and Wellness and serves as the President of Integrative Health Resources, a group of clinical experts that consults to physicians, health systems, and public health professionals seeking to develop targeted wellness, lifestyle, and nutrition programs. Dr. Heyman’s teaching method is  deeply rooted in scientific evidence, grounded in clinical reality, and readily accessible to both new learners and seasoned practitioners. 

Sahar Swidan, PharmD, BCPS 

Executive Director of Professional Development and Compliance for Slyngshot Health, Dr. Sahar Swidan also serves as President and CEO of Pharmacy Solutions in Ann Arbor, Michigan and as an adjunct professor at George Washington University, Wayne State, and Chicago State University. Before receiving her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Dr. Swidan served as Director of Pharmacy at Chelsea Community Hospital. She is a board-certified advanced fellow in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. In addition, Dr. Swidan is a world-renowned speaker on pain management, headaches, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. Dr. Swidan has published several chapters, articles, and patient education materials in general pain management and personalized medicine and brings key insight into areas of drug-related muscular pain and sarcopenia as well as the effects of hormones on the musculoskeletal system.

What Clinicians Can Expect

Clinicians attending the LAIC event can expect to obtain the most clinically current, relevant, and applicable knowledge in the field of integrative medicine. At the same time, participants will be learning revolutionary strategies targeted at promoting sustained health in the current environment and will retain access to a myriad of invaluable clinical resources for long-term learning.

Access to the Latest Clinical Education in Integrative Medicine

Participants will examine the most recent results from clinical research and unpack the most clinically relevant and valuable medical knowledge available. The LAIC event will cover a range of topics pertaining to longevity and healthy aging, ranging from neuroinflammation to immune system restoration techniques, giving attendees a comprehensive and extensive overview of the latest clinical education in integrative medicine.

1 Year of Online Access

After the conference, participants will still be able to access the entirety of the event – including session recordings, resources, and more – for an entire year to support long-term success.

Direct Engagement with World-Renowned Faculty

During the LAIC virtual event, participants will have the opportunity to interact with and learn directly from world-renowned leaders in the field via an interactive online chat. Attendees will be able to ask questions and receive expert answers in real-time throughout the conference.

Invaluable Resources for Your Practice

The LAIC conference will provide a wide variety of clinical resources, tools, and services while also directly connecting attendees with exhibitors through a live online chat as part of the Virtual Exhibit Hall. Attendees will be able to explore exhibitor booths virtually via the digital floor plan; they will be able to click booths for more information and links to diverse exhibitor materials.

Clinicians looking to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the latest clinical knowledge, advancements, and approaches to integrative medicine are invited to join other leading practitioners, researchers, and educators at the virtual Longevity, Aging, and Immuno Competency conference. There are a few spots left for our upcoming virtual experience, sign up here today to attend.

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Cannabis for Pain Management in Sickle Cell Disease Cases

Sickle cell disease, a red blood cell disorder that causes cellular deformation resulting in cells similar in shape to sickles, is the most common inherited blood disorder in the United States and affects approximately 100,000 Americans. The vulnerable cells have a shorter lifespan than normal cells and thus, there is a decreased amount of oxygen being transported through the body. As these cells tend to clog smaller blood vessels as well, they can result in acute or chronic pain, infection, and serious cardiovascular complications.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend over-the-counter analgesics for the treatment of mild pain in cases of sickle cell disease. In more severe cases, clinicians often prescribe opioid medications, such as morphine, which come with serious and potentially fatal side effects. As such, there has been a growing number of research efforts into pain management methods for patients with sickle cell disease that mitigate adverse health outcomes.

Previous research has found that cannabis-based interventions can be effective at mitigating chronic pain, inflammation, and other unwanted symptoms. Emerging evidence published in JAMA Network Open explores the potential benefit of cannabis as an intervention for successful and safe pain management. The proof of principle study found that cannabis was a relatively safe intervention and could improve mood levels in patients who experience chronic pain from sickle cell disease.

Cannabis-Based Interventions

The medicinal indications of cannabis – now legal in 33 states – continue to expand as cannabis becomes increasingly popular as an analgesic within the scientific community. In the latest study, using cannabis as an analgesic was found to have the best evidence base compared to that of other interventions; however, authors of the study note that few human studies have explored the use of cannabis as a treatment for chronic pain in the case of chronic health conditions thus far.

Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized proof of principle study aiming to test the hypothesis that cannabis can be an efficacious pain reliever in adults with sickle cell disease compared with placebo interventions. Participants of the study had all been diagnosed with sickle cell disease and were being treated with opioid analgesics at the time. They were required to have prior experience smoking cannabis to ensure they would administer the medication properly and be able to recognize its effects. Individuals currently using cannabis were asked to discontinue use for a week prior to the initiation of the trial. Out of the 27 total participants, 23 completed the full study and were included in the final analysis.

As part of the study, participants completed two 5-day trips to an inpatient research center – visits were at least 30 days apart – at which they inhaled either vaporized cannabis or vaporized placebo three times per day. Throughout their stay, researchers assessed participants’ pain levels, the interference of pain in a range of daily activities, mood, as well as associated side effects.

Reduced Impact on Mood

The study’s authors report that inhaled, vaporized cannabis did not significantly improve the intensity of pain compared with placebo interventions, however, they found that when participants inhaled cannabis, pain interfered less with their mood. Additionally, the effects were noted without significant adverse side effects implicating the relative safety of the intervention.

Co-author Dr. Kalpna Gupta from the University of California Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis explained in a Medical News Today article: “These trial results show that vaporized cannabis appears to be generally safe. They also suggest that sickle cell patients may be able to mitigate their pain with cannabis — and that cannabis might help society address the public health crisis related to opioids. Of course, we still need larger studies with more participants to give us a better picture of how cannabis could benefit people with chronic pain.”

The latest research paves the way for future studies that are needed to verify these initial findings although, its findings are promising for quality of life improvement in sickle cell disease patients. However, the trial had limitations as a proof of principle design; the cohort was small and larger scale studies are necessary to validate its results. Furthermore, the short treatment duration and follow-up period limits the generalizability of the data as participants only ingested vaporized cannabis three times a day during the study; this may not be reflective of actual use patterns of medicinal cannabis for pain relief. Nonetheless, the latest evidence shows promise for the development of future novel treatments and cannabis-based interventions for chronic pain management and mood improvement.

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