Category Archives: Chronic Disease

Mold Exposure & Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Exposure to mold, and other biotoxins, can cause a syndrome termed Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) in up to 40 million people in the United States. Presenting symptoms include fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, joint pain, IBS, mood disorders, headaches, and several others. Moreover, symptoms of mold exposure and CIRS affect multiple symptoms in the body, causing those affected to exhibit a wide array of symptoms. Clinical studies indicate that the neuroimmune, vascular, and endocrine dynamics present in CIRS may also play significant roles in other types of chronic illness, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-treatment Lyme disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Yet recent research has identified specific genetic susceptibility patterns—and consequent innate immune dysfunction—that can ultimately generate a high disease burden: even resulting in brain damage, which can now be reliably identified. Despite the complexity of this illness, there are now validated treatment protocols available to practitioners, designed to properly diagnose exposure, scope and measure, and even resolve genetic and proteomic immune responses, in addition to repairing injury to the central nervous system. All Integrative, Functional, and Anti-Aging practitioners should familiarize themselves with this critical topic, and be equipped with a working knowledge of proper and effective treatment approaches. The upcoming Chronic Infections, Inflammation, and Biotoxins Symposium will focus on the ways in which recently emerging strategies and tactics can address this often unmet, under addressed public health need.

Please follow and like us:

Tick Town: Increasing Occurrences of Lyme Disease

First recognized in the United States in 1975 after a puzzling and unexplainable outbreak of debilitating health issues near Lyme, Connecticut, it was not until 1982 that doctors identified the correlation between deer ticks and Lyme disease. The disease is caused by several strains of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. Once a tick emerges from an egg, it frequently becomes infected during its larval or nymph stage, as it feeds off small animals like squirrels, mice, or birds that carry the Lyme-causing bacteria. During the tick’s subsequent feeding cycle, it passes the bacteria to a human, or another animal.

Early symptoms of the disease often manifest as a flu-like illness, with accompanying fever, chills, muscle aches, and joint pain. While the characteristic ‘bulls-eye’ rash called erythema migrans is often present, many people develop a different type of rash, or none at all. Moreover, a host of Lyme symptoms occur in other diseases, and as a result, many patients suffering from Lyme disease are misdiagnosed with conditions like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and other psychiatric illnesses, before being correctly treated.

If Lyme is not diagnosed or treated in its early stages, it transitions to a chronic, highly problematic late-stage disease, and symptoms increase in their severity. Untreated Lyme disease will eventually infect joints, the heart, and the nervous system—causing nerve paralysis and meningitis, and difficulty with memory and concentration.

There are approximately 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, and the number of those infected is expected to increase. According to Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the illness is on track to produce its worst numbers in 2017. Moreover, many experts believe the true number of Lyme cases is higher than reported, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require ‘objective measures’ like positive blood tests or rashes; therefore, estimates indicate that CDC surveillance only captures approximately 10% of reportable Lyme cases. There is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease, and most researchers note that the FDA-approved blood tests are often inaccurate.

Because of the multi-faceted and complex nature of Lyme, neither standard nor functional medical treatments work very well in this patient population, nor is it enough only to treat the infection in many patients. Andrew Heyman, MD, MHSA, a renowned expert in chronic infections and Lyme disease, states: “Common complaints such as fatigue and weight gain can be wrapped in a much deeper problem such as Lyme that may be underlying the clinical presentation. To successfully treat Lyme patients, one must eradicate the infection, resolve the chronic inflammatory response and repair the injury to the brain – all of which is possible with targeted therapies to restore patients back to health.” A true specialist in this field, therefore, must have an extraordinary ability and capacity to treat the patient as a whole, with experience and skill in not only hormonal balance, stress management, microbiome health, and detoxification, but also genomics, brain trauma and injury, chronic infections, and mold exposure—along with managing other complicated factors associated with Lyme disease.

Please follow and like us:

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore has recently opened a new 16,000 square-foot $24 million facility, exclusively for the treatment of patients with chronic infectious diseases.

Named for the former director of the Hopkins’ division of infectious diseases, the John G. Bartlett Specialty Practice is expected to see approximately 170 patients each day. David Thomas, MD, director of the infectious diseases division at Johns Hopkins, explains that the geographic region of East Baltimore “has a greater burden of infectious diseases than most other regions of the country.”

The timing is particularly significant this month, as May represents Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Researchers and scientists across the country have consistently warned that the numbers of those afflicted with Lyme are expected to rise, calling the disease “a major U.S. public health problem.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are seeking to combat the rising epidemic, collaborating with local lawmakers and public health officials to raise awareness about Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. Lawmakers in New York have recently spoken out in order to educate the public and medical community, in addition to fundraising money for further research.

There are approximately 329,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year, and the number of those infected is expected to increase. According to Rick Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the illness is on track to produce its worst numbers in 2017. Moreover, many experts believe the true number of Lyme cases is higher than reported, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require ‘objective measures’ like positive blood tests or rashes; therefore, estimates indicate that CDC surveillance only captures approximately 10% of reportable Lyme cases. There is currently no vaccine for Lyme disease, and many physicians have noted that the FDA-approved blood tests are often inaccurate.

In order to learn more about the complex, multi-faceted nature of chronic infectious diseases, sign up for our upcoming Chronic Infections, Inflammation, and Biotoxins Symposium in Las Vegas, on August 12th. Experts will review the epidemiology of chronic infections from a global public health perspective, while discussing the application of advanced diagnostic techniques, including nanotechnology and genomic sequencing.

Please follow and like us: