February 18, 2023
On February 3rd, close to 50 cars of a Norfolk Southern train were derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, causing long-lasting fires and releasing numerous hazardous chemicals in the area. Among them were vinyl chloride and benzene, both known carcinogens, as well as the highly flammable isobutylene, paint thinner additive ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, and the possible carcinogen ethylhexyl acrylate.
Since the derailment, subsequent public evacuation, and a “controlled” release of the chemicals followed by a lifting of the evacuation order, the town has seen an uptick in reports of concerning symptoms and animal illnesses. As a significant body of evidence proves, both short and long-term exposure to noxious chemicals can have significant health consequences. With symptoms ranging from headaches and nausea to dizziness and loss of consciousness, the list of patient cases associated with the derailment continues to grow – despite the purported dissipation of toxic fumes. And the long-term population health risk assessment remains to be determined.
This is just one recent example of toxin-related illness with far-reaching and wide-ranging implications. Albeit more acute in impact than most recently studied environmental health risks, the East Palestine train derailment contributes to the investigative work that reveals the hidden costs of the air we breathe and the elements we are inevitably exposed to. Recent research findings unveil even more health risks tied to climate change and pollution that pose an immeasurable threat, largely due to the scale of their reach and their inescapable nature.
Continue reading →
February 25, 2022
The speed and scale of the COVID-19 pandemic response highlighted the fragmentation of current healthcare systems across the globe and how it significantly impairs the ability to respond effectively. Making matters worse, the impact of the pandemic on population health and the functionality of healthcare systems has been and will continue to be far-reaching and long-lasting.
As the world attempts to rebuild from the pandemic, many individuals are left with serious and lingering health issues that require immediate and consistent attention. Healthcare practitioners are now facing a rising prevalence of chronic disease, growing cases of long COVID infection, as well as pandemic-influenced mental, physical, and emotional crises.
Addressing the devastating psychological and physical aftereffects of the pandemic will require deviation from the current standard of medicine. An integrated approach to patient care heavily grounded in functional medicine is emerging as the solution to healing global public health and repairing the siloed structures of the healthcare industry.
Continue reading →
October 22, 2021
Up to 32.5% of all adults in the United States report sleeping for less than seven hours per night on average despite needing between seven and nine hours of sleep. The problem of insomnia affects between 10% and 35% of adults, varying in duration, severity, and treatment outcomes. For some, insomnia can present as a brief problem while other patients may struggle with severe, chronic insomnia – both can have a negative effect on overall health, increasing the risk of mental health disorders, lowering quality of life, and raising blood pressure.
Sleeping medications are often prescribed to help patients resume a normal, healthy sleep schedule although these risk dependency and may lead to unwanted side effects. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, also known as CBT-I, is short, structured, and evidence-based approach to combating insomnia that can benefit the majority of patients with sleep problems. CBT-I can be beneficial for individuals with primary insomnia as well as those with chronic pain and mental health disorders.
Continue reading →