Integrative Health Blog

8 Myths About Sleep Apnea

Posted by on Mon, Apr 20, 2015

Lowell Weiner DDS

Here are some common myths about sleep apnea that I have observed in my clinical practice:

1. MYTH: Overweight people are the only ones who have sleep apnea.      sleep_apnea

FACT: Adults and children can have sleep apnea, even if they are at a normal weight. It often goes undiagnosed, especially in children who are underachievers. While the stereotype for sleep apnea seems to be overweight men, post menopausal woman are as likely as men to have sleep apnea.

 

2. MYTH: People who have sleep apnea are lazy.

FACT: Sleep apnea can definitely affect your energy level, but most people with sleep apnea don’t even know they have it, so it certainly has nothing to do with work ethic. It is estimated that 80 million people in the U.S. are undiagnosed, and a lack of restorative sleep can be debilitating over time.

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Tags: sleep apnea, sleep disorders

My Breakfast Experiment

Posted by on Fri, Apr 17, 2015

What do you eat for breakfast? Most of us have grown up thinking that cereal and orange juice is a good way to start the day. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Cereal may start out with real food from nature like wheat or corn or rice (probably all genetically modified) but by the time it’s refined and added to and heated some more, it becomes a processed food with all that that implies. Not to mention that most breakfast cereals are loaded with carbohydrates - especially oatmeal!

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Tags: carbohydrates, holistic nutrition

Could I Be Sensitive to Gluten?

Posted by on Mon, Apr 13, 2015

Autumn Frandsen, ND

If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, the answer is YES.

Disproportionate fatigue

Migraines/headaches

Excessive weight gain or loss

Emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts often moving into depression or anxiety

Neurological issues, including dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy affecting nerves outside the central nervous system and resulting in pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities

Gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating combination of both as in IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Fibromyalgia or any unexplained muscle or joint pain

Late onset seasonal allergies

Rashes or hives

Macrocytic anemia

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Tags: allergy testing and treatment, food sensitivities, gluten

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Posted by on Wed, Apr 08, 2015

Laurie DeRosa RDH

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month 

More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. According to the National Cancer Institute, oral cancer is more common than leukemia, skin melanoma, and cancers of the brain, liver, bone, thyroid, ovaries, and cervix. It is a major cause of disfigurement and death in the United States.

Oral cancer includes cancers found in the mouth, on the tongue, lips, throat, parts of the nose, and larynx. Seventy five percent of these cancers are caused by tobacco and alcohol. Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to a subset of oral cancers.

Current Statistics on Oral Cancer

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Tags: oral cancer, holistic family dentist, holistic dental

Balancing Hormones Using Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Posted by on Mon, Apr 06, 2015

Cathlene Heideman NP, LAc

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The body’s hormones work as a choreographed dance. All must be working and in sync for the body to function properly.  

That means if your thyroid is not working properly, eventually it will affect the adrenal function and sex hormone function. Treating one hormone imbalance without checking and treating others creates a shift but not necessarily a correction and a balance.  You might trade fatigue for hot flashes or improve insomnia but have more thinning hair.  So, if you are thinking that you are menopausal or peri-menopausal (periods have not completely stopped but are not as regular and frequent as they used to be) and you are considering hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, be sure that your provider also takes the thyroid and adrenal hormones into account.

What You Should Know About Hormone Replacement

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Tags: bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, BHRT, thyroid, adrenal fatigue

Fluoride: 70 Years of Health Misinformation?

Posted by on Wed, Apr 01, 2015

Understanding the “Great Health Challenge” to which 75% of the U.S. population is exposed

The story of fluoride is one of obfuscation and conflicting agendas that ultimately show how detrimental fluoride may be to the consumers of fluoride.   In the U.S. and several other countries, fluoride is added to the water, foods, toothpaste,  and many other sources.

Fluoride is a significant toxin with many unhealthy consequences.   The reason 70% of the U.S. population is unfortunately consuming fluoride in their water and food is due to agendas which are in conflict with respectable scientific health studies of fluoride since the 1930’s.

Many advanced European countries and scientists in other disciplines cannot believe the U.S. fluoridates its water. Because they know the health damage inflicted by active water fluoridation, only about 3% of Europe fluoridates its water.

When you understand the truth behind fluoride research and the history of water fluoridation, you will want to consider your exposure to fluoride and perhaps rid the fluoride from your body.

History of Fluoridation

To fully understand the problems with fluoride it is imperative to learn the brief history of fluoridation and how it erroneously became the “darling” of organized dentistry.  The first significant study of fluoride worthy of acknowledgement was performed by Dr. Kaj Eli Roholm, a Danish scientist who studied workers in Greenland tasked with manufacturing munitions from cryolite (which contained high levels of fluoride) during World War I.

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What is Your Baby Sleeping On?

Posted by on Mon, Mar 23, 2015

A question about baby mattresses was submitted recently to our  Wholesome Mama's Facebook group, and the answer is important to share with new and expectant parents. Babies spend a lot of time sleeping, an estimated 16 to 18 hours per day.  For decades, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has promoted the “Back to Sleep” campaign, encouraging babies to sleep on their backs, which has been successful in reducing the incidence of SIDS. However, there is evidence that the mattress that your baby sleeps on may also increase a baby’s risk of SIDS. 

Studies show infants exposed to chemical emissions from mattresses

In 2014, a study by the University of Texas was released which found that “infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses.” The researchers examined 20 new mattresses and found that they contained over 30 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Moreover, new crib mattresses release about 4 times the amount of VOCs as old mattresses. And even more alarming is that the VOC level is significantly higher in the infant’s breathing space than in the general air.  The researchers estimated that the infant laying in the crib is exposed to twice the VOC levels as someone standing in the room. Therefore, the researchers concluded that a good strategy to reduce this VOC exposure would be to let a new mattress air out for an extended period of time, perhaps in a garage or outdoors.

This research seems to suggest that an old mattress would be protective; however, a used mattress comes with risks as well. Dr. Jim Sprott, a New Zealand scientist, is convinced that a number of chemicals, which includes phosphorous, arsenic and antimony used in fire retardants, are directly responsible for SIDS. His theory is that these chemicals combine with fungi in the mattress and create a toxic gas. He further proposes that used mattresses are more likely to have the fungus in it to mix with these chemicals than new mattresses. His theory is based upon a research study in published in 1994 by Dr. B. Richardson which brought this information to light.  Dr. Sprott strongly recommends that these chemicals be removed from crib mattresses, but industry standards continue to mandate the inclusion of fire retardants.

Protection from chemicals and gases in crib mattresses

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Tags: holistic pediatrician, sleep, children's health

Seasonal Allergies: The Year Round Epidemic

Posted by on Mon, Mar 16, 2015

Autumn Frandsen ND    

Allergies are a Common, Chronic Problem

According to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people are affected by both allergies and asthma and 1 in 3 people are affected by allergies alone. Allergists and immunologists characterize allergies as an overreaction of the human immune system to a foreign protein substance (“allergen”) that is eaten, breathed into the lungs, injected or touched, and have identified allergy symptoms as coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. They say severe cases can also result in rashes, hives, lower blood pressure, difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, and even death. I have found that allergies can also present as dizziness, allergic conjunctivitis, gastrointestinal symptoms (including Crohn’s and colitis), anxiety, fatigue, depression, body pain, and insomnia.

Some Suffer Allergy Symptoms Year Round

Contrary to popular belief, allergies do not always limit themselves to “allergy season”. Seasonal allergies are often just the body’s warning sign for a bigger struggle going on in the body. Often, year round allergies will present as something entirely different than the typical sneezing, wheezing, itching, and watery eyes that are commonly associated with seasonal allergies. What happens when someone has these symptoms all year round? Are they still considered seasonal allergies? Sometimes. If a person is affected by different allergens at different times during the year, the seasons still dictate allergen growth, so technically, they are seasonal allergies. However, for some allergy sufferers, there is no relief once the season is over. I have many patients that this applies to, while most patients experience symptoms only in the spring and fall. The mold allergan that is prevalent in the fall (see Fall Allergies, Look Out for Ragweed and Mold) can cause lingering problems into the winter while newly blossoming flowers, trees, and shrubs can start affecting people at the end of the winter, and into the spring and the summer. One example of this is a patient of mine who had visited several optometrists and ophthalmologists due to pus coming out of her eye in large quantities periodically through the day. She received many different eye drops including steroidal eye drops and allergy eye drops with no relief from any of them. She came to see me and we identified several environmental allergies that were only manifesting as allergic conjunctivitis. She was skeptical about this information because she had used allergy drops in her eyes with no relief and assumed that if the allergies were bothering only her eyes then a direct application of medicine to her eye seemed like it would treat the problem if that was indeed the problem. I explained that allergies can cause a reaction on an immunological level and in attempt to purge the body of harmful substances, it may have attempted to express them out through any means necessary. This indicates that it wasn’t necessarily her eyes that were affected but that there was something more serious going on inside. After doing some lab testing, we found that she had an autoimmune condition underlying her immediate concern. Identifying the allergies and correcting them not only cleared up her eyes, but brought her high antibody complexes in her body down to normal range.

The Problem with Allergy Shots 

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Tags: allergy testing and treatment, allergy symptoms, allergies

Golden Turmeric Milk

Posted by on Wed, Mar 11, 2015

Brooke Mader CHC

Turmeric milk is one of my favorite night time drinks, other than hot tea. It is comforting and soothing at night and very nutritious. Nothing compares to the smell of turmeric milk warming up on the stove. Turmeric contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.  Warm beverages, both in the evening and in the morning, provide soothing effects to the digestive system.

Turmeric, The Golden Healing Spice

Turmeric has been around for hundreds of years and is known as the “healing” spice to the Eastern cultures. It is known to help with sore throats, colds, flus, stomach aches, wounds, skin problems and abrasions. Just like coconut oil, turmeric provides antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. The combination of turmeric and peppercorn enhances the absorption of curcumin, the main ingredient found in turmeric.

Ingredients

2 Cups milk (whole fat dairy, almond, coconut, hemp, whatever you’d like…but I prefer almond)

1 tbsp local, raw honey (can substitute with stevia for less sugar)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp black pepper and grated ginger

Instructions

Pour all ingredients (except for the honey) into a small saucepan and whisk into a light boil. Reduce the heat to low for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the milk (if you have large pieces of ginger or peppercorn). Then add the honey (you don’t want to cook the honey) and an extra dash of cinnamon and enjoy! It is best served warm.

*Be careful not to cook the honey because raw honey is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. It contains significant amounts of: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulfur, and phosphate. Honey in its proper form, not heated, is one of nature’s most healing substances.

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Tags: antioxidants, holistic nutrition, integrative health, recipe, turmeric

25% of Teenagers are Doing What?!

Posted by on Mon, Mar 09, 2015

Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

It’s common knowledge that adolescence is characterized by risk-taking behaviors and experimentation.  As a parent, you try your best to warn your adolescent children about the dangers they may face, especially regarding drug and alcohol abuse.  One type of drug use that is less commonly recognized is prescription drug abuse. In fact, after marijuana, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drug by teenagers.

A very disturbing trend

Nearly 50% of Americans take at least one prescription medication, and the sale of prescription painkillers quadrupled from 1999 to 2010.  Therefore, prescription medications are readily accessible by children and teens.  It’s estimated that 25% of teenagers has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.

One disturbing risk taking trend in regard to prescription drug abuse is for teens to gather for what’s called pill parties, or “skittling.”  In these settings, kids are encouraged to bring any pills they can find, and then the pills are dumped into a bowl for them to sample.  The risks are very high, given that the child may be taking a very dangerous medication, and is also mixing medications together.  These types of gathering have resulted in significant illness and even death for some teens.

So what can you, as a parent, do?

1)  Regularly inspect your medicine cabinets and dispose of all medications that you are not using.  Many people hold on to left over medicines “just in case” they need it later.  Please dispose of it to decrease the risk of a child accidentally or intentionally taking the medication. Many communities now offer a "medicine disposal day" in conjunction with the police so that medication can be safely turned in and not disposed by flushing it down the toilet, thereby adding it to the water supply.

2)  Talk to your children about the issue of prescription drug abuse among teenagers and educate them about its dangers.   Don’t be afraid to ask them if they are aware of or have attended  pill parties or other types of social gatherings that encourage drug use.

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Tags: children's health, teenagers, prescription drugs, addiction integrative health