Integrative Health Blog

Natural Options for Heart Health

Posted by on Thu, Nov 01, 2018

Metabolic Cardiology is a fairly new branch of Functional Medicine. Metabolic cardiology is a non-invasive, simple, integrative medical approach which addresses the prevention, management, treatment and monitoring of cardiovascular disease at the core basic level- which is the heart muscle cell. As a functional medicine physician, I am always concerned with addressing health issues at the root of the problem.

The goal here is to improve and preserve heart health at the cellular level of the individual heart cell through organic interventions that are natural to the human body. Diseased heart muscles are energy-source depleted or lacking the natural cell fuel, known as  adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is formed and recycled on the cellular metabolic level, and supplies all the energy required for every cell, organ, system and body function. ATP is so critical for energy production that it is known as the “energy currency” for life.

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Tags: heart disease, supplements, functional medicine

Healing is Being an Interpreter of the Body's Messages

Posted by on Tue, Oct 09, 2018

The human body speaks a “foreign” sensory language.  It would be nice if it could speak English, and say, “That pasta you ate last night is fermenting a lot of fungus, and I’ve told you before about your auto-brewery problems, so take extra probiotics today, and eat very lightly, and please, no carbohydrates.”  Instead of speaking English, the body speaks with sensory symptoms such as gas, bloating, discomfort, fatigue and loose stools.

Like translating Russian into English, as a functional medicine physician I serve as an interpreter, so that my patients can begin to listen to their body’s messages.  Later, as they learn the language, they can listen to their own "body-speak."

What Symptoms Can Mean

Symptoms are attempts to communicate and an attempt to heal and make things better, regardless of how unpleasant symptoms are.  We have been indoctrinated to believe that symptoms are diseases, that they should be medicated with something to anesthetize (numb) or control them.  Sometimes symptoms can be so severe that they actually pose a health risk, such as severe diarrhea which can cause dehydration.  Most of the time, symptoms are not life-threatening and it helps to pay attention to what your body is trying to say and do. Diarrhea, cough, urgency on urination and a runny nose are attempts of the body to rid itself of toxins.  Blindly medicating such symptoms frustrates your body’s attempts to rid you of toxins and infections and to heal.  

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Tags: functional medicine, mind-body

Appetite Control Without Medications

Posted by on Wed, Oct 03, 2018

What causes increased appetite?

Appetite is controlled by a complex neuroregulatory system.  There are many factors affecting this mechanism to include the composition of your diet, side effect of medications, chronic stress, hormonal imbalances, and even the types of bacteria that live in your gut. 

Cravings result from a combination of social, cultural, psychological, physiological and genetic factors and can be a major obstacle to weight loss and optimizing one's health. As a functional medicine physician, it is important to examine all underlying factors which may contribute to overweight or obesity.

What can I do to improve this?

If you feel that cravings and increased appetite are interfering with your health goals, try addressing the following list of possible factors.

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Tags: functional medicine, weight loss

Functional Medicine Testing for Food Sensitivities

Posted by on Tue, Sep 18, 2018

Food sensitivity is often a major risk factor for systemic inflammation immune stress and it can distract your immune system from more important tasks such as destroying cancer cells,  parasites, fungus, viruses and invasive fungus. As part of a functional medicine work-up, a simple, inexpensive test panel for food sensitivities can determine certain foods to eliminate for a while which can eliminate some inflammation and immune stress, and which can lower your overall stress levels.

Regardless of the problem that you are seeking care for, at some level your immune system is involved, and the immune system does better if it is not distracted or damaged by food sensitivities. For instance, you may have mild food sensitivities which may not be that important for your overall health, but if they distract your immune system in its fight against Lyme or cancer, or you are dealing with serious asthma or an autoimmune disorder, even mild sensitivities can be important. Food sensitivity recovery is a relatively simple process but giving up one’s favorite foods can be difficult. We have health coaches and support to help you make better food replacement choices.

The Immune System and Leaky Gut 

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Tags: functional medicine, food sensitivities

National Integrated Health Associates Welcomes Sherif Hassan, MD, Functional and Precision Medicine Physician

Posted by on Tue, Aug 07, 2018

NIHA is pleased to announce the addition of Sherif Hassan, MD, to the medical team.

Dr. Hassan’s wide and comprehensive experience in medical practice in different international settings coupled with his personal experience as a patient suffering from Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) changed his focus to a more interesting and spurned area: Undiagnosed Chronic Medical Disorders. His own Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) went not only undiagnosed, but caused him to undergo two unnecessary surgeries. From this experience as both physician andpatient he can empathize with patients as they search for the underlying cause of ailments. This experience changed his outlook on medicine to a more fulfilling and rewarding medical philosophy whereby wellness is now the cornerstone of his practice.

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Tags: functional medicine

Hidden Risk Factors that May Contribute to Osteoporosis

Posted by on Mon, Apr 09, 2018

In this age of information technology we are bombarded with misinformation.  Take Osteoporosis, for instance. The word Osteoporosis has a Greek origin. Osteo means "bone" and poros means “porous,” so osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become more porous, brittle and fragile. I like to think of Osteoporosis or Osteopenia as a condition, not a disease. Therefore, it is reversible, treatable, and preventable, but also dangerous if we choose to ignore it. The skeleton makes our body stand, and without good bones and good muscle mass we will crumble. The good news about maintaining good bone health is that not only will it allow keep us upright, but higher bone density is also associated with improved cardiovascular health. (1) I don’t know about you, but if youthful bone mass allows me to stand straight and offers less cardiovascular mortality, sign me up.

It is well known that Osteoporosis affects elderly populations, but let’s see who really is at risk by taking a look at the many risk factors that can contribute to osteoporosis.

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Tags: osteoporosis, functional medicine

What to Consider Before Taking New Prescriptions

Posted by on Wed, Feb 14, 2018

In my over 30 years of practice as a holistic doctor, I have seen both types of patients. Those who arrive to my office with bags full of prescribed medications, and those who arrive with a suitcase full of “natural supplements.” (I’ve even seen fellow doctors do this.) What is wrong with this picture?

Sometimes well intentioned doctors prescribe their patients a medication without reviewing what she or he has already been prescribed by another doctor, or sometimes patients neglect to mention a medication or supplement. When that happens, the new prescribed medication may dangerously interact with another the patient has already taken. Hospitalizations due to untoward effects of correctly prescribed medications range from 1.5 to 2.7 million cases per year. The death rate from the consumption of prescribed medications in the USA is estimated to be five times that of the rate for opioid abuse.

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Tags: functional medicine, prescription drugs

Chronic Fatigue and Mitochondria Function

Posted by on Tue, Oct 24, 2017

Fatigue is one of the most common reasons for a doctor visit, and is often a way for the body to cry out for help. Fatigue can be the overriding symptom in many medical conditions including stress, autoimmune diseases, insomnia, sleep apnea, allergies, hormonal imbalance and cancer. Fatigue can manifest from one or multiple medical conditions and multiple medical issues can compound the problem.

Of course, fatigue is a normal response after a strenuous workout, or a long day working without breaks, or going too long without eating. However, if you feel fatigue or drained by the end of a work day every single day, without energy to enjoy life, it is time to listen to your body. It may be trying to tell you something.

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Tags: chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia, fatigue, functional medicine

The Truth About Addiction: Drug and Alcohol Addiction is NOT Caused by Drugs and Alcohol

Posted by on Tue, Sep 19, 2017

President Donald Trump[1] has just proclaimed September 2017 as the National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.  One can’t fault any concerned American for bemoaning our #1 national epidemic that continues to escalate with no solution in sight.  In true Trumpesque form, the issue is being met head on and brazenly confronted, a welcomed call to action. 

Deaths from drug abuse kill more Americans by far than any other disorder, with tobacco alone killing nearly a half million Americans per year and underlying much of the death and disability of the classical #1 and #2 killers, heart disease and cancer.  Deaths from opioid abuse alone, heavily fueled by the prescription pad, now tally more than the deaths from auto accidents and gunshot wounds combined.  Why can’t addictions be solved like many other medical problems; find the cause, address them, and be done with it?

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Tags: addiction, functional medicine, precision medicine

Functional Medicine Treatments to Diagnose, Prevent and Reverse Osteoporosis Naturally

Posted by on Tue, Sep 12, 2017

Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects bone health. Osteoporosis and low bone density affect about half of all adults age 50 and over, and places them at greater risk for broken bones from minor falls.

However, most older Americans who suffer bone breaks are not tested or treated for osteoporosis.

Get A Baseline on Your Bones with Functional Medicine Testing 

                                                                                                                                                           

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Tags: functional medicine, osteoporosis