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FunctionalMedicine

Air quality and quality of life

There is a huge amount of information out there on how to make our lives healthier, but it is often overwhelming. Here are some basic facts.

What we eat, what we breathe and what we think directly affects how we feel.  So today let us talk about some small things you can do to make your life healthier and help you feel better. 

Air quality affects our lives in many ways, and in the winter it is easy for the dust to build up in the air.  Dust and dander aggravate your lungs, and this can cause inflammation and makes your lungs more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.

Impurities in the air can also tax your immune system.  Allergens in the air can distract your immune system from other health issues that need  attention.  Depending upon the person, impurities in the air can trigger bronchitis, asthma, allergies, headaches, fatigue, and gut problems. Mold exposure and mold allergies are a serious issue.

One simple thing you can do is change your air filter in your heating units and your vacuum cleaners.  Make sure you have HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and they are replaced regularly. HEPA grade air filters remove particles down to 3 microns from the air. This is the same level of filtration that is used in hospital settings. They are not expensive, and they are a big help. 

There are many good air filters on the market depending on what you want to spend. You can spend hundreds of dollars on an air filter or you can dump out your shop vac, put a clean new HEPA filter on it and use it to change out the air in your house room by room in a couple minutes.  I highly recommend an air filter in your bedroom. Especially if someone in your family is prone to bronchitis or other lung issues.

Another thing you can do whenever possible is try to avoid having carpeting in your home. In most parts of the world they no longer put carpets in houses because the carpets harbor so many allergens. If you must have carpet, please vacuum it regularly with HEPA approved vacuum cleaner bags and put air filters in your home. 

Speaking of air filters, did you know your nose is an air filter and you need to clean that too. The inside of our sinuses is sticky like flypaper. It constantly catches minute particles of dust and debris out of the air.  If you do not clean out your sinuses it can cause swelling, pressure, headaches, and snoring.

There are also many ways to clean your sinuses. I recommend that you clean your nose in the shower daily.  An easy way to do this is to cup water in your hand and snuffle water with your nose being careful not to inhale any water into your lungs.  Do this twice while in the shower and blow your nose thoroughly before you get out. You can also purchase commercial Neti pots and saline sprays These are easy ways to improve your environment and your health.  

Yours in health Dr Kim

Categories
FunctionalMedicine

WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE

DR KIMBERLY LEWIS

The Functional Medicine Approach

Functional Medicine is a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease. Each symptom or differential diagnosis may be one of many contributing to an individual’s illness according to FMI. Org

As the graphic below illustrates, a diagnosis can be the result of more than one cause. For example, depression can be caused by many different factors, including inflammation. Likewise, a cause such as inflammation may lead to a number of different diagnoses, including depression. The precise manifestation of each cause depends on the individual’s genes, environment, and lifestyle, and only treatments that address the right cause will have lasting benefit beyond symptom suppression.

Depression, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, and many other conditions can often be managed efficiently and effectively with a functional medicine approach. At our office you will receive an extremely thorough history and evaluation. Many health issues are a tangled web of interlocking vicious cycles and feedback loops. My promise to you we will spend the time and energy and do everything possible to untangle these webs and break these vicious cycles so you can lead the best life possible! Schedule an appointment today and let us see how we can help!

Categories
FunctionalMedicine

The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of Sleep.
Kimberly Lewis October 15, 2020

A hundred years ago when you were sick the Doctor would recommend bed rest. As it turns out sleep is one of the best remedies ever. In todays hustle and bust we never seem to get enough sleep. Sleep is imperative to the health and healing processes. The latest in research shows us that when dealing with illnesses both acute (New) and chronic (Ongoing) that sleep is the one of the most important things in overcoming these health issues. Especially when it comes to autoimmune diseases and immune function.

Let us look at some of the reasons we don not get enough sleep and the reasons why we should.

We can either not fall asleep or we cannot stay asleep or both. Sometimes the reasons are obvious. The neighbor’s dog is barking all night, we are preoccupied by a thought, we are working way too much, or we are excited over an event the next day. These are normal occurrences that happen to us all.

Let us look at the mechanisms when lack of sleep is no longer in the normal category.

We have natural rhythms called circadian rhythms that help to regulate our sleep cycle. When these rhythms are disrupted, we either can not fall asleep or we cannot stay asleep. Often insomnia is caused by undetected problems can be resolved with time proper care. Simple testing can show weather your circadian rhythms are out of cycle. If so thereare programs we can use help you with to bring these cycles back online. Other factors such as reactive hypoglycemia, neuroinflammation, food allergies, sensitivity to EMF and undetected autoimmune disease will also cause fatigue and poor sleep. It is especially important to identify these triggers. The most common cause of insomnia is insulin surges. We tend to eat a high carb diet. Our insulin levels fluctuate throughout the day and every time our blood sugar gets a little low, we eat again. This is quite common and since we are carbohydrate dependent drop in insulin during sleep will cause you to wake up after 5 or five hours Regulating your blood sugar is important for this reason even in non-diabetic patients. On the other hand, lack of sleep can trigger all the above problems and make them worse, especially auto immune diseases. It is important to get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to maintain optimal health. Properly identifying the causes of sleep issues and creating a custom program to get you back on track is one of the many things we do for you at our office.