Health Advice


Understanding Migraine Causes and Treatments

Tony Award winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth is no stranger to migraines. She has been living with migraines since she experienced her first episode in a rehearsal room for a Broadway show nearly 25 years ago. Unfortunately, she is in a profession in which she cannot easily avoid her migraine triggers — spotlights, flashing lights, flying, and driving. At times she hasn’t been able to perform due to a debilitating migraine.

Chenoweth is not alone. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 12 percent of the population (including children) suffers from migraine — 18 percent of women in the U.S., six percent of men, and 10 percent of children. Migraines are most common between the ages of 18 and 44.

(Photo © Anh Nguyen — sourced from

Migraines are not just bad, throbbing headaches. Symptoms also include nausea/vomiting, dizziness/loss of balance, disturbed vision, fatigue, and sensitivity to light, sounds, and odors.

Each person’s migraine experience is unique, and symptoms can vary with each episode.

Some people experience intolerable pain that can knock them down for days at a time. Others can muddle through the day. Some migraine sufferers can keep symptoms at bay with medication and lifestyle changes, whereas others continue to suffer episodes despite their best efforts.

Migraine Causes and Treatments

Like many other chronic health conditions, migraines can be caused by a number of factors working alone or together, so a single solution such as a pill is usually not enough to help most people. Effective treatment requires identifying and addressing whatever is causing the migraines — the root cause(s).

Based on our experience, we have identified four primary causes of migraines, listed below (not necessarily in any order of relevance or frequency): continue reading

Exploring Health and Environmental Concerns Surrounding Sunscreen

Even as summer vacations draw to a close in much of the nation, the perils of sunscreen to the environment remain in the news. Of local interest to those of us here in Tampa are recent media reports about a potential ban on certain types of sunscreen — namely those that might provide the best protection against the sun but are toxic to coral reefs.

Tampa Sunscreen Ban

Turns out that even tiny amounts of sunscreen that wash off a swimmer’s skin in the ocean is enough to cause corals to bleach, lose their algae food source, and make them susceptible to viral infections. In addition, the chemical oxybenzone — an active ingredient in many sunscreens — inhibits the ability of baby corals (polyps) to attach themselves to the reef.

The chemicals in commercial sunscreens may also affect the health of oyster domes and other filter-feeding organisms. Environmental concerns have risen to the point where some areas — most notably Hawaii and Key West — have banned the use of certain sunscreens. While here in Tampa, Spectrum News 9 recently ran continue reading

Sinusitis in Tampa

Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Sinusitis in Tampa

Approximately 30.8 million Americans, representing 9.5 percent of the adult population, suffer from chronic sinusitis — inflammation of the nasal passages that lasts for at least three months despite treatment. And in Tampa, where chronic nasal issues are rampant, residents are similarly at risk. Symptoms include the following:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Thick, discolored discharge from the nose or throat
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Pain, tenderness, and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead
  • Impaired or lost sense of smell
  • Persistent cough

Sinusitis in Tampa

Symptoms may also include these:

  • Earache
  • Aching teeth or upper jaw
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue

Many people who suffer from chronic sinusitis try to continue reading

How to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too This Holiday Season

Aftera close inspection of our professional development calendar, and a peek at next year’s desk calendar — still wrapped in cellophane — we’ve finalized our holiday schedule and office hours here at BioDesign Wellness Center.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • We will be closed, beginning Saturday, Dec. 22, for some advanced training and a well-deserved holiday break for all of our doctors, nutritionists, health coaches and back office staff.
  • We will reopen at 9 a.m. sharp on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

If you have a need to call our Tampa Functional Medicine practice with any important or urgent health issues over the holidays, our answering service will be taking messages and we will return calls Dec. 27 & 28. If you have a medical emergency, please do not call BioDesign Wellness. Instead, call 911 or go directly to the emergency room.

We are so grateful for our patients

Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, we wish you and your families a fantastic holiday season and a healthy and happy New Year! We were just talking about the past year and reflecting on the hundreds of patients who became empowered to take charge of their own health by making permanent lifestyle changes in 2018. We’d certainly like to take credit for some of that improvement, but it’s truly you — our ambitious patients — who did the continue reading

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