Health and Wellness Blog

Understanding Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

December 23, 2019 | Category: Gut Health


If you frequently feel bloated after eating or you experience repeated bouts of abdominal pain or discomfort, gas, cramps, diarrhea, or constipation, you probably already suspect dysfunction in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, also known as your digestive system or “gut.” However, the problem may not be with your digestive system itself but what is inside a part of it, specifically the microorganisms living in your small intestine.

The small intestine is a narrow tube-like organ approximately 20 feet long that connects the stomach to the large intestine and is responsible for extracting most nutrients from food. The large intestine is a much wider and shorter tube-like organ that primarily absorbs water from undigested food and carries solid waste out of the body.

Bacteria and other microorganisms (both beneficial and potentially harmful) naturally reside in both the small and large intestines. Beneficial microbes perform essential functions, such as producing nutrients that the body cannot obtain from food alone. However, when bacteria (good or bad) multiply too fast in the small intestine, it leads to a condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which results in symptoms described at the beginning of this post.

Left untreated, SIBO can lead to nutritional deficiencies, unplanned weight loss, and continue reading

Do You Suffer from Symptoms of Breast Implant Illness?

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

December 5, 2019 | Category: Women's Health


More and more women are complaining of symptoms they suspect might be related to their silicone breast implants — symptoms attributed to what is being referred to as Breast Implant Illness (BII). One Facebook Group devoted to the illness has more than 50,000 members, all of whom claim to be suffering from a variety of BII symptoms, which we list later in this post.

While a number of studies show no clear link between silicone breast implants and many of the symptoms being reported, at BioDesign Wellness Center, we believe that this is a serious health issue. So, when  women tell us they think what they’re experiencing is related to their implants, we listen.

Breast Implant Illness Image

First of all, the silicone used in breast implants doesn’t exist in nature. To the contrary, it is a chemical composition created by hydroxylating silica to form polydimethylsiloxane. And while this isn’t a highly toxic substance, it remains a foreign substance that is not biologically inert.

Several studies have demonstrated varying levels of IgG antibody reactive to this substance in humans. One study in particular — Human Immune Response To Polydimethylsiloxane (Silicone): Screening Studies In A Breast Implant Population — concluded, “Test results showed that patients with implants demonstrated statistically significant elevation in anti-silicone antibodies compared with the unimplanted control groups.” This evidence clearly shows an immune response, which has the potential to trigger inflammation. And that can cause or contribute to many of the symptoms women are reporting.

Unfortunately, even with this evidence, conventional medicine does not recognize BII as an official medical illness and has established no diagnostic criteria for continue reading

Meet The Patient Part 2 — Case Study on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

November 14, 2019 | Category: Case Study


Editor’s Note: The following blog post appears in our Meet the Patient series — case studies of BioDesign Wellness Center patients have or are currently treating. In some cases, to ensure confidentiality, patient names and other details have been changed or omitted. That said, the specifics you’ll below read about conditions, diagnoses, and treatments are accurate.

Below, we present Part 2 of Abby’s case study on her journey living with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). For the first part in this post, please see Meet the Patient: Part 1 — Case Study on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

Part 2 of Abby’s story:

After some unusual lab results, Abby’s mother searched online for a doctor or medical center in Tampa with expertise in her daughter’s condition. That’s when she found us, first through Dr. Matt Lewis’ personal blog, where the first post she saw was about POTS..

After only a few minutes of talking with Dr. Lewis, Abby and her mom were convinced we could help. At their first appointment, Abby was lying on Dr. Lewis’ office floor, unable to sit upright. He asked about adrenals, water damaged buildings (WDBs), and more. Because the family’s home had previously experienced a large window leak several times in its bonus room, what Dr. Lewis said about WDBs and chronic inflammation was like a light bulb going off for Abby and her parents (though her dad took some convincing).

Abby’s diagnosis

Based on Abby’s symptoms and medical history and the fact that the family’s home was water damaged, we suspected that Abby was, in fact, suffering from POTS, but also that her adrenals were involved and that she was likely to be suffering from chronic inflammation response syndrome (CIRS). CIRS is a multi-symptom, multi-system illness caused by biotoxins or neurotoxins from a biological source, such as molds in WDBs, tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, cyanobacteria, dinoflagellates such as those responsible for red tide, Pfiesteria, and poisonous spiders such as the Brown Recluse.

Initially, we recommended Abby immediately eliminate sugar, caffeine, carbs, vegetables that grow below ground (such as potatoes), and bananas. Within a few days, Abby was feeling remarkably better, as she reports in her own words:

What a huge difference this made in just a few days! I was able to celebrate my birthday on the Monday after our first meeting that previous Friday night.

We ordered numerous tests to help us identify and address the root cause of all of Abby’s ailments and put her on the path to recovery. Abby was like many patients who seek treatment for  continue reading

Meet the Patient: Part 1 — Case Study on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

By: BioDesign Wellness Center Staff

November 8, 2019 | Category: Case Study


Editor’s Note: Meet the Patient is a series we recently introduced on the BioDesign Wellness Center blog to present case studies of actual patients we have treated over the years or are currently treating. Our hope is that these stories resonate with anyone who is or knows of someone struggling with a similar health condition. That would include those who have not received an accurate diagnosis or effective medical treatment, as well as those who may be close to giving up hope of ever feeling happy again.

Note that names and certain other details may have been changed or omitted to ensure patient-doctor confidentiality, but specifics about conditions, diagnoses, and treatments are accurate. Case studies are based on information provided by actual patients and their doctors, and patients have agreed to share their stories. This is our second story in the series and the first part of that story.

Meet Abby

Abby was a high school student here in Tampa when she experienced two fainting episodes about a year apart. In both cases, she was told by doctors not affiliated with our Tampa Functional Medicine practice that these episodes were related to dehydration.

The second episode came after a weeklong cruise with her family and resulted in what looked like a seizure. Abby was transported to a local hospital, subjected to numerous tests, and was seen by a neurologist and pediatric cardiologist. The episode was ruled a syncope seizure, which is characterized by a loss of consciousness caused by a drop in blood pressure.

After being released from the hospital, Abby followed up with a cardiologist, who diagnosed her as having hypermobility(joints that can move beyond the normal range of motion). He said that was probably part of the issue with her feeling “off” and passing out. She was told to increase her fluid and salt intake.

From August of 2017 to the beginning of 2018, Abby’s health gradually deteriorated. She experienced more dizziness, became weaker and complained of exhaustion. She returned to the cardiologist, who ordered an echocardiogram. All of Abby’s echocardiograms (a total of four, including a stress test) came back normal. The cardiologist also ordered a tilt-table test.

During a tilt-table test, the patient is securely strapped to a table that quickly tilts the patient into the upright position. In healthy patients, the body regulates heart rate and blood pressure to supply the brain with sufficient oxygen to remain conscious. Patients who pass out after being tilted into the upright position suffer from a condition called  continue reading

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