Heartburn Medication is Again Linked to Fatal Risks

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Heartburn has been in the news a lot lately — and we’re not referring to the type you might experience while watching a talking head or pundit on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC.

Rather, we’re referencing recent reports that drugs commonly used to alleviate symptoms associated with heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, and stomach and small intestine ulcers, may raise the risk of numerous fatal health conditions. Among these risks are cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and upper gastrointestinal cancer.

One such study — Estimates of mortality associated with proton pump inhibitors among US veteranswas published in May of 2019 in the British Medical Journal. In that peer-reviewed study, researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs-Saint Louis, Saint Louis University, and Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis concluded taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is associated with continue reading

Meet the Staff: Phyllis McKinnon, BioDesign’s Office Administrator

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One of the first smiling faces patients see when they enter our Tampa Functional Medicine practice is that of Phyllis McKinnon, BioDesign’s intake coordinator and office administrator. Phyllis is charged with ensuring that each of our patients and guests is welcomed and taken care of. In addition, this former holistic spa owner educates new patients through our protocol for treatment and wellness.

Phyllis McKinnon

Before joining our team earlier this year, Phyllis was a fulltime hospice volunteer, working with the dying and their families. Bringing comfort to these patients made her more determined than ever to become a part of a team that focuses on preventative health. She says she found that focus in the staff here at BioDesign Wellness.

Beginning her career as an esthetician, where she specialized in oncology esthetics, Phyllis became an esthetic instructor for one of the largest esthetic corporations in New England, where she spearheaded and opened that company’s satellite school in Connecticut. She then opened her own spa on Newbury Street in Boston, developing and training a staff with holistic modalities in order to specifically address stress, skin care, sore muscles, and overall wellness.

We asked Phyllis to take a few minutes to answer some questions about her career, her thoughts about BioDesign Wellness’ approach to healthcare, and her personal life. And we tossed in a few whimsical queries just to see where her head is at. Enjoy! continue reading

Reporting on the International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) Conference

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Editor’s Note: Last week’s post, which focused on the connection between mold and psychiatric illness, referenced the first annual International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness (ISEAI) Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. That professional gathering included doctors and others in the healthcare field who are blazing trails in the diagnosis and treatment of environmentally acquired illnesses. Today’s post features a report from one of those pioneering doctors — BioDesign Wellness Center’s own Dr. Matthew Lewis, DC, DACBN, CFMP. Below is Dr. Lewis’ report from the conference, including insights on how the event is shaping our own approach to healthcare:

The 2019 ISEAI conference featured valuable information shared by pioneering healthcare practitioners from a variety of backgrounds. What I found most valuable were the healthcare providers who spoke about their work with patients suffering environmentally acquired illness, as well as indoor environmental professionals (IEPs), who check homes for water damage, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mold. The IEPs provided insight into what goes on in patients’ homes, and how that activity has an impact on labs and test results that we review back in our offices.

Environmentally Acquired Illness is something we’re keenly aware of here at BioDesign Wellness Center, so it was beneficial for us to gain additional insight into the field. It was also good to see hundreds of doctors — some new to this field of environmental medicine — learn for the first time how a patient’s home or workplace environment can be the source of the chronic and debilitating conditions they see in their continue reading

Moldy Brain Image

Psychiatric Illness or Moldy Brain?

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Many people diagnosed with a mental illness or other psychiatric condition tell similar stories. They visit their primary care physician complaining of anxiety, overwhelming sadness, fatigue, joint or muscle aches and pains, brain fog, and other general symptoms. Their doctor orders a limited series of lab tests, examines the results, and finds “nothing wrong.” They are then either given a diagnosis on the spot or referred to a psychiatrist.

Ultimately, they are told they have depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or some other diagnosis that doesn’t reveal what’s really going on or how to cure it. They are sent home with one or more prescriptions for antidepressants, pain relievers, and other medications that, at best, provide only temporary relief. Sometimes the medications provide no relief or even make the condition worse.

Moldy Brain Image

The story changes only when a patient is fortunate enough to encounter a doctor who understands the effects of environmental toxins on the brain… a doctor like our own Dr. Matt Lewis, or one like Mary Ackerley, MD — a board certified integrative and holistic physician as well as a classically trained board certified psychiatrist who specializes in the natural treatment of chronic fatigue, mold and biotoxin illness, depression and anxiety. In addition to her education and training as a psychiatrist, Dr. Ackerley (as well as our own Dr. Matt Lewis) has specific training in diagnosing and treating environmentally acquired illness.

(Editor’s note: Dr. Lewis and Dr. Ackerley both attended the inaugural ISEAI Conference — International Society for Environmentally Acquired Illness —in early-May of this year in Phoenix, Ariz., where Dr. Ackerley was one of the featured speakers.)

According to Dr. Shoemaker — a Roswell, NM-based pioneer in mold and biotoxin illness treatment — about 25 percent of the population is susceptible to biotoxins. Coincidentally, as Dr. Ackerley has been known to point out continue reading

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