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
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.
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
In our previous post, Detox in Your Sleep with Proper Sleep Hygiene, we stress the importance of getting a good night’s sleep — not only so you feel rested the next day, but also to enable your brain to detoxify itself. The slow and steady brain and cardiopulmonary activity associated with deep, non-REM sleep are optimal for the function of the glymphatic system — the brain’s unique pathway for removing toxic waste. This nightly flushing of waste and toxic proteins from the brain is very likely to help protect against aging and irreversible and progressive brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In that previous post, we highlight some of the underlying health issues that negatively impact sleep, such as pain, bladder conditions, poor blood sugar balance, and gastrointestinal issues. While we can certainly help you address these and other health conditions that may impair your ability to sleep deeply, you can take several steps on your own to improve your sleep quantity and quality on a nightly basis.
In this post, we present 10 tips for getting a better night’s sleep: continue reading
We hear a lot these days about the environment — most of it focusing on the long-term rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system. Seemingly lost among the talk (and debate — over the causes of global warming) is one simple fact that’s hard to ignore. Unless you live in a bubble, you are being bombarded by toxins and infectious agents that could result in you contracting an environmentally acquired illness.
Environmentally acquired illness (EAI) is characterized by any of a number of illnesses or syndromes (symptom clusters) caused by exposure to toxic molds and other biotoxins; toxic chemicals such as heavy metals and pesticides; and persistent infections, such as Lyme disease. Environmental toxins are in foods and beverages, furniture, carpets, clothing, cleaning products, cosmetics, personal hygiene products, medications, and the air around us. In addition, you can acquire serious and persistent infections from insect bites and not even know it, and your home or workplace may be a source of toxic mold that you’re breathing in every time you inhale.
Although your body is equipped with various systems to cure infections and eliminate toxins, the volume and diversity of infectious agents and toxins often overwhelms the body’s defenses.
The bigger problem with environmentally acquired illness is that the conventional medical system is poorly equipped to deal with it for several reasons: continue reading