Functional Medicine

Household disenfectants promote obesity gut bacteria

New research shows those powerful and toxic household disinfectants do more than kill germs — they also kill off vital gut bacteria and shift your gut microbiome signature to promote obesity. Our gut microbiome consists of several pounds of gut bacteria and research increasingly shows how powerfully these bacteria influence our overall health. The composition of the gut microbiome determines much about our immune health, personality, brain function, and weight. In fact, scientists are increasingly discovering a connection between our microbiome signature and ... Read more

Test your thyroid levels in the morning for best results

If you’re getting your TSH levels checked to monitor your thyroid health, it’s best to get that done in the morning. Otherwise your results may come back normal even though you have hypothyroidism. All the body’s hormones follow a daily rhythm, including thyroid hormone. This means there are times of the day when it naturally higher or lower. Researchers tested the blood of hypothyroid subjects both before 8 a.m. and again between 2 and 4 p.m. In hypothyroid patients both untreated and on ... Read more

Living at high altitudes can increase suicide risk

Emerging research reveals that higher-altitude living contributes to higher risk for depression and suicide. While studies continue to look into the mechanisms behind this trend, it's clear a variety of factors come into play. From the unique effects that altitude has on the brain to social and psychological aspects of life in the high country, many of these factors are influenced by your lifestyle and dietary choices. In the United States, the highest suicide rates are in the intermountain area — in ... Read more

Defending adrenal fatigue from doctors’ dismissals

If you struggle with chronic exhaustion, insomnia, poor immunity, and persistent low blood sugar symptoms, you likely have poor function of the adrenal glands, which sit atop the kidneys and secrete stress hormones. However, your conventional doctor may have told you there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue based on guidance from The Hormone Foundation. What they may not understand is that there is a continuum of adrenal function and that the brain plays a role in adrenal fatigue. The debate ... Read more

Carbs, not fats, are the culprits behind heart disease

If you shy away from fats for fear of heart disease, you aren't alone, you may be surprised to learn that carbohydrates, not fats, are the culprits in heart disease. For decades scientists and doctors have blamed dietary fats — especially saturated fat — for heart disease. We've been advised to stick to a low-fat, high-carb diet based on grains to keep our hearts healthy. We now know this advice was based on outdated observational studies. As it turns out, none of the ... Read more

Syncing meals with your body clock for better health

Many of us start the day with a small breakfast as we run out the door, followed by a medium sized lunch and a large dinner. We also tend to snack throughout the day and even grab a bite before bed. However, while what we eat is important, a growing body of research suggests when we eat matters too. The digestive system's circadian rhythm While you have likely heard of the circadian rhythm, the master "clock" in the brain that governs our sleep-wake ... Read more

Do you feel more depressed in the summer?

Most everyone has heard of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, when winter brings on chronic blues. But if you feel better in winter than summer, you may have summer SAD, also called reverse SAD. While the jury is still out on the causes of summer SAD, there are ways to get through the season with more energy, better sleep, and improved mood. Although both winter and summer SAD and summer SAD share symptoms of sadness and anxiety, they diverge in potential causes ... Read more

New food sensititivies? Look at loss of oral tolerance

If you have an autoimmune condition, you may be familiar with restricted diets such as the autoimmune protocol (AIP), GAPs, or FODMAPs. These diets can significantly reduce inflammation, help you determine food sensitivities, and address root causes of mysterious symptoms. However, some people experience little to no improvement and may even get new food sensitivities. The culprit could be loss of oral tolerance. The good news is you can start improving your oral tolerance now so you react to fewer foods. There are ... Read more

Every cell needs vitamin D yet most people deficient

Vitamin D is one of the few nutrients we can't get enough of from food. Our bodies are designed to make vitamin D from sunlight, yet modern life has made that difficult. The result is a worldwide 50 percent deficiency in vitamin D, even in sunny locations. Why we can't get enough of the sunshine vitamin While some foods contain vitamin D, our main source is supposed to be sun exposure and we synthesize it using cholesterol. However, certain factors stand in the way: Reduced ... Read more

Too much salt nukes your gut bacteria and inflames you

A high-salt diet has long been connected with cardiovascular disease. Too much sodium in the bloodstream causes fluid retention, which makes the heart work harder to move the extra volume of blood. This can stiffen blood vessels and lead to high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and kidney disease. However, a recent study shows a high-salt diet also raises blood pressure by damaging healthy gut bacteria. This destruction increases the inflammation that contributes to high blood pressure and the development of autoimmune ... Read more
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