What does it mean to practice ‘integrative medicine’?

Happiness Father and son on the bicycle outdoorHave you heard the term, “integrative medicine”? Do you know what it means, or what the benefits are to taking an integrative approach to medical care and treatment?

Simply put, integrative medicine is a medical care that puts the patient at the center of treatment. It’s an approach that tries to consider and address the full range of physical, social, emotional, environmental, and even spiritual reasons for illness. In short, integrative medicine tries to recognize that each individual is unique and is facing unique circumstances that may be impacting their health and wellness.

Here are some of the founding principles of integrative medicine:

  • The practitioner and patient should be partners in the process
  • The best medicine should seek to find natural solutions first, and provide the least invasive and harmful treatment
  • Healthcare providers should use ALL available healing sciences – including behavioral, nutrition-based, and other knowledge of wellness best practices – to promote the body’s own healing response when possible
  • All factors of health, such as emotional, spiritual, and environmental, should be considered to take a whole-body, or holistic approach

Here, at Proactive Wellness Centers, we believe that promoting the health of the body takes a complete approach to lifestyle, nutrition, addressing physical activity levels and sleep quality, and looking for any allergies or intolerances.

We know that it makes no difference if you treat the symptoms, if you allow ongoing problems like stress, lack of rest, or poor eating habits to cause continued issues overall.

We feel that it’s important to address issues that are often overlooked, such as environmental stressors such as mold, allergies, intolerances. We think it’s important to promote health by providing good information for healthy living, such as how to eat, sleep, and manage wellness through knowledge and self-care.

We know that sometimes it takes management of issues that traditional medicine overlooks, such as inflammation, to improve health. We use therapies that are grounded in science, but seek to break ground to get results, such as use of advanced peptide therapies.

If you’re ready to try a holistic, integrative approach to health please don’t hesitate to reach reach out to us. Visit us online to learn more and feel free to reach out with any questions.

How to know when you have a chronic illness

????????????????????????????????What does it mean to have a chronic illness? You may have heard that term used, but not know fully what it meant. Today, we’ll talk about some of the symptoms and signs of chronic illness, and discuss when to consult a health care provider to find whole-body and whole-life wellness solutions.

Generally speaking, any disease that is a long-term condition can be categorized as a chronic illness. Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer all qualify as a chronic illness. But chronic illnesses may also be categorized by a cluster of ongoing symptoms of poor health that are unexplained, or seem to go away temporarily and then recur repeatedly.

For example, all of the following can be categorized as chronic illness conditions:

  • Ongoing, unexplained fatigue;
  • Muscle soreness unrelated to activity levels
  • Joint paint;
  • Skin disorders;
  • Mental issues, such as fogginess or memory problems;
  • Symptoms of illness that last for more than a year; and
  • Unresolved health issues that don’t seem to respond to treatment.

What causes chronic illness? The causes can be varied. It may have to do with underlying allergies, infection, lifestyle issues, or other problems. A qualified healthcare provider can help you find the cause and solutions.

So, what can you do if you suspect that you may have a chronic health issue? We recommend that you see a holistic health provider. It is important to treat the whole body as an interconnected system, rather than simply seeking to solve issues that crop up.

Promoting the health of the body takes a complete approach to lifestyle, nutrition, addressing physical activity levels and sleep quality, and looking for any allergies or intolerances. It makes no difference if you treat the symptoms, if you allow ongoing problems like stress, lack of rest, or poor eating habits to cause continued issues overall.

What can you do? We recommend that, if you are concerned about your symptoms, that you visit a doctor and holistic wellness provider that can test you for issues and help you to find appropriate treatment.

If that sounds like the case for you or someone you love, please reach out to us. Visit us online to learn more and feel free to reach out with any questions. We offer holistic wellness solutions.

What is normal during the aging process? You don’t have to feel sick and tired

Elderly woman running with her golder retrieverDo you have concerns about aging? Many people do. But the aging process doesn’t have to be the end of vitality, feeling good, or enjoying good health. In fact, it’s NOT normal to feel sick and tired as we age – despite what popular culture would tell you. An aging adult doesn’t ever have to be “over the hill.”

In fact, aging is just another stage of life. Our bodies change to adapt. In fact, there may even be some advantages. So, what symptoms are often attributed to aging that aren’t part of the normal, healthy aging process? Read on for a list. None of the symptoms below are necessarily caused by aging. Instead, they may be symptoms of underlying health issues.

Fatigue – Tired all of the time? That’s not normal, even when you’re older. Fatigue is a sign of illness. See a doctor, and try examining your lifestyle to see if the fatigue is due to lack of sleep, exercise, chronic stress, poor nutrition, or infection.

Weight gain – A lot of us assume that weight gain is a part of aging. But, it’s not! You might be losing muscle mass, but only if you’re inactive. You can maintain a healthy weight and metabolism with exercise, and good nutrition.

Pain – You don’t have to accept pain as part of the aging process. Achy joints can often be improved with physical activity and therapies, for example. If you’re in pain, see an integrative medicine practitioner.

Memory issues – Did you know that poor memory can be caused by inflammation? We can help you find solutions to fogginess.

Illness – Getting sick is not a part of healthy aging. You can take good care of yourself, and find ways to manage your health and wellbeing. Finding a practitioner that takes a holistic approach is key.

Surprised? Don’t be. All of the issues outlined above can be treated with a holistic, integrative approach. Often, all that is needed are lifestyle changes. You can learn more about how to take better care of your body, and reap the results in increased wellness.

In fact, aging can sometimes lead to wisdom about what does and doesn’t work for you. Perhaps you are finding out more about you personal allergies, intolerances, and other needs. Or, maybe after a lifetime of ignoring stress and other lifestyle factors, you’re finally taking into account what does and doesn’t work for you – and setting healthy boundaries.

When you think about it that way, aging can be a healthy process of gaining self knowledge about how to best care for your body and your life. You can take charge, and even find ways to be in better health than you were when you were younger!

Here are some healthy ways to promote good health as you age, and learn more about what works for you.

  1. Really key-in to how much sleep you need. Most of us have been trained to try to skimp on sleep. Instead, take the time to determine how much you need to feel your best. Good sleep is essential for maintaining good health.
  2. As we age, it becomes important to pay attention to how we feel after meals. Paying attention to feelings of fullness, and recognizing how we feel in the time after we eat, can help us tune in to allergies, imbalances, and other issues we may have pushed through or ignored when we were younger.
  3. Get more exercise. Even just walking helps. Regular physical activity is best for both body and mind. You have to stay engaged to keep moving (so to speak) into your best health at any age.
  4. Manage stress. Aging often brings self knowledge. It’s important now, more than perhaps ever, to draw healthy boundaries and limits. You must prioritize self care.

Also, know your body. Unexplained symptoms should never be ignored. If you are feeling unwell, it’s worth a trip to visit your trusted provider to rule out issues and find holistic solutions.

At Proactive Wellness, we will provide a complete screening and counseling at each step to help facilitate normal, healthy aging at each step of the process. If you have any questions, we will run tests and give you full screenings to rule out any issues and prevent a progressive worsening and risk to your long-term health.

If you have any questions about your health please don’t hesitate to give us a call! Check out our website for more information, as well. We want to partner with you to find solutions that work, and help you to live your most active, healthy life – even as you age.

‘Ticked Off’: Do you have Lyme disease?

87849470 - closeup of a tick on a finger.Are you dealing with unexplained fatigue, muscle aches, memory loss and mental fogginess, or other unexplained symptoms? The issue could be Lyme disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease? It’s important to know the answer, because left untreated Lyme disease, can cause serious and debilitating illness and disability. Symptoms can mimic those of stroke, painful cases of arthritis, chronic illness, and issues that lead to a loss of proper brain function. But early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the risk, and preserve your health.

Not sure you’re at risk? Chances are, the possibility you might be exposed is greater than you might expect. According to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of confirmed cases of Lyme disease has climbed dramatically in the last few years. A recent study shows that cases increased more than 80% from 2004-2016, from 19,804 to 36,429.

So, what exactly IS Lyme disease? It’s a cluster of symptoms and illness caused by the transmission of a harmful bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, through the bite of a black-legged or deer tick.

What are the symptoms? Lyme disease can feel like a summer cold or flu, without the respiratory symptoms. A person might feel fatigue, fever, chills, muscle aches, joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. Left untreated, symptoms can progress to include:

  • Heart palpitations, or irregular heartbeats;
  • Severe headaches and/or neck stiffness, and sometimes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord;
  • Joint pain and stiffness that feels like severe arthritis, and/or shooting pains;
  • Numbness and/or tingling in the hands and feet;
  • Rashes; and
  • Loss of muscle tone or “drooping” on one side of the face.

Even worse, when left untreated Lyme disease can lead to ongoing health issues that can include mental confusion, sleep disturbances, and severe fatigue.

So, how do you know if you’ve been exposed, or if you have Lyme disease? It can be difficult to tell, primarily because sometimes the first symptoms may show up weeks after you (or your pet) have been bitten. Moreover, ticks can be the size of a poppy seed — which makes them really hard to spot.

If you do develop symptoms, including redness at the bite site that looks like a bullseye, or find a tick on your skin or clothes, you should have your doctor run tests to be sure. Many early cases can be cleared with antibiotics.

How are people exposed? Often people take precautions when they go hiking, camping, hunting, or do other planned outdoor activities. They wear long sleeves, and maybe even bug spray. But experts are finding that most people are exposed to tick bites in their own backyard, while doing yard work, gardening, or just playing outside. Pets are another source of exposure. Often, ticks will hitch a ride on your dog — leaving you vulnerable to bites and transmission of the disease.

Again, it’s possible to contract Lyme disease and not know for months after exposure. It’s worth your health to explore all of the possibilities if you’re experiencing unexplained symptoms.

Be aware, that the accuracy of blood tests can vary based on the timing of your exposure. So, if you haven’t yet developed antibodies in your blood to the infection, the test could come back negative. Ongoing treatment and screening by a trusted medical professional should include follow-ups if you think you’ve been exposed, or may be having symptoms.

For that reason, it’s important to visit medical professionals that take a holistic approach to wellness. Whether or not you find a tick, your doctor should take any symptoms that might be Lyme disease seriously, and offer you follow up screening to rule out the disease and stop further progression when appropriate.

Finally, you can take steps to prevent the illness. While you shouldn’t be afraid to get outdoors, you should certainly take proper common sense precautions. Wear long sleeves and pants, check yourself after spending time outside (even if you’re just out in the backyard) and be sure to keep an eye on your pets.

Also, know your body. Unexplained symptoms should never be ignored. If you are feeling unwell, it’s worth a trip to visit your trusted provider to rule out issues and find holistic solutions.

At Proactive Wellness, we will provide a complete screening and counseling if you think you might have Lyme disease to rule out any issues and prevent a progressive worsening and risk to your long-term health.

Finally, if you have any questions about your health please don’t hesitate to give us a call! Check out our website for more information, as well. We want to partner with you to find solutions that work, and help you to live your most active life.

Do you know the symptoms of mold-related illness?

16311394 - sick woman  flu  woman caught cold  sneezing into tissueAre you having symptoms of illness that you can’t explain? The problem might be related to mold. It’s a common problem. On the milder end of the spectrum, people experience ‘normal’ allergy symptoms related to the season. But in some cases, mold in the home can cause more serious symptoms that can lead to illnesses that can be debilitating.

What are the symptoms of mold-related illness? Read on for a list of the common symptoms experienced by people with a mold sensitivity. Symptoms may include:

  • Repeated respiratory infections and illness. If you have cough that won’t go away, or asthma symptoms, or seem to come down with colds or sinus infections frequently, the problem could be caused by exposure to mold.
  • Headaches, foggy thinking, and mood swings: Mold can trigger symptoms similar to those of chronic inflammation, as the body tries to fight infection and heal itself. This mechanism can lead to cognitive symptoms.
  • Skin issues: Did you know that mold can cause rashes? Exposure can cause redness and rashes that often don’t tip off people that they’re experiencing a mold-related reaction.
  • Dizziness: Mold exposure can, in some cases, cause more serious and confusing symptoms such as dizziness and feelings of vertigo.
  • Vision: Blurry vision, teary or red eyes, and other issues can point to a mold sensitivity and heightened issues that go beyond typical allergy symptoms.

So, what causes mold-related illness? First, it helps to know that mold is often in the air as spores. Most people are healthy enough to breath in a small amount of spores and not experience negative symptoms. But, if you have a sensitivity, are already sick or have a compromised immune system, or are dealing with repeated exposure in a home or other building, then you may be at risk for developing more serious symptoms and illness from mold exposure.

What can you do? We recommend that, if you are concerned about your symptoms, that you visit a doctor and holistic wellness provider that can test you for issues and help you to find appropriate treatment.

If that sounds like the case for you or someone you love, please reach out to us. Visit us online to learn more and feel free to reach out with any questions. We offer holistic wellness solutions and are certified in mold treatment.

The ‘inside story’: are your health issues caused by parasites?

Young couple sharing a digital tablet while relaxing in bedDid you know that parasites are a problem for millions of Americans? According to experts at the Centers for Disease Control, the problem is more common than many people realize. Moreover, many people that pick up a parasite often go undiagnosed, and suffer from illness and symptoms that could be treated or managed.

In fact, it’s a common misconception that parasites are only a problem in underdeveloped or poor countries. Many people (mistakenly) believe that you can’t pick up a parasite if you have access to proper sanitation, running water, and food prepared according to a high quality of safety standards. But, there are still ways to pick up a parasite that might surprise you. What can cause a parasitic infection?

These common risk factors might point to a parasitic infection:

  1. Do you own a cat? What about a cat at a friend’s home, or have you come into contact with a stray? Contact with cat waste, either accidentally or by cleaning a litter box, can expose you to a parasitic infection by Toxoplasmosis. It is estimated that more than 60 million people are chronically infected with toxoplasma gondii. Often, many people don’t hear about the possibility of contracting the parasite until they (or a friend) get pregnant, when an obstetrician orders tests or counsels them to avoid exposure to cat waste.
  2. Do you own a dog? You’re not better off than cat owners. The worms that live in the intestines of dogs (and some cats) carry a parasite called Toxocara. In fact, many Americans have been exposed and carry antibodies in their blood to fight off the infection. But for those that don’t, contracting Toxocara can lead to serious illness and even blindness.
  3. Did you know that some parasites can be contracted through sexual contact? A protozoa called trichomonias is transmitted sexually. It’s a common infection that often is symptomless, but can cause itching and burning, and puts the person at risk of developing additional infections because the body is weakened by trying to keep the parasite at bay.
  4. Eating undercooked meat — or even fruits and vegetables that haven’t been handled properly — can lead to exposure to tapeworms that live in the muscles and brain. Most people know that, but aren’t aware of how common exposure can be.
  5. Have you been hiking or camping lately? What about drinking untreated, unfiltered well or spring water? Contaminated water, taken in while camping or from other untreated sources, can lead to parasitic infections and illness.
  6. Been bitten by a bug lately? It’s well known that mosquitos and ticks can carry illness. But a bug called the triatomine bug can cause an illness called Chagas disease. According to some experts,”[m]ore than 300,000 American are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, and more than 300 infected babies are born every year.”

So, how do you know if you have a parasitic infection? The symptoms can seem general, and mimmic symptoms of other illnesses. Think fatigue, fever, nausea, heart and respiratory symptoms, headaches, rashes, and itching. Fairly vague, right? That’s why we recommend that if you have unexplained symptoms that aren’t going away, you ask your holistic wellness provider and doctor to run tests for parasitic infection.

How do we test for parasites? The CDC recommends a few different tests. (You can call us to learn more, or visit the CDC page here.) The list of tests includes blood draws, fecal sample testing, and x-rays.

More than one kind of test may be performed by your health care provider. Among other things, the tests will look for antibodies in your blood serum, evidence in fecal samples of the byproducts of parasites, and x-rays will be used to determine if your organs have developed lesions caused by some parasitic infections.

In some cases, a colonoscopy may be done to more thoroughly screen for a parasite. You health care provider will determine which tests to order, and will often send the samples to a qualified lab for analysis.

It’s important to learn more about the issue, because so many Americans go without proper diagnosis and treatment due to a lack of knowledge and the common misconception that parasites are not an issue here in the United States.

If you think you may have unexplained symptoms and would benefit from a screening, either because you have one of the risk factors identified above, or just a long-term issue that has gone unresolved, please be sure to learn more and ask for a test.

You can take control of your health by learning more, and finding natural ways to promote your health, healing and overall wellness. Don’t hesitate to visit our website to learn more, and reach out with any questions.

Don’t get burned: why long-term antacid use isn’t a good option to treat digestive troubles

8588101_SDo you suffer from occasional heartburn, or have a problem with more serious recurring acid reflux? Or, do you have other digestive issues? If you do, and you’re treating any of the above with over the counter antacids, you may be setting yourself up to ‘get burned’ by side effects and the results of masking underlying health issues.

Pain is our body’s way of telling us there’s a problem. In all cases, it pays to notice the signs, symptoms and signals our body is giving us. Over-the-counter antacids aren’t a good solution for solving acid reflux and other digestive issues, because use can mask symptoms that tell us we need to make lifestyle changes and resolve underlying health problems.

Here are some of the known causes of acid reflux:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Taking OTC medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, certain blood pressure medications, or blood thinners
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Eating foods that don’t agree with your body (Some people will experience acid reflux after eating tomatoes, chocolate, spicy or fatty foods, as well as onions and garlic)
  • Pregnancy

In each of these cases, our body is trying to tell us something when we experience acid reflux. Maybe we need to change our diet, and remove foods that the body can’t tolerate. Or, maybe we need to lose weight and make healthier lifestyle choices. Perhaps we need to stop taking medications with side effects that tell us the body is experiencing stress caused by a treatment that’s making the condition worse, and not better. Or, in the worst case, we may have an underlying condition such as hernia that needs treatment and attention.

In all cases, it’s best to look at lifestyle to find the most natural, least invasive way to help the body to heal itself. For that reason, your wellness depends on your willingness to pay attention to your symptoms and find a holistic solution.

Additionally, the risks associated with taking antacids go beyond masking symptoms. The antacids can have side effects that can lead to other health problems. How? Antacids generally work in one of a few ways. You can find antacids that are “proton pump inhibitors,” or PPIs, that lower the amount of acid in the stomach; and there are H2 blockers that work by blocking acid production. Both types come with the risk of side effects.

H2 blockers are known to cause headaches, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. PPIs are known to have similar side effects, plus they interact negatively with other medications. Used long term, these medications have also been linked to memory loss, bone fractures, pneumonia, and heart and kidney problems.

Why? Because tampering with acid production in the stomach and the proper functioning of the digestive system can lead to problems absorbing nutrients from food, and overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal system (or gut). This can start a cycle of illness that prevents healing, poisons the body as the gut ‘leaks’ poisons into the system, and reduces resistance to other illness and infections.

That’s why we don’t recommend that people use antacids such as Nexium, Prilosec, Zantac and Pepcid to tread acid reflux long term. Many health and holistic practitioners are now sounding the alarm about the issues. And we’re not alone. Even the FDA is now issuing warnings about the problems of PPI use, especially on a long-term basis. They recommend limiting use to no more than six weeks. This is a major reversal, since antacids are one of the most popular drugs used by Americans. Doctors wrote 114 million prescriptions for them last year alone.

But why would you spend weeks taking a drug that could cause dementia and cancer, if you don’t have to? Instead, we recommend that you visit a holistic wellness provider. You need to tune in to the symptoms your body is sending, and look to see if you can find natural solutions.

Ready to learn more? We can provide more information on our website, and by speaking with one of our healthcare providers. We can counsel you on healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and use of targeted supplements such as PEA (palmitoylethanolamide) to treat inflammation in the body.

Whatever you do, please take a little time to review all of your options before making a final decision to treat acid reflux and digestive issues in the body, and the conditions they create. You can take control of your health by learning more, and finding natural ways to promote your health, healing and overall wellness. Don’t hesitate to visit our website to learn more, and reach out with any questions.

Can you tell the difference between the symptoms of natural aging, and cognitive impairment?

42189222 - elderly couple smilling together over natural backgroundAs we age, it’s natural for our bodies to change. But we don’t have to accept that the quality of our health and lives will be diminished. Often, people expect that as we age we’ll have more difficulty learning new things, remembering things, or thinking as quickly and clearly as we used to. Yes, some of that is normal. But do you know the difference between normal, healthy changes and the signs and symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognitive impairments?

It’s important to be able to tell the difference. There is so much that can be done to treat cognitive impairments and the underlying health issues that lead to foggy thinking, lack of focus, memory issues, and the emotional health issues that come from having health issues that impact the brain.

Here are some common signs of the normal aging process in the brain:

  • Not being able to remember names of acquaintances, or where you parked your car in a lot
  • Occasionally not being able to find the word you want to say, as if it’s ‘on the tip of your tongue’
  • Sometimes not remembering what you went into a room to get or find
  • Forgetting events every once in a while
  • You’re nervous about your memory, but close friends and family aren’t

But here are symptoms of a more serious, underlying problem:

  • A sense of brain fogginess on a regular basis, and an inability to remember things that just happened
  • Not remembering family members’ or close friends’ names
  • Finding yourself somewhere – like a mall, or grocery store – and not being sure how you got there
  • Inability to plan, or solve problems
  • Trouble having conversations
  • Not being aware of a problem, even though your family has mentioned it

It’s important to know the signs, because you can treat underlying health issues to improve brain functioning. How? By managing inflammation with a healthy diet, better sleep, managing stress, and making good lifestyle choices.

If this area is of significant concern to you, then you should consider how the Bredesen protocol may be beneficial. (We’re certified in the Bredesen protocol, and have made healthy brain functioning one of our areas of specialty.)

The earlier you catch a problem, the better your outcome will be. If you’re not sure whether you may have an underlying cognitive issue, or how to manage inflammation in the body, we invite you to reach out to us. Visit online, or book an appointment. We can help!

How to manage inflammation with better nutrition, and why it matters

??????????????????????????????????????Are you dealing chronic health conditions? Do you regularly face mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, or experience physical ailments? If so, you may need to learn more about inflammation in the body and find ways to get it under control.

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to illness and injury. For example, when you get a cut, scrape or sprain, the body responds with increased blood flow, swelling, pain. These symptoms are a sign that the body is trying to heal itself by ramping up its immune response.

Normally, that’s a good thing. But when it gets out of hand, the same system that promotes healing can create the conditions for chronic pain, sickness, and mental health issues as the body stays on high alert mode, and eventually starts to attack itself.

In general, this cycle of an out of control inflammatory response is what causes immune system problems, such as those that lead to arthritis, psoriasis, and allergies, just to name a few examples. Other signs that the body is dealing with chronic inflammation include mental fogginess, digestive issues, undefined aches and pains, and lack of energy.

So, what causes chronic inflammation? In part, the cause can be traced in some people to poor dietary choices, unhealthy behaviors, and poor environmental conditions. Eating processed foods, not getting enough sleep, a lack of exercise, and air pollution can all contribute to chronic inflammation for people susceptible or vulnerable to those conditions.

Another cause is chronic stress. When a person is stressed by poor work conditions, difficult relationships or other issues, the body produces hormones that ramp up circulation and change metabolism. In small doses, this gives the body energy and the mind focused to face challenges. But when stress is long term, those changes in the body create a toxic environment that prevent rest and healing. When the body and mind can’t rest and heal, that inflammation can cause additional health issues that exacerbate and cause mental health problems. (Think anxiety and depression.)

But one solution for ailments of the body and mind is to manage inflammation is to choose a healthier diet. You can choose foods that are more likely to heal the body than aggravate your condition. It helps to include more fruits and vegetables, fresh food, whole ingredients without chemical additives, organic food, and to control sugar, fat, and watch for allergies.

Adding organic and natural foods that have been shown to fight inflammation makes a difference, too.  There are foods that are well known to promote better health by reducing inflammation in the body. You’ll want to make choices based on your individual needs, but these are generally good options:

  • Curcumin. Found in the spice Turmeric, the yellow pigment curcumin has been found to be as effective as some over-the-counter medications, such as Ibuprofen.
  • Green Tea. Contains healthy compounds. The green tea is less processed, and is better for you than black or herbal teas.
  • Garlic. This powerful root provides wonderful flavor, but it’s also tremendously helpful in the body. Garlic has a blood thinning effect, and promotes good circulation, plus many more positive benefits.
  • Capsaicin. Found chili peppers, the same compound that gives heat and flavor to the pepper can help to control inflammation in the body.
  • White Willow Bark. Have you heard of white willow bark? It has a similar effect as aspirin, and has been used for its anti-inflammatory properties since Roman and Egyptian times.
  • Cinnamon. This spice comes from tree bark. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, it’s also high in antioxidant, and has lipid-lowering properties.
  • Ginger. A host of research studies have shown that ginger has a better anti-inflammatory effect than many non-steroidal drugs. Ginger is a root commonly used to flavor desserts, add warmth to sauces, added to teas, and even candied as a treat.

Please take a little time to review all of your options before making a final decision to treat inflammation in the body, and the conditions it creates. You can take control of your health by learning more, and finding natural ways to promote your health, healing and overall wellness. Don’t hesitate to visit our website to learn more, and reach out with any questions.

Combating Alzheimer’s with Brain Health Optimization and the Bredesen Protocol

47499705 - 3d medical background with male head with brain and dna strands If you’ve ever misplaced your keys, had trouble recalling a name or fact, or forgotten important information, like where you parked while out shopping, you can understand the fear and frustration that comes with temporary memory loss. Yet millions of Americans experience far more serious memory challenges in the form of Alzheimer’s disease, which is responsible for up to 80 percent of dementia cases.

Numbers like these demonstrate not only why Alzheimer’s is recognized as one of the world’s most burdensome diseases, but also why finding research-based, proven methods to improve brain health is increasingly critical.

And there is hope.

Dr. Dale Bredesen is recognized internationally for his ground-breaking research into ways to not only treat Alzheimer’s more effectively, but potentially prevent and even reverse the disease. Dr. Bredesen and his team from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging developed the Reversal of Cognitive Decline, or ReCODE. The science behind ReCODE comes through the examination of the pathogens of Alzheimer’s and the implementation of multiple strategies that seek not only to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but also address specific health issues that lead to Alzheimer’s. The results of their studies are very promising.

Proactive Wellness Center’s founder and director, Dr. Lynese Lawson, D.O., is certified through the Institute of Functional Medicine to use ReCODE, also known as the Bredesen Protocol, in the treatment of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s. Through extensive research, she determined that the Bredesen Protocol provides the best evidence-based approach to Alzheimer’s diagnosis and treatment. This protocol is a core piece of our Brain Health Optimization Program (BHOP).

What is the Brain Health Optimization Program?

As an overview, our Brain Health Optimization and Treatment program includes:

  • Initial Consultation: You’ll be scheduled for a two-hour consultation at our Tyson’s office with your Bredesen-Protocol doctor to review test results from your cognitive evaluation.
  • Physical examination: Your doctor will perform a physical evaluation that will be used in determining your personalized treatment plan. This evaluation is typically conducted during the same visit as your two-hour consultation.
  • Baseline cognitive: Like the physical exam, this is typically during the two-hour consultation.
  • Additional consultation: A 90-minute appointment with your Bredesen-Protocol doctor, which can be conducted in-office or via tele-video, occurs on a date separate from your initial consultation and will cover the remaining tests that were not covered in the initial visit. Your doctor will also review the core elements of your personalized treatment plan and present the results of our evaluation in a personalized “cognoscopy.”

Of course, to understand the benefits that the Bredesen Protocol and BHOP offer to Alzheimer’s and cognitive impaired patients, it’s important to first understand how to recognize what Alzheimer’s is and what it isn’t.

Recognizing Alzheimer’s Disease

There are many factors that distinguish forgetfulness from something more serious. To help differentiate between Alzheimer’s and the normal aging process, we’ve created a basic list of indicators. For a more comprehensive list as well as a deep-dive into how lifestyle, genetics, head trauma history toxin exposure and more may contribute to the development of Alzheimers, visit our web page dedicated to Bredesen-Protocol strategies to improve brain health and reverse cognitive decline.

  • Vision challenges: Deteriorating eyesight is common as we age, but for those with Alzheimer’s, spacial relationships, distance and contract become a challenge.
  • Memory loss: If you go to the store without grabbing your shopping list, it’s easy to forget one or two items but remember them later. However, with Alzheimer’s, people frequently forget key dates of life events such as birthdays and anniversaries. They also are more likely to ask for the same piece of information multiple times. The memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disrupts daily life
  • Conversation difficulties: As we age, we may find that we have shortness of breath when we speak or walk. And almost everyone can get tongue-tied during conversations from time to time. People with Alzheimer’s, however, are more likely to misuse words, repeat the same story during a single conversation, demonstrate difficulty recalling words or even find it hard to follow conversations.
  • Familiar tasks: For those with Alzheimer’s, familiar tasks, such as driving to or from home, can suddenly become unfamiliar. This leads to disorientation and difficulty following directions. Those with normal age-related memory loss are better able to retrace their steps upon getting lost.
  • Mood and personality changes: We are all prone to frustration when things aren’t done the way we are used to or prefer. This is a normal part of life. But for individuals with Alzheimer’s, pronounced changes in personality and mood, as well as social withdrawal, are often evident.

If you see these symptoms or others related to cognitive decline in your loved one (or yourself), they may be a candidate for the Brain Health Optimization Program. Together, we can help those we care about lead quality lives. A cognitive evaluation with Proactive Wellness Centers is the first step toward better brain health. To establish a baseline for treatment, we combine our age-normalized cognitive evaluation with the renowned Montreal Cognitive Assessment.

Once you receive the results of the neurological assessment and are ready to begin working with Dr. Lawson, you’ll be advised of the recommended next steps. We’re excited to make Brain Health Optimization Program and the Bredesen ReCODE Protocol available to you.