At The Care Group, patients come to us with a wide range of issues-many of them have lost hope. We utilize a functional medicine approach to search for the root cause of the problem, use natural treatments whenever possible, and look at how all the organ systems interrelate. We focus on four areas to try and help our patients reach optimal wellness. These areas include nutrition, sleep, stress management, and movement. The process often begins with optimizing digestive function, in an attempt to “seal and heal the gut” and try to establish a more balanced gut microbiome.
In this blog post, we decided to showcase our top 5 blog posts of all time in terms of most viewed. We hope you enjoy reviewing this information for yourself and we urge you to share it with friends and family.
#1 – Why Vitamin D Might Cause Erectile Dysfunction and How to Fix It
Over 1 billion people across the globe are estimated to be deficient in vitamin D, are you one of them? Vitamin D is a hormone that helps to regulate blood calcium levels, supports bone health, and directly impacts the immune system.
A deficiency of vitamin D is linked to osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. There is mounting evidence that vitamin D supports the immune system and individuals with low vitamin D are at high risk of getting more severe COVID-19.
The best way to determine vitamin D status is with a simple blood test. At the Care Group, we routinely monitor our patients’ vitamin D levels.
#2 – Low Iron, Depression, and Anxiety – A Simple Solution
A recent study found that depression is three times higher during the COVID-19 pandemic than before. Physical, emotional, and psychological burnout from the disruption of our normal lives is playing a role. Depression can affect friendships, performance, and even lead to suicide attempts. If the answer might be as simple as correcting iron deficiency, then why not explore that possibility?
Iron is a vital mineral that plays a role in every cell of the body. It is a component of the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells, which carries oxygen throughout the body. When there is a lack of iron in the body, red blood cells become small, and less oxygen circulates to body tissues—a condition called iron-deficient anemia.
If you or somebody you know struggles with a mood disorder, our integrative team is here to help. We will test your ferritin (the storage form of iron) and screen for any other underlying medical causes.
#3 – A Holistic Approach to Thyroid Disease
The thyroid produces the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which regulate the metabolism by increasing the rate at which you burn food for energy. That is why 2 of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) are fatigue and weight gain.
The most common cause of hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. In Hashimoto’s, the body creates antibodies that attack the thyroid, damaging its ability to produce adequate thyroid hormones. Other causes of hypothyroidism include nutrient deficiencies, systemic inflammation because of food reactions, lifestyle habits like under-eating and over-exercising, or exposure to toxins like heavy metals.
Once you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the standard treatment is a prescription for thyroid hormone replacement.
If you are concerned about symptoms of hypothyroidism, our medical team will conduct a thorough evaluation, including labs and a physical exam. Once we determine the underlying cause of your symptoms, we will create a plan that might include prescription thyroid hormone, nutritional supplements, and dietary changes.
#4 – IBS and Leaky Gut Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS is a disorder of the bowel characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort associated with altered bowel movements. Bowel movements may tend towards constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea. Often there is bloating, excessive gas, and mucus in the stool.
IBS is a common disorder affecting up to 10-15% of adults and is more common in women than men. IBS symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and in the worst cases can significantly affect the quality of life.
Testing for IBS might include blood tests for thyroid function and celiac disease, visualization of the intestinal tract through endoscopy, examination of the stool, or breath tests to rule out such things as lactose intolerance or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
#5 – Aspartame and MSG Increase Risk of Serious Illness
What if I told you there were common FDA-approved ingredients that increase symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, dementia, digestive distress, Multiple Sclerosis, brain tumors, and diabetes? Look around. Do you ever wonder why so many people – perhaps yourself included – suffer from difficulty losing weight, dizziness, erratic mood swings, muscle aches, migraine headaches, and other bizarre symptoms?
The artificial sweetener, aspartame (also called NutraSweet® or Equal®) is a low-calorie additive that is common in diet sodas, energy drinks, sugar-free candies, sugar-free gum, and even some medicines. Aspartame is 200 times sweeter than table sugar and tricks your taste buds into thinking you are eating real sugar.
MSG stands for monosodium glutamate. It is a flavor enhancer that many people think of as being only in Chinese food. However, MSG is actually very common. It’s found in soups, sauces, seasonings, processed meats, potato chips, fast food, and other snacks. MSG gives food a savory flavor (called umami), activates pleasure centers in your brain, overrides your sense of satiety (feeling full), and makes you want more of that food.
Like what you learned? Click here to sign up for our eNewsletters by Dr. G to receive cutting-edge health tips straight to your inbox.
To learn more about our practice, click here.