The functional medicine approach to high blood pressure

The most commonly diagnosed medical condition in the United States is high blood pressure, or hypertension, and blood pressure medications are among the top 10 most commonly prescribed drugs. However, these medications can cause undesirable side effects. It’s better to address the underlying causes of high blood pressure—research shows diet and lifestyle changes are just…

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How stress harms the body and what to do about it

Did you know that approximately two-thirds of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related complaints? Stress is the body’s reaction to any situation that is demanding or dangerous. When we experience stress, the body responds by making adrenal hormones (such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol) that help your body cope. Commonly called the “fight or flight” response, this is…

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Why is everyone going gluten-free?

Question: It seems every week I see a new gluten-free food at the grocery store and that another friend has gone gluten-free. Why? Answer: A gluten-free diet has been attacked as a trendy food fad, and it’s easy to understand why. Gluten-free food is the fastest growing segment of the natural foods market.  Going gluten-free improves…

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Why some people need to avoid nightshades

If you’re following the strict leaky gut or autoimmune diet, you may have noticed nightshades are on the list of foods to avoid. Many common and much-loved vegetables belong to the nightshade family, including eggplants, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet and hot peppers (but not black pepper), and chili-based spices, including paprika. What many people don’t realize…

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Valentine’s gift ideas for a loved one with a chronic illness

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, have you thought about how to express your affection for someone you love who lives with a chronic illness? Chronic illness is at an all-time high in the United States, with 75 percent of our health care dollars going to treat such chronic illnesses as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions.…

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Gluten can cause depression, anxiety, brain fog and other brain disorders

Do you suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, brain fog, memory loss, or other brain-based issues? While conventional medicine turns to drug treatments, recent research points to poor gut health as the root of mental illness. This is because inflammation in the gut triggers inflammation throughout the body, including in the brain, bringing on depression, anxiety, brain fog,…

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How gut bacteria make you thin or fat

Obesity has long been blamed on laziness and lack of will power, but exciting new research shows the composition of your gut bacteria, which may have been set since birth, can play a deciding role in whether you’re thin or fat. In mice studies, mice that received bacteria from an obese person became obese. What’s more exciting…

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Always hungry? Blame this hormone made by body fat

Question: Why am I hungry all the time when I am already overweight, even shortly after eating a full meal? Answer: It could be a hormone called leptin, which is produced by body fat, controls whether you feel satisfied after eating. A hormone called leptin controls hunger If you produce too much leptin you develop leptin…

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How to prevent chemical sensitivities, or TILT

Have you noticed signs banning the wearing of perfumes or heavy fragrance in some places? Or perhaps you yourself experience unpleasant or even debilitating symptoms when exposed to perfumes, scented products, gasoline fumes, car exhaust, or other chemical odors. A growing number of people suffer migraines, rashes, fatigue, mood changes, autoimmune flare ups, or more…

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Medications that cause leaky gut

Although diet obviously plays a role in leaky gut, so do other factors, such as high blood sugar, chronic stress, and hormonal imbalances. However, it’s important not to overlook the impact of seemingly innocuous over-the-counter (OTC) medications, as well as some prescription ones. Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the walls…

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