GET TO THE ROOT.
Rethinking Illness, Rethinking Medicine
The founding mission of RRH is to support folks in (or even lead them to) a new way of thinking about illness and health, observing that (with a handful of exceptions) prescription drugs and surgery don't really fix anything, only mask more fundamental problems. The "drug it out, cut it out" approach that doctors & nurses learn in medical school works great for infectious disease and emergency room medicine (and we're grateful for that), but where chronic illness is concerned it's not the path to creating and sustaining true health.
A functional medicine, "root cause" approach might be greeted by some as heretical, but if you strip away a lifetime of "match the pill to the ill" cultural programming, approaching illness and health with questions like 'how' and 'why' suddenly appears like common sense. After all, it's at the very foundational level-- assimilation, elimination, signaling, nutrient (& hormone) sufficiency and detoxification capacity-- that the elements of health and wellness lie.
Guy Raz and Siddhartha Mukherjee (of "Emperor of All Maladies" renown) put together a 12-minute "soil vs. seed" clip about this a few years back, as part of a series on "Rethinking Medicine" for the TED Radio Hour. While Mukherjee's specific example is about stem cells, the concept of building up from a solid foundation is the same.
PEOPLE ARE TAKING THEIR HEALTH CARE INTO THEIR OWN HANDS AS NEVER BEFORE.
#mybody #primumnonnocere #detectivemedicine #goodinbadout #foodfirst
MIND YOUR MICROFLORA TO AVOID LONG COVID
Scientists now believe that as many as one in three people infected with the Sars-Cov-2 will go on to develop long-haul disease, lasting for several months or even longer. In July of this year, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services declared long Covid a recognized disability under the ADA.
In a provocative new paper published last month, a group of Hong Kong-based researchers argue that the health of your gut microflora may very well determine your risk of developing serious acute disease as well as long-haul Covid.
The study involved only one hundred volunteers, but still the results were striking. Study volunteers with the lowest levels of three species of gut bacteria-- Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Eubacterium rectale, and Bifidobacterium longum-- were 6-8x more likely to experience severe disease and/or chronic Covid symptoms.
While unlikely to be the only three heavy lifters, everyday it becomes clearer that an imbalanced gut microbiota ("dysbiosis") appears to predispose us not only to autoimmune, brain and even skin disorders but even to more severe Sars-Cov-2 infection and long Covid."
It is emerging that a kind of boilerplate "weed, seed & feed" microbiota care program works for the majority of people, with others, where there is a predominance of fungal (as opposed to bacterial) overgrowth and/or overgrowths that have creeped up into the small bowel, often requiring addition layers of treatment as well as additional time.
Seed in some ways is a misnomer, as it is now pretty much established that precious little to none of your probiotic supplement actually ends up taking up residence in your body; rather, the beneficial bugs hang out for a week or two, do their thing (talking to the immune system, affecting neurotransmitters, exercising antibacterial or antifungal effects, aiding butyrate production), and then are flushed out.
Finally, feed. This requires the daily diligence and is arguably the most neglected: providing our precious gut buddies with the food they need to thrive.
* Dysbiosis, in a nutshell, is when the mix of micro-organisms in your intestines are skewed in favor of the bad guys/gals-- at the expense of the good ones.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE KYNURENINE PATHWAY AND QUINOLINIC ACID IN ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
Alzheimer's disease is the major dementing disorder of the elderly that affects over 20 million people world-wide. Accumulation of amyloid beta peptide ("A beta") is believed to be an early and critical step in the neuropathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. There is a growing body of evidence for the kynurenine pathway being associated with its pathophysiology.
The kynurenine pathway, a neurotransmitter pathway in the brain by which the amino acid tryptophan is either fed into the production of serotonin or diverted to produce neurotoxic quinolinic acid, is a major route of L-tryptophan catabolism leading to production of a number of biologically active molecules.
The preferential production of the neurotoxin quinolinic acid, considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of a number of inflammatory neurological diseases, and quite possibly one of the critical factors in the pathogenesis of neuronal damage in Alzheimer's disease, appears respond to systemic candida infections, and possibly other instances of gut dysbiosis.
Some early signs of elevated levels of quinolinic acid include depression and fatigue.
Functional medicine diagnostics that measure organic acids in the urine can help to identify these neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain: among them, ZRT Labs, Genova Diagnostics and Great Plains Laboratories. It's never too early to learn these things!