Doctor checking lungs x-ray

Respiratory Health and the Microbiome: The Gut-Lung Axis

Respiratory conditions, both chronic and acute, are some of the most common issues seen in clinical practice. In 2016, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) alone accounted for around 3 million deaths, and was the third leading cause of death worldwide. Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases globally affecting nearly eight percent of people (over 24 million) in the US alone. Childhood onset of asthma can impair airway development, and persist into adulthood. Adult asthma may accelerate the decline of pulmonary function, and increase susceptibility to infection

Th17

A Few Surprises About Ketogenic Diets and Their Effects on the Microbiota and Th17

As you know, here at drkarafitzgerald.com we like to push the boundaries of what we know, and sometimes this means being a little contrarian. In this blog, our Nutrition Director, Romilly Hodges CNS takes us on a tour of some of the emerging research on Th17 prompted by a new paper in the journal Cell, that postulated a reduction in Bifidobacteria may mediate some of the benefits of a ketogenic diet for epilepsy by reducing Th17.

Woman with stomach pain after eating,Hand female holding her belly,Food poisoning,Digestion problems,Close up

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EOE): A Deeper Look at Antecedents, Triggers, and Mediators

My first EOE patient in the early 2000’s was fortunately, already diagnosed by a very savvy Yale gastroenterologist. I hadn’t heard of EOE at that time, but quickly learned about this highly challenging and potentially disabling mixed IgE allergic condition. It was clear immediately that functional medicine was the solution, and despite my lack of awareness of EOE, I had much to offer my first patient. Since then, we’ve seen more and more EOE patients in clinical practice, unfortunately, due to the meteoric rise of this condition. Fortunately, our tools continue to benefit.

Cardiometabolic Disease

How Gut Health Impacts Cardiometabolic Disease

As research on gut barrier function and gut microbes (aka the gut “microbiota”) expands, more is realized about the interconnectedness of the human body.  One of the surprising areas is in the way that an unhealthy microbiota is a key driver of obesity, fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiac risk.

Furin

The Furin Protease Connection: From SARS CoV-2 and Anthrax, to Diabetes and Hypertension

Earlier this year, Coutard et al proposed that the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S) contains a furin cleavage complex (FCC) which was likely playing a role in the pathogenicity of this particular virus. Fast forward a few weeks, and some further connections can be made with relevance for how we might interpret risk and choose interventions…

Menopausal hormone therapy MHT inscription and pills.

In Pursuit of Best Practice: Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT)

I have practiced medicine for more than 30 years. Throughout, I, like most of you, always wished I had more time to read. My wish came true! This past year, I had the opportunity to roll up my sleeves, dig in, and really understand the literature. Literature on what? In addition to being a cardiovascular disease (CVD) expert, I wanted to continue my growth and development as a hormone expert. I wanted to know everything I could about hormones, hormones in health and disease, hormones in both men and women, hormone dosing, delivery systems, and monitoring, such that I could educate myself, fellow clinicians, and patients. And that is exactly what I have done.

Ayurvedic Mulethi or Liquorice root stick or jeshthamadh powder

Licorice-packed with flavonoids and other active constituents-it’s a potent antiviral worthy of your consideration

Licorice has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since time immemorial as a key ingredient for pandemic formulas. It was a component in TCM formulas for SARS Cov-1 prevention and treatment. Along with astragalus, it is the most frequently used botanical in TCM formulas for SARS Cov-2 prevention in China. Multiple clinical trials have…

SARS

A few additional treatment possibilities in COVID19 (SARS Cov-2) addressing furin-like cleavage and pyroptosis (caspacin-1 activation of inflammasome NLRP3)

The cytokine storm seen in SARS Cov1 and Cov2 might be due to chronic pyroptosis activation. However, known activators of NLRP3 in SARS-CoV differ from CoV2.  While SARS Cov1 and COVID19 are genetically very similar, the extraordinarily high rate of infectivity of COVID19 is unique. Prepublication research suggests the cause might be a unique furin-like cleavage site on the spike protein of Cov2 that was absent in Cov1.