Are You a Hospitable Host to Your Microbial Partners?

Are you enriching their lives with good, healthy food choices and lifestyle habits or are you angering your trillions of guests, pushing them towards causing disease? I wrote my thesis in medical school on stealth infections, where I concluded that health had much to do with how well we tended our microbial garden… I was…

PCBs-A Case Report Suggests We Can Reduce Burden Despite Their Years-Long Half-Life

A patient was in my office the other day explaining that she’s gotten rid of all her plastic cookware, purchased new pots and pans and wooden cooking utensils. “I am going crazy thinking about all the toxins and what to do!” she said, “It keeps me up at night!” After expressing my admiration for her…

Age-Specific Phenotypic Expression of Food Allergies

We in functional medicine have long been aware that children can start out with a clearly identified food allergy. As the child ages, the primary allergic symptoms fade and some other clinically relevant presentation appears in its place. For example: we’ll see a classic milk allergy in infancy — often as milk colitis.

SIBO and Chapped Lips: A Connection?

It’s winter. Chances are that if you live anywhere cold and dry, your lips have been chapped at least once this season. For most of us, we slather on the lip balm and all is well. But for some folks, the chapped lip experience is an entirely different animal: A relentless cycle of peeling and healing, peeling and healing that no amount of lip balm resolves. Lips are fissured and inflamed, making…

The 2014 flu epidemic: Let’s do what works!

The flu is here. Very early in the season, it’s already at epidemic proportions, hitting those most vulnerable to its ravages — kids and the elderly — as it does each year. The virus mutated early, greatly limiting the efficacy potential of the flu vaccine. That said, the vaccine has had limited efficacy for years now. And we’ve known this. Influenza-like activity has been on a steady incline for the…

Death, Taxes and … Presbyopia?

So here I am, comfortably into my 40s. In many ways, this is a grand time of life: satisfying career, happy home, a greater sense of well-being and contentment. But over the last couple of years, spectacles sit on the bridge of my nose more often than not, for any close-up activity. It started in my 30s: +1 “readers” when I was using the computer a lot. Not a big deal.

We Are What Our Gut Bugs Eat

A patient named Barbara bounded into my office. She threw herself into a chair, and looked at me with eyes of terror, guilt and shame. I knew from her countenance that it was confession time. She launched into her story, retelling an all-too-familiar tale: She hadn’t stuck with her anti-inflammatory diet. Her food cravings, she explained, were out-of-control, and she was miserable….