Restoration Healthcare Blog

Welcome to the Restoration Healthcare Blog

Here, you’ll find news from our office, insights and observations from trusted sources in health, profiles of Restoration Healthcare staffers, information about innovations in the effort to take back your own good health, testimonials from our clients, resources and recommendations of note, and more. Read a post or two and comment on anything that strikes a chord.

By: Restoration Healthcare 

While there are many real and perceived drawbacks to conventional medical treatment, one that stands out in particular is when you can start to feel better even as your health is deteriorating. For example, your doctor may prescribe antihistamines, decongestants, steroids, and the use of a nasal sprays to alleviate allergy symptoms. But after using these prescribed medicines, you discover your condition continues to worsen and even lead to other problems, such as sinus infection or side effects of the medication.

Here at Restoration Healthcare, our focus is on improving health and wellbeing by first determining the underlying cause(s) of your symptoms, Certainly, we want you to feel better from the treatments we recommend, but how you feel is a subjective measure that may not accurately reflect your health.

As practitioners of functional medicine and integrative healthcare, we look at objective measures — not only to assess the underlying status of your health — but to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatments we recommend. Conventional measures of weight, temperature, and blood pressure are helpful, as are lab tests to examine blood counts, glucose and cholesterol levels, nutrient levels, and so on.

In addition to these and other office and lab tests, we routinely conduct a body composition analysis using the InBody 770 — a premium, medical/research grade body composition and body water analyzer that can fully analyze body composition in just one to two minutes.

InBody 770 Body Composition Analysis

The InBody 770 is a leading device in the field of body composition analysis. Its patented technology performs a non-invasive test that entails the patient standing on the device and holding the hand rods for one to two minutes.

The analyzer produces detailed results, including: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Whenever you have a physical examination, your doctor is likely to perform a couple rudimentary tests to assess nerve function. You’re probably familiar with them. In one test, your doctor or a physician assistant taps just below your kneecap with a small rubber mallet to check your reflexes. This is a basic neurological test to make sure the lines of communication between your brain and the rest of your body are working properly.

Ideally, your thigh muscles contract immediately, causing your leg to kick out and then quickly relax. If your muscles are slow to contract or relax (or don’t respond at all), this could be a sign of a neurological condition that requires closer examination.

Another common neurological test involves examining your eyes. Your doctor may shine a light into your eyes to see whether your pupils are the same size and respond to the light normally. If one pupil is smaller than the other or if they don’t get smaller in response to the light, that could be a sign of a neurological condition. Your doctor may also hold up an object in front of you and tell you to follow the object with your eyes, which is another way to make sure the brain-nerve-eye circuit is healthy.

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we often use a more sophisticated tool for testing the health and function of the nervous system. It’s called Balance Tracking System (or BTrackStm for short), and we employ this test because we believe your nervous system deserves more than just a tap on the knee or the shine of a light into your eyes to gauge its stability.

The Purpose of Balance Track Testing

Your nervous system is responsible for all of your conscious and subconscious thoughts and actions, and it works tirelessly behind the scenes to regulate vital bodily functions, including breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and digestion. It even coordinates your body’s detox and healing processes. As you might imagine, nervous system dysfunction can negatively impact your health, but certain illnesses and dysfunctions in other parts of the body can impact the health and function of your nervous system as well.

A range of issues can negatively impact the nervous system, including tumor, stroke, diabetes, head trauma, toxins, viral infections, metabolic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, immune system disorders, inflammation, and certain medications. Severe nervous system dysfunction is also related to several neurodegenerative diseases, including the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

If you’re about to visit our clinic for an ANS test, this blog post is for you. Autonomic nervous system (ANS) testing is one of the many diagnostics we perform at Restoration Healthcare to create and monitor your plan of care. Specifically, the test itself — which we may repeat every four to six months or so — is a highly accurate measurement of the body’s ability to regulate the two branches of the autonomic nervous system… the somatic nervous system (SNS) and the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Since that’s a lot to take in, here’s an example of why this matters:

If you drive a car manufactured in the 1980s or more recently, it has a device called an electronic control unit (ECU) that functions as the car’s brain. Sensors on the engine and along the exhaust system send data back to the ECU, which interprets that information in order to make the necessary adjustments that keep the engine running as efficiently as possible. If your car is running rough, or the Check Engine light comes on indicating an issue you may not otherwise have noticed, your mechanic connects a diagnostic device to the ECU, which reads error codes that the mechanic can use to diagnose the problem and make the repair.

Your brain is your body’s ECU. It controls and monitors everything going on in your body to ensure that all systems are functioning properly and working well as a whole. It controls everything from your heartbeat and breathing to your blood pressure and body temperature, along with every conscious and unconscious move you make. Your brain sends and receives signals from other parts of your body through an intricate communications network of nerve cells. The control center is the central nervous system (CNS), consisting of the brain and spinal column. Other nerves branch out from the spinal column to different parts of the body — collectively, these nerves are referred to as the peripheral nervous system.

The CNS can be divided into two parts — the SNS (somatic nervous system) and the ANS (autonomic nervous system).

  • The SNS has sensory and motor pathways the control muscles and movement.
  • The ANS has only motor pathways, which control bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, heartbeat, digestion, metabolism, body temperature, and the fight-or-flight response.

Obviously, any ANS dysfunction will negatively impact other systems in the body, but certain dysfunctions in other systems can negatively impact the ANS, as well — conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, autoimmunity, and chronic stress.

The Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System

The ANS consists of two branches (subsystems) — with one that generally acts as the accelerator and the other as the brake: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

If you suffer from primary immunodeficiency disease or continue to experience symptoms of infection after receiving conventional treatment, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy may be the right treatment for restoring a healthy immune response.

And here at Restoration Healthcare, our medical director — Dr. Sunny Raleigh — is highly proficient in diagnosing primary immunodeficiency and prescribing and managing the delivery of IVIG.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “People with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of getting severely sick from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They may also remain infectious for a longer period of time than others with COVID-19…”

While certainly timely, the CDC’s statement is true of any infectious illness. If you have a compromised immune system or an immunodeficiency (an inadequate immune response due to an absence or reduction of antibodies, immune cells, or both), you will likely suffer more frequent, more severe, and longer-lasting infections.

The list of conditions and treatments that can weaken a person’s immune system, according to the CDC, include the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Is it possible to find a home, apartment, or condo that’s free of mold and other toxins? The short answer is probably not. The longer answer is that you may be able to find (or build) a home or apartment that is less toxic than the one you currently live in.

Homes and apartments (and schools and workplaces) are generally built to provide shelter from inclement weather, predators, intruders, insects, and other external threats to our health, safety, and comfort. Unfortunately, builders and manufacturers of building materials generally pay much less attention to the threats from within, such as toxic chemicals in building materials, accumulation of dust and other irritants in HVAC systems, and certain common practices that make buildings more susceptible to water damage and mold.

At the same time, energy-efficient construction standards have tightened up buildings, trapping the toxins released by mold and building materials (any many other products) inside, where we spend more and more of our time — over 90 percent of our time by one estimate provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

As a result, more and more people are getting sick from the buildings in which they live, work, and learn. Whether you call it sick building syndrome (SBS), chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), toxic mold syndrome (TMS), or something else, the problem is very real, and the symptoms are all similar: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Understandably, many of our patients with Lyme disease are concerned that having the disease might increase their risk of being infected by the coronavirus or experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19 (the disease the virus causes). After all, many comorbid (co-existing) health conditions have proven to increase the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, including being in an immunocompromised state (having a weakened immune system), and people with Lyme disease certainly fit in that category.

The biggest concern is the possibility that COVID-19 will add fuel to an already existing fire for people with Lyme disease. Those who have the worst cases of COVID-19 (as well as people who contract Lyme disease) sometimes experience what is referred to as a cytokine storm — an over-the-top immune reaction during which the body releases too many cytokines (inflammatory, infection-fighting chemicals) into the bloodstream too quickly, attacking not only the virus but also the body’s own organs.

 

A cytokine storm causes severe inflammation throughout the body that can some instances lead to multiple organ failure and even death. Because Lyme disease weakens the immune system and causes inflammation (and can trigger a cytokine storm), people with Lyme disease have good reason to be concerned about COVID-19.

For these patients, we have good news and bad news. First, the bad news: Lyme disease and COVID-19 are similar in many ways.

Lyme Disease and COVID-19 Connections and Similarities

One of the problems with Lyme Disease and COVID-19 is that you can increase your exposure to one by trying to avoid the other. For example, learning that COVID-19 is less likely to be spread from person to person outdoors, people are spending more time hiking and camping in the great outdoors, possibly increasing their exposure to the ticks that carry Lyme disease. And people who spend more time inside to avoid ticks and other disease-carrying insects increase their exposure to the coronavirus, unless, of course, they choose to spend their entire time indoors in total isolation, which as we covered in The Impact of Social Isolation on Brain Health, isn’t healthy, either.

But that is not the only way Lyme disease and COVID-19 are related.  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently told the AARP a story of a 93-year-old man who was brought into the Grady Memorial Hospital emergency room in Atlanta where Gupta was on call. The patient had experienced a head injury resulting in a brain bleed after he had fallen from his roof while blowing leaves. The patient appeared to be suffering from severe neurological decline, but his 94-year-old-wife and 63-year-old son assured Dr. Gupta that before the accident, the man was physically fit and mentally sharp.

Dr. Gupta, a board-certified neurological surgeon, performed surgery to “remove the blood pool and coagulated small remaining bleeders” from the man’s brain, and within hours his mental acuity was restored. During the surgery, Dr. Gupta could tell that the man had a 93-year-old brain, but it was functioning more like the brain of a 50-year-old.

social isolation and brain health

What was this man’s secret to health and fitness? No doubt he had good genes, but he was also an avid runner, continued to work part time as an accountant, maintained his property, had strong and active family and community ties, and even did some volunteer work in western Africa. He remained physically, socially, and mentally active; had a positive outlook; and he lived life with a purpose.

Researchers are discovering more and more evidence supporting what most of us already know — people who are optimistic, engage with others, remain active, and have a sense of purpose live longer and healthier lives. In other words, to a large degree, you are as healthy and fit as you think and act.

Good Health Starts in the Brain

We physicians often think of the brain as being a key to good health, based on the fact that it unconsciously controls so many vital processes in the human body — heartbeat, breathing, digestion, reflexes, and so on. But the brain is also a key to good health in terms of attitude — what you choose to think about, how you think about it, the mental activities you engage in, your relationships with others, and how you choose to spend your life.

Those who have a positive outlook on life, are physically and mentally active, have healthy relationships, and live with a Continue reading…