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 

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…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Today, we’re pleased to continue our Meet the Team series by introducing you to Linda Keil, RN — Restoration Healthcare’s Clinic Services Manager. Linda, who joined our team in January of this year, was attracted to Restoration Healthcare in part by the commitment of our clinical staff to empower patients to learn about and adopt complimentary lifestyle changes in order to achieve their health objectives.

Among her areas of focus, Linda is tasked with providing clinical leadership and support through developing, managing, and assisting our team of back office professionals and support staff.

A licensed Registered Nurse (RN) with more than two decades of practice in functional medicine and integrative healthcare, Linda is enthusiastic about patients at our Irvine clinic who are intentional about working toward resolving chronic health. She credits our co-founders Dr. Sunny Raleigh and Dr. Tom Bakman, for building a culture that creates a professional and compassionate atmosphere.

Early in her career, Linda practiced in traditional medicine organizations, and she said her patients were, not for lack of trying, not getting better. She came to believe, like we do here at our Irvine functional medicine healthcare practice, that a pill is not a symptom solver. In fact, she often saw medications bringing on more symptoms with patients, making them sicker. Before long, a friend introduced her to energy healing, and Linda eventually became a Reiki Master Teacher.

Among her many qualifications, Linda has studied numerous healing modalities and received nutritional certifications from Metagenics (FirstLine Therapy), the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health (INFH), and the nationally accredited Natural Healing Institute in Encinitas, Calif. Continuing education has allowed Linda to cross paths with many healthcare practitioners who mirrored her thinking, and we here at Restoration Healthcare feel fortunate to have her as part of our clinic team in Irvine.

We recently asked Linda to tell us more about her professional life — and some personal details — and here is what she had to say: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Patients often ask us if they could be allergic to the cleaning products they use in their home. Fact is, many people are sensitive to all sorts of chemicals in their home, including natural and synthetic substances in carpeting, plastics, perfumes, air fresheners, paints, cleaning products, cigarette smoke, and other sources.

However, a sensitivity differs from an allergy. With an allergy, the immune system launches an attack on what it perceives are alien invaders — a virus, bacterium, food particle, pollen, or something else it perceives as a threat. The response typically occurs soon after exposure and involves a release of a specific antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which triggers a series of biochemical reactions that can cause hives, congestion, sneezing, and inflammation

(©Kelly Sikkema, sourced from Unsplash)

Kelly Sikkema, sourced from Unsplash)

A sensitivity, on the other hand, is more like an irritation. A chemical to which the body is unaccustomed, can irritate tissues of the sinuses, lungs, intestines, or other parts of the body. Although symptoms can occur almost immediately, they are usually delayed, often occurring several hours after exposure. For example, a food sensitivity may result in indigestion or diarrhea several hours after eating. However, in some people, a sensitivity can trigger mechanisms involved in the immune response, such as a release of histamine from mast cells (migrant cells of connective tissue that contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin). Although not technically an IgE-related allergic response, the symptoms can be similar:

  • Congestion/difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose/sinus issues
  • Coughing or sore throat
  • Rashes/hives
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue/exhaustion
  • Brain fog, poor concentration
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint ache
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Poor sleep

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

This leads us to multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) — a chronic illness that causes sufferers to experience allergic-like reactions to very low levels of chemicals in everyday products, including the following: Continue reading…