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 

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…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

As many of Restoration Healthcare patients know, our Irvine-based functional medicine and integrative healthcare practice is well known throughout Southern California for its work in the area of chronic illness without a diagnosis. And among the mystery syndromes that are often difficult to diagnose are those caused by ticks, including Lyme disease.

With that in mind, we’re saddened to share that Dr. Neil Lee Spector, a luminary in the world of Lyme disease research and treatment, passed away on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.

Doctor Neil SpectorThe 63-year-old physician first gained notice as a renowned oncologist who helped garner FDA approval for two molecularly targeted cancer treatments. In addition to cancer, Dr. Spector conducted extensive research into Lyme disease, following a misdiagnosis of the disease that resulted in the physician himself having to undergo a heart transplant in the summer of 2009.

Dr. Spector’s personal exposure to Lyme disease prompted him to write a book five years ago titled, Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician’s Journey to True Healing. In that memoir, he describes living with undetected Lyme disease for years, with doctors telling him that his symptoms indicated stress, and urging him to give up his 80-plus hour work weeks and begin to take it easy.

His escalating heart issues eventually led to the installation of a pacemaker above his chest and an internal defibrillator. Later, after suffering cardiac failure, Dr. Spector’s physicians told him he needed a new heart if he were to live.

In his book, Dr. Spector wrote that he continued to conduct research into his own heart issues and discovered that they were indeed the result of Lyme disease. Soon, he became a sought-after speaker at scientific and medical conferences, continuing to research and publish papers on tick-borne diseases. He was more than a decade into that research and public service when he passed away earlier this month.

Our own Co-Founder & Chief Medical Director, Sunny Raleigh, DO, was distraught to learn about the passing of Dr. Spector. Although she did not personally know the noted scientist and physician, she did hear him speak at the 2015 International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

And, very much like Dr. Spector’s experience, Dr. Raleigh’s own exposure to Lyme disease was Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

You don’t have to look very hard these days to find news stories mentioning neurodegenerative diseases. Just this week, researchers announced new indications of a link between Alzheimer’s disease and Type 2 diabetes. And just the week before, far too many articles appeared in newspapers across the country paying tribute to far too many prominent and everyday people who passed away after suffering from ALS, Multiple Symptom Atrophy, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

So, it stands to reason why now — more than ever — it is important to understand what’s possible to prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, June just so happens to be Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month!

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Neurodegenerative diseases occur when neurons (nerve cells) in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body begin to deteriorate and eventually die, resulting in dysfunction of the body’s nervous system. Early symptoms of neurodegeneration may include:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Impaired memory
  • Changes in mood
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of inhibition
  • Inability to cope with normal levels of stress

Over time, as more neurons are damaged or die, symptoms worsen, impacting one’s ability to think clearly, walk without assistance, or care for themselves.

Loss of cognitive function can lead to dementia (impaired memory and reasoning, along with personality changes). Breathing and heart function can also be diminished. Some neurodegenerative diseases ultimately result in death. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the sixth leading cause of death in the United States is Alzheimer’s disease, which ranks just below stroke.

Neurodegenerative Diseases Statistics and Data

According to the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center, 5,000,000 American suffer from Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

The hatred in our country right now and around the world is more intense than many of us have ever experienced or witnessed, deepening divisions along party lines, racial and ethnic lines, socio-economic lines, borders, and any other lines that separate us according to real or perceived differences. The current focus is on race, but it’s not all about race.

Before that, the hatred was directed at the Chinese for their alleged role in releasing the coronavirus, and before that, the hatred was between democrats and republicans. Historically, we have had wars over differences in religion or world views. We continue to see growing hatred toward our President, and on the other side, hatred directed against the people who hate him.

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Hatred and conflict always seem to intensify in troubled times. Fear and frustration quickly turn to anger, and we have had plenty of fear and frustration lately. The COVID-19 pandemic alone filled many of us with fear of sickness and death. Combine that with the fear and frustration of the resulting widespread economic hardship (not being able to pay the bills or support one’s family), and there is already enough to trigger protests and looting. Now add to that the racial tensions inflamed by the senseless killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minn.; Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Ga; and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and the efforts by various groups to exacerbate racial discord, and you have a recipe for disaster.

During these troubled times, it is important to recognize that we have a choice. We can choose hatred or love. We can choose to focus on problems or solutions. We can choose to focus on what we share in common or how we differ. Whenever we deal with a crisis at any level — at the relationship, family, community, state, national, or international level — how we choose to respond to challenges either drives us apart or draws us closer together. It weakens or strengthens the collective — the individual, the couple, the family, the community, the country, the world, and our individual and collective immune systems.

Ideally, when we have differences of opinion, we can all act as mature, evolved adults. The recent peaceful protests exemplify how mature human beings can express their concerns and harness the emotional power of their frustrations to drive requests for positive change. This sort of social discord can be a Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

The three previous posts in our series about National Lyme Disease Awareness Month introduced the disease, offered tips on its prevention, discussed the many symptoms associated with the Lyme disease, and addressed the importance of blood tests and having your tick tested by TickReport.com.

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Today’s post — the last in our series about National Lyme Disease Awareness Month — focuses on how you may be able to prevent acute Lyme disease from turning into chronic Lyme disease.

If you test positive for Lyme disease in its early stages, it is important to begin a treatment protocol immediately to prevent any serious symptoms or damage to the body. On the other hand, if you have been sick for many years, it is more important to initially focus on supporting your body so it can heal, as well as addressing underlying health concerns.

In either case, it’s essential to first put a foundation in place with a properly functioning immune system, and then — with your physician’s guidance — perhaps go back with antibiotics to fight the Lyme disease to get rid of the bacteria. When caught early enough, Lyme disease responds well to antibiotic treatment.

However, when the infection spreads throughout the body, antibiotics may not be enough. (Overuse of antibiotics may also cause more harm than good by killing beneficial microorganisms in the gut, which is the core of the body’s immune system.)

Treatment that seeks to restore health and support the body’s own self-defense mechanisms is often most effective. This typically includes the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

In this post, which is Part III in our four-part series focused on Lyme disease, we offer information about what to do if you’ve been bitten by a tick. If you haven’t had a chance to read Parts I & II, please see: National Lyme Disease Awareness Month — Part One: Prevention and Part Two: Symptoms.

Restoration Healthcare National Lyme Disease Awareness  Month

Diagnosing Lyme disease is challenging for two reasons:

  • Blood tests are unreliable, often resulting in false positives and false negatives (perhaps exceeding 50 percent). These blood tests look for evidence of antibodies to the bacteria that cause the illness.
  • Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed as another illness with similar symptoms, in which case, the patient is never tested for Lyme disease.

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we believe the best approach to getting an accurate diagnosis is to see a doctor who is familiar with the illness and experienced in recognizing the symptoms. Our Medical Director, Dr. Raleigh, is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease. She believes diagnosis should be based on the following: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Last week, in Part One in our four-part series on National Lyme Disease Awareness Month, we introduced Lyme borreliosis (aka, Lyme disease) and told you about the steps you can take to prevent contracting the most common tick-borne diseases in the United States. In today’s post, the second in the series, we cover the possible indications of Lyme disease and what you can do starting right now to be aware its symptoms.

Restoration Healthcare National Lyme Disease Awareness  Month

As a recap, Lyme disease is an infection caused by certain bacteria (typically Borrelia burgdorferi or Borrelia mayonii in the U.S. and Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii in Europe and Asia), typically transmitted to humans through a bite from an infected deer tick (also referred to as a black-legged tick). Symptoms usually occur from three to 30 days after the bite and can be wide-ranging, depending on the stage of the infection.

In some cases, symptoms appear months after the bite and can persist for years (in the case of chronic Lyme disease). In 2018, 33,666 cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States, although the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that as many as 300,000 cases of Lyme infection occur each year.

Remain Vigilant for Symptoms

Ticks that have the bacteria that cause Lyme disease can be as small as a poppy seed, and their bite it painless, so a tick can be feeding on you for days or weeks before you notice it, if you ever do. (Fewer than 30 percent of patients in the U.S. who are treated for Lyme disease recall being Continue reading…