Restoration Healthcare Blog

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 

There’s no shortage of advice for what to do when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. And if that stress is chronic and you aren’t doing anything about it, here’s a few suggestions:

  • Increase your physical activity
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Journal for 10 minutes each day
  • Reduce or stop drinking caffeine altogether
  • Spend more time with the people you love and who make you smile
  • Watch or read something funny

That’s all well and good, but how about those times you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed in the moment? While each the above items are beneficial to reducing stress, reducing your intake of coffee when you’ve already downed a couple of cups probably isn’t going to cut it. And it’s not often you can just stop everything you’re doing right now and increase your physical activity.

For those times when you’re in the throes of stress, we’re suggesting that you just breathe! We’ve all been told that, but few of us remember that simple edict to “breathe!” Even fewer of us do it properly, ending up hyperventilating our way to a full-fledged panic attack.

Introducing Box Breathing

That’s where “box breathing” comes into play! Box breathing is a technique that’s easy to do and even easier to remember. Just imagine the four sides of a box (or a square, such as the one shown below). All that’s required of you to remember is four steps, four seconds per step, four repetitions:

Box Breathing Graphic

 Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

If you experience migraine headaches, mild to severe epilepsy, or related rapid eye movement that dramatically affects your wellbeing, you may be living with a gene variant known as CACNA1ACAlcium voltage-gated ChaNnel subunit Alpha 1A — a gene that plays a crucial role in the communication between neurons in the brain.

Advances in gene mapping and gene-sequencing technology are empowering modern medicine to identify the root cause of numerous rare and mysterious medical conditions. We can now trace many illnesses to variants of one or more of the 20,000-plus genes that make up the human genome — the detailed set of instructions needed for a human being to develop and function.

The channel for CACNA1A

We all have the same genes that make us human. Variations of these genes are what make each of us unique. For example, we all have genes that provide instructions for growing hair, but variations of these genes control whether that hair is straight, wavy, or curly and whether it is black, brown, blond, or red.

Unfortunately, some gene variants can cause disease or increase our susceptibility to developing a specific medical condition. Such is the case with certain variants of the CACNA1A gene — the gene that plays a vital role in a cell’s ability to generate and transmit electrical signals.

CACNA1A’s Role in Gain or Loss of Function

CACNA1A is part of a family of genes responsible for creating calcium channels, which transport positively charged calcium molecules (calcium ions) across cell membranes. What may be occurring in patients with CACNA1A disorders is that variants of the CACNA1A gene cause either gain of function (GOF) or loss of function (LOF) alterations in the CACNA1A protein.

For example: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Flexibility is a good thing, right? Nobody wants tight muscles and stiff joints. But is it possible to be too flexible? If you ask people with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, you’ll get an answer that might surprise you — yes, it is possible to be too flexible.

Imagine popping your knee while walking across the street or dislocating your shoulder trying to lift a cup of coffee (in extreme cases). Or maybe you don’t need to imagine it. Maybe you or someone you know is living with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (pronounced A-lurz DAN-loss SIN-drome).

For the uninitiated, Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) are a group of 13 genetic disorders related to the body’s connective tissues — primarily the skin, joints, and blood vessel walls. Symptoms vary according to the specific syndrome, but Hypermobile EDS (hEDS), which accounts for about 80–90 percent of all cases, is characterized primarily by excessively flexible joints and thin, stretchy skin.

Thanks to a few celebrities, namely Lena Dunham, Jameela Jamil, Sia, and Halsey, awareness of EDS is growing, and that’s a good thing, because knowledge can help those who live with this condition avoid unnecessary injuries and can lead to better health outcomes.

In this post, we provide the information and guidance you need to understand hEDS and make well-informed health decisions if you’re living with this condition.

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) Symptoms

Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS) and hypermobility spectrum disorders are characterized by overly flexible joints. People with these conditions are at risk of injury because their joints are too flexible.

Patients with EDS have inherited flaws in the function, strength, and structure of their collagen. Collagen is an important protein that provides structural support in your blood vessels, ligaments, skin, cartilage, tendons, and organs.

In addition to increasing one’s risk of injury, the following symptoms also plague people who have this disorder: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, so for this week’s post, we’re sticking with that theme. As you may recall, we looked at the latest Lyme disease news and research last week, pointing out that symptoms are typically broken down into early stage (three to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick) and late stage (which can persist for months or even years after the initial infection).

(Images licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)

The reason that symptoms differ is that Lyme disease changes over time. Two theories have been proposed to explain why:

  • According on one theory, initial treatment with antibiotics kills the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). However, while the disease starts as a simple bacterial infection, that infection can trigger an autoimmune condition, which is responsible for later symptoms. Proponents of this theory attribute the lingering symptoms to a condition they call Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS).
  • The other theory is that the antibiotics fail to eradicate the bacteria, which then enter a different growth phase, during which they’re much more resistant to the antibiotics typically used to kill them. Proponents of this theory attribute the lingering symptoms to a condition they call Chronic Lyme Disease (CLD).

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we think that both theories are valid, which explains our reasoning for testing patients who suffer from Lyme disease for signs of the bacteria and for autoimmunity. That’s because our treatment plans are personalized to address all underlying and contributing factors.

What’s interesting and most relevant to this post is that antibiotics that are effective in killing the bacteria in their early growth phase aren’t especially effective in killing them in their late growth phase.

Fortunately, methylene blue has been proven in some studies to be very effective in killing the bacteria in their late phase of growth, and that’s the focus of this post. But first, we need to address the biological progression of bacteria.

The Four Phases of Bacterial Growth

Below are the phases through which bacteria develop: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and here at the Restoration Healthcare, this is a special month for us. Our medical director, Dr. Raleigh, is widely recognized by patients and referring physicians from across the country as among the top Lyme doctors in Southern California.

Dr. Raleigh keeps abreast of the latest news and research on a broad scope of health issues, but she has a special interest in Lyme disease. So, we’re kicking off the month of May with the latest Lyme disease news and research that we find most intriguing.

But first, for anyone who believes they may have been bitten by a tick, we present a brief introduction to Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. A vector is an organism, such as an insect, that transmits an infectious virus, bacteria, or parasite. In the case of Lyme disease, the vector is the notorious black-legged deer tick, and the infectious bacteria are Borrelia burgdorferi.

Symptoms of Lyme disease are typically broken down into early signs (three to 30 days after being bitten) and longer term (days to months after being bitten):

Early symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Erythema migrans (EM) “bulls-eye” rash around the site of the bite, in about 70 to 80 percent of cases

Late symptoms:

  • Severe headaches
  • Stiff neck
  • EM rashes on other areas of the body
  • Facial palsy
  • Fatigue
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or an irregular heartbeat (Lyme carditis)
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet

Traditional treatment for Lyme disease typically calls for antibiotics over the course of at least 30 days, but even after the initial infection clears, symptoms can linger for years. Here at Restoration Healthcare, we offer personalized treatment plans that can give your body what it needs to win the battle against this tenacious and often debilitating disease.

With that as our backdrop, here are six Lyme disease-related updates that are worth noting as we enter Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

National Lyme Disease Awareness Month is just around the corner (May), providing us with the opportunity and inspiration to reveal more about what we know about this mysterious, persistent, and often debilitating illness.

As you may already know, Lyme disease is transmitted by bites from ticks that carry a species of bacteria called bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi or (rarely) Borrelia mayonii. So, it should come as no surprise that the first-line treatment for Lyme disease involves the use of antibiotics over the course of several weeks. That’s the conventional approach, it sometimes works, and it makes sense — at least at first glance.

Unfortunately, blasting away at the bacteria with antibiotics isn’t always enough, and may cause or contribute to the onset of long-term Lyme symptoms, such as the following:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
  • Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
  • Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
  • Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Nerve pain
  • Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Digestive and bowel disorders

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we use a combination of treatments, including prescription antibiotics when called for, in order to eradicate the bacteria, and also strengthen the body’s immune system, dial down the inflammatory response, and restore overall health and vitality.

The truth is that bacterial infection is only the beginning of Lyme disease. Over time, it can become much more complex, involving multiple systems of the body, including the nervous and digestive systems. A functional, integrative approach is often required to eliminate the infection and restore health. This approach often involves toning the vagus nerve.

What Is the Vagus Nerve?

The vagus nerve, also known as the 10th cranial nerve (CN X) is a long  Continue reading…

By: Restoration Healthcare 

Does this sound familiar? One day, your child is happy and easy-going, playing with friends, and excelling at school. The next day, he wakes up acting possessed — crying, yelling, throwing tantrums.

Maybe you also notice he has an aversion to certain fabrics he wears, or foods that he used to enjoy. Then you discover that, seemingly overnight he has developed a learning disability and is struggling in school. And nothing you say or do has any effect; he’s just not as communicative as he once was.

What happened?

Here at Restoration Healthcare, we are hearing from more parents asking that question and telling us very similar stories of their child’s sudden and inexplicable transformation. Most have already taken their child to several doctors, none of whom has given them a satisfactory explanation for their child’s condition, or for that matter, presented any treatment options that help. Some families have suffered for months and even years without an answer.

So, what’s going on? In many cases, the child is suffering from a condition referred to as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) or, more generally, Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS).

What Are PANS and PANDAS?

PANS and PANDAS are autoimmune conditions that impact the body’s central nervous system and disrupt normal neurological function. Autoimmunity occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies the body’s own cells as pathogens (harmful bacteria and viruses) and then attacks them. In the case of PANS and PANDAS, the immune system attacks brain and nerve cells.

PANS is caused by a bacterial or viral infection that triggers an immune response. The immune system should respond, but in the course of its attack on the virus or bacteria, brain and nerve cells suffer collateral damage.

Theoretically, any infection can trigger an immune response resulting in PANS, but the following infections are thought to be primarily responsible: Continue reading…