Friday, November 18, 2016

Is It Safe for You to Consider Your Own Health?

I read the yellow warning label below the video frame on YouTube. I am trying to be considerate. I did think twice.

And, certainly, we would want to be cautious when considering the healing properties of food, and when looking for the root causes of chronic diseases, and when thinking about whether or not symptom suppression is ultimately beneficial.

That considered, Dr. Chatterjee is not just smart, he is on track!

Think about your own health at your own risk. And if you are feeling brave, click the link below and watch the 20 minute TEDx talk by Dr Chatterjee

James Maskell #FunctionalMedicine

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Greatest Medical/Health Educator the World Has Ever Known

Given that there is no Hall of Fame, and to my knowledge, no ranking process of individuals who have contributed notably to medical/health education world-wide, I respectfully submit that Jeffrey Bland, PhD, the founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine may well be the most important medical/health educator of all time.

Dr. Bland's research, writing, and lecturing have influenced healthcare practitioners of many disciplines around the world for four decades. His creation in 1991 and his ongoing dissemination of the paradigm of Functional Medicine have improved healthcare and saved lives throughout the world.

A Nobel Prize in Medicine in my humble opinion is deserved.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Kid Driving You Nuts?

#Parents your #pickyeater 6 year-old is no fool. Tell him about the correlation between his #lowdiversity #diet and his low-diversity #microbiome and the probable resultant effects on his #mood, #behavior and #cognition. He'll work with you to make his diet more #diverse. Everybody wins!

WARNING: you will probably do better with this if you have a smart doctor assisting you.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Force is Alive Inside: We Can't Do It Solo

My wife, Jo, and I went to see The Force Awakens (TFA) on Christmas eve. I was excited! I loved Star Wars, and like so many parents, we had shared the Star Wars experience and memories with our children. We felt a connection! It was a family tradition!

But ... I wasn't knocked out. Entertaining, nostalgic, scary (for a woos like me), sure; but no block buster.

As chance would have it, my wife, being a lover of movies, had read a review of the 2014 documentary, Alive Inside (AI), the real-life story of how music awakens those with dementia. The following night, Christmas, we watched this film and observed profoundly demented elderly individuals come to life, dancing and singing.

Fifteen minutes into Alive Inside, it was clear that this film had already moved and awakened me beyond that which the latest Star Wars could ever hope to.

I'm not trying to be hard on TFA. But, so what if the Force is awakened in a multi-million dollar fiction film? Is a force awakened in you?

You've been entertained again. Is the world a better place? Is your life better?

Amazed by the special effects in TFA? Watch a bed-bound, institutionalized, aged person with dementia begin to sway to the music of his youth when channeled from an iPod to his headset. That's special effects!

AI shows us that there is so much force alive inside individuals, that most of us would see as empty. It shows us that many dementia patients can be happier, more calm, and more cooperative if they have access to music that moves them. It suggests that fewer expensive drugs would be necessary if inexpensive personalized music were provided therapeutically.

As I watched AI I thought:
  • if music is this powerful in people who are profoundly ill, or near dead, what could it do for the rest of us?
  • this is more profound evidence of the need for change in our disease-care system,
  • music powerfully uplifts me; but I don't engage with it often; time for change,
  • time for a monthly Dancing with the Doctor,
  • most of us know that we feel better when we hear music that we love; why don't we use it more?
  • I will ask around in Ojai, CA (my hometown) to see if our retirement and nursing care homes offer personalized music to their residents.
  • music therapy is a #FunctionalMedicine,
  • I am concerned that this film may imply that dementia is an unavoidable, bad luck condition, rather than one of many chronic degenerative diseases that are more common in those with unhealthy lifestyles,
  • though not covered in this film, I hope that lots of adults will realize that we Americans need to make profound change in how we take care of ourselves, for if we don't, dementia is one of a number of lifestyle-driven diseases that will bring our Country to its knees,
The film impresses upon us the importance for those with dementia, and in fact for all of us, of connection to ourselves, others, and music. The force is alive inside all of us, and with all due respect to Harrison Ford, we can't do it Solo.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Its Not as Simple as Hormones

Dysfunctional behavior in children, twos to teens, and in adults is incredibly common in America. Most Americans accept this as par for the course. How dangerous. An alternative would be to listen to a very brilliant psychiatrist. I'm just suggesting that we wake up. Click the link to Dr. Brogan. Life could get better. 

Photo: angry_mdanys_Flickr

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fear Less

Just so you know, I am working on this too.

I am not talking about being fearless. I'm talking about fearing less.

Fear is great as a short-lasting, attention-getter to help us stay safe and alive. As a chronic experience, it is debilitating; makes us sick.

As you know, some folks react to their fears with anger. Probably not the most functional response.

What helps me fear less are: holding babies, petting dogs, singing, yoga, growing food, working with others who want for all people to feel safe.

What helps you fear less?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

13 Years on Ritalin

In March of this year I began treating an 18 year-old male who at age 5 had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and put on Ritalin. It controlled him somewhat, but he did not improve.

When he and his parents came to see me, they all agreed that he was unable to concentrate and was both impulsive and aggressive.

I explained to the young man that the "problem" might not be him, but rather a mismatch between his lifestyle and his genes. He stated that he was interested and willing to try making some changes to his lifestyle. Here is what I asked him to do:

  1. remove all gluten and dairy from his diet,
  2. reduce sugar intake,
  3. take an excellent quality daily multivitamin,
  4. take 4000 mg/day of Magnesium Glycinate,
  5. take 3,000 mg/day of combined EPA+DHA from fish oil,
  6. take a daily probiotic,
  7. stretch 30 minutes per day.
Seven months later I asked him how he was doing. He said, "Great!" I asked him what that meant. He told me that:
  1. his grades had gone from D's and F's to A's, B's and a few C's,
  2. he was more calm,
  3. he did not feel irritated,
  4. he was less impulsive,
  5. and he had lost 20 lbs.
His mother confirmed the progress.

He is still on Ritalin. He had not been able to carry out all of the changes, but still has made remarkable progress. He has reduced gluten, but has not been off of dairy.

There is more that we can do, he knows it, and is optimistic about his future!

Imagine what might happen if changes like this were begun at age 5!

Functional Medicine