By Timothy Blend, MD –
November is the month we give some extra awareness to specific diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, COPD, and lung cancer. There are many organizations that are specifically focused on early detection and treatment of these entities, with a wealth of information concerning what traditional medicine has to offer both you and your doctor. Our government and various establishments each year spend millions of dollars to inform, educate and direct you to the best possible solution.
A common thread that all these groups touch upon but limit their resources and explanations, is the importance of chronic inflammation in the development of these diseases mentioned, and for that matter all chronic illness’ that develop in our society.
Chronic inflammation is part of the root cause of every pathologic process that requires you to take a medication. And while many of these advanced medicines do a great job at treating many disabling symptoms, few actually treat chronic inflammation. Furthermore many of us well intentioned practitioners sometimes forget to address the cause because we are so busy treating the disease. Granted, sometimes we have no alternative but to treat because of the progression of the disease process, but I believe it is worth the effort to try and reverse the process by any safe means possible.
When one talks about inflammation you cannot get by without mentioning heart disease, probably the biggest killer to date. We know hardening of the arteries and plaque build up can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke; and that elevated cholesterol is part of the problem. The other part that is being made more clear is the inflammatory component in heart attacks or CRP, C-reactive protein, which may help elucidate why people with normal cholesterol get heart attacks and stroke. Statin drugs like Lipitor and Crestor lower cholesterol, but also as some studies have shown, can lower CRP and this it turns out may be more important than lowering your elevated LDL cholesterol. While I am not a big fan of statins one cannot ignore the many studies proving their benefits in certain clinical situations. While the side effect profile of statins, consisting of memory loss, muscle aches and diabetes risk is often downplayed, many patients tolerate them well.
Returning to other inflammatory processes like cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes to name a few; what are we to do?
All the organizations involved in these chronic diseases mention lifestyle as a component to altering the disease process. The two biggest lifestyle changes we can make are weight loss and exercise. Both these have no adverse side effects, are inexpensive, and work at lowering chronic inflammation. Other beneficial changes you can make that are based in science are to reduce chronic inflammation in the form of cytokines and CRP. The use of cruciferous vegetables which contains many helpful vitamins and two molecules called sulforaphane and diindolymethane (DIM) have some anti cancer properties. Other helpful supplements are vitamin C, Niacin, and Omega 3 (DHA,EPA). And of course Bioidentical hormones have properties that have been associated with decreased risk of heart disease, bone disease, arthritis, diabetes and some cancers.
Isn’t it time to decrease your risk of disease and prolong the vital portion of your healthspan. Come in to our office to get your specific questions answered on just how you can decrease risk of disease and improve your quality of life.
Timothy Blend, MD
Dr. Tim Blend is a graduate of Ross University Medical School and board certified in Internal medicine. He is also a board certified Nutritional Specialist (CNS) and has completed a fellowship in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Dr. Blend has over 30 years of experience practicing medicine and is the Medical Director for the Blend Institute, which is an advanced medical practice that provides a blend of specialities to help individuals achieve and maintain optimal physical and mental health.
Whether the goal is to maintain good health and prevent disease or reverse the ill effects of disease and restore good health, the Institute’s professional staff is dedicated to improving patient health.
The Blend Institute offers a science based health care approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient and then individually tailoring interventions to restore physiological and structural balance.
To learn more about The Blend Institute or to schedule an appointment, please call 941-722-5600 or visit us online at www.blendinstitute.com.