Unfortunately, we are seeing an explosion of chronic illness. Up to 60% of the US population is now dealing with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease, cancer, stroke, or diabetes. In addition, the rate of Chronic Diseases such as Lyme disease, Chronic Fatigue, Neurological disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Autism is increasing every year. Consider the following:

  • Lyme disease is one of the fastest-growing infectious diseases in the US and Western Europe with more than 400,000 new cases contracted each year in the US—an increase of more than 10 times what was previously believed.
  • According to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report published in 2015, an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS, but most of them have not been diagnosed.
  • Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease each year. More than 10 million people worldwide are living with PD. The incidence of Parkinson's disease increases with age, but an estimated four percent of people with PD are diagnosed before age 50.
  • More than 5 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's. An estimated 5.8 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia in 2020. Eighty percent are age 75 or older. One in 10 people age 65 and older (10%) has Alzheimer's dementia.
  • Autism prevalence in the U.S. rose from 1 in 91 children in 2009 to 1 in 40 in 2017, according to survey results published today in Pediatrics1.

As we seek to understand these concerning trends, we are beginning to see some common patterns in our patients who are suffering from chronic illness:

  • Is often preceded by an emotional trigger, whether that is a relationship/divorce, financial stress-loss of job, bankruptcy, etc., sudden move, or other life change.
  • An ever-increasing toxic load of heavy metals, pesticides and PCBs, glyphosate, and other toxins.
  • Low mineral and other micronutrient levels. 
  • Lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sunlight exposure.
  • Increase in net carbohydrate intake, either from sugary foods, carbs, Alcohol, or other sources
  • A decrease in periods spent in a fasting state needed to detoxify the body
  • Overall lack of cellular hydration
  • Lack of adequate periods of quality and quantity of sleep.
  • Increasing overall life stress, from sources such as job, family, money, and relationships. 
  • Low levels of vitamin D due to lack of adequate sunlight exposure.
  • Increase in circadian rhythm disorders
  • Exposure to a vector-borne illness such as Lyme or Bartonella, and other parasites. 
  • Exposure to biotoxins such as mold and mycotoxins in water-damaged buildings.
  • Increasing fungal loads to an overall net carbohydrate intake
  • Ever-increasing levels of autoimmunity.
  • Increasing exposure to Wi-Fi, cell tower radiation, dirty electricity, etc..

Our challenge is to not address these factors and treat the necessary any underlying infections or toxicity, but will also teach the much-needed lifestyle factors of diet, sleep, detoxification, and exercise. Our patients who have been successful in overcoming chronic health challenges are the ones who are able to maintain a steady treatment program as well as to follow lifestyle interventions.

We find that a combination of traditional medicine, functional and integrative medicine is helpful to achieve optimal wellness. We would be honored to be your partner in this journey! Please contact our office for more information.

References:

  1. https://www.treeoflighthealth.com/lyme-disease-the-great-imitator/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/index.html
  3. https://www.acmr.org/indications/10-parkinsons-disease?gclid=Cj0KCQjwg8n5BRCdARIsALxKb960yQRwcmcxnfO65ySXO5HlN_xK1ytJSkYDKq7BpRlOv2N17eedm1gaAiVPEALw_wcB
  4. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures#:~:text=More%20than%205%20million%20Americans%20of%20all%20ages%20have%20Alzheimer's,10%25)%20has%20Alzheimer's%20dementia.
  5. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/144/4/e20190811