With each passing year full of conferences and seminars I gain new perspectives and solutions to the challenges we face in the field of medicine. I also note trends from conference to conference on current concerns and emerging treatments. As with most new concepts, it is good to approach some of these treatments with skepticism, but once I see the same treatment or concept mentioned several times in a row by different authorities in different realms of the health industry I sit up and take more notice.
My final conference of the year, the 2017 Integrative Medicine for Mental Health Conference further reinforced topics that were discussed in detail at the Ancestral Health Symposium earlier this year and at the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine Conference at the end of last year.
Here are a handful of common takeaways I’ve gleaned throughout the year.
1. We live in a toxic world
2. The uses of heat stress
3. Mold and mycotoxins
4. Too much bacteria, too many antibiotics
5. Are your salads hurting you? The role of oxalates
Life in a toxic world
Toxicants are everywhere. No wonder they keep showing up in conference presentations as well! The effects of pollution were highly stressed at AIHM last year, popped up during AHS and were hammered home at IMMH. This is a concern that we cannot afford to ignore, for the sake of both our planet and our personal health.
The uses of heat stress
Sitting through all these lectures on our current bombardment with toxicants would be a little depressing if we didn’t also have some form of solution. If Billy Mitchell’s (The Robust Human) presentation at AHS piqued your curiosity about the use of sauna for detoxification, you would have also loved listening to Dr Genuis speak on the same topic at IMMH this year. Stay tuned for Billy’s ebook on the use of sauna therapy!
Mold and mycotoxins
Most people are aware that mold in the house is not conducive to wellbeing. The relationship between a moldy environment and poor health has been described in detail at multiple conferences this year. But take a moment to consider how much mold you are eating! This includes the blue-green fuzz on leftover bread but it also includes less obvious sources of mycotoxins such as nuts and cereal grains. Related health concerns include memory loss, depression, anxiety and insomnia. If that sounds like you, it may be time to give your diet a tune-up!
Too much bacteria, too many antibiotics
Just like houseguests, bacteria are great in the right amounts and the right places. But the party is officially over when the guests accumulate beyond the capacity of your guest rooms and start taxing your resources. This is a tricky situation. Our poor lifestyles and overuse of antibiotics have led to a common situation in which people develop an intestinal overgrowth of bacteria or fungi. To correct this, we then turn again to antibiotics. Botanical medicines may provide an alternative route to conventional antibiotics, but these too must be used carefully. To learn more about botanical medicine research, follow my research partner Guillermo Ruiz (3030 Strong) and I for our latest publications.
Are your salads hurting you? The role of oxalates
Your body can take in oxalates, make oxalates and excrete oxalates. What happens if you eat too many high oxalate foods (such as spinach, almonds, chocolate) or can’t process the oxalates appropriately? A low oxalate diet was mentioned at both AHS and IMMH as a beneficial therapeutic intervention for unresponsive pain conditions, autism spectrum disorders, kidney disease and several others. While oxalates may not be your specific problem, diet is an important consideration in achieving a state of wellbeing.
Next up is a series of posts on the trifecta of mental health supplements: vitamin D, fish oil and probiotics! All are very popular, but are all of them effective? Stay tuned to find out, the results may surprise you!
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