Integrative Medicine Blog
News from the Integrative Health Symposium
Dr. Stram and Dr. DiRoma attended the Integrative Health Symposium in NYC. Here, Dr. DiRoma shares some key take-aways from the conference.
Last month Dr. Stram and I were down in NYC for the Integrative Health Symposium. There were many speakers in attendance including Deepak Chopra and David Perlmutter (author of The Grain Brain). The symposium had a strong emphasis on nutrition and health. There was a lot of talk on how excess sugar and carbohydrates are contributing to chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer. Excessive sugar intake can lead to weight gain due to excessive storage of fat facilitated by the hormone insulin. In the past we thought that fat cells were not active and were just stored packets of energy. But now we know that fat cells not only produce hormones that control satiety but also produce inflammatory cytokines. These inflammatory cytokines can cause joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue and brain fog, and depression and anxiety. Chronic inflammation over time may eventually lead to degenerative arthritis, atherosclerosis and heart disease, and dementia. This is why it is extremely important to adopt a way of eating that limits the daily intake of refined sugar, sweets, starchy vegetables, and refined grains.
Another cause of inflammation is an immune reaction that starts in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Certain foods and microorganisms may cause the immune system to start attacking itself leading to autoimmune disorders. Examples include gluten from wheat and celiac disease, yersinia and thyroid disorders, and proteus and arthritis. At the Stram Center we offer food allergy/sensitivity testing to look for chronic inflammatory reactions to 96 different foods. We are now in the process of incorporating a more comprehensive stool test that will be able to assess all the microorganisms in the gut—bacteria, fungi, parasites—and assess for inflammation and permeability. Inflammation in the small intestines can lead to hyper permeability of the lining which in turn can lead to an immune response that can cause inflammation throughout the body.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the health of ones gastrointestinal tract affect the health of the entire body. Eating a poor diet and taking certain medications can have a negative impact on the health of GI tract leading to chronic inflammation and even autoimmune disorders. With the use of functional testing we can more specifically find and remove potential causes of inflammation.