IIM Reading Hub
Curating information for the modern healthcare professional.
Healthcare is rapidly changing. This change not only impacts the way we treat patients, but the ways in which we learn about them as well. As a result, healthcare professionals are becoming more reliant on information provided by new research to know how to best treat their patients. With the rise of Integrative and Preventive Medicine, there are many ways that medical professionals are able to improve their patients’ health in a safer and more efficient way.
What is Functional Medicine? Basic principles and definitions
Functional Medicine’s aim is to find out what disturbs the equilibrium within the body, in other words: what is preventing optimal functioning. The symptoms are not treated in isolation, as is often the case with conventional medicine.
An Integrative Approach to Amino Acids
Amino acids are integral in several bodily functions. They are the building blocks of proteins that aid in multiple functions on a cellular level. We cannot forget about crucial amino acids, as they aid in immune function, muscle growth and recovery, and can be utilised in treating deficient hospitalised patients. Amino acid testing and supplementation can improve lifestyle and wellbeing.
How Amino Acids can improve your Exercise Regime
Branched-chain amino acids are extremely valuable for exercise, muscle preservation and growth. Not only can they reduce muscle loss and damage, they can also help grow and repair muscle. Consuming BCAAs can improve strength, endurance and reduce fatigue during exercise.
Amino Acid Deficiencies and Symptoms
Blood tests are one of the most common and best ways to identify amino acid deficiencies. Amino acids are vital in the optimal functioning of the body and can lead to uncomfortable symptoms when not monitored regularly. The development of mood disorders, experiencing a lack of focus and fatigue, and a weak immune system may be signs of an amino acid deficiency. The appropriate treatment of these deficiencies are essential to improve overall health.
Main Functions of Amino Acids in cellular nutrition
Amino acids are building blocks for polypeptides and proteins. They play essential roles in many other biological functions. Amino acid roles range from maintaining brain function up to detoxification and maintenance of immune function. Knowledge of these functions can help us understand deficiencies and improve our health.
Essential and non-essential Amino acids
Amino acids are critical in the effective functioning of the human body. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, which aid in a variety of biological activities. Insight into essential and non-essential amino acids can give us an idea of which foods to consume to enhance biological functioning and improve health.
An Integrative Approach to Mould
Studies and clinical research have linked mould exposure to mild and severe reactions in a significant portion of the population. Mould in buildings and homes are common, and easily expose us to mycotoxins, negatively affecting health. Exposure commonly causes respiratory symptoms although, there is evidence suggesting negative effects of mycotoxins on the brain. Identifying mould exposure is important to manage and improve our state of health.
Mould Exposure: The Signs and Symptoms
Managing mould contamination can be a simple process if done consistently. Implementing minor home management routines may be the difference between experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and living a healthy life.
The Effects of Mould Exposure on the Brain
Although research into mould exposure is still in its infancy, studies are contributing significantly to the analysis of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Science has linked a variety of cognitive issues to prolonged mould exposure, and can help us understand how patients need to be treated. The more we delve into this research, the more efficiently we can treat and prevent the onset of issues surrounding mould exposure.
Mould Exposure: 4 Common Types of Mould
Mould can be extremely toxic when inhaled or ingested. Exposure to microscopic mycotoxins often goes unnoticed. Mycotoxin exposure is difficult to identify and only when colonies present themselves within the body, symptoms may become apparent. It is essential to monitor our homes and environment to prevent mould exposure and maintain an excellent state of health.
Mould Exposure and Contamination
Mould exposure can be a serious threat to health if an individual is susceptible. These susceptibilities include compromised immune systems, and underlying chronic issues. Mould can be found within our homes and in food. Therefore, it is essential to monitor mould contamination to avoid the negative effects on our health.
Implementing Integrative Approaches to restore Gut Health
It is essential to take care of your gut health. If neglected, an array of uncomfortable conditions may present themselves. The steps to achieving and maintaining gut health consist of dietary and lifestyle changes and are more cost effective than pharmaceutical interventions. When trying to improve overall wellbeing, gut health is the place to begin.
Benefits of Flavonoids for Gut Health
Gut health is important in the prevention and treatment of different chronic diseases. A simple and effective way to improve gut health is through the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods. They have bioactive properties and are able to eliminate free radicals and promote anti-inflammatory effects within the body. Including flavonoid-rich foods in the diet, provides a nutraceutical approach in the prevention, treatment and management of several chronic diseases.
Elimination diets for food allergies
The elimination diet is an effective method for patients and practitioners to identify specific foods linked to allergic reactions. Once these foods are identified, they can be reduced or removed from the diet completely, preventing the onset of allergic reactions in the future. The elimination diet may provide significant benefits for those suffering from IBS and IBD.
Functional Foods for Gut Health
Our everyday lives are riddled with toxic chemicals, stress, time constraints and unhealthy dietary temptations. This has led to a large portion of the global population developing bowel and gut issues. Diet is one of the most important factors to take into consideration when treating gut health issues. The food we consume exposes the gut to different nutrients and minerals that are essential for optimal bodily function, but may also expose the gut to toxic substances. It is essential that we take care of our bodies through what we eat to ensure good health.
The 6R Approach to Optimum Gut Health
The repair and restoration of the gut is a lengthy process that involves a number of steps. This being said, it is important to help patients commit to their health journeys. By using the 6R approach, clinicians are able to follow a structured process which patients are encouraged to commit to. This increases the chances of the effective restoration of gut health.
Building a good relationship between our gut and our health
Gut health has become an increasingly popular topic when looking at health issues. The Microbiome, Gut Health and overall health are all linked and thus have to be analysed in combination to ensure efficient biological functioning. Gut dysbiosis can affect the skin and may also cause more debilitating symptoms in extreme cases in terms of gut permeability and leaky gut. This can be treated using the knowledge of good lifestyle practices, diet and supplementation.
Gut Permeability Issues: Leaky Gut
The gut flora and tight junctions of the intestinal epithelial wall are extremely important in keeping a healthy microbiome and to sustain efficient biological processes. Leaky gut causes toxins and unwanted substances leak into the bloodstream leading to inflammation. This can be prevented through lifestyle management and healthy eating habits which will complement the effective functioning of the microbiome.
5 Supplements to Improve Gut Health
A good supplementation regime may lead to significant improvements in gut health, especially in individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s Disease and other gut issues. Supplementation allows us a more convenient way to acquire essential nutrients that may be missing from our diet.
The Gut-Skin Axis: Gut imbalance and the effect on skin
Poor skin conditions can be directly related to the state of your gut garden. An upset microbiome will, inevitably, lead to more external issues like acne, rosacea and psoriasis. Symptoms of these conditions can be alleviated by implementing small dietary and lifestyle changes. This can include something as simple as a probiotic supplement which has the potential to have profound health effects.
The Microbiome, Gut Health and Disease
Gut dysbiosis has been linked to a number of chronic health issues. Although some are not directly caused by unbalanced gut microbiota, symptoms can be aggravated by this imbalance. It is important to monitor gut health and to be aware of how our diet and lifestyle habits directly impact our gut microbiota. This is essential to avoid the onset of disease.
Understanding the Microbiome in the Gut
The benefits of keeping the microbiome balanced are huge, and as science progresses, the scope for new, innovative solutions widens. Targeting the microbiome has the potential to alleviate symptoms of a multitude of debilitating conditions.
4 Effective steps to Improve Gut Health
It is essential to take a close look at our state of being, and learn from what our bodies are telling us. Sometimes, the solution to a long-term issue is quite simple. One can treat the gut directly from the core by using probiotic and prebiotic dietary supplements. Managing gut health can improve treatment outcomes significantly and helps patients avoid the use of pharmaceuticals.
Symptoms to identify Gut Issues
The significant impact of the gut microbiome on physiological functioning is clear in patients with gut issues. The composition of gut bacteria affects energy levels and mood fluctuations. When we start to identify these abnormalities in behaviour and physiological functioning, we can start to investigate the root cause, and find the best solutions to suit each individual.
The link between The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health Disorders
Science has shown that, through studying the gut-brain axis, we can draw clear links between our mental wellbeing and the state of our gut. Patients, on an individual level, are also able to help themselves by studying the signs and symptoms of gut-mental health. The management of gut microbiota has the potential to significantly improve a patient’s treatment outcomes.
The Influence of the Gut-Brain Axis
The Gut-Brain Axis is extremely vital in understanding how our gut and mental health are linked. The study of this line of communication and the composition of the human microbiome is important in determining an individuals state of health.
Managing our Epigenetic Code
The world has changed dramatically since the dawn of humanity. Earliest sapiens had different stress triggers than we have today. We can imply that their stressors lay in more rudimentary things like food supply and predator evasion. The main concerns within urban areas do not surround food supply, but rather finances, schooling, housing and career projections which induce chronic stress. It is important to look at these stressors, in order for clinicians and public health services to properly investigate treatment protocols.
Epigenetics and the stress response
The world is far from completely understanding exactly what dictates gene expression, and all factors that contribute to gene expression. Environment and behaviour are found to be linked to gene expression through epigenetic changes. These factors should be taken into account when analysing a patient’s state of health.
The Impact of Exercise on Epigenetics
Lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle are leading risk factors that increase health morbidities and mortality. Integrative Medicine strategies aim to mitigate these effects by managing factors that influence epigenetic changes and gene expression.
Epigenetic influence on health and wellbeing
A variety of clinical studies and trials have been carried out by scientists in the pursuit of genetic understanding. The epigenome offers a greater understanding of how our environment and behavioural habits can influence the changes in chemical tags and the binding of DNA. As this understanding grows, we move closer to effective solutions for treatment and prevention protocols for chronic disease.
Genetics, Health and Integrative Medicine
Genetics play a large role in the treatment, prevention and management of chronic disease, genetic disorders and viral-related issues. Integrative and Preventive medicine offers an array of benefits to our understanding of such things, and will open doorways to the betterment of global health, economic and social equilibriums.
Genetic influence on COVID-19 severity
COVID-19 has presented many challenges, and poses a huge threat to the global economic and health status. With the aid of complementary and integrative medicine approaches, health care specialists are better equipped to face these challenges.
The Potential Health benefits of Gene Therapy
Scientists and medical professionals are focused on new genetic research and developments everyday. The future of gene mutation identification and treatment looks promising, especially for those suffering with severe chronic disease and genetic disorders.
Homozygous and Heterozygous Genes and Disease
Genetic traits have a significant impact on our predisposition to disease. Genetic testing can offer an array of preventive measures as well as insight into inherited disease. This insight can also provide clinicians with the most appropriate and effective treatment methods to manage disease and improve patient outcomes.
Genetic disorders: Causes and Treatments
Genetic testing has come a long way since its conception. Scientists and health specialists have dedicated their lives to research in the field of genetics. A vast number of companies now offer genetic testing, to help prevent, treat and manage genetic disorders.
5 ways that SNP testing can enhance your practice
Pharmacogenomics has been shown to improve patient compliance when following medical advice. SNP testing can enhance accuracy in dosage and ensure optimal treatment of individual patients.
Pharmacogenomics: Personalising medication to suit your DNA
Pharmacogenomics enables clinicians to personalise their patient’s medication and individualise drug selection and dosage. This ensures the patient gets the optimal level of care and experiences minimal drug interactions.
Genetic Testing: Understanding DNA Risk
Understanding genetic variations are crucial to creating more effective treatment and prevention protocols. Genetic tests allow clinicians to bypass tedious hours of guesswork and create more effective solutions to patient’s health issues.
Pharmacogenomics: 6 Benefits of personalised medicine
In a 1994 study on hospitalised patients, it was shown that negative drug reactions led to approximately 100 000 deaths (Journal of the American Medical Association, 1994). This is a demonstration on the risks associated with unclear drug prescriptions. The rate of successful drug metabolism is dependent on a person’s genomic structure. Pharmacogenomics is fairly…
An introduction to Genetic Testing
There are a variety of different theories as to why SNP frequencies aggregate at these minor allele levels. And, generally, it is thought to be a result of the balance between mutation and genetic drift. And this is referred to in the natural theory of molecular evolution.