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Understanding and Managing Chronic Inflammation

Many patients come to me with a conventional medical diagnosis but aren’t satisfied with the resulting treatment. In the case of an autoimmune condition (such as hypothyroid, diabetes, pre-diabetes, obesity, or even skin issues), it’s almost a 100 percent certainty that inflammation in present in the body. And when that happens, it’s my job is to dig deeper to identify and treat the underlying cause.

Inflammation is natural and often even healthy; it is part of the body’s response to injury or infection. Chronic inflammation is not!

Chronic Inflammation

You twist your ankle, get stung by a bee, or contract an infection, and you are likely to experience some swelling as the body pumps blood, fluid, and other supplies to the damaged area to rid the body of any harmful agents and repair damaged tissue. The swelling — inflammation — causes pain, which is also normal, though unwelcomed. This acute pain and swelling typically subsides over the course of a few days, but it can linger for weeks. The good news is that it eventually goes away.

Chronic inflammation develops over a much longer period of time, it is less clearly connected to any physical injury or infection, and it lingers for months or years. It can contribute to a wide variety of health issues, including Continue reading…

Exploring the Connection between Infections and Autoimmune Diseases and in Tampa

Take a look around the outskirts of Tampa and you’ll easily see what I discovered upon arriving in what Money Magazine recently said is the best large city in the Southeast and one of five “urban gems” across the United States. I’m talking of course about urban sprawl, thick woods, lots of new homes, and the perfect breeding ground for ticks!

Ticks are synonymous with tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease, which is an infectious disease caused by bacteria of the Borrelia type, spread by the very ticks I suspect are now populating many areas of urban Tampa and Hillsborough County. And while Lyme disease — which affects at least 30,000 people each year according to data found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website — is not considered an autoimmune disease, its chronic and often undiagnosed symptoms do compromise the immune system and lead to the development of autoimmune diseases.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune diseases (sometimes referred to as autoimmune disorders) are illnesses that arise when Continue reading…

Toxic Mold: How a Medically Supervised Detox Can Help

Toxic mold is a problem in any Tampa building that has been subjected to high humidity or water damage. It is especially prevalent in areas struck by hurricanes and tropical storms, which are common in South Florida. In Fact, Home Advisor recently ranked Florida number two in its list of “The Top 10 Worst States for Mold,” second only to Texas. It makes sense; according to FloridaHealth.gov, toxic mold “can grow almost anywhere there is enough moisture or high humidity,” and South Florida is the capital of high humidity.

Of special concern is Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra or black mold), a greenish-black mold that can grow on drywall, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, and wood. This mold and several others produce mycotoxins, which compromise the immune system and trigger Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS), leading to a host of illnesses, including these: Continue reading…

Why Is a Tampa Chiropractor Blogging About Functional and Integrative Medicine?

By |2017-07-06T16:02:19-04:00July 6th, 2017|Categories: Dr. Matt Lewis|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Chiropractors crack backs, right? Their focus is on correcting misalignments of the musculoskeletal system to improve bone and muscle structure, thus alleviating stress and strain, especially on nerves. So why am I — Tampa Chiropractor, Matt Lewis, Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) — blogging about functional and integrative medicine?

The reason is that the true focus of chiropractic manipulation is holistic (whole body) health. The concept on which chiropractic is based, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH), is that the body’s structure, primarily the spine, influences its function. Realigning the musculoskeletal system restores health and function.

The world’s longest continuous sidewalk — Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida.

But it’s not that simple. Numerous factors play a role in human health, and these factors fall into two categories: genetics (nature) and environment (nurture), which includes diet and nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle choices, environmental toxins, and even relationships. To achieve the goal of chiropractic (whole health), some chiropractors, including me — Dr. Lewis — are branching out into other areas, including functional medicine and, when necessary, allopathic medicine (traditional medicine that relies primarily on pharmaceuticals along with surgery and other medical procedures).

This integrative healthcare approach equips doctors like me with a complete toolbox of Continue reading…