(813) 867-0608 • Contact • Schedule an Appointment

(813) 867-0608 • Contact • Schedule an Appointment

About Dr. Matt


Florida is No. 1 in The Nation for Mold — Here’s How to Protect Your Family

By |2024-04-09T21:26:30-04:00April 9th, 2024|Categories: Mold|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Florida leads the nation in a number of things, including being the most favored destination for people who are retiring. It’s also the most popular state for new business formations —outside of Delaware, which is a business formation mill. And the Sunshine State is also No. 1 for something called Education Freedom, which enables students and parents a choice of educational options that best meet their needs.

We could go on and on with these “best in the nation” accolades, but this post deals with what we consider one of Florida’s least laudable attributes: mold. Hands down, Florida is No. 1 in nation in mold.

Mold problem in the state of Florida

According to a March 2024 study, Florida scored 38.76 out of a possible 40 on the FDP Mold Index. Mississippi ran a close second at 38.66 and Louisiana came in third with 38.52. FDP’s mold index is based on four key metrics that can be attributed to higher chances of mold growing inside and outside the home:

  • Average rainfall
  • Average temperature
  • Average humidity
  • Average age of homes

Each metric accounts for 10 of the total 40 points.

These scores are no surprise to our medical team here at PROVOKE Health. Many of our patients live in Tampa and other areas in South Central Florida, and their initial visit to our clinic or via a virtual appointment is often because they’re seeking relief from symptoms commonly related to mold exposure. These patients typically have already consulted with conventional medical practices without receiving much, if any, relief. Some of these medical practices don’t even offer a clear diagnosis.

At PROVOKE Health, we provide relief through a highly personalized protocol that addresses everything from in-home testing and mold remediation to blood draws, detoxing, and treating any mold/fungal infection. We calm the inflammatory response and restore health and function to the body’s nervous system, which is often impacted by mold exposure. And while we don’t test homes or perform mold remediation ourselves, we have a list of trusted companies that do as part of our treatment protocol.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Toxic Mold Exposure

Mold exposure can cause infections, especially sinus infections, as well as overwhelm the body’s natural detox mechanisms. Infections and toxins can cause chronic inflammation, which produce symptoms that are vague and difficult to trace back to a clear underlying cause unless you’re a trained medical professional who knows what to look for. Symptoms of mold exposure include, but are not limited to, the following: Continue reading…

The Power of Peptides in Reducing Brain Inflammation

By |2024-03-19T12:47:31-04:00March 19th, 2024|Categories: Brain Health|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

Marilyn, an otherwise healthy 45-year-old woman, first visited our functional medicine and integrative healthcare clinic complaining of unrelenting fatigue, brain fog, loss of concentration, difficulty recalling words, and restless sleep.

She had seen other doctors, and they were unable to offer a diagnosis or any effective treatments. Her brain MRI scans came back as normal, and the neurologists with whom she consulted found no notable dementia or neurological disease that could explain her symptoms.

Her nervous system and brain were seemingly intact. All good from the perspective of conventional medicine, but Marilyn knew better; clearly, her brain was not functioning optimally. Marilyn’s symptoms were classic signs of brain inflammation. We had seen these same symptoms in hundreds of patients in the past. We knew the causes, and we had effective treatments to help her.

Peptides for brain inflammation

In this post, we look at common causes of brain inflammation and the PROVOKE Health approach to treatment, which may include the use of medically prescribed therapeutic peptides such as:

  • Semax
  • Selank
  • Thymosin Beta 4

Exploring the Causes of Brain Inflammation

In Marilyn’s case  many of the   common symptoms of brain inflammation were there: exhaustion, clouded thinking and brain fog, poor sleep, anxiety, and a steep decline in quality of life. But before I (Dr. Lewis) go deeper into the specifics of Marilyn’s case, let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

Other Health Conditions Linked to Brain Inflammation

Numerous health conditions can negatively impact brain health and function, including the following: Continue reading…

Weight Loss Benefits — and Side Effects — of Semaglutide and Ozempic

By |2024-02-28T20:40:54-05:00February 28th, 2024|Categories: Semaglutide|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

In recent years, medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies have made remarkable progress in the area of diabetes management. Specifically, semaglutide (sold under the brand names Ozempic, Wegovy, Rybelsus, and others) has proven to be effective in helping people with Type 2 diabetes regulate their blood glucose (sugar) levels.

As an added bonus, semaglutide has also proven to be effective in promoting weight loss for many people. Likely you’ve heard or read all about that by now. And you certainly wouldn’t be the first to wonder if semaglutide could work that magic on you.

Here at PROVOKE Health, we too have observed some amazing results in our functional medicine and integrative health clinic, with people who have struggled for years to lose weight suddenly shedding pounds, feeling great, and looking better than they had in years.

However, recent reports of adverse side effects have begun to emerge — side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain, fatigue, malnutrition, and “Ozempic face” (the rapid loss of facial fat, which can make the face look gaunt or droopy).

Scale and semaglutide


In this blog post, we review some of the arguments for and against semaglutide. But first, let’s take a look at what this medication is, how it works (its mechanism of action), and some of its common adverse side effects.

What Is Semaglutide?

Semaglutide is the generic name for a group of antidiabetic medications classified as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists. Some GLP-1R agonists, including Ozempic, can also be very effective in promoting weight loss and treating obesity. (For more about this, read our previous blog post, “Ozempic for Weight Loss: Too Good to Be True or an Effective Treatment,” here on the PROVOKE Health blog.)

Most of the medications in this class are injectable, meaning you inject a liquid form of the medication using a needle and syringe. Injections are delivered to the fatty tissues beneath the skin in certain areas of the body, including the belly, outer thighs, and upper buttocks.

Semaglutide has earned a great deal of positive press for its promising benefits, especially in respect to weight loss. However, like any medication, this class of medications carries potentially negative side effects. Prior to taking semaglutide or any of its brand-name equivalents, it is important to weigh the potential benefits against the possible adverse side effects before adding these medications to your diabetes management or weight loss plan.

How Semaglutide Works

Two thirds of people in the United States suffer, to some degree, from insulin resistance. That means their cells don’t respond properly to insulin — a hormone the body produces to stimulate the metabolism of sugar. Over time, the insulin receptors on cells become less and less responsive to insulin, especially when subjected to a high-sugar diet. So, even if your body produces a normal amount of insulin, it may not be enough to metabolize the amount of sugar in your diet. As a result, instead