.tm-toolbar-default .uk-icon-button{background-color:#dcb8f3;} #ccSignup-button{ background-color: #1D376C; color: #ffffff; width: 150px; padding: 10px; font-size: 17px; position: absolute; right: -468px; top: -40px; } .uk-container-expand { max-width: 100%; } @media (min-width: 960px) .uk-container { padding-left: 10px!important; padding-right: 10px!important; } .uk-navbar-nav>li>a { padding: 0 8px; } .uk-navbar-item, .uk-navbar-nav>li>a, .uk-navbar-toggle { font-size:16px; } @media screen and (max-width: 1300px) {#ccSignup-button{right:unset;}
Skip to main content
     2355 Canyon Blvd.   |   Suite 102   |   Boulder, CO 80302

Author: Dr. Terri Rebibo Fox

Dr. Terri Fox is a holistic, integrative, functional medicine doctor in Boulder, Colorado. She works on your behalf as a medical detective searching for the underlying dysfunction, instead of just treating your symptoms. She has expertise in fatigue, bio-identical hormones, sleep disorders, gastro-intestinal dysfunction, and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome from mold toxicity and Lyme disease.

Detox Naturally: How to Rid Your Body of Toxins Using Natural Remedies

Every day, the average person is exposed to 700,000 toxic chemicals. In the umbilical cord of babies at birth, you can find an average of 287 chemicals. 

Unfortunately, these toxins are not passive bystanders. Most of these toxic chemicals are carcinogenic, nerve toxins, or teratogenic (causing birth defects or developmental delays). They can easily disrupt the body’s protective barriers, like the gut and blood-brain barrier. 

To detox naturally and rid your body of toxins using natural remedies, you need to understand a few detox basics. 

Your body naturally detoxes, every single day. It primarily detoxes chemicals and toxins through the urine, stool, and sweat.

The word “detox” has come to represent a lot of different treatments and processes. Some people call an elimination diet a detox while others think that sweating is the best form of detox. While neither of those things is completely false, they don’t address the complexities of a true full-body detox. 

Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, has spent many years supporting our patients through various types of natural detoxification. We use detox to support the body as it heals from various chronic illnesses and diseases, to eliminate mycotoxins from mold exposure, to balance the gut, and to return your body to optimal health.

This article explores how to rid your body of toxins using natural remedies so you can support your body’s detox processes and live a healthier life overall. 

How the Body Naturally Eliminates Toxins

Your body has an amazing ability to detoxify itself. The gallbladder, liver, kidneys, lymph system, and GI tract all play a role in your body’s natural detoxification processes. 

The liver neutralizes toxins, everything that we are exposed to from the outside world as well as our own hormones and neurotransmitters. By neutralizing these toxins, the liver prevents them from causing cancer or oxidative stress that can lead to heart attack, strokes, etc. 

The kidneys filter waste products from the blood and balance fluid and electrolytes in the body. The gallbladder brings systemic toxins into the GI tract to get out in the stool and the GI tract (and the colon in particular) gets rid of toxins through the elimination of waste with fecal matter.

The lymphatic system removes toxins, cellular debris, and waste products. Your lymph fluid also carries white blood cells and supports healthy immunity. Meanwhile, when you sweat, you release excess salt and toxins through your pores.

This is only just the tip of the iceberg because detoxification also happens at the cellular level. All of the cells in your body (of which you have about 37.2 trillion) also detox regularly to prevent toxins from building up in the body. 

The problem isn’t that your body doesn’t know how to detox, it’s that sometimes your system gets overwhelmed by the amount of toxins in your body. 

Why Detox?

Green detox naturally drink - Boulder holistic functional medicine

Every day, toxins are released into the environment during manufacturing. Toxins live in our kitchens, perfumes, cleaning products, plastics, and hide in damp basements or walls. Toxic chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA) are found in everyday items, phthalates in personal care products, and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in our environment.

When our bodies are exposed to an excess of toxins, our system gets overwhelmed. The natural systems can’t properly dispose of all the toxins, and the result is toxic overload.

Symptoms of toxic overload include:

Many people start a detox protocol to meet specific health goals like weight loss, smooth digestion, better cognitive function, or healthy skin. But more and more often, detox is a necessary step to optimal health.

If you have a high toxin load, you may have symptoms all across the body. You may find that detox can help, but then become overwhelmed with the options. Detoxes range in complexity from simple diet plans, to supplement regimens, exercise programs, and so much more.

For those of you who are experiencing symptoms of toxin overload and want to know if detox is the right choice for you, we suggest that you speak with a functional medicine doctor like Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine who can help you choose the best type of detox for your symptoms and body.

What is a Full Body Detox?

A full body detox addresses toxins throughout the body, from toxins inside your cells to the ones in your digestive system and liver.

Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine starts with a comprehensive assessment to help you choose the most appropriate detox plan. Your full body detox will probably involve a blend of treatments including dietary changes, nutritional support, lifestyle adjustments, detox support, gut health optimization, and regular check ins.

We may also test for heavy metals, environmental toxins (including plastics, pesticides, and glyphosate), or mycotoxins from mold. Since your gut plays a crucial role in helping your body detox, a stool test will help us assess the health of your gut.

How to Naturally Detoxify Your Body

When it comes to a full body detox, you want to go slowly. Toxins released from your cells all at once will not be a comfortable experience. That’s why it’s so important for you to work with a provider who can support you and help you address any unusual symptoms or reactions that might come up.

Here are a few ways to naturally detoxify your body.


During intermittent fasting, your body receives fewer calories which allows your body to activate a cellular clean-up mechanism that removes damaged components and toxins. This process is called autophagy.

Longer fasting protocols – some of which last between 24 and 48 hours – may also have detox benefits. After 24 hours, your body moves past autophagy and may start to eliminate even more accumulated toxins.

You should always talk to your healthcare provider before you try fasting for your health to ensure that it’s safe for your individual health goals and conditions.

Detoxifying Herbs and Supplements

Certain herbs and supplements are crucial for a full body detox, including those that support liver function, lymphatic drainage, and gastrointestinal health.

Here is a list of some detoxifying herbs and supplements to detox naturally.

  • Pekana’s Kidney, Liver, and Lymphatic Drainage remedies support and open your detoxification channels.
  • Binders like charcoal or clay. For example, Chlorella 2 times a week can bind environmental toxins in the system.
  • Methylation support
  • Milk thistle and other liver-supporting herbs
  • Liposomal glutathione
  • IV Phosphatidylcholine followed by IV glutathione is one of the most powerful ways to detox neurotoxins
Women with glass - detox naturally Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine


Sweating is one of your body’s natural detoxification systems, so moderate to intense workouts that make you sweat can help your body naturally eliminate toxins.  Exercise also supports healthy lymph fluid movement since the contractions of the muscles force your lymph fluid from your extremities to the lymph nodes for detox. Regular exercise maintains a healthy heart and improves circulation, which helps your body eliminate toxins faster. Overall, exercise is one of the top ways to naturally detoxify your body.

Detox Baths and Therapies

Infrared Sauna - Natural detoxification

You can also try detox-specific therapies like baths with Epsom salt and baking soda, infrared saunas, or lymphatic drainage massage.

Epsom salt baths may provide the body with an increase in magnesium, an essential mineral involved in various biochemical reactions that can support the body’s detox processes. 

Infrared sauna encourages your body to sweat out toxins. You should always drink plenty of water and electrolytes ahead of time to prevent dehydration.

Lymphatic drainage massage manually moves lymph fluid from your extremities to the lymph nodes for filtration and disposal of toxins. Go gentle with this detox therapy, it can be very powerful.

Your ideal detox strategy will depend on your unique health goals and concerns. However, these natural detoxing processes are an easy way to support your health every day.

Detox Naturally

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, let’s take a step back. After all, detox isn’t a diet that you start one day and finish a week later. 

You can never truly get rid of all the toxins in your system, even after you undergo a comprehensive full-body detox protocol. The toxins in our food, environment, cleaning products, beauty products – they aren’t going away. 

Your best defense is to learn how to support your body’s natural detox systems. That way you can prevent toxin overload and maintain your health regardless of toxin exposure.

Healthy Athletic Runner - Detox Naturally

Work with Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine

You don’t need to wait until you are chronically ill or seeing an imbalance to detox. Regular systemic detoxes can support healthy immunity and digestion, give you energy and clear skin, and even help you lose weight.

Email Us

Have a question? Need to schedule an appointment? Send us an email. We'll get back to you right away.

Get Directions

2355 Canyon Blvd
Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80302

Phone Icon

Call Us

Need an appointment, prescription refill or have questions? Call us from 9:30am to 4:00pm.

Sleep: Causes of Poor Sleep & Natural Remedies For a Better Night Sleep

Do you fall asleep easily only to lie in bed wide awake at 3 a.m.? Or maybe it’s easy to fall asleep but you wake up exhausted? Do you dread bedtime because you have such a hard time sleeping?

Nobody wants to stay awake in the middle of the night, mind racing through scenarios that may never come to pass. But good sleep is more than a desire – You need to sleep. Not only because sleep supports healthy digestion and detoxification, but because the world feels brighter after a good night’s sleep.

All of the studies on sleep deprivation agree – poor sleep can have far-reaching effects on your health. Some are cited below and they are quite discouraging, especially if you are someone who struggles with sleep. (Skip the next paragraph if you have stress-related sleep disorders!)

Poor sleep can cause cognitive decline, neurologic degeneration, depression, increased incidence of cardiovascular events, and many other health outcomes. In one 1894 study by a Russian scientist, a complete absence of sleep was fatal in puppies after only a few days. Aaaak!

Before you panic, you should know that Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, has successfully helped many patients sleep better by finding and addressing the root cause of their sleep dysfunction. This article gives you our techniques for a better night sleep and a brief overview of the most common root causes of sleep dysfunction.

Dr. Fox’s Story

Sleep is a topic near and dear to my heart. In my third year of medical school, I lost the ability to fall and stay asleep. I don’t think I slept more than a few hours a night for over ten years or slept deeply for over 20 years.

Even though I sleep wonderfully most of the time now, I still consider sleep my weak spot. If anything is out of balance in my life, if my heart is heavy or my stress level is high, my sleep is affected. 

But my sleep patterns also give me valuable insight into what is out of balance with my health and heart. Sleep is my integrity meter, stress odometer, and most vulnerable truth. It shows me the parts of myself that need more attention and love, and where I need to let go. 

A restless mind may feel overwhelming when the lights are off when you lay awake and think about how exhausted you will be the next day. But remember – sleep dysfunction is treatable! And Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine wants to help you find deep, easy sleep again.

How Do I Stop My Mind From Racing at Night?

First, I want you to know that you are not alone. That’s why I shared my sleep story. I’ve been there and I know how frustrating it can be. 

So, before you panic, here are three tips to stop your mind racing at night. 

Focus on what makes you happy. List people, places, and things that make you feel grateful and make your heart overflow with love, joy, and gratitude. That list could include kittens snuggling, your sweet children, football, winning at ping pong – whatever puts you into your heart and out of your head.

Try listening to an audible book, podcast, or gentle music. Let the soothing sounds distract you from your thoughts as you listen to them with your eyes closed and the lights off. Ideally, choose something light-hearted and interesting enough to take you away from the madness, but boring enough for you to drift back off to sleep.

Do any kind of meditation. That might include a short mindfulness meditation, body scan, breathwork, or visualization exercise that appeals to you. Many meditation apps (Insight Timer, Headspace, Calm) offer free meditations specifically to help you sleep. Studies show that mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques are especially effective in improving sleep quality.

Along with these strategies, neutraceuticals can help to balance your sleep. Certain micronutrients support deeper, more restful sleep. They feed your brain, adrenals, parasympathetic nervous system, and limbic system to help you sleep through the night!

What is a good alternative to melatonin?

Melatonin is a commonly used natural sleep aid, and it’s especially effective for sleep induction. 

But if you’re looking for a good alternative to melatonin, here are some of my favorite supplements for sleep duration that won’t leave you tired in the morning. 

All of these tips helped get my sleep schedule back to normal, but none of them addressed the root cause of my sleep dysfunction. So, next, we will look at a few common causes of sleep dysfunction so you can learn where to look to get a good night’s sleep.

What to Check for a Good Night’s Sleep

As a functional medicine doctor, I look for the underlying dysfunction that causes sleep disturbances. Difficulty sleeping can have many organic causes from hormonal imbalances to an overabundance of stress. Here are a few of the most common root causes that may be disturbing your sleep.

Thyroid Imbalances

Thyroid imbalances can certainly cause sleep dysfunction. A low-functioning thyroid – also known as hypothyroid – may result in you waking up in the middle of the night. Meanwhile, an overactive thyroid – hyperthyroid – may make it hard for you to fall asleep. 

Thyroid imbalances are more common than people realize, and it’s the first thing I check when my sleep is out of balance. I typically recommend a full thyroid panel (TSH, FT3, FT4, RT3) for anyone struggling with chronic sleep dysfunction.

Adrenal Dysfunction

Cortisol – the stress hormone – is another common cause of a 3 a.m. wake-up or an inability to fall asleep. Your adrenal glands secrete cortisol as part of your “flight or fight” response. Optimally, your cortisol levels are highest in the morning and lowest in the evening.   

However, your adrenals can get “stuck” in a pattern where they may spike at bedtime or in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, your cells can’t distinguish between perceived stress and a true survival emergency. 

New parents, shift workers, and medical students are especially prone to this particular form of sleep dysfunction.  As is anyone who has been burning the candle at both ends, which turns out to be many of us!

If you’re suffering from dysfunctional sleep, I recommend a salivary adrenal test.  

Low Progesterone

Another contributing factor to sleep dysfunction is progesterone deficiency. Your low progesterone may be causing your sleep dysfunction, especially when combined with other symptoms like anxiety, irritability, impatience, anger, menstrual headaches, migraines, and heavy, painful, or irregular periods.

I think of progesterone as our “zen, calm” hormone. When it decreases, we lose our patience, are more irritable, and have a hard time sleeping.

I recommend getting your progesterone levels tested on days 17-21 of your cycle. And if your levels are low, bioidentical compounded progesterone may be something to consider with your functional medicine doctor.

Low Gaba

Low GABA levels in your brain can make you more prone to anxiety and insomnia. Gaba is one of your main inhibitory neurotransmitters that calms and balances your stimulatory neurotransmitters. Ask for a GABA supplement recommendation from your functional medicine provider or PCP because many GABA supplements don’t cross the blood-brain barrier and get urinated out.


MTHFR is a gene that affects how your body processes the amino acids from proteins. People with a SNP (or mutation) in this gene can have trouble with methylation, a critical process in the body that helps with detoxification, hormone clearance, and neurotransmitter clearance.

Certain MTHFR SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism) can result in a higher risk for insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. I highly recommend you work with a physician who has experience with MTHFR because taking supplements without detailed information about your genetic makeup can cause elevated anxiety or insomnia. Schedule a treatment at Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine as both Dr. Reidhead and myself have experience treating MTHFR.

CIRS or Mold Toxicity

One of the most common symptoms of mold toxicity is insomnia. Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine specializes in diagnosing and treating mold toxicity. Check out this article here for more information.

Lyme Disease and its Co-Infections

A common co-infection in Lyme disease is Bartonella, a bacteria that can cause retractable insomnia in some people. Borrelia, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease can also cause insomnia. For more information about functional medicine treatments for Lyme disease, check out this article here.

If this list feels overwhelming, try not to worry. Finding the root cause is simply the first step to healing your relationship with sleep. So, while it may feel like a lot of information, the more you know, the easier it will be for you to identify the causes unique to you.

Schedule with Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine

A good night’s sleep is essential for vibrant health, vitality, brain function, and happiness. As someone who has healed my relationship with sleep, I encourage everyone to find the root cause of their sleep dysfunction, whether it’s mild or severe. 

If you’d like to discover the root cause of your sleep dysfunction with Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine, contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Email Us

Have a question? Need to schedule an appointment? Send us an email. We'll get back to you right away.

Get Directions

2355 Canyon Blvd
Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80302

Phone Icon

Call Us

Need an appointment, prescription refill or have questions? Call us from 9:30am to 4:00pm.

Unlock the Power of Intermittent Fasting: Pros, Cons, and Secrets Revealed

Fasting is an ancient therapeutic technique that dates back to the 5th century BCE. Back then, fasting mainly was a religious practice, but it was also used to treat certain illnesses.

It took the advances of modern science to reveal the many benefits of fasting for your health. Intermittent fasting is the most recent trend in fasting, a practice that requires you to abstain from eating or drinking during a certain portion of the day. Other types of fasting include extended fasting, religious or spiritual fasting, time-restricted feeding, and modified fasting.

Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, recommends fasting for a variety of health reasons. Keep reading for more fasting benefits and first-time fasting tips from a functional medicine practitioner.

Benefits of Fasting

The benefits of fasting are incredible and include better brain function, digestion, insulin sensitivity, body composition, and antioxidant activity. Fasting can reduce inflammation, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. A single day of fasting is enough to see multiple benefits. 

Fasting for a more extended period of time is not necessarily better for you. In fact, longer fasts may not work for people with pre-existing medication conditions (including people with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or symptoms related to unbalanced blood sugar), the elderly, children, and pregnant women.

Fasts that last 24 or 48 hours are done less frequently – about once or twice a month at most. On the other hand, time-restricted eating can be done daily in 8-, 12-, or 16-hour intervals. Time-restricted eating is also called prolonged nightly fasting and is one of the more common fasting practices used today.

Intermittent Fasting - Boulder Holistic Functional (fasting clock)

Note: During 24-hour and 48-hour fasts, you avoid caloric beverages and food but you should always drink plenty of water!

Here is a breakdown of the benefits of a 24- and 48-hour fast.

Benefits of 24-Hour Fast

When you go 24 hours without food, your glucose storage is depleted and your body starts to turn the glycogen in your liver and muscles into glucose for extra energy. Your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglyceride levels go down and your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels increase.

Most types of fasting have some sort of fat loss or weight loss benefits. Some studies show improved appetite regulation and more diversity in the gut microbiome, both of which contribute to potential weight loss and better gut health overall.

Benefits of 48-Hour Fast

After 24 hours, the glycogen stores in your liver and muscles are used up. Your body starts to burn fat for energy and produce ketones. During a 48-hour fast, your body moves into ketosis, a metabolic process that promotes long-term weight loss and appetite control.

The benefits of a 48-hour fast include anti-aging benefits, rapid weight loss, increased insulin sensitivity, improved learning and memory, detoxification, and more.

Some people’s bodies will store fat in response to the lack of food and you don’t need to fast for 48 hours to access ketosis. The Keto Diet is designed to help people reach ketosis with a diet low in carbs and high in fat. Intermittent fasting – a type of time-restricted eating that limits the window during which you consider calories during the day – can also instigate ketosis in the body.

Always listen to your body during long periods of fasting. Fasting may make you feel weak, tired, or irritable. You may want to consult with your functional medicine provider before you start a fasting protocol, especially if you have an existing medication condition.

Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is one of the more well-known forms of fasting. Types of intermittent fasting include time-restricted eating, alternate-day fasting (or fasting intervals), and intermittent energy restriction.

The pros of intermittent fasting include:
  • Burn fat
  • Better heart health
  • Improved memory and learning capability
  • Anti-aging
  • Detoxification
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Less restrictive than 24- or 48-hour fasts
  • Easy to incorporate into a daily routine
The cons of intermittent fasting include:

Many of the cons of intermittent fasting will go away as your body adjusts to the new caloric restrictions. However, if you have a medical condition or your side effects worsen over time, you should consult with your functional medicine doctor.

Fasting Mimicking Diet

Eating healthy during intermittent fasting


For those of you who are not comfortable with the idea of fasting, the fasting-mimicking diet can provide many of the same fasting benefits using a low-calorie diet plan. 

You don’t have to go hours or days without food, instead, you eat small, plant-based meals for five days. 

The lack of protein and carbohydrates tricks your body into fasting mode without the strain of missing meals.

Tips on Fasting

First-time fasters are often worried that the lack of food will disrupt their life, and to a certain extent, they aren’t wrong. When you are fasting, you need to treat your body gently. You will not have the same energy and you may feel irritable or foggy. 

A few tips for first-time fasting:

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Stop if you feel sick, faint, or can’t sleep
  3. Cut down your activity
  4. Don’t break your fast with a huge meal
  5. Try meditating to control food anxiety
  6. Stock up on flavored waters and other no-calorie beverages like lemon water

Fasting doesn’t work for everyone. People with eating disorders or unhealthy food relationships should not try fasting. Certain medications conditions and chronic illnesses may also affect your body’s ability to fast. 

Beach during sunset - intermittent fasting Boulder Holistic

If you’re hesitant to try fasting or simply want to learn more, contact Boulder Holistic to discuss which type of fasting will work best for your body.

Work with Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine

Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, is happy to help you on your fasting journey. Functional medicine uses a full-body approach to wellness. The food you eat (or the lack of food in this case) is a great influence on your overall health. 

Not all types of fasting work for everyone, so contact our office to schedule an appointment for a personalized recommendation!

Email Us

Have a question? Need to schedule an appointment? Send us an email. We'll get back to you right away.

Get Directions

2355 Canyon Blvd
Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80302

Phone Icon

Call Us

Need an appointment, prescription refill or have questions? Call us from 9:30am to 4:00pm.

What Causes Lyme Disease? The Top 5 Reasons Lyme Disease Remains Chronic

Over 300,000 Americans are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease every year. Despite growing awareness of Lyme disease’s prevalence, the tick-borne illness often goes unnoticed. Even properly diagnosed, Lyme disease can remain in your system for years and severely affect your quality of life.

The doctors at Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado are Lyme disease specialists who use functional medicine techniques to diagnose and treat chronic Lyme disease. Their experience with Lyme has revealed the top five reasons Lyme disease remains chronic – some of which might surprise you!

What are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

Some people get Lyme disease and never know they have it. But for others, Lyme remains chronic in their system for years. 

Lyme is chronic when it persists in your body for six months or more, during which time the disease can cause significant damage. 

Acute Lyme symptoms may start with headaches, fever, fatigue, and a skin rash. If left untreated, Lyme can spread to the joints and organs and provoke other health problems, including chronic fatigue, joint pain, achiness, flu-like symptoms, recurrent fevers, and fibromyalgia. 

The ticks that transmit Borrelia Burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme disease) may also carry other bacteria. These co-infections can present distinctive symptoms like migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, shortness of breath, and more. 

The doctors at Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine have successfully helped many of their patients resolve symptoms of chronic Lyme, and their experience has revealed that five health problems can play a significant role in perpetuating the disease.

Functional Medicine Treatment for Lyme Disease

For patients with chronic Lyme disease, we look at the terrain or the internal conditions that allow the Lyme bacteria to replicate and remain active in your system.

We start with the toxic load or total body burden. When your bucket overflows with biotoxins, mycotoxins, neurotoxins, and environmental toxins, your system crashes, and symptoms emerge.

At Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine, we take steps to make the terrain (your body) inhospitable to Lyme. We support the detoxification pathways and help clear the system of toxins. As we detoxify and heal the terrain, your system becomes strong enough to fight Lyme. 

The five reasons Lyme disease remains chronic include mold toxicity, gut dysfunction, high toxin loads, parasitic infection, and yeast overgrowth. Each of these factors makes it harder for your system to function optimally, which makes it harder for your body to clear Borrelia Burgdorferi. 

Keep reading as we dive into what causes chronic Lyme disease and how a holistic approach can help!

Lyme disease boulder holistic functional medicine

1. Mold Toxicity

Mold Toxicity in building contributing to lyme disease

Mold attacks the immune system, suppressing good immune cells and increasing inflammatory cells. In the presence of mold, Lyme can become opportunistic. It reactivates, replicates, and wreaks havoc in the system. 

Mold secretes mycotoxins, which are pathogenic or disease-causing in humans. The mycotoxins and neurotoxins increase the total body burden, causing your bucket to overflow.

About 25% of the population is sensitive to mold. For mold-sensitive people, mold toxicity can cause migraines, fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, anxiety, weight gain, frequent illness, dizziness, hair loss, and chronic congestion. Over time, mold toxicity can cause neurological symptoms such as involuntary muscle movements, numbness, weakness, and neuropathies.

Thankfully, mold toxicity is treatable, and treating it may help resolve your chronic Lyme disease symptoms! Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine tests for mold toxicity if you have Lyme disease, and vice versa. 

For more information about mold toxicity symptoms and treatments, read this article here.

2. Gut Dysfunction 

A healthy gut is essential for optimum health. Seventy percent of your immune system lives in your GI tract and microbiome. 

Your microbiome is a wide variety of beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract. An ideal microbiome has more bacterial cells than human cells! 

The benefits of a diverse microbiome are immeasurable. Most researchers agree that the more beneficial bacteria you have in your gut, the healthier you will be. That’s partially because the microbiome is the body’s greatest immunomodulator. 

Immunomodulation means that these bacteria increase our good immune signaling and decrease immune dysfunctions like allergies, auto-immunity, and inflammation. These bacteria also contribute to healthy digestion, mood, and weight.

When you have gut dysfunction, your immune system is unable to effectively fight off Lyme disease which can cause it to become chronic. 

Gut dysfunction is a common symptom of lyme disease
If the doctors at Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine find symptoms of gut dysfunction, they will order a comprehensive stool study and food panel. These two tests will reveal the health of your microbiome and your overall gut health and help them determine if your gut is part of the reason your Lyme disease remains chronic. Dysbiosis, SIBO/SIFO, hypochlorhydria, and chronic inflammation are some examples of gut dysfunction. For more information about the functional medicine approach to gut dysfunction, read this article here.

3. High Toxin Load

Heavy metals are neurotoxins and a high heavy metal load interferes with the body’s ability to clear Lyme. Your body can only fight off so many outside pathogens and toxins at a time. Your chronic Lyme disease symptoms may emerge as a result of a high toxin load. Environmental toxins include plastics, pesticides, glyphosate, and thousands of other chemicals. Studies show that environmental toxins affect all of the body’s processes, and can cause autoimmunity, allergies, neurological illness, reproduction dysfunction, and more. These toxins contribute to the total body burden, and as the total body toxic load continues to increase, the bucket will overflow, and you may become symptomatic. Toxins disrupt the body’s processes on a cellular level. You can find known environmental toxins in everyday items like airbags, cigarette smoke, cosmetics, packaging, plastic cups, and toys.

4. Parasites

Parasites can be tricky to detect. Many of them can exist in your body for years, causing symptoms like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, migraines, and a myriad of other symptoms. With a chronic parasitic infection, the immune system is overwhelmed trying to fight off the parasites, creating a chronic state of inflammation. It also makes it harder for your body to fight off Lyme and its co-infections. Not to mention, parasites disrupt the microbiome to further impact immune function. In chronic Lyme, parasites must be treated and removed for the body to return to homeostasis. Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine may advise a parasite cleanse protocol to get rid of any potential parasites. Once the parasites are treated, your Lyme symptoms may lessen or disappear altogether!

5. Yeast Overgrowth

Yeast overgrowth might start with antibiotics, which kill your beneficial bacteria and allow the yeast to take over.

You can get yeast overgrowth from mold. Mold and yeast are fungal, so they often go hand in hand. Mold creates all the right conditions for yeast to flourish.

The overgrowth can also be exacerbated by your diet since an abundance of simple carbohydrates and processed sugars feed yeast.

Women experiencing yeast overgrowth which is a symptom of lyme disease

Yeast overgrowth can cause symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, GERD, weight gain, SIFO, nausea, acne, MCAS, and food sensitivities. It also causes brain fog, fatigue, headaches, and rashes. 

Like mold, yeast is hard to remove from the system without help from an experienced practitioner. It creates a home inside your gut or sinuses and secretes a biofilm to protect itself from your immune system. 

At Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine, we use low-dose immunotherapy to clear yeast from the system. Patients with yeast overgrowth typically see an improvement in their digestion and gut health, but also in symptoms of chronic Lyme disease!

Work with Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine

Happy women after being treating for lyme disease at Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine

The doctors at Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado, are Lyme disease specialists who use a whole system approach to treat chronic Lyme disease. They guide you through cleaning up the terrain and making your body inhospitable to chronic infections like Lyme disease.

Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine will also help treat untreated infections, such as parasites and yeast. They can help detoxify your body and decrease your body’s toxic burden. Once your terrain is clear, your body will have the strength to fight off Lyme and its co-infections, and you can reclaim your vibrantly happy and healthy life!

Want to learn more about Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine’s specialties and services? Fill out our new patient form to see one of our Lyme Disease specialists today!

Email Us

Have a question? Need to schedule an appointment? Send us an email. We'll get back to you right away.

Get Directions

2355 Canyon Blvd
Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80302

Phone Icon

Call Us

Need an appointment, prescription refill or have questions? Call us from 9:30am to 4:00pm.

Inflammation May Be Aging You Faster Than You Think

Inflammation may be aging you faster than you think and if you want to live a long, healthy, active life – decreasing your inflammation is critical.

Inflammation is a natural, healthy part of the healing process. However, sometimes this inflammatory response is triggered and can’t (or won’t) turn itself off.

An overactive inflammatory response can lead to chronic inflammation, which may increase joint pain, brain fog, swelling, weight gain, and a multitude of other symptoms.

But more than that, chronic inflammation can make you age faster. The condition inflammaging describes a natural increase in inflammation that happens as you get older – but just because some inflammation is inevitable doesn’t mean you have to lose your quality of life.

Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado applies a functional medicine approach to inflammation. Our experienced doctors search out the cause of your inflammation and work to decrease your inflammation levels.

Keep reading to learn more about inflammaging and how Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine helps you decrease inflammation and age gracefully.

What is Inflammation?

Imune Response

Inflammation is a natural and critical part of the body’s immune response. When your immune system detects an infection it sends immune cells to fight off the offending agent and start the healing process. 

Your white blood cells release hydrogen peroxide and other toxic substances to try and kill the invader. The blood vessels open up to let the inflammatory mediators into the tissues to fight the virus, bacteria, parasite, or fungus. This makes your blood vessels leaky and can lead to puffiness and edema.

You’re probably more familiar with the immune system’s healing process from the outside perspective. Fever, swelling, rashes, sneezing, and many other signs of sickness are the result of your immune system’s battle against foreign invaders.

Not all inflammation is bad. A fever fights off your virus, swelling marks the arrival of healing white blood cells, and sneezing gets rid of dust and pollen in your nose. The problem is when inflammation becomes systemic or chronic. 

How Inflammation Speeds Up Aging

A certain amount of inflammation is unavoidable as you get older. Pro-inflammatory markers increase because of dysregulation in the immune response. 

So, low-level systemic inflammation is more common the older you get and that is why inflammation may be aging you faster than you think.

The term inflammageing describes the natural increase of inflammatory markers with age. Inflammaging is a risk factor for several diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, all forms of dementia, obesity, and arthritis. It also contributes to a shorter overall life expectancy and chronic pain. 

While some inflammation is inevitable, you can decrease your risk of disease by recognizing the symptoms early. 

A few signs you’re experiencing a systemic response to inflammation include:

When people look and feel older than they are – chances are they have chronic inflammation. Inflammation is part of what distinguishes the difference between your chronological age and your biological age. If you ignore the signs, your health will steadily worsen as your body struggles to return to optimal health.

Thankfully, chronic inflammation isn’t a permanent state. You can make a dramatic difference in your health as you age by improving your gut health.

The GI Tract and Inflammation

Gut Inflamation

Inflammation often starts in the gut because the gut is where you come into contact with the outside world the most.

Food allergies and sensitivities are common causes of chronic inflammation. They increase inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract as the body attacks the offending food.

When your immune system forms an antibody for a certain food, your body responds the same way it would to a foreign invader. It tries to destroy and expel the food before it can do any harm.

The food sensitivity and food allergy response increase inflammation levels in the gut, which eventually spreads to the rest of the body.

Some foods are more likely to cause inflammation than others, including processed sugar, gluten, dairy, corn, and soy. These foods are inflammatory in everyone, regardless of if you have an antibody to them or not. The reason these foods are inflammatory has to do with the way we grow and process our food.

Other common causes of inflammation are toxins in your environment and chronic infections. The amount of toxins and harmful substances in the environment has been exponentially increasing and these toxins are inflammatory. The more we are exposed, the more inflammation we will have.

Does Inflammation Cause Weight Gain?

Weight gain and inflammation often go hand in hand. A high level of inflammation or toxins can contribute to weight gain.

If your body can’t detoxify a toxin, it will increase the number of fat cells in the body in order to dilute the toxin and make them less damaging to your cells. Toxins stored inside fat cells make inflammatory changes to the tissue. They are slowly released into the body over time and the inflammatory response gradually increases as a result.

So, inflammation can be the root cause of weight gain – but that isn’t always the case.

How to Reduce Gut Inflammation

Atheltic Hydration

A food sensitivity and allergy panel is critical to get to the root cause of inflammation. As is doing a comprehensive stool study. Together, these tests reveal the health of the microbiome and its diversity as well as any infections or imbalances in the gut.

Seventy percent of your immune system lives in your gut and microbiome. If you have a chronic state of infection in the gastrointestinal tract, your immune system is busy fighting these infections and doesn’t have as much capacity for other infections you may encounter. Furthermore, the immune response in your gut creates a state of chronic inflammation.

If chronic gut inflammation goes untreated, the inflammation seeps out into the rest of your body and creates disease. Chronic yeast infections, parasitic infections, or gut dysbiosis are common and often silent infections in your gut. An untreated chronic inflammatory response in the gut will affect the whole body and may result in neuroinflammation, arthritis, weight gain, etc.

Some good anti-infammatory supplements are NrF2, curcumin, Boswellia, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea extract, and CBD. Order through Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine to get high-quality supplements from Fullscipt and Wholescipts.

Your biggest immunomodulator is your microbiome. A healthy microbiome will increase good immune responses and decrease immune dysfunction such as inflammation, auto-immunity, and allergies. Again, the microbiome is CRITICAL to aging gracefully.

High Mountain Columbine

Contact Boulder Holistic

Inflammation may be aging you faster than you think – but that doesn’t mean you can’t age gracefully. Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine in Boulder, Colorado finds the cause of your inflammation with functional medicine to reduce pain, increase longevity and prevent disease.

If you have signs of inflammation or want to learn what functional medicine can do to help, contact Boulder Holistic Functional Medicine to schedule a consultation!

Email Us

Have a question? Need to schedule an appointment? Send us an email. We'll get back to you right away.

Get Directions

2355 Canyon Blvd
Suite 102
Boulder, CO 80302

Phone Icon

Call Us

Need an appointment, prescription refill or have questions? Call us from 9:30am to 4:00pm.