Immune System Strong

The best way to combat Long Covid, new Covid variants, Lyme Disease, Monkey Pox, the flu and any other infectious disease you might encounter, is by helping your immune system function as best as it possibly can. This 8-Week program, based on Dr. Blum’s bestselling book, The Immune System Recovery Plan, will help you build resiliency against infectious disease. Join us!

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GET A FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CONSULTATION

Our New Patient and Membership Manager will help you discover if Functional Medicine is right for you.

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The Immune System Recovery Plan

A Doctor’s 4-Step Program to Treat Autoimmune Disease

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Healing Arthritis

Your 3-Step Guide to Conquering Arthritis Naturally

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How You Can Benefit from Glutathione — the Ultimate Antioxidant

The benefits of antioxidants are undisputed – they slow the aging process and help prevent vision loss, cancer, heart disease, strokes, and other chronic diseases.  Most importantly, they help you feel vibrant and healthy!  Glutathione is known as the “master antioxidant” and is an extremely important molecule found in every human cell. It is considered the main protector against oxidative stress in the body. 

What is Oxidative Stress? 

Oxidative stress occurs when the ratio between antioxidants and free radicals are out of balance. Free radicals are molecules that are produced naturally in the body,  as a byproduct of normal metabolism or by exposure to environmental pollutants and stressors. Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron, so they become activated and try to “borrow” electrons from other molecules in healthy cells.  This borrowing action damages the cells themselves and is often the earliest trigger that starts inflammation. 

Think of oxidative stress as a situation when your antioxidants aren’t keeping up, and then these free radicals can create little sparks or embers of inflammation throughout the body. When you are sick, stressed or come in contact with pollutants, your body produces even more free radicals – and in turn more oxidative stress – that can damage your DNA, cause inflammation, contribute to disease and accelerate aging.

How Glutathione Combats Oxidative Stress

Your body comes equipped with antioxidants, especially glutathione, to neutralize these free radicals. Antioxidants work to balance the load of free radicals and create a harmonious, healthy environment for you to thrive. The two ways nature gave us to prevent oxidative stress is through food and our natural antioxidant systems in the body of which glutathione is the champion. That’s why eating a diet with a variety of colorful  fruits and vegetables is so important! 

Additionally, the body naturally creates glutathione to balance and repair damaged cells. Glutathione is critical for the function of the liver to detoxify and works to put out the “fires” that free radicals have sparked. Glutathione is a tripeptide of three amino acids (glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid). This antioxidant helps your body fight disease and injury by binding to free radicals and facilitating their removal from your body.

Under certain conditions you may have a higher demand for antioxidants. There are several factors that can significantly use up and decrease your antioxidant levels, thus increasing your need, including: 

  • high toxic burden 
  • poor diet
  • Stress
  • Infections, including gut dysbiosis 
  • chronic illness
  • Pollution
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • certain medications
  • excess body fat
  • age 

The use of Functional Medicine testing can measure the amount of oxidative stress you may be carrying. A session with our Health Coach or one of our Functional Medicine Physicians can help determine your best course of action.  To replenish glutathione, we typically recommend intravenous therapy as it completely bypasses the digestive system and delivers the antioxidant directly to your cells.  When taken as an oral supplement, glutathione is not typically absorbed well as it is destroyed by digestion in the stomach. 

A glutathione infusion has many incredible benefits:

  1. Detoxifies the liver 
  2. Combats oxidative stress
  3. Prevents chronic illness
  4. Decreases inflammation
  5. Increases energy
  6. Slows aging 

Glutathione is an extremely well tolerated infusion. Depending on the dose, it can either be given as a slow IV push over 5 minutes or a quick 10 minute infusion with very few side effects. Many people add on glutathione to a longer infusion, such as a Myer’s Cocktail, Detoxify, or Immunity infusions. 

Text or call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment! Schedule a FREE consultation with our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP, to get your questions answered.

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5 Ways to Protect Your Gut in the Summer

Warmth, water, mountains, family, friends … summer means fun in the sun. But, what could be more annoying than an uptick in gut symptoms – particularly gas and bloating? No one likes to feel uncomfortable in their summer clothes.

Perhaps you can relate to this: I recently went on vacation. By the end of my time away I felt pretty good in the morning, but by dinnertime bloating was making me feel (and look) like I was pregnant.

What gives? Well, a bit of alcohol and eating more of the foods I generally avoid, added up in a negative way. And even though it wasn’t excessive, it impacted my gut in a relatively short amount of time.

If this resonates with you, don’t despair. In 10 quick days, you can reverse course. More about that in a moment. Can’t wait? Join Me

In the meantime, here’s what you can do to support your gut for the rest of the summer…

5 WAYS TO PROTECT YOUR GUT IN THE SUMMER: 

→ RETHINK ALCOHOL – Summer typically equals an increase in cocktails. Get clear: How many drinks are you consuming daily. If you’re in good health, and at low risk for cancer, then alcohol in moderation is likely okay. What is moderation? A few social drinks a week. There’s no need to drink every day, afterall. Plan for them — wait for the rooftop get-together or the weekend summertime bash. And If you’re a beer drinker, switch! Beer contains gluten and can be bloating if you’re sensitive to it. Have you considered a mocktail? Take a look at my Blueberry Lime “Margarita” recipe. 

→ GET YOUR SLEEP – Long, summer days with evenings out often lead to burning the candle at both ends. When your sleep suffers, so does your gut. And don’t forget, many of your summer activities affect the quality of your sleep: drinking alcohol, consuming sugar, eating foods that don’t serve you, and even travel and activity stress can all cause sleep disturbances. And, sleep disturbances and stressors suppress your immune system, making you vulnerable to infections. Get your zzzzz’s!

→ SUPPORT YOUR GUT WITH APPROPRIATE SUPPLEMENTS – Now is not the time to leave your gut-loving supplements behind. In fact, now is the time to be vigilant. If you’re indulging in alcohol, eating foods that you generally avoid, you’ll want to make sure you’re protecting your gut microbiome and gut lining as best you can. My summer go-to’s are:

Probiotics – support and influence the bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Use a well-rounded, multi-strain product, and since it’s summer, opt for a shelf-stable, heat-resistant probiotic like this one: my favorite summer probiotic

L-Glutamine – this important amino acid will help support the integrity your digestive tract lining by shoring tight junctions and helping to prevent a leaky gut. You want this why? Because about 80% of your immune system lives in your digestive tract and your gut lining is imperative to keeping out invaders, such as viruses (yep, like COVID). Oh, and it’s relevant to add: Alcohol consumption puts your optimal gut health at risk. Alcohol can, in fact, increase gut permeability. Here’s the the L-Glutamine I use. 

→ EAT SUMMERY GUT-LOVING FOODS – Summer produce is here! Take advantage of it while you can. Make sure half of the food you eat everyday comes in the form of produce. Eat the rainbow – all the different colors offer a range of necessary phytonutrients. Plus, the fiber found in produce provides much needed food for your gut microbiome. Also consider adding some kimchi, sauerkraut and low-sugar kombucha. Some of my favorite summer foods are: berries (love them all!), herbs like basil and mint, as well as broccoli, cucumbers, snap peas, green beans, watermelon and peaches. 

→ REMEMBER TO HYDRATE & REPLACE ELECTROLYTES – Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. You might think eight glasses of water is enough. Actually, the proper amount of fluid is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you’re aiming to consume 75 ounces of liquid. And for every hour you’re outside, add another 16 ounces of water. Yes, really. Since it’s hot and you’re likely sweating, you might consider adding electrolytes to your day. Many of my clients like Nuun. My personal fave is Ultima.  

Which brings me back to what you can do right now about summer bloating and digestive discomfort  … Join me for the 10-Day Summer ReBoot! We’ll bring down the bloat and make the remainder of your summer gut-happy. Learn More Now

Happy summer!

 

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.

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How Infusions Can Kick Your Detox Up a Notch

We recently finished our 14-Day Whole Life Detox program led by our Health Coach, Melissa Rapoport. If you completed the program, you are walking away with more energy and mental clarity, several pounds lighter and a clean slate to start the summer toxin-free. 

If you weren’t able to make the Detox program with Melissa but are still interested in clearing your body of the everyday toxins you encounter or if you want to continue the benefits from the program, infusions can help support the detoxification process. 

How Detox Infusions Work: 

The liver is essential for clearing toxins out of your blood. It is your natural filter and our Detox infusion gives it a jumpstart by feeding it targeted nutrients that transform and bind to toxins, while adding antioxidant support to improve liver function.   When your liver is overburdened, you may feel sluggish, experience brain fog, have chronic headaches, poor sleep, constipation, and undesired weight gain. 

Providing your liver with targeted nutrients helps support it in its task to lower your toxic load. These vitamins, amino acids, and minerals are key to improving liver function and aiding in the detoxification process. Moreover, getting them infused allows your body to absorb 100% of the dose because it bypasses the GI tract and liver, which greatly reduces the dose by the time it ever gets to your cells. 

What’s in Medical-Grade Detox Infusions?

B Complex– contains B1, B2, B3, B5, & B6 to help your cells function better and make energy.  B vitamins are crucial to the detoxification process.

Vitamin C– a potent antioxidant, high doses of vitamin C helps flush toxins from the body.

Magnesium– an electrolyte that is needed to keep your nervous system and muscles functioning properly & keep your body balanced and relaxed. Stimulates cell activity to release toxins and heavy metals into the bloodstream to then be filtered out by the liver.

B12- essential for all biochemistry and body functions that involve methylation, including production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitters, liver detox, and maintaining health of the nervous system.  As we age, it is harder to absorb B12 from the gut, another reason to regularly get B12 by infusion.

Taurine- amino acid that improves liver function and promotes elimination of toxins

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): Boosts the immune system, increases Glutathione (antioxidant), and supports the liver to clear the body of toxins.

Methionine: Sulfur containing amino acid, where the sulfur helps inactivate free radicals in the body. Protects the cell from pollutants and aids in excretion of heavy metals.

Why It’s Important to Flush Toxins and Heavy Metals:

  • If you have an excess of toxins, your liver will get overburdened
  • Your liver uses glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) to process these toxins out and it will use up your glutathione supply (why we recommend adding on a glutathione infusion at the end of your Detox infusion!)
  • As your glutathione levels get depleted, you become more susceptible to getting infections like Covid
  • If your body isn’t properly excreting toxins, the toxins are stored in your fat cells (this can cause weight gain too!)
  • Leaves you feeling more vibrant and lighter

Everyday Toxins You May Be In Contact With:

  • Air pollutants
  • Mercury found in fish
  • Medications and bacteria in the water supply
  • Herbicides and pesticides found in food
  • Hormones, antibiotics and herbicides in our animal protein like chicken or beef
  • Plastics from water bottles
  • Cleaning chemicals like hand sanitizer

Detox infusions are just one of many amazing tools we have at Blum Center for Health to support the detoxification process. Helping your liver function optimally is a whole lifestyle approach – including diet, sleep, hydration, self care, and the household products you use (and don’t use). Our Functional Medicine doctors and our Health Coach are available to work one-on-one with you to evaluate your toxic load and get you back to feeling better and brighter! 

Text or call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment to jumpstart your summer with a Detox infusion! Schedule a FREE consultation with our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP, to get your questions answered. 

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Improve Nerve Pain with Alpha Lipoic Acid

If you’ve experienced nerve pain, also known as neuropathy, you know that the pins and needles, numbness, weakness and burning sensations that occur in the body greatly impact quality of life.  Those who suffer from nerve pain understand how difficult it is to complete simple tasks or focus their mind on anything other than their symptoms. 

Why does nerve pain feel all consuming? The nervous system is responsible for transmitting a variety of signals such as pain, touch, temperature and balance to the brain, and for sending motor commands to move muscles. It plays an essential role in the things your body does without thinking, such as breathing, blushing and blinking. Your nervous system affects every aspect of your health! 

What is Neuropathy? 

Neuropathy affects about 30% of Americans and it stems from damage done to our nerves. Damage can be caused by:

  • Diabetes
  • Trauma
  • Some autoimmune disorders/infections
  • Exposure to heavy metals or other toxins
  • Vascular disorders
  • History of stroke
  • Inherited or genetic disorders
  • Idiopathic (sometimes there’s no clear reason!)

Conventional treatments for nerve pain include antidepressants and medications for seizures that only treat the symptoms of the disease and not its root cause. At Blum Center, we take our Functional Medicine approach to uncover the underlying cause of your pain so we can guide you to a long lasting solution for your overall health. 

There’s many underlying conditions that can be the cause of neuropathy, including B-12 deficiency, infections, medications, toxicity and more. We encourage you to see one of our Functional Medicine doctors to put you on a personalized treatment plan based on the underlying cause of your neuropathy. 

Functional Medicine Solutions for Nerve Pain 

In addition to a personalized treatment plan from your doctor, an Alpha Lipoic Acid infusion can make a real difference for the healing of the cells in your nervous system, and also in supporting its general health.  

You might be wondering, how does it work?  Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant that is fat soluble.  Because the brain and nervous system are mostly fat, it’s one of the best antioxidants for protecting and healing your nerve cells.  Antioxidants lessen or neutralize the effect of free radicals. Free radicals are a byproduct or waste of metabolic processes and even more free radicals are produced when fighting an infection or exposure to pollution to name a few. When we have an imbalance where there are more free radicals than antioxidants, our body undergoes oxidative stress, which causes damage and inflammation, and in this particular case at the nervous system. 

An infusion of Alpha Lipoic Acid gives the body the antioxidants it needs to restore the balance and clear free radicals to prevent further destruction and even reverse the damage done. Again, Alpha Lipoic Acid is particularly good for the nervous system over other antioxidants because it easily passes into the brain and the nerve tissues.

Alpha Lipoic Acid, Diabetes, and Diabetic Neuropathy

If you are experiencing neuropathy secondary to diabetes, then Alpha Lipoic Acid has even more benefit! Intravenous Alpha Lipoic Acid can decrease blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Not only are you reversing the damage and inflammation done to your nerves by high blood sugar with its antioxidant effects, you are also preventing further damage by improving the control of your blood sugar.

What to Expect When You Receive an Alpha Lipoic Acid Drip? 

Alpha Lipoic Acid is a very well tolerated infusion, but we do recommend that you eat before your infusion because it can lower blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and are taking medications to lower your blood sugar, we will work with you and your regimen to make sure you don’t become hypoglycemic. The infusion takes about 30 minutes and is usually added on to another infusions like the Myer’s Cocktail, Detoxify, or Immunity. Alpha Lipoic Acid by itself is $175 and is $115 as an add-on. Alpha Lipoic Acid is also part of our Post Covid and Mito Recovery protocols and is included in the price, a bundle worth 20% off a la carte items!

Ready to alleviate your nerve pain? 

Text or Call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online scheduling platform.  Our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP, is standing by to answer all your questions.

**Mention this email to receive 20% off your first infusion!

 

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Mythbuster: The 3 Real Reasons You Need to Detox

Here’s a marketing myth-buster: Your liver is an amazing organ that does a beautiful job filtering your blood, making toxins less harmful to the body and removing them from your bloodstream. You do not need to “detox your liver” as many health marketers would lead you to believe. 

Here’s the truth: You are exposed to toxins daily, and those toxins accumulate in your fatty tissue (even in the brain!) and when your liver gets overburdened filtering these toxins, your body suffers. The purpose of our Spring Whole Life Detox is to release the toxins and support your liver to do the job it needs to do. You will feel better and brighter. Period. 

Why detox now? Reason #1: We are making a shift from winter to spring. Coming out of winter most people tend to feel heavier, in their body but also emotionally and even spiritually. Detox helps bring vibrancy, positivity and better health by literally “lightening your load.”

Why detox now? Reason #2: We’ve been living through more than two years of a global pandemic. It has taken a toll — whether you’ve suffered with COVID-related illness, the chronic elevated stress and anxiety of living through the pandemic and the weariness that is plaguing just about everybody — you are left in need of a serious reboot.

Why detox now? Reason #3: Most people encounter many toxins every day and these toxins are undermining your health and you don’t realize it!  Where do toxins come from?  Here are some examples:   

  • chemicals in the air
  • mercury in fish
  • medications and bacteria in the water supply
  • pesticides and herbicides in food
  • hormones, antibiotics and herbicides in the animals we eat
  • even plastics from water bottles
  • And now let’s add hand sanitizers and antiviral cleaning chemicals to the list

Normally, your liver is in charge of helping rid the body of most toxins.  Here’s what happens when your body becomes overburdened with too many toxins for your liver to handle: 

  • Your immune system becomes compromised and your liver uses up your glutathione supply, not to mention many other nutrients, to process these toxins out. (FYI Glutathione is the mother of all detoxifying antioxidants, and helps prevent damage to your cells).  
  • Next, you get run down and become susceptible to infections and are at risk for developing disease, including viruses, like COVID. 
  • And if that’s not enough, your fat cells do a great job of storing toxins (ewww!) which results in excess weight.  

Supporting your liver with targeted nutrients so that it can do an amazing job lowering your toxin load is what detox is all about!  And then you feel better!  And the best way to begin is to focus on eating lots of liver loving food.

This is the perfect time to give your body the nourishment it needs to support its innate ability to regenerate and thrive. To help you feel like you again.

If you’re like me, you might be feeling any of the following symptoms: sluggish, lack of clarity, chronic headaches, poor sleep, constipation, undesired weight gain.  If you do, your body is yelling out to you…it’s time to detox!

Lastly, Detoxing is also about lifestyle — from what you eat (and don’t eat) to chemicals found in your home, hydration, sleep and self-care. It is synergistic, working together to reduce your toxin load. And, in our upcoming Whole Life Detox spring reboot, I’ll be showing you the how and the why. 

If you’re ready to jump into summer full of energy and optimism, feeling lighter in your body, consider joining me for our 14-Day Whole Life Detox. Two LIVE workshops, a private Facebook Group, all the materials and supplements you need plus me at your side every step of the way. We begin soon! Learn More

 

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters. To learn more about Melissa’s coaching practice at Blum Center for Health, click here.

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Is NAD+ The Answer to Your Fatigue?

Back in August 2021 after a long COVID year, we relaunched our Infusion Program.  At Blum Center for Health, our goal has always been to bring you the most beneficial and cutting edge treatments that will help you achieve all your health and wellness goals. And now we are excited to once again offer you the Infusions that will help get you there.  We believe that specific IV treatments can work to improve your cellular function at the deepest levels in your body. This will not only help you with energy and cognitive function, but are part of the most cutting edge anti-aging therapeutics that are now hot on the market.

NAD+ is the most exciting addition to our infusion menu because the research showing the benefits of NAD+ infusions has exploded over the past few years. NAD+ is Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide and is a coenzyme found in every cell of your body.  It is essential for hundreds of metabolic processes mainly because it is required for your mitochondria to function well.  Your “mighty-chondria” are the little furnaces inside each and every cell that make energy (ATP) and without NAD+, the mitochondria can’t make ATP.  

Did you know that NAD+ levels can decrease up to 50% by ages 40-60?  This can explain why you can feel so tired even if you have a great diet and live an overall healthy lifestyle. Getting NAD+ intravenously is the best way to increase your levels because it bypasses the GI tract so it is 100% bioavailable to be fully absorbed by your cells.  And receiving your NAD+ drip at Blum Center will ensure you’re benefiting from the highest quality and dosage of infusions. Compared to other centers, our starting dose of NAD+ is at 500 mg, whereas at other centers, that is the highest dose offered.  

Our patients have seen many benefits of NAD+ Infusion Therapy, including:

  • Improved mental clarify 
  • Better mood because NAD+ naturally increases dopamine and serotonin 
  • Improved sleep 
  • Waking up feeling rested with sustained energy all day
  • Boosting metabolism
  • Clearing up of skin issues (hives)
  • Treatment after COVID to prevent long COVID
  • Recovery from long COVID 
  • Recovery from LYME

What to Expect When You Receive NAD+ Infusion Therapy

Although it can take 3-5 hours to infuse, NAD+ is a very well tolerated infusion. We initiate the infusion very slowly and slowly increase the rate every 15-20 minutes to find the speed that works best for you. We do this because infusing NAD+ too quickly can cause GI upset.  It’s different for everyone, but the average is around 3 hours. We block off 5 hours for your first infusion to give us time to tailor the treatment to your needs and comfort level. With our comfortable recliners, WiFi, complimentary drinks & snacks, and privacy, you can make the most of your time at Blum Center so those three hours will fly by!

How many NAD+ drips will you need to see positive effects?  While everyone is different, We recommend starting with an infusion every other week for four infusions and then monthly infusions for maintenance. But even one infusion can make a real difference!

Say goodbye to your fatigue by booking an NAD+ infusion today!

Text or Call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment or use our convenient online scheduling platform.  Our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP, is standing by to answer all your questions.

 

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How Infusions Can Help you Recover from Lyme Disease

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE living in the Westchester area, especially in the summer. Crisp evenings, proximity to beaches, and embracing the outdoors brings me so much joy. However, one thing I don’t love about Westchester in the spring, summer and fall are the Lyme disease-carrying-ticks that are everywhere.  The official name of the microbe that causes Lyme is Borrelia Bergdorfi.  And these annoying and harmful pests carry other infections, too, like Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia and more.  Collectively we call these Tick Borne Illnesses or TBI’s.  New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are three of the ten states where the majority of Lyme cases are reported in the United States!  The problem is that we all love the outdoors and your favorite summer activities could be putting you at risk.

Most of you probably already know this and check yourself for ticks after every evening beach walk or nature walk.  If you don’t, then this is definitely your first line of defense.  If you find a tick on your body and it has been there for at least 4 hours, and has hooked itself in your skin, remove gently with a tweezer, and call your doctor.  You can save the tick and have it tested for Lyme.  At Blum Center we believe in treating aggressively, and recommend antibiotics (or sometimes we use herbal remedies) whether or not you develop a rash.  If that tick has latched onto you, whether or not is engorged or swollen, then treating right away is your best defense against developing acute or chronic Lyme disease.  

ACUTE AND CHRONIC LYME

Acute Lyme or Tick Borne Illness (TBI) usually happens in about 2-3 weeks after the infection, but can happen sooner or later than that too.  You might have a fever, chills, headaches, muscle or joint pain.  It can feel like a flu.  It can last 5-7 days and then go away.  The tricky thing is that some people who get infected by a tick never have an acute illness!  And many people with an acute TBI don’t ever remember having a tick bite!

That’s why many people (and doctors) don’t even think about Lyme when they develop chronic symptoms like fatigue, arthritis, muscle pain or brain fog that drag on for months and months.  There can also be other symptoms like intermittent fevers and heachaches and neurological symptoms like strange sensations and/or numbness or tingling anywhere in the body.  The good news is that WE do think about Lyme in every patient with these symptoms at Blum Center and do the testing and pick up hidden Lyme or Tick infections all the time.  

The name Chronic Lyme has been given to people who have these symptoms for months and sometimes years.  Some people have Chronic Lyme and don’t know it.  And even when they start treatment with antibiotics, they continue suffering with Chronic Lyme because once it’s been in your body for a long time, it’s very hard to get rid of it, even with antibiotics.

FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE FOR LYME TREATMENT 

Treating your Lyme disease requires a very personalized approach, and our complete treatment program for Lyme disease is beyond the scope of this blog.  We use at different times, and for different people, antibiotics and herbal programs to kill the Borrelia Burgdorferi (or other TBI) microbe.  But treatment is a 1-2 punch:  the medication or herbs lower the total amount of infection in your system, and then the immune system has to clear out the rest.  You can see why a highly functioning and strong immune system is critical to treating Lyme Disease.

In addition to a strong immune system, once we start treating Lyme, there are a lot of toxins that are released and can cause you to feel very sick.  And these toxins and the Lyme itself can wreak havoc with your mitochondria, the little furnaces in your cells that make energy.  Therefore from a functional medicine perspective, whether you are currently being treated by us or other doctors, or are still recovering from Lyme Disease, you should add to your program support for the immune system, the detox system and the mitochondria.  And the most effective way to do this is with Infusions because high concentrations of the needed nutrients can go right into your blood and to your cells where they are needed.  

OUR CUSTOM INFUSION FOR LYME DISEASE

Susan Blum, MD, MPH, our founder and director and author of The Immune System Recovery Plan, developed our targeted Infusion for people with Lyme.  We call it our Mito Recovery Infusion.  The nutrients in Mito Recovery target all 3 systems that need support in people struggling to recover from Lyme or other Tick Infection:  it works deep within the cell to help rebuild the damaged mitochondria; includes NAC and glutathione for detoxification support, and zinc, selenium, vitamin C and B vitamins for your immune system.   Here are the details:

Bag #1 – Mito Recovery

B Complex contains B1, B2, B3, B5, & B6 to help the mitochondria in all your cells function better and make energy.  This, of course, includes your immune system cells.

Vitamin C– a potent antioxidant, high doses of vitamin C helps your immune system work better and protects the mitochondria from injury

Magnesium– an electrolyte that is needed to keep your nervous system and muscles functioning properly & keep your body balanced and relaxed. Can also help provide pain relief (headaches) and help with sleep. Magnesium can act as an antioxidant in mitochondria improving mitochondrial dysfunction

B12 essential for all biochemistry and body functions that involve methylation, including production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitters, liver detox, and maintaining health of the nervous system.  As we age, it is harder to absorb B12 from the gut, another reason to regularly get B12 by infusion.

Zinc a mineral that boosts the immune system by decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines, and has direct antiviral activity.

Selenium powerful antioxidant that decreases inflammatory markers & boosts the immune system by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)- Boosts the immune system, increases Glutathione (antioxidant), decreases viral replication, & reduces inflammation.  

Acetyl L-Carnitine- Boosts mitochondria function and energy production. 

 

Bag #2:  Alpha Lipoic Acid: Powerful antioxidant to help prevent oxidative-stress related damage to all your cells and mitochondria, especially the brain and nervous system

Bag #3:  Glutathione: Powerful antioxidant that decreases inflammation and clears free radicals caused by oxidative stress, especially important for immune and mitochondria  function.  Powerfully protects the Thyroid and other tissues from damage.  Can help relieve respiratory symptoms by decreasing inflammation and mucus in lungs. Crucial support for liver detoxification and clearing heavy metals.  

Injection: CoQ10: required for optimal functioning of the mitochondria which are damaged from COVID.  Also supports the immune system and decreases the release of inflammatory cytokines. Depleted levels of CoQ10 have been linked to increased susceptibility to infection

Text or call 914-652-7800 to schedule an appointment and start feeling like your old self again!  If you aren’t sure if this is right for you, schedule a FREE consultation with our Infusion Director, Michelle Levins, NP.

 

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How Infusions Can Protect You from Covid and Post Covid Infections

I’m sure we all know a handful of people who got Covid from this most recent surge. Whether you just had it or have “dodged the bullet” for the last two years,  it’s getting harder and harder to avoid it now.  The good news?  If you are vaccinated and not immunocompromised, you are unlikely to experience a severe illness that will put you in the hospital. Phew! But what this DOES mean, is that we all must focus on keeping our immune systems as healthy and strong – especially post Covid infection. Because COVID is here to stay (something called becoming “endemic”), a healthy and robust immune system is our best defense.  This is true for the flu and other infections too, not just COVID.

Which brings us to the next big question. Is there anything more you can be doing? While infusions will not prevent you from getting Covid, our Boost Immunity Infusion can greatly increase the levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that you need to help your immune system fight an infection and helps increase the odds that you have a mild illness and recover quickly if you do get sick.  

The Boost Immunity infusion is all about priming the immune system to function optimally. 

It is packed with high doses of nutrients to really make a difference:

B Complex: contains B1, B2, B3, B5, & B6 to help the mitochondria in all your cells function better and make energy.  This of course includes your immune system cells.

Vitamin C: a potent antioxidant, high doses of vitamin C helps your immune system work better and also has direct antiviral activity.  

Zinc: a mineral that boosts the immune system by decreasing the production of inflammatory cytokines, and has direct antiviral activity.

Selenium: powerful antioxidant that decreases inflammatory markers & boosts the immune system by lowering oxidative stress and inflammation.  Also a strong protector of the Thyroid gland.

Magnesium: an electrolyte that is needed to keep your nervous system and muscles functioning properly & keep your body balanced and relaxed. Can also help provide pain relief (headaches) and help with sleep.

B12: essential for all biochemistry and body functions that involve methylation, including production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitters, liver detox, and maintaining health of the nervous system.  As we age, it is harder to absorb B12 from the gut, another reason to regularly get B12 by infusion.

Lysine: directly inhibits replication of certain viruses from the Herpesvirus family.

The Post Covid Infusion:  

For those of you who are recovering after having COVID, we recommend a series of (4) Post Covid Infusions, once a week.  Dr. Blum created this protocol to help your mitochondria and antioxidant system recover after the battle with the virus.  We believe this infusion is a great idea after being sick, whether or not you have Long Covid symptoms, which most commonly include severe fatigue and brain fog, and persistent inflammation.  This post Covid infusion will help you clear the virus out of your body, calm inflammation, and support your mitochondria, and your immune and antioxidant systems.  If you do have Long Covid, you will probably want to continue until you are fully recovered.

Our newest protocol created by Dr. Blum, includes three infusion bags and an injection.  The protocol was created to target those systems that are damaged from COVID, specifically the mitochondria (little furnace in every cell that makes energy), and severe depletion of antioxidants (which protect the mitochondria, immune system and the functioning of all organs and systems).  All items are available a la carte, but bundled together gives you a 20% discount.

 

  1. Bag #1:  Mito Recovery:  The first IV bag we call our Mito Recovery (Mito for mitochondria), which is the Boost Immunity IV at its core, but with added NAC and Acetyl L-Carnitine.  The mitochondria are often severely damaged after COVID infection.  
    1. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): Boosts the immune system, increases Glutathione (antioxidant), decreases viral replication, & reduces inflammation.  
    2. Acetyl L-Carnitine: Boosts mitochondria function and energy production. 
  2. Bag #2:  Alpha Lipoic Acid: Powerful antioxidant to help prevent oxidative-stress related damage to all your cells and mitochondria, especially the brain and nervous system
  3. Bag #3:  Glutathione: Powerful antioxidant that decreases inflammation and clears free radicals caused by oxidative stress, especially important for immune and mitochondria  function.  Powerfully protects the Thyroid and other tissues from damage.  Can help relieve respiratory symptoms by decreasing inflammation and mucus in lungs. Crucial support for liver detoxification and clearing heavy metals.  
  4. Injection: CoQ10: required for optimal functioning of the mitochondria which are damaged from COVID.  Also supports the immune system and decreases the release of inflammatory cytokines. Depleted levels of CoQ10 have been linked to increased susceptibility to infection.

Alpha Lipoic Acid, Glutathione, & CoQ10 can be added on to the Boost Immunity or any other infusion by request. If you have further questions about how our Boost Immunity & Post Covid Infusions can help you through this latest Covid surge, call or text 914-652-7800.  Click here for more information on our Infusion Center at Blum Center for Health.

Stay safe & be well.

 

 

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What to do right now if you have joint pain

You suffer from joint pain. You may have an official diagnosis of arthritis, or you may suspect you have arthritis. It may have gotten worse, or even been triggered by COVID-19. If you’ve visited your doctor for relief, you’ve likely been told to take anti-inflammatories and that you will need to “live with it.”

Here’s what Functional Medicine tells us: Arthritis and joint pain — whether it’s autoimmune or osteoarthritis — is an inflammatory condition that can be treated through finding and treating the root causes of inflammation which include food, healing the gut, and mitigating the effects of stress. The answer to joint pain is not “take anti-inflammatories and live with it.”

This is why Dr. Susan Blum wrote her bestselling book, Healing Arthritis – she’s on a mission to help millions of sufferers heal their joint pain. Since its release she has helped literally thousands of people learn that arthritis is NOT inevitable, and that by following her 3-step Arthritis Protocol, arthritis and joint pain sufferers will be on the road to living a pain-free life.

Here are 4 ways you can address your joint pain starting now

Heal your gut. Hard Stop.

Your gut microbiome, the 100 trillion or so bacteria that live within you, are key players in the health of your immune system and a healthy gut is mandatory for preventing and treating any inflammatory disease. It’s clear that healing the gut to heal the joints is a valid, scientifically supported approach to treating arthritis. In fact, hundreds of research studies and articles have been published in the past decade proving the gut-arthritis connection, and showing us how system-wide inflammation begins deep inside your digestive system. 

How do you heal your gut? Through using food as medicine, mitigating your stress response and using supplements to support your gut microbiome. Read on to learn about each of these.

Make pain-free food choices 

In fact, the single most important influence on reducing your pain is the food you eat!

Here’s what you need to do:

Increase the number of healthy foods you are eating.

  • Your grocery list should include antioxidant rich dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, swiss chard; and deep, colorful berries like blackberries and blueberries.
  • Make a habit of eating clean fish once or twice weekly, it’s full of inflammation-lowering omega 3 fatty acids. Buy high-quality, grass-fed, non-GMO animal products and eat them sparingly, perhaps once each week.
  • Eat loads of healthy, high-quality oils and fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.
  • Fit lots of fiber onto your plate in the form of whole grains, legumes and veggies — to feed the good bacteria of the gut. (Avoid gluten if you know you are sensitive to it, or if you have autoimmune disease).
  • Spice your foods with turmeric, the bright yellow indian spice that’s not only delicious but also combats inflammation.  

Avoid inflammatory foods

This includes highly processed foods made with white flour and white sugar, and practically everything that comes in a box.  Avoid processed flour products like baked goods and cookies, and sweetened dairy products like ice cream. Shop the perimeter of the store – buy real, whole foods in their natural state.

Even better, we highly recommend following Dr. Blum’s Leaky Gut Diet for Arthritis, which eliminates known arthritis triggers for a period of time, and then reintroduces them in a methodical way to create your personal nutrition plan. You can learn more about it in Healing Arthritis, or join us for the Healing Arthritis Challenge

Powerfully deal with stress: Less stress = less pain.

When it comes to arthritis, the impact of stress is largely overlooked. However, stress and trauma have serious consequences on your gut, your immune system, and your arthritis pain.  Improving your resilience in the face of stressors will keep your arthritis from flaring.  

How to destress:

  • Simplify your schedule. If you are suffering from arthritic pain this is a cry for help from your biological system. Give yourself time and space to renew and rebuild the resilience that you are lacking. Open space in your week to just be.
  • Find time for sleep. Make sure you are getting over 8 hours of sleep a night. Work backwards from your wake-up time and get into bed 1 hour prior to that. Make a routine at bedtime that is relaxing and supportive – take a bath, sip some tea, read a pleasant book. Avoid screens 2 hours prior to bed and help the whole family get on board. Doing things with support makes them much easier! 
  • Make room for movement. You don’t need to add a strenuous exercise routine right away unless you find that that helps your pain, but work towards getting there. To start, just make a plan to have a short walk outside, or put down your yoga mat and gently stretch and move your body beyond the confines of the standing and sitting of your normal day. If you’re feeling more ambitious, try a yoga or tai chi class for meditative movement.
  • Book a massage – or other bodywork – for pain relief and stress reduction.  Acupuncture, craniosacral, myofascial release are all good options to check out.
  • Explore mindfulness meditation.  This can be a simple as listening to a guided meditation on an app or with our Blum Center recordings.  It can be more regimented like finding an MBSR or TM class in your area and starting a daily practice.  It can also be as simple as breathing in and out throughout your day with intention. 
  • Consider therapy.  The stress and trauma from past experience sometimes holds us back from being able to let go of tension in the body.  We know that past traumatic experience leads to worse pain and function in autoimmune disease – and we’ve found that addressing it can lead to improved symptoms.  

Utilize anti-arthritis supplements to decrease pain.

There are several supplements that have been scientifically proven to decrease inflammation and pain. These are some of the supplements Dr. Blum outlines in her book, and that we utilize in the Healing Arthritis Challenge with specific, exact dosing:

  • Omega 3 (EPA and DHA) & Omega 6 (GLA) Fatty acids – these powerful anti-inflammatory fats have been found to reduce pain and improve physical function in Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  • Curcumin – this plant-derived antioxidant and natural anti-inflammatory  has been found to reduce pain and stiffness in Osteoarthritis.
  • Vitamin C – the link between oxidative stress and joint damage is clear. Vitamin C (and other antioxidants) have been shown to reduce pain (and oxidative stress) in inflammatory joint disease.
  • Probiotics – when we think about joint health, our attention naturally turns to the gut and the health of the microbiome (the bacteria that live in the digestive tract).  Improving the balance of the terrain in your gut with a good probiotic can help with the arthritic pain and inflammation throughout the body.

The great thing is you don’t have to do this alone!

If you want someone with you every step of the way, if you love the power of community, please consider joining me and Dr. Blum for the Healing Arthritis Challenge. Dr. Blum will teach you the exact 3-Step Protocol that we use with patients at Blum Center for Health. You will learn the best food plan for arthritis, the precise supplements and dosage we recommend for an arthritis-free life, how to build resiliency so that life’s stressors won’t affect your health, and what your gut has to do with your arthritis symptoms. In essence, Dr. Blum gives you all the tools you need to fix your gut and heal your arthritis. And I’ll be with you every step of the way!  Show Me More

To recap, the 3 actions you can start right now to decrease your arthritis pain is 1) eat an anti-arthritis diet 2) take the appropriate supplements and 3) learn to be resilient to stress. Do these things and you will feel better with less pain and much more energy.

 

 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

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10 Ways To Beat Holiday Stress

Deck the halls, we are officially in “holiday season”. Do your holidays come with a side dish of stress? 

While holiday stress tends to affect every person in one way or another, the American Psychological Association asserts that holiday stress disproportionately affects women. Women traditionally carry the extra burden of shopping, wrapping, hosting and prepping holiday events, creating time crunches, emotional and physical stress and, let’s be honest here, burn out. Women, listen up: Tis the season for setting boundaries and taking care of yourself!

Holiday specific stressors include:

  • Family visits and holiday parties are a common source of seasonal anxiety. From planning and hosting events to a packed social calendar, too much activity may cause you to feel overwhelmed during the holiday season.
  • Many people have unreasonable expectations of themselves — and others — during the holiday season. 
  • Holiday celebrations typically involve lots of food — some of which may not be diet- or allergy-friendly for you or your loved ones.
  • Gaining a few extra pounds may be a seasonal rite of passage for some, but it can be a significant source of stress for anyone who is trying to lose or maintain their weight. Changes in exercise and sleep routines can also be a source of stress and may lead to worsening of other health conditions.
  • If you have experienced trauma, family conflict, or loss of a loved one, the holidays may cause you to feel especially sad or lonely. 

Here are 10 ways to beat holiday stress:

  • Take a daily walk with no phone, no agenda. Unplug from the world. Ten minutes every morning makes a huge difference in how you face the day.
  • Stick to your routine and schedule your priorities first. Do you usually workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday? Go to your book club on Thursday evenings? Do something special on Friday nights? Go! Put these on your calendar in pen!
  • Cut down on emotional eating. Identify exactly what you’re feeling before you take the first bite. Are you hungry? thirsty? tired? stressed? sad? happy? Give it a name, and then choose to eat it. Choose each bite. It takes the “power” away from the food.
  • Say “No.” We go overboard to please others. Accept the commitments you want. Period.
  • Ask for help and delegate. Accustomed to doing it all? Most of the people in your life are accustomed to you doing it all too, and most likely, they don’t realize you need help. They aren’t mind readers. Ask for help, and be ready to assign a task.
  • Create a nightly tranquil self-care routine rather than plopping in front of the television. Consider taking a hot bath, and surround yourself with fragrant candles and your favorite music. You might even “unplug” from all electronics. Gasp, I know!
  • Downsize meals — consider less dishes, or host a community meal where everyone brings their favorite dish. This creates inclusion and connectedness.
  • Reduce gifting — Set boundaries and limits early, and stick to them. Decide for whom you are buying presents, and decide on a quantity. When we give with overabundance to the people in our lives we desensitize them to the meaning of the gifts.
  • Simplify plans with close friends. Save the holiday get-together for after New Year’s. For now, get together for coffee as a respite from the holiday flurry.

In essence, what all of this means is … slooow down … enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays, and most of all fill your holiday with joy, love, gratitude and merriment. There’s much to celebrate — including a less-stressed you!

 

 Join Melissa for her Best Year Ever virtual workshop on January 11th to set intentions and goals for 2022! 

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.