Genomic testing can validate CIRS diagnosis and treatment success

The area of genomics is an emerging area that represents the ultimate in diagnosing CIRS and validating the success of the treatment.  Genomic testing allows us to look at gene expression, which is the most reliable and promising way to look at DNA as it shows us patterns of gene expression and changes in gene regulation that can create illness.  CIRS and other Illnesses are caused by the “lack of regulation” of regulation.  By "lack of regulation", we mean the body's mechanisms that are designed to regulate and balance all of the inflammatory and regulatory processes fail and we get the cytokine storm and other effets of dysregulation that is charateristic of CIRS and other auto-immune diseases.  

Assessing DNA transcriptomics give us a phenomenal amount of information about the state of the disease, risk factors for acquiring CIRS as well as other illnesses and can illustrate treatment success.  The genomics testing is relatively expensive and totally out of pocket so it will not be a fit for all patients, but when economically feasible, the genomics testing is invaluable.  The below images illustrate the power of genomic testing by showing gene expression and mitochondrial proteins before and after treatment for CIRS.  Note that these are actual images from a real patient's genomics test that had a confirmed case of CIRS before and after treatment for CIRS.

The first set of images shows the gene expression present in the CIRS patient prior to treatment.  Note the dysregulation that is illustrated in the picture mostly by the "up regulation" of inflammatory cells as denoted in red.

The second set of images shows the gene expression in the same CIRS patient AFTER treatment.  Note the correction of the dysregulation that is illustrated in the picture by the absence of red (up regulation).

These images illustrate the power of genomics testing.  For patients who can afford the additional cost, it provides a very personalized view of what is happening with gene expression allowing us to specifically target the dysregulation and validaing that treatment has restored the body to normal functioning.  

Northern Virginia-CIRS-Mold-Diagnosis and Treatment Program

CIRS is Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (aka biotoxin Illness, aka mold illness, aka mold toxcity). It is an acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome acquired following exposure to mold and other biotoxin producers typically from water damaged buildings. CIRS and mold illness are growing at epidemic rates thanks in part to accurate diagnosis of the issue.  Most (80%) of CIRS/Mold cases are caused by indoor air contaminated with mold toxins and other inflammagens, but CIRS also includes biotoxin producers like cyanobacteria and a marine dinoflagellate that produces the Ciguatera toxin that is found in certain fish. Recently, there is emerging evidence to support the case of mold illness induced by failed/leaking breast implants and front-loading washing machines.  

The inability to process mold/biotoxins (regardless of source of the mold/biotoxin) leads to a series of biochemical alterations called the Biotoxin Pathway. Based on genetics research, we know that 24% of the population has the genetic profile that makes them susceptible to developing a biotoxin or mold-related illness whereas the other 76% of the population will generally be able to detoxity biotoxins and avoid creating the Biotoxin Pathway that leads to multple disease processes.

CIRS and mold exposure symptoms overlap with many other chronic illnesses making diagnosis challenging and leading to missed diagnosis of CIRS. In my practice and in the research, CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed as one or more of the following: Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Lyme disease, Multiple Sclerosis Parkinson's disease, Menopause/Andropause, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome, Depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and even allergies.  

Lyme disease misdiagnosis is particularly common as we have treated a number of patients whose symptoms had been attributed to Lyme Disease but we subsequently were able to confirm a case of CIRS/Mold and have been able to treat them effectively based on the CIRS/Mold diagnosis. Frequently these patients are on long-term (9-18 months) antiobiobics.  Patients should be aware that both a 2001 study and a recent 2016 study both show conclusively that long-term treatment with antiobiotics is not effective for treating Lyme Disease.  In fact the 2016 sutdy concluded, "In conclusion, the current trial suggests that 14 weeks of antimicrobial therapy does not provide clinical benefit beyond that with shorter-term treatment among patients who present with fatigue or musculoskeletal, neuropsychological, or cognitive disorders that are temporally related to prior Lyme disease or accompanied by positive B. burgdorferi serologic findings".  The full study can be found here, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1505425#t=article.  

 

CIRS-Mold Symptoms

Fatigue

Decreased assimulation of new knowledge

Weakness

Memory Impairment

Aches/headaches

Difficulty concentrating

Light sensitivity

Decreased word finding

Joint pain

Tingling

A.M. Stiffness

Tremors

Cramps

Shortness of breath

Unusual skin sensitivity

Unusual pain

Excessive thirst

Confusion

Appetite swings

Difficulty regulating body temperature

Increased urinary frequency

Sinus congestion

Cough

Red eyes

Night sweats

Mood swings

Ice-pick pain

Numbness

Tearing of eyes

Disorientation

Metallic taste

Vertigo

Abdominal pain

Blurred vision

Static shocks

Diarrhea

 

Take our quick assessment. If you have at least 8 of the mold symptoms listed above and have other unexplained illness, you may need to be evaluated for a biotoxin illness.

CIRS and Mold Sickness Diagnosis

Diagnosing CIRS and Mold Exposure is a multi-phase process to first identify/confirm if the patient is being impacted by CIRS and secondly to identity the cause/source of the biotoxin. The core diagnostic tools used to diagnose CIRS and Mold Exposure include the following:

  • Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test (Screening test. If positive, then high probabilty of biotoxin illness)
  • Lab tests including HLA (genetic susceptibility), MARCoNS, MSH, TGF Beta 1, C3a, C4a, MMP9, Leptin. We also use other labs to support our differential diagnsis as needed
  • MRI with NeuroQuant is helpful for the diagnosis of CIRS and to differentiate from Lyme disease. Uses a software program to measure the brain volumes of specific brain structures. Research has shown that CIRS patients have a particular signature that is very different from Lyme patients.
  • Genomics (Emerging reasearch has shown several identifiable irregularies in CIRS patients. Helps to personalize the diagnosis and treatment.  Click here to learn more about genomic testing for CIRS.
  • Environment Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) is a highly specific DNA-based method for quantifying mold species in an environment such as home or office. It is used to test the environment to determine what environment is creating the bioboxins that the patient is being exposed to and which specific mold species are in the environment and the extent of the mold problem in the environment

CIRS and Mold Sickness Treatment Program

Our treatment protocol uses a highly personalized, functional medicine approach.  Using the advanced diagnostics listed above, we first need to confirm the presence of CIRS then determine which environment the patient is exposed to is causing the continued exposure to the biotoxins. From there, we follow a stepwise approach to stop the progression of the diseaes process, remove the biotoxins from the body, reverse the damage done to the cellular structures where possible and help the patinet to make a full recovery. The steps we follow are listed below.

1.    Remove patient from exposure to biotoxins. To start the healing process, the impacted areas need to be remediated where possible and if not, then the patient needs to move out of that environment. Continued exposure will compromise the treatment program and make healing very dificult.

2.    Remove the biotoxins from the patient's body using "binder" agents. Welchol and Cholestryamine are two of the bindng agents that are typically used.  Cholestryamine in particular readily binds bioxoxins that are processed in the bile duct in the liver and helps to carry them out of the body and has been proven in placebo-controlled studies to reverse many aspects of the inflammatory process of CIRS.

3.      MARCoNS Eradication. MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci) is an antibiotic resistant staph infection that resides deep in the nose of 80% of people suffering from Biotoxin Illness and other chronic inflammatory illnesses. It must be removed for the patient to return to health.

4.   These steps will vary for each patient depending on which areas have been impacted and the severity of the CIRS process. With each step, re-testing is needed to confirm that the imbalance has been corrected.

a.       Antigliadin

b.      Androgen Imbalance (balance the hormones)

c.      ADH/Osmolality

d.      MMP9

e.        VEGF

f.       C3a

g.      C4a

h.       TGF Beta 1

i. VIP

5.     Diet.  To help stop the growth of the mold fungi, the patient should avoid mycotoxin causing foods including corn, rye, peanuts, wheat, barley, cottonseed, some cheeses, rice, oil seeds, black pepper, dried fruits, figs coffee, beans, bread and alcoholic beverages including wine and beer.  

At Proactive Wellness, we have successfully treated many patients that came to us with a history of severe, unexplained health issues. The diagnosis process leads to a confirmed diagnosis unlike many other "syndromes" where the diagnosis is made based on other diseases being ruled out but without specific diagnostic tests to actually confirm the specific diagnosis. Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Pain Syndrome are examples of diseases that are diagnosed without the benefit of specific confirmatory tests. If you have been exposed to a water damaged building or have severe, unexplained health issues, CIRS could be the cause. The good news is that we can successfully diagnose and treat this disease and get you healthy again.

Ready to get started? Click here to contact us on our quick contact form  or  Click here to begin the online enrollment  and someone will get back with you shortly.  If between the hours of 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday through Friday, feel free to call us now on (703) 822-5003.

Helpful Resources for mold symptoms, mold illness, mold treatment

Medically sound investigation and remediation of water-damaged buildings in cases of chronic inflammatory response syndrome.  

Breast implant illness resource page

CIRS Resource Center -- Surviving Mold by Dr. Shoemaker

Mold exposure from front-loading washing machines

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CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed as Lupus, Mold Symptoms,mold symtoms, mold symptoms
CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed as Lupus,

CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed as Lupus

 

Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroid Disease

Did you know that at least one in ten Americans suffer from thyroid dysfunction.  The main two conditions we see and treat are Low Thyroid (hypothyroidism) and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition where the body attacks its own thyroid tissue resulting in the inability to produce sufficient thyroid hormone.  In general, thyroid diesase is often underdiagnosed or improperly treated by the traditional medical community because standardized testing for thyroid may miss as many as 80% of patients with this condition and standardized treatment doesn’t work for many individuals with Low Thyroid.

What Are Typical Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism?

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty losing weight / unexplained weight gain
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Cold intolerance (Are you cold when everyone else is normal?)
  • Constipation
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Dry Skin
  • Difficulty sleeping

How Do We Diagnose Hypothyroidism?

We diagnose thyroid disorders by using a combination of lab tests and subjective measures/symptoms.  The point here is that valid and acceptable lab values are in a range and some patients require higher/lower values than others in order to not have symptoms.  We frequently see cases where the patient’s traditional doctor has said that test results are “normal”, yet the patient is freezing cold all the time, hair is falling out and the nails are brittle.  These are clear indications of hypothyroidism.  This happens because many physicians rely on looking only at TSH and T4, both of which are poor indicators in some cases.  To better understand this point, let’s take a look at a summary of how the thyroid works.  T4 (the inactive form of thyroid hormone), made by the thyroid gland, is converted to T3 (the active form) inside the cell, which regulates your metabolism, fat burning, temperature regulation, and energy. However, many things may impair the conversion of T4 to T3 which include, stress, insulin resistance, diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Accordingly, looking at T4 without looking at T3 misses many cases of hypothyroidism.  At Proactive Wellness Centers, we look more comprehensively at thyroid function by looking at T3, T4 TSH and thyroid peroxidase antibodies.  These labs in conjunction with the subjective measures/symptoms give the complete picture.  Armed with the complete picture, we can now prescribe the best thyroid treatment option for your individual situation.

How do we treat thyroid disorders?

The standard of care for hypothyroidism is Synthroid/Levothyroxine (T4 only). However many individuals may not respond to this treatment for the reasons stated above and may need a different approach to include direct T3 replacement. We offer other therapeutic options including bio-identical thyroid hormone replacement using T3, T3/T4 combination, or Armour thyroid (T3/T4). Managing your thyroid hormone is an important part of your overall wellness and Proactive Wellness works with you to develop a personalized treatment program that addresses your needs and helps you feel better.

What Are The Benefits Of Thyroid Replacement?

Having a properly functioning thyroid is key to good overall health.  Feeling good, having more energy, thinking more clearly, losing weight, avoiding hair loss and enhanced immunity are just some of the benefits. Results can be dramatic. A proper functioning thyroid can definitely make a big difference in your overall health.

 

Bioidentical Pellet Implant Therapy

Bioidentical Pellet Implant Therapy is a form of Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy that involves placing small hormone pellets under the skin that are programmed for a slow release over a 3-5 month period of time.  The pellets are molecularly identical to our endogenous human hormone, and are synthesized from an oil derived from yams.  Pellets been used with great success in the United States, Europe and Australia since 1938 and found to be superior to other methods of hormone delivery, so it is not either experimental or new. Pellets have been proven to deliver consistent, physiologic levels of hormones and avoid the fluctuations of hormone levels seen with other methods of delivery, including oral (tablets and capsules), transdermal (creams) and injection (testosterone for Men). 

Unlike creams and oral methods that have to be taken or applied daily, or testosterone injections for men that have to be done weekly, pellets are inserted just under the skin and last for 3-5 months, slowly releasing the bioidentical hormone to the body through this entire period without any re-application or other maintenance.

Like the transdermal, oral and injection methods, pellets address many of the symptoms of hormone loss and aging including decreased bone density, increased fat, decreased muscle mass, increased fasting blood sugars, increased cholesterol, hot flashes, decreased libido, decreased energy, anxiety and depressive symptoms, sleep disturbances, poor erectile function, etc.  For a broader description of BHRT in general, men may click here and women should click here.

As with other forms of BHRT, there have never been any findings of health risks when using relatively physiologic doses, nor logically should there be any since the bioidentical hormones have the same chemical structure as your natural hormones. In fact, over one hundred recent scientific studies show a lack of side effects and the measurable benefits of BHRT in symptomatic individuals. The Women’s Health Initiative Study points to the obvious: that pregnant mare urine derived hormones which are not molecularly nor physiologically identical to human hormones cause severe health issues attributable to differences in their mechanism of action. Most all of the dangerous “side effects” of non-bio-identical hormone treatment are absent when treating with bio-identical hormones. By now, I have shared the literature that supports these points, but if I haven’t and you are interesting in seeing it, just ask.

Please read our FAQ section below for the answers to many of your questions. 

Frequently asked questions?

How are pellets inserted?

Using a local anesthetic, they are painlessly inserted under the skin of the hip, through a tiny incision, using a small insertion device. After the pellets are inserted, a small piece of tape is placed to close the incision. The entire process takes only a few minutes, and the amount of discomfort one feels is actually less than getting a blood test.

 

How many pellets are inserted?

For women, pellet implant therapy generally includes two pellets, one pellet each for testosterone and estradiol.  For men, the number of testosterone pellets generally ranges between 6 and 8 pellets depending on size, untreated testosterone level and metabolism.

 

Which hormones are available in pellets?

Estradiol and testosterone are available for women and testosterone is available for men in pellet form.  Other hormones will continue to be prescribed in an oral or transdermal form.

 

How long after the pellet insertion before patients feel the benefits of the therapy?

Some patients begin to ‘feel better’ within 24-48 hours while others may take a week or as long as 3-4 weeks to notice a significant difference.  If you are transitioning from other forms of hormone therapy, we will work with you to avoid a gap in your therapy.

 

What are the advantages of Bioidentical Pellet Implant Therapy?

Bioidentical hormone pellet therapy is the only method of administering bioidentical hormones that gives sustained and consistent levels throughout the day, for 3 to 6 months, without any patient compliance issues.

 

What are pellets made from?

Pellets are synthesized from yams.  They are either pure estradiol or pure testosterone.  Other than a small amount of stearic acid as is common in pharmaceuticals, there are no other ingredients in them.  They dissolve completely with no residual under the skin over a 3-6 month period.  

 

The pellets are manufactured by specialized compounding pharmacies using ingredients (estradiol or testosterone) that are U.S.P. pharmaceutical grade.  They are produced in a “clean room” to avoid contamination and other impurities.

 

Is everyone a candidate for Bioidentical Pellet Implant Therapy?

Most everyone is a candidate, but there are a few exceptions as follows:

  1. Patients taking blood thinners may not be a candidate for the pellet insertion procedure itself due to the blood thinners adverse impact on clotting.  Depending on the particular medication, dosage and other factors, we may be able to overcome this issue.  If the prescribing physician would agree, the optimal situation is for the patient to avoid taking the blood thinners for one week before the procedure.
  2. Men with extremely low body fat may not be a candidate for pellet insertion due to the possibility of pellet extrusion if there is not sufficient fat tissue at the pellet insertion point.  This is very rare but can happen in some slim, very athletic men that have body fat percentage of 10% or lower.
  3. Patients with active breast or prostate cancer are not candidates for BHRT of any kind including BHRT Pellet Therapy.

What is the pricing for Bioidntical Pellet Implant Therapy?

The pricing for Bioidentical Pellet Implant Therapy is $875 per insertion for Men and $575 per insertion for women.  It is expected that Men will require 3 insertions per year and women will require 4.    The prices are higher for men because men receive 6 - 8 pellets whereas women receive 1 - 2 pellets.     The pellet pricing include all of the program services that are included in our current Health Assurance I and II programs.  This means that normal followup visits, monitoring, retesting and physician consults are included in the pellet insertion fee as long as the patient is only being prescribed any combination of Testosterone, Estradiol, Progesterone, Pregnenolone, and  DHEA.  Patients that using other medications like hCG, Sermorelin or HGH will still require separate program fees but the program fees.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the online enrollment or click here to contact us on our quick contact form and someone will get back with you within 24 hours.

Leading-edge integrative Treatment for MTHFR genetic mutation

The MTHFR mutation has multiple presentations, significant variances in the specific symptoms and degree of symptoms experienced by different patients.  Accordingly, treatment has to be customized for each patient as there is no one single treatment protocol for all patients.  Immediately below, we present the conditions and symptoms caused or worsened by the MTHFR mutation.  Below this initial table, we present a high-level overview our approach and treatment protocol. Again, we caution patients from attempting to use this protocol without physician supervision.

The foundation of our approach to treating this mutation is our Comprehensive Initial Assessment.  This assessment, which includes 1 ½ hours with one of our physicians provides the basis for establishing the appropriate treatment protocol, taking into consideration the number and degree of your symptoms as well as other health conditions that you have that may or may not be related.

 

Conditions and symptoms caused or made worse by MTHFR mutation

Autism

Addictions: smoking, drugs, alcohol

Miscarriages

Pulmonary embolisms

Depression in Post-Menopausal Women

Schizophrenia

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chemical Sensitivity

Parkinson’s

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Pre-eclampsia

Stroke

Colorectal Adenoma

Idiopathic male infertility

Blood clots

Rectal cancer

Deficits in childhood cognitive development

Gastric Cancer

Migraines with aura

Low HDL

High homocysteine

Post-menopausal breast cancer

Atherosclerosis

Oral Clefts

Type 1 Diabetes

Epilepsy

Alzheimer’s

Potential drug toxicities: methotrexate, anti-epileptics

Increased bone fracture risk in post-menopausal women

Multiple Sclerosis

Essential Hypertension

Prostate Cancer

Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)

Methotrexate Toxicity

Nitrous Oxide Toxicity

Heart Murmurs

Asthma

Shortness of Breath

Bladder Cancer

 

 

Treatment Protocol

Our treatment protocol uses a functional medicine approach.  This is why it begins with our comprehensive initial assessment.  We seek to find root causes to your health issues since many issues you present with are not likely directly caused by the MTHFR mutation.  By using a functional medicine approach, we understand that imbalances in one part of the body may manifest in other systems.  So we avoid the specialist approach that focuses on the disease from a single system view and view the body as a single system of systems.  Using functional medicine as our guide, our treatment protocol is described below.

 1.      Testing.  Advanced testing is the key to our customized treatment programs.  Following are the tests that we used in treating the MTHFR mutation.

a.       Comprehensive lab panel

b.      MTHFR Genotype test

c.       Food sensitivity test

d.      CIMT (due to increased cardiovascular risk)

2.      Dietary Guidelines.  Following are the general dietary guidelines.  The specific guidelines are customized for each patient based on the results of food sensitivity testing.

a.       Eliminate/reduce dairy

b.      Eliminate/reduce gluten

c.       Drink a green smoothie daily

d.      Limit intake of folic acid

e.      Limit intake of processed foods

f.        Avoid antacids

3.      Lifestyle Guidance.  Depending on age , lab results and degree of symptoms, lifestyle adjustments may be required for symptomatic improvement in some patients.  Below are the areas of focus for lifestyle guidance.

a.       Balance hormones with Biodentical Hormone Replacement Therapy where indicated

b.      Eliminate carpeting from the home

c.       Filter chlorine from all water in the household

d.      Cook with electric stove; avoid using gas stoves

4.      Nutritional Supplementation.  This is a cornerstone for many of our programs but is especially important for patients with the MTHFR mutation.  IV Vitamin Therapy provides immediate relief to many patients and oral supplementation helps to sustain these benefits.  Below are the critical areas of nutritional supplementation for most patients.

a.       Broad spectrum IV Vitamin Therapy possibly including amino acids where indicated

b.      Comprehensive multivitamin (without folic acid)

c.       Metholated folate

d.      Glutathione

e.      Fish oil

f.        Nattokinase

g.       Vitamin C

h.      Vitamin D3

i.         Probiotics

Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention

Proactive Wellness Centers is now offering Advanced Cardiac Evaluation (ACE) and Advanced Cardiac Treatment (ACT) programs to help patients prevent, reverse and mitigate cardiovascular disease.   "We are now offering Advanced Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT) imaging combined with emerging scientifically validated biomarkers that we can measure from simple blood tests to identify, prevent, reverse and mitigate cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease formations which lead to heart attacks and strokes", says Dr. Lawson, Medical Director. The following summary of the relevant data highlights the importance of the emerging evaluation and treatment of this killer disease:

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number one cause of deaths in the U.S. is cardiovascular disease.  In fact, more men and women die from cardiovascular disease than the next 4 leading causes of death all combined.  Here are some startling facts:

More than 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year of cardiovascular disease, making it, not cancer, the No.1 killer.
•    In up to 40% of heart attack patients, traditional risk factors like elevated cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes are absent.
•    One in four Americans who suffer a heart attack will die from their first incident which is frequently their first and only indication of ill health

With these data, cardiovascular disease is the greatest health risk facing American men and women today. Further, standard cholesterol tests are NOT helpful in gauging an individual’s risk of cardiovascular disease since approximately 60% of people who have a heart attack have normal cholesterol. More importantly, it has become widely accepted now that chronic silent inflammation is one of the key root causes of cardiovascular disease. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we have developed the Advanced Cardiac Evaluation (ACE) Program that uses a combination of leading-edge biomarkers and diagnostic tools to provide a more complete risk profile and even detection of early stages of disease and we have created the Advanced Cardiac Treatment (ACT) Program to bring patients the latest in scientifically validated protocols to prevent, reverse and mitigate these disease processes.

Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Strategies

  1. Know your risk factors.  For this, you will need the advanced cardiac tests that measure inflammation, genetic impacts, plaque and other risk factors
  2. Get your CIMT (further described below).  This is the only non-invasive test that can provide a window into your arteries to help understand your plaque profile.  High cholesterol does NOT equal plaque.  Patients with high and low cholesterol have plaque in their arteries.  There is no coorelation.
  3. Eat a healthy diet and exercise
  4. Take plenty of COQ10.  This is a critical enzyme that is at the root of energy creation at the cellular level, especially in the cardiac tissues.  For patients at higher risk, we recommend 400 mg daily and for patients at lower risk, we recommend 200 mg daily. In a recent long-term study of CoQ10 in combination with Selinium, the conclusion makes this point.  "Long-term supplementation of selenium/coenzyme Q10 reduces cardiovascular mortality by 53% vs the control group (they didn't get the CoQ10 and Selenium).  The positive effects could also be seen in multiple lab tests and on echocardiography."  
  5. Work with a preventative medicine specialist who can direct you to minimize and mitigate your risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, susceptible genetics and other key risk factors.

Advanced Testing using True Health Lab (TH) Leading-Edge Testing

We use True Health Lab's (TH) advanced testing as it provides significantly more data that supports early intervention than the standard lipid panel and other traditional markers.  It is well establsihed that a standard lipid panel does not provide helpful information regarding cardiovascular health.  Consider that 60% of first time heart attack victims had a "normal" lipid panel.  So, we dig deeper using TH's advanced testing that has been proven to save lives by providing clinicians with advanced markers that help to identify cardiovascular disease (CVD) well ahead of traditional markers.  In a scientifically-validated study of over 7300 patients, half were treated conventionally and half were treated usign TH's advanced markers, heart attacks were 41% lower in the HDL group vs the control group and strokes were 17% lower than the control group.  If you want to avoid these dreaded diseases, you want owe it to yourself to get the TH advanced testing.

Carotid Intima Media Thickness (CIMT) Imaging with HeartSmartIMTplus™

CIMT with  HeartSmartIMTplus™ is a non-invasive,cost-effective diagnostic tool that uses ultrasound imaging to provide the earliest detection of cardiovascular disease.  The test takes only ten minutes and is done in our office.  Specifically, HeartSmartIMTplus™ measures the intima media thickness of the carotid artery to determine the presence of sub-clinical atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease that is undetected by other tests).


HeartSmartIMTplus™ also assesses the presence of plaque and plaque characteristics.  This is important since “soft” plaque is more vulnerable to rupture and can break off causing a heart attack or stroke.  Early detection allows us to tailor an intervention program that can reverse and mitigate the disease process, greatly reducing your chance of having a stroke or heart attack.

Figure 1 below illustrates the progression of cardiovascular disease that can be detected through HeartSmartIMTplus™  CIMT imaging. 

Don’t you want to know your position on this chart before it is too late?

 

 

If we have your attention and you are ready to schedule your CIMT today, please call (703) 822-5003(703) 822-5003 and ask about getting scheduled for your life-saving CIMT scan or get started online uisng the online registration link below.  There are 3 ways to get this life saving test.

  • CIMT Scan Only for $375.00.  This is for patients that are sufficiently compelled to know their status and just want the CIMT scan.  It includes the CIMT and a 30 minute followup visit.
  • Advanced Cardiac Evaluation $700.00.  This is for patients that want to fully understand their cardiac risk profile.  In includes the CIMT plus a blood draw for a comprehensive lipid and inflammation profile from the leading Clevland Heart Lab and Berkeley Heart Lab and a 1 1/2 hour visit with our Medical Director.  Note that the cost shown does NOT include the cost of the lab tests as these tests are covered by most insurances.  We will provide you with the appropriate diagnostic and test codes for you to determine coverage prior to the evaluation. 
  • Comprehensive Initial Assessment with ACE $975.00.  This is for patients that want to gain the benefit of our ACE Program coupled with our Comprehensive Initial Assessment for hormone balance, weight and body fat, gut issues, other chronic issues such as fibromyalgia and fatigue).  Note that the Comprehensive Initial Assessment includes the review of a comprehensive lab panel but does NOT include the cost of the lab tests as these tests are covered by most insurances.  We will provide you with the appropriate diagnostic and test codes for you to determine coverage prior to the evaluation. 
  • Want to learn more? Click to watch a short video introduction to the benefits of a CIMT from Proactive Wellness


Click here to learn how to get started today!

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Integrative Treatment Program

Fibromyalgia is a medical disorder typically characterized by chronic widespread pain, sleep disturbance, joint stiffness and a heightened and painful response to pressure. Other symptoms include debilitating fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome) leading to the term Fibromyalgia and Fatigue. Fibromyalgia frequently coexists with psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety and stress-related disorders. Not all fibromyalgia patients experience all associated symptoms.

Typical Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chrone Fatigue Syndrome?

  • Chronic muscle pain, muscle spasms or tightness
  • Moderate or severe fatigue and decreased energy
  • Reduced tolerance for exercise and muscle pain after exercise
  • Insomnia or waking up feeling just as tired as when you went to sleep
  • Stiffness upon waking or after staying in one position for too long
  • Difficulty remembering, concentrating, and performing simple mental tasks (“fibro fog”)
    Tension or migraine headaches
  • Abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, and constipation alternating with diarrhea (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Jaw and facial tenderness
  • Sensitivity to one or more of the following: odors, noise, bright lights, medications, certain foods, and cold
  • Feeling anxious or depressed
  • Numbness or tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs, or feet
  • Increase in urinary urgency or frequency (irritable bladder)
  • A feeling of swelling (without actual swelling) in the hands and feet

Proactive Wellness Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Integrative Treatment Program

By now, you may have seen various traditional "specialists" including rheumatologists, endocrinologists and internists in addition to your family practitioner. The common thread in traditional treatment is to focus on certain presentations and provide medications for the patient's most significant symptoms. Further, the specialist view often fails to treat the root causes of the disease and typically does not provide sufficient relief from symptoms -- leaving patients in persistent and chronic pain, exhaustive fatigue and the inability to function normally.

Our SSRP Fibro and Fatigue Treatment Program is different from these traditional approaches as we utilize an integrative approach that combines the best principles of Dr. Teitlebaum's research, functional medicine (www.functionalmedicine.org), and our experience and success in treating this complex disease process. It is highly individualized based upon our unique understanding of the disease and that it impacts patients in totally different ways. We do not offer a cure as such as it does not presently exist, however our patients are significantly relieved of symptoms, regain their sense of well-being, achieve pre-disesase energy levels, regain the ability to sleep through the night and can return to a normal lifestyle. Gone are the debilitating symptoms that they presented with.

Our SSRP protocol is designed to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Stop the progress of the disease and enhance the mitochondrial function
  2. Stabilize the patient to include balancing hormones and restoration of energy
  3. Reverse mitochondrial and other damage done by the F&F disease processes
  4. Prevent further development of the disease processes

Our SSRP protocol provides patients with a leading-edge program based on the research of Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum that is well supported by peer reviewed medical journals and other clinical validations, that is safe and comprised of IV Vitamin Therapy, high-quality and specific nutritional supplementation, traditional medications where indicated and compassionate care by our team of doctors. As an integrative practice, we use conventional medications when indicated especially in cases of underlying co-infections and other areas where conventional medication offers the best course of treatment. Read below to learn about the 4 pillars of our SSRP approach.

STOP progression of the disease
Our first goal is to stop the progression of the disease.  Many patients begin IV Vitamin Therapy immediately after commencing with a program. If time permits, we offer the first IV Treatment on the day of program commencement. Many patients report significant improvement after just one IV treatment. We will also introduce conventional medications at this point when indicated.

STABILIZE the patient
Stabilizing the patient is the process of assessing the response to the early interventions, adding the appropriate oral nutritional supplementation to augment the IV Therapy and providing bioidentical hormone replacement to balance the hormones. In addition, we add other conventional medications as needed based on the results of our comprehensive lab panel to treat any identified infectious components. By the time we have introduced these components, patients typically experience signicant improvement in sleep, meaningul reduction of chronic pain, reduced fatigue and increased energy.

REVERSE mitochondrial and other damage done by the F&F disease processes
Not all damage can be reversed, but our treatment protocol has a high probability of reversing mitochondrial damage, enhancing mitochondrial function, and addressing and treating other unique etiologies such as neurotoxins and coagulation defects.

PREVENT further development of the disease processes
Our program relies on therapeutic dosages of key nutritional supplements such as D-Ribose, CO-Q10, Fish Oil and L-Carnitine as part of the program to prevent further development and escalation of the disease. Some patients may also require continuous periodic IV Therapy treatments and use of some conventional medications to maintain the benefits of the treatment. We periodically get updated lab results to verify that the patient is maintaining the benefits of the treatment, and we use these to determine if additional interventions are needed.

While the protocol is important, our compassionate physicians make the real difference in the success of our programs. They function like medical detectives that continually seek to find the root causes of the symptoms the patient is experiencing and provide the safest and most effective treatment.  This process never stops the entire time you are a patient in any of our treatment programs. Our physicians have the experience, commitment, leading-edge diagnostics and are constantly learning. Each of them attends an average of 15 days of conferences annually engaged in intensive learning of scientifically-validated medical therapies.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the online enrollment or click here to contact us on our quick contact form and someone will get back with you within 24 hours.

 

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Understanding Hormone Decline And
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement

It is broadly accepted by the medical and scientific communities that a number of hormones decline with aging, and that these declines can result in many of the symptoms and manifestations of aging. For women, menopause is the result of the precipitous decline in estrogen and progesterone production. For men, andropause is the result principally of a decline in testosterone levels. The other hormones that decline and are well-documented include growth hormone and the adrenal hormone DHEA. The decline in these hormones starts much earlier and is more gradual. Our bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is designed to counter these declines with therapeutic level of hormone replacement.

What is the purpose of each of the key hormones?

Estrogen

  • Protects against osteoporosis, heart disease, memory loss, colon cancer, incontinence and tooth loss
  • Enhances sleep, emotional well-being, mental acuity and focus, attention span, communication ability, vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell, digestion, libido and skin tone
  • Relieves menopausal symptoms and depression

Progesterone

  • Has a calming effect and enhances mood
  • Increases energy and libido
  • Relieves menopausal symptoms
  • Decreases risk of endometrial cancer and may help protest against breast cancer
  • Protects against osteoporosis and heart disease

Testosterone

  • Builds muscles and promotes muscle tone
  • Increases energy and libido
  • Enhances sense of well-being
  • Helps strengthen bone

DHEA

  • Helps protect against heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, memory loss and lupus
  • Can increase and enhance energy levels, libido, memory and immunity
  • Protects against the effects of stress
  • Helps to prevent wrinkles and dry eyes

Cortisol

  • Helps in responding and coping with stress, trauma and infection
  • Increases energy and metabolism
  • Helps regulate blood pressure
  • Reduces allergic and inflammatory response

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) Program

What are Bioidentical Hormones? Bioidentical hormones, also known as natural hormones, are substances that have the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced by the human body, and they also create the same physiologic response. Hormones are NOT drugs. They are naturally occurring substances that are found in all humans since the time of conception. BHRT replaces hormones at a "physiologic" level that is not harmful to the body. Physiologic levels never exceed what the individual has already been accustomed to in his or her younger years.

Are Bioidentical Hormones FDA Approved? We use FDA approved bioidentical hormones (natural hormones) whenever possible; however, when a dosage or strength that the patient requires is not commercially available, we use a compounding pharmacy to prepare an individualized prescription. Compounding pharmacists must comply with the regulation of the state boards of pharmacy, and they have access to the highest grade bulk ingredients as well as state-of-the art equipment used to accurately prepare hormone preparations. Close monitoring of the patient by PWC helps to promote maximum benefits and safety.

Who needs BHRT? Men and women who suffer from PMS, menopausal symptoms, andropausal symptoms, loss of sex drive, chronic fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, depression, headaches, weight gain, persistent pain, or many other common conditions could benefit from our BHRT program. Learn more about the symptoms and benefits of our BHRT programs for men and women by clicking one of the links below.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy For Women

Many of the common symptoms and conditions associated with menopause are widely known and discussed, but there are many that are overlooked. In our practice, we have seen patients misdiagnosed with other illnesses that are actually the result of a decline in hormone levels. Our BHRT program for women focuses on the unique needs of women who are suffering from the common as well as the less common symptoms of menopause.  The Program includes bioidentical hormone replacement including progesterone, estrogen and testosterone when clinically indicated combined with nutritional guidence, nutritional supplementation recommendations and an optional exercise component. 

Depending on lab results and patient goals, the program may also include growth hormone and/or hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin).  If you can identify with some of the symptoms below, you are a candidate for laboratory testing to determine if BHRT is right for you.

Symptoms of Menopause

Hot flashes
Night sweats
Vaginal dryness
Mood swings
Fatigue/loss of energy
Irritability
Depression
Decrease in sexual libido/interest/desire
Hair growth on face
Painful intercourse
Urinary tract infections
Weird dreams
Vaginal itching
Lower back pain
Bloated Flatulence/gas
Indigestion
Osteoporosis
Aching ankles, knees, wrists, shoulders, heels   
Hair loss
Frequent urination
Snoring
Sore breasts
Palpitations
Varicose veins
Urinary leakage
Dizzy spells/vertigo
Panic attacks
Skin feeling crawly
Migraine headaches
Memory lapses
Anxiety
Weight gain

Our BHRT program for women is designed to help women elim-inate many of these symptoms and recapture the energy level, vitaility, and attributes of their earlier years.

Woman with vitality

What are the benefits of BHRT for women?

Our BHRT program for women provides many benefits for women with hormonal imbalances including:

  • Restored hormone balance and relief of related symptoms
  • Elimination of hot flashes
  • Improved libido
  • Improved heart health
  • Increased bone production and prevention of osteoporosis
  • Enhanced energy
  • Reduced wrinkles and improved skin tone
  • Improved mental sharpness and better memory

 

What are Bioidentical Hormones? Bioidentical hormones, also known as natural hormones, are substances that have the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced by the human body, and they also create the same physiologic response. Hormones are NOT drugs. They are naturally occurring substances that are found in all humans since the time of conception. BHRT replaces hormones at a "physiologic" level that is not harmful to the body. Physiologic levels never exceed what the individual has already been accustomed to in his or her younger years.

Are Bioidentical Hormones FDA Approved? We use FDA approved bioidentical hormones (natural hormones) whenever possible; however, when a dosage or strength that the patient requires is not commercially available, we use a compounding pharmacy to prepare an individualized prescription. Compounding pharmacists must comply with the regulation of the state boards of pharmacy, and they have access to the highest grade bulk ingredients as well as state-of-the art equipment used to accurately prepare hormone preparations. Close monitoring of the patient by PWC helps to promote maximum benefits and safety.

Follow this link to find out how to get started with our BHRT program for women

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy For Men

While not as widely discussed as menopause is for women, andropause is very real for men just as menopause is significant for women. Our BHRT program for men focuses on the unique needs of men who are suffering from andropause or low testosterone. The Program includes bioidentical hormone replacement (testosterone) when clinically indicated combined with nutritional guidence, nutritional supplementation recommendations and an optional exercise component. 

Depending on lab results and patient goals, the program may also include growth hormone and/or hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin).  If you can identify with some of the symptoms below, you are likely experiencing low testosterone / andropause and are a candidate for laboratory testing to determine if BHRT is right for you.

 

Symptoms of Andropause

Hot flashes
Night sweats
Difficulty concentrating
Mood swings
Fatigue/loss of energy
Irritability
Depression
Decrease in sexual libido/interest/desire
Apathy
Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Decreased stamina
Prostate problems
Decreased urine flow
Increased urinary urge
Premature aging
Thinning/sagging skin
Insulin resistance
Bone loss
Decrease in muscular strength/muscle mass
Hair loss
Decreased strength
Abdominal fat
Decreased mental sharpness
Elevated triglycerides
Joint aches/stiffness of hands
Breast enlargement
Sleep disturbances
Nervous
Headaches
Anxiety
Memory lapses
Loss of physical agility
Shrinkage in size of sexual organs
Insomnia/poor sleep quality

Our BHRT program for men is designed to help men reverse many of these symptoms and recapture some of their youthful attributes and functions.

 

What are the benefits of BHRT for men?

Our BHRT program for men provides many benefits for men with andropause (hormonal imbalances) including:

  • Restored hormone balance and relief of related symptoms 
  • Improved libido and sexual performance
  • Increased ability to build lean muscle 
  • Improved heart health 
  • Increased bone production and prevention of
  • osteoporosis 
  • Enhanced energy and sex drive 
  • Reduced wrinkles and improved skin tone
  • Improved mental sharpness and better memory

 

What are Bioidentical Hormones? Bioidentical hormones, also known as natural hormones, are substances that have the same chemical structure as the hormones that are produced by the human body, and they also create the same physiologic response. Hormones are NOT drugs. They are naturally occurring substances that are found in all humans since the time of conception. BHRT replaces hormones at a "physiologic" level that is not harmful to the body. Physiologic levels never exceed what the individual has already been accustomed to in his or her younger years.

Are Bioidentical Hormones FDA Approved? We use FDA approved bioidentical hormones (natural hormones) whenever possible to restore low testosterone levels to more youthful levels; however, when a dosage or strength that the patient requires is not commercially available, we use a compounding pharmacy to prepare an individualized prescription. Compounding pharmacists must comply with the regulation of the state boards of pharmacy, and they have access to the highest grade bulk ingredients as well as state-of-the art equipment used to accurately prepare hormone preparations. Close monitoring of the patient by PWC helps to promote maximum benefits and safety.

Want to hear Dr. Lawson talk about Male issues beyond Low T/TRT?.

Click here to watch and hear Dr. Lawson on a recently recorded webinar on the topic of "Beyond Testosterone Replacement Therapy".

Follow this link to find out how to get started with our BHRT program for men

Getting Started with a Proactive Wellness Treatment Plan

10 Steps to Optimal Health with Proactive Wellness Centers

Below are ten steps to getting started with one of our treatment programs. All programs begin with a comprehensive initial assessment. The comprehensive initial assessment is $475. We do also offer mini consultations for $175 for patients that desire to spend approximately 20 minutes with Dr. Lawson in person prior to commencing with a treatment program. The $175 fee will be deducted from the initial assessment fee of $475 for patients that decide to come in for the comprehensive initial assessment. We accept checks, credit cards and GE Card Services for payment. We do not accept insurance.

Comprehensive Initial Assessment

1. Get Educated. Explore our site, check out our resources page. Attend one of our interactive seminars.

2. Talk with us.  Call Proactive Wellness Centers at (703) 822-5003 to ask any unanswered questions.

3. Start the Intake Process. Click here to get started 

4. Set your initial appointment using our online system. Follow the intake process to completion and you will be able to schedule your appointment online.

5. Lab Tests (blood). After our office has received your CCAF and HHF, Dr. Lawson will develop and forward a lab requisition to you by email. With that lab requisition, go to your nearest Quest or LabCorp lab to have your blood drawn. Present the lab requisition and the lab will forward the results directly to Dr. Lawson. IMPORTANT: Please email the office at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) when you have completed your lab tests.

6. Initial Appointment. Come to your initial appointment and plan to spend approximately 1 1/2 hours with Dr. Lawson. She will have already reviewed your HHF and lab results and be ready to discuss preliminary findings and any specialized tests that may be required.  At the end of this visit, Dr. Lawson will discuss a customized treatment plan recommendation and any optional considerations. Our treatment plans include 12 Month Health Assurance Plans that incorporate bioidentical hormone therapy as clinically indicated and an intensive 12 week Metabolic Rejuvenation Program designed to help patients with signifcant weight loss goals overcome weightloss resistance quickly.

Supplements and Prescriptions

7. Order supplements and prescription medications as necessary.  All supplements and most specialized/compounded prescriptions are available through our online wellness store at www.proactivestore.com.  For standard prescriptions and specialized prescriptions that are covered by insurance, you will deal directly with the pharmacy to provide your insurance and co-pay information. 

Specialized Testing

8. When clinically indicated or otherwise indicated by lab results or other indications, Dr. Lawson may recommend specialized testing.  This may include food sensitivity testing, toxic metals testing and/or nutritional deficiency testing. If you have agreed to proceed with specialized testing, we will provide the specific ordering instructions and any special requirements such as blood draws or other specimen collection. Click here to learn more about specialized testing.

Patient Notebook - Take control of your health care

9. When commencing a treatment program, patients are provided with a personalized notebook with placeholders for your specific treatment plan, lab results, educational materials and other information of interest.  We also encourge and support the use of personal health records, such as Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault to further enable patients to take control of their health care.

Maintenance and Monitoring

10. Followup Visits. All of our maintenance programs include followup visits so that we can monitor and adjust your prescriptions and supplement recommendations depending on your body's particular response to the therapies we employ. This component is the only way that Dr. Lawson can help you achieve the optimal health you deserve. Betwen visits, patients on maintenance programs have email and phone access to Dr. Lawson if issues or questions arise.  The first followup visit is typically within 4 weeks for 12 month programs and the following week for 12 week programs. Patients are provided access to our web-based appointment scheduling system and are allowed schedule their own followup visits. 

Success Stories

Doctor's Note
Patient presented with fatigue, inability to lose weight despite dieting and exericise, hair loss and constipation. Patient was treated with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, thyroid medication and components from our metabolic rejuvenation program. Patient has lost 60 lbs in less than 6 months.
Patient Response
Hi Lynese – Just had to share this with you. I have appeared in an online newsletter (Legal Bisnow) twice - the first time a year ago and the second time today. Look at the difference in my photos!

It’s an absolute miracle! In the older photo even my eyelids look fat! I can’t get over how much I now look like my old self – of 20 years ago! I certainly don’t look like I’m closing in on 59, do I??

The best thing anyone has said to me so far was a comment made by a neighbor who saw me today for the first time in over a year. At first he didn’t recognize me. Then he just stared intently into my face for a few minutes and said “How is your mother?” (I was confused because he doesn’t know my mother). Then he said “I had to ask that because you look like your own daughter!” Wow!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

AP - Falls Church, VA