Environmental Toxins Can Affect Yourself and Your Family

July 1, 2022

Environmental toxins are harmful substances that can adversely affect your health. They are composed of poisonous chemical compounds and organisms that cause various diseases.

The effects of environmental toxins exposure are countless. Read on to learn more about environmental toxins and their effects.

What Are Toxic Chemicals in the Environment and Their Impact?

Environmental toxins are dangerous, unavoidable, and can come from harmful chemical and biological agents like herbicides, insecticides, and fertilizers, as well as toxins from pollution. Because of these population dynamics changes, the environment is less productive and stable.

These toxins are unquestionably developing into a global health issue. Sources of environmental toxins in our daily lives include

  • Airbags
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cosmetics
  • Food
  • Detergents
  • Packaging
  • Plastic plates and cups
  • Toys

How Do Environmental Toxins Affect Our Health?

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), also known as hormone disrupting chemicals, are widely present in the environment. Different glands in our endocrine system, including the thyroid and pituitary, create hormones that help in the control of bodily processes. Artificial compounds, like toxins, prevent our hormones from working as they should.

EDCs disturb the hormonal process at the cellular level at every stage, from the gland that makes the hormone to the tissue that absorbs it and many points in between. Although we already know it happens, there is still a lot to learn about how the disruption happens. EDCs have been associated with cancer, heart issues, and reproductive issues.

Related: What makes chemicals toxic?

How Can We Reduce Toxins in Our Environment?

Pick up a mop.

Dust contains flame retardants, lead, and insecticides. Instead of removing toxins from your home, sweeping and cleaning could distribute them into the air.

Avoid bug spray.

Avoid using pesticides, which are dangerous chemicals used to eliminate weeds or unwelcome insects. Instead, keep food spills and crumbs away from your house. In the palace, spraying, dusting, or explosions use baits and traps. Avoid giving your pets chemical tick-and-flea collars or dips.

Do not dry clean your clothing.

Perchloroethylene (PERC), a substance commonly found in cleaners, can contaminate the air in your house.

Look up forecasts for air quality.

Avoid exercising on days with poor air quality and try to exercise as far away from industry and traffic as you can.

Also read: Gulf War Research On Illness Induced By Chemical Toxicity And Biologic Exposures


The harmful environmental toxins exposure is not something that can be stopped with individual effort. Only when you and the government work together will the change that is necessary to stop these environmental toxins from spreading and affecting others happen.

Are you looking for a professional toxin treatment program near you? IF yes, then contact us at Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, or make an appointment with one of our skilled specialists right away. For more resources and information on how to get involved, call us at 843-572-1600 or visit our website.

how to manage allergies
June 9, 2022

Whenever your immune system responds to an unfamiliar substance that doesn’t cause a reaction in most people, referred to as an allergen, you have an allergy. It might be anything you consume, breathe in, or otherwise put inside your body. These allergies can be seasonal and difficult to manage. In a 2018 report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, around 50 million Americans suffer from spring season allergies such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis), which also happens to be the most common one.

From sneezing to itches, allergies can make you quite uncomfortable or ill. Therefore, it’s necessary to be aware of the allergies you’re likely to face during the spring season. To effectively fight allergies, you must properly understand how to manage them. To help you, this article provides information on effectively managing any seasonal allergies.

What Happens During the Spring Allergy Season?

Allergies can get particularly unpleasant if they aren’t treated on time. Several factors, including climate change, pollen, and even the smallest foreign bodies, can cause allergies.

Pollen, unsurprisingly, is one of the leading causes of allergies. When flowers and other fauna are in full bloom, people allergic to pollen have a particularly hard time. The main pollen seasons are driven by temperate climates from fall, spring, and summer. In regions with subtropical climates, summer seasons tend to last longer, which means the pollen allergy season extends.

Climate change doesn’t help either and can worsen any pollen allergies if not addressed on time for the future. In fact, many people report that their seasonal allergies have worsened during the past 10-20 years.

Related Topic: Adventures in Allergy Testing at COEM

Common Allergy Symptoms to Look For

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Congestion in the nose
  • Chest tightness
  • Watery and itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing

Common Spring Allergens

Some common allergens you should be aware of include

  • Cypress
  • Birch
  • Ash
  • Elm
  • Maple
  • Hickory
  • Poplar
  • Oak
  • Walnut
  • Bluegrass
  • Sweet vernal grass
  • Red top grass
  • Timothy grass

Related Topic: Allergy And Asthma: How are They Connected

How to Manage Allergies Effectively

Here are a few tips on how to manage spring allergies

  • Minimize stepping out or going on outdoor trips during allergy season. Since pollen can trigger allergies, It’s best to avoid places where you might encounter it. Try to go out when pollen counts are lower.
  • If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, consuming allergy medicine is important. You can also try taking medicine a week before allergy season to protect yourself efficiently. Common medicines to counter allergies include oral antihistamines, nasal decongestants, eye drops, and more.
  • Furthermore, taking certain precautions at home can also protect you. For instance, shut all your windows during allergy season, use a fan rather than an A/C (they suck in air from outside your house), vacuum your house, and if you’re a smoker, taking a break during allergy season will be good for you. You can quit it completely for the best results.

Are you looking for expert allergy treatment near you? Call our team at 843-572-1600 to schedule an appointment with our expert doctors today at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine(COEM). We can help you with the right spring allergy treatment and any care you need.

can hypothyroidism cause depression
May 31, 2022

Can hypothyroidism cause depression and anxiety? Well, depression can often be a symptom of hypothyroidism. However, only a specialist can diagnose if your depression is caused due to hypothyroidism. Read on to learn more about hypothyroidism and its relation to depression.

What Is Hypothyroidism?

If the thyroid gland is not working to its optimal potential, it can be diagnosed as hypothyroidism. The thyroid gland in your body is responsible for producing certain hormones that help perform various body functions. Certain hormones are also responsible for mood swings- hence it can be difficult to distinguish if your hypothyroidism is causing your depression. The symptoms of both health issues are similar.
Hypothyroidism can also display other symptoms, which include

  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Irregularities in menstrual cycles

Also read: How Are Thyroid and Gastrointestinal Problems Connected?

Do You Have Hypothyroidism?

Typically, women are more likely to have hypothyroidism compared to men. Also, people above 60 years of age are at a higher risk of experiencing hypothyroidism. You may also be at a higher risk of getting hypothyroidism if you have faced any kind of thyroid-related health issues in the past or have a family history of thyroid disease. Certain other chronic medical conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or even type 1 diabetes can cause hypothyroidism.

Can Hypothyroidism Cause Depression?

You might develop certain mental health issues if you have an underactive thyroid. The thyroid gland can often produce more or less than the normal amount of hormones; this can cause mood swings. It can also affect your ability to think clearly and make it difficult for you to learn new things in the long run.
In cases of severe hypothyroidism, some people may experience dementia or severe depression. Often, hormonal changes can interrupt brain functions. The hippocampus is the part of the brain affected by hypothyroidism, which can impact the brain’s memory and learning ability.
Related:  Stress and The Thyroid: What’s The Real Connection

How Can Thyroid Disease Affect a Person’s Mood?

Thyroid disease can cause anxiety and depression. The more severe the disease, the more severe the mood swings can be. However, depression is a serious mental health issue, and it might not be the only evidence of thyroid as a disease. Thus, it’s always better to consult a specialist if you suffer from any kind of anxiety or severe mood changes.
With appropriate treatment and medication, it is possible to improve both the physical and emotional symptoms that are caused by thyroid disease.
If you are concerned about your thyroid health issues and are looking for an expert in thyroid treatment, you have come to the right place. Call us at 843-572-1600 or get in touch with us to schedule an appointment with our expert physicians today!

May 24, 2022

If you are looking for an answer to what Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is, this article is for you. This article will brief you on everything you need to know about HBOT.

What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing pure oxygen to treat various medical conditions and wounds inside a special room or chamber. The oxygen we breathe is only 21% pure, and the HBOT treatment speeds up the healing process of monoxide poisoning, stubborn wounds, or any kind of infections in which tissues starve for pure and more oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy aims to repair tissues and restore normal body function by filling blood with enough pure oxygen.

Uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

HBOT therapy is used to treat different types of medical conditions, such as:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Injury from being crushed
  • Cyanide poisoning
  • Gas gangrene
  • Decompression sickness
  • Any kind of traumatic or sudden blood flow in the arteries
  • Skin grafts and flaps
  • Osteomyelitis- an infection in the bone
  • Delayed radiation injury
  • Flesh-eating diseases
  • Air or gas embolism
  • Diabetic wounds

Facts About Hyperbaric Therapy?

The therapy was first used in the U.S in the early 20th century when scuba divers were affected by a prompt change in pressure around them.

Oxygen therapy was again tried when the U.S navy used hyperbaric oxygen to treat deep-sea divers having decompression sickness in the 1940s.

Then the therapy was again used to treat carbon monoxide poisoning by the 1960s. The oxygen treatment is still used by scuba divers to combat decompression and is further used to treat various health conditions, as stated above.

Risk of Hyperbaric Therapy

Oxygen therapy is generally safe when used for indications that the FDA clears. However, too much oxygen can be harmful, and potential risks arise when pressure increases, such as:

  • Ear and sinus pain
  • Middle ear injuries, including fluid leaking and eardrum rupture
  • Temporary nearsightedness (myopia)
  • Seizures
  • Lung collapse
  • Lowered blood sugar in people who have diabetes treated insulin

Benefits of Hyperbaric Therapy

HBOT has many benefits for patients, especially patients with wounds and any health condition. Below are some benefits of hyperbaric therapy:

  • Increases oxygen in blood tissues
  • Increases circulation and blood flow throughout the body
  • Boosts white blood cells count
  • Strengthens the body’s immune system
  • Helps reduce swelling and pain.

Precautions to Take

It is not safe for people with recent ear trauma, a cold, or fever to participate in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Also, people with certain types of lung diseases are not advised to take the therapy.

The most common complication after the treatment is trauma to the ear. Other complications are:

  • Eye damage
  • Sinus problem


In rare cases, it lead to other health-related issues. The best way to avoid adverse effects and take precautions is to be treated by certified and trained doctor.

Considering the conditions and possible risks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it is a good idea to take the decision after consulting and discussing it with your doctor. If you are looking for an expert doctor for Glutathione and oxygen therapy treatment, then call us at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment today.

April 22, 2022


Mold exposure and mold toxicity are very serious issues that can be effectively diagnosed and successfully treated by the experienced professionals at COEM.

Many studies link exposure to damp or moldy indoor conditions to increased incidence and/or severity of respiratory problems such as asthma, wheezing and rhinosinusitis and even life-threatening systemic infections in immunocompromised persons. Stachybotrys, also known as toxic black mold, produces trichothecenes and other mycotoxins, which can inhibit protein synthesis and induce hemorrhaging disorders. Indoor mold exposure can alter immunological factors and produce allergic reactions. Several studies have indicated that indoor mold exposure can alter brain blood flow, autonomic nerve function, and brain waves, and worsen concentration, attention, balance and memory.

Health officials are increasingly concerned about the dangers of mold in our homes and offices. It is understood that mold (fungi) is capable of causing allergy, infection, and even toxicity in humans. Doctors who are members of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine have known for some time that specific molds, in sufficient concentration over a sustained period of time, are potentially detrimental to our health. These doctors have become expert in the diagnosis and treatment of mold-induced medical problems. The physicians at COEM are world class doctors having experience diagnosing mold poisoning and its associated conditions. This includes proper documentation through biomarkers of exposure and effect supported by comprehensive lab testing that is very specific for mold mycotoxins.

Molds have been present for billions of years and comprise 25 percent of the earth’s biomass. They are everywhere! Most of these molds are harmless and don’t affect our health. But indoor fungi such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, Stachybotrys, Cladosporium, and Alternaria are capable of creating health issues when at sufficient levels.

Many molds reproduce by making spores. When the spores come into contact with a moist ‘food’ source, they germinate and commence the production of a branching network of cells called hyphae. The hyphae secrete mycotoxins and digestive enzymes that work on cellulose in our house walls. Moisture is a key requirement.

What are some of the health problems mold can cause?

Dr. Vojdani lists seven categories of health affects:

  1. Allergy–immediate reaction
  2. Allergy–delayed reaction, hours to days after exposure
  3. Infection–mainly in susceptible people
  4. Adverse reactions to odor—becoming sensitive to many chemicals
  5. Neurotoxicity—headaches, fatigue, nosebleeds, memory loss
  6. Immunotoxicity—frequent infections, especially of the sinus and lungs; rashes; autoimmune diseases
  7. Mucous membrane irritation

Dr Allan Lieberman, in his paper “Explosion of Mold Cases in Homes, Workplaces and Occupational Medicine Practice,” examined 48 patients who were heavily exposed to mold. The results were as follows:

  1. Muscle and joint pain (71%)
  2. Fatigue and weakness (70%)
  3. Neurocognitive dysfunction (67%)
  4. Sinusitis (65%)
  5. Headache (65%)
  6. Gastrointestinal problems (58%)
  7. Shortness of breath (54%)
  8. Anxiety/depression/irritability (54%)
  9. Chest tightness (42%)
  10. Insomnia (40%)
  11. Dizziness (38%)
  12. Numbness/tingling (35%)
  13. Laryngitis (35%)
  14. Tremors (25%)
  15. Heart palpitations (21%)

In a review paper entitled “Adverse Health Effects of Indoor Molds,” the authors cite the study by Rea et al of 150 heavily indoor mold-exposed patients, which found similar health problems in similar percentages as Lieberman’s study.

The Mayo Clinic noted that 96% of chronic sinusitis patients were infected with fungus. This fact is alarming since antibiotics are repeatedly given to treat the bacteria, but anti-fungal are not given to treat the fungus.

Lebowitz et al reported that 56 percent of 45 patients having sinus surgery had positive fungi cultures.

How should a patient be evaluated for a mold toxicity-related symptom?

Environmental sampling can be performed to check for spores and mycotoxins. Placing agar plated mold dishes in suspected moldy environments can yield counts of colony forming units. One study implies more than four colonies could be a problem, especially for those with recurrent sinusitis.

Calling in a mold inspector to do a thorough evaluation and written report of their findings is important. If litigation is involved it is wise to bring in a CIH, Certified Industrial Hygienist, who is qualified by training to determine the presence and extent of mold over growth.

Proper treatment for mold toxicity involves evaluation by an environmental physician, including a comprehensive history and physical examination. Laboratory testing can include:

  1. Mold and mycotoxin antibody levels
  2. Immune markers—T and B cells/natural killer cells
  3. Vision contrast sensitivity
  4. SPECT brain scans
  5. Antimyelin auto-antibodies

Treatment is individualized and specific to the findings of a complete evaluation. Treatment modalities can include: anti-fungal medications, allergy/immunotherapy, treatments for sinusitis, nutritional/herbal support, intravenous vitamin and mineral supplementation, and/or biodetoxification.

Recommendations will be made as to avoidance of the contaminated environment entirely. If that is not an option then proper professional remediation of affected areas is required.

The physicians at COEM have seen thousands of cases of mold exposure and its toxic effects. They are experienced in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of mold injuries and can help you to detoxify your body of mold mycotoxins.

For further information about mold injury:

Please call our office to speak to the New Patient Coordinator, Krystal: (843) 572-1600.

See the article, The Effects of Toxic Molds on Personality and Brain Functioning, by a Licensed Neuropsychologist, for additional information as well.

For information about mold assessment of homes or businesses:

Please see the article in this issue, “Assessment of Mold in Indoor Environments,” by a Certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC). In addition, mold plates for household sampling of molds are available for our patients at The Center. We can also make referrals for mold inspectors and Certified Industrial Hygienists to assist you in confirming the extent of mold damage in your residence or business.


Curtis L, Lieberman A, Stark M, Rea M, Vetter M. Adverse health effects of indoor molds. Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (Sept 2004) 14(3) 261-274.

Lieberman, A. Explosion of mold cases in homes, workplaces and occupational medicine practices. Presented at the 21st Annual Symposium on Man and His Environment in Health and Disease, Dallas, Texas, 19-22 June 2003.

Liebowitz, R, Waltzman M, Jacobs J, Pearlman A, Tierro P. Isolation of fungi by standard laboratory methods in patients with chornic rhinosinusitis. Laryngoscope 2002:112(12):2189-91.

Vodjani A, Campbell A, Kashanian A, Vodjani E. Antibodies against molds and mycotoxins following exposure to toxigenic fungi in water-damaged building. Archives of Environmental Health 2003; 58(^):324-36.

Vodjani, A, Thrasher J. Madison M, Gray M, Heuser G, Campbell A. Antibodies to molds and satratoxin individuals in a water-damaged building. Archives of Environmental Health 2003; 58(7)421-32.

Vodjani, A. Health effects and immunotoxicology of toxigenic molds and mycotoxins. Presented at the 21st International Symposium of Man and His Environment in Health and Disease, Dallas, Texas, 20 June 2003.


Related Article

April 1, 2022

Bile Reflux also called duodenogastric reflux, is a condition where the bile – a digestive fluid produced in the liver, flows upward i.e. refluxes from the small intestine towards the stomach and esophagus.

Bile is a digestive fluid produced in the liver. Some of the components that make up bile are –

  • Water
  • Cholesterol
  • Bile pigments
  • Bile salts

Bile is produced by the liver, stored in the gallbladder, and released into the duodenum (the upper section of the small intestine) when needed to aid the digestion of fats. Bile is essential for digesting fats and for eliminating aged red blood cells and certain toxins from the body.

Bile reflux is the result of bile that travels up from the small intestine into the stomach and esophagus. Bile reflux is caused by damage to the pyloric valve, which is a ring of muscle that separates the stomach from the duodenum. When the pyloric valve fails to close properly, bile flows into the stomach, causing pain and inflammation.

BR is sometimes confused with acid reflux because a person can experience some of the same symptoms and bile (like GERD) irritates the lining of the esophagus, potentially increasing the risk of esophageal cancer. The difference is –

  • Acid reflux symptoms are indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, pain swallowing and esophagus inflammation caused by stomach acids going through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus.
  • Bile reflux symptoms are heartburn, gastritis, hoarseness, chronic cough, pain swallowing, esophagus inflammation caused by bile from the gallbladder making its way through the pyloric valve from the small intestine continuing its way through the lower esophageal sphincter into the esophagus.

Bile reflux causes damage to the lining of the stomach (called gastritis), which may progress to sores in the stomach (known as ulcers), bleeding, and stomach cancer. In patients that have both bile reflux and acid reflux, the combination seems to be particularly harmful, increasing the risk of damage to the esophagus, including conditions such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.


Bile reflux into the stomach – Bile is secreted in the duodenum and passes down the gut with the rest of the intestinal chyme. If the integrity of the pyloric valve – part of the stomach that controls the outflow of gastric contents into the duodenum, is compromised then the retrograde flow of bile may occur leading to irritation of the stomach lining. This can cause persistent gastritis despite the appropriate gastritis treatment.

Bile reflux into the esophagus – If the lower esophageal sphincter is also impaired, then the bile along with the acidic stomach contents can flow up into the esophagus. Irritation of the mucosal lining by the bile, even if the stomach acid is neutralized by one or more agents discussed under stomach acid medication, will cause the typical symptoms associated with acid reflux.

Most cases of bile reflux are associated with chronic conditions affecting the pyloric sphincter and lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Risk Factors

Surgery complications – Gastric surgery, including total removal of the stomach (gastrectomy) and gastric bypass surgery for weight loss, is responsible for most bile reflux.

Peptic ulcers – A peptic ulcer can block the pyloric valve so that it doesn’t open enough to allow the stomach to empty as quickly as it should. Stagnant food in the stomach can lead to increased gastric pressure and allow bile and stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.

Gallbladder surgery (cholecystectomy) – People who have had their gallbladders removed have significantly more bile reflux than do people who haven’t had this surgery.


  • General – Bile reflux and acid reflux have similar signs and symptoms, and the two conditions may occur at the same time. Unlike acid reflux, bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach.
  • Cough or hoarseness – Some, but not all, patients with bile reflux experience a cough or hoarseness that is caused by stomach acid and/or bile rising up into the throat and burning the lining.
  • Frequent heartburn – Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that may spread to the throat along with a sour taste in the mouth. In severe cases, it may be mistaken for a heart attack.
  • Nausea and vomiting – Nausea is feeling the need to vomit. Some patients with bile reflux may vomit bile.
  • Upper abdominal pain – Bile reflux often causes a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach.
  • Weight loss – In some patients with bile reflux, unintended weight loss may occur.


GERD – Occasional heartburn usually isn’t a concern. But frequent or continual heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, a potentially serious problem that causes irritation and inflammation of esophageal tissue (esophagitis). GERD is most often due to excess acid. Although bile has been implicated, its importance in reflux is controversial.

Barrett’s esophagus – This serious condition can occur when long-term exposure to stomach acid, or to acid and bile, damages tissue in the lower esophagus. The damaged esophageal cells have an increased risk of becoming cancerous. Animal studies have also linked bile reflux to the occurrence of Barrett’s esophagus.

Esophageal cancer – This form of cancer may not be diagnosed until it’s quite advanced. The possible link between bile and acid reflux and esophageal cancer remains controversial, but many experts think a direct connection exists. In animal studies, bile reflux alone has been shown to cause cancer of the esophagus.

Gastritis – In addition to causing irritation and inflammation in the esophagus, bile reflux can cause stomach irritation (gastritis).



  • Ursodeoxycholic acid – This medication helps promote bile flow. It may lessen the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
  • Bile acid sequestrants – Doctors often prescribe bile acid sequestrants, which disrupt the circulation of bile, but studies show that these drugs are less effective than other treatments. Side effects, such as bloating, may be severe.
  • Proton pump inhibitors – These medications are often prescribed to block acid production, but they don’t have a clear role in treating bile reflux.


Diversion surgery (Roux-en-Y) – This procedure, which is also a type of weight-loss surgery, recommended for people who have had previous gastric surgery with pylorus removal. In Roux-en-Y, surgeons make a new connection for bile drainage farther down in the small intestine, diverting bile away from the stomach.

Anti-reflux surgery (fundoplication) – The part of the stomach closest to the esophagus (fundus) is wrapped and then sewn around the lower esophageal sphincter. This procedure strengthens the valve and can reduce acid reflux. There is little evidence about the surgery’s effectiveness for bile reflux.

Lifestyle Changes

Limit or avoid alcohol – Drinking alcohol irritates the esophagus and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, predisposing the body to acid reflux.

Quit smoking – Smoking increases the production of stomach acid and dries up saliva, which cause the esophagus to be more vulnerable to damage by refluxed bile and stomach acid.

Relaxation – Patients under stress experience slower digestion, which may worsen reflux symptoms.

Tilted bed – Raising the head of the bed by about 4-6 inches may prevent reflux symptoms. Using a wedge or blocks is more effective than using pillows.

Weight loss – Overweight patients with bile reflux may lessen the backflow of bile when less body fat is pressing down on the stomach and small intestine.

Alternative Treatment

Magnesium helps control the muscle function in the digestive tract and throughout the body. It also aids in digestion to alleviate reflux issues.

Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is naturally found in vegetables, fruits, grains, and animal products. DMSO is available for both nonmedicinal and medicinal uses. The major clinical use of DMSO is to relieve symptoms of interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder infection).

A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B vitamins, and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.

Gamma-oryzanol occurs in rice bran oil and has been extracted from corn and barley oils as well. Gamma-oryzanol is frequently sold as a body-building aid, specifically to increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue.

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, may help decrease inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids may increase the risk of bleeding, as ask your doctor before taking omega-3 fatty acids if you take blood-thinning medications.

Qi gong, an ancient type of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) consisting of choreographed movements, postures, and meditation, has been used for thousands of years. It is traditionally used for spiritual enlightenment, medical care, and self-defense. Qi gong is meant to be in balance with the environment and has been described as “a way of working with life energy.”

Probiotics or “friendly” bacteria may help maintain a balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria.

Chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile teas are readily available and have a low risk of side effects.

Licorice, which is commonly used to soothe inflammation associated with GERD, gastritis, ulcers and other digestive problems. However, licorice contains a phytochemical called glycyrrhizin that’s associated with serious health risks — such as high blood pressure and tissue swelling — if used long term. Talk with your doctor before trying this therapy. Prescription preparations are available that don’t contain glycyrrhizin.

Slippery elm, which encourages a protective mucous lining. Available as a root bark powder, slippery elm can be mixed with water and taken after meals and before bed. It may, however, decrease the absorption of prescription medications.

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis), which has been used for GERD symptom relief. Like slippery elm, marshmallow may cause problems with the absorption of medications. Note that this is the herb, not the puffy white confection.

Thymus extracts for nutritional supplements are usually bovine (derived from young calves). Thymus extract is commonly used to stimulate the immune system and to treat bone marrow failure, autoimmune disorders, chronic skin diseases, recurrent viral and bacterial infections, hepatitis, allergies, chemotherapy side effects, and cancer.

Garlic – The garlic bulb is made of many cloves wrapped with a paper-thin, white skin, and it is used both medicinally and as a spice in food (fresh or dehydrated). Garlic is widely used for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Are you suffering from bile reflux and need treatment? We at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine have a group of experts at your service. Call us at 843-572-1600 to book an appointment now.


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Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy Everything You Need to Know
March 9, 2022

What Are Bioidentical Hormones?

Hormones are specific chemicals produced by various glands in our bodies that control most of our daily functions.

Bioidentical hormones are derived from plants that are chemically identical to the hormones generated by our body. These are then used to treat men and women whose hormone levels are low or out of balance.

What Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a process in which plant-based hormones are injected into your body to replace the natural hormones whose levels have dropped or become unbalanced. It is most commonly used to alleviate perimenopause and menopausal symptoms.
It may also be used to alleviate cancer-related symptoms or to treat illnesses such as:

  • insulin resistance
  • adrenal and thyroid disorders
  • osteoporosis
  • fibromyalgia

Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are three of the most often utilized hormones in this therapy.

What Are the Risks of Bioidentical Hormones?

It has been demonstrated in research studies that there are risks for women who use hormone therapy (HT).
It raises the risk of blood clots, strokes, and gallbladder disease. Also, the risk of heart disease and breast cancer may rise in older women who use hormone treatment for a lengthy period.
Many doctors who prescribe bioidentical hormones say that they are safer than traditional HRT. However, no large-scale research studies on bioidentical hormones have been conducted to prove this theory.

What Is the Effect of Bio identical Hormone Replacement Therapy on Your Health?

Replacing hormones that you lack with doctor-prescribed bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help you attain a better quality of life and lessen symptoms of other diseases.
The following symptoms can be alleviated with BHRT

  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Night sweats
  • Low energy levels
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Decreased interest in sex

Is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Safe?

While hormone therapy has its share of benefits and is mostly safe, some risks are also involved.
When you initially begin taking a course, there is an adjustment phase, as with most hormone therapies.
Side effects may emerge in the first few weeks and then disappear as your body adjusts to the new hormone level. These side effects are

  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Increased facial hair
  • Spotting
  • Cramps
  • Headaches
  • Tenderness in the breasts

Also read: Menopause: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and BHRT Connection

That’s why it’s important to consult your doctor before undergoing BHRT treatment.
Who Should Not Take Bioidentical Hormones?
Certain women should not undergo hormone replacement therapy until extensive safety studies have been completed.
If you have a personal history of breast cancer, stroke, or a blood clot, you will not be considered as a candidate for bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

If you are looking for an expert doctor for BHRT treatment, call us at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment today. At the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, our team of highly qualified and well-trained doctors are committed to taking full care of your overall health.

scoliosis yoga
March 7, 2022

Scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine, often diagnosed in childhood and early adolescence. While moderate and severe scoliosis requires medical intervention, mild scoliosis can be effectively managed by yourself, such as with yoga.

For people with mild scoliosis, yoga is considered the best practice to manage any discomforts associated with the condition while reducing spinal curvatures.

However, you should learn some important information before you practice yoga with scoliosis. Read on to learn more about doing yoga with scoliosis.

Can People with Scoliosis Do Yoga?

Yes, but the kind of poses you can do depends on your age, the severity of your condition (degree of spinal curvature), how much pain you experience, and how long you have had scoliosis.

Therefore, it is good to discuss with a yoga practitioner to determine the best yoga poses for your scoliosis.

Why Is Yoga Beneficial for Scoliosis?

Scoliosis can impact the alignment of your shoulders, hips, and ribcage, depending on the location and extent of your spinal curvature.

However, practicing yoga can help enhance your spinal alignment and functionality, thus improving your posture.

The Potential Benefits of Yoga for Scoliosis

Yoga is mostly recommended as a part of the treatment for scoliosis because of its remarkable benefits.

While helping to have a properly aligned spine, yoga can help manage the pain and other consequences resulting from scoliosis.

All you need to do is practice yoga and enjoy these benefits

  • Minimize Stiffness and Pain

Yoga poses (long, isometric contractions) can activate spinal and abdominal muscles, reducing your back pain and stiffness.

  • Strengthen Your Core and Spinal Muscles

Your muscles extend and contract when practicing yoga. Stretching the spinal and core muscles can help strengthen them, promoting healthy spine alignment that improves flexibility and mobility.

  • Improve Breath Control

Scoliosis can cause breathing problems in some people. However, practicing breathing exercises provides oxygen to the muscles, thus reducing pain and stress while easing your breathing.
Also read : Rheumatoid Arthritis

Expert Tips for Practicing Yoga with Scoliosis

  • Participate in Private Sessions

It is good to participate in private yoga sessions under the guidance of a skilled yoga instructor before participating in public classes. They will consider your unique situation and teach you the appropriate therapeutic exercises accordingly.

  • Practice Regularly

Regular yoga practice can help you improve your body’s symmetry, thus improving your confidence and self-esteem as well as your posture and overall wellness.

  • Avoid Complicated Poses

Some yoga poses like inversion poses tend to cause pain and discomfort as they put pressure on the thoracic spine. Therefore, avoid such poses.

  • Don’t Go Beyond Your Flexibility Level

Do not stress your body by practicing strenuous/intense yoga poses, especially if you are a beginner. Also, you must have realistic expectations concerning how a pose should look and feel. Though some poses may be difficult to achieve in the beginning, you can do them perfectly with time and practice.

If you are looking for an expert doctor for scoliosis yoga treatment, call us at 843-572-1600 or schedule an appointment with one of our experts today.

Vitamin D and Inflammation: How It Can Affect Your Health
February 18, 2022

Vitamin D, in addition to its important role in calcium homeostasis, has recently been discovered to play a role in immune and inflammation system modulation. According to research, Vitamin D deficiency may have a negative influence on immunological function, cardiovascular health, and cancer risk.

What is Inflammation, and What Does It Mean?

Inflammation is a defense mechanism used by your body’s white blood cells and the substances they produce to keep you safe from outside intruders like germs and viruses. In cases when there are no invaders to fight, some disorders, such as arthritis trigger your body’s defensive system. These conditions cause your immune system to consider your regular tissues as infected, causing damage.

What Does Vitamin D Do for Inflammation?

Vitamin D, in addition to its important role in calcium homeostasis, has recently been discovered to play a role in immune and inflammation system modulation by regulating the production of inflammatory cytokines and inhibiting the proliferation of pro-inflammatory cells, both of which are important in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases. Several studies have linked low vitamin D levels to an increased risk of acute infections and a poor outcome.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Muscle weakness
  • Weak bones
  • Discomfort
  • Depression
  • Frequent illness
  • Inflammation

Symptoms of Inflammation

  • Redness
  • A swollen, warm-to-the-touch joint
  • Joint discomfort
  • Joint stiffness
  • A joint that isn’t performing as well as it could be.

You can also have flu-type symptoms in case of inflammation, such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Appetite loss.
  • Muscle stiffness,


Can Low Vitamin D Cause Inflammation?

In healthy women, vitamin D deficiency is linked to inflammation, which is a detrimental immunological response. In women with low vitamin D levels, higher levels of serum TNF-a, an inflammatory marker, were discovered. This could explain the vitamin’s significance in inflammatory disorders like heart disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis prevention and treatment.

Do Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Joint Pain and Swelling?

Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle health, and it may also help to reduce inflammation. As a result, many people feel that vitamin D helps to relieve joint discomfort, especially when inflammation is involved. Vitamin D insufficiency causes bones to weaken and become weak. In adults, this is known as osteomalacia, and in children, it is known as rickets. Vitamin D can also help prevent osteoporosis, which is a bone-weakening disorder. Furthermore, the vitamin has the potential to alter the immune system, which could aid in the management of autoimmune diseases such as RA, Type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
Also read: Probiotics and Prebiotics: The Best Foods You Should Eat

Vitamins That Fight Inflammation

  • Vitamin A.
  • B Vitamins.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin K.

If you’re looking for skilled treatment for inflammatory ailments, give us a call at 843-572-1600 or make an appointment with one of our specialists now. At the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, we have a team of doctors dedicated to improving your overall health.

Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD) and Food Sensitivities: Know the Connection
February 14, 2022

What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for conditions characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive system.

What Are the Prominent Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disorder symptoms include:

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding/bloody stools
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD): Causes

The actual cause of IBD is unknown, but many doctors believe that a faulty immune system could be the culprit behind it. A well-functioning immune system destroys invading organisms such as viruses and bacteria to defend the body. However, with IBD, the immune system abnormally reacts to environmental cues, resulting in gastrointestinal inflammation.

What Are the Main Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Types of IBD include:

  • Ulcerative colitis: This disorder causes inflammation and sores (ulcers) on the surface of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
  • Crohn’s disease: This is characterized by inflammation of the digestive system lining, which affects the deeper layers of the digestive tract.

Diarrhea, rectal bleeding, stomach discomfort, exhaustion, and weight loss are common symptoms of both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

What Are the Complications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Some of the possible complications of IBD include:

  • Malnutrition with resulting weight loss
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Fistulas, or tunnels that go through the intestinal wall to connect different regions of the digestive tract.
  • Intestinal rupture or perforation
  • Bowel obstruction

In rare situations, a severe attack of IBD might cause shock. This is potentially fatal.

What Foods Aggravate Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

There’s no need to avoid any meal unless it triggers or increases your symptoms. However, some common food items which you may have to avoid are:

  • Fatty, greasy or fried foods
  • Hot or spicy foods
  • Raw, high-fiber fruits and vegetables
  • Caffeinated or sugary beverages
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Candy, sweets, and other products with added sugar

Role of Food Sensitivities in Inflammatory Bowel Disorders

Getting healthy nutrition might be difficult when you have inflammatory bowel disease. Your small intestine absorbs the nutrients from the food you consume. However, you may not absorb all of your nutrients or digest your food properly when you have chronic inflammation and other IBD symptoms. This can result in major issues such as malnutrition, weight loss, and vitamin deficiencies.

To avoid these issues and make eating more pleasant, pay close attention to what you put into your body and how your digestive system responds. Calcium-rich foods, vegetables, probiotics, and lean meats should be included in a balanced diet.

Also read: Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): Everything You Need to Know About It

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Diagnosis and Treatment

The objective of treating inflammatory bowel disease is to minimize the inflammation that triggers your symptoms. In the best-case scenario, this may result in symptom alleviation, long-term remission, and reduced consequences.

IBD treatment generally consists of either medication or surgery. Anti-inflammatory medicines, immune system suppressors, biologics, antibiotics, and other medications such as pain relievers and vitamins are used in IBD treatment. Diet and exercise are also part of the overall IBD treatment strategy. However, if none of this works, then surgery becomes the last option.

If you are looking for expert Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment near you, call us at (843) 572-1600 or schedule an appointment with our expert doctors today. At the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, we have a team of doctors dedicated to improving your overall health

Pandas syndrome what to know about it
February 9, 2022

What is Pandas Syndrome?

PANDAS is an acronym for pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric diseases associated with streptococcus. Following infection with Streptococcus pyogenes, children experience abrupt and typically substantial changes in personality, behavior, and mobility.

The majority of people who contract strep make a full recovery. However, a few weeks following infection, some younger people may experience abrupt physical and psychological problems. These symptoms tend to worsen quickly once they begin.

PANDAS Syndrome Symptoms

PANDAS symptoms appear abruptly, four to six weeks after a strep infection.

Psychological symptoms may include:

  • Obsessive, compulsive, and repetitive behaviors
  • Separation anxiety, fear, and panic attacks
  • Incessant screaming and frequent mood changes
  • Emotional and developmental regression
  • Visual or auditory hallucinations
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Tics and unusual movements
  • Sensitivities to light, sound, and touch
  • Deterioration of motor skills
  • Hyperactivity or an inability to focus
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble sleeping

Also read: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Everything You Need to Know

Causes of PANDAS Syndrome

The specific cause of PANDAS is still being investigated. According to one theory, it might be caused due to an inadequate immunological response to a strep infection. This is because strep bacteria are extremely adept at evading the immune system’s detection. They camouflage themselves using chemicals that resemble those found in the human body and affect your brain.

How is PANDAS Syndrome Diagnosed

There is currently no lab test that can diagnose PANDAS. Doctors usually depend on the reported symptoms and medical history of the kid. However, doctors will perform a throat examination to see if your child has an active strep infection in many cases. If the test comes back negative, the infection may be hidden elsewhere, like the genitals, and further testing will be required.

What is the Difference Between PANS And PANDAS?

The start of OCD symptoms or disordered eating following an illness or other immune system trigger is PANS (acute neuropsychiatric disorders). On the other hand, PANDAS is a subgroup of problems caused by Group A strep infections in children. While both PANS and PANDAS is common in children, PANS can also occur in adults.

What is the Relationship Between Pandas and Autism?

PANDAS does not appear to be more common in children with autism than in other children. However, PANDAS may be difficult to diagnose in kids with autism due to the overlapping symptoms. It might also be misdiagnosed as classic OCD, which frequently co-occurs with autism.

Generally, the quick onset of symptoms separates PANDAS from autistic symptoms or typical OCD. This might involve new concerns and obsessive habits, as previously indicated.

Treatment for PANDAS

PANDAS is treated by addressing both physical and psychological symptoms. To begin, your physician will ensure that the strep infection has been entirely resolved. We recommend consulting a registered mental health practitioner experienced with OCD and PANDAS.

Antibiotics help many children, and their symptoms improve or disappear. This isn’t always the case, though. When antibiotic treatment fails to relieve the child’s symptoms, they may require counseling and other long-term assistance. PANDAS is not a fatal illness, but it can hurt a child’s quality of life.

If your child is suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above, or if you need help to treat your child from PANDAS syndrome, contact us today. At the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, we have got a team of professional doctors who are committed to taking full care of you and your loved ones for a better quality of life.