Inflammation Treatment – Edmonton

Inflammation & Treating the Root of All Disease

At the Genomic Clinic, Dr. Harvey Rao MD has a special focus on diagnosing and treating conditions that are rooted in inflammation. The approach in traditional medicine has always been to treat the affected system. Being an MD, Dr. Harvey Rao understands the importance of conventional medicine and its role in treating and controlling advanced chronic conditions which affect the gut, heart, skin, lungs, brain, and metabolic system but he is focused on understanding the roots of the inflammation and immune dysregulation which may be underpinning these conditions.

inflammation treatment - edmonton - The Genomic Clinic logoIdentifying and treating inflammation at its roots is the key to his treatment approach. Being an MD, he fully supports ongoing medical treatments which specialists may be used to treat chronic ailments affecting the body. His aim is to prevent, reverse and mitigate disease processes using the principles of functional medicine and optimize health for the long term.


Offering a synergy between functional and conventional medicine is a unique offering only a medical MD physician with an interest in Functional Medicine can offer.

Edmonton Inflammation Treatment 
Dr. Harvey Rao MD
Inflammation treatment questions?
780-476-5637
Call to book a consultation with Dr. Rao, or click below:
Book your functional medicine consultation
Edmonton Inflammation Treatment Clinic


What is inflammation and how does it cause disease?

Inflammation is an immune regulated process that occurs in our body. It is essential for healing and protection. But inflammation needs to be tightly regulated and when it goes unchecked, we enter a spectrum of symptoms and conditions which get progressively worse as inflammation worsens. This auto-immune spectrum lies at the roots of almost any chronic disease process.

Virtually every chronic disease process has elements of inflammation and autoimmunity (which by definition is an immune-led attack against one’s own body).  Below is a table of some very common conditions linked to inflammation:

edmonton inflammation treatment - common health conditions

Whilst we are quick to blame genetic causes as the main cause for many diseases, medical research is now showing that our hard-coded genes only account for a very small proportion of disease.  Our environment provides many of the triggers for inflammation that start the cascade of inflammatory disease.

What external triggers lead to inflammation?

The commonest triggers of inflammation and disease are:

  • Diet/Food sensitivities
  • Toxin exposure
  • Gut infections and imbalances in gut bacteria
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Mycotoxins (mold)
  • Stress

Once the inflammation has been triggered, we enter a spectrum of autoimmunity which in many cases over time eventually leads us to develop chronic disease. There are many shades of grey with some people exhibiting a few unexplained symptoms all the way to florid auto-immune conditions.

Where does inflammation start?

“All DISEASE BEGINS IN THE GUT”

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (2500 years ago)

There is growing evidence that the earliest triggers of inflammation in almost any disease are in the gut. Even in the Covid-19 Pandemic there has emerging research showing the bacteria in our gut may be playing a role in determining the severity of the disease! After all, it is how our immune system (and the ensuing inflammatory) response determines the severity of our illness.

Our gut is an incredibly complex ecosystem where we are outnumbered 10 to 1 by bacteria. The gut plays a critical role in digestion, absorption of nutrients, and removal of toxins from the body. The tight junctions of the gut cells where much of these processes occur are heavily regulated and guarded to prevent toxins from entering our circulation. Those tight junctions can be damaged by external triggers like food, leading to leaky junctions. Most of our immune system lies in our gut wall but is largely protected by these junctions. Breaches or leaks in the junctions lead to undigested and potentially toxic food to get through this barrier and trigger a cascade of inflammation involving our T and B immune cells.  Our immune system in such cases launches an attack that leads to damage locally in the gut and around the body. This phenomenon is called LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. There are other related conditions that we also need to understand, and which may coexist and even cause LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. These include SIBO (Small intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and YEAST (Candida) overgrowth in the bowel. These will be discussed later.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome is a phenomenon that exists in a very significant proportion of the population. Anyone who already has been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition most definitely has been had or currently has leaky gut syndrome. Some argue that we all have leaky gut syndrome to some degree, and it is the extent of this which directly correlates to inflammation and disease process in our body.

External stressors like Diet, Infections, and Stress can start the process of prying apart the tight junctions between the cells (mucosal cells) which line our intestinal wall.  If the mucosal cells are unable to see off and neutralize toxic substances using mucus (which they produce) in the bowel they can become exposed to a toxic and dangerous environment. Mucus production can quickly run into short supply as it runs into overdrive trying to neutralize toxic food substances. Without mucus protection, the intestinal cells are directly exposed and can now be attacked by toxins in our bowels.

In many cases, this leads to the excessive production of a compound called zonulin which further loosens the tight junctions laying the body open to attack. Toxic protein substances like lectins and BAD bacteria can now gain access to the rest of your body

This breach in the gut barrier triggers widespread immune responses (as a form of defence) but in doing so INFLAMMATION occurs. In many patients, ongoing LEAKY GUT SYNDROME is an ongoing chronic condition that underlies widespread system dysfunction and disease.  This could occur anywhere in the body since the vascular system is completely interconnected.  Research is now showing that bad bacteria from the gut can be found in distant organs in patients suffering from autoimmune conditions.  This is why many patients aren’t aware of overt gastrointestinal symptoms but may be experiencing far-off symptoms and conditions affecting other body systems which have been impacted by the breach in the intestinal wall.  (see the table above showing inflammation-related conditions)

What symptoms should alert you to having Leaky Gut Syndrome?

If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms you most likely are suffering from leaky gut syndrome.

inflammation treatment edmonton - leaky guy syndrome symptoms

How do we diagnose Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Dr. Harvey Rao MD has 21 years of expertise as a physician. Trained originally as a Family physician he has spent two decades diagnosing and treating common inflammation-based disorders. He is qualified to understand the latest pharmacological treatments patients may be undertaking under the care of specialist physicians. Within this context, he is able to assist with diagnosing underlying instigating processes such as Leaky Gut Syndrome.

In a comprehensive functional medicine consultation, he is able to determine if a patient is likely to be suffering from a leaky gut or another underlying inflammatory process.  Furthermore, Dr. Rao utilizes both conventional and functional medicine diagnostic tools to confirm diagnoses. We are able to utilize specific tests to determine intestinal permeability and hence confirm clinical diagnoses of leaky gut.

How do we treat Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Once Dr. Rao has made a diagnosis of Leaky Gut Syndrome, he is able to formulate a plan of treatment. Being an MD, any such treatment plans are made in the context of conventional treatments a patient may already be receiving.  His aim is to complement any such treatments and not to exclude them.

Dr. Harvey Rao aims to formulate a personalized tailored program of treatment. Any two patients may have the same chronic disease condition for completely different reasons.  Understanding this is the key to Dr. Harvey Rao’s approach to Functional Medicine.

His plan is likely to include dietary, pharmacological (sometimes prescription grade), nutraceutical and physical interventions aimed to reverse the disease process.  His 21 years of medical experience allows him to understand the complexity of the multi-system disease and formulate medical plans of treatment.


Edmonton Inflammation Treatment 
Dr. Harvey Rao MD
Inflammation treatment questions?
780-476-5637
Call to book a consultation with Dr. Rao, or click below:
Book your functional medicine consultation
Edmonton Inflammation Treatment Clinic


What about Yeast Overgrowth, SIBO & Parasites

 As we have already established Leaky gut syndrome is a very common culprit behind the inflammatory disease.  Unfortunately, medicine is never quite a clear cut, and in many cases, there are other gastrointestinal causes that may be occurring alongside or instead of Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Yeast (Candida) overgrowth

Our gut is an ecosystem of bacteria outnumbering us 10 to 1. As well as bacteria Yeast (a fungus) also exists in our bowels. Unfortunately, sometimes yeast (the most common form being Candida) can overgrow in our intestines and wreak havoc. Common causes for this are dietary (excessive carbohydrate consumption, alcohol), hormonal imbalances, excessive antibiotic usage, etc. In some instances, patients can be suffering a lifelong battle with unexplained symptoms and all along the root may lie in Candida overgrowth.

Once Candida takes over in the gut it disrupts other healthy bacteria, absorption, and even hormone production. Did you know most of the hormones that control your mood are produced in your gut? Is it any wonder that Candida overgrowth can lead to mood disturbances, mental fogginess, gastrointestinal symptoms, aching joints, allergies, recurrent yeast infections, and even sugar cravings!! If you suffer from any of the following symptoms or conditions you could be suffering from Yeast Overgrowth.

YES TO A FEW OF THE FOLLOWING?

Warning signs of Yeast overgrowth

  • Skin irritations and infections – e.g., Eczema, Psoriasis, Hives, Fungal toenail infection, ringworm, thrush
  • Low energy states diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, Fibromyalgia
  • Indigestion, Constipation, Feeling bloated all the time, Heartburn, Loose stools
  • Mental health disturbances including fogginess, poor concentration, focus, anxiety, depression
  • Seasonal allergies, itchy ears
  • Weight gain linked with cravings for sugary foods

At the Genomic Clinic, Dr. Harvey Rao is able to diagnose the presence of Candida / Yeast overgrowth. Treatments of candida involve personalized programs of diet, prescription-grade medications (if necessary), and nutraceuticals.

Being an MD Dr. Harvey Rao is able to prescribe medications if needed to resolve this condition. Reversing this condition can in many cases lead to a reversal of systemic inflammation and related symptoms.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Our colon is heavily populated with bacteria. Those bacteria thrive in less acidic environments where there is little oxygen.  The upper parts of the digestive tract (in particular the stomach) are highly acidic. The acid in the stomach contributes to the digestion and breakdown of food with the aid of digestive enzymes.  This acidic environment also plays a crucial role in maintaining a hostile environment to prevent bacteria from lower down in the digestive tract from creeping up and colonizing the upper parts of the small intestine.  Usage of PPIs (anti-acid medications) can reduce the acidity of the small intestine allowing Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Colonization of the small intestine with bacteria from the lower colon can lead to the leaky gut syndrome. Disruption to the gut once again leads to pro-inflammatory states, pushing patients along the immune spectrum.

Warning signs you may be suffering from SIBO

  • Bloating, cramping after meals
  • Food sensitivities
  • Loose stools
  • Muscular and joint pains
  • Skin eruptions- including eczema, psoriasis, urticaria
  • Respiratory problems including asthma, allergies
  • Mental health disturbances
  • Nutritional deficiencies including iron and vitamin B12 deficiency

As you will realize there is much overlap between SIBO, Leaky Gut syndrome, Yeast overgrowth, etc.  In many cases, more than one condition can exist.

At the Genomic Clinic, Dr. Harvey Rao is able to diagnose the existence of SIBO. Treatments of SIBO may involve personalized programs of diet, prescription-grade medications (if necessary), and nutraceuticals.

Being an MD Dr. Harvey Rao is able to prescribe medications and even modify existing medication regimes such as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) which may be contributing to the problem.

Reversing this condition can in many cases lead to a reversal of systemic inflammation and related symptoms.

Gut Infections (Parasites)

Whilst bacteria in our gut are a normal part of the microbiome ecosystem sometimes parasitic bacteria can colonize and chronically infect the gut and can start a cascade of inflammation leading to autoimmune disorders.

Common known associations between bacteria and auto-immune disorders are the following:

parasite gut infections - edmonton inflammation treatments
Warning signs of Gut Parasites
 

  • Diarrhea, Constipation, Flatulence
  • Recent international travel with associated diarrhea
  • Past history of being sick and never fully recovering after that
  • Skin irritations
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Malabsorption states like Iron Deficiency
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

 At the Genomic Clinic, Dr. Harvey Rao is able to diagnose the presence of parasites that may have triggered autoimmune disorders.=

Treatments of parasitic infections involve personalized programs of diet, prescription-grade medications (if necessary), and nutraceuticals.

Being an MD Dr. Harvey Rao is able to prescribe medications if needed to resolve this condition. Reversing this condition can in many cases lead to a reversal of systemic inflammation and related symptoms.


Why Dr. Harvey Rao MD?

Dr. Harvey Rao is a UK-born and trained MD who has 22 years of experience as a physician. He also has a first-class honors degree in Physiology further cementing his interest in human performance. His in-depth skill and expertise in conventional medicine combined with his passion for functional medicine make him a unique expert who can analyze and treat patients with the full scope of mainstream and functional medicine.  Being an MD allows him to provide a complete medical treatment strategy to diagnose and treat the roots of disease.

So what is the next step? 

The first step towards diagnosing and treating the roots of inflammatory conditions is to schedule a functional medical consultation with Dr. Harvey Rao MD.  This consultation typically lasts about 30 minutes and allows Dr. Rao to analyze your symptoms and determine whether you may be suffering from a disorder that an inflammatory root.  Dr. Rao may utilize blood, urine, stool, and other diagnostic tests to confirm diagnoses such as food sensitivity, leaky gut syndrome, Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or Gut dysbiosis/microbiome dysfunction, parasite/ yeast overgrowth.

Once a diagnosis the next step is to begin treatment.  This may involve

  • Prescription medications
  • A customized diet plans
  • Immunotherapies
  • Dietary nutraceutical supplementation (if needed)

The aim of the plan is to prevent, reverse and mitigate any disease process which has been directly or indirectly triggered by food sensitivity.


Edmonton Inflammation Treatment 
Dr. Harvey Rao MD
Inflammation treatment questions?
780-476-5637
Call to book a consultation with Dr. Rao, or click below:
Book your functional medicine consultation
Edmonton Inflammation Treatment Clinic


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