Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

Episode 185: Eye Health and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Rani Banik

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I have two friends who were diagnosed with autoimmune disease through a referral from their ophthalmologist. Their first symptoms appeared in their eyes. Across diagnoses, this is common. Eye pain, dryness, swelling, inflammation, vision loss, and double vision - almost every autoimmune diagnosis can include eye symptoms. This is why an ophthalmologist is an important person to have on our healthcare team. Today, we're lucky enough to have an integrative ophthalmologist on the podcast. Dr. Rani Banik is a board-certified neuro-ophthalmologist with over 20 years of medical experience as a clinician, educator, and researcher. She also has specialized training in functional medicine and treats her patients from a holistic perspective.

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    Episode 188: Overcoming Food Fear

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    When you first experience the connection between the food you eat and how you feel, that can be an empowering moment. But when certain foods cause you to flare, that can also inspire a fear of food. This is a natural reaction, but it also has consequences. The fear itself can cause autoimmune flares and also increase food sensitivity, creating a vicious cycle. Suddenly, all food feels dangerous, and we over-restrict our diets, which harms our health long-term. There is good news! We can overcome food fear, replacing it with a deep knowledge about our bodies and enjoy eating again. That's our goal with our conversation today. My guests are fellow autoimmune warriors, Nitika Chopra and Alison Marras. We've all experienced food fear and share tips for overcoming it.
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    Episode 187: COVID-19 Vaccines and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Aly Cohen

    1:16:26

    Dr. Aly Cohen is an integrative rheumatologist who blends both conventional and holistic approaches in her medical practice. She's been a great resource for accurate coronavirus information since the pandemic began. I interviewed her in Episode 154 about COVID-19 infections among people with autoimmune disease and what factors increased vs. decreased our risk. I invited her back onto the podcast today to talk about vaccines. This is a topic many of you requested when the vaccines first became available in early 2021. At that time, there was no data on people with autoimmune disease because we weren't included in the initial research studies. Now, enough people have been vaccinated that the data is available, and we'll be sharing it with you today.
  • Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

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  • Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

    Episode 186: How to Ask for Help with Kalene Khan

    1:06:44

    Human beings depend on each other. Sometimes we give help, and sometimes we receive it, but many of us are much more comfortable in the giving role. Autoimmune disease can turn the tables quickly. Suddenly, we’re in a position where we need help more often. If we were the caregivers before, how do we navigate this change in identity? How do we face the fears that may arise - of vulnerability, feeling weak, being seen as a burden, or people saying no? If you took pride in your independence, do you feel shame if you need help? There are gifts that come with learning to receive: a deeper intimacy in relationships, a greater sense of self-compassion, a more expansive sense of identity, and a stronger connection with humanity. But that doesn’t mean it’s an easy transformation. My guest is Kalene Khan, a licensed therapist who specializes in self-compassion. She helps people learn to be as kind to themselves as they are to others. She is our guide for this conversation today.
  • Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

    Episode 185: Eye Health and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Rani Banik

    57:49

    I have two friends who were diagnosed with autoimmune disease through a referral from their ophthalmologist. Their first symptoms appeared in their eyes. Across diagnoses, this is common. Eye pain, dryness, swelling, inflammation, vision loss, and double vision - almost every autoimmune diagnosis can include eye symptoms. This is why an ophthalmologist is an important person to have on our healthcare team. Today, we're lucky enough to have an integrative ophthalmologist on the podcast. Dr. Rani Banik is a board-certified neuro-ophthalmologist with over 20 years of medical experience as a clinician, educator, and researcher. She also has specialized training in functional medicine and treats her patients from a holistic perspective.
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    Episode 184: Anti-Inflammatory Supplements with Dr. Amy Nett

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    Inflammation is a root cause for most chronic disease and it’s a major player in autoimmune disease. That’s why most doctors track inflammation on blood tests, because it often corresponds to autoimmune activity. Many patients find anti-inflammatory supplements helpful. Which ones have the most science behind them? How do they each work in our bodies to reduce inflammation? And how can you tell if one might be helpful for you? These are the questions we’ll be answering today, and we’re focusing on three popular supplements: fish oil, curcumin, and quercetin. My guest is Dr. Amy Nett. She’s a medical doctor whose specialty is functional and integrative medicine, and many of her patients have autoimmune disease.
  • Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

    Episode 183: Detoxifying Foods with Andrea Nakayama

    1:04:24

    Our bodies naturally have the ability to detoxify and do it every single day. However, problems can develop, and that's not uncommon with autoimmune disease. The answer isn't an aggressive "cleanse" where we try to force our bodies to do a year's worth of detox in 30 days. Instead, we need to support our bodies year-round. There are foods that support our detox pathways, and foods that can interfere with them. That's what today's podcast is all about. My guest is Andrea Nakayama, a world-renowned functional nutritionist and educator, whose mission is to change the way we do healthcare by empowering patients to reclaim ownership over their own health.
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    Episode 182: Big Decisions – Big Results

    1:10:14

    When it comes to a healing lifestyle, our daily choices matter. Small steps and habits add up over time, and many of my podcasts teach those skills. Today, we're going in a different direction. There are times when the big picture is overwhelming everything else. It might be a toxic job, a toxic relationship, or a toxic home. Change is rarely easy, even in difficult situations. Sometimes you need to wait for the right time and opportunity. Sometimes it's a matter of courage. Other times it's a matter of resources. Usually, it's a combination of these things. Today, I'm sharing three inspiring stories of people who made big changes for their health. Lucia moved to a new country. Stephanie left a toxic job. And Irene left an abusive relationship.
  • Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

    Episode 181: Overcoming Bias with Anu Gupta

    55:42

    One thing I love about the autoimmune community in general and the Phoenix Helix community specifically is that we care deeply about each other. We lift each other up, with the goal of living our healthiest and happiest lives. Health involves both self-care and community care, and today's podcast is a blend of the two. I’ve talked about the impact of racism in two prior podcasts. Episode 153 focused on racism in healthcare. Episode 178 focused on racial trauma. In both episodes I mentioned that overcoming our own unconscious biases can be a powerful first step in helping overcome racism within our society. There is much beyond our control, but this is something we can change. We're approaching this conversation with love rather than judgment. My guest is Anu Gupta. He’s developed a compassion-based, scientific approach to overcoming bias and addressing the root causes of racism and other inequalities within our culture. He is a research scientist and educator, and simply a warm, wise and wonderful person.
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    Episode 180: Body Image and Autoimmune Disease

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    With an autoimmune diagnosis, we are told that we have a disease for which there is no cure. It can be shocking and immediately change how we see ourselves. It's not uncommon to feel betrayed by our bodies. Symptoms can also dramatically change our abilities, impacting careers, hobbies, and roles within families. Many of us go through an identity crisis – no longer feeling like the person we were before. Then there's the impact of having a visible vs. invisible illness. Some autoimmune diseases change our physical appearance and how others interact with us. Whereas others have symptoms that are hidden, often inspiring disbelief in the pain that can't be seen. Today, four people with autoimmune disease (including myself) share our experiences with how our body image has changed since diagnosis
  • Phoenix Helix: Autoimmune Health podcast

    Episode 179: Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease with Dr. William Mitchell

    53:59

    Vitamin D is one of the most commonly recommended supplements for people with autoimmune disease, because it's essential to immune system regulation. How do you know if you're deficient? When is sunshine the best source, and when is supplementing a better option? Can you take too much vitamin D? We'll be answering these questions and more in today's podcast. My guest is Dr. William Mitchell, a naturopathic doctor whose expertise is autoimmune disease.

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