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For more information about services at the Clinic, contact:

Bhavna Vaidya-Tank, MD

8020 Creedmoor Road
Raleigh, NC 27613

Telephone: (919) 322-2844

2076 NC Highway 42, Suite 230 Clayton, NC 27520
(next to new JMC Hospital)

Telephone: (919) 553-5711
Specialty Services (Nutrition, Telehealth, Behavioral Wellness): (919) 237-1337
Pharmacy Services:
(919) 322-4726

When Stress Becomes Toxic

“I would put stress at the top of any list of ‘toxins’ that threaten our health,” observes Dr. Bhavna Vaidya-Tank, of Regenesis MD. “And for the past few years, COVID-19 has topped the list of stressors confronting us.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank checks to ensure
the IV set-up is ready for an
incoming patient.

“The disease itself is a dangerous one,” she says, “but its impact is much broader than that. The world we live in now—impacted in so many ways by the pandemic—is one of high stress, uncertainty, anxiety—all very harmful toxins. In addition, COVID’s legacy includes more violence and suicide across our society.

“And we cannot forget that COVID is still with us—still a very real threat. COVID itself causes an inflammatory cascade in the body, almost like an autoimmune disease for some people. And, ironically, a disease that can trigger stress and anxiety can also be worsened by those very same factors. This is something we see first-hand at Regenesis MD.

“COVID has affected us in the short term, but it’s also going to affect us longer term,” warns Dr. Vaidya-Tank. “Your body simply isn’t designed for long-term stress, which can decrease the effectiveness of your immune system. You break and then you get sicker. What that means is that any subsequent medical challenge—whether from COVID or changes due to aging—will take a harsher toll on the body and impair your ability to recover.”

Many Layers of Stress

But, even for those who have not contracted Covid, the unsettling nature of the last few years has led to a spike in mental health problems and issues. “We practice integrated functional medicine, so we find everything to be interconnected,” says Dr. Vaidya-Tank. “The mental health crisis that is affecting America right now is a big deal. And the excessive stress is causing so many other problems.

“The stress adds up. You or a family member may have had COVID or are simply worried about it. Disruptions in your work life and your kids’ schooling are powerful stressors. Maybe you’ve faced loss of work or financial strains; maybe you’re not enjoying your work; or maybe it’s just the overwhelming stress of an uncertain future.

“All these factors add to the pressures we’re feeling in everyday life—pressures that are reflected in our relationships, our emotions, and—ultimately—our bodies. What I’m seeing too often now in my patients,” notes Dr. Vaidya-Tank, “is that everyone is stressed out and don’t seem to know how to deal with their emotions. They eat them or they drink them; they abuse alcohol and drugs; and they lash out at other people within the home. This type of emotional violence gives rise to what I call ‘toxic people.’”

Infectious Stress

The stress overload is understandable, notes Dr. Vaidya-Tank. “A typical patient at Regenesis MD,” she says, “is a woman in her 40s or 50s who’s the caretaker of the family. She’s stressed out because she’s carrying everybody else’s stress. And she’s at an age where she’s also likely to be going through a hormonal roller coaster, leaving her feeling simultaneously ‘wired and tired.’

“Chronic, high levels of stress will produce a multi-level cascade of negative health impacts,” she explains. “For example, it can generate high cortisol levels, which, in turn, leads to metabolic syndrome and weight gain or other chronic health issues.

“A recent patient illustrates this pattern; I’ll call her ‘Linda.’ Linda’s health had been substantially damaged by just such factors, and then—with COVID—came the added layer of stress from uncertainty that brought her to a near-breaking point where she came here demanding: ‘I need you to fix this—now!’ Additionally, her entire family all showed signs of stress from living with her ‘type A’ personality. That’s what I mean by ‘infectious stress.’ This over-stressed mom had contaminated her whole family. By helping Linda regain her balance, I knew we would help the rest of the family.”

Despite Linda’s impatience, Dr. Vaidya-Tank emphasized the importance of a comprehensive assessment and integrative treatment approach. “Integrative medicine embraces whole health,” she explains. “We understand that mental and emotional health have profound impact on physical health—and vice versa. You really can’t separate them. Stress becomes inflammation; inflammation is at the root of all physical problems and impairs our ability—physically and emotionally—to cope with the stressors we face every day.

“Physical interventions—to reduce inflammation, to repair injury and illness—can make a huge difference not only in addressing physical symptoms, but impact emotional issues as well. And we find that by addressing fundamental physical issues, we’re well on our way to reducing stress.

NAD IV Therapy: Healing at the
Cell Level

“NAD stands for Nicotinamide Adenine Dinuculeotide,” says Dr. Vaidya-Tank, “which is an essential molecule found in every cell in the body. It is a key building block for a healthy body that the brain, our internal organs, and neurological systems need to function at optimal efficiency. NAD therapy is simply a high-dose infusion of NAD directly into the bloodstream.

“When your NAD levels are increased,” she explains, “your cells produce more energy, your good genes are ‘turned on,’ DNA is repaired, and many other functions are optimized. Increased NAD levels work to repair cells throughout the body and neurons in the brain. Since NAD is such a powerful and prolific molecule in the body, high dose IV therapy is considered a systemic, ‘reboot’ of the body and brain.”

Therapy involves an intravenous infusion of NAD directly into the bloodstream. This approach allows NAD to bypass the digestive system for better absorption.

“In most cases at Regenesis MD,” notes Dr. Vaidya-Tank, “those physical interventions begin with fundamentals: gut health and hormonal balance. And that’s where we began with Linda. We started her on a course of NAD therapy (see box) as part of an integrative course of treatment also involving hormone balance, gut health, and more. Linda became a lot more mellow with the NAD treatment—and that allowed her to become open to other lifestyle changes and health improvements. In this case, ‘fixing’ the mom really helped the whole family.”

NAD Therapy: A Powerful Response to Today’s Toxins

Dr. Vaidya-Tank has seen equally dramatic effects with other patients from NAD infusions. “I’ve seen profound improvements in cases as varied as dementia, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), and long-COVID” she says. “As with Linda, it’s not the NAD therapy alone that creates these success stories, but NAD can often be a jump-start to help people begin to function and feel better even as they work on other areas.

“We see a lot of people with long-term COVID symptoms and long-term fatigue from COVID,” she says. “While there’s not yet much research on long-COVID, we find it is similar to many autoimmune conditions such as fibromyalgia or lupus, where individuals can experience debilitating fatigue and malaise. And we’re finding that many of the same integrative strategies apply when working with long-COVID patients.

“Our approach is comprehensive and effective: we assess nutrient sufficiency and hormone balance; rebalance and repair gut health; and accelerate nutrient replenishment and lower inflammation through nutritional infusions. It’s a holistic approach that really works.”