Here are a few frequently asked questions for folks new to my practice.
If you need more information, please give my office a call, email or use my contact form.
A frequent conversation I have with my patients is why laboratory testing (of any kind) may be a good idea. I'm not one to order labs "just because". I think when I order a lab, I should have a pretty good reason and way to treat the patient based on the results.
One of the many specialty and functional medicine tests I offer is a stool test from Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory called the GI MAP (Gastrointestinal Microbial Assay Plus). This is a stool test (yes, it requires a poo sample!) uses cutting edge technology called PCR (polymerase chain reaction) which helps pick up tiny traces of gut bugs in the stool sample. GI MAP takes a look at what good bugs (normal bacteria), ok bugs, and not good bugs (bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, worms, etc) might be lurking in the gastrointestinal tract. The test also assesses for inflammation, immune health, and digestive function.
I will quite frequently find infections on the GI MAP that other tests missed. The test will also gives us a sense of the level of dysbiosis (a condition where typically normal bacteria in the gut appear in abnormally low or high numbers) -- which is extremely helpful when it comes to recovering from many chronic conditions.
I order this test for patients with digestive complaints, yes, but that's not all. Here's a short (but not exhaustive) list of patient conditions when I might order the GI MAP test:
If you have questions about whether the GI MAP is right for you, please reach out to me! I'd love to talk to you about your concerns.
I'm excited to announce that the first products in my line of supplements are due to arrive soon and I can't wait to share them with you!
The Gut Health Series 1-3-5 is a complete package, formulated to assist in many digestive complaints. Using each of the supplements separately is great, but together they are absolutely stellar.
I believe that all of your health and well-being starts in your gut. If you're not absorbing the good food you're feeding your body, what good is it? Using the Gut Health Series 1-3-5 can help you improve your digestive power and efficiency.
I've been recommending supplement combinations like these for most of my nearly 10 years in clinical practice. Now I'm proud to say I finally have formulations I love enough to call my own.
Absorb the nutrients you eat, heal your gut and find out how much better you can feel!
About the Products
G1 offers nutrients and herbs made to support the gut lining.
G3 is a full spectrum mixture of digestive enzymes made to help with complete digestion.
G5 is a 50 billion CFU probiotic formulated with fully researched strains and dosages.
A few years ago I wrote a blog post called "Your Solar Rockstar: Vitamin D3" and I think it's time to revisit it. Below are my current feelings on the importance of vitamin D for your health and vitality...
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients you may be lacking in right now. Vitamin D3 (the active form of vitamin D) is actually considered a hormone which is produced naturally in your body through a complex process. UV rays interact with cholesterol in your skin to produce a compound which is then activated further by the liver and the kidneys - and, voila! Active vitamin D3 is born. Dietary sources of actual vitamin D3 are scarce, so our body's own production of this vitamin/hormone are key! The unfortunate thing, however, is that there are many risk factors for being vitamin D3 deficient.
Risk factors for Vitamin D3 deficiency:
Do any of these risk factors apply to you?
If we are low in Vitamin D3, what are the risks? In severe deficiency, a condition called rickets in kids and osteomalacia in adults may develop. In both of these conditions, there may be seriously debilitating issues with bones and muscles. In less severe deficiencies, the effects are undoubtedly more frequent, far-reaching and, frankly, unrecognized.
Here are just a few conditions which are linked to Vitamin D3 status:
Here's a list of the best ways to improve your vitamin D3 status naturally:
In my practice most of my patients, when tested, come back with suboptimal vitamin D3 levels. What is optimal? I consider 60-80 ng/mL optimal - whereas many lab normal ranges are around 30-100 ng/mL. Many of my patients who were told they had "great" vitamin D3 levels were still at risk for some of the vitamin D3 deficiency-related diseases mentioned above.
If you're at all concerned about your Vitamin D3 level, talk to your healthcare provider about getting a blood test. The best way to avoid suboptimal vitamin D3 levels and the accompanying risks is to get tested.
If you have more questions, please reach out to me! I'd love to help you.
I was fortunate enough to get one of the Covid 19 vaccines just last week on Weds Jan 6. This vaccine is an mRNA vaccine - meaning it contains small amounts of genetic material which allows our own cells to make a harmless protein present on the outside of the virus we're fighting.
I'd like to tell you about my experience getting the vaccine and give you some additional info about the shot:
I am not a "pro-vaccine" or "anti-vaccine" person or physician. I am pro choosing what makes the most sense in each situation. For myself, it made the most sense for me to get a vaccination and for some people it doesn't make sense. Here are the reasons I was not worried and chose to opt for it: I have no history of allergies to vaccinations or any medications, I am overall healthy, I was feeling well on the day of the vaccination, and I have no desire to experience Covid-19 and its possible longterm side effect - Also, I don't want to spread it to my patients, family or friends.
Here are some things about the vaccine that you should know:
For More: For further & more detailed reading from a Naturopathic perspective on the vaccine, one of the great doctors in my field, Dr. Paul Herscu wrote this letter.
Well, it's finally here - Winter! We are just 3 days away from the Winter Solstice and I can't help but think about the delightful symbolism of light in the darkness up here in the northern hemisphere this time of year. The sun sets earlier and earlier, the sky seems darker each morning and I wonder "how much longer?" - the answer: 3 days! On the Winter Solstice the days will begin to get ever so slightly longer, bringing more light into these cold days.
There is something so refreshing and cleansing about the cold and I'm grateful to live in a place that does get pretty cold. There are many physical changes our bodies have to undergo to get used to colder, wetter, wintry weather and I'd like to give you a few of my "secrets" for getting more cold-weather hardy.
I do my best to practice what I preach - that's why I take a whole bunch of supplements every morning! I believe taking supplements is a great way to fill in the gaps in our diets, defend our bodies from invaders like viruses and bacteria, improve our moods and digestion. Supplements aren't the end-all answer for every problem but they can truly do great things when they're a part of a great treatment plan.
I have been thinking about what my "desert island supplement" would be - that is, the one supplement I would grab having no other options... and I picked one! The supplement I'm thinking of is a superstar when it comes to the digestive system and getting nutrients into the body from the diet. This is also something I recommend frequently because it works, it's reasonably priced and the quality is great.
The supplement I'm talking about is Super Enzymes from Now! Supplements. This product contains not only a full spectrum of enzymes to help break down proteins, fats & carbohydrates -- but it also contains HCl or stomach acid.
These enzymes and acids are a potent combination which fight:
They also promote:
I typically recommend taking one capsule with each meal - start slowly and make sure you tolerate it well. This is a great product to take traveling or if you go out to eat - when you might be eating new or questionable foods.
Click on the link below to order Super Enzymes and try it today!
Do you think you're hydrated? Think again. In my patients I find lack of hydration to be a common contributor to headaches, muscle tension, constipation, fatigue, poor mood and lack of appetite control. Dehydration doesn't just apply to hardcore athletes and people working in the hot sun. I see signs of dehydration in blood work all the time, and it's important that we take note. Getting in enough water, electrolytes and ABSORBING it are key to maintaining hydration.
This article from NPR's health blog "Shots" makes an excellent argument for the benefits of being perfectly hydrated.
Here are the takeaways from this July 2018 article, called "Off Your Mental Game? You Could Be Mildly Dehydrated":
I am grateful for a lot these days. One thing I'm grateful for is technology. Having reliable internet, a good computer and a quiet space to work at home has never felt like such a collection of luxuries. Since the pandemic began, I have taken my practice 80-90% online. In light of these changes, I decided it would be good to tell you a little more via some Q&As you might find helpful.
I am writing to you at the completion of my 14 day Spring Clean Cleanse and on day 45 of stay-at-home due to the Coronavirus. What a wild ride!
My goals for my Spring Clean Cleanse:
- Reduce intake of inflammatory foods
- Interrupt my eating-for-comfort patterns
- Improve my skin (acne and eczema had cropped up)
Over the last 2 weeks, I haven't been perfect on my own plan. I admitted in an earlier post that shopping as been difficult and the amount of stress we have all been under has been exceptional. I really did my best to relax my expectations of myself this time around and just see what happened. Great news! I met my goals and I'm feeling better on this side of the 2 weeks -- my skin calmed down (eczema and acne improved! woo hoo!), I restarted upping my intake of fruits and veggies in the face of comfort-eating desires and also restarted paying more attention to ingredients in my foods.
Typically after a cleanse process, I like to slowly reintroduce foods individually to see what might be causing me issues. That's the ideal way to come out of a cleanse... so that's my next step.
If you've been thinking about doing a cleanse, try this one. It's really very low commitment, the document itself is so pretty, and you might see some cool changes in your body and your behaviors. I'll grade myself at about a B to B+ this time around, which is fine with me. I'm all about accepting my imperfections at this point. :)