How to Treat the Flu with Homeopathy

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 10:25
Posted in category Healthy Living

If you do get the flu, homeopathy is a great, non-toxic, incredibly effective way to get rid of it.Homeopathics

The trick to using homeopathy is finding the remedy that is right for your flu. It is not based on the bug that you caught. It is based on how your body has responded, and what your individual symptoms are. So, obviously, there is not ONE homeopathic remedy for the flu – there are several hundred remedies. Here are a few of the most common remedies.

You may have seen Oscillococcinum in the stores. This is a general remedy for a flu if you feel stiff all over, and sensitive to cold. You may be shivering, have headaches, abdominal cramping and diarrhea,  and needle-like pain in your ears. Even though you are cold, you might feel better in fresh air.

If you have the flu and it has you feeling drowsy, dull and unable to concentrate, and so completely exhausted that it is hard to lift your head off the pillow or keep your eyes open, you need GELSEMIUM.

If instead you have that deep ache that reaches to your bones, you feel sore just from sitting down, and you are so restless that you can’t get comfortable; plus you feel much worse in cold, wet weather, you are more likely to need EUPATORIUM.

If the pounding headaches are the worst symptom, you are irritable and can’t stand even the slightest bit of motion…BRYONIA is your remedy of choice.  When people need bryonia, they are also incredibly thirsty and dry, and feel much worse in a hot room.

A flu that would benefit from BELLADONNA is one where your face is very red including lips and sometimes your tongue. Your head will be hot, but your extremities may be cold. The flu symptoms and fever come on very fast. Even though you are hot, you may not be sweating.

Typically I recommend getting a 30C dose, and taking it 3-4 times a day. Once you start to get sick, the sooner you can take your remedy, the better it will work.

The Flu is Not a Season!!! 

Monday, December 14, 2015 17:55
Posted in category Healthy Living

The flu is a viral infection that invades your body because your immune system isn’t strong enough to quickly fight it off.

Here are some quick reminders about the things that lower your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to getting the flu:

  • Stress
  • Sugar
  • Not Sleeping well
  • Low nutrition from eating nutrient-absent foods
  • Low nutrition from an inability to absorb nutrients from your food
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Dirty Hands
  • Alcohol

And, of course, how to prevent that from happening:

  • Do your best to avoid sugar, and at the VERY least, try to have protein with any bit of sugar to try to mitigate the effect a bit.
  • Get to bed on time! And, if you have a hard time relaxing after a stressful day, take an Epsom Salt bath. Not only does this help rid your body of toxins, but it is relaxing to your muscles and can help you sleep. 4 cups of salts per bath to get a good effect.
  • Eat your vegetables (especially the dark, leafy, green ones) and chew them slowly! This sounds silly, but can make a HUGE difference in how much your body absorbs!
  • Drink Tea! Green Tea is a wonderful immune support and anti-oxidant.
  • And the obvious…
    • Drink your water, wash your hands and try not to over-indulge.

Your body will say YES….until it can’t.

Monday, December 14, 2015 14:24
Posted in category Healthy Living

I just saw a post on “The Oatmeal” with a picture of a mug that says “A Nice Big Cup of Nope”. I know we’ve all had those days, or nights, or moments. Even though you want to say “no”, how often do you say “yes” anyway? I tend to do this a lot. Sometimes it is to my detriment because it really isn’t true to what my body and soul need. Sometimes it is to my benefit because I end up doing more than I ever thought possible, simply by saying “yes”.

As I was thinking about this I had a memory of one of my favorite mentors. He taught my favorite classes in medical school. They were the classes that taught me who I wanted to be as a Naturopathic Doctor, not just what I was going to do. One day, he was talking about the concept of “making up for it tomorrow”. You know those stories we tell ourselves. I’ll have the extra piece of pie tonight, but I’m going for a long run in the morning. Or I’ll have that second glass of wine tonight, but I’ll have extra kale tomorrow.

Unfortunately, our bodies don’t get to take the night off from processing whatever we throw at them. If you eat something with a ton of sugar in it, your body still has to process it tonight, no matter what you do tomorrow. An extra glass of wine still taxes your liver tonight, no matter how much liver support you ingest tomorrow.

This is a reminder to myself as much as it is to any of you. Your body will say “yes” to you as long as it possibly can. It will do it’s best to deal with whatever you throw at it….until it can’t. Consider giving your body less to “deal with”, so that, over time, it doesn’t have to give up.

 

(And, yes, now I’m really thinking about a few new ideas for this January Cleanse I’m going to do)

Food Sensitivities Versus Allergies

Sunday, December 13, 2015 22:38
Posted in category Healthy Living

What is the difference between a food sensitivity and an an actual allergy? To put it simply, I believe that sensitivities are reactions that develop over time, versus allergies which are more of an inherent, genetic reaction. My second belief is that if a sensitivity can develop, it can also be healed. Allergies are something I believe can be lessened, but with the amount of knowledge I have so far, I have yet to see them completely heal.

An unhealthy digestive tract is at the root of how food sensitivities develop. With an unhealthy digestive tract, the food you eat can not be broken down into microscopic, recognizable pieces. Instead, your food is broken into larger, unrecognizable chunks. When your immune system greets those chunks, it wages a small war against them as if they were evil foreign invaders. Once tagged as evil, that food is now on the “do not let enter” list, so it is immediately attacked every time it attempts entry. Thus, you now have a reaction every time you eat that food.

This is where many doctors will ask you to remove from your diet the foods your are sensitive to. While I do believe this is part of the solution, I believe removing the food is only temporary. Healing your digestive tract is the true treatment for the issue, so that you can go back to eating those foods without the reaction. Think about this: if you remove the foods you are sensitive to, but you do not heal your digestive tract, your immune system will simply find a new food to react to. Then what? Do you remove that food from your diet too? And then the next? And the next?

Food Allergies, on the other hand, are similar to bee stings that cause you to stop breathing. These are a completely different reaction that have nothing to do with your digestive tract, but a genetic, immune reaction to a certain food. The common Allergies are to peanuts, and to gluten, in those with Celiac disease.

How to heal your digestive tract is a post for another day. Just remember that it IS fixable!

You Know you Live with a Naturopathic Doctor When…

Friday, December 11, 2015 21:39
Posted in category Healthy Living

You know you live withe a Naturopathic Doctor when:

  1. You eat a food you are sensitive to, and your housemate hands you a digestive enzyme and some Fish Oil before Beerglutamine.
  2. Your wine always comes with a side of Molybdenum
  3. When you splurge on organic, free-range chicken and dairy-free cheese, and she makes kale chips, so you have “something green” with your meal
  4. You laugh at all of the silly things you do, that you KNOW make you feel better
  5. After 1 night of not sleeping well, you come home to an epsom salt bath, and a magnesium/theanine “cocktail”
  6. You son will NEVER ask to play hooky again, under the threat of having to get a therapeutic IV
  7. You can never again say “I just don’t feel well” without 400 follow-up questions that lead to a diagnosis AND treatment.
  8. Bowel Movement quality is a normal part of your breakfast conversation
  9. Instead of taking your possibly-pregnant turtle to the vet, you google “How to be a Turtle’s Midwife”
  10. Your BIonicles can no longer be pigeon-toed, because they will receive proper adjustments and realignment techniques.
  11. You can literally hear their eyes roll at the inaccuracies when you watch Grey’s Anatomy.
  12. You pour Fish Oil and B-vitamins into your mouth, and then you reach for a beer.

How to Stay Balanced While On Birth Control Pills

Thursday, December 10, 2015 21:24
Posted in category Healthy Living

Most medications deplete a few or many nutrients from your body, whether as a part of the way they function, or as a side effect of their intent.

Today I want to give you a quick reminder for the basic nutrients that Birth Control Pills deplete. Keep in mind that pilleach type of pill is a little different, so I’m generalizing a bit. The point is that if you are using Oral Contraceptives (OCPs) for birth control, you will deplete these vitamins and are now at a higher risk for depression, heart disease, cancers, a lowered immune system and more.

In my office, I see these deficiencies in women who had been taking OCPs and are now trying to get pregnant, but are having difficulties. Depletion of these vitamins puts you at a higher risk for miscarriages and birth defects. I also see women who are taking OCPs to help with menstrual issues. The issues get better at first, but then get worse because they have depleted these nutrients, making the original imbalance even worse.

So, to the point, if you are taking OCPs, I would recommend you take the following:

  • B-Complex – especially Riboflavin, B6, B12, and folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium

Most of these can be obtained in a good quality multivitamin, so don’t feel like you need to take a hundred pills, but please take them!

 

Waiting on a Turtle (or “My Medical Degree Versus Google”)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 21:55
Posted in category Healthy Living

It is day 3. We think she’s ready, but how do we really know? She seems more tired tonight, but is it just that google searchinward concentration that women find when they are about to give birth? WE HAVE NO IDEA! But we’re guessing, and we’re encouraging her, and we’re soothing her, and we’re patiently waiting.

If you happen to know anything about Red-Eared Slider Turtles, we’d love to hear your thoughts….truly. Currently we are gently moving her from her tank to a soil-filled enclosure that we imagine is suitable for egg-laying.

This turtle, her owner, and her owner’s mother (also one of my dearest friends) moved in with me recently. As far as pets go, a turtle seemed pretty easy. As far as I could tell, you feed her, watch her hang out in the water and on her rocks, clean her tank every so often, and that’s it. Uhhhhh, that is until you collectively decide that the turtle is about to lay eggs. Immaculate conception? Apparently not, but that’s not entirely relevant tonight.

Aside from the excitement of the possibility of babies (okay, just eggs, but still), there is the fact that all of the “knowledge” we’ve gathered thus far, to aid this living being in the potential of creating new life, or at the very least, completing a process that nature intended, has been obtained from the source that I lovingly refer to as “Dr. Google”.

Every time I find myself judging someone else for anything, I try to take a hard look at how I might be doing something similar. I do my best to use it as a personal growth opportunity. So, I have to admit that I used to DESPISE when someone would sit in front of me and tell me about the solution to their issue that they found on the internet. Good ol’ Dr. Google. However, I have to be honest. I do the same thing. I google my plumbing issues and fix them myself. I google gardening tips for my ailing plants and help my plants grow. As you now know, I google veterinary issues about turtles and think I might know how to help a turtle lay eggs.

The other thing that I am VERY cautious about is that if my Google knowledge is even close to its limit of helpfulness, I will….call the plumber, text the gardner, or take my pet to the vet. And, yes, I risk the chance of it being too late, but I also really do trust my intuition in these cases.

Over the years, my perspective has shifted. I really, truly appreciate when patients look things up on Google and bring them to me to talk about. I absolutely LOVE when people are willing to do whatever they need to do to truly fix their health issues. I also get to learn what is out there in the world of information. I will gladly take it and incorporate it with my own knowledge to help whomever I can.

So, here it is from my standpoint:

  1. The more knowledge we have, the better
  2. Always be willing to talk to experts in their field (and don’t limit yourself to only 1, if it doesn’t satisfy you desires)
  3. Be willing to try and experience new things
  4. Be excited to see how our turtle story turns out 🙂

 

Don’t Cook with Olive Oil

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 9:53
Posted in category Healthy Living

It’s true. I’m a Naturopathic Doctor who knows the amazing health benefits of olive oil, and I’m telling you Coconut Oil in a PanNOT to cook with it. Bear with me.

It is very simple. Olive Oil is great for you, as long as it is not heated to its smoking point. Once you reach this point, every benefit of this great fat is now reversed and the oil can actually become harmful to you. Olive oil happens to have a relatively low smoking point, so it is easily reached if you put it in a frying pan. In essence, you could quickly turn an incredibly healthy stir-fry into a toxic soup. Instead, cook your food, then use olive oil to top it off after it is out of the pan.

Things like coconut oil, ghee and avocado oil, on the other hand, have much higher smoking points. So you can use these for cooking and sautéing.

Simply put:

  • Cook with Coconut Oil
  • Use Olive Oil as a Drizzle.

Did I “Survive” Cancer? (and a little advice)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 18:12
Posted in category Healthy Living

December 7th, 1999. For all of us, this date was important because it was the 58th anniversary of the bombingSuccess of Pearl Harbor. For me, this is also the day I took my Biochemistry final during my first quarter of medical school. It was one of the hardest exams of my life and I managed to get a 97% on it. These are not details I would normally remember, except for the fact that I left that exam and saw that I had a message on my cell phone. Knowing who it was from, I waited until I got home to listen to it. My surgeon’s voice was on the other end of that line through the ethers telling me gently and directly that I had cancer. All I remember thinking at that point was, “Huh. Now what?”

That was 16 years ago. I’ve tended to talk about it as “just a blip” in the road that is my life. I tell people that it doesn’t define me. I don’t intentionally wear pink. I don’t dwell on it. Last week something happened that made me question if my lack of focus on my cancer, is actually discounting my entire experience. I came home Thursday night and cried, and it took me by surprise. I was lucky enough to be invited by a dear friend to attend the last annual dinner for the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund. At one point in the evening, the emcee asked all cancer survivors to stand. My immediate response was to wonder if I should stand or not. I quickly chose to stand, but not because I think of myself as a “survivor”. It was actually because people who know me were in the audience.

What keeps me from standing up? It’s not that I’m embarrassed to be acknowledged for something I’ve done. It’s that I don’t feel like I’ve done anything. I don’t feel like I “survived” anything. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything heroic or worth acknowledgement. I didn’t do the traditional chemo or radiation. I made my own path with different chemo-therapeutic drugs, along with Naturopathic therapies. It wasn’t easy or fun, but part of me feels I don’t deserve to stand with the people who have endured those other things. I’m still struggling with this, and am not sure where these thoughts will take me. However, there is one thing that I KNOW I did, and I use this to help others, so perhaps I can focus on that for now.

I did one simple thing. I made my own choices. That’s it. Okay, maybe it’s not that simple, but it is definitely my best advice to all patients I see who’ve been diagnosed with cancer. I was lucky enough to find one doctor that helped me see that, despite completely opposing views from the top 4 oncologists in Seattle.

If you or someone you know is diagnosed with cancer, here are my words of wisdom:

  1. Do NOT rush into anything, no matter who scares you into thinking you have to. You have time to make the decision that is right for you. Take it!
  2. Gather enough information to make an informed decision.

We have so much research on cancer and survival rates now. Having these numbers can really help you make a decision.

For example: if surgery reduces your risk of recurrence to 10%, and adding chemotherapy to that decreases your risk of recurrence to 8%, you now have enough information to decide if it is worth it for you, as opposed to making your decision simply from the fear of a recurrence.

3. Love your team! There are enough Naturopaths, oncologists, radiologists and surgeons, that you should spend a little time making sure you have the one that works for YOU. These are the people you will trust with life-changing decisions. Don’t settle for someone you don’t love. (Okay, I did kinda make one exception to my rule, and this was with my plastic surgeon. He simply didn’t have the bedside manner that was warm and fuzzy and supportive like the rest of my team. However, he was a perfectionist, and that was what I wanted from someone who would be rebuilding me. So, he was perfect for my team, even if not in the warm, fuzzy way).

Hmmmmm…..

4. I may need to start adding another this one to my list, and that is to give yourself credit for however, and whatever you do. As you now know, I’m still working on this one.

 

6 of My Favorite Ways to Heal Your Adrenal Glands

Monday, December 7, 2015 18:54
Posted in category Healthy Living

Are you tired? Do you feel like your adrenals have fallen into a hole and they can’t get out?

Here are some of my favorite things to help:

1. Eat Salt – Many people with fatigue crave salt. In my opinion, you should eat it! Especially if it is truly a good Himalayan salt (not just salt died pink). Table salt has 2 minerals in it. Sea salt can have 6-8 minerals in it. Himalayan salt can have 84. And replenishing all of these minerals helps to fuel your adrenal glands. This is especially important if you are someone who exercises and sweats a lot.

2. Avoid Caffeine – The way caffeine works is by kicking your adrenals to push out more cortisol. This is not helpful in the long run, even though you might feel better for a moment.

3. Drink Calming Teas at Night – By helping your adrenals to calm down and get a good night’s rest, they will have a better chance of working the following day.

  • Some of my favorites are: Passionflower, LemonBalm, and Chamomile.
  • Try one or try mixing them together to get a better synergistic effect.

4. Always Eat Protein – The more balanced your blood sugar is, the less work your adrenals have to do to keep you balanced, and the more they can get back to their normal job.

So, no matter what you eat, always try to balance it with a little protein. Even if you are having an apple for a snack, try having a spoonful of almond or peanut-butter with it. If you have a salad, make sure it has chicken or nuts and beans on it.

 

5. Herbs – My favorite combination is to mix Rhodiola, Eleutherococcus, and Glycyrrhiza.

I prefer to use these herbs in a tincture or glycerite, and would recommend 30 drops in the morning at 30 drops at lunch time.

The other herb that works really well is Ashwaghanda. It is adaptogenic, so it adapts to what your body needs, while helping your body adapt to the amount of stress it is dealing with.

    • ****If you already have high blood pressure, you need to be careful with Glycyrrhiza because it can exacerbate hypertension.
    • ****Please note that no herbs can be recommended during pregnancy.
    • ****Also, even though these are some of my best tolerated herbs, everyone is different. If you do not feel well taking them, please stop.
    • ****Lastly, if you already know you are sensitive to herbs (or supplements or medications), start with 1, then add the others in one at a time.

 

6. B12 Shots – Another personal favorite to give your adrenal glands a little replenishment. You can take B12 sublingually, but it will never be as effective as it is in a shot. It is difficult to absorb, so getting it straight into your blood stream is the best. I use the sublingual versions between injections to try to maintain your levels a little longer.