Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The ECO Project:
Bob’s Red Mill, an internationally known whole grain company based in Oregon, and NCNM, the National College of Natural Medicine, have teamed up to address the many issues that are contributing to the high rate of childhood obesity in our state. The mission of the ECO Project is to reduce chronic disease and morbidity associated with childhood obesity by empowering children, families, and communities through education to make and have access to healthy choices. The ECO Project will offer a series of twelve weekly workshops to children and families in the Portland and Gresham area that will provide education and training to both adults and children about cooking with whole foods and improving overall fitness.
How can I learn more about participating with the ECO Project?
Contact the Lead Physician, Dr. Courtney Jackson, at 503-552-1521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, May 21, 2010
Detoxification means the process of metabolizing toxins to make them less harmful or reducing toxic exposure to the body. Toxins come in all forms. Some we make, like ammonia from the breakdown of proteins, and some we are exposed to. The EPA’s National Human Adipose Tissue Study in 1982 showed that all over the country, people tested positive 100% of the time for dangerous solvents like styrene, benzene, and xylene. The body wants to safely metabolize and remove toxins in the body in order to retain balance. The major organs that are involved in this detox process include the liver, the intestines, the bladder, the lungs, and the skin. Many common symptoms that people experience in our society, such as headaches, bloating, gas, migraines, arthritis, fatigue, mood problems, acne, constipation, insomnia, and obesity can be related to the suboptimal functioning of these organs. Support your body's detox abilities with the following simple tasks:
1. Support your digestive tract by eating anti-inflammatory foods like fresh and steamed vegetables, whole fruits, seeds and sprouts, whole grains that are non-gluten, fish oils and plant oils (olive, flax, borage, black currant), free-range turkey and chicken, non-farm-raised fish, and legumes. The colored pigments in fruits and vegetables supply valuable phytochemicals that serve as antioxidants. Eat from the rainbow daily, getting at least six servings of colored foods in your diet. And, be sure to chew your food well until it liquefies before swallowing.
2. Supply health gut bugs (aka probiotics ) that will assist in the detoxification of heavy metals like cadmium and assist in the supply of important nutrients involved in detoxification, like B vitamins.
3. Do dry skin brushing before you bathe to support lymphatic movement.
4. Support circulation through the liver and lymphatic vessels with hydrotherapy, which is the simple practice of alternating hot and cold water in the shower or bath, and walk 30 minutes daily.
5. Apply castor oil packs to your belly to aid digestion. Traditional medicine hails castor oil packs as very healthy promoting for your liver. And don't forget liver-loving herbs like tumeric, dandelion leaf and root, and milk thistle.
6. Breathe deeply 100 times daily.
7. Stay well hydrated (2 liters of pure water/day for most people) to support the kidneys' filtration of your blood.
8. Laugh and cry regularly to support your healthy elimination of emotions.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease claims more lives than the next six causes of death combined and is significantly more deadly than cancer. The good news is that, to a large extent, the disease is both modifiable and preventable. Naturopathic medicine has much to offer in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.
Please take a moment to assess your current heart health status to better understand which medical conditions or lifestyle habits may increase your risk of developing heart disease. How many of the following apply to you?
- Positive Family History (Parent or sibling has heart disease.)
- High Saturated or Trans Fat Diet (Saturated fats are found in animal products. Trans fats are in deep fried and processed foods.)
- Low Complex Carbohydrate Diet (Complex carbohydrates include whole grains like oats, brown rice, and quinoa. Simple carbohydrates are processed grains like flours.
- Sedentary (Less than 30 minutes of physical activity every day)
- Symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, heart palpitations, poor circulation, or leg swelling
- Tobacco Use
- Increased Alcohol Intake (Greater than 1 alcoholic drink/day for women and greater than 2 alcoholic drinks/day for men.)
- Moderate to severe stress in life
- Elevated Blood Lipids like cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Diabetes or elevated fasting blood sugar
- African American or Hispanic
Know your body measurements that are important assessments for heart disease:
1) Body Mass Index (BMI), a function of height and weight
2) Blood Pressure
3) Waist Measurement at largest circumference
4) Waist to Hip Ratio
Consider further cardiac and metabolic evaluation IF:
· BMI is greater than 24
· Blood pressure greater than 130/85mmHg. Optimal blood pressure is around 120/80 mmHg.
· Waist measurement is greater than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men
· Waist: Hip ratio greater than .9 for men and .8 for women
Do you have baseline screening lab work to know your risks for heart disease?
The following lab work provides an important evaluation of your risks for heart disease:
· Lipid panel (including total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL, VLDL, and HDL)
· Homocysteine, Fibrinogen, and CRP-hs
· Fasting glucose and HbA1C
It is important to know your risk factors for heart disease. It is also important to be proactive in preventing common chronic diseases, such as heart disease. Lifestyle choices can make significant improvements in overall wellness. Why not begin with some heart-healthy food choices!
FOOD AND NUTRITION THAT YOUR HEART LOVES:
Grind up 2 Tablespoons of flax seed and add to your cereal, oatmeal, salad, or stir-fry. The omega-3 fatty acids and fiber are excellent for overall heart health.
Cold-water, wild fish like salmon, sardines, and halibut provide healthy fats that protect your heart and blood vessels. They promote healthy lipid ratios in your blood like raising HDL and lowering triglycerides. If you are not consuming fish weekly, consider supplementing with a fish oil. Be sure to read your labels to assess for heavy metal contamination.
Dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains can provide valuable magnesium. Magnesium can be beneficial for maintaining a healthy blood pressure and improving stress tolerance.
Chronic inflammation can contribute to heart disease. Ginger is an effective anti-inflammatory food.
Garlic’s impact on the heart is wide-ranging. It can be beneficial for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and promoting healthy lipid ratios.
The leaves and berries of this plant provide valuable flavonoids which protect your heart and blood vessels. Hawthorne can contribute to lowering blood pressure and serves as an antioxidant. Enjoy the berries in a tea or delight in the delicious extract.
This heart-healthy stalk contributes to daily insoluble fiber intake. This promotes regular, daily bowel movements, helping cholesterol to exit the body. Additionally, celery can cause a diuretic effect, which can contribute to lowering blood pressure.
An excellent source of soluble fiber, oat bran can assist with lowering cholesterol levels.
The more bitter, the better. Dark chocolate is rich is antioxidants, which are needed to protect the heart from the oxidation of LDL, known as the “bad” cholesterol.
B vitamins like folate, B12, and B6 can help the body reduce metabolites like homocysteine which are related to an increased risk for heart disease. In addition, they support the body’s ability to handle stress and to detoxify, which are both important for heart health.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
- 5-10% of HEALTHY Americans between the ages of 18-50 experience the flu, while anadditional 30-50% are infected with the flu but don't experience symptoms
- If you are infected with the flu virus, you can infect others 24 hours before symptoms develop (ie- fever, headaches, muscle aches, dry cough, sore throat, stomach symptoms) and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick
- IF YOU HAVE A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIGHT OFF THE FLU WITHOUT GETTING A VACCINATION
- If you are caring for others who are in a high-risk category to suffer significant consequences associated with the flu (ie: infants, pregnant women, hospital or clinic patients, obese people, alcoholics, people with lung disease)
- If you cannot afford to miss 7 days of work should you come down with flu-like symptoms. The vaccine can be 80-96% effective in preventing flu in healthy adults under 65 years old. (The Science Daily, September 13, 2009)
- In contrast, in adults with certain illnesses like COPD, heart disease, liver or kidney problems, immune suppression, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, or for those adults who live in a chronic-care facility, the flu shot may be safer than getting the flu.
- History of severe reaction to past flu vaccine
- Allergic to eggs
- Currently ill with a fever
- Under 6 months of age
- History of asthma (the flu shot may aggravate breathing issues and current studies are evaluating more specifically the impact of the flu shot on people with asthma)
- The October 5th, 2009 version of Science Daily reports the following degree ofprotection from the H1N1 vaccine in different age groups: a) 10-17 year olds: 76% protection from virus with a single dose of vaccine, b) less than 9 years old: 36% protection from a single dose of vaccine, and c) kids 6-35 months: 25% protection from the virus with a single dose of vaccine
- The aforementioned statistics suggest that the H1N1 vaccine doesn't appear to be very effective for young kids
- Be sure to request the mercury-free version of the flu vaccine. These are pre-filled syringes that do not contain mercury.
- Avoid the nasal version of the H1N1 vaccine IF you are a child under 2 years old or if you have a compromised immune system. The nasal version contains a live, mutated version of the H1N1 virus that some people may not be able to tolerate.
- I suggest a high dose of what my colleague, Dr. Louise Edwards, N.D., refers to as Vitamin R! This means adequate Rest and Relaxation to allow you to Rebuild and Recover from any exposure to the flu virus. If you are not sleeping well at night for approximately 8 continuous hours and you are continually stressed out, you are more susceptible to getting sick.
- Consider supplementing with Vitamin D and probiotics to support the immune response and to promote resistance to infections.
- Work with a qualified natural medicine practitioner who can advise you on appropriate homeopathic and botanical remedies to take that address this year's flu.
- Stay well hydrated (this usually means 2-3 liters of pure water for most people) and avoid sugary drinks. Reduce coffee (1-2 cups at most) and caffeine intake as this can create a "stress" response in the body.
- Wash hands regularly, especially after being in a crowded place. Avoid touching your eyes and nose. If someone around you sneezes or coughs, try to move to a clean air environment.
- Contact a natural medicine practitioner who can offer the correct homeopathic remedy to assist your recovery.
- Fevers are the body's way of stimulating an effective immune response. In healthy adults and children, safe fevers can go as high as 104 degrees F! If you or your child has a fever (>100 degrees F), stay in close communication with your health care provider so that they can help you navigate through the fever, and they can alert you to concerning signs. Tepid baths, homeopathic remedies, and botanical medicine can assist with the discomforts associated with fevers.
- Maintain high doses of Vitamin R (rest and relaxation). Plan to stay home for 5-7 days.
- Water therapy: Stay well hydrated, especially with a fever. Your pee should be copious and clear. Hydrotherapy! Home treatments can include warming socks and alternating hot and cold compresses to the chest and throat.
- Continue probiotics and Vitamin D supplementation.
- Eat chicken soup or a light menu with steamed vegetables, garlic, onions, and ginger. Avoid sugary foods.