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News and Information

Bone Health for Kids and Adults

DID YOU KNOW…? The statistics are staggering: 21-30% of those who suffer a hip fracture die within one year. Known as the “kiss of death,” it typically happens in older adults and can be a terrifying experience. This is why understanding bone health from our adolescence to adulthood can result in establishing a strong foundation for warding off dangerous outcomes from fractures, breaks, and diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Healthy bone development begins when we are young; up to 80% of our bone mass is established before the age of 18!  This means that our childhood plays just as important of a role in bone health as do our older years. Following, we take a look at healthy strategies for strong bones in both kids and adults. DID YOU KNOW…strong bone health starts when we are young so we should help our kids now! Did you grow up with marketing ads insisting the only way to strong bones was [...]

February 29th, 2020|Categories: Bone Health, Longevity, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Love, Relationships, and Heart Health

Have you ever signed a letter or card by drawing a heart for your salutation?  Do you draw a heart when leaving a note in your child’s lunch box?  Do you “heart” cities around the world? When we draw a heart it is not representing our physical heart, but rather is a symbol of our love. What if I were to tell you that the physical heart and the metaphysical heart (the emotional heart) were actually linked? According to Dr. Dean Ornish, humans are “creatures of community” and need communication, love, and connection with ourselves, others, and the world at large. Establishing positive relationships that support us and feed our souls are not only good for our emotional health but can affect our physical well-being as well.  Research shows that negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and fear can cause inflammation in the body and one of the areas affected can be the heart. (www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/uncovering-the-link-between-emotional-stress-and-heart-disease) So how can you nurture self-love [...]

Thyroid Health

Have your thyroid levels been tested at your primary care physician’s office and were returned normal, yet you are still experiencing unusual symptoms that are typically linked to this hormone’s imbalance? If so, you’re not the only one. Many of my clients come to me with results showing normal TSH, a thyroid-stimulating hormone that encourages the thyroid gland to release the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) as well as Free T3 and Free T4 (the active hormones) and are frustrated or confused because they continue to suffer from signs of disfunction. Commonly, these symptoms (most frequently for the state of hypothyroid) are: - fatigue - hair loss - cold intolerance - weight gain and difficulty losing weight - hormone disruption/infertility - constipation - dry skin as well as other unusual signs. But if your tests results are within range and you are still experiencing unusual symptoms, can you still have thyroid disfunction? Yes. Following are three things to know [...]

Genetics and Mental Health

“What would you say if I told you your son’s mood and behavior problems were due to his genetics?”  - therapist of one of my patients “Mental health can be affected by diet and stressful life events, but the dominant factor is often genetic or epigenetic differences in brain chemistry.” – William J. Walsh, PhD What does it mean to have a mood, behavior, or learning problem due to genetics? I have talked and written before about how the building blocks for our neurotransmitters are amino acids and other nutrients. Possibly more important though is the number and activity of transporter proteins that allow (or don’t) optimal neurotransmitter activity at synapses. Genetic expression, or production, of transporter proteins affects the activity of neurotransmitters. The most commonly talked about example of this has to do with methylation (commonly tested for with genetic testing companies such as 23&Me). Methylation of genetic material called chromatin inhibits production of some neurotransmitter transporters. Undermethylators tend [...]

Muscle As Medicine?

As a naturopathic doctor, I have been intentional about the way I live. I eat well and regularly get enough sleep. I have always maintained an active lifestyle, beginning with competitive gymnastics as a child, backpacking, marathon running, bike commuting, trail running, yoga, and I am the mother of 2 children. Yet, at 45 years old I had suffered 3 ankle breaks in 3 years and chronic to sometimes acute back pain that stopped me in my tracks for days to weeks, stealing my fitness away. I wondered how someone who works so hard at health and well-being could be suffering this way. Was I really just getting old? What is aging? What is aging, other than the passage of time? In 2013, researchers characterized aging as a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death, and even identified 9 hallmarks of aging. Among these hallmarks are a variety of genetic and epigenetic effects [...]

CBD: Hype or Helpful?

We all know the stoner stereotypes: an unmotivated dude living in mom and dad’s basement, content passing time on video games and munching Cheetos, a free-loader. Given that classic perception, have you begun to wonder what is behind the current CBD craze? It seems to be touted almost as a silver bullet – good for whatever ails you. Maybe you have been curious but might be intimidated to go into a pot shop. Or maybe you have visited a pot shop but found yourself overwhelmed and confused by all the options and have reservations about the advice given by the folks selling the product. Maybe you brought home a hemp product from the grocery store yet are unsure how to take it. You wonder if it really is beneficial or even if it’s safe. This post briefly sheds some light on the history of marijuana and its medicinal uses, research and current understandings, and then examines CBD as a treatment. [...]

Hormone Health Now…for a more graceful transition later

Hormone Health in the Reproductive Years Hormonal health during reproductive years might play the most significant role in a woman gracefully moving through the different phases in her life, yet many doctors suppress women’s reproductive hormone production often as a matter of course, in some cases as soon as a young woman begins cycling. While the use of synthetic hormones is indicated in many cases, in just as many or more cases, practitioners prescribe it as an easy, quick, and short-sighted “fix” with long-term ramifications. Many cases of difficult conception, as well as severely symptomatic perimenopausal years, could be prevented, or at least moderated, by focusing on hormonal health earlier in development. Rather than “controlling” menstrual irregularities, it would be of greater benefit to try to understand and address the underlying cause. A Naturopathic Approach to Hormonal Health A naturopathic approach looks to optimize biological functions. The human body exists not as a set of separate systems in isolation; its [...]

The Gut-Brain Connection: The Everyday Implications of a Mental Health Superhighway

We have all thought it, and we have all done it. A thought makes you “sick to your stomach”. Faced with a tough choice or situation, you go with your “gut-instinct”. These phrases have been in our vernacular for a long time, and yet, we have forgotten their literal meaning. In fact, these familiar idioms happen to be true. We have a bi-directional highway of information and instruction between our gut and our brain. Treating The Mind And The Body Naturopathically in Boulder, CO Many people suffering from mental health issues also have gastrointestinal symptoms but never correlate them. Meanwhile, a naturopathic approach to gut health has been beneficial for people dealing with mental health issues, even when no gastrointestinal symptoms are reported. A variety of pharmaceutical medications exist for gastrointestinal symptoms. Unsurprisingly, and not unlike the pharmaceutical approach to mental health, these medicines treat just one aspect of a person’s experience. A naturopathic approach treats the whole person — [...]

Holistic Approach to Mental Health vs. Pharmaceutical Chemical Assist

A staggering one out of every ten Americans take an antidepressant. That means even here in sunny Boulder, CO, we have a lot of folks getting a chemical assist. A Naturopathic Approach Compared To Western Medicine All medication comes with unintended side effects. For some, unpleasant side effects are significantly disruptive - they may feel like completely different people on medication. Undoubtedly, medication has its place and is a useful tool, yet it only treats one aspect of a person. A naturopathic approach seeks to discover the root biological factors of disturbed mental health, and treats the person holistically, in an attempt to normalize brain biochemistry and function, rather than override it. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, consider working with a naturopathic doctor. Functional, Integrative Medicine in Boulder, CO In my naturopathic practice, I have a functional, integrative approach. I collaborate with psychotherapists, psychiatrists, as well as primary care providers. While a psychotherapist’s main focus is often [...]

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