how to get healthy, get healthy naturally, quick ways to get healthy, natural medicine doctor, boulder colorado

Has the coronavirus pandemic triggered your desire for better health? 

If not, you may want to reconsider…

Although statistics vary, we are seeing the death toll rise higher in the United States than in other countries from COVID-19.  Other hard hit countries are showing around a 3% death rate while the U.S. is at roughly 10%.

What is this caused by?  

While research is still being done, one thing we can deduct is that although we may be one of the most affluent countries in the world, we are also one of the unhealthiest.

Health in western culture isn’t what it should be.  With rising rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension (just to name a few), the paradigm about taking care of ourselves before something goes awry isn’t a high priority.  We Americans tend to deal with diseases once they arrive, treating symptoms with medication or surgery rather than discovering and healing the root cause of an issue or trying to prevent it in the first place.

But our perspective may be changing…

No matter what comes out of this pandemic, there is no guarantee in any direction we take for our health.  Vaccines aren’t 100% protective, therapeutics may not work for everyone without risk, and scientific development is not something we can count on in the short-term.

Right now, we need to embrace all possibilities when it comes to protecting our health and what is most readily available to all Americans at this moment is: self-care.

John Chen Ph.D., Pharm.D., O.M.D., L.Ac. says, “Immune system, in the end, is basically the cure-all.  It’s the only thing that can keep up with all the bacteria and all the virus and all the immune deficiency and all the resistance.  You really cannot come up with a drug or herb fast enough to deal with all the mutating strains of the bacteria and virus.  It’s just not possible, so in the end, your own body, your own health, your own immune system really is the best medicine.”

At this moment, we need to go beyond self-quarantining and take our health and well-being into our own hands.

How can you do this?

I have 3 simple things you can start doing immediately (two for short-term health goals and one for the future):

Short-Term Changes

1. Establish New Habits.

I understand this time is stressful and you may be trying to just get through the day.  We all are.  However, this dangerous stress makes it even more of a reason to embrace new or refresh routines geared towards taking good care of yourself.

And before you think you can’t do one more thing right now…take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  You can.  You can do one simple thing for your health.  You owe it to yourself.

Some new habits may be:

  • online strength workouts
  • online yoga classes such as Yoga Today
  • finding movement in things around you such as using stairs for workouts (check out this New York Times article for more ideas)
  • regular technology breaks
  • getting outside everyday for at least 20 minutes
  • having a warm cup of tea every afternoon to slow down and think
  • taking a brief afternoon nap
  • reading instead of watching television before bed
  • limiting the amount of news watched
  • taking breaks from social media

What is one new habit you can form starting today?

2. Eating Mindfully.

Bringing mindfulness to what you buy, cook, and eat is vital when it comes to self-care.  I know during this time it isn’t easy to get a perfectly well-rounded, freshly-cooked meal on the table three times a day, but there are things you can do to keep your diet focused.

Try:

  • keeping everything as simple as possible
  • focusing on making things you can freeze such as easy-to-eat soups and stews. Make extra batches to freeze in separate containers.
  • forgoing fancy recipes
  • opt for a protein, vegetable, and starch or a protein and salad to keep things easy

But what if you really want to cook or bake?  Great!  Go for it!

It’s important to continue to do things you enjoy – and that means eating and drinking what you like as well.  Sip a drink, indulge in a cookie, or have a bowl of ice cream – just remember to stay mindful when it comes to how much and how often.

Long-Term Change

Our future looks different than our past; we are changing at a very fast rate due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While we have the power to control what we can such as: consuming less, recycling, adopting a simpler life with less carbon footprint, and taking care of ourselves, there are still things we can’t prevent.

Those who are most resilient to what is to come may do the best.  Without profound physical and mental reactions to change, those who can adapt to things out of their control may be most successful in the future, according to historian, philosopher, and author, Yuval Noah Harari.

A sense of grounding and acceptance is key to this perspective.

How can you find that? 

Start with one or a few of these:

  • meditate
  • learn to control your reactions with deep breathing
  • being mindful
  • yoga
  • journaling
  • finding time and space to think and reflect daily

If we can learn to ground ourselves, we can function better physically, emotionally, spiritually, and even immunology-wise. 

This moment in time is offering the opportunity for us to establish new habits, become a more mindful eater, and to practice grounding.  What will you do to make a positive change in your health in response to the pandemic?

If you live in the Boulder or greater Denver metro area and are interested in learning more about what you can do to get and stay healthy right now and for the future, please call me at (720) 340-0193 or contact me here. 

Let’s use this time to become stronger, wiser, and healthier.

naturopathic telemedicine, televisits harmony naturopathic family medicine, boulder colorado

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natural heart health, love and heart health, connection to others and heart health, doctor meghan van vleet

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 and love for others (the metaphysical heart) in order to strengthen your physical heart health?

Following are three tips towards making marked progress for this goal:

  1. Eat Things That Serve You.

If you find yourself struggling in any area of your life – whether that be work, family, depression, grief, relationships, etc., your body needs extra micronutrients to replenish what it’s using to deal with the stress.

When things are hard, it’s all the more reason to eat nourishing, easy to digest simple food for both our minds and bodies.  Be mindful of restricting diets or trying complicated recipes; stick to foods that warm you and add a superfood in such as mushrooms or turmeric for a little extra boost of nutrients.

But what about those homemade chocolate chip cookies that melt in your mouth?  It’s okay!  Reaching for something that brings you comfort is not prohibited, just make sure you slow down and really enjoy it. I recommend being extra mindful and savoring the smell, texture, and flavor of every bite. This will help with moderation. Moderation allows you to feel good in the moment, but prevents you from feeling worse in the long run. 

  1. Allow Yourself to Feel Your Feelings Fully.

This will look different for everyone depending on what is present in your life (job stress, relationship issues, anxiety and fears, etc.), however, it’s important that whatever it is you are dealing with, it is experienced.

It can be easy (& at times appropriate and healthy) for some of us to compartmentalize our challenges, box them up, and place them in a closet out of sight, especially when it comes to dealing with grief, but habitually storing up all of those emotions can result in physical symptoms, not to mention the emotional effects of bottling it all up.

Finding space and time to feel your emotions rather than suppressing them can make all the difference.

Yes, this can bring about tears, but don’t fear it!  The act of crying can be healing – and science agrees.  A biochemical cascade of oxytocin and endorphins are released during crying and in effect, can help us feel better.

  1. Get In Touch With Your Body, Not Just Your Emotions.

Sitting with our emotions is vital to being kind and loving to ourselves. Connecting with our physical body is just as important.

Our bodies physically hold our emotions (different areas for everyone), and by bringing awareness to this we can recognize where we are hurting.

To connect with your body, try:

– meditation/body scans/deep breathing

– restorative yoga/stretching

– walking/hiking

– running

Walking, hiking, or running outdoors with mindful attention to the natural surroundings can provide an extra sense of connection between ourselves and the earth.  It requires paying attention to the experience, such as the temperature, the feel of the wind, the warmth of the sun, the song of the birds, etc. and can be grounding in our relationship to the world as a whole.

Is it time for you to develop your metaphysical heart in order to thrive in your physical well-being?  If so and you live in the Boulder or Denver metro area, please call me at (720) 340-0193 to discuss how naturopathic medicine and my office can help you.

And that is something to “heart”!

 

 

REFERENCES:
https://www.ornish.com
https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/love-support/
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/uncovering-the-link-between-emotional-stress-and-heart-disease

“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 to have reduced serotonin activity and a tendency for depression, whereas overmethylators can have excessive dopamine activity and a tendency for anxiety. Importantly, genetic testing for MTHFR, COMT, or other SNPs do not tell if a person is undermethylated or overmethylated.

Genes and Epigenetics

You have probably heard that having a genetic predisposition for something, for example heart disease, does not determine the eventual development of heart disease. This is true for mental health, and all of genetics as well. Genetic testing does tell you what your genetic code is, but it doesn’t tell you how your genetic code is being expressed. Epigenetics is the system that determines gene regulation and expression. Epigenetics, not genetics, tells us how a system is likely to be functioning. While epigenetic instructions are established in the womb and generally persist through life, environmental insults (ie: physical inury, illness, toxic exposures, powerful medications, emotional trauma, or a combination of influences) can alter the epigenetics through oxidative stress, in the womb or at any point in life, and this is the cause of the manifestation of many physical and mental disorders.

Nutrients Affect Genetic Expression

The good news is that there are simple blood and urine tests that can tell us how a system is functioning (expressing), and gene expression can be influenced by certain nutrients. Biochemical therapy looks for and identifies specific nutrient or chemical imbalances that are known to be the most commonly involved in a myriad of mental health diagnoses. While certain imbalances, such as being over or undermethylated, are commonly associated with anxiety and depression, respectively, it is usually not that straightforward. Every individual is unique, and most people with an existing diagnosis don’t fit neatly into one category of biochemical imbalance; rather they may involve a combination of a variety of imbalances.

High-Incidence Chemical Imbalances

  • Pyrrole Disorder

    • Pyrrole disorder (or pyroluria) is detected by the presence of elevated kryptopyrroles in the urine. This test represents a marker for functional deficiencies of Vitamin B-6 and zinc, and elevated oxidative stress.
    • Symptoms include: poor tolerance of physical and emotional stress, poor anger control, frequent mood swings, poor short term memory, reading disorder, morning nausea, absence of dream recall, frequent anger and rages, depression and high anxiety.
    • Treatments are based on the individual’s age, body weight, lab results, severity of symptoms and ability to metabolize supplements.
  • Histamine

    • Histamine is a marker for methylation status.
    • When histamine is elevated, clinical features include depression, obsessive-compulsive (OCD), perfectionism, seasonal allergies, competitiveness, and internal anxiety.
    • When histamine is too low, there is a tendency for high anxiety, panic disorder, depression, chemical and food sensitivities, music/artistic ability, and empathy for others.
  • Copper

    • Copper is an essential trace element but excessive levels are toxic to the body.
    • Copper overloads tend to lower dopamine levels and increase norepinephrine in the brain. Imbalances in these important neurotransmitters have been associated with anxiety, postpartum depression, ADHD, autism, violent behavior, paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Zinc

    • Zinc is a trace metal essential for all forms of life.
    • It enhances behavior control to stress and helps maintain intellectual function, memory and mood levels.
    • More than 90% of persons diagnosed with depression, behavior disorder, ADHD, autism and schizophrenia exhibit depleted zinc levels.
    • Zinc deficiency has been associated with delayed growth, temper control problems, poor immune function, depression, poor wound healing, epilepsy, anxiety, neurodegenerative disorders, hormone imbalances and learning problems.

Biochemical nutrient therapy plus other therapies

There are no silver bullets. If you deal with a mental or cognitive health issue, you likely have coping mechanisms (healthy or otherwise) in place. We all have our patterns. Biochemical nutrient therapy, like other therapies such as diet, exercise, mindfulness, breathwork, herbal medicines, hydrotherapy, pharmacoptherapy, etc, is a tool – a big tool, but a tool. To get the most out of it, use it in conjunction with psychotherapy in order to learn new patterns and routines that support your mental health goals.

Work with Meghan Van Vleet ND in Boulder CO

If you are interested in this type of mental health support, please give me a call:

720-340-0193.

I am happy to work collaboratively with psychotherapists, psychiatrists, primary care providers, and other care providers.

 

Sources:

Walsh, William. Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. Skyhorse Publishing, 2014.

Walsh, William J, and Malcolm Sickels. Mastering Brain Chemistry Physician Education Workshop, 27-30 Apr. 2019, Evanston, IL.

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 talk therapy (among other specialized modalities, e.g. EMDR), a psychiatrist specializes in psychiatric medications and all of their nuances. Both types of practitioners today are likely familiar with how

  • Lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, etc)
  • Family history
  • Biological factors

contribute to mental health.

However, not many psychotherapists or psychiatrists are familiar with the long list of biological factors/stressors that could actually be causing (or at least contributing) to one’s depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.

Naturopathic Insights into Depression and Anxiety with Meghan Van Vleet, ND

Your doctor is likely not looking at these factors, and often when they do, they do not look with a lens of functional medicine understanding.

A naturopathic approach takes into consideration a diverse set of factors, including:

  • A person’s story and symptoms
  • Lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Physical exam findings
  • Targeted laboratory testing.

Through this comprehensive picture, a naturopathic doctor may gain insight on what might be contributing, or causative, factors in a person’s experience of depression or anxiety.

Naturopathy Considers Biological Factors with Mental Health

Biological factors may include:

  • Poor diet/nutrition
  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Chronic stress
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Allergies
  • Food sensitivities
  • Dysbiosis and/or leaky gut
  • Lack of exercise
  • Less than optimal sleep habits
  • Environmental toxin exposure
  • Copper overload
  • B6 deficiency
  • Zinc deficiency
  • Methyl/folate imbalances
  • Amino acid imbalances
  • Undetected chronic infections.

If any of the above are affecting you, discovering and resolving these issues can go a long way toward helping you feel like yourself again.

Naturopathic Treatment

Naturopathic treatment plans always address the whole person/whole body, and include nutrition (both food and supplements), herbal medicine, hydrotherapy, as well as prioritizing, goal setting, and help strategizing a pathway to whole body wellness.

Treat the Whole Person

It is a core naturopathic principle to “Treat the Whole Person”. What exactly does this mean? To start, it means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The doctor approaches each patient as an integrated whole being rather than a set of symptoms to be treated individually.

For example, if someone has chronic inflammation and trouble sleeping, a conventionally trained doctor might offer an anti-inflammatory and a sleeping pill. In treating the whole, I might address pain, but also

  • reduce input to inflammatory pathways with diet & lifestyle recommendations
  • support anti-inflammatory pathways with nutrition and herbs
  • Explore all of the reasons that might cause a person to have trouble sleeping (racing mind, what they ate for dinner, unsupportive bedtime routines, chronic stress, etc).

We can address these things knowing that if we uncover the cause of sleep disturbance, it will go a long way towards lowering inflammation.

Treating the Whole Person for Mental Health

A naturopathic approach to mental health would be similar. Lifestyle habits and routines affect mental health and well-being, as illustrated by many of the causative/contributing factors listed above.

What are your habits, routines, and patterns? Do they serve you and your goals?

Are you a creature of habit or do you “go with the flow?” Both are fine, but also have their limitations.

If your routines are interrupted by forces outside of your control, how do you react? If you can’t exercise are you cranky? How do you compensate?

Does “going with the flow” mean that you’re eating on the fly? What are you eating when you are in a hurry? Equally important, how are you eating? Are you too busy to take time out of your day to relax while you eat?

Working towards Mental Health with Meghan Van Vleet, ND in Boulder, CO

When I work with my patients, I educate them. We prioritize and problem solve by organizing their days to be proactive, rather than reactive.

To start, I have my patients identify their “Bare Minimums”: the bare minimum you need every day/week/month/year to support your own well-being.

Next, I support them in creatively achieving their bare minimums for well-being. For example, a bare-minimum of exercise on any given day might be a 10-minute brisk walk, knowing that some movement is better than none at all.

Bare minimums are highly individual and change from one stage of life to another, depending on each person’s circumstances. Often little adjustments can have great effects, and little successes pave the way for greater opportunities. Over time, little changes add up.

Opportunity, Not Quick Fixes in Mental Health

To summarize, mental health can be challenging, yet with any challenge exists an equally great opportunity! While a naturopathic approach is not always a quick fix, it may be surprising to discover that the pharmaceutical approach to mental health is not always quick either. It often takes time, patience, trial, and error, as well as a skilled psychiatrist to find the right medication and dosage for an individual.

Naturopathic Treatment of Mental Health Leads to Whole Body Health

Addressing the whole person is a treatment for longevity. Conversely, the long-term use of many pharmaceuticals has increasing detrimental effects such as dependence (in the case of sleeping pills); dementia or foggy brain (in the case of some anxiety medications). From a holistic perspective, mental health can be the herald for whole body health.

If you are struggling with mental health and are interested in this whole body approach, call me today and we can develop treatment options that are right for you.

720-340-0193

On the first Monday of the new school year I found myself taking two calls from two different schools telling me that both my kiddos were feeling crummy and needed a ride home. Yes, already. Before long, everyone in our house felt under-the-weather.

While no one wants to be sick or see their children get sick either, becoming ill from time to time is actually important. Catching a cold is an educational exercise for our immune systems. The ability to mount an appropriate healing response is a sign of good health. While getting sick all the time is problematic, getting sick occasionally is reassuring and an opportunity to slow down, reflect, and reassess.

As a naturopathic doctor with two kids and a partner that works in the public school system as well, my family has ample opportunity to contract illness. Given that, I still aim for prevention. Healthy lifestyle habits go a long way to minimize risk, and decrease the severity and duration when illness does strike. Here are my recommendations to weather this cold and flu season well.

  • SLEEP: Sleep is critical to overall health and immune system function. Make sure that you and your family members prioritize the appropriate amount of sleep.
  • HYGIENE:
    • Wash your hands. Whenever anyone comes home from work or school, make sure they wash hands upon entering the house. Note that research is conclusive: old fashioned soap and water work just as well as antimicrobial soap or hand sanitizer and have the added benefit of not being harmful to us (carcinogenic, endocrine disruptor, create lethal superbugs).
    • Remind yourself and your kids how to effectively cover your cough and sneezes: Use the crook of your elbow, not your hand.
    • Keep the house on the cooler side as germs like warm environments.
    • Air out the house briefly (ie: open up all the windows and maybe doors) daily or at least weekly, even in the cold of winter.
  • EXERCISE: Regular moderate exercise enhances immunity.
  • GO OUTSIDE: Whether this is for exercise specifically or just to get out, do it. Fresh air and sunlight is good for us. Cold air is not bad for us. Dress and layer comfortably for the weather and keep your neck and ears warm. If you have a young child, dress them the way you dress to keep comfortable; i.e., if you get cold and put your hood up, put theirs up too.
  • HYDRATION: Sufficient water intake is critical to every function in our body, not the least of which is expelling pathogens. Being adequately hydrated can tip the scale from successfully staving off full-blown illness or succumbing to it.
  • DIET: A whole foods diet supports optimal health. Highly processed foods or “food-like substances,” and those with added sugar, actually suppress your immune system.
  • STRESS: Throughout these months when life doesn’t slow down and we are additionally exposed to so many pathogens, it is more important than ever to have routine coping mechanisms such as mindfulness, breath work, and yoga  – as well as any other exercises or activities that bring you joy.
  • SUPPLEMENTATION: I am not actually a big fan of taking supplements myself or for my children, however, you may find us taking them this time of year:
    • PROBIOTICS: Ideally, you will be consuming probiotics in the food you eat – from your garden or the farm your food came from, from yogurt, miso, sauerkraut, kombucha, and any other of the varieties of fermented foods now available at many grocery stores. If you feel like you are not good at getting probiotics into your diet, consider taking a potent probiotic supplement.
    • VITAMIN C: Vitamin C helps prevent and/or reduce the duration of the common cold (Note: It only works as prevention if you regularly take it). Food sources of vitamin C include: papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, pineapple, oranges, kiwi, cantaloupe, and cauliflower.
    • ZINC: Zinc also helps reduce the duration and severity of the common cold, and many people are deficient in zinc. Food sources include: beef, lamb, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, lentils, garbanzo beans, cashews, turkey, quinoa, and shrimp.
    • BLACK ELDERBERRY: Taken as a syrup or even better as a warm tea, this is a delicious fall and wintertime routine. Black elderberry is an antiviral useful in preventing the flu.
    • TULSI TEA: This is a readily available (at most grocery stores) herbal tea that helps your body simply adapt to the various stressors of life, including a change in season. For best results, drink it daily.

Here’s to our beautiful weather, and may you weather it beautifully!

If you feel run down or need immune system support, please call to make an appointment.

720-340-0193 or Book Now

As our children leave summer behind and head back to the rigorous routines of fall, it is important to revisit sleep habits. Due to the extra hours of daylight (not to mention the ability to sleep later during summer break), many of our children find themselves struggling at the start of the school-year. Suddenly staying up a little later becomes a liability once they have to get up earlier for school. This can make for a hard transition into the academic year. Starting the year off well can set the stage for success for the rest of the year. Help your students be successful by consciously going back to the night time habits that promote enough sleep.

What happens when we sleep? We gain many different benefits from sleep: memory consolidation (solidifying learning), normal daytime wakefulness and hunger/satiety signaling (research shows kids cannot learn well when hungry), as well as optimal immune system function (less sick days) all require appropriate amounts of sleep (see chart below). Similarly, less than optimal sleep can contribute to an inability to concentrate, make the best decisions, or be engaged socially. Getting good sleep is important for everyone, but especially important to consider as our children make the transition back to school.

The National Sleep Foundation is an excellent resource for all things sleep-related.

If you or your child needs help problem-solving your sleep, call me to setup an appointment: 720-340-0193 or Book Now

Additionally, if you have a baby affecting your ability to sleep, consider working with our fabulous sleep coach at The Postpartum Wellness Center/Boulder, Jessica Schaeffer

Optimal executive functioning allows the ability to process complex information/instructions, plan, organize, and complete a task. Executive Functioning takes place in the slow-to-develop frontal lobe, which explains why some kids simply can’t get organized. Seth Perler, Executive Function coach for middle, high school, and college students (see sethperler.com) states that the foundation for having optimal executive functioning (what he simply calls the ability to get things done) is restful sleep, food that nourishes the body, and adequate exercise; alternatively he notes what makes executive functioning worse. The top 3 items… processed foods, sleep problems, and lack of exercise.

Not surprisingly, a healthy diet, adequate restful sleep, and exercise are the foundations of overall well-being!

If your child could benefit from holistic support with executive functioning &/or ADHD, call to setup and appointment.

720-340-0193 or Book Now

 

Despite being a beautiful time of year (check out this picture of my crabapple tree!), this time of year many people suffer with seasonal allergies. A few common-sense approaches can help.

  1. REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE: If you can minimize exposure to the substances you are allergic to, then you can minimize symptoms, including your histamine levels. Allergy sufferers should consider these household strategies:
    • IN THE BEDROOM:
      • Keep windows closed
      • Keep bedroom especially clean & door closed
      • Do not allow pets in room
      • Use a HEPA air filter in the bedroom
    • Frequent damp dusting throughout the house & vacuuming with a vacuum that uses a HEPA filter
    • Keep windows closed during high pollen times
    • Use the highest filtration HVAC filter
    • Bathe (including washing hair) before bed
    • Remove shoes when entering home
    • Plan outdoor/exercise time around high pollen predictions. Check pollen.com.
    • Change clothes and wash face immediately after outdoor exercise or activity
    • Nasal irrigation with a neti pot (or other method) helps to wash away dust and pollen that have accumulated in your sinuses throughout the day, reducing symptoms of allergic rhinitis, the stuffed up nose that comes with many allergies.
  2. MINIMIZE OTHER SOURCES OF INFLAMMATION
    • Eliminate known food allergies or sensitivities
    • Eliminate sugar & dairy during the allergy season, as these are the two most common inflammatory foods.
  3. SUPPLEMENT PROTOCOLS to moderate the immune system and reduce inflammation can be helpful as well. Some common supplements I use with my patients include:
    • Probiotics – Some unhealthy microbes in your gut can produce histamine. Support healthy diversity in your gut microbiome.
    • Quercitin
    • Vitamin C
    • Stinging nettles
    • Fish oil

Over the counter medications may help but are notorious for not working as well as advertised and leave many people feeling groggy.

For the latest information on how seasonal allergies affect mental health, keep an eye out for my upcoming post on the Postpartum Wellness Center/Boulder’s blog.

Call to set an appointment with me.

720-340-0193 or Book Now

Join my mailing list here.

During Well-Woman Visits, The Woman (That’s You) Has the Voice

Along with general health support and treatment for illnesses, I offer flexible, patient-centered, well-woman care including postpartum checks, pelvic exams, and pap smears.  I practice with a commitment to individualized care and I take time with each patient. As a postpartum mom, this is not your typical “clear to resume sex” visit. During any pelvic exam, the women who I see are in control and have choices. I use a trauma-informed approach for the entire well-woman visit. I do everything I can to make this visit as comfortable as possible for my patients. And I am always open to feedback.

Sound like you need to learn more or make an appointment? Call me: 720-340-0193

Humans evolved to move. Movement was literally survival. Our ancestors did not need to think unless they were moving. We have known for some time how beneficial exercise is with regard to weight, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. But did you know that our brains’ biochemistry functions optimally if movement is a lifestyle? Did you know exercise creates neurons? We can grow our brains! Sparking Life, an organization founded by Dr. John Ratey, MD, is on a mission to transform America’s sedentary lifestyle. To bring movement back into our lives – to improve our children’s learning capacity, to reduce the negative effects of stress, to manage mental health issues such as ADD, anxiety, depression, and to maintain our cognitive abilities as we age.

It is never too late. Some is good; more is better.