Making Healthy Resolutions: The Recipe for Success

As January 1st, 2017 approaches, many of us have new year's health resolutions on our minds (including this author!) Actually, many people are surprised to find out that I don't "live the naturopathic lifestyle" 365 days a year, and especially not around the holidays. By the time the week after Christmas rolls around, I'm cursing myself as I eat one more dairy and sugar-filled cookie and yet another day goes by that I've neglected to go to the gym. Despite our best intentions, we are all human, and as one of my mentors would say, "Everything should be in moderation, and sometimes even moderation should be in moderation." That's why we look to January 1st as our "clean slate" day. I frequentl

The Hypothyroid Sufferer's Paradox: Terrible Symptoms & Normal Lab Results

Here is a scenario I encounter in my office practically on a weekly basis. Me: "Will you please describe your symptoms?" Client: "Well, for the past 2 years I can barely get through the day without a nap and several pots of coffee, my memory is terrible, I have bad anxiety, I'm constipated, and I feel like my hair is falling out! No one can figure out what is wrong with me." Me: "That is so frustrating! Has your doctor run any thyroid tests?" Client (Option 1): "No, my doctor has never brought up thyroid as a possible explanation, but I've done a lot of reading online and I feel like I might be hypothyroid!" Client (Option 2): "Yes, he did! He ran TSH and T4 about 6 months ago and said both

Honey: A Sweet Cough Remedy

Honey is one of the oldest known medicines and has been used to treat cough for ages. Modern research has also started to accumulate to back

Hypothyroid Symptoms: What To Do When Medication Doesn't Work

The following story is often familiar to people with hypothyroidism. Anne, a 42 year old mother of 3, has had symptoms of hypothyroidism for the past year, including weight gain, fatigue, intolerance to cold weather, and dry skin. When she initially went to her family doctor, she got blood work done but was told her TSH and T4 levels were normal. "Come back and get re-tested in 6 months," he told her, "It's possible that by then your levels will be abnormal and I can prescribe Synthroid." Anne, although frustrated, accepted her doctor's advice and returned in 6 months, praying her levels would be abnormal so she could get a medication that might make her feel better. After 12 months of deali

Beyond Metformin: Managing Type 2 Diabetes Holistically

As a naturopathic doctor, my life and livelihood revolve around teaching people how to make long-lasting and manageable lifestyle changes to combat a wide variety of diseases from women's health conditions to autoimmunity. I have found there are few conditions that respond to the naturopathic paradigm of medicine as well as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Why would this be? Type 2 diabetes, unlike its counterpart type 1 diabetes, occurs as a response to an accumulation of different factors that are a result of lifestyle choices. In type 2 diabetes, cells of the body become "resistant" to a hormone called insulin. Insulin's job is to escort blood sugar into most cells of the body so t

Beyond Statin Drugs: Managing High Cholesterol Holistically

As an ND, my strategies for clients whose goals are to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular events like stroke and heart attack are threefold. 1. Use dietary and lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation and blood vessel damage 2. Eliminate symptoms that result from statin drug usage 3. Lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and raise "good" HDL cholesterol using well-researched nutritional and botanical medicine (If you're wondering what LDL, HDL, and statin drugs are, please read this article first for clarification) Correcting the underlying cause of high cholesterol and blood vessel damage is always my primary goal for preventing cardiovascular disease. As I mentioned in the very first artic

High Cholesterol & Atherosclerosis

(This article belongs to a series called "Metabolic & Cardiovascular Disease." It is meant to be educational, empowering, and based in current scientific research. Note that all suggestions are meant to be adjunctive and complementary to the therapies your primary care physician has prescribed for you. Naturopathy is a system of medicine that believes in discovering and correcting the underlying cause of disease through lifestyle-based interventions as well as client education and empowerment.) Overview: What is high cholesterol and why do we want to lower it in the first place? High cholesterol, or "hypercholesterolemia," as well as high lipids, or "hyperlipidemia," are terms that are basic

Managing "Lifestyle Diseases" With Drugs: A Flawed System of Medicine

When I describe what I mean by "diseases of lifestyle" (like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease) to my clients, I like to use the analogy of a car. Imagine that at 16 years old, everyone gets a brand-new car, for free! The only catch is that this is your ONLY car and you have to keep this car for as long as you live. Therefore, it's your responsibility to care for and maintain it so it serve you for decades to come. For some people, this task is easy and even fun, because they love cars! Working on and maintaining it will be a pleasure. Some people will have plenty of money to put into their car and pay for repairs. A few might, through the luck of the draw, get a car that

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