Prevent Colds During the Holidays the Naturopathic Way!

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‘Tis the Season! Holidays are just around the corner, and many of us are hustlin’ to get our Christmas shopping done on time. However, it is also the season of cold winter months. Here are some tips to help lower the chance of catching a cold while out and about.

Keep Warm
In Chinese medicine, the Wei Qi, or defensive Qi, acts like a shield around your body to protect from outside invaders. This is very much like the immune system. However, that shield is the thinnest at the back of the neck and head. So, one simple way you can protect against colds is to wear a scarf and hat while outside.
 
Sleep
Sleep is the time when the body rests and heals, when Yang cycles into Yin. If you are staying up late to get everything done before the holidays, that is setting the stage for sickness because lack of sleep weakens the immune system. Make sure that you are getting well-rested sleep.

Boost the Immune System
Believe it or not, ginger and green onion tea can stop a cold in the early stages. In Chinese medicine, these 2 foods can “expel the pathogens” that have invaded the body and caused infection. Simply make a cup of tea with two slices of ginger and the white parts of two green onions.  Steep in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.  You can also add a little honey for flavor.
Other foods that strengthen the immune system include garlic, broccoli, red bell peppers, and citrus.
 
Wash your hands often and keep them away from your face
Bacteria and viruses can transmit via surfaces such as a door handle.  Be sure to wash your hands regularly to protect against passive infection.  It is very likely you weren’t the first to touch that credit card machine, ketchup dispenser, or door handle.


Do you have congestion year-round? Do you get frequent sinus infections? Is so, there may be (underlying reasons) other things going on. Contact KCIH.

At KCIH we address the underlying cause to your concerns.  We evaluate you as a whole person, determine your level of health and if necessary provide natural methods to bring you to vibrant health.

Posted on December 22, 2016 .

Birth Control Pill Linked to Depression

Birth Control Pills, Depression, and Natural Alternatives

An unprecedented Danish study confirms what many women already have experienced, linking birth control pills with depression. This large study, collecting data from over 1 million women over 14 years reported up to an 80% relative risk increase of depression. 

How can you tell if you have hormonal depression? Other symptoms include:
  • Irritability & Mood swings
  • Insomnia or increased desire for sleep 
  • Headache or Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Anxiety or poor mood
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Over half of women who take birth control do so for reasons other than avoiding pregnancy. Often, it is to address PCOS and endometriosis because it can make periods more regular, decrease heavy periods, alleviate headaches, and clear acne. Often, it masks symptoms, and once the pill is stopped, the symptoms return. 

At KCIH we address the underlying cause to these concerns. Hormone imbalances--including estrogen excess, low progesterone, and excess testosterone--are often the problem.  However,other hormones can be involved too (cortisol, the stress hormone; thyroid and more). Even poor digestion can negatively affect your hormones. We evaluate you as a whole person, determine if you have an imbalance and how to correct it. 

Interested in learning more? Review this symptom questionnaire to determine if you have a hormone imbalance.  Set up a consultation with us to get your hormones reset and on your way to vibrant health.

If you are experiencing discomfort, please  schedule a free 15-minute consultation.
Posted on October 13, 2016 .

Soy: The Inside Scoop

Inside Scoop on Soy: Myths and Truths

Many patients ask me about the consumption of soy, citing “I’ve always heard that it was bad”. However, the truth is much more complex than a simple yes or no. Depending on who you ask, it is either a super-food or a poison. But the truth is, soy-based foods have been shown to improve cholesterol, prevent breast cancer, prostate cancer, decrease osteoporosis and more.  But, yes, it does have some downsides as well. Here’s the breakdown:

1.       Hormone Changes

Soy has a reputation of being “estrogenic” and is often avoided because of this. The truth is not so simple. Soy contains phytoestrogens that are both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic. How can this be? Soy’s phytoestrogens are about one twentieth as strong as your body’s natural estrogen, therefore in low-estrogen conditions (e.g. menopause); the phytoestrogens can weakly stimulate the estrogen receptor. However in high estrogen conditions (e.g. endometriosis), the phytoestrogens can adhere to the estrogen receptor but not stimulate it, blocking your natural estrogen.  

What about in children?
In pre-pubescent children, cow milk has been shown to be more endocrine disrupting that soy milk.

2.       Breast Cancer

Believe it or not, soy has been shown to reduce the rates of breast cancer occurrence. It may actually help prevent the development of breast cancer. But in patients who already have a hormone sensitive cancer, the phytoestrogens may stimulate the cancer cells, so I recommend avoidance for those individuals.

3.       Thyroid Health

Soy is considered goitrogenic, which means that it may interfere with the production of thyroid hormones by altering iodine uptake. While studies show that soy products do not cause hypothyroidism, those who consume more soy may need more iodine in their diets (a great source for iodine is seaweed and other sea veggies)

4.       The Cautions

 “Soy protein isolate” means that the soy has been processed and the nutrients have been stripped away, often replaced with added sugars, fats and refined flours.  Avoid soy burgers, energy bars, and other “Frankensoy” products. Typically, I caution patients when discussing soy milk. Often, soy milk is processed and does not have any nutritional benefit.  

Use Organic Soy. Soy is highly sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which have been shown to be detrimental to health. Avoid soybean oil, it is mostly filled with pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids.  And eliminate soy if you have an intolerance or allergy to it. 

 

Like all foods, consume soy in moderation; I recommend 1 serving a couple of times per week, with a helping of sea veggies (or other iodine-rich food). Organic whole soy foods are the best; including tofu, edamame, tempeh, and fermented soy, as they contain more nutritional benefits. 

 

Posted on August 11, 2016 .

Stomach Acid Is Not the Only Cause of Heartburn!!

Since the early 1900’s, heartburn/reflux/GERD has been thought to be caused by stomach acids re-entering the esophagus and irritating it's interior
 
In May 2016, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a research paper stating reflux is actually caused by a “reactive immune system.” In a study following 12 men with severe reflux, 2 weeks after discontinued use of proton pump inhibitor medication, 11 of the 12 men were found to have inflammation on the exterior of the esophagus. Biopsies of the affected men revealed a high number of cytokines (proteins) produced by white blood cells in the esophagus.  These proteins kick-start the inflammation process then causing the discomfort of heartburn.

At Kansas City Integrative Health, we study and treat all cases of inflammation to help people with heartburn and support their overall health.

If you are experiencing similar discomfort, please read more about us and request a free 15-minute consultation.

Posted on July 11, 2016 .

Potatoes and Pressure (Blood Pressure, that is)

Eating potatoes may raise your risk for high blood pressure according to a new study released by the British Medical Journal. The study found that having a potato 4-6 times per week increased the risk of hypertension by 11 percent, but if they were french fries, then that risk was increased to 17 percent. 

Why is this?

Potatoes are an easily digested starch and breaks down quickly in the body. This results in a rapid spike in blood sugar, which results in inflammation and blood vessel changes, which may be the cause for the elevated blood pressure. This reflects a 2014 study that found that sugar is much more important for blood pressure regulation than salt.

Have a Love of Potatoes? 

Check out these alternative recipes, packed with phytonutrients, fiber, and flavor, without the potatoes.

Mashed "Potatoes"

1 large cauliflower
4 TBSP butter, earths balance, or ghee (approx 1/4 cup)
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
1-2 cloves of mashed garlic
1 TBSP coconut flour (this is a thickener)
2 TBSP fresh chives or green onions

  1. Cut the cauliflower florets into 1/2 inch size pieces
  2. Steam the cauliflower in 1/3 cup of water in a large skillet, covered, until translucent (approximately 10-20 minutes). Drain well.
  3. Placed the cauliflower florets and butter (or alternative butter) in a food processer until a smooth consistency is reached. Add salt, coconut flour, pepper, and garlic, then puree again. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Plate or transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with chives/onions and serve. 

TIP: if you have trouble pureeing initially, add some coconut/almond milk to the food processor

Carrot Fries

Bag of carrots
2-3 TBSP olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Peel and slice carrots into french fry shapes
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Using baking paper helps so they don't stick
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip each fry. Continue to cook until slightly crispy
  5. Serve

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

2-3 Large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
3 TBSP olive oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 tsp Paprika
1 TBSP Sriracha sauce
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes

  1. Coat sweet potato cubes in olive oil, place on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees, stirring frequently. Bake until golden brown (approximately 25 min)
  2. Meanwhile, saute onions, garlic, peppers in a large skillet with 1 TBSP olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with paprika, red pepper flakes, and stir in sriracha sauce. 
  3. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven, mix with the sauteed vegetables. Top with green onions for garnish. 
Posted on May 23, 2016 .

What's in Your Burger?

Antibiotics in Meat: What Are You REALLY Eating?

72% of all US sales of antibiotics are those added to animal water or feed. These are given for purposes “growth advancement and disease prevention purposes” in healthy animals being raised in crowded or unhygienic conditions. Almost every European and North American public health agency agrees that this routine use of antibiotics in livestock worsens the epidemic of antibiotic resistance. Unfortunately, bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance (evolution of MRSA superbug linked to livestock; MRSA from livestock found in humans), requiring stronger and stronger antibiotics to treat these infections when they occur in humans. It is generally accepted that the use of medically important antimicrobials for non-therapeutic use in food animal production does not protect and promote public health. A new report, titled Chain Reaction, has graded and ranked the US’s top restaurant chains on their policies and practices regarding antibiotic use in their ingredients. Despite many fast-food chains pledging to cut back on chemicals and preservatives, a recent investigation found that only two of the 25 restaurants investigated provide meat that are >90% antibiotic-free (Chipotle and Panera).   

How did your favorite restaurant fare? Did it make the grade?

Source: http://webiva-downton.s3.amazonaws.com/877/d8/f/6472/FOE_ChainReactionReport.pdf

Source: http://webiva-downton.s3.amazonaws.com/877/d8/f/6472/FOE_ChainReactionReport.pdf

Posted on September 22, 2015 .

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome is an umbrella term that includes diabetes, hypertension, obesity and hyperlipidemia. Many of these diseases occur in conjunction with each other as each organ system has to rely on another organ system to function. For example, a diet high in fried fatty and refined sugars and low in antioxidant foods such as fruits and vegetables causes a predisposition to development of hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia and low antioxidants will inevitably cause plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries which causes high blood pressure. A diet high in fatty foods and refined sugars simultaneously will cause diabetes and increased weight gain leading to obesity.

            Reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome by increasing the amounts of fruits, vegetables, good oils such as olive and sesame, adding exercise to your daily routine and increasing overall water intake. Many people unknowingly suffer from Metabolic Syndrome, if you suffer from an ailment under the umbrella pictured above, be sure to consult with your Naturopathic physician for treatment options. The diseases of metabolic syndrome can all be reversed with Naturopathic medicine however consult with your Naturopathic doctor before you make any serious changes to your current lifestyle and current medications you are taking. Good health and longevity starts with you! Begin now…!

Posted on May 28, 2015 .