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?



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 .

Processed Foods May Kill of the Bacteria that Keep You Thin


Every time you eat a meal, you're not only feeding yourself, but the hundred trillion bacteria that thrive in your intestines. This colony of bacteria plays a huge role in health, and believe it or not, the bacteria in your gut influences your metabolism. Obesity once was a rarity, but the last few decades have seen an explosion of weight gain. Recent studies have shown obesity to be associated with a shift in the bacteria in the gut.  Alterations in the gut bacteria can impact your metabolism. But How? Gut microbes alter the signalling pathways in the gut, effecting the inflammation pathway, encouraging insulin resistance (pre-disposing for diabetes) and depositing energy as fat storage. 

Junk food & Your Gut

You are what you eat, and so are the bacteria that live in your intestines.  A study in Nature magazine illustrated how incredibly fast (3-4 days) the human gut can change after a shift in what you eat. Imagine how junk food can effect your gut microbiota.  Studies have shown that beneficial bacteria are in more abundance in a high fiber diet, and are drastically different with a western diet.

What Does This Mean For You?

Since all of those bugs in your intestine can be either helpful or harmful, it's important to reconsider what you are eating. Not only do we eat to ensure that we have the best health possible, but also to propagate a healthy microbiota.  Eating a purely western diet--high in animal products, low in fiber, high in fats--encourages a completely different microbiome than one that is high in fiber, fruits and vegetables and low in processed food. The best mantra is to eat food with a purpose, on purpose. As for treats, they're just that--treats, and not all you eat.

Posted on May 21, 2015 .

Holistic Health Care

Holistic medicine focuses on the whole person, recognizing that every patient has a body, mind and spirit. But also recognizes that your skin is connected to your digestion and hormones just as much as "your knee bone is connected to your hip bone". In this person-based approach, instead of the conventional systems-based approach, doctors are able to step back and put the pieces together, dig deeper, and understand the WHY of a disease.

Posted on May 15, 2015 .

Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Pregnancy, Infancy & Childhood

Omega-3 fatty acids are "anti-inflammatory" fats that have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson's disease or Multiple Sclerosis MS), inflammation, psychiatric conditions (such as ADD, depression, and anxiety) as well as beneficial for pregnancy and a child's growing brain. 

Additionally, omega-3 has been demonstrated to have successful outcomes for autoimmune conditions that are characterized by inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, Raynaud's, lupus and more.  This is because the EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) works on the same pathway that many over-the-counter NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) does. It does so without the stomach/digestive issues that high dose NSAIDs can cause. 

Having adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in pregnancy is vital, as the formation of the brain (which requires fatty acids for development) is most critical BEFORE the first pregnancy test, and a baby's brain grows fastest during the 3rd trimester and onward, requiring even more fatty acids.  A study in 2011 revealed that maternal supplementation with fish oil reduces preterm birth and increases birth weight. 

Interested to find out more about Omega-3? Call today.

*Do not begin a supplementation regimen unless under the supervision of a medical care provider

Posted on May 14, 2015 .