Holistic Family Nurse Practitioner
Integrative Medical Care
Kathleen has been advising clients on the optimal use of herbs and nutrients for over 30 years. She carries a full line of high quality nutritional supplements. She carefully chooses the supplements which come from nutritional companies who thoroughly analyze their products and follow good manufacturing practices.
Clients are welcome to come in and shop anytime during our open hours!
Why use nutritional supplements?
Bottom line, the food you eat is your best source of nutrients. The optimal diet is full of whole foods and nutrient dense, with vegetables and fruits high in phytonutrients, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and natural grown or pastured meats and eggs, in healthy amounts. Some people have sensitivities to certain foods such as gluten and dairy, and their bodies function better when avoiding these foods.
There are many factors which effect how much of various nutrients your body needs. We are all bio-chemically individual, meaning we all have unique nutrient needs. For example, if you are on certain medications, or under excess stress, certain nutrients are depleted more quickly. People who live in more northern locations need more Vitamin D. Those with certain illnesses are using certain nutrients up more rapidly.
Most research indicates carefully chosen nutritional supplements contribute to optimal health. Contrary to this research, the FDA only suggests the daily amount needed to prevent disease, not the amount to promote optimal health. The best functional medicine practitioners, such as Mark Hyman, MD, author of several nutritional program books, recommend a basic program of nutrient supplementation. The foundational nutrients recommended include:
*A high potency multivitamin - Kathleen's office carries Maximum Vitality, which is in the top 10 multivitamins out of 1500 analyzed.
Vitamin D - 2000-5000 IU daily
Omega 3 fish oils - 2-4 caps daily
Calcium/magnesium 300-400 mg of each daily
Probiotic - 25 billion + acidophilus and bifidophilus daily
Special nutritional programs
Kathleen works with patients to implement specific nutritional programs for specific conditions. For example, digestive complaints such as heartburn, abdominal pain, gas and bloating, constipation and such can be healed with improved nutrition. Evaluating food allergies or sensitivities and digestive function through functional testing can reveal areas to treat. Kathleen follows the 4R program for digestive health:
Remove offending allergens or organisms
Repair the integrity of the digestive lining
Re-innoculate with healthy bacteria or probiotics
Replace digestive enzymes which are depleted
Kathleen then recommends nutritional programs such as Metagenics First Line Therapy Healthy Transformation, which includes a highly successful medical food supplement to complement a nutritious diet. (see Metagenics.com, lifestyle medicine programs).
We carry a full line of high quality nutritional supplements at below retail prices!
Treating common problems
Arthritis: Botanical combinations have consistently been found to be more effective than the NSAID Celexicob in repeated head-to-head studies, and with fewer side effects. Curaphen is a formula that combines a highly abosrbable form of curcumin with Boswellia and DL-phenylalanine. I recommend the extra strength form, and tell patients to take 1-2 tabs 3 x daily. I also recommend N-acetyl glucosamine, a form that is better absorbed than glucosamine sulfate. It has been shown to assist the body to repair and replace cartilage tissue. Collagen protein is also helpful to repair degenerative joints.
Fibromyalgia: This condition represents an "energy crisis," where a person essentially blows a fuse (the hypothalamic/pituitary axis, which controls sleep, hormones, and autonomic function). Then, the low energy state causes the muscles to get locked in the shortened position (why muscle get tight, not loose, after an aggressive workout!). After months of tightening, the individual experiences chronic muscle pain. This, like other types of chronic pain, then triggers Central Sensitization, aka "Brain Pain," as well as nerve pain.
The key to resolving fibromyalgia is to address the underlying energy crisis. The SHINE protocol - Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, Exercise as able - provides a multifaceted approach to restoring energy. We address this condition through all these aspects to provide a comprehensive treatment plan.
Insomnia: Good sleep averages 7-9 hours nightly. It is important for the body to experience all the stages of sleep, including REM and deep sleep, to recover and function optimally. Sleep hygeine is important to assist your body to follow its natural rhythm. Do not consume caffeine after 3-4 pm, keep your bedroom cool, avoid electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime, do deep breathing and relaxation exercises before bed or listen to a stress reduction imagery program. If you have trouble falling asleep, or trouble waking during the night, it can indicate a variety of neurotransmitter and hormone imbalances. You may have excessive cortisol at nightime, inadequate calming/inhibitory neurotransmitters such as serotonin or GABA or excessive stimulatory neurotransmitters such as epinephrine and glutamate. Our office offers neurotransmitter testing which can clarify imbalances and point out supplements that support the imbalances, such as 5-HTP or tryptophan, relora as in Cortisol Manager, or GABA as in Kavinace.
Memory loss: There is a strong association between alzheimer's and other forms of dementia and inflammation. Inflammation and damaging amyloid proteins in the brain contribute to memory loss and cognitive decline over months and years. Research has demonstrated that curcumin, the active component of tumeric, reduces inflammation and inhibits formation of amyloid proteins. Additionally, omega 3 fish oils, especially the DHA component, reduce inflammation. Stress and elevated cortisol also contribute to memory loss, so a supplement such as Cortisol Manager will reduce the cortisol.
Nerve pain or neuropathy: Nerve pain is characterized by pain that is burning, shooting, or stabbing. Nerve pain can be triggerd by malfunction of nerves triggered by infections (e.g. shingles), pinched nerves (from tight muscles or disc degeneration), nutritional deficiencies (vitamin B6, folate and B12), injury (stroke, tumors, spinal cord injury) and medication/treatment side effects. Taking a high potency multivitamin, Alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine in appropriate doses can be very helpful. TENs unit treament, stimulating the nerves with hot and cold applications and a high speed foot massager will also help for lower extremity neuropathy. Topical pain relievers such as capsacin cream or prescribed analgesic/anesthetic creams are helpful as well.
GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux is a common symptom with the overeating and sugar laden foods available today. What causes it? Certainly not a lack of Prilosec! it is caused by an irritated stomach and food that digests improperly. Learning how to avoid certain food combinations helps reduce this condition. Do a search for Food Combining on Google, and you will find how to properly combine foods. For example, avoid refined sugar foods or fruits with a meal. The simple sugars digest quickly, while the proteins that require stomach acid take longer. The sugars actually ferment and cause the acidic feeling, while the proteins are still digesting. Also, drinking water with your meal dilutes digestive enzymes. Many people actually need more hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to help properly digest food. Also, when you take an antacid, you dilute the enzymes necessary to absorb nutrients. Taking PPIs such as prilosec contribute to poor absorption of calcium and iron, increasing risk for osteoporosis and anemia, as well as kidney disease. Taking supplements to help heal the lining of the GI tract, including DGL, mastic gum, glutamine, and N-acetyl glucosamine will reduce irritation. Then adding a digestive enzyme, plant based or betaine hydrochloric acid, will improve digestion.