Tag Archives: seattle naturopath

Health Benefits of Smiling

Did you know that the United States spends trillions of dollars annually on healthcare? We spend more than any other country in the world, yet our life expectancy falls far behind those of countries that spend significantly less money on their healthcare systems. Here at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center we like to focus on prevention of diseases and on finding more affordable and effective ways to improve our patients’ overall health and well-being. As healthcare providers we’ve seen that our patients’ health is impacted not only by their diets and lifestyle choices, but also by the way they interact with those around them. We would like to emphasize the importance of fostering positive relationships that bring happiness to your life. A strong, genuine indicator of happiness is laughter!

A recent clinical study looked closely at the overall impact of laughter on cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. Cancer patients generally have significantly compromised immune systems and unfortunately both surgical procedures to remove tumors as well as chemotherapy tend to further compromise their immunology. This particular clinical study focused specifically on the immunological measurements (white bloods cells, t-cells, ect.) of 41 patients between the ages of 65 and 70 suffering from gastric or colorectal cancer. Half of the patients were treated with chemotherapy and the other half with surgery. All Initial blood cells counts were taken to compare their immunological responses throughout the study. Twelve randomly selected patients from both the chemotherapy and the surgical treatment groups were subjected to laughter therapy. After receiving laughter therapy for a period of 30 days, the immunity counts for the surgical treatment group either decreased or remained constant while the counts for the surgical control group decreased significantly. On the other hand, the immunological counts for the chemotherapy treatment group increased compared to the control group, whose counts decreased. The results of this study suggest that patients with gastric or colorectal cancer, who undergo surgery or chemotherapy, benefit from a formal program of psychotherapeutic laughter therapy during the in-patient hospital stay in terms of immunological measurements. Other research studies indicate that laughter can also be beneficial for stress relief, muscle relaxion, pain relief, and sleep patterns.

We are collecting unsold flowers that will otherwise be disposed of and delivering them to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Why? To simply bring a smile to others. If you have flowers to donate, please contact us at Seattle Naturopathic And Acupuncture Center.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23984543
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25107703
  3. https://www.cancercenter.com/treatments/laughter-therapy/

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Filed under Acupuncture, Antiaging, decrease pain, seattle naturopath

Basic summary on MTFHR mutation detrimental health effects

Multiple studies have been conducted on the subject of MTFHR mutations and their impact on how our body work on a daily basis. MTHFR’s function in our body is to perform a process called methylation inside our cells. By doing so, MTHFR can help create, convert, and alter compounds within our cells. Methylation impacts many processes. It is involved in cellular repair and the production of DNA. It helps with neurotransmitter production and it is also vital in the formation and development of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Research studies including “Assocation between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and depression: an updated meta-analysis of 26 studies” and  “ Angiotensin converting enzyme and MTFHR gene variations in fibriomyalgia syndrome” have found that there is in fact a strong link between MTFHR variations and detrimental health conditions such as depression, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, among others. These studies have also shown that active forms of vitamin B12 and folinic acid are helpful in treating the negative effects of the mutation.

Today, over 60% of the world’s population has a vartiation on their MTHFR gene. Although some people never present negative side effects or health conditions due to this muation, an increasing number of people suffer consequences from the mutation. This in part is because epigenetic plays a huge role. Epigenetic is the non-genetic influence of gene expression.  Simply put, our diet, stress levels, environment, lifestyle can have an impact on how the gene is expressed. Screening for MTFHR mutation is highly recommended for all patients who suffer from chronic mental, neurological, pain conditions such as depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and ADHD, as well as histamine related conditions such as hives and itchy skin.

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Filed under Allergies, B 12 injection, epigenetic, fatigue, gene, seattle naturopath, Uncategorized

Probiotics may help with IBS

Irritable bowel symptom, or IBS,  is a common functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by abdominal symptoms such as abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating and change of bowel habits leading to either diarrhea or constipation. The exact cause of IBS is not clear, but stress, gastrointerstinal infections or antibiotics use are often triggers of the onset of IBS symptoms. One theory gaining ground is that it may be due to a shift in the balance of billions of bacteria which normally inhabit our intestine, towards those bacteria that produce excess gas and could possibly initiate an inflammatory response. The treatments of IBS include anti-diarrheals for diarrhea predominant IBS, stool softeners for constipation-predominant IBS, and antispasmodics for pain relief. However, these medications seem to only be able to provide temporary relief.

In one study, 52 people diagnosed with IBS were divided into two groups. One group was supplemented daily for 8 weeks with probiotic containing 25 billion live bacteria per daily dose. The second group received a placebo capsule. None of the participants knew if they were taking the probiotic or the placebo capsule. The following IBS symptoms were assessed every two weeks during the study period an again at 10 weeks. Two weeks after taking the probiotics, participants noticed decreased in days with pain, decreased in abdominal pain, decreased bloating, and improved quality of life.

The study suggested that supplementing large number of these beneficial bacteria may have the effect of “crowding” out the bad bacteria in the gut thereby helping to reduce gas production and pain.

Williams E.A., et al. Clinical trial: a multi-strain probiotic preparation significantly reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in a double-blind placebo-controlled study. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2009:29:27-103

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Filed under Digestion, Food allergy, IBD, IBS, Inflammation, Leaky gut syndrome

How can probiotics benefit you?

Years of antibacterical overuse, in everything from soup to toothpaste, have left our “good” gut bacteria severely compromised. The thriving population of these bacteria helps not only our digestion, but overall immunity as well. By reinforcing these strong gut soldiers, called probiotics, we strengthen from the inside our defenses against bad bugs, yeast, and other intestinal infections.

Many delicious foods have high levels of these beneficial bacteria, including yogurt, miso, and fermented and unfermented milk. Unfortunately, many of these foods are an acquired taste, and if you don’t appreciate the sour tang, you might not get their health benefits.

A recent meta-analysis of 31 randomized, placebo-controlled studies, published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, found the probiotic S. boulardii could be “strongly recommended for the prevention of antibiotic-assoicated diarrhea and traveler’s diarrhea. Plenty of promising research suggests that probiotics can:

  • keep harmful pathogens from implanting in the intestinal wall
  • improve the function of the mucous lining of the intestinal tract
  • help manage symptoms of IBS
  • help recover from intestinal, vaginal, urinary tract infections
  • help prevent and reduce severity of colds and flu

With the various benefits of probiotics, one should definitely try to incorporate more foods that are high in beneficial bacteria into the diet, or simply spend 5 minutes and picking out a bottle at the store. High-quality probiotics supplements are generally available in the refrigerated sections of your health food store.

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Filed under Digestion, Eczema, Food allergy, IBS, Leaky gut syndrome

Fiber as a natural weight loss promoter

The best fiber to use for weight loss is water-soluble fiber. Examples of water-soluble are psyllium, gluconmannan, guar gum, and pectin. When taken with water before meals or with meals, these fiber sources bind to the water in the stomach to form a gelatinous mass that makes you feel full. As a result, you will be less likely to overeat.

The benefits of fiber go well beyond this mechanical effect. Fiber supplements have been shown to enhance blood sugar control and insulin effects, as well as reduce the number of calories absorbed by the body. In clinical studies demonstrating weight loss, fiber supplements were shown to reduce the number of calories absorbed by 30-180 calories/day. This reduction in calories may not seem like much, but over the course of a year it would add up to three to eighteen pounds.
In addition to weight loss, fiber supplementation promotes good health. Studies have shown these very same water soluble fiber sources to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, reduce the risk for various cancer including colon, rectal, and pancreatic cancer, reduce blood sugar levels in diabetes, promote proper bowel movement function, and help with peptic ulcers.

There are many fiber supplements to choose from. I recommend one that is rich in water-soluble fiber and avoid products containing added sugar or other sweeteners. One other very important recommendation is to be sure to drink adequate amount of water when taking and fiber supplement.

Remember to start with a small dosage and increase gradually. Water soluble fibers are fermented by intestinal flora. As a result, gas and bloating can be a problem. If you are not used to a high fiber diet, an increase in dietary fiber can lead to increased flatulence and abdominal pain. Start out with a dosage of 1-2 grams before or with meals and gradually increase the dosage. How much weight will you loose? It really depends on how much you weigh, you should lose 50-100% more weight by supplementing you diet with fiber than by dietary restriction alone.

Caution: individuals with a disorder of esophagus should not take fiber in pill as it can expand in the esophagus and create obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract.

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Filed under Weight Loss

What temperature water do you drink?

We all know that water is good for us, but often most of us don’t give it too much thought of what temperature water is best for our health.

The temperature of water you drink matters. It matters more to those who experiences digestive complaints including indigestion, gas/bloating, constipation, diarrhea. Most would agree that our stomach/small intestine take on the responsibilities of breaking foods into smaller particles and ensuring proper digestion of food and absorption of various crucial nutrients. Their actions are similar to what a stove does for us (yes, a stove from you kitchen). A stove provides energy to cook food to ensure foods are properly digested. The cooking process essentially helps to break down the fibers of meat and vegetables. Now, imaging pouring some ice cold water into a pot of food you have been heating for a while, it will admittedly takes longer and more energy for the pot to heat up again and continue to cook. Similar to our digestive system, the body spends so much energy in heating (digesting) the food we eat. By drinking icy cold water, it immediately slows down the digestive system, preventing proper digestion and absorption. Without proper digestion and absorption of vital nutrients, the body does not have of the resources and building blocks to regenerate, rejuvenate and heal. In the long run, it will put a burden on the other parts of the body. If you are experiencing digestive complaint, consider trying to switching to warm temperature or warm water. Avoid cold or ice water when possible.

On a side note, there are many very powerful reasons to drink lots of water every day. There’s a quick reminder:

1. Weight loss. First of all because it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and alcohol with a drink that doesn’t have any calories. But it’s also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs, and no sugar.

2. Energy. Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated — and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.

3. Headache cure. In fact, often when we have headaches it’s simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.

4. Healthy skin. Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water.

5. Cleansing. Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.

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Filed under Digestion, Eczema, fatigue, IBS, Skin Conditions

Natural treatments for Psoriasis

Psoriasis occurs when the skin cells reproduce up to a hundred times faster than normal. The result? Skin cells age quickly and can’t be sloughed off fast enough, leaving one with crusty skin patches that become sore and itch.

More recently researchers have regarded psoriasis as an immune-mediated disease. This view is supported by novel therapies that target leukocytes and related cytokines. It appears that psoriasis is a complex immune-mediated disease in which T-lymphocytes and dendritic cells play a central role. Although drugs and infections may trigger psoriasis, the primary insult that initiates psoriasis is not always clear. The typical clinical findings of redness and scaling are the result of hyperproliferation and abnormal differentiation of the skin cells, together with inflammatory cell infiltrates and vascular changes.

The diet that is important in the treatment of psoriasis includes lots of vegetable, fruits, nuts, whole grains, legumes, beans, fish, and chicken. Avoid saturated fats and refined foods such as pork, beef, and baked goods. Also, avoid alcohol, smoking, coffee, and sugar.

Naturopathic psoriasis treatments:

-Minimize triggers. Cold weather, an infection, stress, and certain medication, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can cause flare-ups.

-Let the sun shine. Small does of ultraviolet light make a huge difference. The trick is determining the proper amount—too much UV exposure can cause flare-ups. Use sunscreen on the nonpsorasis areas to prevent sun damage in those parts.

-One supplement that helps this condition is zinc, which is depleted by the excessive cell production.

-Decrease inflammation with Omega 3’s. These essential fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can alleviate dryness of the skin.

-Address the underlying problems such as candidiasis or allergies. They are often the root causes to many skin conditions

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Filed under Skin Conditions

Get You Daily Dose of Sunshine

Sunlight provides us with good levels of vitamin D, a vitamin and also a hormone with several functions. It is thought to help protect us from cancer, TB, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and possible some as-yet unknown disease. Vitamin D is manufactured from cholesterol when skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun and it is difficult to get enough from diet alone.

The most well known result of severe vitamin D deficiency is rickets, a disease causing crippling bowlegs. That is because vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium and magnesium, needed for good bone density. In adult, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia and is caused by an inability to absorb both calcium and phosphorus, for which vitamin D is necessary.

Vitamin D has recently become known as an effective anticancer agent, and it has been known for decades that there is an inverse correlation between sun exposure and cancer mortality. Vitamin D is associated with lower colon, prostate, skin, and breast cancer. Women with breast cancer have been found to be twice as likely to have a fault in the gene that enables that body to use vitamin D. The anticancer activity of vitamin D may be due to its ability inactivate certain oncogenes, genes that instruct ordinary cells to become cancer cells.

Vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, but not very easily. Milk and some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Eggs contain vitamin D but you would need to eat 10 eggs to get 200IU. The best source of vitamin D are fish oil and cod liver oil. Vitamin D is no use with a completely fat-free diet, since it is a fat soluble substance needing fat for transport.

Spending ten to twenty minutes outside two to three times a week in summer is thought to give us adequate vitamin D to help prevent and manage many health conditions. Those with dark skins may need more, and you may need to take supplements in if you live in a cloudy region. It is best to have your vitamin D level tested to determine if there is a vitamin D deficiency. To ensure proper assessment of vitamin D level, 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be tested. A level below 32ng/ml is considered deficient and requires therapies including diet and lifestyle changes and supplementation. Published cases of vitamin D toxicity all involve intakes of at least 40,000 IU/day.

Examples of conditions that benefit from vitamin D:

  • · Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets
  • · Vitamin-D deficiency myopathy
  • · Psoriasis
  • · Polycystic Ovaries
  • · Seasonal mood disorder
  • · Scleraderma
  • · Prostate cancer
  • · Migraines

For more information about vitamin D testing or supplementation, please contact Dr. Lee via email info@seattlenaturopathiccenter.com or 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Vitamin D

Eat up to fight aging!

A growing number of foods have been shown to combat inflammation, which interferes with healthy tissue repair and triggers genetic changes that can lead to cancer, heart problems, diabetes, depression and other types of life-threatening disease.

While you probably know that the Mediterranean diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and fish) is a weapon in fighting inflammation, you might also want to try out these superfoods.

Already eating kale and spinach? Try: Swiss chards. These leafy greens, as well as turnip and collard greens, are good sources of vitamins A and C, folic acid, and flavonids, all of which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that work to reduce the amount of free radicals.

Already eating oatmeal? Try: Quinoa. These whole grains, as well as brown rice, bulgur, barley, millet, and wheat berries may enhance health by lowering the levels of CRP (C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation), stabilizing blood sugar, and providing needed antioxidants.

Already eating almonds: Try: Walnut. Walnuts and flaxseeds are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid, another omega-3 fatty acid that quells inflammation. Add a handful of chopped walnuts or sprinkling of ground flaxseeds to your oatmeal or salad.

Already ready eating wild salmon? Try: Trout. Cold-water fish like these, as well as tuna, mackerel, sardines, halibut, sablefish, and anchovies, are rich sources of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids – specifically DHA and EPA. These essential fatty acids are critical to cell function, such as energy production, fat metabolism, immune reaction, brain function, and supple radiant skin. The American Health Association recommends at least two 3.5oz serving of fatty fish per week. Looking for protein- rich alternative to fish? Try organic omega 3 enriched eggs.

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Filed under Antiaging, Digestion, fatigue

Does your child have milk allergy?

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy in young children, affecting about two percent of children under four years of age. It is the third most common food, after peanut and tree nuts, responsible for food-induced anaphylaxis in pediatric population. This food allergy presents with a wide range of clinical syndromes due to immunologic responses to cow’s milk proteins that can be immunoglobulin (Ig)E- and/or non-IgE-mediated. IgE-mediated food-triggered reactions generally occur immediately, within minutes to two hours after ingestion. These reactions can present with skin, upper and lower respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, and/or cardiovascular signs and symptoms.

All milk proteins are potential allergens. Cow’s milk contains casein and whey proteins that account for approximately 80 and 20 percent of total protein, respectively. Cooking diminishes the allergenicity of whey proteins, presumably by denaturation of heat-sensitive proteins. This may explain why extensively heated milk (eg, milk in baked goods) is better tolerated by many patients. Similarly, yogurt cultures, which ferment and acidify milk, diminish the amount of intact whey protein in milk and may result in tolerance of yogurt-based dairy products by individuals with cow’s milk allergy exclusively sensitized to whey proteins.

Sample conditions affected by milk allergy:

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) — Food allergy plays a pathogenic role in a subset of patients, primarily infants and children, with atopic dermatitis.

Allergic gastrointestinal disorders — Milk is also among the major allergens identified in allergic eosinophilic esophagitis. Patients with this disorder have symptoms suggestive of gastroesophageal reflux, but are unresponsive to conventional reflux therapies. Other presenting symptoms include feeding disorders, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Patients with allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis may have symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss.

Gastroesophageal reflux — Symptoms in gastroesophageal reflux may be associated with cow’s milk allergy.

Constipation — Cow’s milk allergy/intolerance has been suggested as a cause of constipation in infants and children, especially in those with chronic constipation.

The diagnosis of cow’s milk allergy is based upon the history and laboratory testing. The gold-standard diagnostic procedure may include elimination of the suspected food, challenge, and re-elimination. In breastfed infants, this includes a maternal exclusion diet avoiding cow’s milk protein. In formula-fed infants, the use of either extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid-based infant formulae is recommended. If minimal to no improvement is noted on a milk avoidance diet, the food in question is not responsible for symptoms, the diet has not been restricted enough, or the patient may have multiple food allergies and additional foods may be considered suspicious. Measurement of cow’s milk-specific IgE can aid in the diagnosis of IgE-mediated cow’s milk allergy and may eliminate the need for oral food challenges.

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Filed under Digestion, Eczema, Food allergy, IBS