lifestyle clinic, charlotte, nc, fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

Nearly 70 percent of women will suffer from uterine fibroids in their lifetime, although they will only cause symptoms in about 25 percent of women. Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors that grow on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids can grow as a single tumor, or there can be many of them. They range in size and quantity from being as small as an apple seed to as large as a grapefruit. Those women who do have symptoms from fibroids often find it very difficult to lead a normal pain free life. In extreme cases, surgery is necessary. Fibroids are responsible for more than 200,000 hysterectomies each year.

Some risk factors are out of your control, but there are many you can manage. There are a lot of things you can do to balance your hormones naturally, which is a key part of natural fibroid prevention and treatment before considering surgery. No one knows exactly what causes uterine fibroids, but it is generally known that hormones, particularly estrogen, are known to play a part.

Four things you should know about uterine fibroids:

1. Certain groups of women are at a higher risk

Age– Fibroids become more common as women age, especially during the 30s and 40s through menopause. After menopause, fibroids usually shrink due to the change in hormone levels.

Family history– If your other female blood relatives have fibroids, this dramatically increases your risk of also developing them.

Ethnic origin– African-American women have a much higher risk of developing fibroids than women of other races or ethnicities.

Obesity– Women who are overweight are two to three times more likely to develop fibroids compared to women who maintain a healthy weight.

Eating habits– Eating a lot of red meat, fish or poultry that is non-organic and raised with the use of hormones can significantly increase the risk of developing fibroids.

Early menstruation– Women who began menstruation prior to the age of 10 are at a higher risk for fibroids than those who started after the age of 10.

Birth control– Taking birth control pills can make fibroids grow more quickly because of the increased estrogen level in the body. Foods that are high in estrogen, and chemicals that mimic estrogen may also play a role in the development of fibroids.

2. Many women have no symptoms or side effects

Most fibroids do not cause any symptoms, but some women with fibroids may have issues such as:

Heavy bleeding (which can cause anemia)
Painful menses
Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area
Swelling of the lower abdomen
Frequent urination
Pain during sexual intercourse
Lower back pain
Complications during pregnancy and labor
Reproductive problems such as infertility

3. Fibroids do not always lead to infertility

Fibroids affecting fertility really depends on the number, location, and size of the fibroids. Less than three percent of cases of infertility are solely due to fibroids (without any other factors).

4. You don’t have to have surgery

In the past, when you found out you were suffering from fibroids that caused very heavy bleeding and pain, it was thought that a hysterectomy was the only option. Now there are other options such as working with a Naturopathic Doctor to balance your hormones naturally to help shrink and decrease the symptoms associated with fibroids. You can balance your hormones by avoiding foods that promote the development of fibroids such as processed foods and meats, refined sugar, alcohol and caffeine. As always, a healthy and well balanced diet is the best way to keep fibroids at bay. You should eat a nutrient rich diet with organic foods, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, beta-carotene and iron rich foods to help minimize your risk of developing fibroids. You should also avoid excessive exposure to environmental toxins that act as estrogen in the body, these include pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, bleach, food preservatives, harmful cleaners and food dyes. If possible you should also use natural, unbleached feminine care products as well as organic body care products and makeup to minimize your risk.

If you or someone you know is suffering from uterine fibroids, call us at (704) 334-3761 to schedule your free phone consultation with one of our Naturopathic doctors to learn more about your natural and holistic options.


Bonus Tip- Reasons to shop at Farmers Markets

Imagine this: in an ideal world, you could walk leisurely to your backyard to pick your fruits, vegetables and herbs for the day and spend the day laboring over your garden under the warm sun. Unfortunately, for most of us this is not our reality but we still want to make healthy choices. Our lives are filled with obligations that keep us busy. Your local farmers market is the best place to meet your local farmers and food producers and feed your family the healthiest foods. You can find a variety of things at your local farmers market, ranging from produce and eggs to local handmade gifts and flowers. Before visiting your local market, take some time to research and ask for recommendations. Some booths do not provide bags, so it is a good idea to bring your reusable shopping bags.

Seven reasons to shop at your local farmers markets

1. Freshly picked, in season produce is at its peak (in flavor and nutrition).
Because your food is being grown locally, there is a good chance your produce was picked within a few days. Shopping at a grocery store, this is impossible due to processing and transport time.

2. Support your local farmers.
One of the greatest benefits of shopping at your local farmers market is being able to talk to the farmers. Most of us know that when buying food we should buy organic and non-gmo to avoid ingesting harmful chemicals, but did you know that a lot of small local farms are actually using organic practices even if it might not be displayed? The USDA organic label is a very lengthy and expensive process, so many times only large high-profiting farms are able to go through this process. Talk to your local farmer and ask about their farming practices to make the best choice for your family.

3. Fresh fruit and vegetables are healthier.
When you can, it’s a good idea to purchase local produce to minimize your risk of ingesting heavy pesticides or chemicals. When you cannot buy local produce, frozen produce will suffice as long as it is certified organic.

4. It’s a great way to get your kids involved and interested in food.
You can let your kids pick out something new to try that they’ve never seen before. Then they can help prepare a new meal. This is a great way to add variety to your families meals.

5. Eat seasonally.
Grocery stores have too much variety and the food is picked before it has ripened due to transport times, therefore decreasing the vitality. By eating what is in season locally, your food will be fresh and ripe with a lot of nutrients.

6. Farmers often have recommendations.
If you frequently find yourself bored of the same old meals, your local farmers many times can help you by providing recommendations on how to cook their products.

7. A variety of payment methods.
Many farmers markets are cash only, but more and more are accepting debit and credit cards. Each booth may be different, it is generally a good idea to carry cash just in case (although most farmers markets do have ATMs on site). Benefits such as SNAP and WIC are also being accepted at more and more farmers markets around the country. Contact your local market to find out more about their payment methods.

For a list of local farmers markets in the Charlotte area, please visit the following link:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/food-drink/article73968667.html

A few of our favorites are :

Atherton Market (http://athertonmillandmarket.com/retailers/mill/atherton-market/)
Charlotte Regional Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/CharlotteRegionalFarmersMarket/)
King’s Drive Farmers Market (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kings-Drive-Farmers-Market/166507480078156)

 

Resources:

https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a7187/what-you-need-to-know-uterine-fibroids

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/food-drink/article73968667.html

https: //draxe.com/fibroids/

https://www.nutrition.gov/farmers-markets

https: //www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/uterine-fibroids

caffeine, natural healthcare, charlotte, nc, natural medicine, naturopathic medicine, dr parkes

Caffeine Awareness

Although it’s completely legal, caffeine found naturally in coffee and other drinks is really a stimulant drug. In fact, caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world. It is recognized as an addictive substance by the World Health Organization. Have you ever noticed that if you (or someone you know) go a day without caffeine, will develop headaches, body sweats and irritability? These are all symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, very similar to withdrawal from other stimulants and drugs.

Caffeine affects the central nervous system by elevating your heart rate, increasing alertness, and changing the way your brain and body function. While these may sound somewhat useful, it should only be used occasionally. Caffeine should not be used to replace sleep. It is absorbed into the blood and body tissues within 15 minutes and its effects lasts up to six hours, which can greatly affect sleep.

Whether caffeine is consumed in food, drink or as a medicine, it changes the way the brain and body work. Most of us know that coffee, energy drinks and soft drinks contain caffeine, but you may be surprised to learn that caffeine is hidden in many commonly consumed items. Protein bars, decaf coffee, hot or cold tea, chocolate, “fortified” water and pain medications are a few of the items that contain hidden caffeine.

Although caffeine may appear to have some positive effects, its negative effects greatly outweigh them. Below are some of the most commonly experienced effects of caffeine use:

Dependency and addiction

Similar to any drug, caffeine is very addictive. Most people change how much they use over time based on their built-up level of tolerance. Over time, you will need more caffeine to produce the same energizing effects because your body will naturally build up tolerance. This is very similar to the increased tolerance of alcohol or illegal drug use. If you’re a coffee drinker and have ever had to go without your “fix”, you know how difficult the withdrawal symptoms can be. Withdrawal is a serious reaction to weaning yourself off of caffeine and should not be taken lightly. These symptoms can include headaches, anxiety, irritability, body sweats, trouble concentrating, fatigue, digestive issues and changes in appetite. Relying on caffeine for energy is extremely dangerous and can produce adrenal fatigue that can lead to negative effects on other aspects of your health.

Anxiety

If you suffer from high stress levels, nervousness and anxiety, caffeine can exacerbate these symptoms and make you more susceptible to the negative effects of caffeine. If you are someone who already suffers from these conditions, you should completely avoid caffeine, sugar and other similar stimulants.

Insomnia

Caffeine is known to disrupt sleep and can make insomnia worse in people who suffer from sleep-related concerns. Even if you generally have no trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, caffeine can disrupt your body’s natural hormone levels, such as serotonin and melatonin, that help promote restful sleep. Because of this, you’re more likely to need caffeine to help you function the following day, putting yourself in a never-ending cycle of “needing” caffeine to have a productive day.

Hormone Levels

Over time, caffeine causes the adrenal glands to overwork and eventually weaken. When you’re lacking quality sleep, you suppress healthy hormone production. Caffeine can be especially harmful for women suffering from many hormone related issues such as PMS, PMDD, PCOS, fibroids, endometriosis and infertility.

Dehydration

Caffeine is a diuretic, so you’ve probably noticed you have an increased need to urinate after consuming it. Additionally, caffeine depletes levels of key nutrients and minerals, including B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Additives

The effects of caffeine combined with sugar in sweetened coffee, soft drinks and energy drinks has an even bigger, negative impact on the body than caffeine alone. These high-sugar, processed ingredients are full of artificial sweeteners and chemicals and are extremely dangerous especially when combined with caffeine.

If you are ready to eliminate caffeine from your diet but are unsure where to begin, try switching out some of your sugar filled, caffeinated beverages with some healthy alternatives. You can try flavored herbal teas, including green tea. If you really enjoy the taste of coffee, try switching out your daily fix with a dandelion root tea or latte. To sweeten your caffeine free beverages, try sweetening with pure stevia.

If you have a severe caffeine addiction and don’t know where to begin, call our office today at (704) 334-3761 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our Naturopathic Physicians. We can get you started on a detox that will kick start your journey to a happier and healthier you without the need for caffeine.

References:

https: //draxe.com/caffeine-overdose/

http ://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/285194.php

the lifestyle clinic, charlotte nc, holistic health

Holistic Healthcare

Holistic Healthcare. We’ve all heard it, but do you really know what it means? Holistic healthcare is actually more of an approach to life than it is a system of healthcare. In contrast to conventional western medicine, it does not end when your symptoms are alleviated; it is an ongoing process to make healthy choices everyday. Holistic means considering the whole person in the prevention of disease; physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Instead of focusing on a specific illness or part of your health, it emphasizes the connection of mind, body and spirit. It is based on the belief that these three parts are inseparable and when one is not working at its best, it impacts the entire person. When all the parts are balanced, the result will be optimal health and well-being.

Ancient healing traditions, as far back as 5,000 years ago, stressed healthy living in harmony with nature. These holistic concepts declined during the 20th century when germs were identified as outside sources causing illness and sickness. Western medicine became a process of killing outside invaders using pharmaceutical drugs, thus leading to the belief that people could get away with unhealthy lifestyle choices, and modern medicine would “fix” them as problems developed. Many people are turning back to the holistic approach to health and healing because they are realizing that modern medicine and pharmaceuticals are merely masking symptoms, and not treating the true concern.

In addition to a holistic approach to your health, a team approach is also extremely important. Building your healthcare team is an important step in the process of achieving a whole body balance. It is also very important to ensure that your healthcare team works together and have open communication with one another to work on one common goal: to empower you to become the healthiest you; mind, body and spirit. Each member of the team should know his or her own abilities and limitations and make referrals to another holistic practitioner when needed. A holistic approach means that the doctor is informed about a patient’s whole life situation, not just the small pieces that are relevant to their treatment.

A holistic practitioner is one who may use different forms of treatment, ranging from lifestyle modifications to alternative therapies. When a person is suffering from severe migraines, generally the holistic practitioner will take a look at all of the potential factors that may be causing the symptom, such as diet, hormonal imbalances, a stressful job, marital issues, etc. The treatment plan will usually include lifestyle modifications to help prevent the symptom from recurring instead of simply masking or numbing the symptom through the use of medication.

In holistic healthcare, a symptom is considered an alert that something needs attention. Thus, the symptom is used as a guide to look for the root cause so that the real problem can be addressed. Holistic practitioners recommend treatments that support the body’s natural healing system and are gentle on the body. There are many different types of holistic practitioners but they are generally someone who believes in the following principles:

All people have inherent healing powers that you are born with;
The patient is a person, not just a disease, illness or symptom;
Appropriate healing treatment needs a team approach addressing all aspects of a person’s life using a variety of health care practices;
Patient and physician are partners in the healing process;
Treatment involves fixing the cause of the condition, not just relieving the symptoms.

Holistic practitioners emphasize patient education on lifestyle changes and self-care to promote wellness. Many times this includes diet, exercise, psychotherapy, relationship and spiritual counseling, and more. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, and massage therapy also fit into the scope of holistic healthcare. Your team should include a variety of practitioners to help balance the different aspects of your life. For example, you may see a naturopathic doctor for your hormone imbalance and nutritional counseling, a massage therapist for your tight shoulders and stress relief, and a mental health therapist to discuss your marital and career concerns. Together, with the help of multiple holistic practitioners, you will soon be on your way to the happiest, healthiest version of you. When you first begin, your protocols and appointments may be intense and frequent, but with the help of your holistic practitioners, you will soon be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to reach your optimal health. Then, you will enter a maintenance phase where you possess the resources to lead a healthy life, all while having a team of holistic providers who will be available should anything arise in the future.

In order to understand you as a whole person and not just a symptom or illness, be prepared to answer lots of questions you may not have been asked before. These could range from questions about your diet, exercise, and sleep habits to your frequency and consistency of bowel movements, how you feel emotionally, your religious beliefs and practices, close relationships, and more. Sometimes you may hear a holistic practitioner being called an “alternative practitioner”. This simply means any form of medicine outside the mainstream of western or conventional medicine.

If you are interested in seeing a holistic or alternative practitioner, below is a list of well-known therapies you may have heard of:

Acupuncture
Fine needles are inserted at specific points to stimulate the flow of Qi (vital energy), and restore a healthy energy balance.

Aromatherapy
Using “essential oils” distilled from plants, treating a wide range of concerns. Oils can be massaged into the skin, inhaled, diffused, digested or placed in baths. It is often used complementary with massage therapy, acupuncture, reflexology, herbology, chiropractic, and other holistic treatments.

Chinese Medicine
Chinese medical practitioners are trained to use a variety of ancient and modern therapeutic methods – including acupuncture, herbal medicine, massage, heat therapy, and nutritional and lifestyle counseling – to treat both chronic and acute illnesses.

Chiropractic
Chiropractic medicine views the spine as the backbone of human health: misalignments of the vertebrae caused by poor posture or trauma cause pressure on the nerves of the spine, leading to illness. Through manipulation of the spine, optimal health can be realized.

Counseling/Psychotherapy
This broad category covers a range of practitioners, from career counselors to psychotherapists who treat depression, stress, addiction, and emotional issues. Sessions can vary from individual counseling to group therapy.

Herbalism
An ancient form of healing still widely used, herbalism uses natural plants or plant-based substances to treat a range of illnesses and to enhance the functioning of the body’s systems.

Homeopathy
A medical system that uses extremely small doses of natural substances to stimulate a person’s immune and defense system. A remedy is individually chosen based on its capacity to cause, if given in overdose, physical and psychological symptoms similar to those a patient is currently experiencing.

Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves the practice of manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft tissue with the intent of improving a person’s well-being or health.

Midwifery/Childbirth Support
Midwives provide education and support during pregnancy, assist the mother during labor and delivery, and provide follow-up care. Practitioners of childbirth support include childbirth educators, assistants, and doulas.

Naturopathic Medicine
Naturopathic physicians work to restore and support the body’s own healing abilities using a variety of modalities including nutrition, herbal medicine, and homeopathic medicine. It is a primary health-care system that emphasizes the healing power of nature.

Osteopathic Medicine
Osteopathic physicians provide comprehensive medical care. In diagnosis and treatment, they pay particular attention to the joints, bones, muscles, and nerves and are specially trained in using their hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness.

Reflexology
This modality is based on the idea that specific points on the feet and hands correspond with organs and tissues throughout the body. The practitioner applies pressure to these points to treat a wide range of illnesses.

Reiki
Reiki practitioners use light hand placements to channel healing energies to the recipient. Reiki is commonly used to assist the recipient in achieving spiritual focus and clarity.

At The Lifestyle Clinic, we have a variety of holistic practitioners. Check out our website and call the office today at (704) 334-3761 to learn more about how we can help you or someone you know becoming the happiest, healthiest version of you!

 

References:

https ://ahha.org/selfhelp-articles/holistic-health/

http ://altmedworld.net/alternative.htm

http ://www.signavitae.com/2016/06/holistic-and-team-approach-in-health-care/

http ://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/what-is-holistic-medicine

probiotics, cold and flu, immunity, charlotte naturopathic doctor

Probiotics can help keep you healthy this cold and flu season

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system. If you can increase the amount of good bacteria and balance microorganisms in your body, it can have tremendous health benefits, including boosting your immunity, balancing hormones, detoxifying your liver, helping clear up your skin, and decreasing inflammation, to name a few. This “friendly” bacteria makes up 70-85% of our immune systems.

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that are responsible for a number of things in the body. Probiotics help break down food as well as extract minerals from those foods. Probiotics assist our bodies in producing essential fatty acids and vitamins. These helpful bacteria are also known to eat excess sugar in the body, reducing health risks associated with sugar intake such as inflammation.

If you don’t have enough good bacteria in your gut, the side effects can include: digestive disorders, skin issues, candida, autoimmune disease, and frequent colds and flus.

Every time you take a round of antibiotics, it throws off your gut flora and can affect digestion and many aspects of your health for many months. This is why it is important to limit the number of antibiotics you take to only when completely necessary. You should instead try to boost your immune system to fight off illnesses. Many people go to their doctor every time they are sick and receive antibiotics for viral infections or minor illnesses, when in fact, antibiotics do not help rid viruses.

In addition to excessive antibiotic use, other reasons that the microflora in our systems become unbalanced are eating foods with added hormones and preservatives, exposure to fertilizers and pesticides, carbonated beverages, steroids and even stress. For this reason, it is very important to sustain a healthy amount of good bacteria in your system by eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

How to incorporate probiotics

The best way to ensure you are getting a healthy amount of probiotics in your system is to incorporate probiotic-rich foods into your daily diet as well as taking a daily probiotic supplement. The following foods are high in probiotics; sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, kombucha, and apple cider vinegar (as salad dressing). Getting good, high-quality fiber in your diet can also enhance the development of good bacteria in your body.

When choosing a daily probiotic supplement, you should purchase a high quality, reputable brand that has at least 15 billion CFU (colony forming units) per serving. It should have multiple strains and some high quality brands require refrigeration (once the probiotics touch the air or are heated, they lose their potency). It is however, important to choose a probiotic that is shelf stable as refrigeration may be compromised during transport. The Not Just Weight by Dr. Parkes brand offers a superior probiotic product that is individually packaged to encourage freshness and preserve quality.

Tip: Probiotic-rich food recipes

Simple sauerkraut

Ingredients
1 medium head of cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar (2 qt wide mouth) and jelly jar (smaller jar that fits inside of the 2 qt jar) are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. Make sure to wash your hands, too.
  2. Thinly slice and chop cabbage.
  3. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes (there should be a significant amount of liquid formed).
  4. Pack the cabbage into the large mason jar. Every so often, push down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage into the jar.
  5. Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down (the cabbage needs to be fully submerged in the liquid).
  6. Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents anything from getting into the jar.
  7. Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
  8. If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  9. Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is not fully submerged by liquid.
  10. Start tasting your sauerkraut after 3 days, when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
  11. While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
  12. This sauerkraut will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated.

Reference:
https:// draxe.com/boost-immunity-with-probiotics/
https:// draxe.com/probiotics-a-pro-or-con-for-your-health/
https:// draxe.com/what-are-probiotics/
http:// www.everydayhealth.com/cold-and-flu/probiotics-for-flu-prevention.aspx
http:// www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/do-probiotics-reduce-cold-and-flu-risk/
http:// www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/research-confirms-probiotics-support-immune-system/
http:// www.prescript-assist.com/intestinal-health/immune-system-probiotics/

Recipe Reference:
http:// www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-homemade-sauerkraut-in-a-mason-jar-193124

Health and Freedom - Discover the Path to You

Spring Cleaning, Inside and Out

During spring, nature goes through the process of renewal. Cleansing and detoxification is a gentle and effective way to bring the energy of renewal into our own lives. Spring cleaning is more than just detoxifying the body, it can also mean avoiding toxins in our thoughts, emotions, and environment. Below are some gentle and safe ways to bring the energy of spring cleaning into your life, from the inside out.

Cleansing the Body

Our bodies are exposed to toxins daily from the air we breathe to the products we use. There are several body systems that help us eliminate these toxins such as our liver, kidneys, and even our sweat. These systems can get overwhelmed and often need a little help and support. This is often referred to as doing a “detoxification”.

Modern living can bring us into contact with so many toxins that everyone could use a good detox, especially in the spring! Detox is the process of reducing the amount of toxins that we are exposed to in order to release toxins that are already stored in the body. There are a variety of methods for detoxing the body. Most consist of resting the body by eliminating solid foods for a short time and instead consuming cleansing foods such as special broths, juices, teas, herbs or supplements. After the cleansing period is over, a very clean diet is slowly reintroduced. It is important to speak to a Naturopathic Doctor for any detox. Several hidden factors can complicate a detox if done without professional help such as blood sugar issues, or if a person has been exposed to heavy metals or other dangerous toxins.

Cleansing the Environment

A clean body will only benefit us so long without the support of a clean environment. There are several sources of toxins in our environment that need to be addressed. The most important is toxins in our food. It is important to be eating organic fruits and vegetables, organic meats, non-GMO whole grains, and limit processed foods as these contain dyes, flavor enhancers, preservatives, and other industrial chemicals. Clean water is also a must, including filtered water in non-toxic containers. Glass is the best storage container for water, followed by stainless steel, and BPA-free plastic.

Another area of toxic exposure is in our homes. Household cleaners, laundry products, lawn care chemicals, and bug sprays expose us to numerous chemicals and petroleum based toxins. Even cosmetics, perfumes, shampoos, face washes, deodorants, and toothpastes have chemicals that can disrupt our health. Health food stores offer environmentally-friendly, all- natural products.

Cleansing the Spirit

One overlooked area of detox is our thoughts and emotions. To truly embrace the benefits of a spring clean, we must also look at the mental and emotional environment we live in daily. Chronic stress is one of the most toxic emotions to live with on a daily basis. Not only can it tax the body by stimulating stress hormones, it harms the spirit and positive mental outlook. Other toxic emotions such as anger, resentment, jealousy, anxiety, and depression need to be dealt with. Naturopathic Medicine helps support more than just your body, it helps support the whole person including one’s emotional state.

By working with a Naturopathic Doctor, you can gently release negative emotions and embrace your own health and vitality. Some strategies everyone can use to help support their spring cleaning are deep cleansing breaths, meditation, staying hydrated with clean water, and exercising.

Resources:

Lindlahr, Henry, and Jocelyn C. P. Proby. 1975. Philosophy of natural therapeutics. Saffron Walden: C.W. Daniel Co.

Pizzorno, Joseph E., and Michael T. Murray. 1999. Textbook of natural medicine. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

Vasey, Christopher. 2009. The naturopathic way: how to detox, find quality nutrition, and restore your acid-alkaline balance. Rochester, Vt: Healing Arts Press.

Natural Health Charlotte, Naturopathic Doctor, Natural Health Charlotte

What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

Have your friends and colleagues seen a naturopathic doctor with great results but you are still unsure of what we actually do? Read on to learn more about how we can help you.

A naturopathic doctor is trained as a primary care physician in states where licensure is available. Naturopathic Doctors are currently licensed to practice medicine in 17 states, 5 Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

Naturopathic doctors undergo similar medical training to conventional Medical Doctors. Admission to an accredited Naturopathic medical school requires a bachelor’s degree as well as a competitive GPA in scientific pre-requisites. Coursework includes medical sciences such as anatomy, pathology, biochemistry and diagnostic sciences. Naturopathic Doctors learn to use labs, physical exams, and medical imaging, much like conventional Medical Doctors, to diagnose disease and monitor health.

Naturopathic Medicine is based on 6 principles:

  1. The Healing Power of Nature
    Naturopathic medicine recognizes the body’s ability to heal itself.
  2. Identify and Treat the Causes
    The naturopathic doctor looks beyond the symptoms to find the underlying cause.
  3. First Do No Harm
    Naturopathic medicine uses the most natural and least invasive therapies.
  4. Doctor as Teacher
    Naturopathic doctors educate the patient and encourage self-responsibility for health.
  5. Treat the Whole Person
    Naturopathic doctors treat each person individually by taking into account physical, mental, emotional, genetic, spiritual, environmental and social factors.
  6. Prevention
    Naturopathic doctors make recommendations by focusing on health, wellness and disease prevention.

How will my visit with my Naturopathic Doctor be different?

Naturopathic medicine is committed to treating the whole person, including mind, body and spirit. Your initial office visit will take between 60 and 90 minutes and your Naturopathic Doctor will go into great detail based on your health and family history, lab results and your personal goals. Often, patients say that the biggest difference between a visit with a naturopathic doctor and medical doctor is the amount of time spent with a naturopathic doctor. Your Naturopathic Doctor may ask questions you’ve never been asked before such as;

How is your sleep?

What do you eat on a daily basis?

How often do you have bowel movements?

How would you explain your spirituality?

How are the relationships in your life?

Do you feel supported in your life?

How do you handle stress?

Do your energy levels dip in the afternoon?

Your Naturopathic Doctor will also ask you to keep a detailed food intake log. On this log you will keep track of what you are eating and drinking, as well as all bowel movements and any symptoms you may have. This will help them to associate reactions and symptoms with food or beverages you may have sensitivities to.

What will my treatment plan look like?

Your Naturopathic Doctor will form your treatment plan based on your initial consultation. This will be based on your family history, personal history, goals and especially your lab work. Your plan may include nutrition recommendations, dietary changes, exercise, stress reducing techniques as well as herbal medicines and nutritional supplements. Your naturopathic doctor will most likely want to follow up with you bi-weekly for the first few months, depending on your situation, until you are able to “graduate” to a maintenance phase. Your treatment plan will likely change slightly because as your body changes and you make improvement, your body will need different things. This is why it is extremely important to follow up with your naturopathic doctor regularly.

Naturopath or Naturopathic Doctor?

As explained above, Naturopathic Doctors go through an extensive medical training and are trained as primary care physicians in states where licensure is available. Naturopath’s typically undergo a shorter non-medical school training or certificate to receive a title such as “Holistic Health Coach” or “Naturopath”. When searching for a naturopathic doctor, even in a state where licensure is not available, it is important to ensure that they attended an accredited naturopathic doctor medical program and has passed their Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEX).

If you or someone you know would like to see how a Naturopathic Doctor can help you, please call the office at (704) 334-3761 to schedule a free phone consult today!

By: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

 

Resources:

aanmc.org/naturopathic

Bastyr.edu/academics

huffingtonpost.com/michael-stanclift-nd/naturopathic-doctors

Detox, Veggies, Charlotte, Charlotte Natural Health

You’re Invited to an Online Virtual Detox

JOIN US FOR OUR FIRST VIRTUAL 2 WEEK GROUP DETOX!

– Gain energy 

– Lose pounds and inches 

– Cleanse your blood, liver colon and kidneys 

– Renew, Restore and Revitalize your Body 

– Done completely online from the comfort of your own home 

– Invite friends, family and coworkers to join (non-patients can participate)  

– Friendly competition and support from fellow detox participants

– Access to private detox Facebook group 

– Prizes and surprises! 

– Registration Package which includes all your detox supplements is $283.07 (plus shipping if applicable). 

LIMITED NUMBER OF SLOTS AVAILABLE!  Registration deadline is May 2nd. 

You, and your guests, may call the office at (704-334-3761) to complete registration by phone.

Click here to view your invitation! RSVP Today!

Health and Freedom - Discover the Path to You

Women’s Health Month

March is National Women’s History Month. It is a time when the contributions of women to society are highlighted and celebrated. It is also a time when the multiple roles that women play in everyday life become even more apparent. Women juggle the hats of being teachers, nurses, entrepreneurs, wives, mothers, caretakers and many other things.

It is hard for a woman to keep up all the demands of a multitasking lifestyle and still make time to take care of herself. However, the results of neglecting vital areas of health can result in unnecessary stress, fatigue and unfortunately, preventable illnesses.

So, how can a modern woman stay on top of her health and wellness?

5 Tips for Staying Healthy

1. Schedule time alone. Regular time away from work, children and other demands can re-energize and invigorate!

2. Get regular preventative screenings like, pap smears, breast exams, blood glucose and cholesterol checks.

3. Exercise. Studies show that women who exercise consistently are generally healthier than those who don’t.

4. Cook! Making time to prepare meals can make sure the entire family has better nutrition.

5. Get accountable. Since the concept of wellness is still somewhat optional in today’s society, having a wellness coach or an accountability partner can help when it comes to achieving wellness goals.

Schedule a visit today to learn more ways about how to stay healthy and happy!

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

The Heart of the Matter

February is National Heart Health Month.

With Valentine’s day nestled in the middle of the month, images of heart shaped tokens of love are everywhere. From the infamous heart-shaped box of chocolates, to heart shaped jewelry and special greeting cards, many people will be giving and receiving symbols of love this month. It’s no coincidence that the heart is the universal symbol of love, emotion and affection.

Physiologically, the heart is the ultimate connection between mind and body. It represents the very engine of life. Now, heart health is intimately intertwined with mental and emotional health. Therefore emotional stress can significantly affect the heart. “You almost gave me a heart attack!”  Can emotional stress really cause heart attacks or even worse, lead to death? Researchers from the Psychophysiological Investigations of Myocardial Ischemia (PIMI) study set out to examine that very question. Mental stress has long been associated with coronary heart disease (CHD) and its complications.  Their research has demonstrated a greater than 2- fold increase in subsequent cardiac events, such as heart attack, in those who suffer from heart dysfunction in the setting of mental stress.

Chronic mental stress characterized by depression, lack of social support, or hostility have all been tied to an increased rate of heart disease. Heart disease comes in many forms and is the number one cause of death in the United States. The most common cause of heart disease is coronary artery disease (the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart). Chronic stress and anxiety can often have cardiovascular symptoms such as increased heart rate, palpations and increased blood pressure. It is extremely important to minimize the effect of stress on your heart over time.

A possible solution

Unhealthy lifestyles increase the burden of coronary heart disease. In addition to hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, physical inactivity, obesity, smoking, and consuming an unhealthy diet are also significant risk factors for CHD. Lifestyle modification is an essential population-based strategy for the prevention of CHD through risk factor reduction. In particular, lifestyle interventions have been shown to reduce blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and hypertensive individuals.

At The Lifestyle Clinic, we offer a collaborative, holistic approach to heart health. With alternative stress management techniques, and whole body nutritional support, our goal is to help your body deal with physiological and mental stress more efficiently. This way, the impact of stress on your heart may be reduced.

Weight Loss Natural Health Charlotte

Boost your Immunity, Naturally!

This cold, flu and allergy season, it is estimated that about 25% of adults will get sick despite flu shots and over the counter medications. The good news is, there are a few things you can do to naturally boost your immunity.

Following a diet rich in antioxidants is essential to supporting your immune system. Abundant in many fruits and vegetables, antioxidants combat free radicals (chemical by-products known to damage DNA and suppress the immune system.) Choosing healthy fats (such as the omega-3 fatty acids available in oily fish, flaxseed, and krill oil) over saturated fats (found in meat and dairy products) may help increase your body’s production of compounds involved in regulating immunity.

For an additional immune boost, try adding garlic (shown to possess virus-fighting and bacteria-killing properties) and ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory) to your meals on a regular basis. You can also make an Immune-Tea by boiling chopped garlic and ginger. Strain, then add honey, lemon and stevia to taste.

Drinking plenty of water and steering clear of sugary beverages, like soda and energy drinks, may also help fend off infection by flushing out your system.