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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

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

healthy fat, saturated fat, good vs bad fat, holistic, naturopathic medicine, charlotte nc

The Truth about Fat

Many people are still under the assumption that a low-fat diet is best for your health.  This belief is false.  Our bodies require fat to function, but not all fat is created equal.  Fat provides the body with the proper nutrients for hormone development, cell growth and energy production.  Proper nutrition can be achieved through a diet rich in fats, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  Fat itself is an essential nutrient.  Our bodies need the appropriate ratio of nutrients; this includes fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Fats are composed of building blocks called fatty acids.  These fatty acids fall into two categories: saturated,  and unsaturated fats (further divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated).  There is also a fourth type of fat known as trans fat.

Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fat

Unsaturated fats are mostly liquid at room temperature and come primarily from plant-based foods.  Unsaturated fats protect against heart disease as they do not raise blood cholesterol levels.

Unsaturated fats can be divided further into two groups: monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.  Examples of monounsaturated fats are olive oil and almond oil.  These are safe for consumption but due to their chemical makeup, they should not be heated to high temperatures.  Polyunsaturated fats are those consisting of omega-3s and omega-6s such as walnuts, green vegetables and fish.

Saturated fats are derived from animal-based products and are solid at room temperature.  Saturated fats leave little room for free-radicals to intervene, thus these require minimal processing, which in turn makes them very good for our consumption.  The most known examples of good saturated fats are butter and coconut oil.

The Most Harmful Fats: Trans Fat

Trans fats are the fats most harmful to cholesterol levels and provide the most increased risk to heart disease.   As discussed, unsaturated fats are found liquid and saturated fats are found solid.  Trans fats are naturally liquid oils but become solid at room temperature by the addition of hydrogen.  This process is known as hydrogenation.

Hydrogenation turns relatively healthy oils into solids for the purpose of extending a food’s shelf-life.  Indicators of trans fats are foods with ingredients containing words such as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated.  The most well known hydrogenated fat is margarine or shortening.

You should avoid refined oils such as canola oil or other vegetable oils as these go through extreme processing.  Also avoid “junk food” and fast food or anything that is pre-packaged such as cookies, muffins, pies and cakes as these often contain high amounts of trans fats.  Most fast food chains use shortening and hydrogenated oils for frying food because they are inexpensive, readily available and they do not go rancid.

Avoid foods advertised as “fat-free” or “low fat”.   These foods are usually chemically modified and may have harmful effects.  When buying meat, chose the fattier cuts as this is more naturally occurring fat.  For example, get ground beef with 20% or 30% fat instead of 3% or 5% percent.  The best fats are natural and include real butter (with no oils added), olive oil and coconut oil.

Good Fat vs. Bad Fat

It is not always easy to differentiate between a healthy fat or an unhealthy fat.  Some examples of good fats and bad fats are listed below:

Good fats – eggs, coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts, butter, fish high in omega-3 fatty acids

Bad fats – soybean oil, margarine, butter substitutes, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, flax oil


Recipes Using Good Fat

Salmon with Mango and Avocado Salsa Lettuce Wraps

FOR THE SALMON

1-pound fresh salmon fillet or 4 (4-ounce) fillets
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 fresh lime, halved
1/4 chili powder
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

FOR THE WRAP

Green leaf lettuce (butterhead lettuce or large spinach leaves work well)

FOR THE MANGO AVOCADO SALSA

1 mango, pitted, peeled and diced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1/3-cup finely diced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 whole lime
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Transfer salmon to the prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze lime juice over the entire fillet.  Rub the chili powder into the salmon, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.  Remove from oven and let stand couple minutes.

To prepare the salsa, combine diced mango, avocado, pepper, cilantro, lime, oil, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl; toss to combine.

To finish, wrap salmon and salsa into lettuce wraps.

Baked Egg in Avocado

Avocado
2 eggs
Sea salt & pepper
Seasoning, optional

Instructions:

Cut avocado in half, remove pit.  If necessary scoop out some avocado to make room for egg.  Crack eggs into a bowl.  Place yolk and some egg white (with a spoon) into the avocado’s hole.  Place in muffin pan or similar so the avocado will stand up and not spill egg.  Bake in oven on 425 for 13-15 minutes.

Healthy Pesto Spread

3 cups basil (moderately packed)
juice of one small-medium lemon
1/3 c walnuts or pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
3/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the olive oil.  Pulse until evenly chopped.  Slowly add in the olive oil through the top of the processor.  Pulse until evenly combined, but not completely smooth.

Resources:

http:// braveforpaleo.com

http:// diethood.com

http:// dontwastethecrumbs.com

https:// draxe.com

http:// drhyman.com

http:// goodinthesimple.com

http:// health.harvard.edu

natural health charlotte, charlotte naturopath, healthy eating, charlotte, the lifestyle clinic

Get Back on Track 7 Day Express Plan

Have you fallen off the wagon?
Do the summer festivities have you feeling off balance?

Give yourself a quick mid summer boost:

Increase Energy
Improve Digestion
Lose Weight
Feel Better

This Express Program includes all your supplements and a special meal plan designed to get you back on track fast!

Cost $158 (+Shipping if applicable)

Hurry! Don’t miss out!
There are a limited number of programs available.

Purchase a program for a friend/family member and do it together
Pick your own start date
Recipes for main dishes, side dishes and dessert included
Mix and match meals to create your own food plan

Order now by calling the office or logging into our online store at lifestyle-clinic.com. (Select Shop on our Top Menu)

 

chronic inflammation, charlotte nc, charlotte natural health, naturopathic, healthy eating

What is Chronic Inflammation?

Almost all diseases and illnesses stem from chronic inflammation.  Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is your body’s first line of defense against toxins, infections and injuries.  It helps to keep your body healthy and working properly.  When your cells are in distress, they release chemicals to alert your immune system.  Your body then sends inflammatory cells to heal the body from the foreign substance.  A good example of inflammation is when you get a splinter in your finger and your finger becomes red and puffy because your body is trying to fight any potential bacteria that is trying to enter your body.  This puts your body and immune system in overdrive causing chronic inflammation.

You may be suffering from chronic inflammation and not even know it.  Are you having a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, aging earlier than you should, or feel tired and sick all the time?  This is most likely due to chronic inflammation.

The most effective way to combat chronic inflammation is through diet.  At The Lifestyle Clinic, we put our patients on an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of high-quality proteins, vegetables, healthy fats, fruits (in moderation), and nuts.  We try to focus on going back to the basics and making healthy food choices easy and simple for the everyday person.

Healing chronic inflammation isn’t only about adding anti-inflammatory foods—it’s also about getting rid of pro-inflammatory foods.  Most of us know that sugar and white flour are pro-inflammatory, but these are other foods that are usually known as “healthy” foods.  They may surprise you!

1. Whole wheat bread

The sugar in whole wheat bread will increase your blood glucose, causing your body to produce higher levels of pro-inflammatory cells.  Sugar elevates your insulin levels, triggering an immune response of destructive molecules to form, therefore feeding inflammation.

**Try eating your sandwich without bread or substituting with lettuce wraps.  If you don’t generally feel satisfied until you eat bread, try filling up on veggies first. Gluten is one of the main culprits of chronic inflammation.

2. Dairy

Dairy is thought to be the backbone of a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients and helping to build strong bones.  The truth is that dairy is the most inflammatory food in our diets after gluten.  The human body is not able to break down the sugars and proteins (casein and whey) found in dairy.  When dairy enters the body, inflammatory chemicals are released in an attempt to help the body digest these foreign substances.

**Try consuming unsweetened nut or hemp milks as good alternatives to cow’s milk.  Other non-dairy sources of calcium are almonds, kale, collard greens, broccoli, and spinach. Dairy is highly inflammatory and one of the leading factors to chronic inflammation, despite the fact that we are told from a young age that it builds strong bones.

3. Diet soda

Have you made the switch to drinks with splenda, aspartame or other artificial sweeteners because you’re trying to lose weight by avoiding sugar?  If so, these sweeteners are causing your body more harm than sugar itself.  Artificial sweeteners can cause glucose intolerance, increasing belly fat which in turn forces your body to crank out inflammatory chemicals.

**If you want to switch up the water to avoid chronic inflammation, try drinking unsweetened tea and sweetening with natural stevia or lemon. You can also add fruits to your water!

4. Seed oils

You might have heard that seed oils like corn, soybean, sunflower, and canola oil are good for you. However, these oils are heavily processed and they’re frequently rancid even at the time you buy them. Worse yet, they have an unhealthy ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. They’re high in omega-6s, which are pro-inflammatory, and low in anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

**Substitute these with healthy fats like olive, coconut, and avocado oils. These healthy fats are anti-inflammatory and can help to decrease chronic inflammation.

5. Nonfat fruit yogurt

Most people view this as the ultimate health food, fast and convenient and having probiotics to help your gut flora. Most people don’t even realize that they don’t tolerate dairy well until they eliminate it from their diet. When they do, symptoms such as headaches, acne, bloating and allergies will clear up. This usually means that your internal inflammation is decreasing.

These yogurts are often full of pro-inflammatory sugar or artificial sweeteners and contain only a tiny amount of actual fruit. When these are made and stripped of its fat, they substitute artificial fillers and thickeners—ingredients that are unfamiliar to your body and can promote inflammation.

**Avoid dairy and to increase the health of your gut, take a daily probiotic and eat fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.


To fight inflammation, rethink “healthy.” Call The Lifestyle Clinic today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Naturopathic Doctors to learn more about healthy foods and to come up with a nutritional plan to help you feel your best!

Instead, try some of these Anti-Inflammatory Foods:
Dark, leafy greens
Turmeric
Blueberries
Broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous veggies
Chia seeds
Avocados
Shiitake mushrooms

-By Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

Resources:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24830/5-healthy-foods-that-contribute-to-inflammation.html

http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog/2012/09/22/9-foods-that-cause-inflammation-and-9-that-fight-it/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8646/the-dangers-of-dairy.html

allergies, natural health, detox

Dealing with Pesky Allergies

Allergies? Itchy eyes, runny nose, hives, sneezing, headaches… these are all symptoms that you have allergies. An allergic response is the reaction of the body’s immune system to a substance that is normally harmless to the body. The offending substance causing allergies is called an allergen. These can include; dust, grass pollens, certain foods, food additives, chemicals, metals, and animal hair to name a few.

Many people believe that allergies are caused by the substance themselves. In reality it is a reaction from your immune system trying to keep you healthy.

What are Allergies?

It begins with exposure. Even if you’ve inhaled an allergen many times before with no trouble, at some point, the body flags it as an invader. The immune system makes antibodies which are special cells designed to detect the invading allergen if it enters your body again.

Then, the next time you’re exposed to the allergen, your immune system kicks into action. The antibodies recognize the allergens, which then flood the body with chemicals such as histamine. Histamine serves as a red flag to your immune system by notifying the body of potential harm. When these chemicals are released into the body, they are responsible for symptoms such as inflammation, swelling, hives, redness, itching, constriction of the airways, and increased mucus secretion.  Typical reactions associated with allergies include; asthma, hayfever, sinusitis, swelling of the throat, hives, eczema, migraine headaches, abdominal bloating, and cramping.

The Liver’s Role in Allergies

The best way to avoid allergies is to make sure that your liver and immune system are in peak condition. When your liver is functioning poorly, it cannot properly cleanse the blood of toxins (such as antibodies and chemicals).

These toxins over stimulate the immune system causing it to pour out histamine causing these allergic reactions.

A great way to optimize your liver and immune system function is to detoxify your body. By clearing the body of toxins, it will allow the detox processes in the body to better filter and deal with allergens in the future.

If you are experiencing allergic reactions, this is a clear sign that your body may have a build-up of toxins. These over-burden your liver which means that your liver is also burning fat less efficiently causing it to be difficult for weight loss. Gentle and regular detoxification is very helpful when trying to balance the immune system. Doing a seasonal detox will help to boost your liver to its full potential as well as re-set your immune system.

Ask your Naturopathic Doctor how it can benefit you!  

Talk to our Naturopathic Doctor about starting your detoxification program to help ease symptoms associated with allergies. If you or someone you know could benefit, please have them call us to set up a Free Phone Consultation to discuss individual needs.

We also offer group detox programs! We can come to your church, job or even if your family or friends want to participate together. Contact us today to find out more information!

By: Dr. Kivette Parkes, Naturopathic Doctor

 

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/chronic-allergies-causes

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11175/everything-you-need-to-know-about-histamine-intolerance.html

https://www.liverdoctor.com

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Food is the Basis of Health

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. This famous quote by Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, rings even more true today than when he said it did back in 400 B.C.

Hippocrates was a physician who made a living by going door to door to see bed-ridden patients in their homes. His first hand observations of the effects of diet and lifestyle on overall health led him to create the philosophical foundation upon which modern medicine was founded. In fact, physicians since those times have taken the Hippocratic Oath through which they promise to uphold these basic principles of preserving health without causing any harm to the patient.

Lifestyles and medicine have changed a lot since the time of Hippocrates. In fact, modern medicine has never been further away from nature. In order for a medication to be patented and prescribed for the treatment of disease it legally cannot be natural because there cannot be a patent on a naturally occurring thing. So now as a result, we are far removed from the very foundation on which modern medicine was built. Drugs are commonly prescribed over food and lifestyle modifications. In fact, for many physicians and medical researchers, food has no therapeutic value beyond providing calories for energy. The blatant disconnect between nutrition and health is so severe in medicine nowadays, that many physicians don’t even ask their patients about their daily food intake before treating them.

What hasn’t changed, over the past 2500 years is our basic anatomy and physiology. Our bodies are still made of the same organs and systems and cells. Each cell still has the same nutritional needs today as it did in the days of Hippocrates. The cell is the most basic level of life and our bodies are made of millions of them. Each cell is like a tiny biochemical machine that performs different jobs depending on where it is located in the body. It takes raw materials from the food we eat and uses them to may hormones, brain chemicals, enzymes, new cells as well as a host of other essential substances. In fact, most cells in our bodies are replaced by newer cells at least every few years.

If the quality of the raw materials used to make these new cell is poor, as time goes on the overall health of these new cells decreases and the aging process is accelerated. Imagine a body made from candy bars, French fries, and diet sodas. Now compare that to a body made from fresh fruit, organic kale and spinach and lots of pure water. Do you think there would be a distinct difference in the quality and health of the cells and organs between the two bodies? There would absolutely be a difference. Therefore, if the health of the cells and organs in our bodies are affected by the type and quality of food we eat, it stands to reason that the food we eat has a direct impact on how we feel, both physically and emotionally. It will determine if our bodies work properly or if we will be susceptible to diseases such as heart disease, cancer, hormone imbalances, diabetes, thyroid diseases, depression, digestive disorders and other issues not ordinarily associated with diet.

As evident in our society, food can cause as much harm as good. According to the Centers for Disease Control, close to 70% of all US deaths are related to diet and lifestyle. As a Naturopathic Physician, at The Lifestyle Clinic, my main goal is to make sure that the basic nutritional requirements for each patient is being met. At our office, we don’t just look at symptoms. Instead when do a comprehensive evaluation of each patient’s medical history, family/genetic history, exercise routine, stress levels and all the major body systems. This ensures that we provide the best holistic individual food plan for each patient.

The type and quality of food we eat is extremely important. I place a direct focus on whole food nutrition. My patients are always encouraged to eat foods that occur naturally in nature as close to their natural state as possible and avoid processed and synthetic food. In fact, my philosophy is that there are only two basic food groups. The first is real, natural whole foods that you can recognize just by looking at them. The second is synthetic food products that do not occur in nature and you will need to read a list of ingredients to figure out exactly what you are eating. Needless to say, eating from the first group is always preferred. It is a simple philosophy that makes sense of nutrition in this very technical and complicated world. It eliminates the need for counting calories, grams of sodium, grams of fat and all the other unhealthy additives found in processed or synthetic food.

Natural food comes perfectly packaged and balanced by nature. If we eat a good colorful variety of organic fruits, vegetables and some lean animal protein, we provide our bodies with what they need to maintain, improve and preserve our health.

Written by Dr. Kivette Parkes, ND

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Chocolate and Heart Health

Magnesium is a mineral that the body needs for more than 300 biochemical reactions. It cannot be created within the body, and must be ingested in order to help maintain muscle, bone and nerve function, keep a steady heart rhythm and blood pressure, create a strong immune system and regulate blood sugar levels.

Foods high in Magnesium include green vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. Another excellent source of magnesium is cocoa, especially powdered cocoa. When under stress, we use up a lot of magnesium.

Chocolate cravings may be a sign of magnesium deficiency, because chocolate is high in magnesium. Other signs of low magnesium include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness.

Before supplementing Magnesium, it is important to talk it over with your Naturopathic Doctor. Each patient’s health is unique. Your ND can discuss with you how best to supplement magnesium in your diet.

Nutrition Charlotte NC

The 8 Best Foods for your Heart

Salmon – Immensely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon can reduce blood pressure and minimize blood clots. 2-3 servings per weeks may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to 1/3. Other fish like salmon are mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines will also boost your heart health.

Avocado – Packed with monounsaturated fat, and can help lower LDL while raising HDL.

Walnuts – High in Omega 3 fatty acids walnuts are a heart-healthy snack.

Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are full of anti-inflammatories, which aid in reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer.

Legumes – Lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.

Spinach – Is said to keep your heart in tip-top shape. It’s full of lutein, folate, potassium and fiber.

Flaxseed – Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega- 6 fatty acids.

Olive Oil – Full of monounsaturated fats, it can lower the LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.