6 Food Tips to Help Fight Inflammation

Posted by on Jan 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

What is Inflammation? Inflammation isn’t all bad. Inflammation is the way your immune system responds to an injury perpetrated against your cells, whether it’s a blow to your body or an infection in your blood. Inflammation signals the release of leukocytes—white blood cells that help clean up an injury site. Leukocytes take away pathogens and signal to the body that something’s wrong. Without inflammation, for example, you would continue to use an injured leg. Inflammation creates swelling and pain, letting your body know that you need to stay off your leg for a few days to allow it to heal. Likewise, the inflammation and pain associated with an infection tells you that you might need to stay in bed and rest until your immune system has successfully fought off the threat. Pain and Swelling Sometimes, however, inflammation can spread out of control and cause pain and swelling even when there is no immediate injury to stabilize. Inflammation is behind chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. So how does the inflammatory system end up getting triggered by a “false alarm,” so to speak? There is much evidence to suggest that eating the wrong kinds of foods can send out the inflammatory cavalry when there’s no invading pathogens or injury in sight. Sugar and/or saturated fat, when consumed in excess, have been tagged as substances that push the immune system into over-activity. Basically, foods fall into one of two categories: either they can activate your immune system or shut it down. In order to minimize the chances of your diet triggering painful inflammation, here are six tips for fighting inflammation naturally. Diet Tips to Help Inflammation 1. Eat a balance of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids. Way back in our history on this planet, humans ate a diet that contained the proper proportions of omega fatty acids. Today, omega-6s tend to be over-represented. Consuming too many saturated fats is also an equally prevalent problem. In fact, some of us are consuming 30 times the number of bad fats that we should be. This dramatic imbalance causes the inflammatory response to go into overdrive. 2. Eat vegetarian or fish sources of protein. Eating too much red meat has been shown to trigger inflammation. Studies have shown that replacing red meat with fatty fish could help to reduce inflammatory symptoms associated with arthritis. 3. Add some flaxseed to your breakfast meal. Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to keep inflammation from spreading needlessly throughout the body. 4. Consume only healthy oils and in moderation. That means olive, flax, coconut, and/or hemp oil. These oils are free from the fats that are associated with inflammation. If you don’t...

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Natural Medicine and Conventional Cancer Treatment

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Blog, Cancer | 0 comments

Despite the very loud and vehement protestations of conventional physicians, more than half of all Americans, and 80% of cancer patients are seeking some kind of “alternative” or “natural” medicine, however, few of them are doing so under the guidance of a qualified Naturopathic physician. Moreover, most do not disclose their choices to their doctors. Most MDs who discourage the use of natural medicine do so in an effort to keep their patients safe in an area of medicine that they themselves are not expert in. This is an altruistic and wise action on the MD’s part, except that, there are physician level experts in natural medicine who are also trained in pharmacology and know how to recommend natural products and interventions that are both safe and effective. I am a doctor and an expert in natural medicine, oncology and integrative medicine and as such I am able to identify and add supplements that are safe and effective to the conventional care that my patients are already receiving. I encourage my MD and DO colleagues to refer their patients to my office, or to one of the other 12 offices in the country that staff a Naturopathic Doctor and Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology rather than deny their patients the benefits of our collaboration. We must not refuse to inform our patients of their every option and resource and we must not leave them alone to self-medicate with potentially dangerous alternative treatments. Imagine a healthcare system in which Licensed Naturopathic Physicians and Conventional Physicians provided co-managed care to their patients. What would that look like? Here is just one example: Because of the open collaboration between a Medical Oncologist and me, a lung cancer patient felt comfortable to disclose “alternative” products with which she was self-medicating. With my training, I was able to convince her to come off of herbs and supplements such as Ginkgo, Echinacea, and Ginseng that would have compromised her condition and treatment. My colleague chose Cisplatin and Etoposide as her potentially life-saving chemotherapy treatments. Then I prescribed individualized and appropriate doses of Astragalus, Vitamin E, L-Glutamine, L-Carnitine and a B-complex with B-6, a combination that has been proven safe for her particular treatment and considerably limited the cognitive impairment and peripheral neuropathy common with this chemotherapy. The patient was able to experience both the life-saving benefits of chemotherapy and a higher quality of life that ultimately enabled her to finish her...

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What Next: A Diagnosis with Cancer

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Blog, Cancer | 0 comments

I specialize in knowing exactly what the research has to say about the impact of each area of our lifestyle on each type of cancer. With many years of experience caring for patients with general medical concerns and chronic conditions other than cancer I can also make sure that we modify your lifestyle to meet your exact medical needs. If you are wondering what type of exercise you should be doing as a cancer patient or as a cancer survivor, I can tailor create a program to meet your needs and to improve your ability to get and stay healthy. If you are trying to sort through all the information about diet and cancer please ask me what exactly you should be eating. In addition to my medical training and specialization in oncology care and natural medicine I also hold a degree in nutrition and am well versed to explain what foods fight cancer, what herbs and spices fight cancer, what vegetables and fruits are best to fight and prevent cancer, to explain if dairy is good for or bad for cancer patients, to help you know if you should eat meat and fish if you are fighting cancer or trying to prevent a recurrence, to explain the role of grains and healthy-fats in helping support your fight against cancer. I can also personalize plans to help you implement relaxation techniques, meditation, prayer, group support and other mind-body practices that are supported by clinical evidence to improve a person’s ability to withstand their condition and their treatments they are facing. You may have heard that the “toxins in your cosmetics and cleaning products can cause cancer”. I can help you dispel the myths and to identify those items that may truly be harmful and provide you with alternatives that fit your needs and preferences. I can help you create a lifestyle that will help you fight your cancer diagnosis and gain vitality and well-being as a...

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Controlling Symptoms of Chemotherapy

Posted by on Dec 11, 2013 in Blog, Chemotherapy | 0 comments

One of my primary roles as a Naturopathic Oncologist is to treat the symptoms caused by your conventional care. This not only makes you more comfortable and preserves your quality of life but can often make the difference in being able to continue your therapy verse having to stop because of severe symptoms. As soon as the medical oncologist prescribes the chemotherapy I go to work to educate the patient about the potential side effects and to craft a plan to minimize those symptoms. If your chemotherapy causes nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy, as Cisplatin does, I will recommend supplements that are safe to use during the chemotherapy and that will protect your nerves and support their recovery. One of my patients is a musician and recording artist who couldn’t play guitar or sing due to nerve damage to his vocal cords and finger tips caused by his chemotherapy. I helped him regain the ability to play and sing. He was able to complete an album with his two sons and wife and play at a benefit concert that same year. If you are being given a chemotherapy that is toxic to your heart, such as Adriamycin and Herceptin, or if you are receiving radiation therapy to the chest wall that overlies the heart I can protect your heart and support its function and recovery without interfering with your chemotherapy or radiation. If your chemotherapy causes severe diarrhea, as those who are given Irinotecan experience, I can minimize the severity and frequency of the bowel movements. If your radiation treatments are likely to cause mouth and throat irritation I can provide interventions to soothe and heal the tissue without decreasing the ability of the radiation therapy to destroy cancer cells. If Tamoxifen has you dreading the next hot-flash I can help reduce your symptoms with safe, non-hormone based, interventions. If you find yourself apologizing for your “chemo brain”, like people on Abraxane, Adriamycin, Abrazane, Alimta, Amifostine, Arimidex, Avastin, Bleomycin, Bortezomib, Camptosar, Capecitabine, Carboplatin, Danorubicin………can we just say, like almost all people going through treatment? I can help reduce this symptom and give you more “good days” before and after infusion. I am proud to have helped one of my patients who had been struggling against“chemo brain” to finish a book he was writing by supporting his cognitive function. He completed his book and it was accepted for publication while he was still undergoing treatment. If you are anxious, not sleeping well, feel “on-edge”, are constantly worried, unable to relax, not acting like yourself, if you can’t seem to make decisions, or feel over whelmed – I can help address your concerns and symptoms. Almost every one of my...

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Study: Kids are less fit than their parents were

Posted by on Dec 6, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Today’s kids can’t keep up with their parents. An analysis of studies on millions of children around the world finds they don’t run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young. On average, it takes children 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their counterparts did 30 years ago. Heart-related fitness has declined 5 percent per decade since 1975 for children ages 9 to 17. The American Heart Association, whose conference featured the research on Tuesday, says it’s the first to show that children’s fitness has declined worldwide over the last three decades. “It makes sense. We have kids that are less active than before,” said Dr. Stephen Daniels, a University of Colorado pediatrician and spokesman for the heart association. Health experts recommend that children 6 and older get 60 minutes of moderately vigorous activity accumulated over a day. Only one-third of American kids do now. “Kids aren’t getting enough opportunities to build up that activity over the course of the day,” Daniels said. “Many schools, for economic reasons, don’t have any physical education at all. Some rely on recess” to provide exercise. Sam Kass, a White House chef and head of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program, stressed the role of schools in a speech to the conference on Monday. “We are currently facing the most sedentary generation of children in our history,” Kass said. The new study was led by Grant Tomkinson, an exercise physiologist at the University of South Australia. Researchers analyzed 50 studies on running fitness — a key measure of cardiovascular health and endurance — involving 25 million children ages 9 to 17 in 28 countries from 1964 to 2010. The studies measured how far children could run in 5 to 15 minutes and how quickly they ran a certain distance, ranging from half a mile to two miles. Today’s kids are about 15 percent less fit than their parents were, researchers concluded. “The changes are very similar for boys and girls and also for various ages,” but differed by geographic region, Tomkinson said. The decline in fitness seems to be leveling off in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and perhaps in the last few years in North America. However, it continues to fall in China, and Japan never had much falloff — fitness has remained fairly consistent there. About 20 million of the 25 million children in the studies were from Asia. In China, annual fitness test data show the country’s students have become slower and fatter over the past several decades. Experts and educators blame an obsession with academic testing scores for China’s competitive college admissions as well as a proliferation of indoor entertainment options...

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Eating Nuts Tied To Fewer Cancer, Heart Disease Deaths

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Cancer | 0 comments

People who eat a diet rich in nuts, including peanuts, are less likely to die from heart disease or cancer, new research suggests. The more nuts consumed, the greater the apparent benefit, according to the report. It included data from nurses and other health professionals who have been tracked since the 1980s. Heart disease and cancer – the biggest killers in the U.S. – are responsible for more than one million annual deaths nationwide. The International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation helped pay for the new report, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings dovetail with other research suggesting regularly eating nuts may lower the risk of common health problems such as heart disease, colon cancer and type 2 diabetes. “Nuts used to be demonized because they’re high in fat. Now, 20 years later, they’re recognized as a healthful food,” Jeffrey Blumberg told Reuters Health. He is from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston and wasn’t part of the study team. “It’s just like coffee and eggs used to be demonized,” Blumberg said. “Eggs used to be a heart attack in a shell. Nuts are high in fat, but they’re high in good fats.” The new study – the largest to look at deaths – suggests the health benefits of nuts may translate to a lower risk of premature death, researchers said. The variety of nut, including peanuts, which are actually legumes, did not seem to make a difference, senior author Dr. Charles Fuchs told Reuters Health. “The benefit really seems to span across nuts,” Fuchs, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, said. The two databases used in the analysis included about 76,000 women who are part of the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study and 42,000 men who are regularly evaluated as part of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The findings are based on questionnaires in which the volunteers periodically recalled their eating habits. The researchers had to account for the fact that nut eaters tended to be healthier when it came to smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, exercise habits and other elements of their diet, such as eating more fruits and vegetables. Yet even when those factors were taken into account, they said, nut consumption seemed to be tied to a lower risk of early death. During 30 years of the Nurses’ Health Study, about 16,000 women died. About 11,000 men died over a 24-year period in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Compared to people who never ate nuts, those who ate nuts once a week were 11 percent less likely to die during the studies and those who ate nuts every day were...

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