Thursday, April 12, 2012

April's Healthy News You Can Use!

Urinary Tract Infections and Women's Health

By Marianne Marchese, ND

Ten to twenty percent of all women have some kind of urinary discomfort or infection at least once a year. Acute uncomplicated cystitis and recurrent cystitis are two important categories of urinary tract infections in adults. A narrow spectrum of bacteria causes infections in young women with cystitis: Escherichia coli in 80 percent, Staphylococcus saprophyticus in 5 to 15 percent, and occasionally klebsiella species, Proteus mirabilis, or on occasion other microorganisms. Sexual intercourse, diaphragm use and a spermicide, possibly spermicide used alone, delayed post-coital urination, and a history of a recent urinary tract infection, all increase the risk of infection.

Women who present with painful urination usually have either acute cystitis; acute urethritis due to Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhea, or herpes simplex virus; or vaginitis due to candida or trichomonas. These problems can usually be differentiated on the basis of presenting symptoms, physical exam and urinalysis. A urine culture, vaginal culture and Chlamydia testing may be needed.

Postmenopausal women may also have frequent infections and are often due to residual urine after voiding or the lack of estrogen causing marked changes in the vaginal microflora including loss of lactobacilli and increased colonization by E. coli. These women often benefit from the use of vaginal estrogen cream.

Therapeutic Approach:

For most bladder infections, a naturopathic approach is usually very effective and the infection resolves quickly and without recurrence or complications. The primary goals are to:

1. Enhance internal defenses against the infection by providing immune support.

2. Restore vaginal microflora

3. Promote a proper pH

4. Prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder epithelium.

Increasing the urinary flow is important and easily accomplished by increasing the quantity of liquids. Water and herbal teas related to the treatment goals are the most logical choices. 64 ounces is the common recommendation.

No natural approach to cystitis would be complete without mention of cranberry. Cranberry juice has been frequently used as a home remedy by women for decades. Several studies have shown that cranberries and cranberry juice are effective in women with active urinary tract infections. In one study, 16 ounces of cranberry juice daily was effective in 73% of individuals with an active infection. Many people still think that the action of cranberry juice is due to acidifying the urine. However, recent studies have shown that cranberry juice reduces the ability of E. coli to adhere to the lining of the bladder and urethra.

One of the most useful herbs for bladder infection is uva ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi), also known as bearberry or upland cranberry. The antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent activity of uva ursi is largely due to its arbutin content. Uva ursi is especially active against E. coli as well as having diuretic properties. Uva ursi has also been used with recurrent bladder infections and was very effective in a double-blind study of 57 women. After one year, five of twenty seven women had a recurrence in the placebo group while none of thirty women had a recurrence in the uva ursi group.

Pipsissewa, a Native remedy of the Pacific Northwest, is a traditional remedy for urinary infections. The mildly antimicrobial effects have been attributed to its arbutin content. Other naturopathic remedies include the use of D-Manose, buchu leaf and homeopathy. There are over 20 different homeopathic remedies for UTI’s and need to be individualized to the woman’s symptoms. The most common homeopathic UTI remedy is staphysagria.

Naturopathic treatments for urinary tract infections in women are very safe and effective once other causes of UTI symptoms are ruled out. If treated early and appropriately a urinary tract infection resolves quickly and without complications.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Marchese call our front desk at 602-493-2273.

Sick Sleep

By Jake Psenka, ND

This last month some research was published which stated that the use of some types of prescription sleep aids were associated with a 3.6-fold increased risk of death. That’s a nearly quadrupling of a person’s risk of dying, and puts the risk of using these medications on par with the risk a regular smoker has of developing lung cancer. One of the most surprising findings of this research was that even modest use, described as using a mere 18 pills PER YEAR, was associated with a nearly 4-fold increase in risk of death. More regular users of these medications had even more exaggerated risk, and it was estimated that 320,000-507,000 people died in the US in 2010 as a result of using these medications.

So what are these drugs? They are the sleep aids that you’ve likely heard of: zolpidem (Ambien), temazepam (Restoril), eszopicolne (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) and others such as benzodiazepines, barbituates, and sedative antihistamines. The drug with the highest mortality risk was Lunesta.

Nearly everyone has trouble sleeping at some time or another. At our office it’s not uncommon to see 5 or 6 people each week with sleep issues. After spending some time talking with people it is generally evident why they have a problem, and the most common reason is stress. The scene generally plays out like this….a tired person goes to bed, they lie down and close their eyes, and just when they start to drift off their mind lands on some particular thought. Then the mind fixates on that thought, and that thought leads to others, and pretty soon the wheels start turining and the person can’t stop the thoughts and the stress caused by them. At this point sleep isn’t coming easy.

The other common cause of insomnia occurs when someone tries to go to sleep right after being exposed to some sort of stress-inducing event or activity. An example would be “waiter dreams.” People who wait tables work in a high-anxiety world, and sometimes those people will dream about their jobs. While I was in medical school I waited tables at a restaurant and would frequently have fitful sleep after working. On more than one occasion I would jolt awake after dreaming of myself in a panic because I had forgot the catsup.

Of course there are other reasons for insomnia, it just seems that stress and anxiety are the most common problems for people struggling with sleep. It’s really not the stress that is the root of the problem either. The real problem is the amount of unchecked stress a person has to deal with everyday. Unchecked stress is stress that has no outlet, or put another way, it is the condition of having stress without having enough techniques in place to adequately compensate for life’s stressors.

Stress compensation techniques can be many different things depending on the person. A person’s anti-stress could be exercise, yoga, art, meditation, or guided imagery it could even be needlepoint. The only requirement is that it has to be something that induces that zen-like state where the mind flows freely and is no longer burdened by the “have to’s” and “gotta do’s” of everyday life. When someone participates in stress compensation their overall anxiety and stress levels are significantly reduced. This can be so effective that those people who do incorporate stress reduction techniques into their lives have much improved sleep. Not to mention that they have a decreased risk of developing several other stress-related illnesses as well.

It is unfortunate that people are often given a medication before they are educated about natural ways, like stress reduction, to improve their sleep. It’s even more unfortunate that sleep medications are habit forming and difficult to stop taking once started. With this new information regarding the danger of taking these drugs many people are going to find themselves in a sort of insomnia limbo- if they don’t sleep they feel terrible, and if they take the medications they are putting themselves at risk.

Thankfully there are options. There are several very good natural sleep aids that can be used in place of medications. Melatonin, valerian root, and chamomile are just a couple of examples of natural products that have worked for many people. Some people might have an imbalance of certain brain chemicals that are causing them to have sleep troubles. Several laboratory tests are now available to help determine if this is an issue. Addressing the high amounts of stress is the first and most important step to resolving poor sleep habits. However, many will find it helpful to take a natural sleep aid while beginning a stress-lowering program. If you are interested in learning more about reducing stress and natural approaches to improving sleep call 602-493-2273 today to schedule an appointment.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March Healthy News You Can Use

Welcome to the March edition of Longevity Medical Health Center's newsletter. Spring has officially sprung in Arizona- the weather is perfect for getting active outside, and it's also perfect for spring allergies. We have two great articles to share this month on both muscular sprains and strains, as well as the connection between allergies and migraine headache.

Make sure to check the information to the right of this page to see the upcoming lectures for March and April. We have also added several excellent new products to our online medicinary.

Is There An Allergy Migraine Connection?

By Jake Psenka, ND

There is a common theme that resonates throughout many of the most common health problems see in medicine. This factor plays a central in many conditions and influences the presentation of and course of many, many health problems. This factor is inflammation. Inflammation is a term which describes a state in which the body is calling out for help. Inflammation occurs during cold season, and invigorates the immune system to find and eliminate the offending microbe. Inflammation also a major player in the development of lifestyle-related ailments such as metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and cancer. It is well known to anyone who suffers from allergies that one of the best ways to control allergic symptoms is to take an anti-histamine. What might not be as commonly known is that anti-histamines work by inhibiting an inflammatory signal that triggers the release of histamine in the body. Inhibiting histamine leads to eyes that are less itchy, noses that are less runny, and stops sneezes that will knock you off your chair.

Another condition that is worsened by increased inflammation is migraine headaches. Recently, a group of researchers investigated the effect that specific sublingual immunotherapy had on migraine sufferers. These researchers first identified respiratory allergies in the group being studied and then compounded a sublingual allergy serum based on each individual’s allergic profile. Study participants were then administered their sublingual allergy serum and asked not to take any form of migraine medicine. The participants were then asked questioned to determine the effect their serum had on the occurrence and severity of migraines. When the study was completed the researchers reported that there was a decline in the patient’s inflammation levels, and there was also that they believed treatment of allergies may have a place in the management of migraines.

I found this study really interesting because of the way that it illustrated that two seemingly unrelated health problems have a common thread running between them. Patients are often looking for ways to manage their allergies, especially during the springtime, which is right around the corner. Over the past two years we have been offering patient-specific sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) in the office, and have received fantastic reviews from the grand majority of patients using it. With this new research the use of SLIT might be considered in patients with persistent migraines, and especially if allergies are part of the overall symptom picture. For more information regarding on our patient-specific SLIT formulation click here.

Prolozone for Damaged Joints, A Non-Surgical Solution for Injured Joints & Chronic Pain.

By Andrea Purcell, NMD

Body Wear & Tear As We Age:
As we age, trauma from injuries accumulates in the connective tissue of our bodies, specifically, the ligaments, tendons and joints. As one joint becomes injured it affects the surrounding joints and then multiple joints frequently become involved. A good way to think about the joints is like the tires on a car, tires need to be rotated, checked for air, and replaced when they get worn down. This is exactly what happens to our joints. The goal with prolozone therapy is to keep the joint functioning as long as possible without having to replace it. In this example, we are working with the healing ability of the body to get as much mileage out of the joint as possible.

Additionally, as we age declining hormone levels can exacerbate the damaged areas, due to a decrease in muscle mass and less elasticity inside the joint. This places additional stress on the joints causing pain syndromes that reflect a lifetime of repeated injury and internal joint breakdown.

Low back Pain:

Low back pain is often caused by repetitive strain of the ligaments of the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint; this is one of the most common injuries that people sustain. An unstable sacroiliac joint affects the entire spine and aggravates most back pain including sciatica. Prolozone is extremely effective at healing back pain caused by sacroiliac injuries.

There are two main areas that require assessment in low back pain and both may be involved.

1) Sacroiliac ligaments are the most frequent cause of unresolved chronic low back pain in patients. Prolozone is very effective is stabilizing low back pain from the sacroiliac ligaments.

2) Lumbar spine and disk injuries. These require careful assessment as pain may be from several areas.

Note from Dr. Purcell:
*Pain syndromes can be corrected with naturopathic medicine, proper hormone restoration, exercise and prolozone.
*Prolozone is effective at eliminating back pain, and healing injuries.

*Prolozone repairs the stretched and unstable ligaments and damaged connective tissue.

When the ligament strength is restored, the muscles relax; this decreases pain and increases range of motion. Then specific exercises need to be performed to stabilize the joint.

Patients often have MRI's and X-rays and we ask that you bring your reports to your visit. If you have films or CD's bring them also. Reports indicate if spinal degeneration, herniated disks, joint damage and arthritic changes are mild, moderate or severe. We assess these carefully looking for the significant areas that can be treated effectively.

Conditions successfully treated:

Low back
Cartilage injuries
Knee pain
Shoulder injuries
Tennis elbow
Upper back pain
Ankle sprains
Torn meniscus

-Be Healthy, Happy & Holistic

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Greetings and Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been a great beginning of the new year so far, and we're sure that February will be no different! The big news this month is that Dr. Shahrzad Orona is having her 10 year anniversary at the clinic this month! If you see her in the clinic wish her a happy anniversary!

We're also proud to say that our doctors and staff are keeping up with their New Year's resolutions. This past weekend our team competed in the Super Spartan Race held in Chandler. While we didn't take first place, we did all make it though the finish line of this 8.5 mile obstacle course race. More importantly, having a team and being signed up for this event helped to keep us motivated and stay on track with our exercise goals.

Speaking of exercise, we've expanded on our weight loss program and are now offering additional physical training options in the office. If you've been trying to start an exercise routine but need some help getting started, this is something you should take advantage of. Call today for more information.

Are you ready for allergy season?

Want to find out about the best natural ways to kiss this allergies goodbye? We're having a free lecture and talking all about allergies on Wednesday, March 7th at 6:00pm.

We have a couple of article to share this month. Dr. Andrea Purcell has posted an interview she recently completed regarding positive health effects of healthy eating. Dr. Jake Psenka reviews the American Cancer Society's latest publication on cancer prevention strategies.

Interview with Dr. Purcell - Upcoming Lecture on Food Pharmacy

Q: Why is it so important for us to take responsibility for our health?

A: Because no one is going to do it for us. We have control of what is on our fork everyday, our fork is powerful.

Q: Do you believe that we have the ability to change our health by what we put into our bodies every day.

A: Absolutely, AND that means that we can prevent disease.

Q: What exactly do you mean by that?

A: What we eat either brings us closer to or farther away from disease. If we change our food choices we change our health. It is so important to know what to choose. Nutritional education is lacking.

Q: Do you have a motto and what is it?

A: Yes, I do, Health begins on the inside and shines through to the outside. There is nothing that we can superficially apply that takes the place of nourishing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that come from food. These items found in fruits and vegetables decrease inflammation, are detoxifying, and enhance elasticity throughout the body.

Q: Are you saying that eating healthy keeps us young?

A: Yes, it enhances the quality of our cell membranes keeping them healthy and strong and less susceptible to damage. Really what food provides is so amazing, that once we become aware of it we want to eat that way all the time.

Q: You have a lecture coming up at your office on Wednesday February 15th at 6pm?

A: Yes, a lecture on Food Pharmacy. Basically, how to use food as medicine. My goal is for people to have the nutritional knowledge to consciously choose foods that they know will prevent disease. I encourage everyone to come out, we’re going to learn a lot and have some fun.

Cancer Prevention by Jake Psenka, ND

The American Cancer Society published their guidelines on nutrition and physical activity for cancer prevention this month. I typically like these guidelines, however they haven’t seemed to change much in recent memory. I’m pretty sure that most people have heard the message that eating right, exercising consistently, and maintaining a healthy body weight are all proven to reduce the risk of developing cancer. Of course these guidelines are not only good for preventing cancer, but when followed they significantly reduce the incidence of other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease as well. Unfortunately, these guidelines often receive the same attention as do speed limit signs….they only become really important once the red lights are flashing.

Over the years I have found that many people want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, but not many actually do. There are certainly many potential roadblocks to making a lifestyle change, but I encounter one with far more frequency than others. It seems that while everyone knows about healthy diets and exercise, fewer people actually know how to implement one. Many people are uninformed about what a healthy diet is, or how and when to exercise correctly, or what is actually considered overweight. This is exactly why I spend a good deal of time with all of my patients discussing the details of a healthy lifestyle. People need to know what constitutes a healthy diet, as well as how to start eating one. I’ve found that specific directions work wonders. The same should be said about exercise. Get advice from an exercise professional. Most importantly get a support system. This is especially important for exercise; if your buddy is waiting for you at the gym you’re less likely to convince yourself not to go. I’ve also found that one person in a family looking to make changes has a tough road ahead of them. Make it a family affair. Involve the kids and give them healthy habits for a lifetime.

As for measuring obesity, the best thing to do is to get a BMI calculated at your next doctor’s appointment. The BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a standardized body measurement tool. It is possible to calculate your own BMI by dividing your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters, squared. A BMI measurement between 18.5 and 25 is ideal. A lower BMI indicates being underweight, and greater than 25 indicates being overweight. The BMI is easy and inexpensive to get (we often do them for free at our monthly lectures) and, because it is easy to perform, can be used routinely to measure the effectiveness of a weight loss program.

One of the major omissions that the new guidelines fail to mention is the importance of anxiety, or rather the importance of minimizing it. Over the past nine years I have routinely asked people who have received a diagnosis of cancer why they think they got it. The most common answer---stress. While this observation isn’t strong enough to be published in a leading medical journal, it does tell us one thing for certain: there are a whole lot of people out there with too much stress, and they feel it is making them sick. Now, with that being said we all have anxiety, and there doesn’t seem to be much chance of totally eliminating it from our lives. What we can do is compensate for it. Do something you enjoy everyday. TV probably isn’t the best choice.

If you were thinking about trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle in 2012, whether by eating better, exercising more, or loosing weight, and are finding yourself having a rocky start please consider our office a resource. All of the docs here are well educated on lifestyle medicine and how to start off on the right foot and stick with it. Don’t let another year pass you by, it’s never too late to start. One thing the new guidelines do mention is that the benefits can be realized even if a health plan is started later in life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Where oh where did 2011 go? It seems like it arrived one day and then was nearly over the next. Despite being so seemingly quick, 2011 was a pretty good year. We were very fortunate to have two excellent physicians, Dr. Retz and Dr. Purcell, join our office and both are now accepting new patients. We also continued to receive great feedback from our patients regarding the level of care they received at the clinic. Everyone at the clinic appreciates this feedback because we all aim to offer our patients with the highest quality medical care available. We will continue to do our best to help keep you healthy and happy in 2012.

The beginning of a new year is always a time of resolutions, and undoubtedly many people have vowed that this will be their year to get active and healthy. We feel the same way, and because we not only talk the talk, but walk the walk, several of us have committed to an 8-mile obstacle course race, named the Spartan Race. Dr. DiCampli, Dr. Marchese, Dr. Retz, Dr. Psenka, and our medic Mark Powell have all signed up. If you see one of these brave people make sure to cheer them on!

We have some events happening at the clinic in the next two months which may be helpful in reaching those resolution goals. On January 19th at 6:00pm Dr. Marchese will be hosting a talk on her famous 21 day detox. This is an excellent chance to come and learn the best way to go on a detox from an expert in the field.

Dr. Purcell author of the cookbook Feed Your Cells, is hosting a talk on February 15th. Dr. Purcell will be discussing how to prepare meals that will nourish your body and prevent disease. Below is a short article by Dr. Purcell explaining her thoughts on cellular nutrition.

If losing some weight and toning up your muscles in on your agenda for 2012, then our newest program at LMHC is for you. We have come up with a personalized diet and exercise program which teaches people how to eat for health and how to exercise safely and efficiently. Our program provides dietary guidance based on each person's individual metabolic needs. Learning how much to eat and when to eat is just as important as learning what to eat. It is just as important to know how to exercise correctly. Knowing how to exercise to achieve specific results without causing harm or excessive strain can make or break a new exercise routine. Weekly check-ins and in office exercise sessions help to keep participants on track. If dropping some weight, gaining strength, improving self esteem, and learning how to maintain these things far into the future, then this is the program you want to choose. Need one more reason to sign up? This six week program is 30% off until February 1. Call the office today to get started.

Feeding Your Cells

By Dr. Andrea Purcell

Have you ever thought about eating as feeding your cells?

Well that’s exactly what we are doing every single time we eat. When we eat we provide our body with healthy fats, clean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and minimal sugars. This allows for our bodies to run efficiently, cleanly, converting the food to energy, and eliminating the waste products.

Medical nutrition is the foundation of natural integrative medicine.

What we eat can either bring us closer to health or closer to disease based on what we choose.

Prevention through nutrition is incredibly powerful for decreasing inflammation in the body, hormone balancing and proper body weight control.

Being an advocate of natural medicine is so satisfying because when people regain their health, they have better, more fulfilling lives.

For years I have been assisting my patients with food plans, shopping lists, nutrition and dietary advice, and for years my patients have been asking me to recommend cookbooks for them.

The problem I encountered with most cookbooks is that they are slanted in a particular direction, for example, many of the recipes in vegetarian cookbooks rely heavily on dairy and refined carbohydrates. Today many gluten free cookbooks are gluten free but contain unhealthy sugar, oils, and more refined carbohydrates. As you can see this led to frustration for both my patients and myself.

After 10 years of private practice I decided to write my own cookbook. It is a gluten free guide to healthy eating.

It contains simple whole food recipes, and it gives easy kitchen tips for food preparation.

It is geared towards everyday people who want to use food to prevent disease. The focus is foods that are nourishing and anti-inflammatory. The goal is to help feed your body at a cellular level. Eating this way decreases body inflammation and promotes health.

So go ahead and start Feeding Your Cells, your body will thank you!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November's Healthy News You Can Use

Greetings Health Seekers!

November is always a welcome time of year in Arizona. The summer heat has faded and it's once again possible to venture outside into the desert. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and the time to start thinking about those New Year's resolutions is coming up fast. No doubt many people will decide that 2012 will be their year for health. Whether the goal is to eat healthier, lose weight, decrease stress, or get in shape we want you to know that our office is here to help.

We always seem to have a lot of things happening at Longevity Medical, and this month is no different. In the coming weeks we will begin offering a new physician supervised weight loss and exercise program. Our new program will teach people not only how to eat correctly but also provide a personalized exercise prescription complete with one-on-one physical training. Join Dr. Psenka on December 14th for a free introductory lecture. If losing weight and adopting a more healthy lifestyle is one of your goals for 2012, then you don't want to miss this talk.

We are also pleased to announce that Dr. Andrea Purcell, ND will be joining our practice in January 2012. Dr. Purcell is a graduate of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and will be coming to us from a successful private practice in Orange County, California. Dr. Purcell has many interests in medicine including the use of ozone therapy, botanical medicine, prolozone, homeopathy, and women's medicine. Dr. Purcell has also recently published a cookbook titled "Feed Your Cells," which has many delicious recipes for healthy eating. Learn more about Dr. Purcell by reading her biography.

We're also very excited that Dr. Purcell, like Dr. Retz who is already practicing at our office, ambos hablan español con fluidez.

However, not everything about November is turkey and gravy....November also has the distinction of being Diabetes Awareness Month. In the US today there are roughly 26 million Americans who have diabetes, and there are another 79 million others who are at high risk for developing type II diabetes. Alarmingly, every 17 seconds another person is diagnosed. The most astonishing thing about diabetes is that this disease is largely PREVENTABLE. So, with the season of eating right around the corner, here is a quick calculation to determine how many calories your body really needs.

  • Step One: Convert your weight to kilograms by dividing by 2.2
  • Step Two: Men and women between 31 and 60 years old should then multiply their weight in kilograms by 0.0484 then add 3.6535.
  • Step Three: Multiple the total from step two by 240. This gives your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
  • Step Four: Adjust for daily activity level. Multiple the BMR by 1.1 for mild daily activity, 1.3 for moderate daily activity, and by 1.5 for strenuous daily activity.
The number generated in step four is an activity adjusted BMR. For most people this represents the number of calories needed daily to maintain their weight. Eat less than this to promote weight loss, or more to gain weight. Just don't forget to exercise too! to learn more about starting a personalized diet and exercise program be sure to attend our free lecture on December 14th.

Our resident detox doc, Dr. Marianne Marchese, has written an article this month on detoxification for Women's Health. Dr. Marchese will also be hosting a free lecture on detoxification and the best ways to implement a 21-day cleanse on January 19th at 6:00pm.

Detoxification for Women's Health by Marianne Marchese, ND

Chemicals in the environment can disrupt the normal activity of estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones in women. These chemicals are known as “hormone” or “endocrine disrupting compounds”. Women are exposed to hormone disrupting compounds every day, often without knowing it. The exposure to chemicals is coming from numerous sources including;

1. Pesticides on found on fruits and vegetables

2. Non-organic meat and dairy products tainted with dioxins

3. Fish that have high levels of mercury and pesticides

4. Bisphenol-A and phthalates in plastic beverage bottles, tablecloths, shower curtains, and plastic food wrappings, and plastic food storage containers

5. Unfiltered well water and city water

6. Household cleaning products, cosmetics, perfumes, dry cleaning, carpet, and vinyl floors

7. Furniture air fresheners, mattresses, and shampoos

Studies have shown that low-dose daily exposure to these chemicals can affect women’s health. These chemicals affect the hormonal system leading to such conditions as infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, thyroid disease and more.

Chemicals that build up in the body will start to affect a woman’s health if they are not removed. The basic principle behind detoxification is to remove the toxins stored in your body. This is done by releasing chemicals from fat tissue, organs and extracellular spaces that have been stored for years. Once they are released, they will re-enter the blood stream and will be metabolized through the liver. This is where it is critical to support liver phase-one and phase-two detoxification pathways. Next, the organs of elimination need to be supported to get the toxic byproducts produced from the liver out of the body.

The four steps in detoxification include mobilizing stored toxins, supporting liver metabolism, elimination from the body, and avoid re-exposure to chemicals in the environment. The first part of detoxification involves getting the stored toxins to be released back into the blood stream. Dr. Marchese explains detoxification in depth in her best-selling book “8 Weeks to women’s Wellness” The book is available at Naturopathic Family Care or online at Amazon.

Dr. Marchese will be giving a free lecture on this topic and talking people through a 21 day cleanse Thursday Jan 19th 2012 at 6pm at Naturopathic Family Care.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Naturopathic News October 2011

Welcome to the October 2011 edition of our Naturopathic News. There are many things happening at the clinic this month, and lots of opportunities for healthy learning and living.

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Michelle Retz, ND will be joining our practice this month. Dr. Retz has many medical interests, including metabolic disorders such as diabetes, and Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Retz you can read her biography by clicking here. She has also written a great article on colds and flus which is below.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Psenka has written an article covering some new research regarding a non-toxic treatment for hot flashes that can be safely used by women with breast cancer. Additionally, we have posted a lecture on preventing breast cancer that was presented at the Wellness Community last year by Dr. Psenka. He will also be presenting this lecture at our office at 6:30 on October 27th. This presentation is full of useful information about the best method for beating breast cancer- preventing it. If you can't make the presentation it can also be viewed here.

Every now and then we like to let our readers know about another Arizona business that we like. There has been quite a bit of research done lately suggesting that it is not just the exposure to environmental toxins that causes disease, but the timing of exposure as well. It appears that exposures during childhood may "set the stage" for future health problems. The potential to prevent children from experiencing future health problems was the driving force behind a new preschool that has moved into our neighborhood. Natural Choice Academy is Phoenix's first all-natural preschool. The school provides only filtered water, and serves organic foods planted by the kids and grown on site. The preschool was also built using only the least toxic materials available, from VOC-free paints, to organic bedding for all the cots and cribs. This is a great concept and kudos to the owners for making it happen!

Have you "liked us" on Facebook? You should. Last week we offered one hour massages for $40. Who knows what sort of special we'll post next week.....

Colds and Flus

We are quickly approaching cold and flu season. One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “Starve a cold and feed a fever, or feed a cold and starve a fever?” The answer is…, “Starve both!” Ironic as it may seem, a cold is NOT an illness, it’s a cleansing, detoxification process. A cold or flu is simply an acute presentation of an internal disease state, or a short-term state of toxins building up in the body.

Why do so many colds and flus occur in the fall and winter, in comparison to the warmer times of the year? There are several factors that contribute to this process. Simply getting a chill from the change in weather can cause a cold. Chills cause the blood vessels to constrict, making toxins less likely to be released through the skin. As the skin is the largest detox organ in our bodies, when it shuts off, toxins (from bacteria and viruses, as well as the environment) naturally build up. If the other detox organs, such as the liver and digestive system, can’t pick up the slack, they continue to circulate and be reabsorbed. If your vitality, or ability to heal, is low, say from overwork, poor diet, lack of sleep, stress or anxiety, nutrient deficiencies, lack of hygiene, lack of fresh air or sunlight, or lack of exercise, toxins are more likely to build up.
So is a fever a good or bad thing? A fever is a sign that the body’s vital force, its ability to heal itself, is working very hard to kill whatever bug or toxin is in the system. Bacteria and viruses love to live at 98.6 degrees, but they can’t survive at 100-103 degrees. So the body increases its temperature to kill the invader. The entire process of creating a fever to kill a bug may be a very unenjoyable situation, but perfect in its application. The trouble is, we are taught that fevers are a sign of increasing illness and an indication that we are losing the battle against the bug. NOT SO! Think about it…why would our bodies make us feel achy, lose our appetite, and want to do nothing more than lay around and sleep? So they can expend every ounce of energy getting rid of the illness. Your body is trying to stop you in your tracks so that it can solely focus on one thing, getting well.

Studies show that fevers are a good thing, and actually INCREASE survival. And suppressing fevers with Tylenol or Ibuprofen increases the time we are sick, and our chances of becoming severely ill, or even dying. There are some common fears surrounding fevers, like,”My child’s brain will boil,” or a fever seems dangerous, like the body doesn’t know what it’s doing. In truth, brains do not “boil” unless a fever gets above 106°F. There are safe ranges of fevers, and temperatures at which we should naturally begin to worry. A good, safe fever that will kill an infection is usually 102-103°F. However, I will caution you that a fever is no indication of how bad an illness is when it comes to little ones and the elderly. Toddlers will get an ear infection, have a fever of 105°F, and be up and running around. Adults usually make fevers around 100-103°F. Seniors may not make a fever, even if they are seriously ill. But in general, for good long-term health, it’s a good thing to get sick, cleanse, and spike a fever once a year. At the very least, it lets us know that we are healthy enough to get sick, and that our immune systems are healthy enough to fight infection.
How do we set ourselves up to be sick? Diet is a big one. During the summer we eat cold, sugary foods like ice cream, but in general we snack, eat hot dogs, and drink soda. Sugar is a #1 contributor to decreasing your immune system. Even 1 tablespoon of sugar can decrease your immune system for 8 hours! In the summer it’s hot, so it’s much easier for the body to stay at 98.6 degrees. But when fall comes, the body has to work harder to stay at that temperature. Anything that stands in its way of doing so must be eliminated, like toxins from bugs. So we usually get sick around the time that fall begins, it’s the body’s housecleanin g party. This simple, quick cleansing process helps the body to be better prepared to face the winter.

So we recognize this cleansing process as short-term illness, the common cold or flu. Toxins that build up start to interfere with the body’s normal function, which weakens the immune system. The body is clogged up! A bacteria or virus takes advantage of this situation, and comfortably settles into our system, creating an immune reaction, stimulating our bodies to get rid of it. This “cleansing” to us looks like a cough, runny nose, vomiting, or even diarrhea. We feel achy, fatigued, and lose our appetite. How could that possibly be beneficial? Your body doesn’t want you to spend energy on anything else other than fighting the bug. Your muscles become sore, you feel tired, and you don’t want to eat, because being active and eating foo d takes energy away from fighting an infection. And your body is doing everything it can to tell you to rest and fast, so that it can focus on ridding itself of this bug.

Even with our good intentions to be healthy, what are we doing wrong? Typically the things we’ve been taught to treat ourselves during illness actually go against the body’s ability to heal itself. Any over-the-counter medicines that suppress symptoms you have are suppressing your body’s ability to heal itself. Yes, you will feel better in the short-term, but your illness will last much longer than if you had just allowed your body the chance to fight the bug and heal itself, in the best way it knows how. Decongestants, antitussives , anti-diarrheals, drugs that reduce fevers, all prevent the body from getting rid of toxins from bacteria and vir uses. So you feel better sooner, and the bugs get to hang around longer, driving the illness deeper inside the body. Instead of your cold or flu lasting one week, it could last 3-6 weeks. And instead of having a simple head cold, you may wind up bronchitis or pneumonia.Suppression of the natural healing process leads to decreased immune factors, and a lack of excretion of infectious toxins, causing them to build up and damage more organ systems.

What will help your immune syste m fight harder? How can you get better faster? The best things to do when you’re not feeling w ell are common sense things we already know. And they are actually the most benefical, and effective. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat! Fluids, like water and teas, are important to keep us hydrated. If you begin to have an appetite, eat clean, and light: vegetable broths and soups, lightly cooked or steamed vegetables, white meats like turkey and chicken, brown rice, and avoid sugar, soda, alcohol, and caffeine. If you are achy, tired, or sleepy, REST! Your immune system is actually increased by 10 times if you simply lay down, even if you don’t sleep! So ignore our society’s standard that we must always go, go, go, no matter what is happening in our lives, and allow your self 2-3 days to pause, heal, and recoop. You will be healthy much faster if you do. Additi onally, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, nutrient supplementation and IV’s can be very beneficial, so please consult your naturopath to assist you in any way possible. Honor the process, and the wisdom your body was given to do the incredible things it does. As complex as we are, it’s amazing that we don’t break down at every second! So thank your body for ONLY having a cold or flu, in order to keep you as healthy as you can be, so you can continue to be your best.

Magnesium & Hot Flashes

By Jake Psenka, ND

Hot flashes are one of the most common and irritating conditions experienced by women. They are often experienced by women going through menopause and also frequently encountered as an unpleasant side effect of breast cancer therapy. Anti-estrogen drugs such as Arimidex and Tamoxifen are notable promoters of hot flashes.

The ideal treatment for hot flashes would be one that:

a) Was effective at decreasing both the frequency and intensity of the hot flash

b) Didn’t interfere with other drugs

c) Was safe and didn’t cause more problems that it was fixing.

Unfortunately, very few effective treatments are available which decrease both the frequency and severity of hot flashes. Occasionally SSRI drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are used to control hot flashes. However, concerns exist about these medications interfering with the metabolism and effectiveness of anti-estrogen drugs including Tamoxifen. The SSRI drugs, which are mostly used to treat depression, also come with some less than exciting side effects of their own. Botanical medicines such as black cohosh (cimicifuga racemosa) are frequently used however there are some doctors have voiced concerns about the use of this plant in cancer patients. While botanical medicines are much less likely to have unpleasant side effect than drug therapy, they do not seem to provide reliable relief from hot flashes in all patients.

A study published recently in Supportive Cancer Care described magnesium oxide as a potentially effective treatment for hot flashes. Magnesium seems to be an ideal candidate, it’s very safe, doesn’t interfere with anti-estrogen therapies, and according to the study is relatively effective. This study used magnesium oxide at either 400mg or 800mg doses per day for 4-weeks in breast cancer patients. Both the frequency and severity of hot flashes were measured. Severity was assessed using a “hot flash score,” which was defined as frequency x severity.

The frequency of hot flashes decreased by 41%. There was also a 50% reduction in the hot flash score compared to baseline. Study participants reported improvements in sweating, distress, and fatigue. Two women reported experiencing headaches, and another two reported grade-1 diarrhea (diarrhea is graded 1-4 with 4 being the worst). Considering the effectiveness and excellent safety profile of magnesium, the authors concluded that this treatment was worthy of additional study.

A magnesium dosage of 800mg is considered to be an optimal intake by many healthcare professionals. It is also interesting to note that magnesium levels have been found to be decreasing rapidly over the past 100 years. Inadequate intake of foods containing magnesium is likely to be responsible for this. It is also important to point out that many drugs can induce a magnesium deficiency including antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, and laxatives. Alcohol is another potent promoter of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is a very safe mineral, with diarrhea being the most frequently encountered side effect. Dosages of 800mg may produce loose stool in some people, with others being able to tolerate much higher dosages. This potential side effect can also make magnesium effective in some cases of constipation.

Remember, it is important to remember that when taking magnesium is it important to supplement with calcium as well. This is especially true for those who are post-menopausal, and those who have previously been treated with chemotherapy or radiation and are thus at increased risk for osteoporosis.

Reference: Support Cancer Care, 2011, 19:859-863.

Monday, August 8, 2011

August - National Immunization Awareness Month

Our patients often come to us with questions about our stance on immunizations. The answer is that immunization choices are best made by the parents and what they believe are the best for their children. Our job are health care providers is to educate our patients so that they can make an informed decisions on what is best for their children.

To learn more about immunizations we invite you all to attend a free informational discussion hosted by Dr. Jesika DiCampli on Wednesday, August 24th 6pm at NFC.

In this edition of the NFC Newsletter:

Dr. DiCampli discusses possible adverse reactions to vaccines

Dr. Phranq Tamburri writes on the latest and cutting edge testing for prostate cancer risk assessment

And. . .

A Good Bye and Tribute to Dr. Konrad Kail by Dr. Shahrzad Orona
A pioneer and giant in the world of natural medicine, Dr. Konrad Kail died July 18, 2011, after a two and a half year battle with brain cancer.

To his patients, Dr. Kail was an invaluable asset. His combination of research and care combined with his background in conventional medicine and his innovation in natural remedies. Among his chief contributions were the NEAT allergy protocol and thyroflex device, which simplified and advanced treatment of often overlooked imbalances.

To his colleagues, Dr. Kail was a leader. Beginning his practice in the 1980s, when natural medicine was on the fringe of treatment in Arizona, Dr. Kail boldly established a clinic where eventually dozens of doctors would heal patients and hundreds of students would learn
his practices and discoveries.

Unlike many, Dr. Kail was unafraid to share medical knowledge and generously volunteered his findings and methods. On the myriad natural health boards he served, Dr. Kail patiently earned respect to accompany the fondness he engendered in fellow doctors.

And to his faith in natural medicine, Dr. Kail remained steadfast. He treated himself with conventional and natural methods, prolonging and enriching his last years to spend them with his beloved wife, Petie, with whom he built his medical legacy and beautiful life.

Could your child have an Allergic reaction to the aluminum in vaccines? by Dr. Jesika DiCampli

According to the European Journal of Pediatrics, there were cases of persistent pruritic nodules (intensely itchy lumps) at injection site reported after the use of several Aluminum adsorbed vaccines (DT/aP/polio+Hib) during vaccine trials in the 1990s (645 cases/76,000 recipients). Of these reactions, 77% were associated with aluminum allergy. Some children were skin tested for aluminum and all had positive reactions indicating delayed hypersensitivity to Aluminum. The median time between vaccination and onset of symptoms was 1 month, and symptoms can persist for up to 7 years.

The condition is important to recognize, as the child may suffer considerably. Future vaccinations with Aluminum containing vaccines may cause aggravation of the symptoms/allergy. Even though the incidence of itching nodules and aluminum allergy after administration of certain vaccines is probably low, research to replace aluminum containing vaccines seems appropriate.

Do you know the Arizona state vaccine requirements?

Come to Dr. DiCampli’s Talk on Vaccines to become more informed….

Latest News in Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment by Dr. Phranq Tamburri

A new non-invasive test has been reported for the early detection and current staging of prostate cancer. It is a urine test called testing for genetic molecular by-products TMPRSS2: ERG and PCA3. Now, despite the cumbersome title, this test is really an enhancement of a fairly modern but obscure prostate cancer test that Longevity Medical Health Center has pioneered since 2007. The test referred to is the PCA3 test; this is the second part of the new test mentioned above. You see, the PCA3 urine test has been used in Europe for years as an advanced screening tool that had been found much superior to a simple PSA screen. Recent research has found the PCA3 molecular urine test to be between 65-75% accurate in predicting cancer of the prostate. In the challenge of determining true prostate cancer risk, these are welcome odds. However, they could still be improved. This is the exciting news reported last week in the journal “Science Translational Medicine”. As stated earlier the discovery is not only a new ‘brother’ to the PCA3 called the ERG urine test but a new use for integrating both tests. Since each test is related to subtle differences in prostate cancer risk, the real excitement in this discovery was that linking these 2 tests together could greatly potentate the cancer risk assessment. Unfortunately the ERG test is not yet available although the rare PCA3 test is. Longevity Medical Health Center and Prostate Second Opinions can perform the PCA3 test while giving our patients the first opportunity for the dual urine test once it is released. Please contact our staff or Dr. Tamburri for more information on receiving the PCA3 test.