Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the first NFC blog edition of the New Year! We have a lot of exciting events coming up in 2010. For all of you that are starting the New Year with health focused resolutions, Dr. Psenka is heading up the NFC Health Challenge. The NFC Health Change is ideal for those of you that find it difficult to squeeze a doctor visit into your busy work week, it will be offered every 4th Saturday of the month through March. For more details about this or any other meet up hosted by Naturopathic Family Care visit The Phoenix Alternative Health Group.

January is thyroid awareness month and at NFC our physicians work to educate our patients and the community on this and many other health related topics. This month we have two free informative health talks. Dr. Psenka will be educating us on Natural Ways to Boost the Immune System on Wednesday, January 13th and Dr. Orona will be helping you in Understanding Your Thyroid on Tuesday, January 26th.

This month we have 3 articles from our NFC docs :

Dr Jonathan Psenka, NMD - Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors
Dr. Ross Kerievsky, D
C, NMD - Incentives for Losing Weight
Dr. Raushanah Najeeullah, NMD - A New Year's Cleansing

Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors
Dr. Jonathan Psenka, NMD

The incidence of thyroid cancer has been rapidly growing in the US over the past few decades. There are now roughly 25,690 new cases diagnosed every year, with a female to male ratio of close to 3:1. For a long time there has been an established association between radiation exposure and thyroid cancer risk. The thyroid gland of children is especially vulnerable to the carcinogenic action of ionizing radiation. Thus, the incidence of thyroid cancer in children in the Belarus area (think Chernobyl) was less than 1 case per million per year before the Chernobyl accident, increasing to a peak exceeding 100 per million per year in certain areas after the accident.
Recently, a new study was published which identified several new potential risk factors for thyroid cancer. This study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, assessed thyroid cancer risk among 90,713 radiologic technicians in the US between 1983 and 2006. This study found that benign thyroid conditions, benign breast disease, asthma, and elevated body mass index were all associated with increased risk for thyroid cancer. Considering the results of this study, it’s possible that the benign conditions listed really aren’t that benign at all.
Conditions such as Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s, and thyroiditis are all examples of benign thyroid disorders. Fibrocystic breast disease is a good example of something considered to be a benign breast condition. Both these types of conditions are routinely seen, and treated, by Naturopathic physicians. From a thyroid cancer-prevention standpoint it would seem that treating the potential causes of these diseases would be more important than treating only the symptoms. By addressing the cause of disease it may be possible to decrease both the severity of disease itself, and any additional risks that occur as a result of carrying the diagnosis. This hypothesis would also carry over to the increased risk observed with asthma; eliminate the allergy altogether and maybe risk levels fall as well.
Increased body mass index, aka. being overweight, is well established as a risk factor for many diseases. It is not just the fact that carrying extra pounds increases risk for disease, but also that those who are overweight tend to be less physically engaged. Over the past 8 years I have been practicing integrative oncology at NFC I have rarely seen any treatments with as much potential to positively effect a person’s outcomes at regular physical activity. Unfortunately, increasing physical activity levels and maintaining a regular exercise regime is not an easy thing to do. Fortunately, it seems like the more articles like the aforementioned one that are published, the more our society begins to realize the importance of living healthy and happy lives as a way to prevent disease.
PS- and for those of you I see with thyroid cancer, I’ll see you at the gym!

New Year, New Goals:

Incentives for losing weight and guidelines for exercise

Ross Kerievsky, DC, NMD

Welcome to 2010! This time of year is the time I see many new and established patients return to the clinic with the goal of losing weight. There are many questions I hear from patients regarding what they should eat, supplements to take and how much exercise they should be doing. All of these questions are very reasonable and require individual assessments to make a medical weight loss program effective and long lasting. A common question I hear from patients is how much exercise is recommended for weight loss?

The American College of Sports Medicine released guidelines for appropriate physical activity for adults in 2009. These new guidelines were release because up to 66% of Americans are either overweight or obese. The new guidelines recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity to prevent gaining weight. Greater weight loss is seen when adults perform 250-300 minutes of exercise per week or more. I typically recommend patients perform physical activity one hour a day for 5 days during the week combined with a specific diet and nutrition guidelines. This can be modified for an individual and I recommend that you have a physical examination and appropriate workup before starting any exercise program.

Also, interesting incentives that seem to be gaining ground are websites such as This site will pay you to lose weight! Other possible incentives include deductions on premiums and incentives depending on your insurance and employer group benefits.

This is a great time of year to have a wellness screening physical and to discuss your personal health goals with me. For more information, please schedule an appointment with Dr Ross Kerievsky at 602-493-2273.

A New Year's Cleansing
Dr. Raushanah Najeeullah, NMD

It’s the start of a new year and the perfect opportunity to make some healthy changes. I personally like to start the new year off with a cleanse or detoxification protocol. It works like a ‘spring cleaning’ of sorts to get your healthy new year off to a great start.
It is important to know there is a difference between a cleanse and detoxification. Which one you need depends on your own individual circumstances.
A cleanse is defined by Webster as to rid of impurities by or as if by washing while detoxification is defined as to remove a poison or toxin or the effect if such. So, you can do a cleanse without detoxing, but you cannot (should not) do a detox without cleansing.A ready example of this is a laxative can be used to cleanse, but a proper detoxification protocol would involve more treatments such as hydrotherapy, dietary modification with rid your GI system of impurities and toxins we all accumulate over time.
There are other modes of detoxification that should only be performed under medical super
vision. These methods are usually applied to more serious cases of toxicity:

Depuration This technique is used to cleanse or purify or become cleansed or purified. It is similar to detoxification but cleanses at the deeper organ level. It involves freeing of toxins from fat stores with the use of sauna therapy as well as colon hydrotherapy to assist in flushing out toxins.

Chelation This treatment is used for patients with toxic heavy metal burdens on their body. It works by pulling metals or physiological substance (solvents, plaque buildup) from visceral structures like arteries and vital organs. Some metals removed with chelation are mercury, cadmium, arsenic and lead.

Again, the appropriate cleanse for your individual situation should be discussed with a health care provider skilled in applying these therapies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We all have new year resolutions in mind this time of year and that means weight loss and health goals for 2010. It never hurts to get a head start so here are some healthy recipes for your holiday meals and for any occasion in the new year.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month and we will have free informative talks from Dr. Orona and Dr. DiCampli and much more for our patients and blog followers. Also in January we will have our highly anticipated NFC Health Challenge so don't miss out on the opportunity to start off the year focusing on your health and longevity. See our January blog for all the details on these events and all the other exciting items we have planned for next year!

Honey Roasted Chicken with Dijon and Rosemary

Number of servings: 4


1 whole chicken, about 5 pounds
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/4 cup honey
1 lemon, zested, halved and juiced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 yellow onion, quartered

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season inside and out with salt and pepper.

2. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan.

3. Roughly chop two sprigs of the rosemary. In a small bowl, mix together Dijon mustard, honey, chopped rosemary, lemon juice and lemon zest.

4. Place the remaining sprig of rosemary, a lemon half, the onion quarters and garlic in the cavity of the bird. Using a pastry brush, coat the outside of the bird with the lemon honey glaze.

5. Place the roasting pan in the oven and baste the chicken every 15 minutes with any remaining glaze. Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 180° and juices run clear, about one hour. Remove and discard the skin. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories 341
Sodium 333 mg
Protein 47 g
Fiber 2 g
Carbohydrate 24 g
Total fat 7 g
Saturated fat 1 g

Spinach Lasagna with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce


2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup plain soy milk
1 cup vegetable stock
2 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops, sliced
1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water to rehydrate, drained and chopped
10 ounces fresh cremini or shiitakeShiite mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white
12 no-boil spinach lasagna sheets, about 7 by 3 1/2 inches
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Cooking Instructions

In a saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and continue to whisk until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the soy milk and stock all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions and sun-dried tomatoes. Set the sauce aside.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallot and saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and stir quickly until the spinach is wilted but still bright green. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat together the ricotta, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan and the egg white. Stir in the spinach and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce in the dish and cover with 3 sheets of the pasta. Spoon half of the spinach mixture onto the pasta and spread gently. Cover with 3 more pasta sheets. Top with another 1/2 cup of sauce. Spread the mushroom mixture on top and cover with another 1/2 cup of sauce, then another layer of pasta. Spoon in the remaining spinach filling and top with the last 3 pasta sheets. Add the remaining sauce and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, about 10 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with the basil.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories 288
Monounsaturated fat 4 g
Protein 17 g
Cholesterol 6 mg
Carbohydrate 39 g
Sodium 526 mg
Total fat 8 g
Fiber 4 g
Saturated fat 2 g

Cajun-Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Number of Servings: 4


2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2" pieces
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup milk
Cajun seasoning to taste
salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

1. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer about 20 to 30 minutes, until the potatoes are done. Check for doneness by piercing with a fork; there should be no resistance. Drain well.

2. Mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or fork, or use a food mill.

3. Add the lime juice and stir well. Add the milk and stir. Add Cajun seasoning, to taste.

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories 171
Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 6 mg
Carbohydrate 38 g
Sodium 91 mg
Total fat 1 g
Saturated fat 1 g

Fall Salad with Asian Pears, Walnuts, and Sherry Vinaigrette
Number of servings: 6


For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:

12 cups red or green leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
3 Asian pears, cored and sliced (peeling is optional)
2 cups red grapes
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
6 slices thick, crusty bread

Cooking Instructions

For the vinaigrette:

1. Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
(This can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.)

For the salad:

1. Toss the lettuce, pears and grapes with the vinaigrette in a large bowl.

2. Divide the salad among 6 serving plates and sprinkle with the walnuts and blue cheese. Serve with bread on the side.

Serving Size: 2 cups of salad with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette

Nutritional Information
(per serving)

Calories 320
Protein 7 g
Fiber 6 g
Carbohydrate 46 g
Sodium 477 mg
Total fat 11 g
Saturated fat 3 g

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding

Number of servings: 8


2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 cups cubed, day-old country-style bread, crusts trimmed (4-6 slices), preferably whole-wheat
2 tablespoons raisins, or currants
1 teaspoon butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
2 ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg.

2. Add bread and raisins (or currants) to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Press down lightly with the back of a large spoon. Cover and set aside at room temperature.

3. Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Put a kettle of water on to boil.

4. Cut each pear half lengthwise into 4 slices. Place in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice.

5. Heat a medium skillet over low heat until hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and swirl until just melted and the foam subsides. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter. Arrange the pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer. Increase the heat to medium-low and, without stirring, let the pears begin to brown and the sauce slowly caramelize, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each pear slice with a fork. Return to the heat and cook until the sauce is uniformly golden, 2 to 4 minutes more.

6. Carefully transfer the pears one at a time to the prepared baking dish, arranging them decoratively in a circle and slightly overlapping them if necessary. Use a heatproof silicone spatula to scrape any remaining syrup over the pears.

7. Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Press down on the bread until it is submerged in the custard. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add the hot water to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

8. Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Carefully remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the baking dish to a wire rack and let cool for at least 45 minutes. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pudding. Place a serving platter over it and invert the pudding onto the platter.

Tips & Notes

* Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutritional Information
(Per serving)

Calories 217
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 119 mg
Carbohydrates 31 g
Protein 8 g
Fiber 2 g
Sodium 142 mg
Potassium 89 mg

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Naturopathic Family Care

Here it is! tThe much anticipated November edition of the Naturopathic Family Care Blog!!!

First, we would like to say thank you to all of the people who participated in our first annual Fall Festival. Everyone at the office thought that the day went really well, and all of the feedback that we have received was resoundingly positive. Stay tuned for the details about our upcoming spring open house!

We have a few healthy thoughts to send your way this month:

Dr. Marie ponders whether the winter blues are due to holiday overload or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Dr. Marchese lets us know why she thinks PAP smears are important.

Dr. Psenka shares some fun facts about one his favorite anti-cancer supplements and breaks down the numbers on the dreaded bisphenol A(BPA)

We hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy your free-range Tofurkey and organic, low-fat, stevia and chicory sweetened pumpkin pie! Yeah, right....

Holiday Blues or is it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? By Dr. Marie

Living in the Valley of the Sun does not give us immunity to SAD. As the days get shorter, moods can drop, carbohydrate cravings increase, and general lethargy sets in. We tend to blame the stress of family and holidays for feeling blah when there may be an underlying cause. It is estimated that 15% of North Americans have SAD. Phototherapy (light therapy) is the most effective treatment for SAD but not all lights have the same therapeutic results. Type of light, placement, and time of use can maximize the effectiveness. Lights that simulate sunrise are showing to be most effective. Light therapy can be supported with neurotransmitter balancing. And don’t underestimate the power of a healthy diet and regular exercise – especially if it is outside in the sunlight. And always check with your physician if your mood interferes with your activities of daily living.

The Importance of the Annual PAP by Dr. Marchese

What do you do if you go to see your medical doctor for your annual gynecology exam and you get a call saying your pap came back abnormal? Unless you take the time to educate yourself about what an abnormal pap smear means and learn what your options are, you may end up doing something that doesn’t need to be done.

It is recommended that women get their first pap smear test at age 21. The pap test, also called a pap smear, checks for changes in the cells of your cervix. The pap test can tell if you have the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), abnormal cervical cells, or cervical cancer.

If you are younger than 30 years old, you should get a Pap test every year. If you are age 30 or older and have had three normal Pap tests for three years in a row, talk to your doctor about spacing out Pap tests to every two or three years.

During your annual gynecological exam and pap smear it is now possible to test for the HPV virus at the same time. This is important because it is possible to have a normal pap smear and still test positive for HPV which is why the new standard of care is to test all women over 30 for HPV during their pap smear test.

What if my PAP is abnormal?

If you have an abnormal PAP your MD will recommend either freezing off the abnormal cervical cells or burning off the abnormal cervical cells. These are called cyrotherapy and a LEEP respectively. The MDs goal is to remove the abnormal cells and shed the top layer that holds the virus. But, the virus is in the body and an MD doesn’t have any treatments to treat the whole body and support the immune system. Also, there are complications from cryotherapy and a LEEP that will make pregnancy and child birth more difficult.

You have options!!!!!!!

If you pap comes back abnormal see Dr. Marchese. She can shed the abnormal cervical cells with anti-viral herbal suppositories. These are herbs that are inserted into the vaginal canal and shed the virus and abnormal cells. Dr. Marchese can also treat the body and boost the immune system and help your body fight off the virus. In cases of severe cervical abnormalities Dr. Marchese can perform the escharotic treatment which sheds the abnormal cervical cells on a deeper level.

If you haven’t had a pap smear in over a year or have not had HPV testing in combination with the PAP it is time to see Dr. Marchese for an appointment.

Fun Facts About Curcumin and Not-So-Fun Facts About BPA, by Dr. Psenka

Curcumin has to be one of my all time favorite supplements. It's non-toxic, decreases inflammation, prevents cancer cells from becoming resistant to chemo drugs, helps sensitize some cancer types to radiation therapy, and inhibits tumor growth. Now it seems that this extract of turmeric, the yellow spice commonly used in Indian cuisine, may actually potentiate chemotherapy drugs. A newer study which was published in the journal Anticancer Research this past June described the effects of curcumin against pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer tends to be a more difficult cancer to treat as it quickly becomes resistant to chemotherapy and can spread rapidly as well. The authors of this study used a newer type of curcumin in the study called liposomal curcumin. In the past curcumin's big drawback was it's low absorbability. This new liposomal form, in which the curcumin molecule is basically wrapped in fat, is absorbed much better. The study found that 20mg of liposomal curcumin per kilogram of body weight provided a 52% decrease in tumor growth. This study was carried out in a mouse study in which human pancreatic cancer cells were implanted in the mice. Poor mice.
While it would be preferable to have a human study which demonstrated the same findings the mouse research is a step in the right direction. This is particularly true with pancreatic cancer, as at the current time the available treatment options are few. Considering the low toxicity profile of curcumin, and the number of established benefits, along with the fact that curcumin has been shown to make the one chemo drug (Gemzar/gemcitabine) that works against pancreatic cancer work better, the question really isn't if we should add it to the current treatments, but rather if it is ethical not to....

Not so fun facts about BPA
Nearly everyone has heard that this plastic additive, which can be identified by the numbers 7 and 3 stamped on plastic containers is bad for you. The number of health problems that have been associated with this chemical make it nearly as harmful as other favorite nasty chemicals, like dioxin, and cigarette smoke. If you look at BPA on Wiki you will read that it is estimated that there are six pounds of this chemical produced for every person in the United States. There's 304 milion of us these days in case you lost count. That equates to roughly 1,824,000,000 pounds of BPA produced annually. Another study that recently came out (yes, I am a nerd, my is your Facebook!) found that nanomolar dosages of BPA could produce chemoresistance in breast cancer. That is kind of disturbing as a nanomol can roughly be thought of as about a billionth of a gram (which there are 454 of in a pound). My recommendation: detox daily.
Look for more on this subject in an upcoming post.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October Newsletter and Our Fall Health Festival!

The Fall Health Festival is Here!!

Join us on Saturday, October 24th between 10am and 2pm as Longevity Medical Health Center and Naturopathic Family Care host their Fall Health Festival in celebration of serving Arizona for nearly 25 years. Since 1985, we've been promoting healthy living and preventative medicine. Over the years our clinic has grown considerably, and we now offer more ways to stay healthy than ever before.

Our clinic provides a great variety of services including preventative medicine, women's health, pediatrics, men's health, chiropractic care, massage therapy, sports medicine, acupuncture, weight management, environmental medicine/detox, allergy medicine, homeopathy, IV therapy, alternative/integrative cancer care, and much more!

This will be an excellent chance to meet and talk with all eight of our physicians and staff. We will be providing fun activities for the whole family, including kid activities, raffle prizes and gifts, free chair massage, group acupuncture (You know you want to try!), great food, recipes and demos with "Chef Rachel", and the opportunity to meet your community! There will be many other health-conscious businesses that we have gotten to know over the years who will be happy to talk with you about their services and will demonstrating as well. Additionally, there will be an informal health-related lecture every 30 minutes on a specific health topic given by one of our doctors. These topics include: Allergies, Pediatrics, Thyroid & Hormones, Testosterone/Men’s Health, Back Pain, Homeopathy/Biopuncture, Breast Cancer, Sports and Nutrition.

We invite you to share this opportunity with others and hope to see there!

This month we have 5 fantastic health articles to share:

The Return of the Swine Flu- Dr. Najeeullah
Are Corticosteriods the Answer- Dr. Niechwiadowicz
Mercury Fillings and Pregnancy- Should you be Concerned?- Dr. DiCampli
Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer Gains Respect
from Conventional Medicine- Dr. Tamburri
Do I have Fibromyalgia- Dr. Kerievsky

The Return of the Swine Flu!

As we’re all aware the H1N1 (swine) flu is scheduled to make a comeback this upcoming flu season. For the most part, this issue is being overblown by the media. With the right education and proper steps you and your family can stay happy and healthy.

So what is the flu? It is a viral infection of the influenza virus. There are 3 types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. The type A influenza viruses, such as the H1N1 virus and avian flu virus, can be transmitted from animal to human. Epidemics (regional) of this virus type occur most often during winter months and circulate every year for 6-10 wks. Flu pandemics (worldwide) cycle every 25-35 years.

The most common symptoms of the flu are sudden fever, headache, dry cough and body aches. Other symptoms are chills, sneezing, sore throat and a runny nose. The flu is not an easy bug to deal with but it is a self limiting condition whose severity and duration can be decreased by taking the right steps.

How do you stay healthy?
First and foremost: WASH YOUR HANDS! Soap and water is one of your best defenses against the flu. By washing your hands you remove anything you may have picked up from a sick person or, if you are sick, prevent disease from spreading. Hand sanitizers are okay in a pinch but they are not the same as actually washing away any dirt or pathogens you may be carrying. My personal favorite is Citricidal by Bio/Chem.

It is a non-toxic compound derived from the seed and pulp of organically grown grapefruit that works and smells great. To support your immune system, Bio Vegetarian or Acute Immune is a great product that contains immune boosting herbals like garlic cayenne, ginger and grapefruit seed extract as well as Vit. A and C, zinc and bioflavonoids.

What do you do if you do get sick?
If you suspect that you or a family member may have the flu, it is important to see your doctor to rule out other conditions. This is especially important when it comes to the very young and the elderly in order to rule our more serious conditions such as RSV and pneumonia. Diagnosis is a relatively simple procedure where a sample from a nasal swab is taken and sent to a lab to determine if you do indeed have the flu. You can expect a diagnosis confirmation in 1-3 days. In the meantime, do not send sick kids to school and adults should not go to work if the flu is suspected. If you must go in public wear a mask or be sure to sneeze/cough into your elbow and wash your hands frequently.

Staying well hydrated is important at this time. Water helps wash out the toxic metabolites we collect in everyday life and is the medium in which most of body processes take place. You should drink ½ of body weight in ounces of water per day. If you do not like drinking water or find the taste less than exciting, you can add Mountain Peak's Energy Formula to your water. It provides flavor as well as 500mg of vitamin C and a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement per scoop/packet. Another option is chicken soup with vegetables to replace minerals and electrolytes or immune-boosting herbal teas with lemon and honey. If a fever is present, there are herbal preparations such as yarrow and peppermint tea which can offer relief. Aspirin should not be given to children to reduce fever if a viral infection such as the flu is suspected as it can cause Reyes syndrome. It is also important to get plenty of rest to ensure a quick recovery.
Naturopathic treatment options are available whether you are trying to prevent the flu or seek relief from symptoms after you’ve already gotten it. Constitutional hydrotherapy treatments stimulate the production of white blood cells that fight viral and bacterial infections. Wet sheet packs are another hydrotherapy treatment offered by your naturopath that is helpful in stimulating the immune system and reducing fever. Nutritional and hydrochloric acid IVs deliver vitamins, nutrients, and immune boosters that provide the building blocks necessary for the prevention and treatment of flu.

Homeopathy can work miracles when it comes to the flu. There are several options to choose when considering homeopathic treatment. Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic formula specially formulated for treatment of the first signs of flu and is available in most health food stores. The homeopathic flu vaccine, Influenzinum, offers the same protection as the flu shot without the potential side effects and can be used on anyone, from infants to elderly. Influenzinum is available at our in-office pharmacy. There is also the option of constitutional homeopathy for treatment if you become ill. After taking a detailed history of your flu symptoms, a homeopathic remedy that most matches your symptom picture is given. Relief is achieved anywhere from a few hours to a day or so.

For more detailed information on how to protect you and your family this flu season, check out the return of the Flu Prevention lecture at NFC on October 29th at 6pm.

Are Corticosteroids the Answer?
Well that depends on the question… If you’ve had an organ transplant -- yes. If you have life threatening cerebral edema – YES. If you have elbow pain – NO. Corticosteroids are potent anti-inflammatories. Traditional logic says if you have tendonitis (inflammation of a tendon), let’s inject you with an anti-inflammatory. But at what cost? Corticosteroids destroy collagen and connective tissue. Many people state they feel immediate relief from their steroid shot but this can be attributed to the pain killer (usually lidocaine or procaine) in the injection. Usually a tendon becomes inflamed from over use or trauma. A steroid shot will weaken that tendon and predispose it to more inflammation. A better solution is to make that tendon stronger and modify functional movement to avoid over use. The best way to make a tendon or ligament stronger is through prolotherapy. While prolotherapy can be achy for the first few hours of treatment it actually strengthens tendons and ligament and prevents future injuries. Consider your options – a short-term fix that will cause more damage in the long run or a long term solution to the underlying cause. A thorough orthopedic exam, imaging if necessary, will determine if you are a candidate for prolotherapy.

To learn more on this topic and for a complimentary injury/pain review, come see Dr. Marie on Thursday, October 15th at 6:00pm.

Mercury Fillings and Pregnancy- Should you be Concerned?

While most women know that they are not supposed to eat fish such as tuna while pregnant, little emphasis is put on the mercury amalgam fillings that many people have in their mouths. Can this exposure of mercury cause a potential detriment regarding fetal development?

An article written in 2008 for the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology analyzed the relationship between maternal dental amalgam fillings and potential exposure to fetal development. The study was completed at the Department of Environmental Medicine at Slovak Medical University. Chemical analyses of mercury concentrations were performed on approximately 100 maternal and cord blood samples. This study found that the mercury concentrations of cord blood were less than the EPA reference range of 5.8 microg/l and the level of exposure is not considered to be hazardous for brain development in utero. The conclusion however, did determine that there was a significant association between the amount of maternal mercury amalgams and the increased level of mercury in cord blood samples. Therefore, the less mercury amalgams, the better!

This is just one example of why it is important to do preconception ‘house keeping’ prior to starting a family. It is a great opportunity to assess your health and make some improvements necessary for providing the most advantageous environment for fetal growth and development. Preconception counseling is the first step to designing an individualized plan and starting on the road to optimal well-being.

Join Dr. Jesika DiCampli at our Fall Festival to meet with her and discuss many similar topics like these!

Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer
Gains Respect from Conventional Medicine

An astonishing peer reviewed journal regarding prostate cancer management was just published this week in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Titled Outcomes of Localized Prostate Cancer Following Conservative Management (Grace L. Lu-Yao; Peter C. Albertsen; Dirk F. Moore; et al. JAMA. 2009;302(11):1202-1209) its primary finding is that patients who follow 'conservative management' (AKA Active Surveillance or Watchful Waiting) of clinically localized prostate cancer diagnosed from 1992 to 2002 have had better outcomes among patients diagnosed in the 1970's to 1980's. This is important because more patients, such as the majority who now frequent Longevity Health Center, are opting out of surgery for the modern Active Surveillance approach. Some of the researchers' explanation is that this improvement is due to better screening (PSA blood test) yielding an additional yield time in early diagnosis, cancer grade migration detection, and also advances in medical care.
Paraphrasing, their conclusion speaks for itself; "The results of our study demonstrated that 10-year cancer specific survival with conservative management (Active Surveillance) has now increased from about 83% to 87% in the pre-PSA to about 94% in the PSA era, which is now beyond the approximate 90% 10-year cancer-specific survival rate for a similar population of men treated with prostatectomy in the pre-PSA or early PSA era such as those aged 66-74 years with moderately differentiated cancer."

The reader may be unclear between the terms Watchful Waiting (WW) and Active Surveillance (AS), both of which are under the umbrella of 'conservative management'. Both are strategies for a man to parlay surgery or radiation for a non metastatic prostate cancer. What differentiates them however is that AS (chosen by most current naturopathic patients), is much more proactive in its monitoring by utilizing PSA velocity, PSA density, %fPSA, genetic molecular urine tests, personal genetic history, and even Color Doppler imaging of the gland itself to monitor the slightest change in cancer status. WW is typically the non surgical default termed by urologists when they simply test the PSA every 6 months. Unfortunately promising studies as this recent example do not yet differentiate the difference between WW and AS. Longevity Medical will keep you the Reader abreast of any new studies to this effect.

Join Dr. Tamburri at our Fall Health Festival on Saturday, October 24th from 10am - 2pm. He will be presenting a brief lecture on Men's Health, as well available for Q & A throughout the event.

Do I have Fibromyalgia?
I have had many patients come to me over the years for treatment either with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia or with a history of chronic pain. Many patients either assume they are correctly diagnosed as having fibromyalgia or wonder if they have the syndrome.

What exactly is fibromyalgia and why is there still such a mystery surrounding the syndrome?
According to the journal American Family Physician, fibromyalgia is “an idiopathic, chronic, nonarticular pain syndrome with generalized tender points. It is a multisystem disease characterized by sleep disturbance, fatigue, headache, morning stiffness, paresthesias, and anxiety.” To get a clearer picture on whether you have fibromyalgia, there should be a set of criteria that is screened before you make the diagnosis:

Have you had chronic pain that is widespread for at least 3 months?
Do you have pain on both sides of your body above and below the waist?
Do you have pain along your spine, neck and trunk?
Do you have pain in at least 11 of the designated 18 tender points that have been established for diagnosing fibromyalgia?
Have you been tested with a pain measuring device on these points to establish that these areas are tender? Was the correct amount of pressure applied?
Have you been properly screened for other metabolic tests such as blood work, hormone levels, sleep studies and other tests to rule out other conditions?

The good news is that if you have fibromyalgia, there are many treatments that can help. New medications such as Lyrica and Savella are now on the market and can be discussed at our office as a treatment option. There are also many natural options to consider when treating fibromyalgia such as massage therapy, trigger point injections, acupuncture, etc.

Join Dr. Ross Kerievsky for his upcoming talk on Wednesday, November 4th at 6pm for more detailed information on fibromyalgia diagnosis and treatment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August in's a dry heat...

Hello Health Seekers,

It's finally here, the highly anticipated August edition of the Naturopathic Family Care Blog!  Hold onto your hats, as we have some great articles and news to share with you this month. First, the news:

If you have been to the clinic lately, you may have noticed that we have begun using our new name and logo.  We're excited to be updating our image, as we feel that our new name, Longevity Medical Health Center, more accurately describes the clinic. We promote longevity, administer medical services, and want you to be healthy! Rest assured that nothing is changing except the name, we'll continue to offer the same great doctors, staff, and treatments.

In other news we're pleased to announce that we now offer ozone therapy at the clinic!  This cutting-edge treatment is used the world-over for a variety of different conditions.  You can learn more about the benefits of ozone treatment by reading Dr. Psenka's article a little further down the blog.  We also have an couple of articles from Dr. Orona, who is discussing Vitamin D, and Dr. Marchese sharing her extensive knowledge of microcurrent therapy.

Be on the lookout for upcoming talks being held at the clinic.  We update our schedule frequently and new additions can be seen on the right side of this page and also at our page.  

We are continuing to add more and more products to our online store.  Within the next couple of weeks we'll be adding Vital Nutrients and Orthomolecular products to our store as well.  Use the link on the right to see what we've added.

Sunshine and Your Health- by Dr. Orona

If healthy adults and adolescents regularly avoid sunlight exposure, research indicates a necessity to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily. To obtain this amount from milk one would need to consume 50 glasses. With a multivitamin more than 10 tablets would be necessary. Neither is advisable.

The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure—50 times more than the US government's recommendation of 200 IU per day!

How To Get Enough Vitamin D

There are 3 ways for adults to insure adequate levels of vitamin D:

  • regularly receive midday sun exposure in the late spring, summer, and early fall, exposing as much of the skin as possible without the use of sunblock.
  • regularly use a sun bed (avoiding sunburn) during the colder months.
  • take 5,000 IU per day for three months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent- By Marchese, ND 

Dr. Marianne Marchese has been using electrical modalities since 1990 to heal the body and restore function.

Frequency specific microcurrent is a physical therapy modality that has been in use for years. Microcurrent is measured in millionths of an amp so you don’t feel the current. By comparison, a TENS unit and most other electrotherapies produce milliamps, 1000 times greater. Your body seems to use the microcurrent energy to increase its own energy production. Microcurrent increases the production of ATP, your own chemical energy, by up to 500%. It also increases protein synthesis and waste product removal.

Dr. Marchese uses frequency specific microcurrent at Naturopathic Family Care for a variety of health conditions. Contact her to see if this modality is right for you.

What conditions is microcurrent used for?  Fibromyalgia, Muscle pain, Joint pain, Endometriosis, Menstrual cramps, Constipation, Fibroids, Ovarian cysts, Interstitial cystitis, Detoxification, Neurological symptoms,Multiple sclerosis, And more……………….

Ozone Therapy- by Dr. Psenka

The use of medical ozone therapy is rapidly growing in popularity around entire world.  Ozone therapy is a commonly administered therapy throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.  The use of medical ozone therapy has been proven to be beneficial for most chronic illnesses, as well as acute infections.  

Ozone is a gas that is comprised of three oxygen atoms.  Two combined oxygen atoms are known as O2- and that makes up the air that we breathe.  Single oxygen atoms are rare in nature and are very unstable as well.  (think free radical...) When O2 is exposed to an energetic force, such as electricity, the two oxygen atoms are split apart and almost instantaneously the atoms pair back together.  A small percentage of the oxygen molecules will unite to form a triplet molecule known as O3 or ozone.

What is Ozone therapy used for?  

Ozone has been safely used since the 1950’s for a variety of medical conditions. Medical ozone therapy has a very broad range of effects, and is therefore used in treating many different conditions.  Some of the effects of ozone are:

Relaxes and loosens muscles by reducing the build-up of lactic acid

Oxidizes toxins so that they may be eliminated by the major organs

Increases blood circulation

Inactivates viruses, bacteria, yeast, fungus, and protozoa

Speeds up the metabolic process of the organs and endocrine glands

Promotes cleaner, softer, more rejuvenated skin

Normalizes cellular respiration

Helps with chronic fatigue and environmental illnesses

Stimulates the immune system

Reduces carbon monoxide poisoning

Increased oxygen content of the blood promotes detoxification

Ozone is most commonly known for its strong ability to control bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.  Ozone is used worldwide to disinfect municipal drinking water.  Ozone is also used to keep swimming pools and spas clean instead of strong chemicals such as chlorine or bromine. Using ozone therapy, viral and bacterial infections of the intestines can be effectively controlled in both children and adults.  Chronic viral and bacterial diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and shingles can also be treated by using ozone therapies.  Infected and poorly healing wounds such as diabetic ulcers may also be treated with ozone therapy.  

Circulatory disorders can also be helped by ozone therapy.  Vascular diseases such as stroke, obstructive arteriopathy, venous insufficiency, and complications from diabetes are all candidates for ozone therapy.  Ozone is also commonly used in geriatrics to improve oxygenation to the brain.

Ozone therapy has also been recognized as a treatment for cancer. In 1928 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg demonstrated that the primary cause of cancer is the replacement of oxygen in the respiratory chemistry of normal cells by the fermentation of sugar.  This discovery led to the finding that the growth of cancer cells is a fermentation process which can be initiated only in the relative absence of oxygen.  By using ozone therapy the body can become more fully oxygenated and thus slow or hopefully eliminate the growth of cancerous cells.  

Additionally, ozone can be used as an adjunct for conventional cancer treatments, particularly radiation therapy.  It is an established fact that radiation therapy works better in well- oxygenated tissue, and also that tumors are a relatively hypoxic (poorly oxygenated) tissue.  The use of ozone therapy has been shown to increase the oxygen content of tumor cells and therefore, when used prior to radiation therapy, may result in better results than would have been obtained if only the radiation had been used.

Is Ozone therapy safe?  

Medical ozone therapy has an excellent safety record.  In one study, the records of 384,775 patients treated with different ozone therapies were analyzed.  A total of 5,579,238 treatments were administered using Major Auto-Hemotherapy, a common type of medical ozone administration.  The incidence of accidents was 0.0007%.  This makes the safety record of ozone better than that of aspirin.

Curious?  Want to learn more?  Watch our upcoming talk schedule for a soon-to-be-announced talk by Dr. Psenka!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hello Everyone,

There's been a lot happening at Naturopathic Family Care this month and we don’t expect that to change much in the near future! One of the biggest changes that will be happening soon is a name change. Soon, we’ll be transitioning from Naturopathic Family Care to Longevity Medical Health Center. We’ve decided to make this switch because in the past 5 years our office has expanded to include doctors who focus on more than just family medicine. Of course we still have great docs who offer family medicine, but our office is also home to doctors who focus in particular areas. Some of the areas in which our doctors are considered experts include oncology, women's health, pain and mucsuloskeletal medicine, environmental medicine and detoxification, as well as men's health. We wanted our new name to more accurately describe what we have to offer at the clinic. Other than a name change nothing else will change, we'll continue to have the same great doctors and provide the same great services!

We've teamed up with Our Organics to now offer fresh, certified organic produce right at our office! Beginning on July 17th we will be offering organic produce on every other Friday afternoon from 5-7PM. Our Organics will be delivering two different box sizes of produce, with the items changing with the season. The larger box, which will easily provide for a family of four is reasonably priced at $60. A smaller box costs $40 and will supply a couple or small family with all the fruits and veggies they can eat for two weeks! Just try to get those kind of prices at an organic grocery store! In order to reserve your fruits and veggies call Our Organics at (602)-550-0330, or visit their website at here.

During the month of June we’ll be offering two “Free BIA Days.” During these two days it will be possible to come into the office and receive a BIA for free!!!

The BIA is a great way to get a large overview of your body. Measurements such as %lean body weight, %fat mass, resting metaboilic rate, body mass index, and total body water are all determined with this fast and easy test. We frequentlay use this test to monitor people who are taking advantage of our First Line Therapy programs. These programs provide guidance on therapeutic lifestyle medicine and are used for conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, weight control, and hypertension.

The Free BIA Days are going to be the 19th and 26th of June. If you want to take advantage of this offer please call the office and tell them which day you would prefer. The BIA is non-invasive, totally pain free, and the whole procedure only takes about 15 minutes. Call today to reserve your spot!!

We've got a great selection of articles to share with you this month:

Hypothyroidism by Shahrzad Orona, NMD
Adrenal Fatigue by Phranq Tamburri, NMD
Alcohol and Longevity? by Dr. Ross Kerievsky, DC, NMD
Weight Loss and Aging Metabolism by Dr. Marianne Marchese, NMD
New Hope for Autoimmune Disease by Marie Niechwiadowicz, NMD
Pollution Reflections by Raushanah Najeeullah, NMD

Shahrzad Orona, NMD

Do you hear of low thyroid symptoms and think that the majority apply to you? You may have heard of this recently on the Dr. Phil Show. Low energy, easy weight gain, cold hands and feet and hair loss are just a few of the symptoms that are often associated with sub-optimal thyroid functioning. You have experienced these symptoms, and even asked your doctor test your blood for thyroid function knowing for sure that you are hypothyroid (low thyroid). Then, you are told that your thyroid is normal, but you just don’t know how this could be possible as you still feel the symptoms.

Many people experience this scenerio, usually because the only blood test the doctor ordered is simply checking the level of your thyroid stimulating hormone or TSH. The TSH level indicates how the brain perceives the body’s thyroid hormone levels. When your brain perceives that your body has low thyroid hormone levels it produces more TSH to tell your body to make more thyroid hormones. When your brain perceives that your body has adequate or high levels of thyroid hormones it produces less thyroid stimulating hormone. Measuring only TSH levels also has other problems, as there is debate over the optimal range of TSH. Although labs generally set the range between 0.45 and 4.5, many doctors are now finding this range too broad and are using other more narrow ranges.

So what is a person to do? My recommendation for obtaining a complete thyroid assessment would be:

A questionnaire to rank your symptoms, and a complete health history.

Blood testing: TSH, total and free T4, total and free T3, reverse T3, T3Uptake. T3 and T4 are both hormones that are produced by the thyroid gland, and both can have a major impact on how a person feels.

Possibly testing your thyroid antibodies depending on your risk of autoimmune disease

Thyroflex test- this non-invasive test calculates thyroid function based on the speed and duration of your reflexes. This test is what Dr. Phil presented on his recent show. To see a short clip of this episode click here.

Urinary iodine test- insufficient levels of iodine in the body have been associated with abnormal thyroid functioning. Low iodine levels have also been associated with condition such as breast cancer. For more on this see NFC cancer blog at

Treating thyroid problems is a large part of my practice, and if you feel that you may have a problem with thyroid function I would be happy to help you investigate this.

Adrenal Fatigue
Dr.Phranq Tamburri, NMD

Adrenal fatigue is a common health condition that affects millions of people. The adrenal glands are important because they give us energy, allow our bodies to adapt to stress, maintain a healthy weight, help regulate blood pressure and contribute to hormone balance in the body. The adrenals can develop dysfunction when we are under prolonged periods of stress or experience an isolated episode of major stress. Stress comes in many forms, both physical and psychological. The main sources of physical stress are pain, inflammation, blood sugar dysregulation or an illness like a severe respiratory infection. Psychological stresses are often associated with living in a fast paced society with very little leisure time to rest and rejuvenate. When the level of stress exceeds our body's ability to cope then adrenal fatigue develops.The symptoms of adrenal fatigue can vary but the most common ones are: fatigue, difficulty losing weight, lack of concentration, muscle or joint pain, frequent colds and flu, mood changes and insomnia. Adrenal dysfunction may also worsen hormone related conditions like symptoms of PMS, menopause, or for many of my specific male patients, andropause.

Your adrenal function can be assessed with a simple salivary test called the Adrenal Stress Index test, in which the daily cortisol rhythm is mapped out and compared to a normal curve. Based on the test results and your specific symptoms, an individualized treatment plan can be developed to help restore optimal adrenal function. Treatment may include nutritional IVs, oral supplementation with vitamins C, E and B vitamins, adrenal glandular extracts, and herbs that help tonify and restore the adrenal glands. It is also important to utilize stress management techniques to help mitigate the effects of stress.

Although healthy adrenals are the key to improved energy and vitality, many books or alternative practitioners too frequently and prematurely make this diagnosis so make sure that you are properly assessed by your physician to rule out other more serious disease that may have similar symptoms.
If you suspect that you might have adrenal dysfunction make sure you ask us about testing.

Alcohol and Longevity?
Ross Kerievsky, DC, NMD

There has been a lot of conflicting data over the past few years regarding whether alcohol consumption is a health benefit or a health risk. Unfortunately, there is still a debate on the subject. Recent data suggests that depending on if you are a male or female can indicate whether alcohol consumption is a health benefit or a risk.

A recent study from of the April 30th The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reported that drinking a half a glass of wine daily for men increased longevity by 5 years. More studies are needed however. For best results avoid boxed wine!

Benefits were attributed to the actual alcohol consumption as well as the benefit specifically from wine. Unfortunately, the benefits seen in males do not seem to be the same in females. Other reports show a potential increase in incidence of breast cancer with the addition of alcohol. Hopefully more studies will shed light on this topic in the future. To see the study click here

Weight Loss: The aging metabolism
Marianne Marchese, NMD

Ever feel like you’re fighting a losing battle to shed pounds not matter how much you exercise or how well you eat? You may be losing the battle at a cellular level. Your body is built to store fat and later use the stored fat for energy. As you age and your metabolism slows down not only do you burn less fat but the food you eat is more likely to be stored as fat instead of being used to fuel your body.

Food is fuel

The primary nutrients in foodstuff can be classified as fats, proteins or carbohydrates that are used to fuel the body. Metabolism is the way the cells, organs and tissues in our bodies handle those kinds of fuels. As metabolism slows, the primary thing that seems to occur is that mitochondria in the cells slow down with age. As we age, we are subject to muscle wasting. Since muscle burns more energy than fat if you do nothing about your loss of muscle with age, it will take you longer to burn off a candy bar at age 60 than at 20.

How to slow the slowing

Dr. Marchese has developed a treatment plan to address the slowing metabolism at a cellular level. Along with a comprehensive nutrition and exercise plan she assists the cells to ramp up the mitochondria. This is done with a simple sugar that increase the energy molecule ATP in the body, an extract of the skin of the red grape that increases enzymatic activity and mitochondria, and the reduced form of a naturally occurring antioxidant that is present in every cell of the body that increases cellular activity.

Other causes of weight gain

In addition to aging and slowing metabolism, hypothyroidism and insulin resistance can cause weight gain and make losing weight difficult. This is why it is important to have a complete medical work-up to determine the cause of weight gain. Treatment for hypothyroidism and insulin resistance are mainstays of Dr. Marchese’s practice.

If you are having trouble losing weight, making changes in your diet or getting started on an exercise program, Dr. Marchese can help.

New Hope for Autoimmune Disease
Marie Niechwiadowicz, NMD

When patients are first diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, a common initial response is confusion. “I like my thyroid (or insert appropriate organ) – why doesn’t my immune system?” The cause of this internal power struggle remains unknown. Current theories point to viral infections as the etiology. What is even more worrisome is that once you have one autoimmune disease your likelihood of developing another one increases exponentially. Celiac and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis go hand in hand. More than eighty different diseases are classified as autoimmune conditions. In conventional medicine, treatment has been limited to immunosuppressant drugs. Alternative medicine offers more options with supportive treatments such as acupuncture, nutritional support, IV therapies, and herbal medicine. A new use for an old drug offers another powerful option that may reverse the autoimmune process. This is low dose naltrexone therapy.

Since 1980, therapies developed by a neurologist may cure or at least slow the process of autoimmune conditions. Neurologist Dr. Bernard Bihari started using low dose naltrexone on his Multiple Sclerosis patients in New York City. His research showed that low dose naltrexone stopped cell death of oligodendrocytes which produce myelin, prevented the inhibition of glutamate transporters, prevented excitatory neurotoxicity on neurons, and reduced inflammation in neurons. In short, MS, which is a progressive disease process that is characterized by demyelination of neurons, was being reversed. Low dose naltrexone has also been given for some cancers and HIV with promising results. At high doses, naltrexone is conventionally used for opiate drug addiction. It is classified as an opiate agonist. The dosage for addiction is 50-300mg a day.

The cells of the immune system have several types of opiod receptors and naltrexone in low doses blocks mu opiod receptor decreasing the immune systems responsiveness to antigens. The balance between delta/mu receptors lead to competent immune system that recognizes self from non-self. Naltrexone increases Th1 and decrease Th2 cytokine production, decreases IL-4 production and increase IL-2 and interferon gamma levels. Low Th1 levels increase the production of auto reactive T lymphocytes and of auto antibodies. What this means is naltrexone gets your immune system to stop seeing you as the enemy.

Low dose naltrexone therapy has been successfully used to reverse the autoimmune disease process in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Multiple Sclerosis. Patients typically notice symptomatic improvement within a month. After 3-6 months of treatment, autoimmune antibodies are considerably lower and sometimes undetectable. Treatment is 1.5mg to 3mg of naltrexone taken before bed. At this low dose naltrexone has no known side effects. In conjunction with supportive therapies, low dose naltrexone is a powerful weapon to combat autoimmune diseases.

Pollution Reflections
Raushanah Najeeullah, NMD
My precious little angel, also known as my son Phoenix, has had a bothersome cough for the last 2 weeks or so. Being a good mother/doctor, I took his temperature, listened to his lungs and watched him like a hawk. Other than this annoying little cough he was perfectly fine. A very pretty basic and gentle kid-sized cough treatment involving botanicals and homeopathy definitely gave him some relief but this cough just wouldn’t quite go away.

Remembering the Naturopathic Principle of ‘Discover and Treat the Cause’, I decided to try a little experiment. It was mother’s day weekend so I took a trip to Sedona; a beautiful canyon only 120 miles away from but roughly 3,000 feet above the heavily polluted metro Phoenix area where we live. Low and behold, the coughing ceased for almost the entire time we were in Sedona and started again upon our return to Phoenix (the city, not my son).

The high pollution days and constant ‘Brown Cloud’ seen over Maricopa county can take a terrible toll on respiratory health especially in the very young and elderly. Of the 25 most ozone-polluted cities in the country, Phoenix ranks 9th. According to the American Lung Association’s "State of the Air 2005" report, over 2.6 million, or 79%, of Maricopa county's residents are at high risk for respiratory complications due to air quality. Increased air pollution can cause cough, eye and throat irritation, shortness of breath and brain fog in otherwise healthy individuals.
Asthma sufferers in particular may see an aggravation of symptoms during this time.

Asthma is an inflammatory condition of the bronchial and bronchiolar airways found in the lower respiratory system. It causes narrowing of the airways, swelling to the lining of the airways, and increased mucus production. Symptoms commonly seen are wheezing, difficulty breathing, cough, a feeling of discomfort in the chest, and shortness of breath with activity.

There are steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms of air pollution. HEPA air filters and plants that clean the air are very effective at cleaning the air in your home. It is also important to remove your shoes as you enter a home. You can track pesticides, herbicides, and other substances through a living area if you did so much as walk across a treated lawn. There are also therapeutic options to address preexisting conditions such as asthma. Homeopathy, NEAT (Natural Elimination of Allergy Therapy) and constitutional hydrotherapy are just a few options you can discuss with your doctor.