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.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July News!!!

Naturopathic Family Care and Longevity Medical Health Center is now offering sauna therapy. We are running speacials on sauna and massage packages through the end of July. Call the office for pricing and to schedule your sauna and massage appointment today!
(602) 493-2273

Coming up this July, Dr. Marianne Marchese, leader in Naturopathic Women's Health and Phoenix Magazine's Top Doctor for 2010, will be hosting one of her most popular and highly attended talks,

Flashes! and Sweats! and Dryness! Oh my!
She will be discussing everything you need to know about Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Menopause and Herbs.

Join us for this free health lecture at Naturoapthic Family Care.

Please RSVP for this event

Menopause and Bio-identical Hormones
By Marianne Marchese, ND
Author of 8 Weeks to Women’s Wellness: The Detoxification Plan for Breast Cancer, Endometriosis, Infertility and Other Women’s Health Conditions.

Menopause is a time of transition in a woman’s life. No two women enter into menopause the same and thus can not address the issues that arise with a one-size-fits-all treatment approach. Menopause is a normal part of the aging process that affects women in their 40’s and 50’s. The definition of menopause is the cessation of the menstrual cycle. It is not a disease condition, although is often thought of and treated as a disease. A woman becomes postmenopausal after going an entire year without a menstrual cycle. However, a woman may experience signs and symptoms of menopause years before the menstrual cycle actually stops.

Typical symptoms of menopause:
*Hot flashes
*Night sweats
*Low libido
*Mood swings
*Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse
*Hair falling out
*Joint pain
*Decreased memory and concentration

There are several treatment options available to women and as women become more educated about these options they often ask their physician which treatment is best for them. Most often it depends on a woman’s individual risk factors for breast cancer, heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis. Treatment options include bio-identical hormone therapy, botanical/herbal medicine, homeopathy, diet and nutrition, and nutritional supplements. Sometimes the best approach for managing symptoms is a combination or one or more treatments. Some physicians are not trained in all the possible treatment options and may not understand that some herbs interact with medications. A naturopathic physician is probably the best trained in all options available to women.

What are bio-identical hormones?
For decades, women in the U.S. have been prescribed hormones for menopause. In 2001 all that changed with the release of the first large double-blind placebo controlled study on the use of hormones in post-menopausal women. This study was called The Women’s Health Initiative and showed that hormones use had a slight increase in breast cancer risk, stroke and heart attack. [1] However, this study was done using synthetic hormones. A very specific yet commonly prescribed formula of estrogens from horse urine, and synthetic progestins. This study was not done using bio-identical hormones which are very different.

Bioidentical hormones are compounds that have exactly the same chemical and molecular structure as human hormones. In contrast, non-bioidentical, or synthetic, hormones are structurally different from the hormones a woman’s ovary makes. [2] Bio-identical hormones are made both by conventional pharmaceutical companies and compounding pharmacies. The bio-identical hormones made by conventional pharmaceutical companies come with limitations in dosages, and control of additives and fillers. Compounding pharmacies can formulate estrogen plus progesterone pills and creams, estrogen only pills and creams, and can add other bio-identical hormones such as testosterone and DHEA as determined by the physician. The compounded hormones come with unlimited dosing options and the ability to titrate the dose up and down depending on how a woman responds. [2] It allows for more individualization of hormone therapy.

Are bio-identical hormones safer and more effective?
In theory yes they are. But in reality we are just beginning to see research that includes the use of bio-identical hormones. Remember, synthetic hormones were the main choice for hormone therapy in menopause for decades. After the publication of the Women’s health Initiative study, more and more women turned to bio-identical hormones and thus the research has followed. A recent study showed that a combination of bio-identical estradiol, estriol and progesterone has positive effects on symptoms and less risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. [3] However, a study from 2009 showed an increase risk of ovarian cancer from the use of hormones in menopause regardless of the type of hormone used, (synthetic verses bio-identical), duration of use, or route of administration. [4]

Bio-identical formulas
A woman’s ovary in her younger years mostly produces estradiol (E2), progesterone and testosterone. Estriol (E3) is converted in the body from estriol. Estrone (E1) is the dominant hormone in menopause being converted from another hormone in a woman’s adipose tissue or fat. Most physicians no longer add Estrone to bio-identical hormones due to the slight increase risk of breast cancer from Estrone metabolites. So a formula typically consists of the two estrogens; estradiol and estriol. If a woman has a uterus she MUST have progesterone added to the formula to protect the uterus. Often times a doctor will add testosterone and DHEA as well. Keep in mind that bio-identical testosterone converts to estradiol thus increases the amount of estradiol and possible breast cancer risk. Bio-identical hormones formulation and prescribing can be confusing a woman should seek out a practitioner that has experience and training in order to formulate a product that is right for you.

Who is not a candidate for hormones?
*Personal or family history of breast cancer
*Personal history of ovarian or uterine cancer
*Known clotting disorder or history of blood clots
*Personal history of stroke or TIA (mini-stroke)
*Personal history of heart attack or high risk for heart disease

If you are not a good candidate for bio-identical hormones there are still plenty of options for treating the symptoms of menopause. These include herbal medicines, nutrients, amino acids, bio-flaviniods, homeopathic remedies, and of course diet and nutrition. The goal is to decrease the symptoms of menopause without causing any harmful side effects. At the same time protecting a woman from disease conditions common after menopause, such as osteoporosis, should be included in a comprehensive individualized treatment approach. Learn more at

1. Rossouw JE, et al. Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2002;288(3):321-33.
2. Sood R, et al. Counseling Postmenopausal Women about Bioidentical Hormones: Ten Discussion Points for Practicing Physicians. JABFM. 2011;24:202-210.
3. Holtorf K. The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol, and progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy? Postgrad Med. 2009 Jan;121(1):73-85.
4. Mørch LS, et al. Hormone therapy and ovarian cancer. JAMA. 2009 Jul 15;302(3):298-305.

Take a Hike for Prostate Cancer
by Dr Psenka

A great study was published this June in the journal Cancer Research. This study looked at the relationship between exercise and the progression of prostate cancer. Previous research has already reported that vigorous activity reduces the risk of prostate cancer related mortality by 61%. There were 1455 men included in this new investigation, all of whom had biopsy-proven, non-metastatic prostate cancer. These men were given questionnaires covering the participants’ physical activity patterns. After a two-year time period the researchers found that the rate of prostate cancer progression was 57% lower among men who walked briskly 3 or more hours per week.

That’s worth repeating: A 57% reduction in prostate cancer progression from walking three hours per week!

This is just one more study showing that there are positive effects that can be had by incorporating exercise into a cancer treatment plan. Imagine a cancer therapy that could boost your immune system, inhibit cancer progression, and significantly reduce stress levels. Now imagine that this therapy didn’t cost anything. That’s exercise. No matter what a person’s exercise ability may be, there is always a way to begin receiving the many benefits of exercise.

Monday, June 13, 2011

New Massage Therapist Joins the Team!
We are pleased to announce that licensed massage therapist and certified medical assistant Jacinta Tsosie has joined the office. Jacinta uses a variety of massage therapies including deep tissue,
Shiatsu, Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, and sports massage. Read more about Jacinta here.
Don't miss our great introductory massage special throughout the months of June and July. Call the office today for details and scheduling.

Bad Bugs Begone!
Recently on the news there were reports of an E. Coli outbreak in Germany that caused illness in an estimated 30,000 people. German officials fingered inadequately washed produce such as sprouts, cucumbers, and lettuce as the source of the bacteria. I also recently diagnosed a gastrointestinal parasite infection in a otherwise healthy patient. One of the possible ways this infection may have occurred was from not washing produce well. In light of both of these events I thought I would pass on an old vegetable and fruit washing tip that's easy, works great, and takes a minimal amount of effort.

Step 1: Fill up your sink with room temperature water.
Step 2: Add one cup of hydrogen peroxide.
Step 3: Add your produce.
Step 4: Let it soak for 10-20 minutes.
Step 5: Rinse and eat (a minimum of 4-5 servings per day)

Sauna Therapy Now Available at the Clinic!

We are excited to tell you that we are now offering sauna therapy to our patients. Saunas are an excellent way to address a variety of health problems. Saunas offer a relaxing and safe approach for promoting detoxification of a number of environmental toxins. Our new state of the art sauna uses infra-red carbon heaters to deliver a powerful and precise heat. The heaters in our sauna are the only heaters to have been researched and found beneficial for human health. In addition to providing heat, our sauna also has optional chromotherapy built in
Chromotherapy, aka. color therapy, uses specialized color-emitting lights to positively effect health.
While sauna therapy has been mainly used to treat toxicity issues, there are several common health problems that can be successfully helped with sauna use. Medical research supports the use of sauna therapy for congestive heart failure, hypertension, and chronic pain. Sauna therapy has been shown to increase quality of life in patients with type-II diabetes and to provide benefits people with asthma or chronic bronchitis. Several studies have found sauna therapy to be effective in alleviating rheumatic pain and stiffness associated with arthritis. Sauna therapy has also been studied as an adjunct to chemotherapy as a way to improve the functioning of the immune system.
Sauna therapy is very safe and even enjoyable to receive. We are offering sauna and massage packages, as well as special detoxification IV's with can be paired with sauna use.
For more information about sauna therapy see our sauna page on the website.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are Your Allergies Making You Crazy?!?

Now that spring is here, at last we can step outside and take some time to enjoy the sunshine and the warmer longer days.

However for many people this is not the case. For asthma and allergy sufferers spring can be a difficult time, as they struggle to control their symptoms.

In this edition of the NFC Newsletter Dr. Jesika DiCampli discusses the link between allergies and nervous system function in children and we also have some great information on how to beat asthma and allergies with Austin Air filters.

Helping to Fight Asthma

Today a staggering 24 million Americans suffer from asthma and nearly half of those are children.

It is generally thought the main factors that contribute to asthma are a combination of genetics and our environment.

Environmental factors include dust mites, pollution, pet dander, molds, tobacco smoke and chemicals.

Medications such as inhalers and steroids are used in part, to treat the condition. However sufferers must also avoid these environmental triggers, which is not always easy to do. By using effective air filtration and eliminating indoor pollutants, people can enjoy cleaner air and greatly reduce the risk of an asthma attack.

The filters used in Austin Air cleaners contain True Medical Grade HEPA and activated carbon, which is by far the most effective method of air filtration available. It is this filter technology, together with a unique 360 degree air intake design, that guarantees clean air is delivered faster and more efficiently than any other air cleaner on the market.

To learn more about Austin Air filters, the different types and cost, please contact our office 602-493-2273

Dr. Jesika DiCampli

This month the FDA has started investigating food dyes and children’s behavior. The age old question is can these additive dyes cause hyperactivity and behavioral issues? Some say yes and some say no. The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants the FDA to ban eight artificial food dyes particularly Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6, which make up 90 percent of the food dyes on the market.
Their stance is based on a 2004 meta-analysis. Many of the studies concluded that there, indeed, was a cause-and-effect relationship between food dyes and hyperactivity. The authors stated that dyes “promote hyperactivity in hyperactive children, as measured on behavioral rating scales” and that “society should engage in a broader discussion about whether the aesthetic and commercial rationale for the use of [artificial food colorings] is justified”.

Two recent studies sponsored by the British government on cross-sections of British children found that mixtures of four dyes (and a food preservative, sodium benzoate) impaired the behavior of even non-hyperactive children (Bateman, Warner et al. 2004; McCann, Barrett et al. 2007). As a result, the British government told the food and restaurant industries to eliminate the dyes tested by the end of 2009, and the Europe- an Parliament passed a law that will require a warning notice on all foods that contain one or more of the dyes tested after July 20, 2010. The notice states that the dyed food “may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children” (Parliament accessed February 20, 2010).

So why are we having such a difficult time warning/banning these substances in the U.S.? Maybe because it is more cost effective to use the artificial dyes than natural forms. Many companies that distribute to both England and U.S. have been recommended to use natural forms of dyes in England but will not do the same for U.S. unless required.

To learn more about how Additives, dyes, and other food sensitivities could be affecting your child come to Dr. DiCampli’s discussion
Are Your Allergies Making You Crazy?!? on Wed May 18th

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh My Aching Head!

Most of us have experienced a headache at some point in our lives. Some of us more frequently than others. Figuring what is causing a patient’s head to hurt is enough to give a physician a headache.

The differential diagnosis for head pain ranges from trauma to tumor to tooth to tension to tryptamines. There are many more causes of a headache but they do not conveniently begin with the letter “T.” A sudden onset severe headache with no previous history of headache is usually cause to visit an emergency department. The root of chronic headaches is more complicated.

One of the best ways to help your physician find the cause of your pain is to keep a headache diary. A good example is available at

For women it is important to note where you are in your menstrual cycle. Migraines in particular have been related to low progesterone and other hormonal imbalances. Also note water consumption, environmental exposure (cleaning chemicals, dry cleaning, insecticides) and foods.

One of the most common causes of headache is dehydration. If your headaches come about the same time every afternoon, check to make sure you are drinking half your body weight in ounces of water. Withdrawal headaches are common with caffeine and sugar users. When the brain is deprived of the level of these that it is accustomed to, the result is a headache. If the headache resolves with coffee or sugar, it is time to wean off.

True headaches fall into three broad categories: tension, cluster, migraine. Tension headaches are common to both men and women, occur daily, and are a dull steady ache over the whole head. Cluster headaches usually occur in men, happen once a week, last less than four hours, are one sided and are severe in pain (think being stabbed in the head with an ice pick.) Migraines are more common in women, occur less frequently, can be one or both sided, can last 72 hours and are moderate in pain level. Migraines are further divided into classic, common and complicated. Classic have an aura or prodrome that let’s the victim know it is about to attack. Common lacks this feature. Complicated has sensory and motor impairments with the headache. And all three types of headaches can trigger each other.

The mouth can be a headache in and of itself. TMJ, grinding the teeth, root canal issues, and poor gum health can all lead to headaches. Sinus congestion can also manifest as a headache. Malposition of the spine can lead to headaches as well as somatic dysfunction. A common description of a headache is starting at the base of the skull and radiating behind the eye. This is usually caused by an over-used splenius capitis muscle and injection therapy or physical medicine is often the best solution.

The treatment of headaches is as varied as the causes of headaches. Avoiding triggers, balancing hormones and maintaining proper hydration are good starting points. And while you and your physician are looking for the source of your headaches, the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for symptomatic relief of headaches.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Heart of the Matter

This year at NFC we are putting more emphasis on patient education and providing events and other gatherings where patients and the community as a whole can not only receive education from health professionals but have a chance to connect with other individuals who might share in their health concerns.

This month we have Dr. Marie hosting a FREE BREAKFAST and FREE Cardiovascular lab testing Saturday, March 5th starting at 8am. Blood draws 8-9, breakfast starting at 8:15 and health lecture starting at 9am. Dr. Marie will also be hosting a free health lecture titled, Oh, My Aching Head! Thursday, March 24th 6pm at NFC. Space is limited so please call 602.493.2273 to RSVP.

To keep up to date on all the events at NFC visit our facebook page.

Cholesterol – It is more than just a number
Marie Niechwiadowicz, NMD

Patient 1 has his blood work run and his total cholesterol is 182. Patient 2 has hers run and it is 232. We are told that total cholesterol should be less than 200. Who has healthier cholesterol levels and less risk for heart disease?

Trick question – without breaking down the total number into LDL, VLDL and HDL the number is useless.

Quick definitions:
– high density lipoprotein. Considered to be protective against heart disease – often called the “good cholesterol.” The higher the number the better. Should be at least 45.
LDL – low density lipoprotein. Causes the formation of arterial plaque – the “bad cholesterol.” Should be less than 130, less than 100 is optimal.
VLDL - very low density lipoprotein. Considered even worse than LDL as a cardiac risk factor. Should be less than 29.

Back to the patients numbers:
Patient 1 HDL 12, LDL 135, VLDL 35 = Total Cholesterol 182
Patient 2 HDL 142 LDL 85, VLDL 5 = Total Cholesterol 232

Obviously Patient 2 has a much lower risk for heart disease even though her total cholesterol would be considered high. Interestingly, half of the people who have heart attacks have “normal” cholesterol levels.

There is more…
Trigylcerides, apolipoprotien, the size and the density of the LDL, remnant lipoprotein, homocysteine levels, c-reactive proteins, and insulin resistance all contribute to your risk of heart disease -- even more so than VLDL and LDL. These factors indicate when the conditions are most conducive to creating arterial plaque.

So why do we need cholesterol? Cholesterol is the building block for our hormones – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, aldosterone, and cortisol are all made from cholesterol. It is possible to have too little cholesterol especially through over supplementation/medication.

Bloodwork is available to test all these risk factors in addition to the HDL, LDL and Total cholesterol. These labs are a valuable tool since the strategy to reduce one risk factor is different for another. Diet and exercise should be the first line of therapy to reduce cardiac risk factors. As always, good medicine is not one supplement/drug fits all. Attend our talk March 5th to learn about your cardiac risk factors and create a plan to optimize your heart health.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Thyroid Awareness

Most of you may or may not know what your thyroid gland does and how it can affect your daily life. Fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, and constipation can all be associate with poor thyroid function. This month Dr. Marie will be hosting a free health lecture on Thyroid. Join her Thursday, January 27th 6pm at NFC.

Trends in Thyroid Disease by Dr. Marie

The incidence of hypothyroidism is steadily rising in the United States with women more commonly affected than men. The most common cause of hypothyroidism in adults is Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism – an autoimmune condition in which the person’s immune system makes anti-bodies to the thyroid hormone. Hashimoto’s is often difficult to detect as many patients have a period of hyperthyroidism (high energy, weight loss) before their thyroid crashes and symptoms of fatigue, hair loss, constipation, weight gain, low body temperature and high blood pressure can set in. Many physicians just screen for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which is often normal in Hashimoto’s patients. Hashimoto’s often sets in after pregnancy even if the pregnancy is not carried to term or after a viral syndrome. Taking a thorough patient history and running the appropriate labs is crucial for early detection. Treatments like low dose naltrexone therapy can actually reverse the autoimmune process. Increasing plant sterols, avoiding goitragenic foods and eating an anti-inflammatory diet are good starts for treatments.

Sometimes hypothyroidism is simpler in that the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormone (T4) The brain keeps sending the signal to produce T4 through TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) so lab results will show an elevated TSH. Many debates surround what is the ideal level of TSH for optimal thyroid health and this can differ from patient to patient.

The thyroid gland can be functioning normally but the thyroid hormone T4 is not being converted into T3, which is the usable form for the body. This can be due to selenium deficiency or impaired organ function.

To complicate matters further, sub clinical hypothyroidism often called Wilson’s Syndrome has normal lab values and is diagnosed clinically.

Patients require different treatments – some respond better to synthetic thyroid over animal derived thyroid. Some choose synthetic based on ethical, religious and personal preferences. Acupuncture, herbs, nutritional changes and supplementation can also alleviate the symptoms of hypothyroidism.


Do you have any of the following symptoms?
More tired and sluggish than normal
Hair and skin drier than normal
Sleep more than normal
Colder than other people
Muscles cramp more easily
More depressed
Slower thinking
Eyes more puffy
Math is more difficult
Hoarse or deeper voice
Heavy menstrual cycles
Sexual dysfunction or lack of drive
Puffy hands and feet
Easy weight gain

If you answered yes to more than 3 of these questions, you may be suffering from subclinical hypothyroidism. Left untreated, subclinical hypothyroidism can lead to increased risk of:
Sudden death
High or low blood pressure
High Cholesterol and other blood fats
Vascular disease
Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
Arthritis and inflammatory diseases
Pregnancy Complications and Infertility

Just like any good detective uses numerous clues to find the facts and solve a crime, as your doctor I use a variety of tests to evaluate your thyroid function. These tests may include but are not limited to:

Blood tests: TSH, total T4, total T3, free T4, free T3, reverse T3
Antibody tests: microsomal TPO-Ab, thyroglobulin Ab
Basal body temperature
Thyroid Symptom Questionnaire
Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies

Naturopathic Family Care was the first clinic to use the Thyroflex machine and continues to use it today. The Thyroflex machine is based on research that shows our reflexes are slower if our thyroid function is low. Thyroid treatment helps to normalize the thyroid and therefore the reflexes.

Thyroflex is a simple, non-invasive 4 minute reflex test that is done in our office to show if your thyroid function is normal or if you are on an appropriate dose of thyroid medication. A reflex hammer-like device is used on your brachio-radialis reflex, which is on your arm. A computer then calculates how quickly your reflex occurred.

Optimizing thyroid function greatly reduces your health risks and helps regulate hormones, neurotransmitters and immune factors. If you would like to have your thyroid fully evaluated, please call our office today and make an appointment with Dr.Orona.