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Tired? Low Energy?

Why Test Adrenal Function?

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We can't get away from stress and in fact, some stress can be good, after all, exercise, getting a new job, or moving to a new home can cause stress.  However, bad stress, the kind that is ongoing can have a dramatically deleterious effect on your health. This is why stress management is so important to maintaining good health and why our naturopathic doctors have an adrenal function test in their playbook.

 

What does Cortisol have to do with my Adrenals?

Chronic, ongoing stress, whether it is from being wired all the time with work deadlines or from chronic pain can cause a depletion of cortisol, the hormone that helps us find the physical and mental strength to deal with our stressors. This vital hormone is produced by the adrenal glands. Unfortunately, the adrenals can become fatigued, which affects cortisol production and this can lead to a multitude of symptoms.

A Few Symptoms of Low Cortisol include:

  • fatigue (even after 8 hours of sleep)
  • picking up bugs easily
  • slow recovery from exercise
  • depression or anxiety
  • low sex drive
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • blood sugar imbalances
  • sore muscles and joints

Cortisol is a major stress hormone and can be measured to determine how your body is responding to stress. 

Testing is easy. Just visit your naturopathic doctor, he or she will determine if the Saliva Cortisol test is right for you. If the test is right for you, it's as easy as 1,2,3,4!

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Arthritis Relief

Stay in the Game! Don't let Arthritis Pain Bench You!

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Forty three million people in the United States alone, suffer from arthritis.  This degenerative disease can be debilitating and can lead to other serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes and hip fractures.   

     For those dealing with the pain, it is a constant struggle.  Arthritis and back pain are the second most common reason for visiting a doctor, after colds and flus.  It impairs daily activity, sometimes to the extent that the individual becomes depressed and can negatively impact relationships. 

     Many people believe that once they have it there's no turning back, it's part of the aging process and a down hill slide.  They may also believe that the best way to relieve the pain is through rest.  Both of these ideas are far from the truth and myths that need to be busted!

     New research is finding that arthritis can be reversed and that pain does not have to be a part of your daily life.  Through a combination of nutrition, complementary therapies and exercise you can live well in spite of arthritis.  


Nutrition Therapy

    The most important part of controlling or reversing arthritis is through nutritional therapy.  This will have the most profound affect on joint health and is the easiest to implement.  It involves not just the food you eat but also the specific nutrients that nourish your joints. 

     There's a bonus to this therapy too!  Not only will you reverse arthritis but you will also lower your risk of developing dementia, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.  You can't beat that!   So where do you begin? 

  • Water makes up 75 percent of muscle and more than 20 percent of bone.  Our entire body is 2/3 water.  Not only does water help carry nutrients and oxygen to your joints it also moisturizes and give support as well.   If you don't get enough water on a daily basis, you can eat all the right foods, take all the right medication and supplements, but you'll be wasting your money because your joints can be stiff and sore if you are dehydrated.  Start your anti-arthritis life plan by making a commitment to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.

 

  • Fruits and vegetables contain substantial amounts of vitamin C, carotenes, folate, and a number of different minerals.  These are the nutrients that people with arthritis need.  People with certain types of arthritis seem to use up vitamin C faster than other people so it is important to ensure an adequate intake of fruit.  Beta-carotene seems to help reduce the risk of disease progression with osteoarthritis. Not getting enough from your diet or not absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat can lead to deficiencies of nutrients important for joint health. Keeps fruits to a minimum as they are high in fructose any kind of sweets can promote inflammation.

 

  • The protein requirements for those dealing with rheumatoid arthritis are higher because they experience an increase in protein breakdown, which leads to loss of muscle.  The right kind of protein is essential for building collagen, an important structural component of cartilage. Cold water fish are rich sources of EPA and DHA, two very effective omega-3 fatty acids that fight the inflammatory process of arthritis.  Grass fed meats also contain fair amounts of these necessary nutrients.  Vegetable proteins from tofu, beans, nuts and seeds are plant sources of protein but are not good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 

 

  • Grains should be consumed with caution. The quality and type of grain is paramount.  Whole grains provide the body with key nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin E, zinc, iron, selenium and magnesium.  However, if you are sensitive to certain grains (such as the ones with gluten) you could be doing more harm than good.  Find out if you have a sensitivity through  Electrodermal testing.

Complementary Therapies

     Many complementary therapies promise relief from the pain of arthritis.  Unfortunately, just as our bodies are unique so must your treatment protocol be unique.  A cookie cutter protocol may work for 80% of the people 80% of the time but it can be frustrating for that 20%.  It can be discouraging trying a therapy and finding it doesn't work for you.  Don't give up!  There are several different modalities and one will work for your body type.  Here is a breakdown of a few:

  • Acupuncture-a recognized treatment that stimulates the flow of Chi.  In Chinese medicine it is believed that energy flows along meridians.  Along these meridians are points that when stimulated can either increase or decrease the flow of energy to that part of the body.  Arthritis, in Chinese medicine, is an obstructive condition.  To correct this imbalance acupunture points are stimulated by inserting small needles and vibrating them.  This form of treatment has been shown to lessen inflammation and pain.
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin-Both of these compounds are part of the cartilage found in joints.  In a normal, healthy joint the production of the components of cartilage are in balance.  In the arthritic joint this balance is off, causing more destruction than production.  By taking glucosamine and chondroitin the metabolism in the joint is affected positively, increasing the building of cartilage and decreasing the destruction.  They may also have some anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
  • Infrared Sauna-I swear by mine!
  • BioFlex Low Intensity Laser-This technology uses specific wavelengths of light that allow photon energy to penetrate the tissues.  This energy interacts at the cellular level to restore normal cell function as well as enhancing the natural healing process.  This non-invasive, non-toxic and easily applied therapy has no known side effects, yet can produce dramatic results.  Some of the conditions it helps are: fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, bulging and herniated discs, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, rheumatoid arthritis, plantar fasciitis, burns, etc.
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Exercise Therapy

     When you are in pain and find it difficult to move, exercise may seem a bit daunting.  It can be a challenge to get your body moving, especially if you have little energy as well as pain.  However, exercise is not just for those who are already fit, nor does it have to be overly strenuous.  Exercise can be a gradual progression you guage by how you feel.  It can be mild, incremental and done in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Or you can get out playing a sport, like Pickleball, and get some great social interaction as well!

     Here are just a few of the benefits of regular exercise:

  • Builds muscle which helps with weight loss and blood sugar balancing.
  • Improves mood and helps relieve depression.
  • Improves balance so can help prevent falls.
  • Improves flexibility so can help prevent falls and injury.
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Reduces the risk of many types of cancer.
  • Reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

     Exercise can also help improve energy, vitality, sexual function and libido.  That's a lot of benefits!  All it takes is a 30 minute walk every day.  If you aren't walking at all then start with 5 minutes every other day, build up slowly as your tolerance and fitness improves.  Add weight training with soup cans or dumb bells three times a week and resistance training with Therabands twice a week.  Remember, slow and steady is best, not diving in feet first!  If you don't want to do it alone, ask a friend to join you and hire a Personal Trainer to set you both up with a program.   As your fitness improves you will find yourself able and willing to do more.

     Arthritis does not have to change your life.  You don't have to expect gradual decline and degeneration.  You can make the choice to embark on a program that will change your life.  You have the power.  Just think, you can have pain free days, restful sleep, more mobility and the knowledge that you took control of your health.  Can you beat that?

        

copyright @ 2007 Meza Health Systems, Inc.

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Childhood Anxiety

Childhood Anxiety: Treating it Naturally!

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Many more children struggle with mood disorders than ever before. With anxiety, depression, ADHD and suicidal thoughts on the rise, it behooves us all to reflect upon our current cultural setting, and to inquire about lifestyle changes that have occurred in the past 50 years. Children are most sensitive to the changes of the industrialized age and demonstrate anxiety as a response. 

Children have a unique experience with anxiety due in part to a limited ability to communicate complex emotions. Children often somatisize anxiety in the body as abdominal pain, irregular bowel habits, incontinence, bed wetting, grinding teeth, restlessness, nightmares, nail biting and skin picking. 

When addressing complex childhood emotions, a starting point involves establishing rhythm and routine. Children thrive on routine and consistency. Regular times of the day for waking, meals, snacks, exercise, fresh air, and time for hobbies set chemical and hormonal patterns and promote nervous system stability.  

Fresh air, exercise and unstructured free play time allow for emotional integration and release. Regular, informal meditation exercises improve children's ability to emotionally regulate, focus attention on specific tasks (like homework) and increase feelings of empathy towards others. Enhanced empathy translates as a decrease in bullying behaviours. 

It is imperative to address dietary triggers, such as: sugar, artificial sweeteners, colouring and flavouring agents, food allergies and intolerances, msg, nitrates, pesticides.

Frequently, children are deficient in key nutrients required for optimal brain function. Some examples include: DHA, iron, vitamin D, zinc and magnesium.

The digestive tract is heralded by naturopathic doctors as the second brain. This is because of the network of nerves supplying the gut and the high concentration of serotonin production that occurs here. Serotonin is a mood balancing neurotransmitter involved in the etiology of anxiety. Serotonin is targeted by the drug class SSRI's  like Prozac. A healthful diet coupled with SPECIFIC pediatric strains of probiotics is needed to strengthen our gut health and immunity.

Environmental allergies are a notable immune trigger that exacerbates anxiety. Examples of environmental allergens include: cat dander, dust mites, pollens and mould. These allergens trigger reactions in reactive children and may present as: hives, eczema, itchy skin, itchy eyes, allergic sinus infections and seasonal nasal congestion. The chemical produced during these reactions is called histamine, which stimulates the nervous system causing anxiety and impaired sleep. Remember the last time you took an antihistamine medication (like Benadry)? You probably fell asleep. So imagine, what the opposite effect would be with histamine levels gone wild!


Take Home Message


Routine fresh air, exercise, meditation, optimal diet, uncovering environmental allergies and food sensitivities, resolving nutrient deficiencies and promoting gut health are key to addressing some of the underlying causes of anxiety in your child.
 

The causes of anxiety are complex and multifaceted. There are serious causes of anxiety in children including abuse, neglect and mistreatment; these topics are outside of the scope of this article and may require immediate attention by a health care professional.


Naturopathic Medical Care Options:


-Testing for nutrient deficiencies

-Skin scratch testing for environmental allergens

-Blood testing for food intolerances

-Coaching and lifestyle strategies for long term success

-Education on optimal gut health solutions

To book an appointment with Dr. Luterbach please call 250-585-2150

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Where do You Start for Feeling Better in 2018?

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Where do you start for feeling better in 2018?

Three Things You Can Do Right Now For Your Health in 2018

We’ve hit 2018, made it through 2017 and are feeling like we want to make this year the best ever. But, your body is feeling a bit draggy, you wonder if it’s handling stress well and those aches and pains, blemishes and digestive upsets aren’t going away fast enough for your liking.

Here are three things you can do right now to get yourself back on track. You have to start somewhere, right? 

1.     Drink water

     Your body is mostly water. It uses water in every cell, organ and tissue for regulating temperature and for bodily functions. We must have water to survive. As your body is constantly losing water through metabolic processes, breathing and sweating it needs to be replenished on an ongoing basis. But there is also the right water to be drinking. Alkalinized water is best, but you don’t need expensive machines to make your water healthier. Just add a pinch of baking soda! To make sure you get enough water. Fill a pitcher in the morning, add your pinch of baking soda and then use it to drink from throughout the day. If you don’t finish it by the end of the day, don’t guzzle the stuff, just make note for the next day, that you need to be more consistent with your timing.

2.     Meditation

     Start your day in peace and quiet in contemplation and deep meditation. You don’t need hours of time, just some special techniques to access an alpha state of brain waves. How? Click here and receive a free Top Ten Meditation Techniques report. A gift to you from us to get you going on a path to vital mental and physical health.

3.     Boost Your Nutrient Intake

     Let’s face it, the ideal would be to get all your nutrients from good healthy food. Unfortunately, food today just isn’t as nutrient dense as it used to be. Add to that the environmental toxins our body’s are exposed to each day and you realize that to achieve optimum vitality you need to supplement your diet with specific, concentrated nutrients. Dr. Yim’s suggested maintenance formula for adding that extra nutritional boost is fish oil, Dr. Yim’s Multivitamin and Mineral, and Green’s First (Green drink).

These are simple inexpensive things you can do right now to improve your health, build better habits and fuel your body for a great new year.

Want to know more about Meditation? Dr. Yim will be presenting Everybody’s Guide to Meditation and Self Healing Jan 20 and 27 from 10-12 am. Cost is $ 69.00. Call to reserve your spot 250-585-2150. Handouts, coupons and door prizes!

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Fighting Fatigue

Fighting Fatigue

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There is an epidemic plaguing our society. Every one of us are susceptible since no one has immunity against this condition. Although it is not a killer, it can be debilitating and affect our quality of life. Even healthy individuals with no other symptoms can be affected. This condition is fatigue.

In my patient population, fatigue is generally caused by a number of factors. These can include: nutrient deficiencies from poor diet or gastrointestinal problems, poor sleep, stress induced adrenal dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, liver dysfunction, low hormone levels, chronic illness from infections, toxicity, mood disorders, and many others.

As a naturopathic physician, my goal is to determine and treat the cause of the fatigue. Often this takes time if the patient has been ill for a prolonged period and multiple systems of the body are performing sub-optimally. Patients want relief from their fatigue as quickly as possible.

Now I have a therapy that gets results fast and that is intravenous nutrient therapy (IVNT). I choose to administer nutrients intravenously when more energy is needed quickly and especially for patients who have been chronically ill.

Chronically ill patients almost always have issues with their digestive system making absorption of nutrients a real challenge. So many things can affect the health of the lining of the small intestines. This is where the vast majority of nutrient absorption takes place.

Supplying key nutrients intravenously bypasses the gut so high levels of nutrients can be administered and cellular and tissue levels of these nutrients vital for energy production increase quickly. Some nutrients such as B’s, magnesium and vitamin C can cause nausea, intestinal discomfort, or even diarrhea if given by mouth in very large doses. Given intravenously, these same nutrients do not cause the same symptoms.

Some of the nutrients that are given intravenously to boost energy and fight fatigue are B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, L-carnitine, glutathione, and coenzyme Q 10.

You don’t have to put up with fatigue any longer.  If one of your intentions is to improve your health and have more energy, we at VitaCare Natural Health Clinic can help. Contact us to set up an appointment with Dr. Yim. He will design a program to guide you back to wellness and IVNT will speed you along that path.
 

Quick Recap

Fatigue can be caused by:

  • Poor diet
  • GI problems
  • Poor sleep
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Low hormone levels
  • Chronic illness from infections
  • Toxicity
  • Mood disorders

How IV Nutrient Therapy Can Increase Energy

  • IV Nutrient Therapy bypasses digestion to increase energy production quickly
  • Specific nutrients support faster recovery time
  • Increase energy means more motivation to get and stay healthy

How Can You Get Started Towards Feeling More Energy?

  • If you are an existing patient of Dr. Yim's call the office and book a 15 minute consult. In that visit Dr. Yim will determine what nutrients are best suited for your needs and health profile.
  • IV Drips take up to 60 minutes to administer
  • IV Pushs take approximately 10-15 minutes

Have extended health benefits? This is a great way to finish off your year of benefits and a fantastic way of boosting energy and immunity going into the winter!

 

VitaCare Natural Health Clinic

250-585-2150

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Immune Warriors

Immunity

by Dr. Carmen Luterbach

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 How can we best protect our families during the cold and flu season? As a busy mother of two, I know that keeping my family healthy is a top priority!  What are the lessons I have learned since having little ones in the home? How does a naturopathic doctor-mom keep her family strong?  I will be exploring a few treatment options below that I use seasonally with my family.

         The ideal time of year to begin your immune prevention plan is early October.  The foundational immune support program would include daily vitamin D, vitamin C and probiotics for gut mediated immune protection. Please remember to wash your hands frequently – after all public outings too! Ensure your body is hydrated to flush out infections before they take hold. Aim for approximately half your body weight in fluid ounces per day (e.g. 140 lb patient should drink 70 fluid oz.), with an additional 8 oz cup with every 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.          

         Medicinal mushrooms are incredibly effective at increasing our body’s resilience to stress and protecting against infection. At home, we like to have our slow cooker always going filled with water and pieces of Chaga mushroom and chai spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.  We like to sweeten our Chaga Chai with local honey which has anti-microbial benefits while soothing and coating a sore throat. 

         Immune herbal formulas containing Astragalus are considered immune tonics and will increase our immune defenses by elevating our white blood cells. Astragalus is immune protective and is used throughout the entire Fall-Winter season. Astragalus is a child-friendly herb when used in a glycerite, slightly sweetened, form.

         To increase the innate defenses of your body, ensure you eat 4-5 cups of rainbow coloured vegetables daily, organic where possible. Avoid fruit juices and refined sweeteners during the cold flu season.  Determine your food intolerences and find healthful alternatives. Consuming intolerant foods distracts your immune system, increases inflammation and amps up mucus production which traps viruses and increases incidence of the cold/flu. For example, children intolerant to dairy products, tend to have more frequent ear infections and asthma exacerbations if they consume dairy regularly and tend to require more frequent use of antibiotics. 

         In the office, we offer immune prevention protocols tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle. Twice yearly, I recommend the entire family receive immune stimulating injections (oral drops are available for children). I suggest patients have their vitamin D tested in the Fall in preparation for the winter months, the vitamin D dosage is often temporarily increased. Further, in the office we have a nebulizer to administer specific nutrients like glutathione directly into the lung.  Glutathione is used to treat chronic cough, acute bronchitis, COPD and allergic cough by reducing inflammation in the lungs and thinning mucus to allow air passage through smaller airways. 

Recap: Points to Ponder for Bolstering Immunity

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Drink 1/2 body weight in water
  • Avoid sweeteners and fruit juice
  • Drink Chaga Chai daily
  • Immune Boosting combination formula including astragalus
  • Four to five servings of rainbow coloured organic veggies
  • Avoid allergic foods
  • Immune Stimulating Injections for the whole family
  • For chronic coughs nebulizer treatment with glutathione

         Dr. Luterbach is a mother of two lovely girls and clinically has a special focus on women’s health, pediatrics, hormone balancing and hypothyroidism. Questions? Email: drluterbachnd@gmail.com

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Tummy Troubles

Could Tummy Troubles Lead to Brain Blow Ups?

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The gut-brain connection is a two-way street. When you are mentally or emotionally upset, often that will have a negative impact on the health of your gut. But it works the other way too, with your gut and its state of health affecting how your brain responds and how you feel.

Bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms that make up your body’s microflora outnumber your body’s cells by a staggering 10 to one. This microflora, an ecosystem of its own, has a dramatic impact on your brain function with studies showing that specific healthy bacteria (probiotics) help in decreasing issues like anxiety and depression.

 

Gut Microbes Impact Your Health

 Research has shown that gut bacteria can impact mental health and behavior. It can also have an impact by:

  • Training your immune system to distinguish between foreign and potentially dangerous microbes and those your own body produces.
  • Altering gene expression. The absence or presence of gut microorganisms during infancy has been shown to alter genes and signaling pathways involved in learning, memory and motor control.
  • Controlling glucose tolerance. Research showed that the gut flora of diabetics differed from that of non-diabetics and that type 2 diabetes is associated with changes in the composition of intestinal micro ecosystem.
  • Normalizing levels of neurotransmitters responsible for regulating certain brain regions and lowering the stress hormone cortisol. Serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter, is found in highest concentration in the intestines. And a specific probiotic known as Lactobacillus rhamnosus affects GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system, significantly impacts many physiological and psychological processes.

       "Ensuring gut flora is optimized and in the best balance possible, is one of the most important steps anyone can take towards vital living."

The Battle of the Gut Flora

Unfortunately, gut bacteria and its balance of good and bad are vulnerable to choices in diet and lifestyle. Antibiotics, chlorinated water, poor diet, processed dead foods and sugar all compromise your guts ability to do it job properly.

Optimizing Your Gut Health

Whatever a patient’s health concern, ensuring their gut flora is optimized and in the best balance possible, is one of the most important steps in their treatment. Fermented foods are the best path to optimizing gut health, but if a patient is dealing with specific health issues, it may not be enough and taking a high-quality probiotic supplement may be indicated.

Finding the Right Probiotics

Although getting beneficial bacterial from fermented food should be a primary strategy, also consider supplementing it with a product that has a wide spectrum of probiotics, especially if you do not like the taste and texture of fermented foods. Keep these points in mind when looking for the right supplement:

  • The strain should be able to survive stomach acid and bile to reach the intestines in the right numbers or with the use of probiotic implants during a colon hydrotherapy session can bypass stomach completely and get to where they are needed fast.
  • The strains must be specific, with definite health-promoting features.
  • A healthy gut equals a healthy mind (and vice versa). When you take care of that vital microbial system you benefit the whole body, mind and perhaps even the soul. 

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A Conversation with Chantal David

A Conversation with Chantal David

Chantal David is VitaCare’s new Colon Hydrotherapist. With research mounting on the benefits of probiotics for overall health, she has implemented the new technology of probiotic implants. We asked her a few questions about this remarkable new treatment modality.

Chantal David

Q: What is a probiotic implant?

A: A Probiotic implant is the delivery of probiotics directly into the colon for the purpose of cultivating a healthy bacterial balance in the gut. An implant is often administered at the end of a colon hydrotherapy session for optimal results, but can also be done on its own (without colonic). The advantage of a probiotic implant is that instead of being taken by mouth and having to survive stomach acid, the implanted probiotic is administered directly into the colon which is the final destination and potentially more effective in rebalancing the flora. 

Q: How does it work?

A: The probiotic implant is a specially designed combination of healthy and beneficial intestinal bacteria.

The high concentration of probiotics introduced will strengthen and reinforce the gut flora population and restore balance of beneficial bacteria of the gut flora, bringing it to a normal and healthy state.

Balanced gut flora (healthy microbiota) is vital for healthy digestion and absorption of nutrients, neutralization of toxins and pathogens, and they also play a vital role iin our immune system.

There are 'good' and 'bad' types of gut bacteria. Eating the wrong types of food, and bad lifestyle choices can lead to a dominance of the 'bad' types of gut bacteria. There are estimated to be around 100 trillion microorganisms in over 500 different species in a normal, healthy colon. Most of these are the beneficial type. An imbalance in the population, in favour of the undesirable type, leads to a condition known as dysbiosis which can cause undesirable symptoms and impaired nutrient absorption.

Recent studies have also shown that specific good bacteria in the gut can impact weight and weight loss.

Q: What are the benefits?

A: Research has suggested that probiotic bacteria can enhance immune function, help with side- effects from antibiotics and improve digestive function. It has also been shown to impact metabolism and moods

Q: What kind of symptoms does it help?

4) Bloating, flatulence, food allergies/sensitivities, chronic constipation, diarrhea, skin conditions (eczema), Depression, anxiety, chronic stress, yeast infections, UTIs, bacterial vaginosis, IBS, SIBO, people who don't absorb nutrients, helps with absorption of B12, thiamine and riboflavin , Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (when in remission) are just a few of the symptoms that can benefit from probiotic therapy.

Q: How many treatments should I have?

Colonic implants can be safely used after each colonic session. The number of sessions will depend on your current health status combined with your health goals.

 

 

 

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Blood Pressure Woes

Beth and best stress relievers
In February, my medical doctor decided I should have a complete physical. Everything came out normal or above average but the blood pressure reading.
— Beth Hendry-Yim

Step Back and Reassess: Blood Pressure Woes

In February, my doctor decided I should have a complete physical. I hadn’t had one…ever, so she thought it would be a great idea to start now with a baseline. She ran a few blood tests, FIT test, PAP, ECG and blood pressure. Everything came out normal or above average but the blood pressure reading. 165/100.

“That’s high,” she said. “At that level organs can be damaged and joint health affected.”

With my father, grandfather and grandmother all passing, eventually, from the result of multiple strokes, having elevated blood pressure was not what I wanted, nor was I willing to allow those genes to be expressed! Thankfully, I have a husband with a wealth of knowledge on cardiovascular health!

First things first, I should lose at least five pounds. Now, truth be told, he didn’t tell me that, he’s a little more sensitive than that, he avoided that subject completely. But I know that a five-pound loss can correlate with a couple points in the right direction for my blood pressure. Enough said.

“Potassium and sodium ratios are something you might want to look at,” he suggested. “But I’d also like to see you taking L-arginine, magnesium and being more consistent with your healthy oils and bone building formulas.”

“What do you mean by the ratio?” I asked. My curiosity was piqued, I don’t add salt to my cooking so was unsure what he meant. Was I consuming too much or too little and what did potassium have to do with blood pressure?

“Every heartbeat is triggered by potassium to squeeze blood through your body. It can lower diastolic (lower number) blood pressure by more than 10 points in people with high blood pressure. It can also help lower cholesterol.”

“What about magnesium?” I asked. “How does it work with potassium to lower high blood pressure?”

“Magnesium works with potassium and calcium in lowering blood pressure,” he said. “It regulates the movement of calcium into the smooth muscle cells within the arterial wall. Too much calcium causes the cells to contract, magnesium acts as a calcium channel blocker. It also acts as a muscle relaxant and in conjunction with potassium decreases the potential for dangerous arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats.”

He went on to add that this wonderful mineral also helps lower aldosterone. It is part of a system that can cause kidneys to retain sodium and water. Lower levels of aldosterone can help drop blood pressure. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which is a good thing for inflamed and dysfunctional arteries. Reduce inflammation, reduce risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

“For you there aren’t any contraindications for upping magnesium intake. You aren’t diabetic, you don’t take diuretics and you don’t drink alcohol. But you do have to be aware of balance between potassium, magnesium and calcium as well as Vitamin K and D.”

Throughout our conversation, he emphasized the importance of balance. I can take medicines and remedies, they’ll definitely help, but it’s also important to be aware of what I’m eating and focusing on foods that are high in blood pressure lowering nutrients.

He narrowed it down to eight daily steps I could take to get my blood pressure down.

1.     Eat potassium rich foods like kiwi, bananas, spinach and pistachios.

2.    Avoid adding extra salt to your food, and avoid processed foods and condiments that are high in sodium.

3.     I walk every morning with the dogs and swim twice a week, so he suggested that I add in a walk in the evening as well.

4.     Eat dark chocolate (that’s why I love him!).

5.     Consume a medicine specifically balanced for supporting a healthy blood pressure. He has me taking vitamin E and combination of minerals and an amino acid.

6.     Develop a Qi Gong routine (Seven Precious Gestures that I modified to included stretching in the water after my swim)

7.     Meditate.

8.     Remove any extra stressors that you can. (We now have the trailer parked up Island for a quick getaway by the ocean)

9.     Most importantly, I discovered the fizzy water I was consuming had sodium bicarbonate in it. Now I just have alkalinized water in the evening with a lemon wedge instead of the fizzy stuff.

Everyone is different however, and there are extra steps individuals could take that are different from mine based on body type, health status and ability. Make sure you visit Dr. Yim before changing your diet or adding more or any other herbal or medicinal supplements to your regime.

John checked my blood pressure one and a half months after the doctor gave me a good scare. He was happy to say that it was 134/80. Just where I want it.

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Colon Hydrotherapy-The Experience and History

Most patients report feeling lighter along with an over-all heightened sense of well-being as they walk out of the clinic.
— Chantal David
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The Experience

What happens during a Colon Hydrotherapy session?  ...... The question we are all dying to know !

As a client lies comfortably on the treatment table in our spa-like treatment room, warm filtered water is slowly introduced into the colon. The temperature and pressure of this water is maintained and altered by the colon hydrotherapist. As the water volume increases in the colon it will stimulate an action called peristalsis, the rhythmic movement of the digestive tract. Your therapist may use pressure points or gentle massage on the abdomen to aid in dislodging waste from the walls of the colon. The waste and water is then carried out of the body through a small out flow hose attached to the speculum. The process takes about 30-45 minutes and the environment is both professional and tranquil. At the end of the treatment the therapist will step out of the room so that the client can use the toilet to empty any remaining water from their colon.  After the session is complete the therapist may suggest specific supplements or dietary guidelines to follow before your next session.  Most clients report feeling lighter along with an over-all heightened sense of well-being as they walk out of the clinic.  Clients may return to their normal daily activities or work much like they would after a dentist appointment. 

Because the colon is roughly 5-7 feet in length and needs to be properly hydrated in order to thoroughly cleanse, a minimum of 3 treatments is generally required. The treatments are designed to be completed in succession usually no more than a week apart as each treatment builds on the one prior. With each session the colon becomes both more hydrated and responsive to the treatment due to cellular memory.  Those with more chronic issues may require a larger series of treatments, your therapist will discuss your goals with you.

History of Colon Hydrotherapy:

Colon Hydrotherapy was used initially to treat fever and remove mucous. In fact, it was not uncommon for many European cultures to have an enema bag hanging on the back of the bathroom door which would be the first thing to get put to use if any member of the house hold made mention of feeling the slightest bit sick or had a runny nose. 

The practice of various forms of "colon hydrotherapy" (water therapy of the colon) began as early as 1500 B.C. in Egypt and was documented as “Eber Papyrus” Ancient Greeks also used colonic irrigation for digestive disorders. Elie Mechinkoff, a Russian in 1908 received the Nobel Prize for research on immunity and the influence of bowel toxins on immunity. 

In modern days, Dr. John H. Kellogg (inventor of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Rice Crispies) was a big proponent of colon hydrotherapy and eating lots of fiber especially contained in fruits and vegetables. He used colon therapy in his practice on thousands of patients in the place of gastrointestinal surgery.

Colon hydrotherapy reached the United States in the 1920s and ‘30s. During that time colonic irrigation machines were used in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Unfortunately as the pharmaceutical industry grew, natural treatments such as this one, became less utilized in the hospital setting, but now, once again doctors are turning to natural treatments as an adjunct to their protocols instead of prescription drugs. 

Contraindications for Colon Hydrotherapy include:

  • Cancer of the colon, rectum or gastro-intestinal tract,
  • acute abdominal pain needing medical attention,
  • recent gastrointestinal or rectal bleeding,
  • congestive heart failure,
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure,
  • epilepsy or seizures,
  • recent abdominal or rectal surgery,
  • intestinal perforation,
  • abdominal hernia,
  • diverticulitis,
  • recent heart attack,
  • aneurism,
  • kidney insufficiency,
  • severe hemorrhoids,
  • cirrhosis of the liver,
  • anal fistula,
  • pregnancy,
  • ulcerative colitis,
  • acute Crohn’s disease,
  • rectal or abdominal tumours.

 

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Filling Your Cup By Dr. Carmen Luterbach

 Create a self care list and include blended herbal tea.

Create a self care list and include blended herbal tea.

Self-care.....ahhh. Sure can seem a daunting thing! I once thought of self-care as elaborate out-of-the house practices such as: going for a massage, a pedicure, a cut and colour or a glass of wine with friends. Now, as a parent of two, this concept has evolved out of necessity. It can seem impossible to complete the day-to-day tasks, let alone indulge. I found myself procrastinating and putting self-care on the bottom of my priority list. And, consequently, began to lose myself. 

Signs I needed self-care were many and I recognized them as increased irritability, lessened patience, creeping resentments and a reduced tolerance for stress. The concept of self-care took on a new flavour. It became a need for self preservation, as I could no longer recognize myself or my needs. I am sure you can relate. It meant, as a parent, putting the needs of every family member (and pet?) before myself. How could I integrate bits and pieces of self care into my day-to-day? 

Although we do not own a television or cell phone (I know, gasp!), I found social media and Netflix to be a total time sink, over-stimulating and as research shows, to increase negative thoughts. First step was to deactivate the Netflix account and limit my social media time to 30 minutes daily. I found that one simple step brought my stress down, the house was nice and quiet and I had carved out space in my day for self care.

I compiled a Self Care list - which for you will be as unique as your finger-print:

-Say no to activities and requests that drain me.
-Use lavender oil in a bath or diffuser
-Cuddle up on the couch with a fiction novel and hot water bottle
-20 minutes daily out-door exercise (walking in nature)
-10 minutes daily stretching or yoga
-Nightly relaxing herbal tea (recipe provided)
-Daily vitamins for post-partum health


The changes were immediate! I had a greater sense of gratitude, was more present for my children and had more inner peace. I will continue these practices regularly (perhaps not yet daily!), and will add in journalling and creative projects, like water colour painting, when the time feels right. 

How can we fill up the cups of our family members if ours is empty? Self-care is about filling your cup: so that you will take care of yourself first, in order to have the capacity to care for others.

Self-Care Tea
1 part nettles
1 part red clover
1 part peppermint
1 part oat straw or milk oat tops
1 part red raspberry leaf


Directions: mix 50 grams of each herb in a bowl and pour into a mason jar. Keep in a cool, dark place. 

Use 1 heaping tablespoon of the herbal mixture per 8oz of boiling water and steep, covered for at least 15 minutes. Add honey, if desired. You can also steep larger volumes over-night to increase the mineral content. Drink three cups, daily.

Properties of Self-Care tea: regulates menstrual cycle, source of minerals like iron and calcium, medicinal tea for pregnancy and post-partum, prepare the uterus for labour, eases menstrual cramps and heavy cycles, bone health, helps reduce nausea and mild digestive complaints, resolves anemia and mild fatigue and reduces sugar and caffeine cravings.
This tea may be familiar to you as my "Power Pregnancy" tea.
 

Dr. Luterbach specializes in women's health, pediatrics and thyroid care. She returned to clinical practice from her maternity leave on April 18. Availability: Tuesdays and Thursdays. Currently accepting new patients.

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No More Fatigue

Want More Energy?

There is an epidemic plaguing our society. Every one of us is susceptible since no one has immunity against this condition. Although it is not a killer, it can be debilitating and affect our quality of life. Even healthy individuals with no other symptoms can be affected. This condition is fatigue.

In my patient population, fatigue is generally caused by a number of factors. These can include: nutrient deficiencies from poor diet or gastrointestinal problems, poor sleep, stress induced adrenal dysfunction, thyroid dysfunction, liver dysfunction, low hormone levels, chronic illness from infections, toxicity, mood disorders, and many others.

As a naturopathic physician, my goal is to determine and treat the cause of the fatigue. Often this takes time if the patient has been ill for a prolonged period and multiple systems of the body are performing sub-optimally. Patients want relief from their fatigue as quickly as possible.

Now I have a therapy that gets results fast and that is intravenous nutrient therapy (IVNT). I choose to administer nutrients intravenously when more energy is needed quickly and especially for patients who have been chronically ill.

Chronically ill patients almost always have issues with their digestive system making absorption of nutrients a real challenge. So many things can affect the health of the lining of the small intestines. This is where the vast majority of nutrient absorption takes place.

Supplying key nutrients intravenously bypasses the gut so high levels of nutrients can be administered and cellular and tissue levels of these nutrients vital for energy production increase quickly. Some nutrients such as B’s, magnesium and vitamin C can cause nausea, intestinal discomfort, or even diarrhea if given by mouth in very large doses. Given intravenously, these same nutrients do not cause the same symptoms.

Some of the nutrients that are given intravenously to boost energy and fight fatigue are B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium, L-carnitine, glutathione, ATP, and coenzyme Q 10.

You don’t have to put up with fatigue any longer.  If one of your intentions is to improve your health and have more energy, we at VitaCare Natural Health Clinic can help. Contact us to set up an appointment with Dr. Yim. He will design a program to guide you back to wellness and IVNT will speed you along that path.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What's Up With Your Stool

What's Up With Your Stool?

In every police crime drama, the main characters will sometimes turn to mining forensic gems from a criminal's garbage. Sifting through the waste to find a telling bit of evidence and analyzing what is or isn’t in the garbage to discover telling abnormalities. You’d think because it was waste, it wouldn’t give much information, but it could be the deciding factor in whether the bad guy gets away with a crime or not.

Stool, your body’s waste, can also provide that ‘lightbulb’ piece of information, pointing a finger at bad guys and directing the good guys in the right direction.

Stories Your Stool Can Tell

1.    There should be a healthy balance between beneficial, commensal, and pathogenic organisms in the gut. If the population of pathogenic organisms is high, a good stool test will identify the most appropriate pharmaceutical or natural treatment agents.

2.     Fecal pH, or the acid/alkaline balance can indicate poor digestive health, inadequate intake of fiber and low levels of beneficial colonic flora. The stool pH should be on the acidic side so when the pH is too alkaline, it may be linked to an increased occurrence of colon and breast cancer.

3.     In many cases, disorders of the GI tract can be linked to intestinal malabsorption. Looking at the proportion of fecal short-chain fatty acids can determine if bacterial fermentation of dietary carbohydrates and amino acids is producing enough energy for the epithelial cells of the colon and may show the presence of inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, and even colon cancer.

4.     One of the simplest determinants of a stool test is whether your gut is breaking down food properly. The presence of undigested food like vegetables or protein can indicate a lack of specific enzymes vital for digestion.

5.     Inflammation can significantly increase intestinal permeability and compromise assimilation of nutrients. The extent of inflammation, whether caused by pathogens or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can be assessed and monitored by examination of the levels of biomarkers.

When digestive issues are making you feel not quite yourself, include a comprehensive stool analysis in your detective kit and find out what your stool is trying to tell you.

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Intravenous Therapy and Athletic Performance

IVNT and Athletic Performance

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If you are a weekend warrior like me, you want to know what the big boys are doing to improve athletic performance. After all, they have access to all the cutting edge therapies. Here is a therapy that definitely improves performance AND it is perfectly safe and legal. What is this secret weapon? It is intravenous nutrient therapy (IVNT).

Phil, a 55 year-old Masters level runner, consulted me a number of years ago. He was frustrated that in spite of training diligently, his results were not getting better. He was also worried that his recovery time after hard training days and competitions seemed to be taking longer and longer. Although he still loved to run, he was starting to question if he was getting too old for all the stress he was putting on his body.

Once I determined that Phil was absolutely committed to doing everything he could to maximize his performance, I laid out a nutritional plan for him. Besides the dietary changes and oral nutrients recommended, I believed that IVNT was a key to improving Phil’s training and competition results.

IVNT introduces therapeutic doses of very specific vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants into the body through a vein as oppose to by-mouth. This increases tissue and cellular levels of nutrients and fluids at a much faster rate than can be done orally.

These nutrients can include: calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B5, B6, B complex, B12, C, l-carnitine, l-glutamine, ATP, and glutathione.

Phil was a healthy skeptic and asked me how IVNT worked and what were the benefits. I explained to him that sustained, vigorous exercise requires and depletes high amounts of nutrients. These nutrients are essential to generate energy, maximize tissue and organ function (eg. muscles, heart, and lungs), decrease inflammation, facilitate healing, and promote recovery.

I went on to list the benefits which include:

  • boosting performance
  • increasing strength and stamina
  • fueling higher nutritional demands
  • reducing fatigue
  • replacing lost electrolytes and nutrients
  • speeding up hydration
  • decreasing muscle soreness and spasms
  • reducing inflammation and injuries
  • shortening recovery time
  • boosting immunity

This information intrigued Phil and he agreed to try IVNT after his harder training days and before and after his competitions.

After his first marathon of the year, he reported that he felt really good during the race and was very pleased that his finishing time put him in the top 10 for his age group. Phil was also pleasantly surprised at how quickly his soreness resolved and speed at which he was able to get back to training after that competition. His results got better as his season went on and on. Phil became a believer!

Sports might not be your livelihood, but if you are an athlete and are intrigued about trying IVNT to improve your athletic performance, contact us at VitaCare Natural Health Clinic. Set up an appointment with Dr. Yim to discuss if therapy is right for you.

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An Interview with Dr. Yim on Leaky Gut

An interview with Dr. Yim on Leaky Gut

Q: Dr. Yim, I spend a lot of money each month on nutritional supplements. How do I know that I am getting any benefit from them?

A: That is a great question. You may be buying and taking lots of supplements, but if your digestion and absorption are not working properly, you will not get the most benefit from them. The simplest way to get an idea of your digestion and absorption is to do a hair mineral analysis. If you are taking all kinds of minerals and the results of your test are on the low side, you have your answer. This is a test we have available at the clinic.

Q: Is this what is meant by leaky gut?

A: This is definitely part of it. Leaky gut implies that the lining of the small intestine is more porous or permeable than it should be. When this happens nutrients like your vitamins and minerals that should be readily absorbed are not. On the other hand, large proteins that are incompletely digested and toxins that should not be absorbed do pass more readily across the lining into the blood. This can lead to a host of challenges from food allergies, arthritis, autoimmunity, and so on.

Q: What causes leaky gut?

A: There are many contributors to leaky gut and most of them are under our control. They include medications such as antibiotics and non-steroidal and steroid medicines, alcohol, stress, food allergies, and unfriendly bugs such as parasites, yeast, and bacteria.

Q: How does one heal leaky gut?

A: Remember the 5 R’s? First, remove irritants to the gut. Second, repair the lining of the gut. The G.I. Complex is an excellent product to achieve this goal. Third, replace digestive enzymes using Biogest. Fourth, repopulate the gut with Optibiotics. Fifth and last, rebalance by destressing mind and body to take a load off the gut.

Q: What other tests can give me information about my gut?

A: The blood allergy test can be very helpful to determine true food allergies.  In our office, Vegatesting gives more information about what is going on in the body as well as current food sensitivities. Finally, a Comprehensive Digestive and Stool Analysis can be sent off to determine what specific unfriendly organisms are in the gut and what are the best products to kill them, whether there are enough friendly bacteria, and how efficient the digestion is working.

 

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