Naturopath specializing in Women's Health, Hormone Balance, Weight Loss, Fertility, and Holistic Medicine.

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Is Testosterone Dangerous?

Is testosterone dangerous?
There has been some concern in the media over testosterone supplementation. My initial reaction was to wonder “Did the testosterone cause heart attacks and stroke, or did the studied men simply require testosterone because they already had a serious health problem?” The research on this topic suggests that this theory may be correct. A recent analysis published in A…pothagram by Bruce Biundo, RPh, pointed out some flaws in the studies. The most recent study that is being quoted actually states that there is no excess risk for men younger than 65 who supplement with testosterone and have no history of heart disease. Another recent study showed than men with the lowest testosterone have a higher risk of all-cause mortality. Studies that connect heart disease and stroke with testosterone include patients with AIDS, HIV, drug abuse, liver disease, lymphoma, metastatic cancer, and renal failure. In that same study, 20% had a history of heart attack, 50% had diabetes, and 80% had coronary artery disease. 36% had testosterone injections (before we understood the flaws associated with injections). It appears that we are at risk of doing the same thing we did with estrogen. Rather than look rationally at the data, we immediately panic and think testosterone is bad. Our hormones are not bad for us. They are not a flaw in our design. They are essential controllers of our behavior, mood, metabolism, nervous system, cardiovascular system, and musculoskeletal system. Emerging research continues to suggest that low hormones are a significant problem. Does that mean we should carelessly overdose men on Testosterone therapy? Of course not. Do all men need a prescription to raise their testosterone? No. Let’s not lose sight of the reason for the increasing popularity of testosterone use. Men’s levels are getting lower, and having a normal level feels better. As with any manipulation of the endocrine system, if you do it wrong, the results are unpleasant. When done safely and with experience, the results are life changing.
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Low Fat Low Carb

It has come to my attention recently that even though we discovered that the “low fat” fad of the 80’s was not helpful, we continue to perpetuate the idea that fat is bad.  Now, we also say that carbs are bad.  Do you ever stop and wonder “what am I supposed to eat?”  When I ask people what they  think they are supposed to eat, they say “lean meats and veggies”.  This is what I call a recipe for failure.  You are trying to entirely remove 2 major macronutrients.  Even if you have the discipline to do it, and I have seen plenty who do, I have seen that the outcome isn’t good.  We know what happens when you try to remove fat and eat all meat and carbs.  We have seen it for decades now.  Diabetes.  As we shift away from our diabetic inducing diet, doctors are now prescribing a low fat, low carb, low calorie diet.  People eat lean meats and veggies until they are starving, then eat a candy bar.  Or 5 pieces of fruit.  That’s not what we are trying to accomplish.  If you are trying to decrease your carbohydrate intake, you need to purposefully increase your intake of healthy fats.  Otherwise, you will not be successful.  If you are trying to eat right, end your recipe for failure, and start planning for success.  Plan to eat enough calories, including healthy proteins and fats.  Plan for about 120 carbs per day.  What are healthy fats?  More on that in the next post.  I think that we have to admit that maybe we’ve had that all wrong as well…

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The Crucial Missing Piece in Cystitis Treatment

Frequent urinary pain and urinary infections are difficult to treat with conventional medicine.  I often see patients who have very little hope that they will ever get better.  In reality, many of them make a full recovery.  There are several factors that will contribute to chronic urinary infections and chronic bladder pain.


On of the most important factors to address with any pelvic problem, including urinary pain, is the digestive system.  Nearly every case of chronic urinary pain and / or infection that I see will not resolve because there are digestive problems.  Most frequently, the problem is constipation.  Often times, relieving the constipation will substantially improve the body’s ability to handle the urinary problem.  This may be because the body eliminates byproducts through the urine and bowels.  When the bowels are blocked, the urinary system takes on most of the burden.  It may also be because when the bowels are not moving, you probably do not have a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut.  Proximity of the genitourinary system and the imbalanced digestive tract may contribute to frequent contamination and irritation of the otherwise sterile urinary system.  I recommend treatments like triphala, magnesium, and konjac root to relieve chronic constipation.  I suggest antifungal herbs like concentrated oil of oregano to kill off any unwanted bacteria.  I also recommend a good strong probiotic.  Remember that whenever you are using supplements and vitamins, it is a good idea to make sure you are getting them from a reputable source.  Many stores carry products that do not contain the same ingredients or potency listed on the label.


In addition to balacing and moving the bowels, I suggest making some dietary changes.  The diet has 2 important functions.  One is to remove irritants.  The other is to correct the digestive conditions that often contributed to the problem.  Irritants are listed below.  For a more personalized plan, consider making an appointment for a food test and a customized diet.  Most patients with urinary pain also do well when they eat a diet that supports normal digestion, movement, and mircrobes.  This means avoiding or eliminating flour, sugar, and simple carbs as much as possible.  That means the diet is made up of meat, fish, fruits, veggies, nuts, fats, and beans.  I recommend 2 fruits or less per day.  I suggest that this diet is followed strictly for 10 weeks.  At the end of 10 weeks, some exceptions can be introduced.  Until then, be as strict as possible to allow the body to heal.  Check out the Body Ecology Diet.

Foods to be Avoided

Alcohol, apples, avocados, bananas, beer, brewer’s yeast, cantaloupe, carbonated drinks, champagne, corned beef, cranberry (may still be used for UTI’s), coffee, chocolate, cheese, chili, fava beans, figs, grapes, guava, lemon, lima bean, aspartame, onion, pineapple, plums, prunes, raisins, rye, saccharine, strawberries, tomato, tea, vinegar, wine, yogurt

Other factors that can aggravate urinary pain include birth control pills, chemical exposures, chronic yeast infections, fragrances, hygiene products, and even stress.  Stimulant medications almost always make urinary pain worse, so watch out for allergy medications, energy drinks and supplements, and anything with caffeine.


Over time, as your problem resolves, you will find that you can be much more flexible with your diet and lifestyle.  In the meantime, there is hope, it just takes hard work and determination!







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Food Sources High In Iron

Iron is an essential mineral and is responsible for many different functions of the body. It aids in carrying oxygen throughout the body, which then transports it to muscles.  It also is an important factor in cognitive development, regulating metabolism, body temperature and immune function. Iron deficiency is more common in certain at-risk populations, including pregnant women, women of child bearing years, infants, children and teens.

Foods High in Iron:

  • Liver
  • Dried beans/seeds
  • Black strap molasses
  • Herbs: nettles, dandelion greens, agrimony
  • Oysters
  • Leafy Greens
  • Dried Fruit, Currants
  • Meat
  • Beets, especially tops
  • Whole Grains
  • Cast irons pans can leach iron into the food that is cooked in them

RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)
10 mg- Men and Women, 18 mg- Menstruating Women

ODA (Optimum Daily Allowance)
15-25 mg- Men, 20-30- Women, 20-30- Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron Content of Foods in Milligrams

     Meat (4 ounces)

  • 10.0 Liver- chicken or beef
  • 8.5 Clams (canned-5.0; soft shell- 4.0)
  • 7.0 Oysters
  • 3.0 Hamburgers
  • 2.5 Beef
  • 1.5 Chicken- white (Dark 2.0)
  • 1.3 Turkey- white (Dark 2.5)

     Legumes (1 cup cooked)

  • 7.9 Black Beans
  • 6.9 Garbanzos
  • 6.1 Pintos
  • 5.1 Navy
  • 4.9 Soybeans
  • 4.6 Tofu
  • 4.3 Lima, Green beans
  • 4.2 Lentils
  • 3.4 Split Peas
  • 2.9 Fresh Peas

Grains (1/4 cup dry)

  • 4.8 Rice Bran
  • 4.4 Rice Polishings
  • 3.9 Millet
  • 1.9 Wheat Bran or Germ
  • 1.6 Wheat Berries
  • 0.7 Oatmeal or Cornmeal

Vegetables (1 cup cooked)

  • 4.0 Spinach
  • 2.8 Beet Greens
  • 2.6 Swiss Chard
  • 2.2 Tomato Juice
  • 2.1 Butternut Squash
  • 1.8 Kale
  • 1.7 Acorn Squash
  • 1.7 Brussel Sprouts (8)
  • 1.4 Potatoes
  • 1.0 Beets


  • 10.5 Prune Juice (1 cup)
  • 3.9 Dried Peach Halves (5)
  • 2.6 Raisins (1/2 cup)
  • 2.4 Dates (10)
  • 1.8 Prunes
  • 1.5 Strawberries (1 cup)

Seeds (1/4 cup)

  • 4.0 Pumpkin seeds
  • 2.4 Sunflower seeds
  • 2.4 Sesame meal


  • 3.2 Blackstrap molasses (1tbsp)
  • 1.8 Soy Milk
  • 1.4 Brewer’s Yeast (1tbsp)
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Bone Health

The human skeletal system is constantly being remodeled.  Lots of factors influence bone health, such as age, heredity, medications, smoking, alcohol, activity level, hormone status, and availability of nutrients.  Bone gets weak when the body can’t rebuild it as fast as it is breaking down.  We need much more than calcium to build bone.  The body also needs boron, copper, manganese, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.  I have my patients take a supplement that combines most of these nutrients, in addition to weight bearing exercise, balancing hormones, and getting minerals like calcium from green vegetables as much as possible.

Some of the bone building nutrients, even when consumed sufficiently, are lost in the sweat and urine.  It is important that you have the right mineral transporters to deliver bone building nutrients to the tissue.  For example, Magnesium in the form of Magnesium oratate is carried right to the cells.  Magnesium is needed to help get the calcium into the bone cells.  It is also needed for energy production and to activate an enzyme that hardens bone.  The oratate carrier helps the calcium and the magnesium get into the cell.  Many stores sell Magnesium oxide, which is little more than a laxative.  Better delivery ensures that the minerals get where they are supposed to go–the bones.

Bone building is a complex process.  Vitamin D is needed to signal the body to build bone.  You also need Vitamin C to build the collagen structure of the bone.  You need a complex combination of minerals to harden the bone.  When choosing a supplement, look for minerals attached to good carriers like calcium oratate, calcium arginate, calcium aspartate, Calcium2 AEP, magnesium oratate, zinc oratate, and zinc aspartate.

Currently, my favorite bone building supplement in the pharmacy is called Bone Maximizer III.  I have combined it with strontium and vitamin D.  In my experience, this combination can significantly improve the bone density seen on a DEXA (bone scan).

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Sleep and Progesterone

Sleep quality contributes to life expectancy as well as quality of life.  Women who are supplemented with progesterone have 53% less waking time in the middle of the night.  The intensity and duration of sleep is 45% higher.  Progesterone improves sleep by making you sleep more deeply and wake less frequently.  This is particularly helpful for menopausal women, but should also be considered for women who are younger and experience hormone imbalances.

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Slowing the Aging Process

Our most up to date understanding of the aging process tells us that protecting our telomeres means protecting our youth. A telomere is basically extra junk at the end of a strand of DNA. The telomore does not really do anything. The ends of our DNA tend to deteriorate as we age, meaning our telomeres get shorter. Once the extra junk at the end is gone, we start losing DNA that actually does important stuff. When we lose important stuff, we start to deteriorate faster. The good news is that we are finding more and more information about how to protect that “junk” at the end so that we can protect the important DNA from damage.

The telemore length is testable.  It is also something we can protect.  Nutrition and hormone balance are two major ways we can control how fast our DNA is aging.

Interested in knowing more?  Check out this video testing telomeres

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The Latest in Alzheimer’s Research

Anyone who has witnessed the devastating impact of Alzheimer’s has experienced the nagging fear that one day it may happen to you.  Fortunately, we now have a genetic test that can tell us our level of risk.  What is even more exciting is that this test can provide us with a genetic type that can ultimately help us lower our risk with customized diet and exercise.   The type of APO E gene we carry has an impact on how we process fats.  Further, it determines how well we carry cholesterol to our brains.  A high risk APO E gene means that you are 20X as likely to develop Alzheimer’s.  Our brains need a huge amount of cholesterol to function.  Alzheimer’s patients have 1/6 the concentration of free fatty acids in their brains.  For these people, contrary to popular belief, a high fat diet and actually reduce their symptoms.  Some researchers theorize that increased blood cholesterol is your body trying to get more fat to the brain.  If this is the case, we may need to re-think our excessive use of cholesterol lowering medications.  It may even explain a common side effect of statin use:  memory loss.  If you are concerned about your Alzheimer’s risk, I highly recommend considering this simple genetic test.  Prevention starts now.  Neurological changes are difficult to reverse once they have occurred.  Keeping your brain healthy starts with feeding it good fats in the right amounts.  Because your ability to process fats influences your whole system, the changes you make will also impact your cardiovascular system, metabolism, and more.  Insurance does not cover this test yet, and it is actually significantly cheaper to use a specialty lab rather than trying to order it through an insurance contracted diagnostic center through your primary care office.

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Vitamin D: Reduce All Causes of Death

We are deep into the winter months and many people are dangerously low in vitamin D.  Why does this matter?  A recent study showed that giving IV Vitamin D reduced causes of all cause mortality.  I found this interseting–something that makes you less likely to die of…anything.  We don’t all need to have IV Vitamin D to have normal levels, just regular sunlight and / or a Vitamin D supplement.  I don’t think it is realistic fovitamin Dr most people to expect that they get adequate sun exposure.  We have only been 99% indoor animals for a short period of time.  For far longer, we have been outdoor creatures that thrive on vitamins in our food as well as the vitamin that we manufacture when we are exposed to sunlight.  In order to get enough sunlight to make normal vitamin D, you have to be outside naked for about 20-40 minutes every day.  I sure am not doing that!

Vitamin D is apparently so vital that getting enough makes you less likely to die of all causes.  I recommend a liquid 2000 IU Vitamin D drop on the tongue.  Liquids are cheaper in the longrun, and I believe that the drop is a better form of delivery than the pill.

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