Category Archives: Health

Proper Planning For Health!

Published on February 11, 2016 by

Have you ever noticed how crowded the gym parking lots are this time of year? Then they slowly get emptier and emptier as the year progresses. By December they are almost empty. Why is this?

It is not that people are lazy, don’t know what to do, or don’t want to be healthy. Most of the people that fall off are intelligent, desire health, and get a lot of stuff done on a daily basis. The problem is that they want to make great changes in their health and they start with massive effort that is unsustainable. They have unrealistic expectations that they can change what they do over night.

coffee cup on napkin with quote

For example, think about selling your existing house that you have lived in for 25 years and buying a new house. How would you go about doing it? Would you decide one day and then within a week or two be all moved in and organized in your new house? No! It would be a long process of decluttering the house you were in, getting the house sold, finding your new house and then organizing your new house. It will take months if not longer.

When it comes to a house we all seem to understand that we need to be patient. When it comes to our health, for some reason most people are impatient. They expect immediate results and to change long standing behavior over night. This is why so many fad diets and schemes are around. They prey on our desire to have overnight success.

If you want to have optimal health the first step is in realizing that small daily positive steps in that direction will give you lasting results. Massive action doing things you never normally do will just result in burn out and frustration. If you want to be successful for the long haul, be honest about where you currently are. In integrative medicine we look at the mind set, nutrition, sleep patterns, exercise program, toxin exposure, supplements, and your hormone balance. Where are you at in these areas?

Once you know where you are at, you can make a plan to move forward slowly in a sustainable manner. Pick something to work on and start there no matter how insignificant it may seem or how overwhelming the big picture appears. I like to start with ensuring that hormones are in the proper balance utilizing bio-identical hormones because this helps energy, motivation, sleep, etc. As your hormones balance, you are better equipped to make other needed changes.

Changing to a healthy diet , a great exercise program, a positive mindset, decreasing toxic load, etc can take time. It does not matter if it takes a year or more to make the necessary changes that you require. What matters is that you make the changes at a pace that is not overwhelming for you and that is fairly easy.

Write your long term health goals down and then break it down into easy, doable steps. For example, one goal may be to eat healthy so that you can lose weight or maintain a healthy body composition. The first step could be to add one vegetable serving per day. Once that is easy to do then add one more. Before you know it you will be substituting healthy vegetables for unhealthy snacks and uou will easily be able to do it.

Be patient with yourself. Change takes time but it is worth it! Focus on how good you will look and feel long term.

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Hormones And Sleep

Published on November 20, 2015 by

As you know there are many pieces to the wellness puzzle. To feel vital and healthy involves addressing all of the pieces. I advise starting somewhere and making progress over time. It is important to address sleep, exercise, mindset, nutrition, supplements, hormone balancing, and toxin exposure. Each of these things affect each other. This month I am going to talk specifically about sleep. Proper sleep is important in order for you to feel energetic and function properly.

Sleep disorders are quite common and sleep medication is prescribed at alarming rates. There are a small percentage of people who may need them but the large majority of people who take them do not require these medications. There is often an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Sleep problems (issues with going or staying asleep) can arise from a variety of causes.

One of the major causes of sleep disorders is our mind. Often, the mind is full of thoughts of what needs to get done. Or you may be the kind of person that pushes yourself late into the night to get things done–not allowing yourself to rest. Today’s world is full of things that stress our mind–news, phone calls/texts, e mails, financial worries, work issues, traffic, etc. The great news is that you control your mind. You may not be able to control the things that happen around you but you can control what you watch, what you read, what time you go to bed, what you think about, how you react. Everything is a choice whether you wish to admit that or not. You can say No to things–it is a choice.

women sleeping

The best thing to do is to avoid watching news as it is visually disturbing and often negative. You can stay informed without watching news. Another great thing to do is to keep your phone on vibrate and turn off the alerts. Check your cell phone when you desire to–not at the whim of whoever is calling you or texting you. They will survive, and so will you. Turn off your cell phone at a set time each night to keep it off while you sleep and pick a day a week where you keep it off. I like keeping my personal cell phone off on Sundays as most people respect that day as a day to rest, but pick whatever day works within your life. If your job requires you to be contacted after hours, have a separate phone for after hour work emergencies so that you can turn off your personal cell phone when you desire. Take control of your time-you deserve it! Spend some quiet time each day and focus on how you are breathing. Take long, deep breaths to relax your mind. Go outside and look at the stars for a few minutes at night-it helps to give you some great perspective. Turn off the TV and computer at a set time, allowing you time for your mind to relax. Get outside in nature whenever you can–it is very calming for the mind.

Another major factor that affects sleep (in both men and women) is a hormonal imbalance. It is quite common to have a hormonal imbalance affecting your sleep–we are surrounded by a multitude of hormone disruptors that cause an imbalance. A deficiency in Progesterone, Testosterone, and Estrogen and/or a Cortisol excess can affect your ability to fall asleep, and stay asleep. If you think that this is the issue, have your hormone levels evaluated and treated with bio-identical hormones. Rebalancing your hormones can help your sleep.

Sometimes sleep disorders can be due to a deficiency. Magnesium is quite calming and a lot of people are deficient in this mineral. I advise 200-300 mg of chelated Magnesium to help calm the brain down. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter in your brain and can often be depleted due to our stressful lives. Supplementing with GABA can often help to quiet the brain down. (I like Neurocalm–we do carry this at the office if you can’t find a good GABA source). Melatonin is your body’s natural sleep aide and sometimes the addition of sublingual (under the tongue) Melatonin can help you to fall asleep better. Keep in mind that your body requires a dark environment in order to properly produce melatonin so keep your bedroom as dark as you can.

Sleep apnea can affect your ability to get quality sleep. Sleep apnea is when your lungs have a hard time getting enough oxygen at night due to the airway being constricted. Often you will snore. If you are told that you snore I highly advise a sleep study to evaluate whether or not you have sleep apnea.

Eating later in the evening (i.e. less than 3 hours before bedtime) or drinking caffeine in the afternoon or evening can affect your sleep. You may think it does not, but it does.

Ensure that you go to bed at a reasonable time so that you can get the amount of sleep that your body requires–generally 7-9 hours. This is different for each person. You know when you got enough sleep when you wake up without an alarm.

You are important and taking some time on a daily basis to ensure that you get adequate, restful sleep will pay off with an increased energy each day. Be aware of your thoughts and your activities and pay attention to the effect that they have on your sleep.

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Personalized Medicine

Published on June 22, 2015 by

I recently read an article in medscape and a doctor was quoted as saying:

I am no longer a physician; I deliver healthcare for a large provider. I don’t care for a patient; I care for a covered life as part of an insurance. Physicians have to pigeonhole a patient’s predicament into a very specific box for which they must enter a Current Procedural Terminology code. As individuals age, they also become more unique and less like one another. Checklists forced upon physicians ignore the unique needs of each patient. We have evidence-based protocols that say if everything else is equal, here’s what you should do. The problem is, everything else is never, ever equal.”

Everyone is unique and requires different things in order to age well. What works for another person may not work for you. In order for you to attain optimal health we must address what you eat & drink, your sleep, exercise, your toxin exposure, your mind, hormones, and what supplements you personally require. Each person has unique needs based on their genetics and lifestyle, along with what they are wiling to do and what their desired outcome is. This is what we call personalized medicine.

Butler Hand Ringing A Bell with the medical symbol on it

Traditional insurance simply does not allow for personalized medicine because they force the doctors to pigeonhole the patients into specicfic diagnosis and treat them in specific time frames. Insurances simply do not allow for them to be treated to an optimal level.
The bottom line is that insurances cover disease states, not true wellness.

I know that the state of our medical system is frustrating–for both patients and doctors. I can start changing the system by educating one person at a time and by being one of the doctors who has an innovative medical practice. I would love to see our medical system change to where this type of medical practice is prevalent and the medical system truly serves patients in an optimal manner. There are a lot of politics at play so it may be a a while. In the meantime, be aware and take control of your health.

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Low Thyroid

Published on June 7, 2015 by

A well functioning thyroid is critical for a healthy metabolism, good immune system, temperature regulation, and cell energy production. Unfortunately most doctors just test the TSH and do not look at the actual thyroid hormone levels (T3 and T4). Even if they do look at them, the doctors are happy if you are in the “normal” range, they do not realize that optimal values are different than normal values.

Hormones For Men

If you gain weight easily, or have a hard time losing weight, your thyroid may not be optimal. Thyroid imbalance can also present as dry skin or hair, constipation, hair loss, fatigue, or brain fog. You may also have swelling around the face and then a thickening in your arms and it may spread throughout the body. You may be sensitive to hot or cold, have brittle fingernails, have joint pain, etc.

If you think you may have a low thyroid, get your levels checked and your symptoms evaluated by a physician trained in bio-identical hormone balancing. Thyroid replacement can be done safely and naturally with the use of desiccated thyroid. Desiccated thyroid is a natural form of thyroid hormone. This type of thyroid replacement most closely replaces what your body is missing.

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Small Steps – Big Changes

Published on May 5, 2015 by

As you are sitting or standing there reading this, thoughts are going through your mind and you are starting to realize that there are things in your health that you wish to improve or change. And if you made this shift in your health you would feel better and have a more positive life. And, as you realize this, you also realize that often fear is the reason that you have not made this shift.

footprints in the sand

There are many fears that you may have: the fear of failure, the fear of who you would be if you did change, the fear of being ridiculed, or some other fear. No matter what your fear is, it stems from an internal dialogue. We all have a voice inside our head that talks to us. It is this voice that says you can’t do this, you will fail so don’t even start, or it says something else that hinders your progress.

If you wish to become healthier it involves hormone balancing, a healthy diet, regular exercise, good sleep, the right supplements, and minimizing toxin exposure. It also involves turning that little voice inside you to a more positive and helpful voice. It is the slight shifts in you that cause the huge results later on. If you know what to do to get started, then do it. If you don’t know what to do or need assistance with this in another way; ask for help.

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Testosterone is not just for men!

Published on February 26, 2015 by

I see many different types of women for hormonal issues and occasionally they have actually started bio-identical hormones but still did not feel optimal. It is extremely rare for them to have been put on Testosterone, and if they were it is usually a suboptimal dosing. This shows that there is a lot of misunderstanding about Testosterone –both with patients and with prescribing doctors.

Testosterone in woman

Testosterone is a hormone that is present in both men and women. Obviously men have a higher amount in their blood than women, but it is still an important hormone for women to have. Many people think that it is only a hormone for sex drive and nothing could be further from the truth!! Testosterone is responsible for helping you heal, enhancing your mood, improving your focus and memory, helping your sleep, and giving you overall vitality. It has a few hundred functions in the body and without optimal Testosterone levels you will simply not feel like yourself.

Replacing your Testosterone with a bio-identical replacement hormone is a big part of regaining your vitality. Eating a healthy low sugar whole food diet, minimizing your toxin exposures, reducing your stress, and taking bio-identical hormones all work together to ensure that you live longer feeling young and vital. If you are feeling tired, depressed, have aches and pains, can’t sleep well, have brain fog, or feel less than vital; you will want to get your Testosterone and other hormones checked by a hormone specialist.

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Fast Past Health

Published on December 4, 2014 by

Today’s world is fast paced and paying attention to your health while taking care of life’s other necessary tasks is getting more difficult. Both men and women are finding it more and more challenging to maintain optimum health. Maintaining optimal health is the best line of defense in staying ahead today. Optimal health involves getting the right nutritional advice, getting your hormones balanced, getting on a fitness program, and dealing with emotional issues; among other things.


You can not easily achieve optimal health working with a typical doctor’s office: you get an appointment of 15 minutes or less, it can take a month to even get that appointment, and you might see a physician’s assistant instead of your physician. I know this because I tried my hardest to provide my patients with the guidance needed to achieve optimal health in that environment and it could not be done–despite working 12 hour days.

A concierge medical practice is the answer. It allows your physician to provide longer appointment times, same day appointments with your doctor when needed, non urgent appointments within a week of calling for the appointment, and personal direct access to your physician; among many other benefits. Concierge medicine is about you and your doctor having a relationship which allows you to work together so that you may achieve the health that you desire.

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Holiday Stress

Published on November 25, 2014 by

Have you had a holiday season with no stress? You may have to go back in time to when you were a child to get that memory. When I was a kid the holidays were all about fun and I did not have to worry about shopping, wrapping, or cooking. I am sure that no matter how you grew up, you did not have the same stress during the holidays that you do now. Woman Stressed Out So how do you get through the next month or two and come out unscathed? The first thing to do is to sit down and look at your calendar and block off time for you. Block at least a night a week (a full day is better) where you have no plans. That means absolutely no plans. When people invite you to something you answer NO. You already have something scheduled- have an appointment with you. An easy thing to do on a daily basis is to take a minute and take 6-10 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose very slowly then out through your mouth very slowly. Focus on your breath. Turn off the news, it just contributes to stress. Focus on the good things in your life instead. Buy gifts for those close to you that will appreciate the gift and that you want to buy for. If you find yourself stressing about buying gifts then change what you do. You can choose to donate to a charity on their behalf or choose to buy something for people throughout the year and not do all of your gift buying and giving during December. Make a choice about what you want to do and that greatly decreases the stress. No matter what you decide to do you will do the right thing for you. You will find yourself focusing on relationships and the meaning of the Christmas season. You will start the New Year in a more refreshed state than you have before.

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Change Your Health For The Better

Published on July 14, 2014 by

Many people come to me wanting to make a change in their health. The first thing that we must all do in order to change is to realize that where we are today is a direct result of decisions as far back as fifty years ago, and as recently as yesterday. We are personally responsible for the way our life turned out, and we are equally responsible for steering it in the future.

Taking responsibility gives us the power to change things. No matter what is done to us or around us, we are ultimately responsible for our actions. Take a moment and really embrace the power that you have when you take full personal responsibility for where you are. It can be hard to swallow this concept at first but it really makes a lot of sense. You can always control you–this is an empowering concept!

Couple Holding each Other

Every decision you make is important. If you eat a bag of chips today instead of eating vegetables, you may have a heart attack later in life and not have the energy to play with your grand kids. If you choose to watch TV or sleep late instead of exercising, you may develop diabetes later and deteriorate slowly the last decade of your life. If you choose to let your hormones stay out of balance, you may develop dementia or osteoporosis later in life.

There is no right or wrong to what you choose, simply results. You get to decide what results you wish to have. If you truly wish to be healthy, this realization empowers you to make small positive choices on a regular basis that will result in you feeling and looking healthier.

This is not about being perfect! This is about making choices and having the realization that the daily small choices we make are what really matter and we control each and every one of these choices!! When you make 80% – 90% of your daily choices based on the fact that you choose to be healthy, then you will be on the path to health. Even if 10-20% of the time you may have made a choice that was not in the interest of health, the 80-90% of the time where you made the healthy choice will win out. Over time you will feel more energetic, think more clearly, and look younger!

Embrace the fact that we are personally responsible for where we are and that we are capable of changing the future. Do not feel self pity, guilt, or regret!! Feel the strength and power in knowing that you can, and will, change for the better!!

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What is Optimal Health?

Published on April 23, 2014 by

Hormone Pellets

Optimal health is basically when you are able to have the energy and vitality to enjoy your life in the manner that makes you happy. Everyone has a different definition of what happiness is. Thus, everyone has different optimal levels of mind and body fitness. You simply need to decide at what level of functioning you are happy with-what allows you to do the things that you enjoy. It is not about being perfect, it is about feeling balanced and alive. In order to have optimal health it is important to address your nutrition (diet, supplements, and food allergies), sleep, exercise, stress, toxin exposure, and your hormone levels. There is no magic fix to achieving optimal health. It takes time and a desire on your part to achieve optimal health as well as a willingness to spend money on yourself. As a physician, it takes me spending time getting to know your unique needs and desires.

My goal as a physician is to aide you in achieving a fulfilling life: living well and not deteriorating for years before you leave this Earth. This takes team work and patience by both of us. It takes ongoing communication—I want to know if there are any issues or concerns that you have.

Together we will focus on you making progress over time and not on being perfect. That is the path to optimal health and a fulfilling life!!

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