Winning the Fight Against Cold and Flu

By Dr. Erin Cheatum and Dr. Victoria Nguyen

 

flu, female, purchased

It’s that time of the year again: cold and flu season! Fall, Winter and even early Spring tend to be the times when most people get sick. The common cold and flu are caused by viruses, therefore antibiotics are very unlikely to be helpful in these cases. What’s more, the flu this season is particularly bad! There are many supportive treatments to help with the symptoms of a cold – runny nose, cough, congestion and sore throat. The flu tends to produce similar symptoms but may also include a fever, headache, and/or body aches. 

Here are some simple ways to help ease these symptoms:

  1. Adequate hydration is important when fighting a flu, especially if a fever is present. It is important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  2. Rest. It is important to allow your body to rest so that more energy can be devoted to the immune system to fight the virus.
  3. Super-Immunotone is a product here at AIM that has vitamins, mushrooms, minerals, and herbs that helps boost overall immune function and works great to help fight off cold and flu!
  4. Try an Anti-viral IV here at AIM! It is a boost of vitamins, minerals and hydration to get you feeling better.  
  5. Zinc has been proven in studies to reduce the length and severity of a cold. Most effective within 24 hours of experiencing symptoms.
  6. Vitamin C has also been shown in studies to reduce the length of a cold, especially if taken on a regular basis.
  7. Echinacea has been shown to enhance the immune system and shown to decrease symptoms when taken at onset of a cold and can lead to a faster resolution of a cold.

shutterstock_536914066The best treatment is prevention. Some of the easiest ways to prevent catching the cold or flu is by washing your hands frequently, cleaning objects that you use/share, avoid touching your face, avoiding direct contact with people you know are sick, and staying home when you feel sick. Another way to help prevent getting the flu is to come in for a B12/B complex shot, with a side of a homeopathic, oscillococcinum. The B12/B complex can help support your immune system, while the oscillococcinum is a more generalized treatment for the most common symptoms of the cold and flu. When combined the therapy can help you stay well.

If you start to feel flu symptoms, please schedule an appointment to come in to get tested for the flu within 24-48 hours, as this is within the timeframe that antiviral medications are effective. Even if it has been beyond 48 hours, we can still offer treatments to help you feel better!

 

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The Prostates, They Are A-Changin’

The Prostates, They Are A-Changin’

By Dr. Mohammad Shegeft

 

Your prostate is changing, and that is Ok.

shutterstock_246585895In both men and women, reproductive system changes are closely related to changes in the urinary system.  Unlike women, men do not experience a rapid change in fertility as they age.  Instead these changes are more gradual.  One of the changes seen in men is the enlargement of the prostate gland.  The prostate gland is replaced with scare-like tissue with age.  This process or condition is commonly referred to as BPH or Benign Prostatic Hyperplaisa.    Thought the most common, BPH is not the only condition concerning the aging prostate.   Others include acute and or chronic inflammation of the prostate gland called prostatitis and prostate cancer.

As we discus each of these conditions in more detail, it is important to know that one change does not lead to another.  For example, having prostatitis does not increase your risk of prostate cancer or BHP.  It is also important to note that age does not predict male fertility and neither does prostate function.  In fact, a man can father a child even if his prostate gland has been removed.

Due to its position, an enlarged prostate can squeeze the bladder and urethra.  This causes symptoms that effect urine flow as well as urgency and frequency of urination.  Men with enlarged prostate also experience a weak stream and hard time initiating urination.  When the urethra is squeezed, the bladder has to work harder to push urine out.  Over time, the bladder muscles get weak leading to frequent urination, incontinence, urinary urgency, incomplete emptying of the bladder leading to dribbling and urinary urgency.  Beside physical exam, getting routine blood tests to check for kidney function, infection and Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) should be checked yearly.  Based on these labs results and symptoms, more advanced testing may be necessary to properly diagnose a prostate pathology.

Prostatitis is another condition that can lead to an enlarged prostate.  Though it can present with similar symptoms, they are two different conditions and warrant different treatments.   While BPH is more common in men over 50 years of age, prostatitis is more common in men younger than 35 years of age.  The definition of prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate tissue.  This can be due to an infection or be related to other health problems.  Over the years, prostatitis has been subdivided into a number of categories, but today commonly accepted variations of the disease include nonbacterial (most common), acute and chronic.  While prostatitis has similar symptoms as BPH, men suffering from prostatitis may also have pain in groin or lower back, low grade fever, loss of sex drive and painful ejaculation.

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting American men.  Prostate cancer tends to grow slowly.  What makes this cancer hard to treat is that it takes 10, 20, or even 30 years before the tumor gets big enough to cause symptoms.  At this stage, the cancer may have already spread (metastasize).  This is why I recommend yearly check up of PSA levels to see if there is any change compared to previous years.   If you have a family history of prostate cancer, you have 2 to 3 times higher risk of prostate cancer than men who do not have a family history.   Prostate cancer risk also appears to be slightly higher for men from families with a history of breast cancer.  Other notable risk factors include diet high in fat and processed foods, race and age.

When detected early, prostate cancer survival rates are better than 98%.  However this rate drops to 26% if it is detected in its late stages.

The month of November is known to a group of men as “Movember”.  It involves the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s suicide.  Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatment.  Besides annual check-ups, Movember reminds us men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier life style.   There is a Movember organization that encourages people to donate what they would otherwise spend on hair grooming to the American Cancer Society.  Consider donating next November, and remember, its always a good time to think about keeping your prostate healthy!

 

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Acupuncture to boost brain power/ memory/mental clarity

Acupuncture to boost brain power/ memory/mental clarity

Ko Ching Lu EAMP, L.Ac.

 As the year ends, parents are working hard and students are in school, learning hard.  This is a good time to get acupuncture treatments to enhance their memory and focus.  According to Chinese medicine, there are four organ types that are closely connected to memory. The organs are spleen, heart, kidney, and liver. And each of those organs controls their own emotions. For example, the spleen controls worry, the heart controls happiness, the kidneys are in charge of fear, and liver is associated with anger.  Also, those four organs types have mutual relationships. For example, if the spleen is deficient, it will not be able to provide blood to the heart and can lead to insomnia and poor memory.

The spleen’s major function is to transform and transport nutrients to different organs. If the spleen is weakened by excessive worrying then it will not be able to provide qi (vital energy) and blood to the organs and can lead to insomnia and poor memory.

The heart is in charge of the shen (the sprits) and memory.  Overjoy can cause damage to the heart qi and can cause poor memory and disturbed sleep.

The kidneys are the essence that produce marrow to nourish the brain. If the kidney’s qi is weakened, the brain will feel empty and more likely to have poor concentration. The kidney’s needs to be healthy to provide strong qi to the other vital organs.

Finally, the liver is important on keeping a smooth flow of qi. When liver qi is stagnate, you will notice more sighing and circulation tends to slow down.

Acupuncture can help to bring your body to balance and improve mental clarity.

 

 Here are some acupressure points to help with memory and mental clarity:

Instructions: Just apply firm pressure on those acupressure points for couple seconds throughout the day. 

  • Sishencong (Four Alert Spirit)

Sishencong consisted of four points and are located on the top of the head.

The indications of these points are great for poor memory, insomnia, dizziness and brain fogginess.  If you are feeling any of those symptoms, you can simply apply firm pressure couple times a day on those four points. 

  • Yin tang (Hall of Impression)

The point is located in center of the two eyebrows. (Image 2) The actions of yin tang helps calms the sprit, mental restlessness and headaches.  Yintang helps with restlessness mind the night before huge finals or work projects.

  • Liver 3 (Great Rushing)

This point is located on the top of the foot, distal to the junction of first and second toes. (Image 3) This point is on the liver meridian and is great for mental clarity and brighter eyes. It also helps with stress especially before taking exams.

 

Diet for memory boost:

 Spleen qi deficient: yellow foods like potatoes, sweet yams, bananas, rice, congee, cooked foods, warm drinks and avoid processed/cold/uncooked foods.

Heart qi deficient: red foods like strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, purple grapes, beets, lotus roots, red meat, and dragon eye fruits.

Kidney qi deficient: seafood like shrimps, salmons, halibuts, and black beans.

Liver qi deficient: lots of green vegetables.

 

In addition to a healthy diet, we need to get enough sleep and regular exercise to maintain a sharp mind and healthy body.

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Preggers?  Keep your nutrients up with IV Infusions!

Preggers?  Keep your nutrients up with IV Infusions!

By Dr. Mohammad Shegeft

shutterstock_499697026As a mom to be, you are of course doing everything you can to have a healthy newborn. Have you considered IV Therapy for nutrients during your pregnancy?

Intravenous Vitamin Therapy for pregnancy will directly inject each nutrient that you need into your bloodstream.  Through bypassing the digestive system, your body’s cells are directly exposed to the vitamins and minerals, giving them a chance to absorb them without interference and in as little time as possible.

The demand of many, but not all, micronutrients increases during pregnancy.  Deficiencies can exist because of losses or malabsorption due to inadequate intakes, lack of knowledge about adequate prenatal nutrients, dietary taboos associated with pregnancy, with potential adverse consequences for both mothers and newborn infants or simply because of several weeks of vomiting!

As a component of prenatal care, micronutrient supplements might reduce maternal morbidity and mortality.  Prenatal vitamins have been on the market for years.  These oral supplements provide daily doses of the many nutrients that mothers will need to keep their babies healthy throughout pregnancy.  However these vitamins do not take into account that each woman is different thanks to their individual health, daily activities, preexisting conditions and digestive health.  While orally ingested vitamins and healthy diets will help expose your body to the nutrients it needs, a vast portion of these supplements will not be absorbed due to the digestive process.

Some common concerns with IV therapy and pregnancy:

When thinking about infusions, most moms may be concerned about possible “overdosing” during pregnancy, “fetal storage”, and early contraction.

In terms of overdosing – Although there are true concerns in cases of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, most of the water soluble vitamins in a “Multi-vitamin” IV is completely safe as long as the physician follow accepted dose and administration guidelines.  In fact in most cases, a Multi-vitamin IV is serving to replenish the mom and the child with nutrients and minerals that are needed for a healthy pregnancy.

In terms of fetal storage – Yes, it is true that in the third trimester the fetus starts to store some of the trace elements such as iron and copper.  However one must realize that this is biologically necessary so that baby can grow quickly after birth.

Contractions – Calcium, magnesium and potassium are potentially contractile so in pregnancy are dosed to tolerance.  We dose these minerals with ratios that are tolerated by both mother and fetus based on many years of clinical experience and research studies.  Some of these studies have even suggested that magnesium can help with improving antioxidant status in the mom and newborn.

The use of parenteral hydration is another significant help to the pregnant woman.  In the setting of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy these can bring great comfort and also reduce complications in pregnancy.

All in all, IV Therapy can help you keep their nutrients at their peak, leading to a healthier mommy and a healthier baby.

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Travel Healthy This Holiday Season

Travel Healthy This Holiday Season

By Dr. Nitin Thapa, ND MD

 

shutterstock_529240987At Alpine Integrated Medicine, we take your travel health seriously. Whether you are travelling locally or internationally, it is wise to consult with your healthcare providers to make a plan for your healthy travel. Depending upon your destination and duration of travel and your health conditions, we can provide specific recommendations for your travel health. Besides drinking and using clean water, eating healthy and nutritious food and getting a good sleep, follow these tips to stay healthy and enjoy your trip:

Preventing common cold and  flu:

Common cold and flu are caused by viruses. They are transmitted through air when a sick person sneezes or by a direct contact with patient (by shaking hand or by touching contaminated surfaces for example) and touching your eyes and noses. Common cold usually has a gradual but mild course and lasts about a week.  Flu has similar symptoms but more sudden and severe course. Flu vaccine can help prevent you from getting the flu, but it is not 100% effective.

 

Always Remember To:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Avoid putting your fingers in your mouth, face, or up your nose
  • Exercise regularly, get fresh air as much as you can but avoid being out in the cold and damp or hot and humid environment for extended periods of time.
  • To boost your immune system, eat more fruits and vegetables, eat chicken or vegetable soup with garlic, onions, and ginger
  • Avoid sugars and simple carbohydrates as they weaken your immune system.
  • Drink plenty of water, avoid soda, sweet and alcoholic beverages.
  • Get enough rest and sleep. A good sleep is essential for immune system overall health.
  • Take natural supplements to boost your body’s immune system as a good way to prevent and fight common cold and flu.

 

Preventing motion sickness:

Motion sickness is common in any travel. It happens when our brain gets too many sensory inputs from eyes and balance sensor of inner ear.  Kids and pregnant women are particularly susceptible.

Natural remedy for motion sickness:

  • Ginger candy or Ginger pieces, Lemon, Peppermint, Clove
  • Breathing technique: slow deep breathing
  • Acupressure bracelet for motion sickness or self acupressure as shown below:

Over-the-counter remedy for motion sickness:

  • Dramamine (Dimenhydrinate) 25 to 50 mg, 30 to 60 min before activity, can give 4 to 6 hourly
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) – 25-50 mg, 30min before event 30 to 60 min before activity, can give 4 to 6 hourly, maximum dose 300 mg/day
  • Be careful while taking these medicines as they have sedative and other side effects.

shutterstock_47974789Reducing travel stress:

Being prepared for your travel is the 1st step to reduce your travel stress. If you are flying check with TSA website and plan accordingly. Link: https://www.tsa.gov/

Regular yoga, meditation and slow breathing techniques are a great way to reduce stress and anxiety

 Natural Supplement for stress:

Valerian – 150 mg, 2 to 3 times per day

For International travel:

Learn about your destination at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html and required vaccination for your destination at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list

Discuss about your international travel at least one month before your departure and have a follow-up visit after your travel.  It is also a good idea to know recommended clinic and health centers of your travel destination and have travel insurance. Don’t forget to take your prescription medicines and prophylactic medications with you.

shutterstock_174459380Vitamins, minerals  and supplements recommended for travelers:

  • “Emergen-C” – up to 3 packet daily on 6 ounce water at room temperature
  • Essential nutrients for immune support and nutrients:
  • “Super Immuno-tone” – 2 capsules, two or three times a day
  • NAC (N-Acetyl L-Cysteine) 600 mg 1 capsule once or twice daily for it’s anti viral properties
  • Melatonin – 3 to 5 mg 2 hour before sleep time to regulate body’s circadian rhythm and to prevent jet lag .

 

 Make your own Naturopathic Travel Kit with the following :

(most of these can be purchased right here at AIM)

  • For musculoskeletal pain – Arnica gel, Castor Oil Roll
  • For nasal/Sinus congestion, Cough, Stress, headache, Hd/Dyspepsia:
  • Eucalyptus essential oil, NAC
  • For Nausea, Reflux, Dyspepsia, Nausea & Vomiting:
  • Ginger candy, lemon candy, Dramamine, Benadryl
  • For minor skin infections, scrapes, rashes : “Super Salve”
  • For Cough: “Cough Ease” or Sambucus syrup
  • For sore throat:
  • Sore Throat Tincture
  • Zinc lozenges (max 4 lozenges/day)
  • For sleep disturbance: Melatonin 3 mg
  • Multi Vitamins
  • Probiotics
  • For dry skin: Coconut oil

 

These are some of the most basic and essential tips which can keep you healthy during and after travel.

Have a nice trip. Stay healthy.  I also look forward to working with you in 2018.

 

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Naturopathic Support for Pre and Post Surgery

Naturopathic Support for Pre and Post Surgery

By Dr. Brooke Azie-Rentz

 

Growing up an athlete meant lots of injuries, fortunately none ever requiring surgery.  However, I was always fascinated by the human body and its ability to heal and repair, so much so that I almost became an orthopedic surgeon.  Life had other plans for me, and after pursuing an undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy, I now practice as a primary care physician.  Although this does not allow me to scrub in for surgery, it does allow me to help my patients in other ways, like educating patients in how best to prepare their bodies for surgery and maximize healing efforts once on the road to recovery.

Wound healing involves the activity of an intricate network of blood cells, tissue types, cytokines and growth factors.  All of this activity results in an increase in cellular activity which in turn causes an intensified metabolic demand for nutrients.  Here at AIM, we have developed a pre and post surgery protocol that makes sure to supply the correct amount of nutrients needed to meet this higher demand.  I won’t bore you with the actual amounts, but I will give you some info on the most important nutrients needed during this healing time.

  • shutterstock_163244129Calcium- needed to build and maintain bone
  • Iron- helps carry oxygen to wound sites in the form of hemoglobin
  • Zinc- plays a vital role in the immune system by reducing inflammation, decreasing bacterial growth and decreasing scar tissue creation. It helps speed the process of healing by being a key component in enzymes needed for this process to occur correctly.  Deficiency in zinc can lead to worsening of a scar.
  • Vit A- has an affinity for the skin and mucous membranes and why it helps with healing and growth of collagen
  • Vit D- helps in bone healing through the absorption of calcium
  • Vit E- antioxidant and disease fighting properties
  • Vit K- helps wound healing response, blood clotting and aids in bone repair
  • Vit C- Critical to wound healing! It is responsible for making connective tissue/collagen formation, a free-radical scavenger, supports immune function and works as a major anti-oxidant! Trauma is known to increase the body’s metabolic rate, which in turn decreases the amount of Vit C available to the body.
  • B vitamins- have been shown to speed up wound healing, increase protein synthesis and increase the amount of “repair cells” present at the wound site. This can help prevent excessive inflammation and make for shorter recovery times.
  • Bromelian (pineapple) – In addition to its uses as a digestive aid, when taking away from food, is a fantastic anti-inflammatory. It can reduce swelling and bruising, speed healing and recovery time, and prevent adhesions from forming.
  • shutterstock_519767113Essential Fatty Acids- (flax oil containing DHA and EPA) – capable of shifting the production of cytokines away from those that produce inflammation and more towards ones that are anti-inflammatory. In addition, they make cell and mitochondrial membranes more resistant to stress, which reduces tissue damage and prevents an over excitatory inflammatory response.
  • Rutin and bioflavonoids- helps by protecting and stabilizing blood vessels to prevent bruising and excess bleeding. In addition, bioflavonoids support the actions of Vit C.
  • Arnica 30c homeopathic- reduces bruising/inflammation and helps clear up the healing process
  • Phosphorus 30c homeopathic- helps decrease the potential for pneumonia related to general anesthesia

Alpine Integrated Medicine_13_DecThis list seems a little overwhelming, especially if thinking about how many pills it would take to get all this in!  Luckily, some supplement companies have made it easy, providing combination products such as First Intention™ by Integrative Therapeutics®.  At AIM, we have a convenient handout that easily lays out how to get the levels of these vitamin and nutrients into your body as easily as possible.  Remember, many substances are contraindicated a few days before surgery due to the potential to thin the blood and decrease clotting.  So we recommend that people start treatment 2-4 weeks before surgery that way you can build up levels and still have time to stop 3-7 days before surgery, and then restart supplements for another 4-6 weeks post surgery.

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IV Therapy Pre and Post Surgery—Prepare Better; Recover Faster

IV Therapy Pre and Post Surgery—Prepare Better; Recover Faster

By Dr. Mohammad Shegeft

shutterstock_221882890The purpose of a surgical procedure is to correct a problem within the body.  In most cases, the surgery achieves its goal and the person returns to a better state of health.  However as far as the body is concerned, the process is unnatural and traumatic.  It cuts into skin, divides cells, and can cause profuse bleeding.  Depending on the type of surgery performed healing can take several days, weeks or months.  Intravenous (IV) therapy can help speed up healing and get you back on your feet faster and in better condition.

shutterstock_167409356Vitamin C is necessary part of the biochemical pathway for collagen production.  Collagen helps heal wounds by providing structural integrity and support for the skin.  Although vitamin C alone is very helpful, we believe that a combination of vitamin C mixed with other vitamins, amino acids and minerals may be even better.  For example Zinc is also required for collagen biosynthesis.  IV glutathione may substantially reduce inflammation and promotes tissue repair while L-arginine and L-glutamine are essential amino acids that support immune function and wound repair.

For best results, we recommend coming in for treatment both in advance of your surgery and after surgery.  This gives your body more ammunition to tackle the task of repairing yours skin and connective tissues.  We suggest 2 treatments before and another 2 treatments after surgery for best outcome.

Note:

For patients who undergo bariatric surgery, IVs containing high amounts of B-vitamins, especially B12 is very important.  The surgical process causes a malabsorption of B12.  This is because the procedure causes food to bypass the digestive tract.  While it is an effective way to lose weight, most patients miss out on the vitamins normally received from food.

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