Natural Family Medicine | 360-882-1339 | 16701 SE McGillivray Blvd, Suite 265, Vancouver, WA 98683 |

Call 360-882-1339 to schedule an appointment!

Archive Category: Immune Health

Amidst the COVID-19 Concerns

March 23rd, 2020

With so much fear about COVID-19, I’ve been trying to determine what might be helpful to share without bogging down all that you are already reading. I’ve decided to share some of the things I do to support my health, hoping that you find them helpful as well. PLEASE NOTE, there are NO known cures to the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus family along with the Rhinovirus family are responsible for the common cold–still no cure unless you want to try Granny’s cure (from the Beverly Hillbillies–1 single teaspoon of her concoction and folks were well in 10 days, hmmmm). And COVID-19 is clearly NOT a common cold so additional measures should be taken.

First and foremost, follow CDC guidelines:
o WASH YOUR HANDS frequently.
o Keep your hands away from your face
o Stay home if you are sick–this is best for your recovery as well as to prevent spread of any illness.
o Call your doctor if you are ill and need medical attention–they will guide you on where and when to go.

Some additional things that may help–keeping in mind that there are no known cures to date:

1. We know that those who are deficient in certain nutrients can be more susceptible to illness and/or complications of illness. Sufficient nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc are important. Ensuring that you are at least getting these in a multivitamin may be helpful. Vit. D at 2,000 iu – 6,000 iu temporarily may be helpful. Higher doses of other nutrients may also be indicated–check with your doctor.
2. Avoid sugar! The equivalent of one can of soda has been shown to suppress immunity for up to 8 hours!
3. Include lots of leafy greens, colorful vegetables, and fruit in your diet. So far, I’ve noticed that the produce departments have stayed fairly well-stocked with the exception of spinach (try kale, swiss chard, beet greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, even carrot greens!).
4. But AVOID oranges and bananas if you have any congestion as they can thicken mucus secretions and aggravate congestion. Dairy and soy can do this, too.
5. Bone broths and vegetable broths are nutrient-packed–make them into some nourishing soups. Include garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano–these each have antimicrobial properties and make for some delicious meals, too!
6. NAC has been shown to reduce congestion–if you are sick, you may want to try a 600 mg dose between meals and see if it helps you.
7. Warming socks hydrotherapy–This is one of my favorites since it supports circulation (including that of your white blood cells that fight infection) and reduces congestion. You will need a pair of cotton socks as well as a pair of wool socks (at least 80% wool). Wet the foot part of the cotton socks in cool water and wring them to just damp. Place them on your bathroom counter next to your dry wool socks. Warm your feet in a footbath, tub or shower. Pat your feet dry, put on the damp cotton socks, then the dry wool socks and go to bed (go directly to bed, “Do not pass Go, do not collect 200”). If you are active after applying this treatment you may get chilled. If you do get chilled (for any reason), remove the socks and warm your feet. Do NOT do this treatment if you have reduced sensation in your feet or compromised circulation–check with your doctor first.
8. Steam inhalation–with or without essential oils. If you don’t have time to complete steam inhalation, inhaling the scent of essential oil may reduce congestion and support recovery.
9. Get plenty of sleep! There is no substitute for adequate sleep.
10. Stay well-hydrated!

Influenza Vaccine?

September 17th, 2019

So we are entering into flu season. While many people can get the recommended flu vaccine, others cannot for a variety of reasons. So, this is a great time to boost your health to reduce your risk of succumbing to winter “bugs”! First, a wellness examination is advised if you haven’t had one recently. Testing for iron and Vitamin D deficiencies (either of which can reduce your immune function) is recommended. A course of high-dose Vitamin A support is also very helpful. Of course, too much of any of these nutrients can be dangerous so please consult your provider first. Elderberry and vitamin C are another two of my favorites, along with bone broths, and lots of fresh herbs and spices! I also coach patients on appropriate hydrotherapy techniques, customized teas, and homeopathics. Here’s to your happy, healthy winter season!


PFA’s — Known Toxicity “For Years”

September 9th, 2019

EWG has just released a list of documents that confirm knowledge about the risks of PFA’s to health–this link will connect you with a long list of reports. PFA’s have been associated with cancer, endocrine disruption, immune system dysfunction, and liver compromise. Items that contain PFA’s include non-stick cookware, water-resistant clothing, food packaging, and stain-resistant carpet and upholstery. Ditch the non-stick cookware–use cast iron or stainless steel. Think twice before getting that take-out meal. Take your own glass or stainless steel container to a restaurant for your leftovers. Consider wood floors and natural untreated fabrics or carpeting. PFA’s are cumulative so avoid them wherever you can. Here is another link for more information to support your health from PFA’s.

A New Test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

May 10th, 2019

Stanford reports that a new test may provide an effective way to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). They also claim that it may help guide effective medication therapies. I am hopeful, but I also hope that it doesn’t put CFS into a specific diagnostic “box” since I suspect multiple factors contribute to its etiology. I have yet to find one specific treatment for CFS that works for everyone–each patient seems to have some commonalities but also unique needs. I so appreciate the opportunity to work alongside those suffering with CFS and helping support their health and energy.

Vitamin D and Belly Fat

May 31st, 2018

The association with obesity and vitamin D deficiency has been noted in previous research. This research is confirming–as well as revealing the association with “belly fat”. This does NOT mean you should just start taking high doses of Vitamin D. It DOES mean that you should have your levels checked, and supplement as needed to optimal levels. Also, get out and get some sunshine therapy–about 15 minutes without sunscreen, then get that skin protection on! (Check out Environmental Working Group for some safer sunscreen options; and remember there is now clothing that offers sun protection!). Appropriate Vitamin D levels may reduce your risk of cancer, depression, fatigue, and autoimmune disorders as well.


Baking Soda May Reduce Autoimmune Imbalance

May 24th, 2018

How exciting that a common kitchen item may reduce autoimmune inflammation. Baking Soda! So far the studies areĀ  in mice, but hopefully will apply to humans as well. Please be judicious and check with your doctor before supplementing baking soda, though, as it can reduce ability to digest food, is a source of sodium which may impact blood pressure and edema, etc.

Lyme Disease On the Rise

March 21st, 2017

Increasingly, we are hearing more about Lyme disease–in particular, the chronic effects of Lyme infection. Here is a recent article about the increase in Michigan as well as a link to reducing your risk of a tick bite. Unfortunately, we often are never even aware of getting a tick bite and many never experience the classic “bull’s eye” rash, either. In addition, there are many other tick-borne infections that are typically not even tested. If you have concerns, please schedule an appointment for evaluation and to discuss assessment and treatment options that might be appropriate for you.

Lyme Disease

June 21st, 2016

Here is some bad news, and some good news, about Lyme disease. In addition, those on the West coast are at greater risk for Relapsing Fever as well. Please check out this article and get tested if you are suspicious (even if you do not recall having a tick bite!). My favorite testing is by IgeneX.

Health Recommendations for Auto-Immune Disorders

May 2nd, 2016

Ditto to Dr. Hyman’s list–it is important to start with healthful eating habits and sleuth to discover and correct any underlying imbalances (parasites, toxicities, infections, etc.). Check out his article.

Vitamin D

April 25th, 2016

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–get your Vitamin D levels checked. Low levels have been associated with increased risk of cancers (including breast, ovarian, colon and non-Hodgkins lymphoma), diabetes, multiple sclerosis and heart attacks as well as bone fractures. Read more in this attached article. Supplementing without testing may lead to levels too high, however. Insurance may not cover the cost of the testing–but your medical insurance does not have your health as their goal.

Older Posts »