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

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Modified Office Hours

March 23rd, 2020

It is with reluctance, yet hope, that we have modified Natural Family Medicine’s office hours. For the week of March 23rd – 27th (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday), we have abbreviated hours: 9AM – 2PM. Dr. Brown remains available via her after-hours number for telephone consultations–Adina can help arrange this for you. If you need to purchase supplement refills, please call ahead, too, at 360-882-1339. Adina will package them up for you and present you with them at the door.

We apologize for this inconvenience but hope that anything that can be done to support social distancing will also help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Stay tuned for additional updates–we will revisit the situation on Friday.

And most importantly, we hope you and your loved ones stay well!!

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!

Ditch the Plastic Tea Bags–Try Loose Leaf Tea Instead!!

September 30th, 2019

So researchers have found that “billions” of plastic micro-particles are released each time we brew a cup of tea using a plastic tea bag. That is right, BILLIONS not millions. I know that sounds discouraging, but there are a couple of easy remedies! You can still get tea in paper tea bags, whew! But also consider loose-leaf teas–you can either put them in a muslin tea bag, in a stainless-steel tea basket, in a stainless-steel tea ball, or, my new favorite, use a matcha tea straw! I love using my bamboo tea straw since all I have to do is pour hot water over my favorite loose tea, let it cool a bit, then sip it through my straw. Do be sure that your tea is not too hot or you may burn your lips (the same is true if you are sipping hot tea, of course). I’ve see stainless-steel versions of the tea straw, but prefer the bamboo since it does not get hot. Check them out! This is an easy way to reduce your plastic use and still enjoy delicious teas!!

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.

Banned Substances in Your Groceries??

June 3rd, 2019

There are a number of banned substances that make their way into our food supply. Fortunately there are options available to minimize exposure. Check out this fun article–it even has an interactive “grocery store” that lets you “check out” some groceries as well as find out how to avoid the exposure. also lists their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” to help with our grocery budgets.

Potential Risk of B6 and B12 supplementation

June 3rd, 2019

A recent report states that those supplementing with high dose B6 and B12 are at greater risk of fractures. We do not want to ignore the association, but there are a lot of questions regarding their research. They did have a large sample of 76,000 women and followed most over about 21 years. However, the study was limited to primarily white, middle-class nurses who were insured. The diets were reviewed only every 4 years. We don’t know what else they were supplementing. We don’t know other risk factors (e.g., radiation) that may contribute to increased fracture risk. We DO know that excessive replacement of Vitamin B6 is associated with numbness and tingling–and since it is popular for “energy”, it is easy to get way too much if someone is taking multiple supplements. I whole-heartedly agree with completing appropriate testing with the goal of reducing over-replacement. I use a couple different options for nutrient testing. Check with your provider or schedule an appointment to see what testing and supplementation may be right for you. To your health!

Dietary Risks for Cancer

June 3rd, 2019

Recent research continues to state the obvious: that a poor diet is associated with increased risk of cancers. Those with diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains had lower incidences of cancer than those eating a diet high in processed meats, red meat, and sugar. So be sure to load up your plate with lots of colorful vegetables and fruit, with a little protein and healthy fat, and skip the processed foods and refined sugar. Remember to exercise daily, too–summer is a great time to get outdoors and move!!

Sunscreen Absorbs Into Bloodstream–Safety Concerns?

May 10th, 2019

This could actually be a very long post, but I know most of us are too busy to read long blogs. So, I’ll cut to the points (check out this article, too):

  1. Excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer.
  2. Safety studies have never been completed on sunscreens.
  3. New research shows that active ingredients DO reach our blood stream within hours AND persist in the body at least 3 days after application.
  4. We don’t know if these chemicals are safe or not.
  5. Our babies and children get a much higher “dose” per application than adults (due to their higher surface to volume ratio).
  6. Zinc and titanium dioxide are the only sunscreens that have been determined to be “safe and effective”.

My recommendation? Cover up with “sun-safe” clothing. Here is a link to why and how it works. And do get about 15 minutes of sun exposure daily to support your vitamin D levels!


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.

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