Category: From the blog
Happy New Year!
Every year, for the first 4 to 6 months, I put myself through a “dietary challenge” to support my clients with specific health conditions. I figure that if I follow the diets I prescribe I will better be able to troubleshoot issues that arise for people that require the diet for medical reasons. It is also harder for clients that are required to follow the diet to whine at me, when they know that I have adhered to the required diet strategy myself.
In no way are dietary guidelines meant to be cruel, but it has become increasingly clear to me that dietary and lifestyle practices are critical to successful medical outcomes. Compliance to dietary guidelines has also become a reasonable screening tool for me to gauge the commitment level that clients have to get better. I’m certainly not …
December 5th, 2015 marks the 10th year of Westcoast Integrative Health and my practice of Naturopathic Medicine.
In medicine, 5 years post-graduation is considered to be the turning point of experience moving from a junior practitioner to a novice. It takes a lot of clinical experience, with actual patients, to get really good at practicing the art of medicine.
Early in my career I was very fortunate to have good mentoring with a lot of clinical exposure. Dr. Sandy Wood and Dr. Jonn Matsen allowed me to see thousands of clients in my first 2 years of practice. To put this into prospective, a conventional busy family practice can fill up with 800 to 2000 patients, so it is common that a family MD may only see this many patients in their entire career. Dr Matsen and Dr Wood never fill up. …
I’m always keen on natural things that help children, but this recent study on melatonin and eczema does warrant some caution.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that most of us know, when taken before bed as a supplement, helps some people sleep. It is actually also quite a powerful antioxidant that can help repair and protect our mitochondria … the little power plants in our bodies that give us energy. This antioxidant potential is the proposed mechanism in researched support for some cancers.
In most of us, melatonin is produced by the conversion of tryptophan, the infamous turkey sedative, to serotonin during the day and melatonin at night. If we are under a lot of stress, or battling some inflammation or an infection, melatonin production can be highly blunted for the production of a more essential nutrient. Vitamin B3. Along with …
The following article on chronic pain is a true testament to the importance of treating holistically. This neurosurgeon, Dr Hanscom, impressively came up with his own chronic pain treatment method after he was struck with the frustrating reality that spinal surgery has very poor outcomes for patients suffering with chronic pain.
I frequently see people in some degree of chronic pain or suffering from chronic diseases which can have detrimental effects on our mental health. Or is it possible that in reality it is our mental health that is affecting our physical health!
Stress has a major effect on every part of our body and has a dramatic impact on our physical health. With my own recent personal experiments, along with recent feed back from people using heart rate variability (HRV) monitors, this technology allows us to have a greater awareness of …
Check out the following links for brain games that help your cognitive function!
Lumosity uses games to train your memory, increase attention, and improve problem solving, processing speed, and flexibility of thinking
Brain Trainer Special employs games involving letter, number, and sequencing memorization
CogniFit Brain Fitness also uses games designed to improve cognitive abilities such as memory and concentration
Brain Fitness Pro uses a variety of memory training exercises to increase focus, memory, and problem-solving skills
Personal Zen is a game designed to reduce anxiety by teaching you to focus on the positive, rather than dwelling on the negative
Fit Brains Trainer offers more than 360 games and puzzles to help improve your mental agility
Happify is another app that helps you develop a more positive attitude, which can make you more resilient in the face of stress
Eidetic employs a spaced repetition technique to help you …
Creating another human being has got to one of the most amazing experiences in life! I commend all of you that have done it.
One thing I see commonly in practice is women worried about environmental toxicity before or during pregnancy and sometimes there concerns are justified.
Living in the most toxic environment humans have ever seen, it’s no wonder people have some concerns about exposures, especially when child development is involved.
The big ones to consider are;
Heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium and mercury, as these have been shown to impair development both in utero and postnatally. Simple sources of exposure are amalgam fillings, fish, cigarette smoke, older paints and pluming, as well as contaminated water sources and some vaccinations.
POP’s or persistant organic pollutants, such as solvents and pesticides, along with other endocrine disrupting agents like parabens and plasticizers are …
I am excited to announce the start of the SIBO Testing and Treatment Clinic in the greater Vancouver area. Please visit our new website, like us on facebook or follow us on twitter. Our mission, as always, is to provide “great health through good digestion” and my goal is to be the most comprehensive clinical source of information for testing and treatment of SIBO in North America.
Once again, SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and has clinical significance in a host of health conditions outlined below.
Westcoast Integrative Health was the first private clinic in Canada to offer client direct SIBO testing using Quintrons Microlyzer DP, which measures both methane and hydrogen breath samples. The concern with offering testing to large amounts of people was the practicality of the testing, which required an in-office collection procedure which took 3 to …
This is no small feet! A nutritional intervention performing this well in phase 3 clinical cancer trials deserves some recognition.
Second to Magnesium, Vitamin B3 is my favorite nutraceutical, treating anything and everything from acne to anxiety. This clinical trial shows the amazing benefits of nicotinamide on the prevention of squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas.
Although these types of skin cancers are not deadly, they certainly plague people in places that are not desirable. Squamous cell and basal cell cancers typically occur where sun exposure is the greatest …. right on the face!
At the clinic we use the cryoprobe (high pressure liquid nitrogen) to remove these lesions from peoples sensitive areas. The problem is, as many people that battle squamous cell or basal cell carcinomas know, the recurrence rates for these skin lesions are huge.
Nicotinamide seems to offer the prevention that …
Cancer support and treatment is not only a focus of mine but a true passion, and recently there is a clear shift in the medical thinking around this devastating disease that I think needs to be addressed.
Perhaps some of you have heard about POG (not to be confused with the cute, but respiratorily challenged animal). POG stands for the Personalized Onco-Genomics program, which is a specialized program currently being offered through private funding at the BC Cancer Agency.
This program is truly amazing in that it uses genetic testing and treatment specific approaches to cancer. What this essentially means is rather than being on a conventional toxic chemical cocktail to treat cancer, people may be prescribed drugs that actually where designed to lower blood pressure, or treat diabetes, which effectively can eliminate cancer in the body.
If you don’t believe me … …
SIBO is short for Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth and recently considered to be the major cause of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and correlated to a host of other health conditions.
SIBO can wreck havoc on the gastrointestinal system, leading to localized symptoms of bloating, gas, burping, constipation or diarrhea, indigestion/heartburn, nausea, and cramping among many other uncomfortable stomach related concerns. The affects of SIBO can also impact our health in other ways, such as chronic fatigue, muscle aches, fibromyalgia, “brain fog”, breathing disturbances and bad breath, to name a few.
Healthy bacteria, when they overgrow, can affect our bodies by producing hydrogen (H+) and methane (CH4) gas. These gases lead to the localized stomach symptoms people experience with SIBO but also cause the systemic symptoms by creating toxicity for the liver, as well as hyperacidity in the body. And the biggest problem …