High Blood Pressure: 21 Natural Remedies

PhotobucketWhat are the Best Natural Medicines for High Blood Pressure?

By Dr. Nicole Sundene, Naturopathic Physician

High blood pressure or “hypertension” is a tough nut to crack with natural medicines. Of course, there are many etiologies to this common disease; however, most cases are because we have gotten fat, old, and out of shape. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, so don’t be hitting the contact form to send me hate mail.

Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Psoriasis Treatments

What natural medicines do you recommend for psoriasis?

The scaly silvery plaques of psoriasis that typically affect the elbows, knees, scalp, and other actively moving or injured regions can be unbelievably frustrating to manage and treat with natural or conventional therapies.

Conventional treatments work to reduce itching, inflammation, and inhibit skin overgrowth. Natural medicines also work to address those factors as well as identifying and treating causes of health imbalance that makes an individual more susceptible to the development of psoriasis.

In my opinion, most cases of psoriasis just need a thorough diet and lifestyle clean up. Most patients with psoriasis have terrible eating and lifestyle habits, and will easily improve with naturopathic care. Harsh medication such as corticosteroids and methotrexate should be avoided when at all possible as the side effects of these drugs are far worse than the symptoms of psoriasis that they are being used to treat.

Please check with your naturopathic physician or family doctor for drug-herb interactions or other contraindications before implementing any of these treatment ideas.

Diet for Psoriasis

  • Vegan, gluten free diet. Animal fats will increase inflammation as discussed in my “Anti-inflammatory diet”.
  • Current conventional postulations regarding the cause of psoriasis indicate a possible genetic error in mitotic control. This means that cells are dividing and replicating faster than they should. Excessive activation of lymphocytes (a form of white blood cells) are thought to be responsible for the short epidermal cell cycle that results in hyperproliferation of skin tissues. Since 70% of our immune system surrounds the gut in GALT (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue) food allergies or intolerances may be to blame for immune dysfunction triggering the skin overgrowth aspects commonly associated with psoriasis.
  • Dairy and wheat intolerance are common triggers for most people with skin conditions, especially psoriasis. A three week trial elimination of both with a re-introduction period individually of first wheat and then dairy is prudent. If wheat and dairy are not a problem I would continue on to a full allergy elimination diet and see if other foods may be resulting in inflammation and resultant immune dysfunction.

Kitchen Remedies for Psoriasis

  • Avoid aspartame. Aspartame is not just a “Kitchen Table Villain”, but sensitivity is common in those with itchy skin conditions.
  • Liver Support Foods: Most patients will benefit from some gentle detox.
  • Liberal use of green leafy vegetables for magnesium content to aid detoxification.
  • Anti-inflammatory Smoothie: Dr. Nicole’s Smoothie Recipe drink daily to reduce reactivity to foods you may be allergic or intolerant to, as well as reduce inflammation.
  • Cultured Foods: The friendly bacteria in yogurt and other fermented foods are valuable sources of acidophilus and other probiotics needed for healthy gut flora and proper digestion.

Lifestyle Considerations for Psoriasis

  • Eliminate stress: a common culprit known to exacerbate symptoms of psoriasis.
  • Quit smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking and drinking alcohol were shown to increase symptoms.
  • Lose weight. Obesity is a risk factor for psoriasis.
  • Try to avoid injuring the affected area. Studies also show that skin injuries may make your psoriasis worse, which is why it typically shows up on active areas such as elbows, knees, and eyelids. Sunlight was shown to either make psoriasis better or worse. Drugs that increase psoriasis symptoms are lithium, beta blockers, and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and over the counter analgesics).
  • Acupuncture and hypnosis may also be beneficial.
  • Use a chlorine shower filter, especially if you have psoriasis on your scalp.

Vitamins for Psoriasis

  • Vitamin D oral and topical are effective for psoriasis. The topical drug Dovonex is a prescription preparation using vitamin D. Don’t take more than 1000 IU of oral vitamin D daily without being supervised by a physician for potential life threatening conditions such as hypercalcemia that may occur.
  • Vitamin A orally and topically is also helpful for psoriasis. Both vitamins A and D play a role with cell differentiation, the same mechanism that prescription pharmaceuticals play a role with.

Fish Oil for Psoriasis

  • Fish oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Cod liver oil also contains both vitamins A and D. I typically recommend 1 tablespoon of cod liver oil with food daily. This can be increased to twice daily.
  • Cod liver oil should not be used by pregnant women due to high vitamin A content. Fish oils are not recommended for those with bleeding disorders or using anti-coagulant medicines such as Coumadin. Check with your doctor before using fish oil therapeutically. The omega 3 fats in fish oil are very powerful natural medicine for psoriasis. I would opt for the use of fish oil over flax oil unless the patient has ethical or spiritual concerns regarding the use of animal products. Flax oil may be helpful, but it is not nearly as potent as fish oil, nor has it yet been researched for efficacy with this skin disease.

Herbs for Psoriasis

  • Capscasin cream synthesized from cayenne peppers is helpful for reducing pain and controlling itching.
  • Topically you could also try some aloe vera gel as well as calendula succus (juice) or cream; as both herbs are particularly soothing to most irritating and itchy skin conditions.
  • Detox Herbs. Rather than using herbs mechanistically to fight psoriasis, I would opt instead to use them to “Treat the Cause”. Most people with psoriasis have a large toxic burden on their body, as evidenced by the exacerbations caused by smoking and consuming alcohol. Cleaning up the diet and lifestyle is fundamental, herbs to protect the liver and aid the moving out of toxins such as milk thistle, dandelion root, burdock root, yellow dock root, and turmeric should be helpful for addressing the long term big picture of this disease which typically tends to just worsen over time. For those with digestive upset I would also do a course of gut healing herbs such as slippery elm and marshmallow root to address underlying causes such as food allergies.

Research on Psoriasis

  • PMID: 10651693; Psoriasis patients with antibodies to gliadin can be improved by a gluten-free diet. Br J Dermatol. 2000 Jan;142(1):44-51.
  • PMID: 12949434; Rapid regression of psoriasis in a celiac patient after gluten-free diet. A case report and review of the literature. Digestion. 2003;68(1):9-12. Epub 2003 Aug 29. Review.
  • PMID: 9838718; A review of the epidemiology of psoriasis vulgaris in the community.Australas J Dermatol. 1998 Nov;39(4):225-32. Review.
  • PMID: 8977698; Cigarette smoking in men may be a risk factor for increased severity of psoriasis of the extremities. Br J Dermatol. 1996 Nov;135(5):859-60. No abstract available.
  • PMID: 15346196; Association between alcohol, smoking and HLA-DQA1*0201 genotype in psoriasis.Acta Biochim Biophys Sin (Shanghai). 2004 Sep;36(9):597-602.
  • PMID: 10396014; A pilot study of hypnosis in the treatment of patients with psoriasis.Psychother Psychosom. 1999;68(4):221-5.
  • PMID: 15244317; Calcipotriol cream in the treatment of flexural psoriasis.Int J Tissue React. 2003;25(4):127-30.
  • PMID: 15018018; Calcipotriol ointment versus cream in psoriasis vulgaris.Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 2003;23(2-3):47-51.
  • PMID: 7688774; A double-blind evaluation of topical capsaicin in pruritic psoriasis.J Am Acad Dermatol. 1993 Sep;29(3):438-42.
  • PMID: 10417520; Capsaicin treatment induces histamine release and perfusion changes in psoriatic skin.Br J Dermatol. 1999 Jul;141(1):87-93.
  • PMID: 11306830; Phototherapy of psoriasis: comparative experience of different phototherapeutic approaches.Dermatology. 2001;202(2):108-15.
  • PMID: 7921757; A double-blind placebo controlled trial of Efamol Marine on skin and joint symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.Br J Rheumatol. 1994 Oct;33(10):954-8.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table to ask the question!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician

www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis, Cradle Cap, Dandruff, and Itchy Scalp

aloe.jpgAn itchy dry, flaky scalp is typically “seborrheic dermatitis” commonly referred to as dandruff in adults and “cradle cap” in babies. Most standard anti-fungal shampoos, topical steroids, and topical treatments such as selenium sulfide and pyrithione zinc typically only provide temporary relief because they are not addressing the root cause of the problem.

The fact that the body is out of balance must be addressed or the shampoo will simply not be enough. Although I do agree these shampoos are helpful for reducing symptoms while the actual cause is treated, they frankly are not the “be all end all”.

First of all seborrheic dermatitis is an inflammatory condition of the scalp that can manifest in the form of mild dandruff to dense, greasy scaling of the scalp. Mild cases of dandruff will typically resolve with the addition of fish oil, biotin and b-complex, zinc, and selenium, however more severe cases of seborrheic dermatitis will require further investigation. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Heart Palpitations and Magnesium

Hi Dr. Ben,

Question:I am currently pregnant and have been experiencing heart palpitations. My midwife told me to take magnesium. I have been taking a drugstore brand of magnesium oxide 250mg pills, but I don’t think I’m absorbing as much as I should because I am still having palpitations before my next dose.

So, my question is which of your products will best suit my needs? Thanks so much for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

Answer: Magnesium is a tricky one and companies typically use poor forms of magnesium as it is less expensive to produce. Many magnesium drugstore products contains poor ingredients. Magnesium Oxide , Cellulose Gel , Croscarmellose Sodium , Magnesium Stearate.

Magnesium Oxide is the worst form of magnesium to take as it has the least absorption. To make it worse, the magnesium is in tablet form making absorption even less.

You may consider doing a few things to enhance magnesium absorption:

  • Mag Phos 6x 1000 tab cell salt works on a more cellular level than the typical magnesium supplement. It is easiest to put 25 tablets in 1 liter of water and drink throughout the day – every day. This way you are getting water and magnesiumm – both key to proper health.
  • Low electrolytes may cause numerous symptoms and taking the full range may assist in reducing palpitations. The recommended dosage of E-Lye Electrolyte Concentrate is ½ an ounce of concentrate to 8 oz. of water, or 8 ounces into 1 gallon of water or milk. Drink an 8 oz. serving 1-2 times daily, or as directed by your physician or HCP.Add this to the 1 liter of water and drink throughout the day along with the Mag Phos cell salts making it easier for you to remember.
  • Taking additional Magnesium of one type will likely lead to diarrhea or GI upset. So it is recommend to take a product with 3 forms of magnesium in it for optimal absorption. Tri-Magnesium offers this. Recommend dose is 1-2 caps per day.
    I would use this product over the drugstore product. I would actually throw the other product  in the trash. I do not see how it can provide much benefit given the ingredients and tablet form.

These three may reduce your heart palpitations if it is due to a magnesium deficiency.

Also increase green vegetables in your diet, as the chlorophyll molecule is rich in magnesium. Read “America’s #1 American Mineral Deficiency.”

One thing to keep in mind:

Magnesium and Calcium compete with each other. So make sure you are consuming products high in Calcium – like Organic dark leafy greens and Chia Seeds. Just two ounces of Chia seeds contain 600 mg of Calcium, compared with 120 mg for milk.

If you’ve further questions, please do inquire.

Have a healthy pregnancy and enjoy your little one when they arrive :)

In health,

Dr Benjamin Lynch CEO of  www.HealthEGoods.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Natural Treatments for Children’s Ear Infections

Dear Dr. Ben,

QUESTION: Since becoming pregnant I have stopped nursing my 3 year old daughter. I just couldn’t do it anymore. That was about a month ago. She now has an ear infection. The first she’s ever had, which I am suspicious is a result of weaning.

I feel extremely guilty over having to wean her and this infection only makes it worse. I don’t want to put her on antibiotics as she’s never had those either. So, I need help figuring out how to get rid of this once and for all.

Thanks so much for your help. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Night Sweats

Night sweats or night time “hot flashes” can be a very frustrating problem for women in menopause or peri-menopause.

Typically a hot flash is an experience of intense heat with sweating and increased heartbeat. The hot flash can last for a few minutes or up to 30 minutes.

Usually the sensation of heat begins on the face or chest, or back of the neck and then spreads throughout the entire body. The skin will feel hot to the touch.

Recently I received this reader question:

Q: “I’m a 44 year old female, and several nights a month I get “night sweats.” About 10 years ago, my doctor suggested using Evening Primrose Oil, which helped for a while, but doesn’t any longer. Any suggestions? What else can I try for night sweats?” Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Why You Should Lighten Your Purse and Lose Your Wallet

The days of big fat leather wallets loaded with long roles of plastic sheathed photos of friends, family, and girlfriends are over, thanks to modern day technology.

Large wallets were so 1987!

The new wallet is the “money clip” one simple tip I always give men with low back pain, neck pain, hip/hamstring/knee problems, is to check their wallet for unneeded items and then shift the wallet to the front of their pants or carry it in a jacket pocket.

It’s amazing how simply sitting on a large wadded up leather wallet all day long can throw a body out of whack.

Now let’s get one thing perfectly straight….I am in no way as a doctor endorsing fanny packs *shudder* unless they are those Kevlar kind from REI that kind of look cool. ;)

Part of being healthy and feeling good is checking in on the ergonomics of our posture, and physical structure from time to time. Read more

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

My Basic Vitamin Program

“What Vitamins Should I Take?”

Is the most common question I get as a Naturopathic Physician.

I typically believe the average person that doesn’t eat “perfectly” ie:

  • Eats the “Basic American Diet” (BAD) of white refined, processed foods
  • Doesn’t consume 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily
  • Eats Fast Food several times a week Read more
Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Disease as Our Teacher

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week Everyone!

Who is Your Teacher?

Did you know that even adults have teachers?

We may not knowingly be matriculated into the curriculum, but LIFE is teaching us so many things.

In my opinion, disease is an amazing teacher.

Whether chronic or acute, disease is the only way the body can send us messages.

My friend with diabetes refers to her diabetes as her “teacher.”

Anyone with diabetes who is reading this can commiserate at what a challenging life lesson having this disease can be.

Pain is also one of the most common signals that the body sends to us when it wants to teach us a lesson, but we often miss the other hidden messages, the otherwise less pronounced teachers,  those substitute teachers….you know? The ones that NO ONE wants to pay attention to,  and they are known as SYMPTOMS.

Symptoms are a lot like substitute teachers because no one wants to listen to them.  They are going buh-bye in a day or two. Yippee! We can do whatever we want….

But we can’t.  What we need to do is listen to that inner wisdom of the body…pay attention to those symptoms.

Wow….symptoms are our teachers too! How amazing is that to think about? The body is trying to tell you something when you are spending hours on the toilet with The Swine Flu (or nature’s Spring Cleaning as I like to call it.) We know that this virus causing gastroenteritis is upsetting the digestive system, and the body is smartly shooting it out of us as quickly as possible (no puns intended…I promise with all due respect.)

Same thing happens when we get a bad cough, or when we have to sneeze…..and maybe boring yawns even have something to teach us.

Speaking of yawns, bear with me here for a second while we transport back in to time….

Picture it– Issaquah High School 1993:

When I was in high school, my best friend and I had this substitute teacher who eventually became our full time teacher.  He was fresh meat out of grad school, and not much older than we were. Smelling his fear, everyone in the class acted like the typical high school students that knew more than everyone else in the world (let me tell you when I was 18, I was the smartest I will ever be in my entire lifetime. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I will ever know.)

It seemed that everyone in the class had fun taking turns making his day a nightmare.  We were a bunch of arrogant Honor Society Students.  We were used to receiving “A’s” for thinking out of the box and leaving a tiny dot on a science test that asked us to draw a scientific model of a geographical system, and the teacher gave credit.

We had been tested, we had applied to schools, we already knew where we were going for college, many had full ride scholarships, we had it made….

In all nerdy honesty, I was just taking the Advanced Physics as an elective because I almost failed small engines, and in the 17 years that Mr. Endicott taught his curriculum, he never had a group of students not have their lawn mower run.  He even took it apart and put it back together again, and it still didn’t work.

He never had a group of students like us, who thought we were taking the class for an easy “A,” kind of like the “nerd” in “Breakfast Club” who wanted to kill himself with a flare gun because he couldn’t get his elephant lamp to work. Anyway, I got a C in the small engines class, the worst score I had ever received, and never had to work harder to almost not fail.  My BF and I would stay up late with flashcards talking about “tulip valves” and memorizing auto parts. To each his own genius right?

I digress….

In advanced physics class we refused to listen, we had already had six months of physics and thought we knew more than the teacher. We caused trouble just to cause trouble. We made our poor teacher work a million times harder than necessary. We chatted loudly amongst ourselves while he was forced to just yell louder and louder over us to gain our attention. In guilty hindsight, I’m quite certain we must have driven him to drink. I think he may have even given up teaching.

One morale of this blabbering story is that: He kept yelling louder and louder….and we didn’t listen. Hmmm…sound familiar? Pain and other disease symptoms can keep yelling louder and louder too….when we aren’t listening.

I think many of us that now work with super scary teenagers wish that we could flash back in time and apologize to or thank a particular teacher who worked really hard to make us better.

Teachers are some of the most under-appreciated professionals in the working world in comparison to what they are asked to do, and how much they are asked to give.

As a doctor, I have grown to accept that disease is one of our best under-recognized teachers.

Why else does the public speaker develop laryngitis when he does, or the athlete sprain their ankle? Why do most people have heart attacks at 8am on Monday mornings? Why does the skin problem finally show up on your face where your own vanity is forced to recognize it? Why do we get sick when we get sick? Why do we get sick with the things that we get sick with?

Why does our body choose the particular messages in the form of disease that it chooses to communicate with us?  Why aren’t we listening to the inner wisdom, or in Naturopathic Medicine we call it, “The Vis Medicatrix Naturae” or “The Healing Power of Nature.”

We recognize that although their is no cure for the common cold, for instance, the body manages to still recover.

The problem with symptom suppression is that we are ignoring the body’s inner wisdom. Obviously there are times when we have to ignore this “inner wisdom” and intervene to do what is safest, such as in the case of a high fevers! But let’s stop and think about what the purpose of a low grade fever is before we choose to immediately suppress it with acetaminophen.

When the immune system first interacts with a virus or bacterial particle, a message is sent to the brain to increase our thermostat. When the body has a higher temperature, it makes oxygen more available to white blood cells that kill the very bugs that are making us sick.  This is the immune system equivalent to the President giving a report that then gets distributed and the captain of the ship then says, “Computer–activate our shields.”

Sorry once a Trekkie always a Trekkie.

When we ignore our teachers, and assume we are better than our teachers, we are not quite present for life’s lessons. We miss the growth opportunity in the challenge. When we don’t listen to the messages sent by disease, disease just shouts back louder at us. What is that cold really telling you? Why did you have a heart attack? What is your chronic heart burn telling you?  Why does your back really hurt so bad?  Why do you do more nurturing for other people than you do for yourself?  Why aren’t you taking care of yourself?  Why aren’t you listening to your teachers?

Today is the day to start thinking about these things.

And, if you happen to be the 6th period Advanced Physics teacher at Issaquah High School in 1993, I would like to offer my sincerest apology!

God bless all of our teachers!

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Why is There So Much Hate Surrounding Autism?

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

Since everyone is always asking me questions, I thought I would turn it around on my readers for a change. Can you please help me understand something that I am absolutely baffled by?!??!!

Why is there SO Much Hate Around Autism?

When I first thought about hosting “Autism Awareness Month” at the kitchen table, I truly felt honored to have the opportunity to do so. I truly felt if one little tiny thing that I might have to say or contribute in my research and quest to help parents understand their child a little bit better…..that the whole month would be worthwhile.

My heart goes out to autistic children because I am sure I fall somewhere on that spectrum myself, and understand what it feels like to not be able to express that which you are thinking in your mind. I was a very quiet, shy, little toe walker myself once.

So I invited a panel of moms to share their stories.

I nagged a bunch of my colleagues to contribute their own articles and research on autism. I contacted many different professionals in the field of autism and conferred with them over this disease that not only doesn’t have a cure….it doesn’t have a known cause either. We can only begin to speculate at this prudent juncture as to what autism is actually caused by.

I then had the privilege of becoming introduced to many parents that blogged either professionally or through their Facebook accounts and became awe inspired at how truly powerful this thing called “The Internet” actually is.

Look at how easy it is for people to connect with me, to find others fighting their same challenges, to congregate….and what better place to do it than at the kitchen table.

But then things got ugly. I try to avoid negativity when at all possible, and learned on the debate team that the best way to diffuse your competition is to kill them with kindness, but that still didn’t work, and I grew exceedingly depressed by the anti-Jenny McCarthy haters attacking my website (until I learned how to close comments and block IP addresses…he he.)

I don’t necessarily agree with Jenny McCarthy because I don’t necessarily agree with myself half the time, I am sure if you are a doctor you can empathize at the difficult decisions we are forced to make at times.

As much as the attack upset me, I decided to carry on with the rest of autism month, someone told me that “if they aren’t hating you then you aren’t doing anything.” Which was somewhat scary but true….so I have decided that, in spite of all the hate mail, to carry on for the rest of the year with autism research.

My passion is researching nutritional biochemistry and if one little thing that I discover, or help explain…. helps just one little child challenged by this disease….then all the negativity is certainly worth it.

As it says in The Hippocratic Oath that I once raised my right hand to, “I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.”

Maybe the hate mail, the profanity, the discrediting, and the verbal stone throwing got my Tinkerbell down for a bit….but she is back up and ready to fight!!!! Autism Month is now destined to carry on for all of eternity at the Kitchen Table. God brought these families and their children to me, and I will work hard to help them understand all perspectives.

What the people attacking me unfortunately don’t understand is that just because I was kudoing Jenny McCarthy for not taking a back seat to her child’s health care, as well as simply discussing the nutritional hazards of the gluten free casein free diet if you choose to try it on your child, doesn’t mean I was agreeing with every word that has ever come out of her mouth. That was a giant presumption.

However, I learned that there is a whole website dedicated to hating on Jenny McCarthy….wow and I was just upset by a bunch of nasty emails! I learned from this incident and as far as I’m concerned this woman should be applauded for sitting in the hot seat.

Has anyone else famous come forward to advocate for autism?

Does the research prove without a doubt that immunizations play a role in this disease that appears to have a multifactorial etiology?

When and if it does show reasonable proof, Jim Carey and Jenny McCarthy will continue their quest on something else. However, doesn’t every parent and person want greener vaccines?

I know I do. I get my tetanus shot every five to ten years and don’t need the extra aluminum burdening my already “big fat angry liver chi.”

Jenny and Jim should be applauded for coming forward with a disabled child openly…..something that many families are afraid to do.

Whether you agree with her physician’s treatment philosophy or not she is still a role model mother that deserves everyone’s respect.

I would have welcomed a thoughtful “High School Debate Team” level guest post on why these cruel people (probably paid by big pharma) don’t like Jenny McCarthy being an advocate for autism.

When we apply the rules of Mensa (super nerdy organization of high IQ individuals….and Mensa just happens to coincidentally mean “table” in Latin) then we can ALL work together to find a cause….find a cure….or even just find that someone else is fighting our same fight. I don’t mind if you disagree with me, I do mind if you disrespect, or heaven forbid use profanity or name calling at the kitchen table. Elbows off please! (you can kick back and put your feet up though….)

As a former member of the debate team, I have no problem with people disagreeing with my opinion. I often disagree with myself. They say at Mensa that if you have 12 Mensans in the room, you likely have 13 different opinions. The same could be said about physicians.

Related reading:

Autism Awareness Month

Autism: 10 Strategies for Implementing Diet Changes

The Autism Diet Connection

Autism: 10 Tips for Everyone

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Dr. Nicole Needs Fan Mail!!!

Dear Readers,

Thank you for giving me some fan mail to open up at the kitchen table…keep it coming people!

Nothing inspires me to research and write like a reader emailing me to share how a simple tip has changed their life.

Oftentimes I read and research till the wee hours.  If you enjoy reading Kitchen Table Medicine please just leave a comment on this page!

Thanks a gazillion!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

Joe Said:

Always interesting and informative. I constantly find myself forwarding the link to friends and family members. Crotchety Old Man The Joy of Toast

timethief Said:

Dr. Nicole Sundene is a Naturopathic Physician, graduate of Bastyr University, and the author of Kitchen Table Medicine. Her blog is a treasure house richly stocked with naturopathic health and well being information. Her well written conversational style blog posts impart the facts and emphasize conscious living and preventative medicine. Readers are encouraged to ask questions and DocNicole provide spractical advice that gradually coaches readers to live a healthier diet and lifestyle. Some highlights indicative of the range of coverage include: * Healthy Whole Foods Eating * Exercise and daily movement * Time spent outdoors appreciating the beauty of nature * Pure clean fresh water * Sleep * Smoking Cessation * Permanent weight loss through adopting better eating and exercise habits * Giving up sugar or dessert * Adopting a more positive mental attitude * Stress management One Cool Site: WordPress Blogging Tips thistimethisspace.com

Doc KC Said:

Dr. Nicole Sundene from Kitchen Table Medicine is not only an extremely intelligent and professional naturopathic physician, but also a kind, warm, compassionate as well as fun and creative woman. Her “kitchen table” for alternative medicine news and tips on herbal medicine, diet, nutrition, and exercise is extremely well written and informative. If you have any questions as to health, nutrition, or other related topics, this is the place to go! As open minded and non-judgmental as Dr. Nicole is, you’re sure to feel very comfortable confiding in her. Doc KC www.DOCintheBiz.com Dr. KC’s Blog

Benny Greenberg Said:

You got to love this site. A no nonsense approach to being healthier and a lot of tongue in cheek humor from our newest cutest Doc to grace the blog world. All seriousness. Dr. Nicole is great at presenting what she is telling us and all the while making us healthy! Ben http://ya-ttitude.com

Robin Easton Said:

Hi Doc, I just love your site and you. You not only present exciting and highly useful advice but you come across as someone who is full of vitality and life. Nothing could create a better environment for healing. You vivaciousness is contagious and many of your health tips are ones that people can start using right away. I am so glad you are on the internet. You not only help people heal but you make the internet a healthier place just being on it, which I REALLY appreciate. Bless you and thanks. Robin Easton nakedineden.com/nakedinedenblog/ www.nakedineden.com

JD Said:

Gotta love the good Doctor. Her blog is not only informative and good for you! BluntWit.com

rob Said:

Wonderful place to for a tune up. I love your blog. Rob’s Megaphone Blog

ortho Said:

I am afraid I’ll be boring and also give a 10 :) The blog is just amazing. Excellent writing and the layout is also memorable. From a designer’s point of view and also from an avid reader’s side I can’t do anything but congratulate you for this amazing creation ;) Orthodontics Today WebMaster Blog

Jack Payne Said:

A “Treasure Chest” of health information if ever there was one. There simply are not enough hours in the day. I’ve spotted several pieces in the Archives that I will only have to return to time and again–to read, as time permits. Great job, Doc. The writing is first-rate. You REALLY have a Blog to be proud of. The Con Man’s Blog

Edwin Reyes Said:

a great site. A simple blog but it helps a lot. Congratulation for being on the most popular blog. just continue and you’re helping a lot of people. thanks for this great info

Ange Recchia Said:

I love Doc Nicoles posts and encourage you to read them to. Great practical advice to help anyone who is out of touch with alternative methods and medicines. Thanks for such a great blog!

Loraleigh Vance Said:

Wow! I love the layout and graphics just to start with! And your panel of experts is impressive! Thanks for putting together such a great resource.

Tony Said:

Excellent blog. Contains valuable information explained in a way that makes it easy to grasp.

Keep on doing what you are and you will end up with a major blog publication. You have every skill it takes.

Owner of www.BlogCatalog.com the premier directory for blogs on the internet!

timethief Said:

Having access your blog is like getting the keys to a treasure house richly stocked with naturopathic health and wellbeing information. I have benefited greatly from reading your articles pertaining to fibromyalgia, raynauds and arthritis. In addition, the diet you specifically prepared for people like me is just what my body needed. I love your sunny attitude and admire the way you encourage us to develop better eating and exercise habits and a positive attitude. Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and loving kindness online. It’s a much appreciated blessing. Namaste, Timethief thistimethisspace.com

robin Said:

I love your blog. I believe food and natural occuring things will keep us healthy. I’ll be happy to send readers your way so they can learn and maybe stay healthy. Robin

Erik Johnels Said:

Great site, lots of clear concise and helpful information. A little hard to navigate, but this is clearly a no BS zone!. Keep up the good work.

nardeeisms Said:

Doc, this is great. So colorful, so welcoming and so informative… Where’s the ‘11′ on the rating box?- Nards

Brandi Magill Said:

I love your blog, so informative! Can’t wait to visit again:~)

Anne Said:

This is my new favorite blog! If you want to know why, you’ll just have to go and check it out for yourself

NancyEllyn Said:

Love your blog!

Gibraltar Said:

The tips are very helpful. Great work.

Jubie Said:

Doc! An “A-10″ rating for you! I really like how you simply add natural remedies and health tips to each post! I’m following you too! Great job!

Alexander M Zoltai Said:

Added your blog to my RSS Reader… ~ Alex

Michael de`OZ Said:

Keep up the great work:)

Tricia Said:

I found this site to be very informative. Lots of useful information, well written, and easy to follow. Really good resource if you wish to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Erin Said:

This was a greta site. I especially liked the info on Coca Cola making a softdrink which uses Stevia. My family avoids artificial sweetners and white sugar so most soft drinks are out.

Skip Kanester Said:

Wow, glad I found your blog. A wealth of great info!! The more we can help people take responsibility for their lives, one baby step at a time, the better! Keep up the good work.

Turmoyle Said:

You’ve really got a great blog here…loads of useful information, well organized…I will be visiting often!

Larry Janson Said:

Kitchen Table advice worthy of the whole house!!! I just used your stress management Zen Breathing techniques to blissedful results!!!

Robin Easton Said:

This is a GREAT idea! I’ve been eating and living healthy for years and use herbs and homeopathy as well. It is so good to see someone on the internet making this kind of advice available. Good for you. It’s time for people to take back control of their own health.

Jay O. Said:

Very informative and well-written.

Angie Alaniz Said:

Great info. and well written.

May 2008 Kitchen Table Medicine

is the #1 MOST POPULAR BLOG on Blog Catalog

one of the largest blog directories on the internet!

REVIEW by Daniel at Blog Catalog the premier blog directory on the internet:

“Dr. Nicole Sundene is the author of Kitchen Table Medicine. An easy to read, informative, and down to earth blog about nutrition, health and alternative medicine….It’s easy to see why BlogCatalog members have made this our Blog of the Week. Nicole has created a top notch blog and…read the rest of this review on Kitchen Table Medicine

REVIEW of Kitchen Table Medicine at “Blogging Without a Blog” by Barbara Swafford

“…tips on what foods to eat, how to reduce stress by knitting, how smiling can prevent heart disease, computer and desk ergonomics, help for seasonal depression , plus numerous other topics written by herself and/or a writer from her “featured writers” page…professionals also engaged in the world of health/fitness Although a website should never replace your family doctor (see her disclaimer), this site is filled with fantastic information on health and fitness…..read the rest of this article about Kitchen Table Medicine

REVIEW by Sean Rasmussen of Do You Digg It “…What’s great about Kitchen Table Medicine is that it is not another health blog that doesn’t really give advice. This blog (which of course offers its own healthy

dose of disclaimers and advisement for personal professional attention by qualified health professionals) details the foods, diets, practices, and products that you can use to live better.

It raises all the issues related to living better, including knowing what to use, how to use it and when, and what to change psychologically to incorporate real, lasting, healthy change; and it offers a platform where people can ask and learn of

qualified natural health professionals, and get real responses to questions (and participate in Dr. Nicole’s poll to tell her what you want her to write about)….

Kitchen Table Medicine is an easier way to learn about living better in sync with nature. It’s a way to become more familiar with natural living without being overwhelmed by all there is to learn.

Dr. Nicole and company present the information in small, understandable, digestible pieces, and cover all the bases for successful healthy living….Read the rest of this article about Kitchen Table Medicine

REVIEW by Melissa Ward author of “Phenomenal Entrepreneurs”

“…The posts are chuck full of tips that range from dealing with skin issues to why you should be eating breakfast (hanging my head). You will even find posts that ask What IS Beauty? and Are you suffering from a terminal case of the “I can’ts”?

I have never been a pill popper and am always looking for natural remedies for various maladies. I consider Dr. Nicole’s blog to be a very valuable resource. I can’t tell you how much time I have saved NOT researching something, as she already had covered the topic. The writing style is delightful, professional, personable and to the point.

Again, many sincere thanks for leaving an inspiring comment for me to read on a rainy day!

~Dr. Nicole Sundene

CEO KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Is the Swine Flu Really a “Pandemic?”

By Dr. Nicole Sundene

“Tamiflu!!!! I want Tamiflu NOW NOW NOW!!!!”

~Shouted at a Telephone Triage Nurse Yesterday

For those of you that are new readers to Kitchen Table Medicine, please keep in mind that I have been described to have a “very dry” if not “seriously warped” sense of humor.

So if you want the boring ol’ facts about “The Swine Flu Pandemic” visit my fav site www.CDC.gov, as that is precisely where I ascertained the following medical opinions.

I put the preamble there because I got busted joking around on Twitter by a doctor friend for saying, “it’s just diarrhea people.” On Twitter I follow many nurses, doctors, infection control, the CDC, and so forth.

Everyone has their opinion and the general consensus is that we need to practice standard precautions to prevent this from becoming the “Pandemic” the news is purporting it to be.

I understand the deaths associated with this disease, however, I also understand the disease, and the likelihood that you will get it, and that is what I would like to discuss today– the real non-hyped facts to alleviate panic on this “pandemic.” The news needs news, but what you need are facts. So let’s talk about the facts, educate ourselves on the symptoms, and know what exactly we need to do.

First of all let’s get some perspective on this “Swine Flu National Epidemic,” as 227 people died in America from deer related car crashes in 2007. Also, 1.5 million humans experienced deer related traffic accidents causing an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damages. (Source)

Yet are we declaring “Deer a National Epidemic?” Are we slaughtering deer left and right? (Which they are doing with pigs in Egypt unnecessarily!)  Is the news reporting every five seconds on the latest person to die from crashing in to a deer?

No.

Because that is just not that interesting, and deer are so cute.  Pigs may be filthy, and they may be the original host of this virus, but eating their products will not make you sick according to the CDC.

The news thrives on panic, drive by shootings, celebrity tragedies and similar daunting fear factories.

So far, one child in America has died of the Swine Flu, and my heart goes out to that family.

The very old, the very young, and those that are immunocompromised (will discuss below) are at the highest risk of death from the Swine Flu. Everyone else is just likely going to get a bad stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sweating, chills, and a cough. Spring is always diarrhea season. The Swine Flu may be a new spring antigen, but if you are a HCP that follows health trends you know what I’m talking about.

Now is NOT the perfect time to start maxing out all your credit cards, but if ever it is the perfect day to call in sick to work! If you are symptomatic you should not be in an office setting regardless of the etiology and your doctor will certainly be happy to write you a note excusing you. If your child is symptomatic keep them out of school until they are better. School after all is just formatting their brains to think like everyone else.

As my parents and I watched the initial breaking news on The Swine Flu, I said to my Dad, “Sure seems like this Swine Flu is being over-hyped by the news,” to which he laughed, “Well Nicole isn’t that the goal of the news? To over-hype everything?” Now that all news reporters hate me….

First of all let’s all not panic, second of all let’s do the most important thing and become aware of the facts about The Swine Flu. Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms so that you can obtain the necessary medical care and QUARANTINE YOUR SELF.

Something you should do anyways anytime you are sick.

OF SECOND IMPORTANCE, PLEASE CALL YOUR DOCTOR’S NURSE FIRST AND DISCUSS THE SYMPTOMS YOU ARE EXPERIENCING BEFORE ENTERING A MEDICAL FACILITY CONTAINING SICK, ELDERLY, AND PEDIATRIC PATIENTS THAT CAN POTENTIALLY DIE FROM THE SWINE FLU!!!

So let me don my old white Dansko nursing clogs and talk about the facts vs fears.  Let’s be sensible. My former hospital co-workers said they are getting really sick of answering all the frantic calls they are receiving in the nursing triage room.

One of the RN’s I used to work with said yesterday, “Honestly Nicole, I think I had a mild case of this last week. I think the news is over-hyping it and scaring our patients, everyone wants Tamiflu and they don’t even need it. We need to save the meds for the people that truly need it. Lack of meds for those that actually need them is my greatest concern at this point.” I couldn’t agree more whole heartedly with nurse Judy.

The following is the Swine Flu FAQ I told my parents at their kitchen table as we watched the news:

AM I GOING TO DIE FROM THE SWINE FLU?

From a personal standpoint as a vibrantly healthy 33 year old woman I could only be so lucky as to die from the Swine Flu, instead I will be working for another 40 years to pay off my FAFSA med student loans and making social security money for my parents and all their friends. *wink*

On a serious note, lets imagine that the Swine Flu is very similar to it’s cousin “Influenza”, 30,000 people die annually from influenza due to secondary complications such as dehydration and pneumonia. It is not really the virus that kills you; it is the development of secondary symptoms.

So, “A stitch in time saves nine,” if you think you have the symptoms of the Swine Flu.  Stay at home, rest, rehydrate, and tell people to be nice to you.  Call your nurse and review your symptoms to determine if an appointment is prudent.

Remember that anytime you have symptoms that are extreme with the flu,  if you are not improving after 24-72 hours (influenza is 7-10 days), if you have blood in your stool or vomit, you need to call your nurse.

Quick test for dehydration: pinch the back of your hand and if the skin stays pinched….you are dehydrated. If it falls back down, you likely are not dehydrated. You can do this on the back of your baby’s neck too.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF THE SWINE FLU?

Straight from the CDC: The symptoms of swine flu in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

SWINE FLU IS IT REALLY AN “EPIDEMIC?”

The first thing my family asks me the second they see something health related on the news is….is this true? Is this really an epidemic? Well actually it is a “pandemic” meaning that it is a global concern. My official answer though is that that news as usual is just hyping things up because, well that is what they do, and they need stories that will scare the heck out of people in order to keep them watching.

President Obama is not a HCP, he is simply conveying messages from the CDC or FDA and demonstrating that he is concerned by this, and that he is ultimately in charge of the welfare of all Americans. Instead of panicking let’s educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms to prevent this now pandemic. Those in third world countries are at far greater risk than those in industrialized nations.

WHAT IS THE SWINE FLU?

Straight from the CDC: “Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930.”

Basically, the Swine flu is a mutant form of Influenza A, the virus that some of us get vaccinated from each year. The Swine Flu proves my point that viruses are constantly mutating as discussed by terms such as “antigenic drift” and “antigenic shift” this means that in order to survive and evolve the virus must continue to change it’s DNA or RNA sequence.

This is why we currently don’t have a cure for HIV, because it mutates faster than any other virus and also hides within the very immune system cells that should be killing it. This is also why the influenza vaccine each year is only an “educated guess” at best.

WHO SHOULD REALLY BE WORRIED ABOUT SWINE FLU?

Persons that are immunocompromised or live with those that are immunocompromised. Persons that have recently visited Mexico or have recently interacted with someone that has recently visited Mexico, or another area where outbreaks have been documented.

“Immunocomopromised” means that your immune system is not as healthy as the average bear and thus you are likely to die from something like the Swine Flu: Those with chronic diseases involving the heart and lungs, diabetics, organ transplant patients on immunosuppressants, the very young, the very old, and person’s that are not in exceptional health should take extra precautions as per usual.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I THINK I HAVE THE SWINE FLU?

First call your family practice nurse to review your symptoms and determine if an appointment is prudent, before entering a hospital where immunocompromised individuals congregate.

Our typical nursing telephone triage rule with colds/flus is that we almost NEVER want to see you in the office if you have the stomach flu because #1 there is nothing we can do for you unless you need an IV, and #2 We don’t want our patients exposed to it, nor do we want to be barfed on ourselves (yes I have been barfed on many times.)  When you are not improving with self care is when you need to see your doctor. There I just saved everyone $300 dollars!

AM I PROTECTED IF I HAD A FLU SHOT THIS YEAR?

You may in fact be partially protected if you had a flu shot this year, however as I stated in my article questioning the ethics of “Employer Mandated Flu Vaccine Programs,” researchers are only making a highly  educated guess on the viral particles included in each year’s flu vaccine, because Influenza rapidly mutates, and eventually YES we will see a PANDEMIC of much greater proportions than the Swine Flu when we see a LARGE shift in viral genetic make up. And I’m not talking about viral cosmetics….but you can think about it that way if it helps you understand how viruses use tactics to “cover up” and evade the immune system.

WHAT SHOULD CLINICIANS DO IF THEY SUSPECT SWINE FLU?

A simple sample can be obtained and sent to the CDC for examination.

HOW CAN I PREVENT MYSELF FROM GETTING ILL FROM SWINE FLU?

Enhance your immune system with supplements such as vitamin A 5000 IU (not for pregnant women, and don’t dose this high without the consent from your naturopathic doctor), zinc (typical adult dose is about 15-30 mg daily), vitamin C 500 mg 3 times daily, The Immune Support Diet, and Immune Support Breakfast.

I would also go to Target and buy some natural Cleanwell antiviral handsoap and handspray for my family (made naturally from thyme and aloe vera and shown to even kill MRSA! The laminaceae family…lavender…oregeno…and so forth rock!) Do your best to avoid infected persons, and PLEASE STAY HOME if you have the aforementioned symptoms to prevent further spread in the community. I’m sure your doctor will be happy to write you a note.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR THE SWINE FLU?

Oral rehydration, oral rehydration, and oral rehydration!!! Electrolytes, electrolytes, electrolytes!!!! REST REST REST!!! Most importantly, tell people to be nice to you. The most important thing to address with this illness is that you do not get dehydrated. If you are throwing up and can’t keep anything down then you need an IV.

My vomiting protocol for oral rehydration is 1 tsp of electrolyte fluid doubled every fifteen minutes (Sports drinks, diluted juices with a pinch of organic sea salt, Recharge, E-mergenc, etc.) If the patient cannot even keep this down….they need an IV STAT. Better to be safe than sorry.

CAN I GET THE SWINE FLU FROM PIGS?

No. Personally I don’t eat pork, but if you want to sausage it up, don’t let the Swine Flu stop you.

And this slaughtering of all pigs in Egypt is simply ridiculous!

Did you know that pigs are smarter than some people? Pigs are the fourth smartest mammals: Humans, primates, whales/dolphins….PIGS!!! It is estimated that they likely have the intelligence of a three year old human being.

SHOULD I WEAR A MASK?

No. A mask likely won’t protect you as transmission is from close contact or “Oral-Fecal Transmission” similar to most causes of gastroenteritis such as adenovirus and rotavirus. We get these types of bugs because people don’t wash their hands after they go potty and then they eat, touch their face, etc.

DO I NEED ANTIVIRAL DRUGS?

PLEASE don’t belabor the point that you need these drugs if your physician does not find it necessary, although laboratory testing has found the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir.

The CDC has issued interim guidance for the use of these drugs to treat and prevent infection with swine influenza viruses; this does not necessarily mean you need these meds to treat symptoms similar to the Swine Flu such as the common cold, strep throat, allergies, food poisoning, or whatever else you might be sick with this time of year!

Health Care Provider’s are becoming increasingly concerned that we may experience a shortage of these medications if this “pandemic” were to transform in to a true state of emergency.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE ON SWINE FLU

The Swine Flu just proves my point with the “Soil and Seed” model of medicine we talked about with the latest salmonella outbreak. Keep yourself as healthy as possible. The less healthy you are the more severe your flu symptoms will likely be. Most healthy individuals I have consulted with experiencing mild symptoms may in fact have the swine flu and it is best that they quarantine. But they do say that even if the most deathly virus- Ebola became airborne that still 10% of the population would manage to survive. So let’s not panic.

Furthermore, there is nothing really wrong with being sick every now and then.

Think of diarrhea and vomiting as nature’s detox. You can do a Spring Cleaning on your own or wait for nature to give it to you in the form of spring diarrhea.

SHOULD THE SWINE FLU STOP ME FROM TRAVELING TO MEXICO RIGHT NOW?

Personally the last place I would go right now is Mexico. I am scared enough to travel in a country where I don’t speak the language, or am not close to adequate medical care. I live two miles from the hospital, so frankly Dr. Nicole is staying put.

SHOULD THE SWINE FLU STOP ME FROM TRAVELING INSIDE THE US?

Well that is a tougher question, I guess I would decide that on a case by case basis. Personally I wouldn’t go camping or backbacking out in the middle of nowhere right now. I’ve been in situations like that when someone gets extremely sick, and it ruins the trip for everyone. Ask yourself a few questions… Is it necessary for you to travel?

Because airplanes are one of the best places to get infected with the latest thing going around, I wouldn’t travel unless it was necessary (like for vacation *wink*) If I were traveling to a place in the US that is near a hospital for my vacation, I would go. If it were a business meeting type of thing, I would use it as an excuse to get out of it! If I were symptomatic with the aforementioned symptoms, I would do the right thing and quarantine myself regardless.

Here is a Google map tracking the spread of this “swine flu”. For live updates, just click the pic.

Visit the Center for Disease Control for resources sited and for more info: CDC.gov

HAVE A HEALTH TIP TO SHARE IN THE COMMENTS TO PROTECT FROM SWINE FLU?

Please also share your opinions, if you disagree with me you are more than welcome to debate your position as long as it follows standard High School debate team protocol.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~Dr. Nicole
Official Anti-News Source for The Swine Flu.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Back Pain: Try a Half Bath

KitchenTableMedicineBy Dr. Nicole Sundene

If you have chronic neck or back pain, you might want to try a half bath next time instead of a full one. Now, many with big Jacuzzi bath tubs may not need this tip, but if you have a standard little bath tub you may want to try this out.

As a med student I was always hunched over a book, which resulted in chronic neck and upper back tension. If you fill the bath tub up so that you can lie with your legs up and your neck and back in the water you may be able to decrease spasming muscles and prevent the tightness from progressing in to a full blown event that leaves you laid up in bed in pain for days on end.

This tip is also great to do right before you go in for a massage, chiro adjustment, physical therapy, acupuncture, or other body work. The looser you are before your appointment, the easier it will be for your practitioner.

Tight muscles can make chiropractic adjustments very difficult. If you always suffer from chronic back and neck pain, be sure to check your office desk ergonomics in addition to being fully worked up by your physician and the proper experts.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, heart problems, or other chronic health conditions, please contact your doctor before implementing any hydrotherapy techniques, and ask someone to assist you whenever you are not feeling well.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Best Blood Glucose Meter!

By Dr. Jody Stanislaw, Naturopathic Physician and Diabetes Expert

What is the best blood glucose monitor?

The Flash Freestyle Meter is my favorite, and what I personally use.

Having had diabetes since 1980, I can vividly remember the time in which blood testing didn’t even exist. The only way I could monitor how much glucose was in my blood was by examining how much had spilled over into my urine over the past several hours.

At just seven years old, I peed into a cup 2-4 times per day, put a dropper full of it into a test tube along with this little chemical tablet, and then watched it fizz into a joyful, deep blue color when my sugar level was normal, or into a depressing orange color if is was too high.

So think about that…there was no way to ever really know what the blood glucose level was at any particular moment. Thus every test was only an average of what the blood glucose had been over the past several hours. Challenging for ideal control, to say the least!

Thank goodness for the invention of home glucose monitoring! Even though the first blood test strips took two minutes to present the result (which was manually read comparing the colored strip to a color chart), I was thrilled to no longer have to deal with peeing in a cup (especially when spending the night at friends’ houses!).

Eventually, meters were introduced and my first one was about the size of a VHS tape. Of course, over the years they have become smaller and faster. And now, finally, I think I’ve discovered my favorite meter of them all: the Freestyle Flash.

There is a dizzying array of meter choices out there, so I certainly have not tried them all; but let me tell you why I like this one so much. It’s small so it easily fits into my tiny diabetes supply bag that I carry with me wherever I go, or even in the tiny pocket of my running pants when I go for a jog.

The result appears in 2-3 seconds. It uses the tiniest amount of blood of any meter I have ever tried. But the thing that makes it stand out to me as my favorite of all is something so simple but sooooo convenient: it has a light!

After years of struggling to test my blood sugar in the dark at a movie theater, driving in a car at night, or in bed in the middle of the night (or countless other places when the light is dim), I am overjoyed that a meter company finally has taken the time to think about how they could take that extra step in helping make our lives easier.

I cannot tell you how wonderful this simple extra feature is! As soon as the strip is inserted, a little light illuminates the strip (so wonderful…thus even in poor light, I know exactly where to add my drop of blood), and then as soon as the adequate amount of blood has been taken into the strip, the light on the strip turns out (thus clearly telling me that I can confidently take my finger away), and then the screen lights up, thus easily allowing me to see my results!!

I LOVE this meter! Thank you, Abbott, for going the extra mile in realizing how valuable this ‘little’ extra feature is!

Photobucket

All the best to you,

Dr. Stanislaw

After being diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of seven, Dr. Jody Stanislaw has grown a special interest in diabetes and helping others live a healthy and vibrant life.

If you have any further questions about diabetes you are welcome to leave them in the comments section.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

When is the Best Time for Diabetics to Check their Blood Sugar?

PhotobucketBy Dr. Jody Stanislaw, Naturopathic Physician and Diabetes Expert

As a diabetic when is the best time for me to check my blood sugar?

Anytime is a good time to check your levels. The more you know about what your numbers are, the better in touch you are with your body. Learning how meals affect your blood sugar is important, regardless of whether it’s been 30 min or 120 min since you’ve eaten.

What you must understand is that things are always changing inside your body….food takes a long time to digest, and insulin takes time to work. So just because you are 100 two hours after dinner does not mean it will stay that way until you eat again. You are likely having an increase in your blood sugar levels at night because of one or both reasons:

#1) Your food hasn’t fully digested so some sugar from your meal has not yet entered your blood stream even 2 hours after the meal.

#2) Your medicine dose is too low to cover your needs while you are sleeping.

PhotobucketPersonally, I do not like the unknown of what my dinner will do to my blood sugar levels while I sleep so I just avoid the problem by generally avoiding carbohydrates at dinner. Also, I prefer to eat at 5 or 6 pm as well and/or choose to eat only small amounts at dinner.

The best way to really know what your body needs is to test your blood sugar often. Learn what makes your numbers go up and what makes it go down….then you will be able to make informed decisions about what is good for your body and what is not. The challenging thing about diabetes is that there is no set answer that works everyday.

Everyday our activity levels are different. Everyday what we eat is different. So you just be informed as much as you can be with what makes your numbers go up and what makes them go down. And then you just do the best you can to make healthy decisions each day. Some days, your numbers will be better than others…that’s just the life of a diabetic. So being informed about how your blood sugars react based on the different choices you make each day is a very wise thing to do.

Photobucket

All the best to you,

Dr. Stanislaw

After being diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of seven, Dr. Jody Stanislaw has grown a special interest in diabetes and helping others live a healthy and vibrant life.

If you have any further questions about diabetes you are welcome to leave them in the comments section.

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Self Help

Photobucket“Hi Dr. Nicole, my depression is much worse this time of year.  What do you recommend?”

Immediately after the holidays is a great time to have a nervous breakdown…er…”nervous breakthrough.”

We tend to feel even more agitated and moody this time of year especially now that all the excitement of the holidays have died down and there isn’t much to distract us from the winter blahs.

We are also all feeling about ten pounds over weight after likely losing the battle of the holiday bulge.

Whether you just have depression during the winter months, or whether you struggle with depression all year round that is exacerbated by the low light conditions of winter; having a plan in place to better cope with the realities of winter depression is an important preventative measure.

My last name serves as a convenient mnemonic to help remember how to take care of yourself throughout the winter months…

The Sundene Protocol for Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • Sun- for Sunshine or Sun Equivalent
  • D- for vitamin D
  • E- for Exercise
  • N- for Nutrition
  • E- for Everything else. SAD can have debilitating consequences. If you struggle with depression, be sure to share this plan with the family and friends on your “support team” so that if you find yourself in an excessively dark and gloomy place this winter you can easily get some help to pull you out of the “hole”.  Consult with a physician before self treating with natural anti-depressants or natural anxiety aids.

Although severe depression should also improve with this protocol, those experiencing moderate to severe depression should ALWAYS be working with their health care provider. Anyone experiencing thoughts of suicide should be under the supervision of a physician.

The following are the basics for my protocol for seasonal depression.

“Sun” – We need 10,000 lux of light every day in order to produce enough serotonin to feel happy. This can be achieved by 15 minutes outside on a bright blue sky sunny day, or 1 hour outside when it is overcast. You may wonder “What in the world is a lux?” A lux is the light equivalent put off by one candle. So you can light 10,000 candles in your home to cheer yourself up (a bit of a fire hazard!) or you can just invest in a light box.

A light box is an excellent idea for those with seasonal depression and is best used for twenty to forty minutes in the morning depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations to achieve the 10,000 lux equivalent.If you are unable to afford a light box you can simply try full spectrum light bulbs as these often provide enough light for those with mild to moderate seasonal depression.

Keep in mind also that outdoor places near water or snow are great to visit during the gloomy months of winter as the light is intensified as it is reflected back up to our eyes. If you are concerned about protecting your eyes from UV radiation, you can buy sunglasses with a clear lens, but that still provide UV filtration as it is the actual photons of light that our brains use and not the UV radiation to produce serotonin.

Those struggling with seasonal depression need to make an appointment with the sun or the sun’s substitute every single day. Topping off your serotonin levels by day means that more of this neurotransmitter will be available for conversion to melatonin (the hormone that keeps us asleep at night). Using light as a medicine should easily improve your sleep, leaving you more energetic for the following day.

“D” -Vitamin D is no longer considered a vitamin, but a “pro-hormone”. Exciting research about vitamin D is on the horizon, and some evidence supports a link to depression, although some studies do not support this link. Just about every patient I have ever checked in Seattle has been vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D is produced in our bodies when UV light touches our skin. Most people living in the northern latitudes are easily vitamin D deficient if they do not spend 20 minutes outside each day. Elderly people have thinner skin, and thus produce less vitamin D, they also absorb less dietarily. Until further evidence supports this theory linking depression with low vitamin D levels, it only makes sense to be sure that you are at least not deficient in vitamin D.

The RDA for adults ranges between 200 IU and 600 IU. Food sources of vitamin D are milk, fish, and yeast. I typically recommend 1000 IU of vitamin D for my patients struggling with depression as a cheap and easy insurance policy that they are not deficient in vitamin D.

If you would like to have your levels checked be sure that your physician orders the “25-OH-D” as that is the most reliable indicator of vitamin D stores. Do not ever exceed 1000 IU of vitamin D unless under the care of your naturopathic physician. Dangerous side effects such as hypercalcemia can occur.

“E” -Exercise- is the drug of choice for anyone that is depressed. It is a tough medication to take though when depressed because as best summed up by Newton’s laws of motion: “An object at rest stays at rest until acted upon by another force.”

When you are down in the depressed hole it is tough to get exercising, but stagnation is just going to perpetuate your problem.

Countless studies support the efficacy of exercise for depression. If you struggle with seasonal depression be sure to try to exercise outside EVERY SINGLE TIME the sun is out! Find a walking, running, or cycling buddy and take turns pushing each other out there. Whatever you do…just keep moving! Being cramped up in doors during the winter months is the problem and not the solution.

“N” –Nutrition is fundamental for anyone struggling with depression. When the body does not feel good the mind is soon to follow.Depressed thinking often results in poor dietary choices.

When we are depressed and in a low light setting we crave carbohydrates so that the body can produce more serotonin. However, sugar is exactly what the body does not need in the long term for healing from depression. The best diet for those with depression, anxiety, and bi-polar to follow is the LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX DIET.

Balancing out the blood sugar will help keep the mood at an even keel throughout the day. Be sure to eat protein with every meal and especially foods high in tryptophan such as turkey, cottage cheese, peanuts, fish, eggs, oatmeal, avocados, and bananas.

A high quality multi-vitamin will cover all the bases and ensure that you are not deficient in any of the B vitamins that are coenzymes for producing the neurotransmitters that make us feel happy.

“E” -For Everything Else, such as “Herbal Sedatives.” There are many treatment options for depression. Please do not give up hope.

Counseling, herbs, amino acids, and of course anti-depressants when need be will help keep you out of the “hole”. Naturopathic treatments for depression often take time as they are addressing the whole person and the long term.

As a physician, I give every treatment plan three to six months to determine it’s efficacy. If you are not experiencing improvement you may want to consider other treatment options. Various counseling and therapy techniques are also available, if you find you are not making progress with your therapist, consider a new referral for a different type of therapy.

Remember that aside from physical and mental components, there is also a social component to seasonal depression. Much time spent inside, or repeatedly with the same people inside can contribute to a poor mood.

Schedule weekly activities to get you out of the house and interacting with others. If you live alone, the winter months can feel especially isolating. Find an elderly person that also lives alone to check in on, it will do you both a world of good.

If you enjoyed this post please feel free to leave a comment, share this information with those that might benefit and subscribe to future articles. Thanks for stopping by my “kitchen table!”

~Dr. Nicole Sundene
Naturopathic Physician

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

All Natural Deodorant Options

PhotobucketI don’t know about you, but I am extremely picky when it comes to my deodorant. I enjoy smelling nice, and I’m sure everyone around me appreciates it too… When I first became aware of all the hazards associated with traditional deodorant sticks, I was at a loss as to what to do. Now, after trying numerous all natural deodorants – I’ll pass on my experience and (hopefully) save you some time and trouble!

Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Care Deodorant Stick

I have to say that Tom does a great job producing a nice smelling deodorant stick that does not include aluminum or any other objectionable ingredients. Unfortunately, it didn’t last past lunchtime for me. I’ll admit I can be pretty hard on deodorants, and I do know some people who love it.

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Chemical Free
  • Full ingredient disclosure on the website
  • Nice fragrances to choose from

Cons:

  • Decidedly NOT long-lasting, sorry Tom

Crystal Body Deodorant Salt Stick

This is basically a giant piece of salt (odd, I know) that helps eliminate odors. To use, you simply moisten the salt stick, apply like regular deodorant, pat the stick dry and put away. This deodorant kept me daisy fresh all day. Thumbs up!

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • All natural (it’s salt – doesn’t get much more natural than that)
  • Worked extremely well

Cons:

  • You have to moisten the stick with every use
  • You have to dry the stick with every use (sorry, maybe I’m lazy)
  • Eventually, bits of the stick start to flake off and this can create some sharp spots -  not good when we’re applying something to such a sensitive area.

PhotobucketKiss My Face Active Enzyme Deodorant Stick

This product went on very smooth, and was completely fragrance free (which I liked). However, it does come in a few different scents if you want something that smells pretty. Unfortunately for me, it didn’t last as long as I had hoped. It did outperform Tom’s, but didn’t last all day. Again, I do know people who love this stuff, so I’m sure it has something to do with individual body chemistry.

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Includes Kaolin Clay, a potent toxin absorber
  • Very smooth and not “wet”

Cons:

  • The only con is that it didn’t last all day for me
  • Photobucket

Kiss My Face Liquid Rock Deodorant

This one by Kiss My Face was also fragrance free, but comes in a variety of scents. This is essentially the same as the Crystal Stick above, but in a roll on format that contains liquid inside. The plus here is that there is no “wetting” and “drying” involved. It’s just like any other roll-on deodorant. It also performed just as well as the salt stick – lasting all day even in the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had recently.

Pros:

  • Aluminum Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Chemical Free
  • Convenient Roll On
  • Lasts All Day

PhotobucketCons:

  • I’ve tried to think of at least one con – but I can’t. There you have it.

Due to the lack of “con’s” – I’m awarding this one with my seal of approval!

-Kat

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

Vegetarian Protein: Not just for Vegetarians

Hi Dr. Nicole, I would like to start eating more vegetable proteins and less meat, but am not sure how to do so healthfully.  Do you have any suggestions?

Eating vegetarian sources of protein at each meal is beneficial to both omnivores and vegetarians alike.

Moving towards more of a plant based diet will aid weight loss, benefit both those with diabetes and hypoglycemia by reducing the “total glycemic load” of your meal, reduces pain and inflammation, slows the aging process, reduces the toxic burden placed on your liver by eating high on the food chain, and saves the planet by eating less meat.

So what are the best forms of vegetable proteins?

Now I bet most of you are shouting “beans and rice” or “tofu” right now, and that is good, and I am VERY proud of you, but there is more to vegetarian sources of protein than meets the eye.

Whether you choose to be a full fledged vegetarian, or you decide to be just like me and eat less than one meal per day that contains animal products in it, you will benefit from the wisdom of the author of “Live Life 365″, an immensely inspiring video website that actually shows you how to be healthy.

Please welcome to the kitchen table today’s guest, Mike Foster!

So, Mike, what led you towards becoming a vegetarian?

I wasn’t always a vegetarian. Back in the day, I used to be seated right beside some of you, gnawing away on that rib bone, masticating that filet mignon, devouring a double double from my (former) favorite burger place, In-n-Out. I was an animal-eating carnivore most of my life—just like over 90% of the population. Then I had some blood work done and got a glimpse of my cholesterol levels.

Yikes!

Here’s the thing: I was never what you would call a BIG meat eater. More often than not, I was just as interested in the vegetable and salad portion of my meal as the animal protein part. And once I’d done further research about the contributing factors of high cholesterol (mine, by the way, was closing in on 300) and unhealthy weight gain—namely: saturated fats—it made perfect sense to gradually cut down on the meats. Years before I became a full-time vegetarian, I often would go days without consuming any animal protein. My palette, as well as some deeper region of my subconscious, was changing, sounding an alarm: Reduce your saturated fats or die!

Okay, Mike, you can stop with the dramatics. But it was a wake-up call, and my unhealthy cholesterol and weight gain (I was up over 200 pounds—far too heavy for my barely 5’ 11’’ frame) forced me to do something else—discover healthier eating options. More to the point: I needed to reduced saturated fats, which meant limit the consumption of animal proteins.

So without animal protein in your diet, what do you eat? How can you POSSIBLY survive without meat? (Just a little humor on behalf of all my carnivorous readers out there).

Here are some of the best sources of vegetable protein that I incorporate into my daily eating routine. Eat as much of this stuff as you can and you will not only get the necessary amount of protein into your diet, but tons of fiber (a good thing!). All without those harmful saturated fats; instead filling up with the good fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

NUTS

I eat nuts every day—mostly almonds, but all nuts have a decent amount of vegetable protein. In addition to almonds, eat walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, even peanuts. They have anywhere from 6-8 grams of protein and 3.0 grams of fiber. I also suggest trying some of the butters. Almond butter is delicious and has 8.0 gms of protein per serving.

BEANS

I love Mexican food, and eat it at least twice a week. I’ve found that you can replace just about any of the meat dishes with healthy black beans (7.0 gms protein/7.0 gms fiber) or refried beans (be sure to check if they are made with lard, in they are, opt out). There are dozens of varieties of beans (see one of my previous blog posts, You Don’t Know Beans…or Do You?); pinto, navy, garbanzo—add them to salads or eat as a side dish. Most have around 6-8 gms of protein and about the same amounts of fiber.

And don’t forget lentils. These tasty tidbits are loaded with vegetable protein—10.0 gms. And 9.0 gms of fiber.

WHOLE GRAINS

I eat a high-protein, whole grain cereal every other day. Kashi makes excellent products. Try their Go Lean. It has 13.0 gms of protein per serving, also 10.0 gms fiber. I mix mine with their Good Friends (5.0 gms protein/12.0 gms fiber) for a vegetarian protein and fiber blast (pun intended!) The days I don’t eat whole grain cereals, I have some toasted whole grain bread (4-6 gms protein; shop around and read labels, some have more protein than others. I recommend Milton’s) with almond butter. You can see how the vegetable protein is adding up, huh?

Pastas, especially whole grain pastas, are another great source of vegetable protein. Most have at least 6-8 gms, while some go as high as 12-15 gms. Again, read labels, and you will be pleasantly surprised by all of the healthy vegetable protein options available to you.

I also eat oatmeal (8.0 gms protein/ 6.0 gms fiber) every day. And wild rice will get you around 5.0 gms of vegetable protein per serving.

VEGETABLES

Not all veggies are created equal. Some have more protein than others. Here are the ones you should look for when looking to increase your vegetable protein consumption:

SOY

I eat edamame, or soybeans, (11.0 gms protein/ 6.0 gms fiber) several times a week. I like to mix in another vegetable, usually broccoli (5.0 gms protein/ 4.0 gms fiber), add a little olive oil, salt, pepper. How’s that for veggie protein? Also, soy chips are a wonderful source of protein: 6.0 gms–I like Glenny’s and Gen soy. And Dr Soy makes a tasty soy bar (11 gms protein) that I devour most days.

ALSO:

Avocado: (4.0 gms protein/8.0 gms fiber)
Peas: (5.0 gms protein/ 4.0 gms fiber)
Corn: (4.5 gms protein/3.0 gms fiber)
Lima beans: (6.0 gms protein/4.0 gms fiber)
Brussels sprouts: (4.0 gms protein/3.0 gms fiber)
Artichoke hearts: (4.0 gms protein/4.0 gms fiber)
Asparagus: (4.0 gms protein/3.0 gms fiber)

This is by no means a complete list, and a lot of it is personal preference. But, as you can see, the variety of vegetable proteins available to you are endless. And the best part—they are low in saturated fats, high in good fats, loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that contribute to a longer, happier, skinnier, healthier life.

Thanks Mike for being my guest this week at the kitchen table. How can my readers learn more about eating a healthy vegetarian diet?

As always, you can watch me talk about all of these healthy topics at my video website, livelife365.com.

If you would like to be my next guest at the kitchen table, simply contact me with a suggested health topic.

~Dr. Nicole
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How to Treat a Hobo Spider Bite

September 11, 2008 by Dr. Nicole Sundene  
Filed under Kitchen Sink, Reader Questions

Now is a great time to do some pressure washing on the outside of your house, as the spiders are all trying to crawl inside due to the colder weather at night.

The other day I was shocked to see a giant Hobo Spider crawling across my living room floor!

The poor spider was probably more traumatized by all the extreme screaming that occurred right before it met the sole of my hot pink flip flop. (please don’t call PETA)

After careful evaluation, we noted that the characteristic “violin pattern” on the back was consistent with the Hobo spider, also known as Tegenaria agrestis. Contrary to popular belief the Hobo spider is not the same spider as the Brown Recluse spider. Although we treat both bites equally, the brown recluse is more likely to be poisonous and cause death in children. To the best of my knowledge, there are no known deaths that have occurred from the bite of a Hobo spider.

Hobo spiders are found in Europe, the northern regions of the U.S. and the southern regions of Canada, and now recently Alaska, hence their name “Hobo” for their love of traveling.

I am not sure what scares me more, the one month Seattle summer we just had here despite global warming, or the fact the Hobo spiders have infested my patio, even after a thorough pressure washing.

Should I be terrified that there are Hobo spiders living outside?

No, not really. I should just be cautious. About as cautious as people living in Rattlesnake terrain. Hobo spiders are less likely to bite humans than rattlesnakes, and their bites secrete less venom. An estimated 50% of Hobo spiders do not even secrete venom when they bite humans.

Typically a bite made in defense will not secrete venom, a bite made to kill and eat prey will secrete venom.

Since humans are not the ideal prey for these spiders, most bites are not life threatening. According to my research these spiders are actually very hesitant to interact with humans, and usually only attack when they feel threatened. The bite of the male spider is also more dangerous than that of the female.

So, is the bite of a Hobo spider something to lose sleep over at night?

Not necessarily. But, prevention and early intervention are key. If you think you have been bit by a hobo spider contact your health care provider immediately as these bites can become “necrotic”, meaning that the skin and surrounding tissues may die and possibly become infected.

What to do for a Hobo spider bite:

  • Stay calm, stay seated, do not move the affected area if possible to prevent the spread of the venom.
  • Try to have someone trap the spider with a glass jar, slide a paper card underneath, flip over, and secure the lid. Bring the spider to your doctor for proper identification.
  • Allow fluid to freely drain from the bite, but don’t squeeze it (messing with the wound will accelerate the spread of the venom).
  • Clean the site with saline solution or soap and water (not hot water as heat will also cause venom to spread).
  • Use a pen to draw a circle around the initial raised, red area that develops so your physician can monitor the advancement of the swelling.
  • Apply a cold compress to the bite, and keep the area elevated.
  • If symptoms are severe, call 911, as anaphylactic shock may occasionally occur in those that are allergic to insect bites. Trouble breathing, rapid swelling, and extreme redness over the entire body are key signs of anaphylaxis. Other signs of extreme reactions include a rash over the entire body, nausea and vomiting, joint pain, fever and chills. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to call the experts.
  • Make an appointment to have the bite and spider evaluated. Babies and children should be seen immediately, as they will more likely be sensitive to the venom.
  • Spider bites should be carefully monitored, and antibiotics may be prudent as a preventative for infection or tissue necrosis (open ulcers that do not easily heal and may require skin grafting).

Do NOT:

  • Do NOT Engage in exercise or extreme activity which will only further the spread of the venom if present in your system.
  • Do NOT apply a warm compress as that will speed the circulation of venom in your system as well.
  • Do NOT attempt to suck the venom out or, cut the tissue out. These techniques will most likely ensure that you have the worst reaction possible to the bite.
  • Do NOT apply electricity or electrotherapy from a stun gun, or attempt to burn the bite out. (I can’t even believe I just had to type that, but people freak out and do extreme things which likely cause a worse prognosis.) Please stay calm and allow your doctor to decide if further steps are needed.

Hobo Spider Bite Prevention:

  • Chemical control and pesticides are not recommended and should be used only as a last resort in extreme situations.
  • Clean up your messes outside and in the garage.
  • Wear pants, long sleeved shirts, and gloves when working in the garden or garage.
  • Don’t go on a spider killing rampage! Attempting to eradicate all species of spiders from your garden will result in predominance of one species. Instead, encourage the friendly spiders to stick around. Spiders are extremely territorial and will fight for territory or prey.
  • Funnel webs are a key sign of hobo spiders. Clean up these kinds of webs seen near your home CAREFULLY.
  • Remember that spiders do not typically attack humans unless threatened.

Picture Credit: Hobospider.org

References:

Hobo Spider Poisoning

The Hobo Spider Story

More References on Hobo Spiders

Does anyone else feel like creepy crawlies are all over them now? Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

~ Dr. Nicole Sundene

Naturopathic Physician
www.KitchenTableMedicine.com

img_7478.jpg

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

How Can I Get Enough Calories On the Anti-Inflammatory Diet?

Question: I’ve started the “Anti-inflammatory Diet” because I’m in a LOT of pain all the time. It is to be expected because there is a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’m sure I’ve exacerbated it further with contact sports, and a 13 year career in roofing construction.

That being said, I can’t stop working, obviously. And roofing is what I know. So, a problem that I foresee, is that I NEED a high calorie intake for what I do for work. I’m definitely burning off any calories I take in from my daily activities.

To the point, do you know off-hand of any high calorie, inflammatory-friendly foods? With fruits and vegetables and fish, I would literally have to eat ALL day to keep up with a 2500 calorie a day diet.

Thanks,
Mike

Answer: Hi Mike, thanks for the great question. I can see why that would be such a concern for you being so physically active throughout the day. I would recommend that you read my article on “The Healthy Weight Gain Diet” and add those tips to my advice for eating to reduce your inflammatory load.

You can easily add more calories in to your diet by adding high quality vegetable oils such as olive oil and canola oil. Because the phenolic acids in olive oil have been shown to have antioxidant benefit this should also reduce inflammation while boosting calories. I would also add RAW nuts and nut butters to your diet liberally as they are excellent sources of protein and fat.

I would start my day with a protein shake that includes whey protein powder (I use Designer Protein) a banana, 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds, and some almond butter or other sort of non-peanut nut butter. Check out “Dr. Nicole’s Smoothie Recipe” to learn how to make a smoothie. A high calorie smoothie full of protein and fiber should keep you full and satisfied feeling until lunch, while also reducing your inflammatory load.

You can smear avocados on sandwiches to increase calories or enjoy them as a snack as well. Coconut milk is rich in medium chained triglycerides and thus is a delicious and healthy source of calories! Keep in mind that there are plenty of athletes out there that eat a vegan diet and are able to still participate in endurance activities. It can be done, it just takes some time to find some new things that you like!

Remember that inflammation is not just about food it is also about smoking, alcohol, stress, and other lifestyle factors. If you are concerned you may have rheumatoid arthritis you should make a visit to your family doctor so they can do some blood work to test for that, if it turns up positive they will refer you to a Rheumatologist for further evaluation.

If chronic pain is already an issue for you now, you really may want to consider what kinds of career options may better suit your future needs. Most younger guys eventually tend to burn out and have to start their own construction company so that they can have more of a position in management than in labor.

Hope that gets you started in the right direction!

If anyone else has any tips for Mike feel free to leave them below in the comments section.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table to ask the question!

~Dr. Nicole

KitchenTableMedicine.com

Photobucket Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.

She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.

For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
©KitchenTableMedicine.com, LLC ™

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