Sleep and Hormonal Balance

I taught an endocrinology class for herbalists at Farmacy Herbs over the weekend and I found myself referring to the importance of sleep in relation to the appropriate function of multiple hormones that regulate mood, metabolism, and food intake. It made me realize that I often ask patients about their sleep but rarely explain why I am asking about it in relation to their anxiety, muscle development, food cravings, or diabetes.

The Importance of Sleep
We often need more sleep in fall and winter because our circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycles) are influenced by light exposure. I find that many people fight [...]

Exercise for Arthritis

When your joints hurt, you may feel like you want to avoid physical activity. Pain is exhausting and it is also often a signal that we should stop doing what we are doing to avoid injury. With arthritis, physical activity is one of the most effective pain relievers (with only positive side effects) but it takes a significant amount of willpower to get moving when your body hurts.
Arthritis-Friendly Physical Activity
The Center for Disease Control says: “ Participating in arthritis-friendly physical activity improves pain, function, mood, and quality of life without making symptoms worse.” In the clinic, I have [...]

Root Causes of Constipation and IBS-C

You may be surprised by how many people take laxatives or stool softeners every day. Many of these products were prescribed by a medical provider. When people who have chronic constipation come to our office, we ask questions to determine the cause of their constipation so that we can treat their constipation without the side effects associated with laxatives.
No Single Cause of Constipation
There is no single cause of constipation and often people will have more than one of the root causes on this list.

Inadequate water intake – This is a very common cause of constipation especially [...]

Health Tech Resources: Meal Planning

I often prescribe diet changes to patients for treatment of conditions, weight loss or for general overall health. Diet changes are challenging because often people have trouble finding new foods that they like to prepare and eat. Here are some meal planning resources that can support diet changes for long-term success.
Making Meal Planning Easier
The Fresh 20
This is an easy-to-use meal planning service that helps you increase your intake of vegetables and whole foods and/or avoid dairy or gluten. For $1.50-2.00 per week, you get a shopping list with 20 items and recipes for a week’s worth [...]

  • Pain with Intercourse, Third Stone Integrative Health
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    Pain With Intercourse [Dyspareunia] and What You Can Do About It

Pain With Intercourse [Dyspareunia] and What You Can Do About It

As part of my gynecological intake, I ask women about pain with intercourse because women often do not report pain with intercourse to their medical providers. There are many possible reasons for this but the one that concerns me the most is that many women are told that it’s “normal” to have pain with intercourse at a certain age or after childbirth. As my colleague, Anne Procyk, ND says, “it may be common but it is not normal.”
Pain with Intercourse is Common, but Not Normal
Pain with intercourse is very common. I have read estimates that range from [...]

Eat to Feel Good

The Diet Wars, Volume Two: The New Year’s Resolution Weight Loss Detox
Every year, we all talk about it: New Year’s resolutions, weight loss, and getting fit.  Just about everybody thinks about shedding the few extra pounds of holiday indulgences that are making their pants fit a little tighter. Some people are determined to make this the year they will wear pants they haven’t been able to fit in for years. And the current fad now is to “detox.” So what really is the best weight loss plan, or detox plan?

The most important thing to remember is what I [...]