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A Holistic Approach to Anxiety

3 Mar

Anxiety refers to a state of nervousness, worry, apprehension, or fear. Anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful circumstances, as it can improve focus and performance in a tense situation. When anxiety is excessive, however, it can induce physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, heart palpitations, chest pain, nausea or headache. If chronic, anxiety can be emotionally disabling, and compromise immune and digestive function. Correcting underlying imbalances may significantly lessen its severity.

  • Imbalances in certain nutrients can exacerbate anxiety.
  • Amino acids are crucial building blocks for important brain neurotransmitters that stabilize mood.
  • Women are more than twice as likely to have anxiety than men, especially when levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate.
  • Anxiety can also result from “adrenal fatigue”
  • Immune reactions to gluten contribute to anxiety and depression in some individuals.
  • Exposure to certain heavy metals such as lead can affect the nervous system, triggering anxiety.
  • Individuals suffering from anxiety may lack essential fatty acids such as omega-3 EPA and DHA.

The beauty of Naturopathic Care is that it can address each of these possible contributors to anxiety.   Through an individualized approach using nutrition, exercise, appropriate laboratory testing, botanical remedies, and supplementation to replete or correct imbalances, the severity of anxiety can often be greatly diminished.   Making lifestyle changes is of upmost importance.  In addition, learning coping skills and using relaxation techniques can also be helpful.  Thus, I also suggest my clients work closely with a qualified counselor/therapist when anxiety is significant and/or pervasive.

A Holistic Approach to Depression

28 Feb


Depression is a medical illness that involves the mind and body.  Feelings of hopelessness, chronic apathy, and reduced ability to experience pleasure in life are some of the debilitating symptoms of depression.   Chronic depression can interfere with a person’s work and social life, appetite, sleep, and energy level, and has also been noted to increase risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially among women.
  • Imbalances in certain hormones may underlie depression, particularly when stress and obesity are present.
  • Inadequate amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fats can predispose to chronic depression.
  • Certain amino acids are crucial source material for the production of brain neurotransmitters and mood regulation.
  • Malabsorption in celiac disease may interfere with mood regulating neurotransmitters and nutrients such as vitamin B12.
  • Studies shower a higher incidence of depression in those with celiac’s disease compared to those without the disorder.
  • Many with depression also suffer from thyroid hormone imbalances
  • Overexposure to certain heavy metals have been shown to induce  depression.
  • Pre-menstrual and post-menopausal hormone imbalances contribute to mood swings in many women.
  • Deficient omega-3 fatty acids can contribute to depression, particularly in alcoholics and post-partum women.
  • Imbalances in melatonin can result in depression.
  • Depression in men seems to correlate with a drop in testosterone seen with aging.
  • Depression appears to predispose individuals to immune hypersensitivity to various food and environmental allergens.
  • Bacterial overgrowth in the small bowel can impair absorption of key nutrients involved in mood regulation.
The beauty of Naturopathic Care is that it can address each of these possible contributors to depression.   Working with Dr. Naumes to create an individualized approach using nutrition, exercise, appropriate laboratory testing (via your primary care physician), botanical remedies, and supplementation to replete or correct imbalances, the body can function at a more optimal level.   Making appropriate lifestyle changes is often of upmost importance.   Dr. Naumes encourages her clients to work closely with a qualified counselor/therapist.

Male Fertility – the lifestyle burden isn’t just on women

10 Feb

Male Fertility

Ok guys, this one’s for you!  I’ll keep it short and sweet. Here are factors that may affect male fertility that you might not have thought about.

The quality of sperm is a measure of both the sperm’s genetic integrity and its capacity for fertilizing an oocyte (egg). Poor sperm quality has been associated with abnormal sperm motility (movement) and the inability to complete the processes of fertilization. The following may negatively impact sperm and may have other negative effects on male fertility:

  • Oxidative stress – think alcohol consumption, the standard american diet, and lack of exercise

  • Being overweight – not only does this affect your sperm’s ability in the fertilization story, but it may affect your future child’s health!

  • Smoking cigarettes or marijuana

  • Steroids

  • Cocaine

  • PRESCRIPTION DRUGS – especially those used regularly

  • Certain antibiotics, especially when taken the 4 months before trying to conceive

  • Specific pesticides and chemical solvents

  • Sedentary jobs

Please remember that optimizing your fertility holistically isn’t just about the woman.  It’s about both people optimizing their fertility to increase your odds in any given attempt. GO TEAM!

If you need help, schedule an appointment today.

Turn on Some Tunes

11 Jun

Turn on Some Tunes

Everyday the energy my (almost) 3-year-old son expels makes my jaw drop. Music is one of the tools my husband David and I often use to channel this boundless energy.

I’m lucky that said husband is a composer and plays the guitar beautifully. From the moment we found out we were pregnant – almost 4 years ago now – David has been singing to our son. Back then, at night before we went to bed, David would make “whale sounds” on my belly to calm our growing baby down so I could get some sleep.

Here are my suggestions for using music to joyfully rein in that, at times, overwhelming kid energy in a way that helps us cultivate peace and connection.

I’ve divided this up into a daily ritual because “transitions” and other stressful times during the day offer great opportunities to stop for a moment and honor the shift from one activity to another… Music could be used a background, but it’s even more effective when there is an official music break.

Morning Music:

  • Some mornings we put recordings of birdsong on to help wake up – seems as though it helps us get out the door since it sounds as if we already are! Feel free to flap your wings like a bird.
  • Once a week, my husband leads a drum circle at our little one’s school in Oak Cliff. An empty water cooler container makes a great makeshift hand drum – you can’t really destroy it! Drumming gives my husband time to connect with our son and watch him interact with his little friends.

Head over to D-Mom’s Blog to read more of Dr. Naumes’ music suggestions.

Dr. Naumes speaks about Fertility on “D – The Broadcast”

7 Mar

Fertility Tips with Dr. Naumes on D Broadcast

Dr. Kate Naumes on “D- The Broadcast” discussing fertility tips.

Cultivating Female Friendships Amidst Crazy Schedules

26 Feb

Cultivating Female Friendships

 

At the end of last year I wrote about the health benefits that friendships and a rich social life confer. This week I want to brainstorm how to cultivate female friendships amidst our full lives. Now, I love my husband, but as evolved as he may often show himself to be, there are some needs he is simply never going to fulfill (among them, stylist, professional back-rubber, and home-organizer). Since the joys of parenthood and running a household don’t always  allow for ample girl time, I think it’s necessary to get creative and intentional to make sure it happens!

See a few of Dr. Naumes’ ideas in her post over at D-Magazines DMoms Blog to get you started.

Tips for Staying Sane During the Holidays

20 Nov

Managing stress is one of the most important things you can do for the health and well-being of yourself and your family. My #1 tip is to take on less! Keep life simple and don’t compare yourself to others. The fall and winter are darker, slower times for rest and reflection; the holidays should be enjoyable and relaxing.

Tips for keeping life simple:

  • Take time for introspection and give children a break from activities, research shows that unstructured play time is vital to development and creativity.
  • You can stay stylish and keep it simple with a mom “uniform.” Or build your wardrobe around a simple color palette so that everything you pull out of your closet already matches. (Your husband will appreciate the break from having to be your stylist.)
  • Learn to say no to holiday parties and get-togethers that don’t bring you and your family joy and peace and that aren’t true obligations.

 

Ok, so you’re just going to have a busy fall and holiday season… no way around it. What can you do to stay energized and sane? How can you manage your stress?

Read more of Dr. Naumes’ post over at D-Magazine’s D-Moms Blog

Staving Off Winter Colds

13 Nov

The common cold is an acute, viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. There are many viruses which can cause the symptoms of the common cold. Infants and children are affected more often and tend to experience more prolonged symptoms than adults. So, what can you do to improve immunity and potentially ward off colds & the flu?

The key to prevention is consistency! Once a child or mom is sick with the cold or flu, there is only so much you can do to shorten the duration or decrease the intensity of symptoms. Consistency of good self-care is paramount to prevent frequent recurrences of the cold. So what is good self-care? Exercise, nutrition, sleep, community support, and stress management. Here are some of my tips for achieving each of these to help prevent seasonal illness.

Regular Exercise

  • Moms: Take a 30-minute relaxing walk outside daily.
  • Kids: Play outside.
  • Kids and parents: Have a dance party at home, go on a family nature walk, or pull together an all ages flag football game on thanksgiving instead of sitting and watching football on TV.

Read  Dr. Naumes’ entire post over at D Magazine‘s D-Mom’s Blog.

Fertility Optimization and the Benefits of Naturopathic Care

17 Sep

Naturopathic Fertility Optimization

Naturopathic Medicine’s approach to improving fertility focuses on establishing healthy hormone balance for both partners, minimizing the body’s reaction to stress, ensuring optimal nutritional status for the mother-to-be, establishing a healthy exercise routine, and teaching fertility awareness techniques to better understand the optimal fertile times in a woman’s cycle.

The Foresight Study, conducted in England, shows the effects that proper preconception care has on fertility. Out of 300 couples who had previously been declared “infertile”, over 89% were pregnant within 2 years, without the assistance of IUI or other similar fertility interventions.

Naturopathic doctors are highly trained in both the Western and Eastern medical systems. Naturopathic Doctors have the ability to integrate a western diagnosis with nutrition, exercise, herbal medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, as well as counseling and stress management techniques.

A study by the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Stanford University to determine the impact of nutritional supplements containing vitex, green tea, vitamins, and minerals on female fertility found that the supplement group helped improve women’s menstrual cycles. Herbal medicine can also be used to regulate menstrual cycles, normalize hormones, maintain a pregnancy, prevent miscarriage, improve sperm quality and help with stress. Herbs can be very effective but like any therapy may have side effects or drug interactions. For this reason it is recommended that you consult a licensed Naturopathic Doctor.

It is well known that infertility causes stress, and stress reduction may, in turn, improve fertility. Stress may lead to the release of hormones and influence mechanisms responsible for a normal ovulatory menstrual cycle through its impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis.  Many Naturopathic Therapies successfully address stress.  Naturopathic Medicine also addresses environmental toxicity and its potential impact on fertility.

With Naturopathic Fertility Services from Dr. Naumes, you will learn more about how to positively impact nutrition, body composition and environmental exposure to substances that can decrease fertility and harm a developing baby for both partners. Your family will benefit from the simple, non-invasive, cost-effective tools that naturopathic medicine has to offer.

References:

1. http://www.foresight-preconception.org.uk/

2. Al-Inany, H. (n.d). Issues of bioequivalence and cost (vol 78, pg 438, 2002). Fertility And Sterility, 78(6), 1356.

How Naturopathic Doctors Are Proving the Value of Integrative Medicine

13 Jul

Here is a great article recently posted by the Huffington Post:

In the mid-1980s, leaders of the reemerging naturopathic medical profession faced a tough challenge. They had to make the case for a scientific basis for their field prior to any history of federal support for naturopathic research.

The naturopathic physician authors of such pioneering volumes as the Textbook of Natural Medicine and bestselling, consumer-focused counterpart the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine searched the world’s literature. They referenced diverse studies on diet, therapeutic nutrition, lifestyle, stress and exercise and profession’s whole person, multi-modality, natural therapeutic-focused form of integrative medicine.

Many of these references were gleaned from conventional medical literature. Bottom line: The reemergence of naturopathic doctors (N.D.s) owed a significant debt to research of their medical doctor (M.D.) colleagues.

Read the rest of John Weeks’ article here.

Prevent Colds Naturally

23 Oct

Creating and sustaining community is a wonderful way to nourish ourselves. I find it to be an essential part of spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing. Join me in creating community with other parents who want to learn how to ward off the common cold naturally.

How to Stay Healthy in Cold & Flu Season
Wednesday October 26th | 6:30pm-7:30pm
location: Arlington Family Wellness

3901 West Green Oaks Boulevard
Arlington, TX 76016
(817) 457-3030


Children younger than the age of six years average six to eight colds per year (up to one per month, September through April), with a typical symptom duration of 14 days. Young children in daycare appear to be more susceptible to these infections than those cared for at home, but also less vulnerable when they enter primary school.

At the talk we will explore:
– What are colds good for and how often should we get one?
– What can you do to improve immunity through nutrition?
– What botanicals and supplements can help ward off viruses?
– How can you speed recovery and avoid more serious illness naturally?

A Holistic look at Attention Deficit Disorder

29 Sep

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD)

Both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are symptoms emphasized in the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD. These criteria best describe presentation in children; symptoms are often more subtle in adults.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was originally believed to be primarily a pediatric condition. However, the available data suggest that between 30 and 70 percent of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms in adulthood. It is estimated that between 1 and 7 percent of the adult population experiences ADHD symptoms. There is no gold standard diagnostic test for ADHD in adults. Diagnosis is based on the clinical interview by a qualified practitioner; assessment of mental status, memory, and cognitive testing with distraction; and medical evaluation including neurologic examination and thyroid function studies.

Pharmaceutical medications, behavioral therapy (such as certain types of counseling), and changes in school for children are the main treatments offered.  However, it is important to consider the following when looking at ADHA/ADD holistically.

  • Insufficiencies of certain essential fatty acids, vitamins, or minerals are common among children with ADD/ADHD.
  • Exposure to toxic metals such as lead can affect the nervous system, possibly triggering hyperactivity.
  • Amino acids are the body’s building blocks for brain neurotransmitters and may be low in ADD/ADHD individuals.
  • Certain studies of children with ADHD have shown improvements in ADD/ADHD when they were placed on an allergen-free diet.
  • Intestinal flora imbalances (bacteria, parasites, or yeast) may lead to nutrient insufficiencies that predispose to ADD/ADHD.
  • Consider pre-conception care to learn about the effects of prenatal exposure to environmental toxins and how to minimize those exposures
  • and more….
The beauty of Naturopathic Care is that it can address each of these possible contributors to ADD/ADHD.   Working with Dr. Naumes to create an individualized approach using nutrition, exercise, individualized laboratory testing (via appropriate avenues), botanical remedies, and supplementation to replete or correct imbalances, the body can function at a more optimal level.   Making appropriate lifestyle changes is often of upmost importance.   Dr. Naumes encourages her clients to work closely with a qualified counselor/therapist.

Wellness Dollars and Cents

2 Jun

Most Americans have a disease-focused outlook on health, not thinking much about their health until something goes wrong. The World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” but we tend to think of wellness as a luxury to be sought after when all the bills are paid, the kids are in bed, the house is clean, etc. Actually, it turns out good health is a great investment. One Harvard Medical School study found that the return on one of their preventive measures was $36 for every dollar spent.

When we’re not sleeping well, when we’re overweight, when we’re not eating right, we grossly underestimate the cost of those lifestyle choices on our longterm health and our pocketbook. Many insurance companies and company health plans exacerbate the situation by often failing to cover preventative measures like botanical remedies, nutritional counseling, massage, acupuncture and exercise programs that would save people and governments money in the long run.

Schedule an appointment today to discuss your wellness path and start saving money.

Quick, Effective Workouts

10 May

photo by Smabs Sputzer

Once my infant started sleeping through the night on a regular basis, I decided it was time to focus on regaining my pre-pregnancy strength and cardiovascular fitness. I can’t find the time to get to the gym right now and enjoy spending the extra time I do have with my son. So I searched high and low for workouts I could do at home, in the office, or outside with my child in tow.  I knew that I wanted something that didn’t require much equipment and these workouts require only a few dumbbells. With a combination of nutrition, exercise, visualization, and supplementation I find I’m feeling better and better each day.  Now I’m excited to be offering the following 6-packs to my clients!

What Type of Exercises Can You Expect?

The workouts I’m using are “circuit training” style, which is a system of exercising that maximizes fat-burning and cardiovascular training by keeping the heart rate and breathing up throughout the workout. Circuits are designed for maximum results in the least amount of time by moving from one exercise to the next with little rest in between. When you finish one complete round of the circuit, you begin again at the first exercise, until the specified time is up; in this case 15 minutes per circuit.

I hope you will enjoy them as much as I am.