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Posted by on in General Announcements
 
As we near the end of October, the official month of breast cancer awareness, I am struck by the walks, and runs, and the amazing emotional support that I see among women and families as we rally to fight this devastating disease.
 
As I look closely at it all, I can see that there is a very important piece missing. Unlike many things in life that are out of our control, this piece is one part to this very confusing puzzle that we can control, it’s the lifestyle piece.   
 
Lifestyle is a broad term that encompasses they way we eat, what we drink, exercise, mental and emotional health, stress, and how we respond to what life gives us. When the lifestyle piece is lacking it can contribute to the nutritional deficiencies and inflammation that are known to cause cancer. Additionally, a deficient lifestyle can negatively influence genetics and encourage an unwanted genetic change to occur.
 
What causes Cancer?
 
Cancer is caused by a myriad of factors including diet, lifestyle, nutritional status, stress, mental emotional stressors, genetic predisposition, inflammation, environment, and some factors mysterious. This has resulted in the cure for cancer to be elusive and out of reach. This has left many feeling powerless over the disease. 
 
We are not powerless! We have more power within us and through our choices than we give credit to. First comes education, and then comes prevention. I am passionate about patient education. With a deeper understanding of the details we can make lasting choices that positively impact health. Prevention is the best way to maintain health.
 
7 Principles of the Breast Health Diet
 
This is the overall premise of the principles and should be the internal mantra of every woman. This is the foundation of health.
 
*Let food be my Medicine and Medicine be my food
*Without proper diet no medicine will work, with proper diet no medicine is necessary.
*Of the 200,000 cases of breast cancer that are diagnosed each year, 1/3 can be prevented by lifestyle changes.
 
1) Whole foods with lots of FIBER prevent cancer.
Every single time we eat our body is panning for gold, looking for the particular mineral or antioxidant that it needs to function optimally.
 
A whole food diet consists of:
*Fruits and Vegetables
*Plant based foods high in Vitamins, Minerals, Anti-oxidants, Lignans and Fiber. Whole foods are high in fiber that helps to pull toxins and environmental estrogens out of our digestive system before they become recycled and detrimental. The standard American diet provides15 grams of fiber per day, 30 grams is recommended.
*Minimal processing, packaging, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.
*Eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables in all colors daily. This lowers breast cancer risk by 46%.
 
2) Green Tea: Trade coffee for Green tea. Many studies have been published on the anti-cancer effects of green tea. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and will promote cancer cell death.
 
Women who drink tea lowered their risk of developing breast cancer by 12%.
 
3) Cruciferous vegetables assist in detoxification through the liver.
(Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bok choy, turnip, horseradish, radish, kale, arugula, collards.) 
 
*These shut off key enzymes for breast cancer growth.
*Down regulate estrogen receptors
*Prevent tumors from invading and spreading
 
4) Exercise 30 minutes 3x/week reduces breast cancer risk by 30-50%.
Eliminating toxins by sweating, increasing circulation, improving blood flow, decreasing stagnation and enhancing lymphatic flow.
 
5) Walnuts: These natural marvels are a better choice than chips. They are high in omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and phytosterols, shown to slow the growth of breast tumors.
 
6) Vitamin D3 – proper levels of Vitamin D can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 30%. Supplementing with 1,000-2,000iu daily is beneficial until you go to the doctor and get a recommendation based on your specific needs. (CLICK HERE to order)
 
7) Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid – are essential for healthy cell division and ensuring proper DNA messaging without mutation. Folic acid is available through vegetables and supplementation; Vitamin B12 is only available through red meat consumption and supplementation. The active form of B12 is methylcobalamin and the active form of folic acid is called 5-MTHF. (CLICK HERE to order)
 
-Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic
(For healthy eating tips and recipes, check out my cook book, Feed Your Cells!)
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Check out my appearance on Fox 10 News:

Natural Ways to Ward Off the Cold and Flu Season

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_flu-shot.jpg

Health Impact News:

The last report issued in 2013 by the Department of Justice (Vaccine Court), for compensation made by the Health and Human Services for people injured or killed by vaccines, was released in December 2013, covering the period of 8/16/2013 through 11/15/2013. 

There were 139 claims settled during this time period, with 70 of them being compensated. So, just over 50% of the claims filed for vaccine damages were compensated during this period.

Once again, the greatest percentage of damages compensated were for the influenza vaccine, and most of those were for Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Yet these facts, tucked away in a file on the Department of Health and Human Services website, are never reported in the mainstream media. So we will report them here.

Of the 70 cases compensated, 42 of them were for the flu vaccine, or 60% of the cases settled where compensation was awarded for injury or death due to the vaccine. The combined total of the other 40% of cases settled included the following vaccines: Hep B, Tetanus, HPV, DTaP, MMR, IPV, PCV, Hib, Meningococcal, Varicella, TD.

Note From Dr. P: As the mother in the video below states; she would much rather her son have gotten the flu than the flu shot. After watching this video I think you all will agree. So lets focus on how to naturally prevent bacteria and viruses from attacking our systems and avoid the deadly side effects.  

CLICK HERE to watch the video.

 

 

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vit_c

Yes, as a doctor who helps women get healthy, I have a favorite nutrient.

If I had to choose only one nutrient, there would be no contest I would choose Vitamin C.

Long before I became a naturopathic doctor, Vitamin C was a staple in my supplement box. Back then I used it for boosting my immune system and fighting off all kinds of infections from sore throats to bladder problems.

Now with my medical training and deeper understanding of body function I have learned that Vitamin C works not only for colds but for healing wounds and skin repair, repairing joints, reducing inflammation, heart health, fighting cancer, and supporting adrenal gland function.

As humans we are the only mammal that does not produce Vitamin C. That means we need to get it from our diet. The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C is 65mg. That is the bare minimum each one of us needs to prevent a Vitamin C deficiency called Scurvy. If we are going to use Vitamin C for body repair we need much higher amounts, anywhere from 1,000-10,000mg per day.

Life is stressful and our Vitamin C demands increase significantly under stress. Under stress our white blood cells and our adrenals require more Vitamin C to function properly.

Vitamin C naturally occurs in citrus fruits and berries. It’s best to eat it fresh because once it is exposed to air the vitamin C levels decline. That’s why I’m not a big fan of Orange juice. One 6oz glass of OJ contains only 100mg of Vitamin C and lot of sugars. Vegetables with higher amounts of Vitamin C include peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

If you want to start taking Vitamin C it’s best to start low at 500mg and then work your way up over time. Taking too much too soon will cause diarrhea. Vitamin C is water soluble so whatever your body doesn’t use will be excreted in your urine.

 

-Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic

 

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Posted by on in General Announcements

You may be surprised about how much sugar your family is eating. As a doctor who helps women get healthy, I know I was …

Lets look at some trouble areas:

The average American eats 150lbs of sugar per year…and…50% of sugar in the diet comes from beverages and baked goods. That’s right; you can reduce your sugar intake by half if you cut out the dessert and the drinks!

Check this out: 1 bottle of 20oz soda has 13 teaspoons of sugar

I’m a big fan of flavored seltzer and watered down juice. Those act as good soda replacements.

Another area that women get fooled is when a product states that it is “fat-free.” Items that are “fat-free” have as much or more sugar than foods that have more fat. It’s the sugar that makes us fat ladies not the FAT!

For Example: “Reduced fat” nilla wafers have 26 teaspoons of sugar in the box. That’s 2.5 tsp per serving!

Plus…Sugar is added to many foods you just wouldn’t think of. For Example: Crackers, breads, cereal, salad dressing, and peanut butter… All of these items have ½ tsp-2 teaspoons of sugar per serving!

You’re probably not thinking that the salad you had for lunch had sugar in it but if you used a standard salad dressing chances are it did.

Jif peanut butter contains ¾ teaspoon of sugar per serving. So the next time you make your kid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich think twice. I recommend selecting no sugar peanut butter; the bread and the jelly are sweet enough.

Articicial sweeteners are hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar. Even though a product is labeled sugar-free it can change your taste buds towards craving sweeter foods.

Here’s what you need to know when reading package labels:

5g = 1tsp (5 grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon)

So when you are reading labels check to see how many grams of sugar are in each serving.

 

-Be Healthy, Happy and Holistic

 

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Hi Everyone! It’s that time of year again. I call it the, “Time to get serious season”.

Getting back into a routine after a lazy summer can be difficult, and there is a lot of pressure that gets put on us women. As a mom and a doctor who helps women get healthy, there are 5 main complaints I hear from women who are stressed.

#1 I’m Overwhelmed
Meal planning – Plan out your meals for the week. I do this on Sundays. Dust off the crock pot and set yourself up for success . This helps with the 3pm burn out hour when you want so badly to drink that extra cup of coffee, kids are cranky and hungry and you wish you could transport yourself elsewhere. Knowing that dinner is on the way is a relief!

#2 I’m Tired
Early to bed – That’s right sister, get yourself to bed earlier. So many women shoot themselves in the foot staying up late to get things done after the kids go down. This makes the next day more difficult for you.

#3 I’m Stressed
Hey we all get stressed. Take a 2 minute timeout. Roll those shoulders back and breathe deeply. Focus on what’s good in your life.
Personal time – away from kids or spouse – this refills your gas tank and allows you to give more. I make sure I have some of this each week.

#4 I feel like I’m trying to be Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is smart, so stop trying to be everything to every one. Let me tell you a secret, “If you don’t ask you don’t get.” Ask for help!
When asking your kids or spouse for help remember to always reward their effort, so they feel appreciated and will agree to help you again.

#5 I have Low energy
This is usually the result of all the other steps. Eating regular meals with protein is key to sustained energy. No you can not snack all day or eat food off your kids plates. You have to eat 3 real meals plus protein packed snacks.
Also, try some iced green tea, this helps reduce sugar cravings, and puts some pep in your step for those long afternoons.

 

If you make these lifestyle changes and still feel stressed then it’s time to see your doctor, something else may be going on.

-Be Healthy Happy and Holistic

 

 

 

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Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome

An Interview with Stuart Triester MD – 

Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Gastroenterology

 

Dr. Purcell – Dr. Triester, thank you for taking the time out of your Friday afternoon schedule to meet with me. 

Dr. Triester – Of course, it’s my pleasure.

 

Dr. Purcell – In the last few months, your name was mentioned by two personal friends of mine. Both of them had been to numerous Gastroenterologists before coming to see you. They both said that in addition to having excellent bedside manner that you were the most thorough GI doctor they had ever encountered. This was exciting for me to hear and I thought that members of the celiac disease support groups here in the valley might be able to benefit from your knowledge. 

If you don’t mind, I have a few questions for you. There have been a number of health related questions that have come up at our monthly meetings I was hoping that you could shed some light on them.

Dr. Triester – Well, I’ll do my best to answer them.

 

Dr. Purcell – It seems like celiac disease sufferers are finally getting some respect. Gluten is in the news these days…

Dr. Triester – Yes it is, however celiac sufferers have found themselves caught in the “gluten-free wave” and the severity of the condition is still being overlooked. I will not ever recommend a gluten-challenge to a patient once they have stopped eating gluten so it is important to test for Celiac right away to either make the Diagnosis or rule it out. 

 

Dr. Purcell – Right that’s one of the main points, in order for testing to be accurate a person must be eating gluten at the time of the test.

Dr. Triester – My threshold in testing for Celiac is very low. You can ask my staff how frequently we do celiac testing. I will test nearly every patient for Celiac in the initial workup unless it is obvious that is not his or her problem. 

 

Dr. Purcell – What happens if a person has stopped eating gluten? Gluten is getting a bad reputation with books like Wheat Belly, and Grain Brain. Many people are going on a gluten-free diet. 

Dr. Triester - If a patient has stopped eating gluten the only testing that is possible is genetic testing. If genetic testing is negative then I know that person does not have celiac disease. If genetic testing is positive it really has no value because 60% of all people tested will test positive.

 

Dr. Purcell – Is genetic testing covered by insurance?

Dr. Triester – Mostly, there are some exceptions.

 

Dr. Purcell – What laboratory are you using for genetic testing?

Dr. Triester – Prometheus Laboratory in San Diego, CA

 

Dr. Purcell – Are you finding that more people are being diagnosed at 40 years or older?

Dr. Triester – As opposed to younger people? Yes I diagnose quite a few people over forty. 

 

Dr. Purcell – So what do you feel is happening with these people? Have they been suffering unknowingly their whole lives or are they developing Celiac later in life?

Dr. Triester – I’m certainly encountering people who could eat gluten at some point and then for whatever reason they are now Celiac positive. There are a number of theories out there as to how autoimmune diseases develop. The theory I like best is the molecular mimicry theory. Basically that we take a genetically susceptible individual and a trigger. The trigger could be an infectious bug that gets into the body and as the immune system starts to fight it the chemical structure looks a lot like the chemical structure of our own cells. The immune system becomes confused and begins to attack self. 

 

Dr. Purcell – Right, Infections, stress, toxins come into the body of someone who is already genetically susceptible and flip a switch and then the immune system in an attempt to fight off the invaders attacks itself in the process.  Do you find it necessary to re-test Antibodies once a patient has been diagnosed?

Dr. Triester – Yes, all patients get re-tested six months after diagnosis. I will re-test tTG-IgA. If a patient is following a gluten-free diet the antibodies will come down. If the antibodies do not come down then there are compliance or contamination issues with the diet. 

 

Dr. Purcell – There are many celiac patients who avoid gluten yet continue to have Irritable Bowel symptoms, specifically diarrhea. Do you recommend additional follow-up care of these patients?

Dr. Triester – If a celiac patient avoids gluten and is still symptomatic there is a whole algorithm that I follow to determine if there is something else going on. Unfortunately many of these patients then get labeled as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and no further work-up is done.

 

Dr. Purcell – Right, it seems that many patients Celiac or otherwise get lumped into the diagnosis of IBS and then are given the brush off. It is rare for a doctor to question the diagnosis of IBS and look for something more. These are the types of patients that I see with a miserable quality of life who are looking for answers using a Naturopathic approach.

Dr. Triester – Once a Celiac patient is properly diagnosed and improving then follow-up care is just like any other patient. Routine colonoscopies every 5-10 years depending on the person’s history. With nutritional replacement I am less knowledgeable. Absorption will improve over time with the avoidance of gluten so it’s hard for me to know how much vitamin or mineral replacement I should recommend to a patient because it will change.

 

Dr. Purcell – That’s correct, testing for nutritional status is as important as re-testing the tTg antibodies. Nutritional needs will change as digestion improves and it is important for patients to have a Naturopathic Doctor on their team to monitor that as well as help support digestive function. Do you have any advice for a newly diagnosed celiac patient?

Dr. Triester – Be Patient. It is very difficult to go gluten-free in a week. There are items you never even thought about that will contain gluten. You will make mistakes and that’s ok. Symptoms will resolve over time. Sometimes I have to remind myself to be patient when I am working with my patients. Each person’s body will heal at a different rate. Some symptoms will take longer than others to resolve.

 

Dr. Purcell – Dr. Triester, It was truly a pleasure conversing with you this afternoon. I can tell that you are a passionate and caring doctor. 

The Phoenix chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation has provided me with brochures to leave with you as a resource for your patients. 

As an additional thank you I am gifting you with a copy of my gluten-free cookbook for your waiting room. Thank you for your time and have a great weekend.

Dr. Triester – Oh wow, this will be great for the waiting room. Thank you Dr. Purcell and you do the same.

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More than 23 million Americans suffer from auto-immune disease. 

In simple terms autoimmunity means that your immune system is confused and begins to attack itself. 

Some common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), celiac disease, and asthma.

Alessio Fasano, MD, the director of the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston has come to the conclusion that every autoimmune disease has three basic ingredients: a genetic predisposition, an environmental trigger, and a leaky gut.

Scientists have long known that autoimmunity runs in families and that onset can be triggered by ones environment, which includes infections. In 2000 Dr. Fasano discovered zonulin, a protein that regulates gut permeability.

“Zonulin works like the traffic cop of our bodies’ tissues,” he says. “It opens the spaces between cells, allowing some substances to pass through while keeping harmful substances out.” If the triad is present, people can produce excess amounts of zonulin, which compromises the intestinal lining and allows toxins, bacteria and undigested bits of food into the bloodstream. This is informally known as “leaky gut.”

Naturopathic Doctors have long said that gut permeability is the foundation of chronic disease including autoimmune disorders. 

The leaky gut discovery is important when discussing autoimmune disorders because it can stress the immune system to trigger predisposed genes.

In a healthy gut the good bacteria outnumber the bad. But keeping a healthy ratio is tough with today’s environment and lifestyle. Years of eating processed food, taking medications, and fighting off stress & infections compromises the digestive lining. 

With a leaky gut, zonulin opens the door for bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, chemicals, foods and pollutants to enter the bloodstream. The immune system responds to these invaders and becomes confused. This sets off the battle against “self”.

Dr. Fasano says, “Humans evolved over 2.5 million years, during which time our immune system was designed to attack one enemy: infection, now the same machinery is forced to fight thousands of enemies it has never seen before.”

Toxins


Some toxins alter the structure of our DNA, which can confuse the immune system and promote autoimmunity. 

The increase in autoimmunity parallels the growth of consumer products made from plastics, artificial fibers, and synthetic dyes. There are now more than 80,000 chemicals used in commercial products. 

Out of autoimmune sufferers 78% are women. One theory is that women use more products on their bodies leading to increased exposure to chemicals, and hormone disruptors.

 

Health happens by Choice not Chance


Step 1 –
Eat to heal 

All of this and more is discussed in my healthy gluten-free cookbook, Feed Your Cells.

Eat Real food – This decreases body inflammation and can heal a damaged digestive lining.

Step 2 - Identify Food sensitivities

Step 3 - Support Digestive health with enzymes and probiotics. Specific gut-healing nutrients

Step 4 - Avoid environmental stressors such as medications that damage the digestive lining.

 

Note from Dr. P


In my clinical experience 50% of Celiac patients get 90-100% better by eliminating gluten. The other 50% still have poor quality of life after avoiding gluten. Some of this is due to gluten contamination that they may not be aware of and the rest is due to leaky gut, other food sensitivities, and an inability to absorb nutrients properly. This is where Naturopathic Medicine can help tremendously. Remember digestive health is the cornerstone of total body health.

 

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Theories as to why Celiac Disease is on the rise:

1)    Cesarean Birth – Generally a baby is colonized with healthy bacteria as it passes through the birth canal.

2)    Antibiotic use – Antibiotics kill off both good and bad bacteria that colonizes the digestive tract. The good bacteria are required to keep the delicate balance between virus, fungi, and bacteria so the digestive lining remains healthy.

3)    Uber-cleanliness – The attempt to be overly clean leaves much to be desired when it comes to digestive function. Our immune system develops by producing antibodies to fight off foreign invaders. An overly clean environment may result in autoimmune type processes and an inability for the digestive system to be properly colonized with good bacteria.

4)    Age of first introduction to gluten. Ideally babies should be breast fed for the first six months and then begin fruit and vegetable introduction for a few months, which gives their digestive system time to properly develop. Introducing gluten or other grains too soon may compromise the digestive lining.

5)    Compromised Food Supply – pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, heavy metals, artificial dyes, flavors, and preservatives. Genetically modified food items, GMO. All of these wreck havoc on the digestive system and can compromise the lining over time leading to leaky gut, food sensitivities, and possibly an auto-immune condition. (Note: there is currently no GMO wheat in the United States. The food items that are GMO are: corn, soy, zucchini & yellow summer squash, canola oil, papaya, sugar beets, and alfalfa.

6)    Medications – Most medications have side effects. Most medications list constipation as one of those side effects. Others are known to compromise the stomach lining and repeated ingestions overtime weakens digestive function.

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Interview with John Wells, MD on Celiac Disease
North Valley Endoscopy, Phoenix, AZ

 

Dr. Purcell:

Dr. Wells thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.

Dr. Wells:

You’re very welcome it’s my pleasure.

Dr. Purcell:

I wanted to ask you some questions about Celiac Disease. Are you finding that more people are asking to get tested for Celiac Disease now?

Dr. Wells:

Absolutely, as the public becomes more informed about gluten, more people are suspecting that they have it. I have more and more patients requesting the tests. I start with the antibody tests and if they come up positive then I recommend a biopsy of the small intestine. 

Dr. Purcell:

Yes, and Celiac can only be 100% confirmed with the biopsy. Celiac disease affects less than one percent of the population. Are you finding that celiac disease is on the rise?

Dr. Wells:

I want to mention that I diagnosed my first celiac patient over thirty years ago and in that time a lot has changed. I think what is happening now is that more people are asking to be tested. So yes, more celiac is being diagnosed than before but it is not necessarily on the rise. I do think more people today are having sensitivities to gluten but are testing negative for Celiac Disease.

Dr. Purcell:

Right and that would be an area where Naturopathic Medicine can help by identifying food sensitivities and supporting digestive function. I’ve also found that patients suffering with Irritable bowel syndrome can find relief with natural medicine regardless if they have Celiac Disease. 

Dr. Wells:

Oh that’s good to know because IBS patients can suffer quite a lot. I think it’s also important to mention that patients suspecting that they have Celiac should get tested first before they pursue a gluten-free diet. Testing will not be accurate if gluten is eliminated from ones diet prior to testing.

Dr. Purcell:

Absolutely, because some people avoid gluten but are not diagnosed as Celiac. In order to really know, gluten would have to be re-introduced into their diet again for 2-3 months in order to get accurate test results.

I wanted to let you know that the Celiac Disease Foundation has two support groups here in the Valley. There is one meeting each month in Phoenix and one in Gilbert. Please pass the information along to your newly diagnosed patients, to use as a wonderful resource.

Phoenix: First Wednesday of each month. 7-9pm
Paradise Valley Retirement Center 11645 N. 25th Place Phoenix, AZ 85028

East Valley: Third Wednesday of each month. 6:30-8pm
American Leadership Academy 3155 S San Tan Village Pkwy Gilbert, AZ 85295

Dr. Wells: Thank you so much, I’ll be sure to do that.

Dr. Purcell: Thank you Dr. Wells for taking your time today in between patients to answer questions on Celiac disease.

Dr. Wells: It was my pleasure.

 

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It is shocking that in 2013 this is the “stock” Medicare letter that goes out to patients who inquire about getting coverage for “Maintenance Therapy” aka Preventative Therapy:

 

Medicare Information

"Maintenance Therapy is not considered by Medicare to be medically reasonable and necessary, and is NOT reimbursable by Medicare. Maintenance Therapy includes services that seek to prevent disease, promote health, and prolong and enhance the quality of life, or maintain or prevent deterioration of a chronic condition. Medicare never covers Laser Treatment, Nutritional Counseling, Chiropractic exams, Therapeutic Procedures or Muscle stimulation."

 

Note from Dr. Purcell

I have been in the field of Alternative and Integrative Medicine for fifteen years. In that time I have worked hard to help my patients reach their health goals and get to the next level in their lives. This is something that can rarely be achieved with the standard “symptom suppression” of conventional medicine.

I have also waited patiently as the grass roots movement of natural and preventative medicine has risen to the surface. This can easily be seen in the success of local farmers markets, large health food stores such as Whole Foods, the availability of organic foods in conventional groceries and so on. 

Mainstream Medicine continues to resist and ignore the concept that natural substances, nutritional supplements and dietary modifications can be useful in preventing and treating disease. This is in spite of hundreds if not thousands of double-blind studies supporting the use of natural medicine. The body of scientific evidence continues to grow and more people are being awakened to the benefits of natural therapies.

I know that changing the status quo takes time. I also know that when we as a population are faced with new ideas that fly in the face of conventional dogma we can either embrace them or ignore them. (Remember long ago when the majority of the population thought the sun to revolve around the earth? And then decided to imprison the man who told them otherwise? And then the population did indeed find the earth and other planets to revolve around the sun. Woops!)

Let me tell you a little secret…Preventative medical care is less expensive than mainstream medicine. Sure you may pay a bit more up front to prevent and reverse disease but that is peanuts compared to the bill you will get for back surgery or any type of prolonged hospital stay. 

I can tell you first hand that Natural Medicine works. It isn’t some type of hippy dippy nonsense. Natural therapies are based in Science, and treatment recommendations are quite logical once you understand how your body works. 

This short statement by Medicare makes it very clear that if you want to prevent deterioration and disease, and prolong or enhance the quality of your life it is up to YOU! 

Unless you have incredible genes, Health Happens by Choice not Chance.

Preventative care is the only way to maintain optimal health and more people are realizing it each day. This is the future of medicine and in order for it to evolve it requires a consistent joint effort from like-minded individuals.

 

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It’s that time of year again and I’m here to help you help yourself through the next seven months.

A cold is simply an infection that lives in your upper respiratory tract. There are over 200 viruses that can cause a cold. The cold and flu season lasts from September to April. The typical duration of cold symptoms last for 4-10 days. 

When you are sick, nutrient-rich foods are important to boost your body’s defenses and fight infection. You must eat regularly and ingesting home made soups, teas, and drinks are the best way to do it.

When it comes to colds and flu the best defense is a good offense. Have immune boosting foods in your kitchen and a well-stocked natural medicine cabinet and you are prepared!

Foods to Avoid – These foods suppress your immune system. You should be avoiding these foods most of the time but absolutely if your immune system is low.

*Dairy products – These increase congestion and body inflammation
*Alcohol – suppresses your immune system
*Sugary foods, soda, and cookies – Sugar suppresses immune function and feeds bacteria. It’s better to eat an orange, than to drink Orange juice.
*Fried Foods – Fried foods increase body inflammation. To fight off infection you need anti-inflammatories found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
*Any foods that you know you react to and make you feel unwell.

Immune Boosting Foods:

*Peppers: Bell peppers are super high in vitamin C and their spicy relatives increase circulation and drain your sinuses.
*Carrots: Carrots are high in antioxidants and beta carotene to help boost your immune system.
*Onions and garlic – High in sulphur containing substances that promote detoxification and kill off infectious invaders via stealth immune boosting qualities.
*Brazil nuts – 3-5 of these nuts per day provide selenium which helps promote the growth of immune cells.
*Make a fresh juice: 2 ribs celery, 1 cup parsley, 1 carrot, 1 cup fresh spinach, ¼ juice of lime, 1 inch piece fresh ginger. 

Natural Medicine Cabinet

I am a big believer in having natural remedies on hand at the slightest indication of lowered immunity. You want to support your body before the infection takes hold of your mucus membranes and then some. For help stocking your at home natural medicine cabinet see my page on Immune boosting kits.

Exercise

Mild to moderate exercise is also good to keep circulation, lymphatics, and body fluids moving. Exercise will prevent congestion from stagnating in any one area. Exercise can be tricky though, sometimes the best recipe for an illness is sleep so here is a general rule of thumb.

*Exercise regularly for prevention
*When you are feeling run down make sleep a priority with a hefty dose of immune boosting foods before bed.
*The next day do the head and neck scan (if your symptoms are in your head, throat, nose and eyes, mild to moderate exercise will help). If your symptoms are below the head and neck and include fever, cough, aches, and fatigue, skip the exercise and get more rest.

Dr. Purcell’s Super Immune Drink

2 quarts good clean water
6 lemons
3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
2/3 cup honey
1oz Echinache purpurea root tincture

Directions: In a large pot boil the water, add the juice of all six lemons, add in ginger. Boil for 5 minutes then reduce to simmer and add honey. Simmer for 1 minute more and remove from heat. Pour into a cup and add 20 drops of echinachea tincture. Drink 2-3 cups daily.

This batch makes 7-8 cups.

 For More Information on Immune Boosting, check out my previous blog posts on the subject:

7 Winter Wellness Tips to Keep You Healthy
Sinus Away
Fight the Cold and Flu Season Naturally
Holiday Health Tool Kit

 

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I got this recipe from my girlfriend who got it from one of her girlfriends, and that’s how us women do things! Sweet summer corn is crunchy, juicy and will make this salad a huge hit.

6 ears of corn

1 can of black beans drained and rinsed

½ cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

Pinch of sea salt

1 pint sliced cherry tomatoes

½ cup feta cheese (optional)

Directions:

Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off the cob (yes, the corn is raw), place in a medium size glass bowl.

Add the cilantro, tomatoes, black beans, salt, and lime juice, stir until well combined, add feta if desired.

A note about feta cheese: Most of the feta in the United States comes from cows, if you read the labels and shop at a specialty store you can find it from sheep which is easier to digest.

-Bon Apetite

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Note from Dr. P: Congress has pending legislation to stop compounding pharmacies. This is a fight we can win if they hear from ALL of our patients and friends. I hate to think of entering menopause without the help of a compounding pharmacy, that would be a total bummer!

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If you suffer from Arthritis or joint injuries there is a special therapy for you. This therapy can rebuild worn out cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, and get rid of inflammation and pain.

This unique therapy is called Prolozone. Prolozone is a combination of two therapies that speed up the healing power of your own body inside the joints. The two therapies are prolotherapy and ozone therapy.

When these two therapies are combined, the results are extremely effective for the patient. 

Prolotherapy has been around for many years as a solution to heal injured joints and there are several studies to prove that it works. However prolotherapy has some drawbacks, including many repeat treatments, accompanied with a lot of pain and discomfort for the patient.

That’s when I did some research and found out about Ozone therapy. I began to use Prolozone in my practice eight years ago. With this treatment, patients require fewer injections and the joints recover much faster and the best part is very little pain!

How it works:

The connective tissue inside of a joint has a poor blood supply that allows healing to occur very slowly if at all.

First the joint is injected with a solution of procaine, Vitamin B12 and folic acid, and then with the syringe still in place, medical ozone is injected into the joint.  

Ozone is made up of 3 oxygen atoms (O3); Oxygen travels in pairs (O2). When an extra oxygen molecule is added to O2 it becomes O3. When we introduce O3 into a joint it wants to become O2 again and so it gives away 1 oxygen molecule and the cells take it in. As a cell takes in more oxygen, it can produce more energy and become more efficient. This allows for the internal structures of the joint to repair more quickly then they ever could on their own. 

Note from Dr. P

The results with this treatment have been amazing. Take Bob, an 84-year-old male who had terrible arthritis in both knees that flared up after a trip to Italy, walking on cobblestones. His MD told him he wasn’t a candidate for knee replacement because of his pre-existing heart condition, so he did some research and found out about Prolozone. He came hobbling into my office saying he would like to play golf and travel without pain. He also had pain going up stairs, during sleep, and with walking.  After 4 knee injections he was pain free and able to take that cruise that he wanted. There are countless stories like this about prolozone. So if you or someone you know is suffering with a joint injury, I highly recommend it.

 

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1 Papaya peeled and seeded
2 Mangoes peeled
1 lime
1/8-teaspoon cayenne pepper
 
Directions:
Chop papaya and mangoes into ½ inch cubes and place in bowl.
Squeeze juice of 1 lime over mixture, add cayenne pepper, mix and chill for 2 hours before serving.
Serve with small scoop of lemon sorbet.
 
  
Note from Dr. P:
Papayas generally come in 2 varieties the Hawaiian, which are smaller, and the Mexican, which are bigger. Either variety works well in this recipe and both are high in Vitamins, A, C, and folate.

 

Ripe papayas are yellow and orange on the outside and should not be overly soft or have any mold.
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Health Alert: Hepatitis Berries
 

Two local cases of hepatitis A, which are part of a five-state outbreak, have prompted a warning to consumers not to eat Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend of frozen berries sold through Costco stores.

The outbreak has been linked to at least 30 cases, including six in California. It is being investigated by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal Food and Drug Administration, and the California Department of Public Health.

The two local individuals with hepatitis A both reported eating the frozen berry blend purchased from Costco. The number of cases in San Diego County and in this outbreak may increase, because on average it can take up to 30 days to become ill with hepatitis A after being exposed to the virus.

"If you ate Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berries within the past two weeks and you have never been vaccinated for hepatitis A or had the disease, you should contact your health care provider to discuss hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin," said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., deputy county public health officer.

If you do not have a health care provider, you can contact the County of San Diego's Epidemiology Program at 619-692-8499.

"If you have purchased Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berries, please discard the product," said McDonald.

Costco has removed this product from its shelves, although a formal recall has not yet been issued. FDA is further investigating this product, including testing the berries for the hepatitis A virus.

The risk of contracting hepatitis A from eating these berries is low. If you have ever been vaccinated for hepatitis A or have been diagnosed with hepatitis A in the past, you are considered protected from the disease. The hepatitis A vaccine or immune globulin can prevent infection if given within 14 days of exposure.

Signs of hepatitis A appear two to six weeks after exposure. Symptoms commonly include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark urine and jaundice (yellow eyes or skin). It is important if you have these symptoms that you seek medical attention and do not work in food service, health care or child care until you are no longer infectious.

Hepatitis A varies in severity, with mild cases lasting two weeks or less and more severe cases lasting four to six weeks or longer. The disease can be severe and result in hospitalization. Some individuals, especially children, may not develop jaundice and may have mild illness. Even people with mild symptoms should consult a health care provider.

Hepatitis A virus is spread person to person or via contaminated food or beverages. People are at increased risk of acquiring hepatitis A when they have had ongoing close personal contact with an infected person, such as in a household setting.

For more information on hepatitis A, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website at www.cdc.gov and search "hepatitis A".

(Article from CBS8.com)

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Note from Dr. P:
 
Caregiving is one of the most stressful jobs that someone can take on. I often see the long term health effects of caregiving on the caregiver only after their loved one has passed on. This is a selfless job that can be extremely intense and depleting. The caregiver selflessly gives of their vital energy and life force to physically and emotionally support their loved one endlessly around the clock. Since most of the focus is on the sick patient, there has been a lack of awareness on the role of caregiver and how support is essential for them to continue on in this role.

The contributor of this blog post, Cameron, reached out to me asking if he could share his story with all of you.  His goal is to increase awareness and let caregivers know that they are not alone. It just goes to show that in every storm cloud there is a sliver lining to be found.

 -Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic

Dr. Purcell

 

Caring For a Loved One With Cancer
By: Cameron Von St. James
http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/cameron/


I will never forget the events of November 21, 2005. That was the day my wife Heather was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. I had never been a caregiver before, and I felt woefully unprepared for my new role. A few months before the cancer diagnosis, our daughter Lily was born. Instead of spending the next few months celebrating our first holiday season together, we would have to face one difficult challenge after another.

I experienced the responsibility that comes with being a caregiver almost immediately. After the diagnosis, our doctor told us that we had three treatment options. We could receive care at the local university hospital, a regional hospital, or a mesothelioma specialist in Boston. My wife sat silently, her expression revealing her feelings of helplessness. I knew she needed help, and I told the doctor that we would go to Boston to seek the best treatment option available. I could only pray that there was someone there who would be able to help my wife.

Over the next two months, our lives were torn apart. Heather had to quit her job, and I could only manage to work part time. When I wasn't working, I was taking care of our baby, planning trips to Boston, and going with my wife to her doctor's appointments. On top of my busy schedule, I felt overwhelmed with fear that Heather would not survive her illness. Though I stayed strong in front of her, I was terrified that I would end up with no wife, no money, and a young daughter to care for all on my own.  

My wife and I will never forget the aid we received from friends, family, and strangers during the most taxing time of our lives. Caring for someone with cancer is physically and emotionally draining, and our loving support network was one of the main things that helped me through it. With their help, I was able to maintain control over the negative emotions that I felt on a regular basis. No one can be perfect during something as difficult as cancer, but staying hopeful is crucial.
 

Over the next few months, Heather underwent a grueling round of treatments for mesothelioma, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  It was difficult on her, and on our whole family while she suffered through it.  However, in the end it paid off.  Heather was able to defy the odds and beat this terrible form of cancer.

Today, Heather is healthy and cancer free. My experiences during her treatment taught me to stay resolute under even the worst of circumstances. They also reminded me that our time on this earth is valuable. I went back to school two years after her diagnosis.  My time as a caregiver gave me the strength and the courage to pursue this dream of mine. It also gave me the skills to be successful, and I graduated with high honors a few years later, even being offered the opportunity to be the student speaker at graduation. During my speech, I explained that I had no idea five years earlier that I would end up there, a college graduate with a happy family. Within each of us is the strength to accomplish incredible things, if we only just believe in ourselves and never give up hope for a better tomorrow.

 

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Stay tuned for new articles to appear, as well as video posts, special announcements, event announcements and much more.

To your health,

Dr. Andrea Purcell, N.M.D.
PortalToHealing.com
AskDrPurcell.com

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Dr. Purcell encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional health care advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site! Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Andrea Purcell, unless otherwise noted. By entering your email address you are also requesting and agreeing to subscribe to my free weekly Natural Health & Nutrition Tips, and current promotions. AskDrPurcell.com provides the information available on this Site for entertainment purposes only. This Site is not intended to provide medical advice. You must be 18 or older to enter.


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Dr. Andrea Purcell, N.D. is a trusted and well-respected naturopathic health care provider, Dr. Andrea Purcell has been in private practice for ten years in Costa Mesa, California and Phoenix, AZ. Andrea Purcell, NMD has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences a premier accredited four-year medical institution that specializes in the advancement of integrative medicine. As founder of Portal to Healing Naturopathic Clinic, Dr. Purcell has spearheaded the full scope naturopathic medical practice, providing primary care natural medicine to a diverse roster of patients. Recognized as a knowledgeable resource on a wide variety of health issues, Dr. Purcell has frequently appeared as a guest speaker for such groups as the Scleroderma Foundation and the City of Hope. She has also participated in expert panel discussions for numerous organizations, most recently for the Orange County African American Women's Health Coalition, and has appeared on Pacifica Radio's Page to Pantry program. She also presents a lecture series, free to the community, on a number of topical health issues. Dr. Purcell has also written and published articles on a variety of health and nutrition related subjects which have appeared in OC Health, Healthy Times, Nutricula Magazine and others, and has recently published her first book, Feed Your Cells, 7 Ways to Make Health Food Fast, Easy, and Gluten Free. This is a cookbook and guide to healthy eating. In fact, educating women about their health and empowering them to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives is at the core of Dr. Purcell's naturopathic practice. Dr. Purcell is a certified practitioner of the Blood Type Diet, the Wiley Protocol, Ozone Oxidative Therapy and Wilson's Temperature Syndrome thyroid protocol, and is recognized as a metabolic specialist in anti-aging. She is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the California Naturopathic Doctors Association, the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association, the National Center for Homeopathy and the American Academy for Anti-Aging Medicine. She is also a member of Toastmasters.