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Listen up! It’s all about the ears…..

Ear infections are the most common reason that parents bring their children in for treatment, especially this time of year. Children are more susceptible to ear infections due to the anatomy of the ear. Adults can get ear infections, but it is less likely to occur.

There are two types of ear infections. The type that affects the middle ear and is called otitis media and is typically. The tubes inside the ear can become filled with fluid and mucus because at a young age the tubes are more horizontal to the ground and as we get older they become more vertical which allows for better drainage. This is the reason adults are less likely to be afflicted with ear infections.

The second type is common more common this time of year and is known as Swimmer’s ear or otitis externa.

As we all know, ear infections can be quite painful but if your child is too young to tell you that their ear hurts here are several telltale signs that you can watch for:

  • Tugging at ears
  • Crying more than usual
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hearing problems
  • Balance issues
  • Fluid draining from the ear
  • Many of the mothers report a distinct smell coming from the childs’ ear

Ear infections can go away on their own, however, as a mother, it is miserable to see your child in pain. Many parents take their child to their pediatrician and antibiotics are prescribed. Antibiotics can help fight the infection but they do have nasty side effects so I would like to share some natural solutions and prevention tools to this painful problem so that you can help your littles avoid it all together. If you choose to use antibiotics I would recommend getting the ear drops vs. the oral to avoid many of the side effects.

Being a Chiropractic Internist I must mention the importance of the chiropractic adjustment as prevention and part of treatment. A chiropractic adjustment can ensure alignment of the cervical spine which can help with drainage, but more importantly, the adjustment provides a boost to the immune system by affecting the nervous system. Along with the adjustment I also use a technique called the pharyngeal sweep. This can be uncomfortable while it is being performed but when it is done then it is done. The eustachian tubes (tubes in the ear) drain into the mouth but are covered by a muscle. By using my finger to “swipe” the muscle it will allow for the tubes to drain. I encourage parents to allow the child to spit when needed as it may drain for several hours after treatment.

As prevention I like to use Melaleuca essential oil behind the ear morning and night daily. I use doTERRA essential oils because I love their dedication to providing Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils that I know are safe to use on my Itty Bitty. I am happy to share more information about doTERRA if you would like to contact me at askdrcammie@gmail.com. Melaleuca can also be used as a treatment for ear discomfort as well. During an active infection I recommend to use it behind the ear 4-5 times a day until it subsides then continue as maintenance 2 times daily as I previously mentioned for prevention. For more information on Melaleuca Touch: http://bit.ly/2Immw3B I like the roller bottle because it is super easy to use!

My Itty Bitty is constantly in water during the summer, whether it be a pool or the lake so I like to use alcohol as a prevention as well. After she has been in the pool or lake I use an eye dropper to put a couple drops of alcohol in her ear and let it sit for just 10-20 seconds then we flip her head over and do the other side. The alcohol will dry up any water that may stay in her ear.

I also recommend a product called Biocidin. There are two forms that can be used but what Biocidin does is dismantle biofilms of the bacteria decreasing the life span, therefore, shortening the duration of the infection. This is also a safer alternative to antibiotics. 😉 For more information on Biocidin LSF: http://www.healthylifestyleswellnesscenter.com/index.php?p=175885&details=1&catId=686&pid=6615&s=

Ear discomfort sucks not only for the kids but for the parents as well. I am a firm believer in preventing it in the first place and it is super easy. So parents do yourselves and your kids a favor and use these little tips and tricks. Be the super hero in your home by keeping things on hand to use so you can avoid doctors offices, waiting rooms, and copays.

Keep living happy lives peeps!


Know Your Numbers – Part 1

This will be a multi-part series about which of your health numbers that you really need to be paying attention to in order to have a healthier life. There will be several different numbers that I will be discussing over the next couple of newsletters. I will discuss blood pressure, waist size, blood sugar, sleep, and cholesterol.

The first number I would like to discuss is blood pressure. There are several stages to hypertension so I have included a chart to make it easier to see them at a glance.

The first number is your systolic pressure—the pressure when your heart is pumping blood. The second number measures your diastolic pressure, which is when your heart is between beats. According to the CDC, about 75 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 in every 3 American adults and nearly 20% do not even know they have it. Anyone, including children, can develop high blood pressure. It greatly increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death in the United States. As your blood pressure increases so does the resistance within your blood vessels. Therefore, your heart has to work harder with each pump to transport the blood, and over time, this can stress the heart and leave you vulnerable to heart attack or stroke. So let me break this down for you even further:

  • Less than half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control.
  • High blood pressure contributes to nearly 1,000 deaths a day.
  • Approximately 20 percent of U.S. adults who have high blood pressure do not know they have it.
  • Almost 30 percent of American adults have prehypertension, which raises the risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • Sixty-nine percent of people who have a first heart attack, 77 percent of people who have a first stroke, and 74 percent of people with chronic heart failure have high blood pressure.
  • In 2009, nearly 350,000 American deaths included high blood pressure as a primary or contributing cause.

Many people have higher-than-normal blood pressure levels. This notion could be the result of a dangerous lifestyle or one of the complications of several diseases. The first step to improving your blood pressure is to find the reason for the elevation; however, many people with high blood pressure don’t seem to have an apparent cause.  There are several ways to reduce your blood pressure, though I will be discussing ways that you can reduce naturally without medication, however, always consult your physician to make sure that these are right for you.

1. Exercise

Exercise is the best and cheapest way to lower your blood pressure. Physical activity can make your heart healthier and stronger. Physical activity can come in many forms. It can include running, weight training, walking, swimming, playing sports, and so much more. It doesn’t even require a gym membership! Staying active everyday can reduce the pressure on your heart, making if more efficient and able to pump more blood with less effort.

2. Dark Chocolate

This is for all of you chocolate lovers out there! Dark chocolate contains flavanols, which promote healthy blood flow. There is a fine line between a healthy portion and an unhealthy portion when it comes to chocolate. A little goes a long way. 😉

3. Diet

Diet plays a HUGE role in controlling your blood pressure. Consider that food is your natural medicine, it can improve your condition or make it worse. Eating foods that contain potassium such as leafy greens can play a role in decreasing the levels of sodium in your blood, which is very important for reducing your blood pressure. Purchase fresh vegetables (and organic) whenever possible because they contain the highest amount of nutrition. Did you know that frozen vegetables are the next best thing to fresh? Well they are! So if fresh is not possible hit the freezer section instead of the can food section at the grocery store.

4. Less Alcohol

Drinking too much has a significant effect on your health, not to mention relationships. Alcohol can increase blood pressure as well as weight because most alcohol contains a lot of calories.

5. Reduce Caffeine

Caffeine seems to be an essential part of the morning routine for many people. Unfortunately, it is not just limited to the mornings for most. We have become a society that depends on caffeine to get us through our day. Drinking caffeine can significantly effect your health AND blood pressure. Caffeine influences the adrenal glands which help our body deal with stress (more on this in the next point).

6. Manage Stress

Ooooh, this is a tough one. We live in a high stress society. Stress stimulates our bodies to secrete our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which are secreted by…you guessed it, our adrenal glands! These hormones increase the heart rate and make the blood vessels narrower, which raises your blood pressure. First and foremost, identify the sources of stress in your life and avoid them if possible. Secondly, find healthy coping mechanisms to help you deal with the stress that you can’t eliminate, such as exercising.

7. Quit Smoking

Smoking can cause many diseases, including hypertension. Nicotine can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, increase the risk of blood clots, and increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. It can also make your arteries narrower and build their walls harder and less flexible. So, it is imperative to quit smoking or stay away from people while they are smoking. There are some ways to do that such as setting a date to quit smoking and telling your doctor and friends about it. Stopping smoking can be very hard, but it has incredible benefits.

8. More Vitamin D

Vitamin D is good for so many things. Most people don’t realize that not only is Vitamin D good for your bones but it is also a mood stabilizer and blood pressure regulator. The recommended amount of Vitamin D is 600 international units per day but I would argue that the majority of the population could use closer to 2,000 international units per day though I would back this up with checking Vitamin D levels regularly.

When managing your blood pressure it is important that you are an active participant in your healthcare. All of the recommendations above are things that you can implement in your daily routine. Taking small steps consistently will create massive results in the long term. Making lifestyle changes can improve your quality of life and allow you to do things you want to do. Do more of what you want and BE HAPPY!

Creating Yourself

At some point I think we have all asked ourselves, “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” Am I wrong? Am I the only one that finds myself asking these questions?

As the quote above says, Life is not about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself. I feel like a lot of people have spent the better part of their lives “finding themselves” and not creating themselves. This is where I have found myself many times. It is within this quote that I found why I haven’t “found” myself. It is because there is nothing to find, there is only room for creating. I have committed myself to creating the things that I want for myself and my life. I encourage you to question yourself, “Are you looking to find something or are you creating your life?

Creating yourself may just make you get out of your comfort zone, which for many is very hard. We like what is comfortable for us and tend not to stray from what we know even if it isn’t the best thing for us. Did you know that anything worth doing will always be an uphill? If you are coasting or things are easy then I hate to break it to you but you have room to grow. So push yourself out of your comfort zone. See what you can create for yourself. You are worth it.

I would love to hear from you. Have you already started creating yourself? What are you creating? What was it that started you in the right direction? In life, I think we get so caught up in the things that we feel we have to do that we forget to take the time to find what we love to do. I would encourage you to find what you love and do more of it. Life is too short. Do what you love.

Letting Go

This has been a year of letting go. Letting go of things both willingly and unwillingly. Letting go can be difficult for some of us so we tend to avoid it. The question I ask myself is why is it so hard to let go of things? There are even things that I hold onto that I know are not good for me whether it be relationships, material things, or even feelings for that matter. I find myself being cluttered mentally, emotionally, and physically and yet I can’t let go. 
This year alone I have seen friendships end, changes in the workplace, and most recently our town has experienced loss due to massive flooding. The loss that I see due to the flooding is staggering. There are people who have lost their homes and others who have lost their businesses. The town itself looks different and yet the people in it have come together beautifully. I have had loss due to the flood in my little space in the world and yet I am blessed because it could have been so much worse. I still have a roof over my head, clothes in my closet ( ok, so they sit on my dryer), and I am still able to see my patients. These are blessings that many others lost less than two weeks ago and their lives will forever be changed, however, the town will recover and the people will recover. 
I think sometimes it takes devastating things to happen in order to bring the positive change needed. We don’t have to understand the process but we do have to trust it.

Reflection

As I reflect upon 2016 there are definitely things that I could have done better. I feel like I was lost the majority of the year. I lost my way. I had no direction, no goals, and no discipline to get anything done. I did a lot of reading, thinking, and reflection. Now it is a new year and I am ready for a new me.

When I think of 2017 I know I will not make New Year resolutions. I will not set myself up for failure. What I will do though is commit to being a better version of myself. I plan to do this by having a plan and constantly work towards my goals. I have spent the last several months trying to find my purpose, my WHY. I am still not 100% certain of what my purpose is, however, I am closer to my WHY. Once I find my WHY my purpose will appear. For 2017 I will ask myself one question with everything I do, and that question is….. What is the ONE thing I can do right now that will make me a better version of myself? That one question can be asked in every aspect of my life. What is the ONE thing I can do right now to be a better mom? What is the ONE thing I can do right now to make me healthier? What is the ONE thing I can do right now to be a better doctor? It can be used for anything!

So, what will you do in 2017? What is the ONE thing you can do right now that will move you closer to your goals?

Here is to a New Year and a New You!

My Little Buddy

As written by Jenny Poor

Warning: Be advised there is sensitive material at the bottom.

On January 7th 2016, I found out I had round worms.  This came as a surprise to me, as I consider myself to be a clean person.  After doing further research, I learned that most people probably have parasites.  If you eat out; if you have indoor pets; if you live on a farm; if you get dirty river or lake water in your mouth; if you get bitten by certain bugs; you have been exposed to parasites.  These are not the only ways to get parasites; they are just some of the more common ones.   I don’t know when, where, or how I got them.  I just know that I did.  It could happen anywhere anytime and it is next to impossible to pin point when you get them.

Given that this was new experience for me, it was a total shock to find a 12 inch worm in the toilet after I went #2 (forgive me; I’m a mom of young children).  In fact, I usually don’t even check what comes out when I poop.  I just wipe, flush, and wash my hands and really don’t give it a second thought.  I’m thankful that I did look that day.  We are guessing that my little buddy and his friends came to join me about a year ago.  Worms usually grow about an inch a year and my guy is approximately 12 inches long.  Don’t believe me, come visit me at the office, he is usually hanging out in my lab in his jar of formaldehyde.

Most people who meet “Wormy” usually ask me if I had any symptoms.  Looking back now, I did have symptoms, but didn’t know what they were symptoms of.  One such indicator included not being able to get a good deep breath.  When round worms are introduced into the body, they take up residence in the lungs, which would explain the difficulty getting that deep breath that I experienced.  When they mature they swim into the blood stream and find their way to the digestive system where they like to hang out and make it extremely difficult for a person to absorb nutrients and stay healthy.  Another manifestation of this parasite was that my saliva and urine pH usually ran on the alkaline end of things and no matter what I did, I could not get it balanced.  I know what you’re thinking… ‘Oh, great here is a pH loving quack! Doesn’t she know you can’t change blood pH?!?’  For those of you nay-sayers I’m not talking about BLOOD pH (that’s a WHOLE different newsletter), I’m talking about URINE and SALIVA pH.  Through diet & lifestyle adjustments you can change urine & saliva pH.  As I stated earlier, no matter what I did I could not get my alkaline pH balanced.  When a person is alkaline their digestion is extremely slow and the food is usually rolling around and fermenting in the gut and basically rotting.  Parasites LOVE this!!!  It’s like an all you can eat buffet for them.  One of the last symptoms I kept having and couldn’t find a reason for were headaches.  They would keep popping up for no reason; especially about 2 weeks before Wormy made his way into the porcelain bowl.  We were really starting to get worried as to why I was having these headaches.  My diet was good, I was active, I was doing all of the right things, but these dang headaches would not quit!  Once I passed Wormy the headaches pretty much stopped.  I still get an occasional one, but I can usually pinpoint the cause and fix it.

As you can imagine, when this parasite made its appearance, I was kind of freaking out.  I will admit that my knee-jerk reaction was to call my MD.  However, I got to the office with Wormy in hand (really a jar), and talked to Dr. Cammie about my options.  We did a little research, and found that there are several natural options that we had that have proven to work well in eliminating parasites.  I decided I would try these natural ways and if they didn’t work I would call my MD and get a prescription for an anti-parasitic.  Fast forward 2 months later and 1 stool test and I am no longer a host to any round worms!  All of the symptoms listed above have disappeared and the pH is balanced for the first time.

After all of this was said and done, I realized that if I hadn’t checked my poo, I would have never known that I had parasites.  I encourage you to start checking what is in the toilet after you go poop.  In fact, you should check ANYTHING that comes out of your body…you never know what you’re going to get.  Knowledge is power, be empowered!

 

 

 

Know Your Numbers!!!

In our society numbers are very important, in fact, you can go through a single day without needing to know a number. We live our lives by the numbers: phone numbers, pin numbers, stock market numbers, etc. Yet, many of us don’t know the numbers that SHOULD be most important to us, which are our health numbers. The health numbers that I feel are most important for this post are heart health numbers.

Knowing your heart health numbers could literally save your life. There are three key numbers that everyone needs to know that could give you a lifesaving preview of your cardiac risk.

  1. Your blood pressure
  2. Your cholesterol levels
  3. Your waist size

Healthy numbers mean a healthy heart. If you have healthy numbers then GREAT! Keep up the good work with eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and not smoking. If your numbers are not so good, fear not, even bad numbers can get turned around by implementing the above good habits.

Do you even know what these numbers are and what they mean? Let’s take a look:

1.  Blood Pressure: Key to Heart Health

When (and if) your doctor tells you your blood pressure do you actually know what it means? If not, have you ever asked? You should.

Blood pressure consists of two numbers. Your systolic pressure measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps blood out during a heartbeat, while the diastolic pressure measures the same pressure between heartbeats, when the heart fills with blood.

  • Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.
  • Pre-hypertension is 120 to 139 (systolic) and/or 80 to 89 (diastolic).
  • Hypertension — also known as high blood pressure — is 140 or higher (systolic) and 90 or higher (diastolic).

2.  Cholesterol: Predictor of Heart Attack

Cholesterol isn’t ALL bad — it is a type of fat that is actually a nutrient that our body needs. Some people know that there is “good” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol, there is a definite distinction that needs to be made between the two. So, when we measure cholesterol and blood fats, there is really three different numbers that we are talking about: HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. These combined give you your “lipid profile” score, however, the three individual scores are most important.

Here are the numbers you should strive for:

  • Total cholesterol of 200 mg/dL or lower.
  • HDL (“good” or “healthy” cholesterol) of 50 mg/dL or higher for women and for men it should be 40 mg/dL or higher.
  • Optimal LDL is 100 or lower, however, if you have other risk factors like pre-existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes then you want to shoot for closer to 70.
  • Triglycerides of less than 150 mg/dL.

**Adults 20 and older should get a lipid profile done every five years.

3.  Waist Size: The Connection to Heart Disease

This may be the easiest and most important number to remember. Your waist size predicts the risk of heart disease better than any other number. If your waist size is equal to or more than 35 inches in women and equal to or more than 40 inches in men then your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic problems, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol is greatly increased.

These three markers can be easily monitored by your physician (and YOU). This brief overview has given you an easy, inexpensive test that you can do at home to monitor your health. The others can easily be done at your physicians office.

Knowledge is power……Be empowered!

 

Life’s Path

This blog was written by Jenny Poor, CNHP. She has worked in our office for the last 4 and half years as our lab administrator. She is an amazing person and a natural born caregiver (almost to a fault), I can not wait to see how she takes her education and changes our little part of the world. 

 

It’s funny where life takes you and the path that God has planned out for you. If you were to tell me 5 years ago that I would be working at HLWC, studying to be a Naturopathic Doctor, and staying in a Las Vegas hotel for 8 days to earn my Certified Natural Health Profession (CNHP) certification, I would have told you that you were nuts. However, these past 4 ½ years have been more than I could imagine. I have enjoyed learning different methods of healing. I believe that constantly learning helps keep the mind young (at this point mine mind should be a teenager!)

While in Las Vegas we learned more on the legalities of what we do, water, general health, pH, how emotions effect our health, food, sleep, exercise, digestion, elimination, detoxification, nutrition, individual systems of the body, herbs, circulation, cholesterol, cooking and shopping, skin, biblical perspective, cleaning, emergency preparedness, finding the cause of disease, headaches, energy exhaustion and weight control. My fingers are tired from just typing all of that…imagine ones brain with all of that information! Do I now know everything about everything? Absolutely not! However, I do have a better grasp on the things listed above, which in turn makes me a better provider for you, our patient.

My goal is to have our office be your first stop when your body is not functioning they way God intended. Is HLWC the only place you should go? No, there is a time when we will not know what to do or we have exhausted all of our means to help you and you will need to see your MD. There is a time and place for allopathic medicine, but why not try what we have to offer first. Let’s make allopathic/western medicine the “alternative” care.

I look forward to sharing with you all that I have learned in the last 8 days, not to mention what I have learned in the last 4 years of Naturopathic studies. When you come into our office please test me. I may not have the answer instantly, but I will look it up and find what the best solution should be.

Motivation vs. Inspiration

Motivation seems to be something that everyone wants and yet we all have a hard time getting it. What is interesting is that people seem to think that motivation and inspiration are the same thing. People seem to think that the two have the same meaning and the two words are often used interchangeably. This is not an accurate assumption.

Let’s look at the meanings of each of these words.

Motivation: (as taken from the Dictionary)

1. the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a certain way
2. the state or condition of being motivated or having a strong reason to act or accomplish something
3. something that motivates; inducement; incentive

Inspiration: (as taken from the Dictionary)

1. an inspiring or animating action or influence
2. something inspired, as an idea.
3. a result of inspired activity.
4. a thing or person that inspires.

By looking at the definitions you can see that motivation seems to imply that there is a goal to reach. So the goal has a pulling force on the individual creating motivation. The individual has a “motive” to reach that goal, whether it be to lose weight to look good in their swimsuit or have financial freedom to have a retirement home.

Inspiration on the other hand, is more of a process. If something or someone inspires you, it touches you on the inside and connects you to a state of being more excited, productive, purposeful or anything that comes as a result of being inspired.

So, inspiration is something that you feel on the inside, while motivation is something from the outside that compels you to take action. Inspiration is a driving force, while motivation is a pulling force. They both can help propel you forward.

New Year’s Resolutions

So how did New Year’s Resolutions come to be? I have often asked myself this very question. The very next question I ask myself is why do I “resolve” to do something every year and then fail? 

New Year’s resolution is a tradition found throughout the world dating back to ancient times. A person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement. The origin of making New Year’s resolution rests with the Babylonians, who reportedly made promises to the gods in hopes that would earn good favor in the coming year. Turns out that they often resolved to get out of debt. Hmmmmmmm. That sounds familiar to me. I don’t know about you but I have “resolved” to get out of debt and I am pretty sure you can guess how that has worked out for me……I am still in debt! I have also “resolved” to lose weight and guess what? I am still trying lose weight. 

I have found that I make New Year’s resolutions and then never stick to them, so this year I am resolving to NOT make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I have decided, to make goals that I would like to accomplish this year. Realistic goals, using baby steps. And as I reflect on 2015 I hope to see progress in each area that I have created a goal. Why beat myself up at the end of the year only to make more unrealistic resolutions? It is a vicious cycle and for me it ends now. I encourage everyone to try this with me. If you must make resolutions then enlist your friends to keep you accountable. When you keep your resolutions to yourself then there is no one there to keep you accountable. You are more likely to stay accountable to someone else than you are to yourself. It is sad truth but one we must all face. So set goals or shout your resolutions from the rooftops. Either way let’s be “partners in progress” this year. Expect nothing more than progress. Progress will eventually get you to your goal!