Posts Tagged With "Health Care System"
After a long week of work in the wide open spaces of Montana, not only 15 hours later, I find myself eating a croissant and drinking cappuccino in the Charles De Gaul Paris International Airport, Paris. Today (well, yesterday) is the beginning of my three week European Wellness Adventure. It all started with my trip to Aspen, as my partners and I begin to roll out the Wild River Lodge and Wellness Spa in Washington. (Read my last blog to learn more about this) Being invited to visit Britain, Scotland, France, and Austria to explore the oldest and newest therapies using the age old healing of water, mud, sound, light, and color, as well as share my knowledge about NCR and Naturopathic Medicine, makes this not just a work trip, but a trip of a lifetime!
Russia: The beginning of my medical wellness journey.
I have only been to Europe once, on my way home from Russia where I did an internship in a sanatorium on the Black Sea for a summer. There we witnessed entire sanitoriums run with only mud, water, sun, massage, electrical, heat, and needle therapies prescribed by doctors from all over Russia. In the States we call this "alternative", but in many parts of the world, that is REAL medicine. It's cheaper, more sustainable, low force, and improves quality of life, not just relieving symptoms, and it's the basis of our Naturopathic Principles. And, it's cheaper than expensive drugs and surgery.
EUROPE: Time to learn and learn some more
With our current project we are looking to create a welllness center unlike anything in Washington, and it's now my job to figure out what it's going to entail, how big, what, etc etc. It's a big job but after months of planning, I am leaving my layover at Paris for my first destination, Nottingham, Great Britain.
There lives Sarah Camilleri, the editor and publisher of European Spa Magazine (europeanspamagazine.com) who has so graciously invited me to spend my first four days with her exploring central UK and the wellness retreats and treatments it has to offer.
I will then be traveling to middle France to visit a friends amazing countryside chateau, Paris, and then my wellness destination of Austria. There I have been invited for a week of touring the most unbelievable wellness facilities in the world. From Salzburg I will be traveling back to Scotland to meet with another friend that I met in Aspen who is going to tour me around to some spas and the sights, and mostly to consult with him and his wife regarding NCR and their youngest daughter. Then back to England, a trip to London and high tea and a possible chance to get a write up regarding NCR and our project in European Spa Magazine. It will then be time to fly back over the pond to Miami to witness the launch of GFC's (my brokerage company) new product- Youth H20 (youthh2o.com).
I can say that after 5 hours of driving, 2 hours of waiting, and 16 hours of flying, I'm waiting for the "crash", but the fact that yesterday I was driving through the great plains of Montana, and today I flew over the Eiffel Tower, my excitement is hard to hold back. Stay tuned each day for an updates, pictures, and videos, it's bound to get interesting! Now I have to finish the last episode of Dontown Abbey before the plane lands....
Dr Hillary :)
Springtime in the Northwest… We live in an amazing bioregion, the sun is shining on most days, the birds are singing, the pollinators are doing their job and there is an explosion of plant life!
However, springtime is also a time when environmental allergies return, with nasal congestion, sneezing, wheezing, watery eyes, headache, flu-like symptoms and fatigue.
If this describes your springtime experience, you may be suffering from Oral Allergy Syndrome, also known as OAS. This is a type of food allergy classified by a cluster of allergic reactions in response to eating certain foods that can typically develop in folks with environmental (inhalant) allergies.
OAS is a common food-related allergy that occurs due to cross-reactivity between certain foods and tree and weed pollens. Common reactions are an itching or burning sensation of the mouth, lips, tongue, ear canals and throat. In some cases there is a swelling of the lips and tongue and tightness in the throat. Occasionally, there can be an occurrence of wheezing, difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis. Other reactions can also be triggered in the skin (rash or hives), the eyes (watering and discharge), the nose (congestion, sneezing and runny nose). Trigger foods can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms if the allergen is not destroyed by stomach acids, and a histamine release can cause nausea, severe indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea and cramping.
OAS is an IgE-mediated immune response, where the body’s immune system produces antibodies against certain pollens that cross-react with foods with structurally similar proteins. OAS sufferers are often reacting to more than just pollens. The reactions are often instigated by pesticides or other contaminants.
Generally, symptoms occur within a few minutes of eating a trigger food, although delayed reactions can also occur as well. OAS can occur at any time of the year but symptoms are most prevalent during times of high pollen.
An elimination diet, followed by a food challenge, along with an accurate history, can usually provide the information needed to avoid trigger foods. There are also food immunology tests that can be administered as an adjunct for diagnosis.
Here is a list of possible food-pollen cross contamination:
· Alder pollen: almonds, apples, strawberry, rasberry, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, peaches, pears, parsley.
· Birch Pollen: almonds, apples, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, strawberries, avocado, bananas, carrots, celery, coriander, fennel, potatoes, soy, wheat, peppers, fig, kiwi.
· Ragweed: cucumber, zucchini, artichoke, dandelion, banana, cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, sunflower seeds/oil, green pepper, hibiscus, chamomile.
Other reactions to food can be caused by gluten intolerance, celiac, other food intolerances, and “leaky gut.” These individuals are unable to metabolize naturally occurring substances (ie. proteins) and will exhibit symptoms of OAS as well as other systemic symptoms.
I am happy to work with you to determine the root cause of your seasonal allergies and create an individualized treatment plan.
Judi Epstein, MSN, ARNP has been in practice for nearly 20 years. She practices Holistic and Functional Medicine at Sky Valley Healing Arts in Snohomish Washington. Please visit Judi’s website at www.judiepsteinarnp.com or www.skyvalleyhealingarts.com
Just in time for National Nutrition Month, a landmark study published in the Lancet, found that 64% of ADHD diagnosed and medicated children benefited MORE from removing food allergies and sensitivities than taking drugs. Simply put, diet is more effective than medicating children with ADHD. Dr Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands found that many of the children who are diagnosed with ADHD actually have food hypersensitivities that are influencing their behaviors, and when a stricter, and healthier diet is imposed, these children become "normal". With around 10% of US children being diagnosed with ADHD (which is an enormous percentage- anyone else shaking their head?), and over 3 million of those children on drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and other stimulant medications, there is no doubt ADHD diagnosis is big business.
If your child is exhibiting symptoms such as hyperactivity, poor focus, temper tantrums, separation anxiety, or is one of the three million medicated children, this study proves that diet should be your first line of treatment. Also, a majority of the ADHD/Autism spectrum children that I run biochemical tests on, have food allergies plus significant nutrient deficiencies such as low Vit D, B vitamins, Vit C, and minerals- all of which are essential for optimal cell function.
Nutritional biochemistry is the cornerstone of Naturopathic care, so if you are looking to improve your child's health and reduce their dependence on stimulant medications, I highly encourage you to seek out Naturopathic care and nutritional counseling. Overall care is inexpensive and could not just transform your child, but your entire family. Refer to my past blog to find out other ways to help your ADHD child without drugs. The key is education, take control of your health, and you will transform the lives of generations that come after you!
Last week, President Obama held a Town Hall Meeting in my hometown of Bozeman, MT. What a big day for such a small town in Southern Montana, and for Friday, Bozeman was on the worldwide map. Most of these town hall meetings have been held in small town America, where many have been hard hit by the downturn in the economy. As a healthcare provider I have been listening to the debate from both the media, my colleagues, and my patients and I find it hard to find a place to land. I know the economy has affected me, but as a provider who does not bill insurance, I find the struggle of where to stand in this mess.
As one of the wealthiest but not healthiest nations, the US is in a nasty predicament. Obama himself has begun to call this "insurance reform", and that is exactly what it is. This is not about taking care of the health of this nation, it is about insuring everyone in this nation. Insurance does not provide that we will be taken care of, it does not provide that we will be healthier, and it surely does not provide for prevention. There are only a few states that even recognize insurance coverage for "alternative" practices, and with the strong AMA lobbyist backing, it's going to get even harder for us "alternative" practitioners under a government run insurance program. (I really dislike the word alternative, as it makes us look less important, but its the word most people relate to.) My association, AANP, fights for us, but compared to the AMA, we are a little fish in an ocean of sharks.
What many consumers do not understand is that insurance companies tell doctors what they can diagnose, what they can prescribe, and even how much they will pay them for a certain procedure. Costs explode when invasive and unneccessary tests are done for fear of liability, again creating a whole other game for insurers to rake doctors and patients over the coals. "Alternative" therapies are actually more cost effective, and over the long run would save the American taxpayer billions of dollars, so it is vital that doctors and consumers in this field speak out.
And this is what I feel is missing in the debate- true PREVENTION. That word has been thrown around over and over, and yes mammograms and colonoscopy's save lives, but what about teaching someone to grow a garden, and prepare the food, or how to exercise, or learn about effective and cheap homeopathic medicines, these small things can improve a life, not just detect a disease, and they save everyone money.
I also am part of the largest group that insurers discriminates against: women. Women are charged higher premiums because they use most of the healthcare, mainly related to pregnancy and childbirth. Even in this most essential of human functions, insurers decide where and how women give birth. For 12 years I paid $50 per month extra on my insurance premium for a maternity rider, of which I was under the impression would pay for a pregnancy and birth. After 12 years of paying, I was informed that I could not have my baby at home, or in the hospital unless I had an emergency C-section, they paid for up to $2000 of my prenatal care and then I was on my own. My entire care with a midwife for prenatal, birth, and 2 months postnatal cost me out of pocket $2700, the average C-section starts at $13,000. God forbid I had complications during pregnancy that forced me to have my daughter in the hospital without C-section, it would have been a financial nightmare. I also represent the majority middle class who makes too much to qualify for assistance, but too little to afford any over the top expense like a hospital birth. How is this scenario cost effective? It's not, and it's what is driving up costs and creating more unnecessary stress. I hope for a change that supports a person's right to chose their doctor, their treatments, and their health over the bottom line.
Let me say however, it is my patients who give me most hope. They have chosen to take their health into consideration over what their insurance tells them is "covered". They have sought out help usually after every "coverable" drug, invasive, and unnecessary test has been run on them, only to be found that what really helps them is not covered by their health insurance. My patients teach me everyday that true health does not come from somewhere else, it comes from within.
Learn how to be a healthier human being, teach your neighbor how to do the same, and be an example that others would want to follow. Incentives should be given to those who prove that they have made better choices, and doctors should be able to care for their patients without being squeezed into a ten minute window and dictated to on how to diagnose their patients by insurance companies.
The debates are heated for a reason, people are scared of change, and even more scared of the government controlling that change. If you think insurance companies are powerful, wait until the government has the market, it should get very interesting. I just ask that you let your legislators know that you want true prevention care, and that "alternative" medicine creates health and wards off disease. This new change in our country will be hard, but true healing will ALWAYS be up to you, no matter who is insuring you.