Detox Day 10: You Made It!

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Congratulations!

We have officially completed our NHIC 10-Day Detox Challenge!

Today was easy-peasy, we took our 2 AdvaClear doses, and finished up any leftover UltraClear. Now, all that is left is to gradually reintroduce foods that you've been avoiding, but only 1 or 2 per day.

  • Try starting with meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs. For example, have eggs today, tomorrow start adding chicken to lunch, and then add corn the following day.
  • If you suspect food allergies, wait 24 to 48 hours between reintroducing foods.
  • Watch for reactions that may be food-related, such as digestive stress or skin changes.
  • If unsure of a reaction, wait until symptoms are gone and do not eat the questionable food again for 3 more days.

Dr. Auburn was out of the office today, and we'll be honest, we were VERY tempted to pick up the phone and order an extra-large pizza! Fortunately, when we really started to think it through, we realized that we weren't craving bread, or cheese, or any of that greasy stuff. We were only romancing over the ideas of a food weren't "allowed" to have. Our tip to you is to keep listening to your body. Don't dwell on the foods you haven't been able to have for the past several days, dwell on how good you feel and what you can do to continue feeling that way! 

We want to give a reminder that your practitioners are here and available if you would like have a follow up after this detox. If you suspect that you may have uncovered a food sensitivity, there is testing available to identify exactly which foods may be the culprit. It is important to dive deeper into adverse food reactions, and it may be necessary for you to adhere to a true elimination diet to stop chronic inflammation or other symptoms that might prevent you from living life to the fullest. Do not hesitate to call!

As promised, we will be celebrating with each of you who participated in this challenge by sending you a certificate of completion and a $10 coupon toward any purchase at the NHIC. If you haven't had a chance to let us know how your detox went, click below to send us a message. 

That is all we have for the Day 10 blog! If you aren't busy next Thursday, we will be hosting an amazing speaker joining us all the way from Canada! Gerald Weibe works with agricultural producers on a consulting basis, providing them with ecologically sound crop production, soil and water management directives. Please join us here at the office for the lecture, "Insights to GMO's and Healthy Dietary Choices."  It is free, and we would LOVE to see you there! 

Detox Day 9: Take It Slow.

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It is Detox Day 9! Can you believe we've already nearly completed the program? Food restrictions are now almost completely lifted, and today we could eat anything from the recommended foods list! Are we glad we have almost finished our detox? Yes. But, do we plan to do it again? Absolutely.

Dr. Auburn at the charting station while she enjoys her afternoon ultraclear!

Dr. Auburn at the charting station while she enjoys her afternoon ultraclear!

At this point in the detox, you've already put in the work and hopefully, you are feeling the reward. It should now be our focus to take a look at what we've learned and continue to apply it to our routines to truly grow from this experience. Here are some of the things our staff is saying.

"I have learned that I can, in fact, live without having a 32 oz. of Fountain Coke every day. Although I miss it, I am trying to continue to keep it out of my diet altogether. It has been a trying and challenging ten days...I am not a big fish eater, so that was an extremely hard part for me trying to get protein differently. I did not like that our meat selection was so strict.. and I also did not like that the main fruits selection was so small...I wish there were a bit more variety. I am happy that I did this detox, though. It revealed a lot and taught me that I could control myself if I just put my mind to it." —Brittany I.

"I learned that cooking healthy food can be SIMPLE and easy and delicious. I realized I tended to overcomplicate things in my head when meal planning. I also learned how much distress my stomach/gut would sometimes be in when I eat junky food. Now I know how my body should feel all the time." —Caity M.

"I learned that food prep is going to be the most important thing! Without planning what I was going to eat the next day I was scrambling around trying to find food when it came time to eat." —Jocelyn D.

"I have a better appreciation for what many of our patients go through when they suffer from food allergies or sensitivities which require them to follow a strict diet. I realized it takes a good amount of energy and planning to follow a restricted diet, but I think the next time I do this detox, it will be much easier because I've already experienced that learning curve."—Sara S. 

Speaking of food sensitivities, the title of this blog is in reference to adding your food groups back in today and tomorrow. Take it slow. If you start with reintroducing 1-2 foods per day, it will be easier to assess if you have any adverse reactions to things you have been avoiding. For example, only allow the addition of some dairy on day one and continue to avoid sugars, sweeteners, and most grains. Some food sensitivities cause symptoms on a large delay, which means the reaction might not kick in for 12-24 hours. Give yourself some time and reap the benefits of your hard work by learning which foods your body prefers! 

We can’t say enough how much we've loved this challenge. Each of you who have commented or sent feedback helped to keep our staff motivated, and we can't wait to dream up the next patient-staff event! You guys rock, and we will see you tomorrow! 

Detox Day 8: We're Almost There!

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Woo hoo! Happy Detox Day 8, we've made it to the Reintroduction Phase! We are in the final stretch of our detox and hopefully, you are feeling a little "cleaner" than you did a week ago!

Things only get easier from here on out, and as we enter Step 3 of the Clear Change Program, we get to treat ourselves to the following food categories:

Katie and Brittany smile and shake up their afternoon nutritional support on Day 8!

Katie and Brittany smile and shake up their afternoon nutritional support on Day 8!

  • Fruits and Vegetables (everything in the Recommended Foods List)
  • White rice (If you prefer brown rice, it is okay to substitute, in our opinion.)
  • Protein source: continue with only 1 category—Legumes OR Fish
  • Spices/Condiments
  • Oils/Fats
  • Beverages

Today, we also reduce the nutritional support to 2 scoops of the recommended UltraClear® product and 2 AdvaClear® capsules, 3 times each today (plus any other recommended nutritional supplements).

We are loving your comments! We've noticed both staff and patients are reporting that they have stopped craving sugar and junk food during the last few days. Did you know that some research has compared the addictive properties of sugar to those of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin? It might be strange to think you broke an addiction this week, but it is likely true. After our 10-Day detox is behind us and we begin allowing (occasional) treats in our diets, remind yourself that when you crave junk food,  your body is confused.  Just as you may have experienced this week, when you primarily feed your body the proper nutrition and fuel to function properly, it will stop asking you for the crappy stuff you might usually crave.

Keeping tabs on our sugar intake is one important aspect of going back to life post-detox, but you may also be starting to think about how to prevent toxic build up in your system now that you've worked so hard to give it a good flush. We consulted Metagenics, and here were their tips!

Helpful Hints From Metagenics

Here are some ways you can "keep it clean" after your program to help your body support its natural metabolic detoxification processes:

  • Avoid using pesticides/herbicides in your home and garden.
  • Consider organic whenever possible—especially with meat, dairy, and the following fruits and veggies: peaches, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, cantaloupe, celery, apples, apricots, green beans, grapes, and cucumbers.
  • Drink at least 6-8 glasses of purified water each day.
  • Reduce your exposure to plastics. Buy juices and water in glass containers when possible. Do not microwave in plastic containers, and minimize washing plastic containers in the dishwasher under high heat. Limit use of plastic food wraps.
  • Eat fewer canned foods and more frozen or fresh foods.
  • Use natural or organic toiletry items, such as shampoo, soap, and fragrances. 

more Bonus Recipes!

Yum, veggie chili. We opted to add celery and substitute rutabaga for carrots in this batch. It was sooooo good!

Yum, veggie chili. We opted to add celery and substitute rutabaga for carrots in this batch. It was sooooo good!

If you did not try the Vegetarian Chili earlier in the week, we HIGHLY recommend it. Many of us agree that this recipe is going to become a staple at home this winter.  Find the recipe on page 16 of your Guide Book.

Tomato Basil Fish (2 servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 10-12 oz. fish fillets
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Combine lemon juice, rosemary, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium dish and add fish. Coat on all sides; cover and refrigerate for ½ to 1 hour. Drain marinade and discard. Preheat grill and brush some olive oil on the grill rack. Grill fish 4" from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. (Or bake or saute' fish.) Combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until heated through. Serve with fish.

Black Bean Salad (4 servings)

  • 2 cups low sodium, organic black beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup red or yellow pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp. cumin.

Combine ingredients in a bowl and chill before serving.

 

Don't forget to leave your comments below! Cheers and see you tomorrow!

Detox Day 6: Staff Feedback

What is a 10-day detoxer's favorite flower?        A Cauliflower!

What is a 10-day detoxer's favorite flower?        A Cauliflower!

We are on Day 6 of 10 and still going strong! Since we won't be changing our program up again until Day 8, we decided that we would use today to check in and poll our staff to see how things are going. We have TWELVE girls on staff, including Dr. Ann, who are participating in this detox. We are so incredibly proud that our team took on this challenge with such enthusiasm.  

NHIC STAFF 10-DAY STATISTICS (AS OF DAY 6)

QUESTION #1: Have you noticed any increase or decrease in energy since beginning the detox?

  • 5 out of 12 staff reported overall increased fatigue during the detox. 
  • 5 out of 12 staff reported overall increased energy. 
  • 2 out of 12 staff reported no overall change in energy level. 

QUESTION #2: Have you noticed any improvement or change in gastrointestinal function or bloating?

  • 100% OF STAFF REPORTED A NOTICEABLE DECREASE IN BLOATING AND IMPROVED GASTROINTESTINAL FUNCTION!! WOW!

QUESTION #3: Have you experienced any adverse symptoms or general complaints about your experience so far?

  • Five staff reported hunger and food cravings as their top complaint.
  • Four staff reported having minor aches and pains. 
  • Three staff reported experiencing brain fog. 
  • Five staff also reported fatigue as a general adverse symptom. 

If you're feeling like us, then you might be really tempted to reach for just about anything to fill your belly. We've consulted the Metagenics resources and they say you should not feel hungry! If you do, eat more. There is no caloric restriction during this detox, we only ask that you try your best to stick to the Core Foods until Day 8. 

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Brittany getting ready to blow out her birthday candle in an apple!

We've been overcoming small dietary challenges throughout this detox but today we faced an especially tempting occasion—a birthday. You will be happy to know we celebrated 10-Day Detox style! Great job, Brittany for sticking to it! 

We would LOVE to hear from you, so don't hesitate to chime in! Remember, we are going to be providing $10 gift certificates to the NHIC, and a certificate of completion to those of you who purchased and participated in the detox this week. Make sure to let us know you are here and following along by commenting on the blog, on our Facebook, or by sending us an email. If you are just tuning in, check out our previous blogs for useful tips from Dr. Auburn and the staff to help you through your 10-Day challenge.  Happy detoxing! 

Detox Day 3: Elimination Time.

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Happy Friday, and Happy Detox Day 3!  Today, we cut down our foods list by eliminating nuts/seeds, grains/starches, sweeteners, meat/poultry, and dairy alternatives. We also upped our AdvaClear supplementation to two capsules, twice between meals, but our UltraClear Renew dose stayed the same. Our bodies are officially moving into detox mode! 

Holy mackerel! Who even eats mackerel? Just when we thought fish as our ONLY animal protein until next week might kill us, Heather, our Medical Director, offered the perfect words of wisdom. "I think we shouldn't think about this part as an elimination. We should think about it as an introduction of foods we might not eat too often." This is a great point! Even if you are craving those staple foods that you usually lean on, it can be a fun experience to make a new recipe, and maybe your family will really enjoy a new ingredient on the table. So, thank you, Heather! Moving forward, we pledge to keep an open mind and stick to our recommended food list, even if we don't like fish.

In general, a lot of us were feeling good today. Feedback included having less bloating, and more energy. A few of us even realized that not being bloated was uncommon for us. Hmm, are we discovering a food sensitivity, perhaps? We know eliminating foods can be an efficient way for our patients to pinpoint triggers for common complaints like bloating and abdominal discomfort, but as we practice what we preach, it is exciting to realize how we, too, can benefit from giving extra care toward our diet.

Metagenics does a great job of providing recipes for us on each day of the detox. A few of our girls made the Vegetarian Chili and loved it! If you are still considering recipes to try this weekend, see below for a few more easy ones from Metagenics that you won't find in your guidebook. 

Thanks again for checking in, and pat yourself on the back for us! Healthy decisions benefit the mind and the body, and we are so glad you've chosen this one with us. 

Bonus Recipes
These recipes are good for today and tomorrow (as well as Days 8 and 9).

Oven-Roasted Veggies (multiple servings)

  • Garlic cloves, crushed
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings to taste (e.g., rosemary, oregano, tarragon, basil, salt, pepper)
  • Any combination of the following unpeeled, washed veggies, cut into bite-sized pieces:
    • Eggplant
    • Small red potatoes
    • Yellow or green summer squash
    • Mushrooms
    • Asparagus
    • Red onion, peeled

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss veggies with crushed garlic cloves and olive oil then sprinkle with your favorite herbs to taste. Spread in roasting pan in single layers and roast approximately 45 minutes in preheated oven until veggies are tender and slightly brown, stirring occasionally. Season to taste. Serve immediately while warm.

Spaghetti Squash (serves 6-8 at 1 cup each)

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved with seeds removed

Place squash cut side up on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, depending on its size, or until easily pierced with a fork. Do not overbake. When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape inside with a fork to release spaghetti-like strands.

TIPS: Top with Fish Creole (recipe in guidebook) or combine with Ratatouille (recipe in guidebook) or other vegetables for a vegetarian entrée. You can also top with some unsweetened spaghetti sauce.

ONE MORE TIP!  Do you Pinterest? One of our staff members stumbled upon this 10-Day Detox board and it has a nice handful of additional recipes. Check it out!  PINTERIST: https://www.pinterest.com/glitterguy1/10-day-metagenics-detox/

Detox Day 2: Follow the Plan.

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Detox Day 2! We really wanted to get this blog out early this morning, but it has been a very busy day for us here at the NHIC!  If you are following along with us on this journey, CONGRATULATIONS! We truly have the best patients, and we are feeling your support just as much as we hope you are feeling ours.

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Okay, so today should have been pretty simple, right? We just needed to create our meals from the same recommended foods list we followed yesterday, and add in one single-scoop serving of the UltraClear Renew and one AdvaClear, twice during the day between meals. It is okay to use a non-dairy substitute like unsweetened almond or coconut milk today, and on Day 9, but avoid the soy. Here at the office, we have all had our mid-morning and mid-afternoon shake. Reviews are (mostly) positive! Kristin, our Office Manager, said her Vanilla UltraClear drink "smelled like baby formula," but after she tried it, she gave it a 7/10. That's not too bad, eh?

If you find your UltraClear shake a little gritty, Dr. Auburn says it's okay to freeze a banana and use just a quarter of it blended into the drink. This will not work against your detox and if it helps you to stick with it, it is worth it!  Running your shake in a real blender and then transferring it to the shaker cup also helps the texture. One tip from the guidebook that we will definitely follow is to finish our shakes within 30 minutes of mixing. We've noticed that the longer it sits, the less palatable it becomes... 

Yesterday's blog detailed the foods we are going to avoid during all ten days of the detox. We stuck to it and were surprised to find that some of the staff had headaches or tiredness after cutting out dairy, sugar and wheat flour for only one day. We also found ourselves referencing our guidebooks often. When you are out and about, it can be hard to remember the rules. If you want to check your guidebook from your phone, here is a PDF version you can save or revisit at this page. If you notice anything good, bad, or otherwise during your detox, share it with us! Remember, we are here to help! Cheers to Day 3, we'll talk to you then!

Detox Day 1: Ready. Set. Go.

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Okay, patients and friends; we are off and running! Days 1-4 are meant to be the initial clearing of allergenic and inflammatory foods from our diets and the real detoxing will kick in on Day 5. Day 1 is primarily focused on getting acquainted with the Recommended Foods List and preparing your pantry (and powers of self-control) for the upcoming dietary restrictions.

We are really liking that the guidebook focuses on what we CAN eat, and not what we CAN'T eat, but sometimes it's simpler to have one list of no-no's so we don't accidentally incorporate an unwanted ingredient into the mix. Here's a cheat sheet to help get you through the next 10-Days!

Foods to Avoid all 10 days (we know it's tough, but no cheating!) 

 

FRUIT:  Fruits, juices, spreads, or preserves with added sugars

VEGETABLES: Corn, breaded or creamed vegetables

LEGUMES: Soybean products: tempeh, tofu, soy milk, edamame, wasabi peas, soy sauce

BEVERAGES: Regular and diet sodas, energy/sport drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee*, non-herbal teas, other caffeinated and decaf beverages

CONDIMENTS: Chocolate, BBQ sauce, ketchup, Dijon mustard, relish, processed and hydrogenated oils, mayonnaise/dressings with dairy/gluten/sugars, prepackaged seasonings with gluten/dairy/sugars

GRAINS/RICE: Cornmeal/flour, corn starch, foods with wheat and wheat flours; processed cereals; gluten-containing products

NUTS: Peanuts, peanut butter* 

SWEETENERS: Sweeteners and foods with refined sugars, cane sugar/juice, corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, dextrose, honey, maple syrup, extracts (e.g. vanilla)
*Stevia is your go-to sweetener this week!

DAIRY AND MILK SUBSTITUTES: Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, yogurt, butter, margarine, ice cream, non-dairy creamers, soy milk

 

*pro tips

  • Hide the leftover Halloween candy, or give it away! You'll thank us later.  
  • If you normally consume significant amounts of caffeinated beverages or simple sugars, you might experience withdrawal headaches if you discontinue them all at once.  We have good news: DR. AUBURN SAYS ONE CAFFEINATED COFFEE OR TEA EACH DAY IS OKAY DURING THE DETOX! 
  • Do you loooove peanut butter? Us, too. For Day 2 (or Day 9), give almond butter or cashew butter a try. You might be surprised by how good it is!

Tomorrow, we begin incorporating the UltraClear Renew beverage and Advaclear into our regimen, but our eating guidelines will stay the same. We've been watching for your feedback! Leave your comments here on the blog or on our Facebook event and let us know your questions, we promise to answer them each day of the detox. 

 

Food Sensitivities Vs. Food Allergies

What is the difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity? Food allergies are often referring to a reaction to an item resulting in a serious breathing problem or tissue swelling if ingested and potentially life-threatening responses can make it necessary to carry an Epipen at all times. These severe food allergies are type 1 "IgE" mediated food allergies. When someone references a food sensitivity, it usually refers to a much smaller immune response that compounds gradually over time with multiple food sensitivities. These responses are "IgG" mediated type 3 hypersensitivity reactions. Type 3 hypersensitivities can cause inflammation. Our office understands that living with even minor inflammation is not ideal. Inflammatory conditions caused by food sensitivities such as arthritis, obesity, eczema, sinus conditions, skin rashes, headaches/ migraines, and diarrhea (to name a few) can completely disrupt life. For this reason, we prefer to get to the root of the problem. With inflammation, the cause could be simply eating the wrong foods too often.

Let's explain the different types of hypersensitivity reactions that your immune system can cause. 

Type 1

These are the responses that happen in less than 2 hours. They are a result of IgE antibodies binding with specific antigens to activate cell receptors on mast cells. The mast cells release chemicals in your body. These chemicals are irritating to body tissues and include leukotrienes, lysosomal enzymes, histamines, kinin, and bradykinin- like substances. Dehydroascorbic acid is also released, resulting in inflammation and irritation to tissues. Those tissues can be the trachea, tongue, mouth, lips, and eyelids. An example of this reaction is anaphylaxis when eating peanuts. These are fixed food allergies where any ingestion of the allergenic substance will always cause a response. 

Type 2

These reactions are cytotoxic and cause cell destruction. These involve IgM and IgG immunoglobulins.  These immunoglobulins bind to the surface of the cell, and then the cell is destroyed.  An example of this can be a response to a drug that causes the destruction of red blood cells.   

Type 3

These reactions have been shown to involve IgG antibodies and an example of a type 3 reaction is what we classify as food sensitivities. These are not fixed food allergies, but may be cyclical in nature. Type 3 reactions cause the immune system to deposit the formed complexes into tissues. The deposit can cause tissue injury and inflammation up to 72 hours after exposure to the offending agent. 

Type 4

These reactions are not from immunoglobulins and instead involve T-cells. Inflammation of tissues can occur in 36-72 hours. An example of this reaction is contact dermatitis from poison ivy.  

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Now that we understand all four types of hypersensitivity, we will focus on the Type 3 response—food sensitivities. The immune system is your first defense against invaders in the body. If there is a protein that the immune system is exposed to and determines that it is foreign, it will attack this protein. The explanation of this response is rather vague because any complexes that your immune system makes can be deposited anywhere in your body. Some people may have more inflammation in one part of their body than another person.  Some reports estimate that up to 50% of Americans suffer from food sensitivities. Often the inflammation can target the GI tract causing diarrhea and pain. Some of the notably prevalent offenders are wheat, milk, corn, cheese, oats, coffee, rye, eggs, and tea. It is also important to note, people who already suffer from seasonal allergies may have more inflammation from food sensitivities that exacerbate their seasonal allergies. 

 

These type 3 hypersensitivity reactions can develop as a result of frequently eating the same food.  For this reason, we suggest a rotational diet. We recommend that you only have the same foods 2-3 times per week as opposed to eating the same foods daily. This will lessen the amount your immune system is exposed to certain proteins and can decrease the chances of reacting and causing inflammation. 

At this office, we do food sensitivity IgG testing through a lab called Alletess. They have two different panels- one for 96 foods and a more extensive panel with 212 foods. We can perform either test from a single blood draw. For our younger patients, we also offer a "finger poke" food allergy test which checks against 96 foods.  These food panels help determine to what foods your body has an IgG response.  Once a practitioner sees these results, they can inform you of what foods you need to remove from your diet. This is where the rotational diet becomes imperative. Based on your results, we suggest you eliminate certain foods for 3, 4, or 6 months. Once you begin to reintroduce certain foods, we recommend that you monitor for reoccurrence of inflammatory responses. Often we suggest that patients only introduce one new food per week to adequately determine their delayed response. Identifying inflammation may not occur for up to three days. 

Currently, there is no known cure for allergies, but together we can help minimize responses by avoiding the foods triggering the inflammatory response. Our practitioners are here to partner with patients in determining what the offending agents are and develop a diet plan to help you avoid these foods. Decreasing inflammation in the body is our primary purpose as it will help patients feel better overall!
 

Thermography: Know the Facts

What Is A Thermogram?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming up and the NHIC wants you to know all of your options when it comes to breast health.

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A breast thermogram is a completely non-invasive diagnostic tool which uses thermographic imaging to detect minute changes or irregularities in breast tissue. Because the pictures can see heat signatures at a cellular level, a thermogram can reveal early signs of a tumor before it has had a chance to develop. 

Thermography has been an FDA-approved adjunct to mammography for breast cancer screening since 1982 and while mammograms are still much more popular, thermograms offer patients a wide range of benefits mammograms alone cannot.

Check Out The Facts:

•Data on 300,000 women showed more than 95% of breast cancers are identified with 90% accuracy by thermography. In women under the age of 50 where there is the most devastating loss of life from breast cancer, mammograms, MRIs and PET scans cannot match the diagnostic sensitivity of breast thermography.

• Breast thermography involves no exposure to radiation or breast compression and is painless and easy-to-do!

• Mammograms have shown an average of 80% sensitivity. In other words, 20% of cancers are not detected. In women with dense breasts, large or small breasts, implants, pregnant or nursing, suffering from fibrocystic  breast disease, or over the age of 50—accuracy is even less. None of these variables affect the sensitivity of a thermogram.

•Thermograms can detect tumors with a 2mm diameter, the size of a grain of rice and 10X smaller than the size of a tumor detectable by a manual breast exam. Thermograms can also detect signs of breast cancer 5-8 years before a mammogram. See below.

 

Schedule your thermogram during this October and we will give you $20 OFF your appointment fee!

Call 616-301-0808 to schedule! 

Is Individualized Healthcare At Risk?

In a world where office visits grow shorter and doctors draw diagnoses from behind computer screens, finding a practitioner who wants to truly LOOK, LISTEN, and TEST in order to uncover and treat health concerns is not always easy. For many patients, even after finding a quality practitioner, the next challenge can surface when trying to gain access to the most specialized treatment options for their individual care. 

One way practitioners can provide specialized treatment for a patient is by utilizing specialty compounding pharmacies. A compounding pharmacy has the ability to formulate prescriptions that are not available commercially. Compounding of specialized medications is important for numerous reasons. It allows for patients with allergies to dyes or other ingredients in commercial products to receive the medication they need without the additives. In pediatrics, compounding can have many applications: preparation of a liquid dosage form when a commercial liquid product is not available, flavoring of commercial liquid dosage forms to improve taste and administration, and medications that are gluten-free, sugar-free or casein-free.

COMPOUNDING UNDER ATTACK

In the last 5 years, compounding pharmacies have come under intense scrutiny from the federal government. In fall 2012, an outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to an injectable steroid medication from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy gained the attention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA. After the incident, the push toward regulating compounded medications gained momentum. By 2013, Congress passed the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA), which tightened federal control over compounding pharmacies. As a part of the legislation, the FDA approves what can and cannot be compounded which puts several alternative treatments at risk for being banned. It may also decrease affordability, availability, and may even influence patient access to supplements. 

If you have been a patient of this practice, then you are probably quite familiar with many of the services that the Alliance for Natural Health USA predicts may be affected by this legislation. Here is their list: 

Bioidentical Hormones—Estriol, progesterone, testosterone, and other hormones have been nominated to the “Demonstrably Difficult to Compound” list. This could make access to these hormones much more difficult.

Supplements—The FDA has stated that supplements must be pre-approved to be legally compounded. Many supplements and natural ingredients that have been nominated have been rejected, such as curcumin, aloe vera, boswellia, and acetyl-L-carnitine, to name just a few. 

Chelation and IV Nutrients—Compounded chelation drugs like CalEDTA, Disodium EDTA, and DMSA may be at risk.  It is unclear whether the FDA will allow the compounding of nutrient IV bags—especially due to the threats to compounded supplements.

Office Use— The FDA has made it illegal for doctors to keep compounded medications from 503A facilities in their offices without a prescription, a practice known as “office use.” This has not only increased the cost of these medications, it has also created more hassle for patients. Medications without prescriptions from 503B facilities can continue, but the list of medications that can be legally compounded by such facilities will be limited.

Affordability—Due to the above-mentioned restrictions, and the threat of more to come, it has become extremely difficult for doctors to obtain medications. For example, the price of injectable B-12 has climbed just under 700% from the mid-2000’s.

Interstate Commerce—New legislation limits the amount of interstate shipments that facilities can make to 5% of total sales. This is extremely problematic given that certain pharmacies specialize in specific preparations. A memorandum of understanding released by the FDA increases this amount to 30%, but then states must take over regulatory responsibility over these facilities. Since it is likely that many states will not elect to take on this additional burden, the upshot is facilities will only be able to ship a small portion of their medications out of state, which could create shortages and increase the price of compounded medications further.

Loss of access to these services and treatments will disproportionately affect patients like ours who believe in an individualized, integrative, and often a holistic approach to healthcare. It is important to know your rights as a patient and stay up-to-date on important issues politically that may impact your healthcare. The Alliance for Natural Health has many resources that aim to encourage both patients and practitioners to speak out about these growing concerns. 

Here is what you can do!

More Information

 

Have you utilized a compounded medication before? Leave us your comments below!

Chronic Neck Pain: A Common Complaint to be Conquered

A recent study published in the Clinical Journal of Pain cited that 1 in 2 people experience neck pain in their lifetime. Hearing this staggering statistic made us ask, "Do patients know what to do when neck pain hits?"  When you find yourself with sudden muscle tension, stiffness and decreased range of motion, it is a real, well...pain in the neck. Most importantly, it should not be masked with pain killers and left to become a chronic problem. 

Craniosacral Therapy

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is just one of the many tools in the osteopathic toolbox and when it is used correctly, it has been shown to improve not only the physical condition, but the emotional and mental condition of the patient, as well. The study mentioned  in our opener set out to prove this exact point. The study remarks "CST was shown to be specifically effective and safe in reducing neck pain intensity and may improve the functional disability and the quality of life up to 3 months after the intervention." Particularly in chronic and recurrent neck pain, CST shows these positive effects.

Dr. Auburn performs craniosacral therapy on a staff member at the 2016 Annual Open House. Photo Credit: Chantal Elise Photography

Dr. Auburn performs craniosacral therapy on a staff member at the 2016 Annual Open House. Photo Credit: Chantal Elise Photography

One of the most important aspects of this treatment is that it will generally be performed by an osteopathic doctor. A DO, or doctor of osteopathy, has completed the required training of an MD along with additional special training in the musculoskeletal system, your body’s interconnected system of nerves, muscles and bones. The American Osteopathic Association says "Osteopathic physicians focus on prevention, tuning into how a patient’s lifestyle and environment can impact their well being. DOs strive to help their patients be truly healthy in mind, body and spirit — not just free of symptoms."

Your DO may first assess for musculoskeletal imbalances throughout your entire system. After all, the benefits of CST will not be optimized unless other imbalances are also addressed. Once your practitioner begins CST, they will use their trained hands and other senses to diagnose and treat issues in the muscles and soft tissues surrounding the skull. They may lightly manipulate and gently apply pressure to areas of the skull. The doctor will be working with the rhythmic movements of not only the bones of the cranium, but also use touch and light palpation to regulate the flow of cerebral spinal fluid at the base of the skull for a therapeutic effect.

If you would like to learn more about craniosacral therapy and/or osteopathic manipulative medicine, feel free to contact our office directly or leave your questions in the comments section below!

 

 

Make It a Sweet '16, Without the Sweets!

If you've been to our office, then maybe you've noticed a few questions about sugar cravings when filling out symptom surveys. Do you have them? Are they mild, moderate, severe? Here's the thing about sugar... it's ADDICTIVE and cravings can be indicative of bigger problems at hand. Your relationship with sugar can tell your health practitioner a lot. That's why you'll see these questions on our hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, and candida questionnaire. We will also be sure to ask what your diet consists of during your first office visit.  

Believe us, we know breaking a sugar addiction can be difficult. Some research has compared the addictive properties of sugar to those of hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. So, in order to help you break up with sugar for good, let's look at some of the baggage sugar brings to your relationship. 

Sugar and Candidiasis

Candida albicans is the lesser known name for the yeasty fungus that naturally lives throughout the body. When in balance with the other microbes and bacteria in the system, candida does not cause health concerns. However, a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates is a surefire way to end up with candidiasis or candida overgrowth.  When candida overgrowth occurs, patients find themselves battling a slew of symptoms that can go ignored or misdiagnosed for years.

These include:

  • weight gain
  • foggy thinking
  • aches and pains
  • chronic fatigue
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal discomfort, gas or bloating
  • skin conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, hives, unidentifiable rashes or just itchy skin with no rash at all
  • repeat vaginal infections, urinary tract infections or rectal itching

Sugar and Diabetes

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas gland.  The purpose of insulin is to open channels in the cells all over the body and let glucose (sugar) get into the cell.  It’s like a key that opens the doors to a cell and when the doors are open, the sugar goes inside.  At this point, the sugar can be used to create energy and drive various processes in the cell.  When this doesn't happen, the sugar or glucose collects outside the cells in the blood stream and creates the condition of insulin resistance and later, diabetes.  The reason this mechanism fails can be the result of years of eating a diet too high in sugars or starches like bread, pasta, and potatoes (even if they are healthy). Over time, the cells will require more and more insulin until the pancreas cannot keep up with the demand.  This is when diabetes occurs and medication is needed to work in conjunction with or in place of the body's insulin to get the sugar into the cells.

Sugar and Hormone Imbalance

Hormones are very important chemical messengers produced by one part of the body to tell other organs what to do and how to respond under certain conditions. Some of the most commonly discussed hormones include thyroid, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. While often times we address these hormones individually, the truth is, they are greatly impacted by the balance or imbalance of each other. For example, one who consumes too much sugar will see their body begin to store this extra "energy" in fat cells.  Fat cells have an enzymes known to  convert testosterone into estrogen. Therefore, obesity can contribute to high estrogen, low testosterone, and even too low thyroid hormones.

When blood sugar fluctuates a lot, like after eating a donut, bagel, or having a soda, insulin and cortisol fight to keep things in balance. Like we discussed earlier, insulin has the job to lower blood sugar by moving it into cells to be used for energy or stored for later. Cortisol moves sugar in the opposite direction. It takes sugar stored in the liver (glycogen) and puts it into the blood stream. To simplify, insulin lowers blood sugar and cortisol raises blood sugar.

Too much insulin will lower blood sugar too much which is called hypoglycemia. So to prevent this, when insulin goes up, cortisol goes up a little also. This is not to raise blood sugar, but to make sure the blood sugar stays in balance. Unhealthy, high-carb, high-sugar diets will cause lots of highs and lows in insulin and blood sugar throughout the day which can manipulate cortisol into an imbalance. In this type of situation, high cortisol levels decrease your thyroid hormones as well. Before long, all of those little messengers lose their ability to work together sending the needed information, at the right time, to keep the body properly functioning. 

Quick Tips to Fight the Sugar Seduction

Remove temptation. Even if you have the best self-control, a cupboard full of cookies calling your name can be torture. If you are gearing up to leave sugar behind, purge your kitchen of anything that might tempt you to feed the addiction. Also, double check your grocery list and avoid the cookie/candy isles all together. 

Start with soda. If you've fallen into the trap of indulging in daily sugary sodas or beverages, you are not alone. The FDA says about 47% of our added-sugar intake comes from beverages, not including milk or 100% fruit juice. Simply cutting out beverages with added sugar can make a huge impact. 

De-stress. Unfortunately, there is something sweeter about sweets when you're feeling stressed. When a sugar craving hits, first recognize it may be because you're feeling wound up. Focus on your breathing and consciously decide you are in control. Take a quick walk, turn on your favorite music, watch a funny video, or chew a piece of gum. All of these are relaxing and better-for-you options that you can feel good about. 

Eat regularly to keep a balanced blood sugar. Having a small meal or healthy snack every couple of hours can drastically reduce the urge to reach for something sweet. 

Find a better alternative to the junk. After weaning off of processed sugar, junk food and sweets, many patients report a change in their taste buds. Suddenly, a banana is much sweeter and apples powdered in cinnamon have become a delicious dessert. The goal of breaking a sugar addiction isn't to NEVER have sugar again. It is simply a step you can take to ensure that you have more control over your well-being and quality of life. That being said, a square of organic dark chocolate can really hit the spot once you've reminded your brain and tongue what "sweet" really is!

 

 

 

 

Why Dr. Auburn Wants You to Take Your Fish Oil...

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Why does Dr. Auburn want you to take your omega-3 fish oils? Here's another reason,...Omega-3's reduce cancer growth and spread! See referenced study below. Just make sure you have VERY CLEAN fish oils. Not the ones from the supermarket or local pharmacy! I can't stress this enough! At the NHIC, we have three options for you: Metagenics High Dose Liquid EPA-DHA, our NHIC Enteric Coated Fish Oils or Orthomolecular's OrthoMega, high-dose gelcaps.
To Your Health,
Dr. Ann

Study Shows How Omega-3 Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth

Referenced from Life Extension 

It is well known by the science community that omega-3s are a powerful anti-inflammatory and even have an anti-diabetic affect. Now, a group of researchers have been able to demonstrate how omega 3s can slow and reduce cancer growth in prostate cells. 

"We're the first to show that they work this way in cancer," said Kathryn Meier, a professor of pharmacy at WSU Spokane. "The attention has mostly been on inflammation and diabetes but there has always been an interest in cancer, and we were the first to show this mechanism in any cancer cell at all. And we're using prostate cancer, which is the most controversial subject in omega 3s.

Working with prostate cell cultures, Meier and two students, found fatty acids would bind to a receptor called FFA4, for "free fatty acid receptor 4." Rather than stimulating cancer cells, the receptor acts as a signal to inhibit growth factors, suppressing proliferation of the cancer cells. These findings counter a widely publicized study that appeared in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 2013 which concluded that men who had higher serum omega-3 fatty acid levels had a greater risk of developing prostate cancer. 

"This kind of knowledge could lead us to better treat or prevent cancer because now we know how it works," Meier said. The study also found that a drug mimicking the action of omega 3s can work as well, or better, than fatty acids in suppressing the cancer cells.

The study appears in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

 

References: Life Extention <http://www.lifeextension.com/WhatsHot/2015/3/March-Whats-Hot-Articles/Page-01?utm_source=eNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Header&utm_campaign=EZX500E&l=0#Study-shows-how-omega-3-inhibits-cancer-cell-growth>
Washington State University. "How fatty acids can fight prostate cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 March 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150318074521.htm>.

Adrenal Fatigue: 7 Things You Can Do

If you've found yourself at this blog post, then most likely you or one of your loved ones might be struggling with some of the following common symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • Tired for no reason
  • Having trouble getting up in the morning
  • Feel most awake, alert and energetic after 6 pm
  • Need coffee, colas, salty or sweet snacks to keep you going throughout the day or have severe cravings for salty or sugary snacks
  • Feel run down or stressed
  • Struggling to keep up with life's daily demands
  • Not having fun anymore
  • Decreased vitality and motivation

Adrenal fatigue is caused by impaired adrenal function. When our body perceives stress, the adrenals release cortisol to help our body adapt to the situation. Under the conditions of  intense or prolonged stress, our adrenal glands are required to chronically sustain high cortisol levels and they eventually become unable to respond appropriately. The resulting adrenal dysfunction not only affects short-term response to stress, but the adrenals’ ability to produce and balance other hormones crucial to long-term health and well-being.

Let's Beat Fatigue

We want to give you some clear goals and simple lifestyle changes to put into motion. Adrenal fatigue is not a disease. With the right changes and support, you can heal the damage done and begin living your life with energy and vitality. 

  1. Eat a wide variety of whole, natural foods. Avoid WHEAT, SUGAR, and PROCESSED FOOD. Fill your refrigerator with wholesome, organic food that will nourish and fuel your body.

  2. Give yourself a bedtime by 10:00 pm and sleep in when possible. (The doctor says you can!)

  3. Notice at least one thing that you are grateful for each day. Think positively and use your mind as the powerful healing tool that it is.

  4. If you have any control over your eating environment, choose a peaceful spot with pleasant surroundings. Conversation and good company promote relaxation and digestion. Also, remember to chew your food well! It matters.

  5. Cut back on the caffeine. It can drive the adrenals into exhaustion. 1-2 cups daily is okay, but don't let your energy, mood, and productivity depend on if you've had your coffee fix.

  6. Make lists of things you enjoy and things that stress you. Do at least 3 things you enjoy daily and avoid energy robbers. Leave the situation, change the situation, or change your attitude toward the situation.

  7. Support your body with supplements. If you don't know where to start, try our Basics. If you can only start small, try the Natural Preventive. Even with the best diet, it is difficult to get optimal or therapeutic nutritional support without supplements.

We know sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step. For more information and specific supplement treatment plans, visit our Adrenal Fatigue Page. Testing is available at the NHIC to confirm irregular cortisol levels. If you think you need more help or want to pursue adrenal testing, feel free to make an appointment with one of our practitioners.  

 



Out With the Cold, In With a New You

By Carly Peterson, PA-C

Winter’s cold grip has loosened. The sun is shining warm and bright. You’re ready to step out in less clothes with confidence, right? If you’re one of the more than 78.6 million Americans who are struggling with obesity/being overweight, you’re probably shouting, “WRONG!” What if I told you that you could lose excess weight and feel your best with 3 simple lifestyle changes? Diet, exercise, and good supplements are the key to vitality, both inside and out.

                                                                                                                 Carly Peterson, PA-C

                                                                                                                 Carly Peterson, PA-C

Obesity is classified by a person’s body mass index, or BMI. This is a calculation of weight compared to height. I find this a pretty good indicator for the average person. This is not, however, a good tool for athletes or those who have higher muscle mass. In order to calculate your BMI, multiply your weight x 704.5 and divide by your height in inches. Then divide by your height in inches again. A BMI of 19-24 is good. 25-29.5 is overweight, 30-34 is mildly obese, 35-39.5 is moderately obese, and over 40 is considered morbidly obese.

Besides looking good in a bikini, why does this really matter? Over 80% of type II diabetes, 70% of all heart disease, and 42% of all colon and breast cancers are related to obesity. The decisions that YOU make each day can lead you down a path of health and wellness or to a life of chronic disease.  So what can you do? First, you must be conscientious about the food you put into your body. What we eat directly communicates with our genes. A body that is fed with GMO’s, antibiotic- and hormone-laden meat, high-inflammatory wheat, and gluten will not age as gracefully as a body fed with clean, organic, free-range food.

Here at the NHIC, we recognize the role that inflammation has on the body as well as on the quality and longevity of life and we strive to reduce this harmful by-product. Inflammation is a normal body function that has spun out of control due to the processed foods and chemicals to which we are exposed. When it comes to diet, I have three recommendations. Let me preface these recommendations with a guarantee that you will not only feel the best but you will also look the best if you choose to follow these. I recommend that you eliminate gluten products (wheat/barley/rye), dairy products, and refined/processed sugars from your diets. This sounds like a tall order, I know. However it is these three diet components that will impact your health, and your looks, the greatest. 

In addition to removing these offending agents from your diet, it is important to be sure that you’re eating enough protein. Protein is the basic building block for muscle. Protein also helps to keep you feeling full longer. A typical adult weighing 150 pounds requires 88 grams of protein per day, translating to approximately 30 grams per meal. Even more protein (up to 115 grams) is required for someone who weight trains. UltraMeal Advanced Protein by Metagenics is a medical-grade food and protein supplement that makes getting extra (healthy) protein into your diet easier. One scoop of this powder into water or a milk alternative is only 80 calories and supplies 15 grams of protein with a comprehensive spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals to support protein utilization. Another great choice for on-the-go protein is Metagenics Ultra Energy Bars which also provide 15 grams of protein plus 9 grams of fiber per bar! A diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein help support an ideal body composition, or the amount of relative fat to muscle in your body.         

Exercise is also a key component to optimal health and wellness. 20-30 minutes of dedicated time to exercise daily is vital for proper body. I recommend a visit to the Natural Health Improvement Center to have a bioelectrical impedance analysis, or BIA. A BIA is an easy and painless tool that we use to calculate your current ratio of fat mass to muscle mass. The BIA will also tell you your basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories your body burns a day without any physical activity. This is important to identify how many calories you should be consuming daily to reach your desired weight loss/fat loss goal. The BIA is performed in our office and is done in minutes. 

Lastly, high-quality supplements protect you from the wrath of unavoidable inflammation. We recommend every person take a high-quality multivitamin, purified fish oils, and calcium/magnesium daily. I also highly recommend a daily probiotic to stave off infection and illness to keep you on track with your workouts and weight loss goals!
Losing weight and feeling great takes the right knowledge and support and this is exactly what the NHIC provides for our patients. Contact us today to get started on the path toward a happy and healthy future! 

Carly Peterson, PA-C is accepting new patients as a holistic primary care practitioner. She offers services such as yearly physicals, well-child checkups, weight loss, hormone replacement, food allergies, thyroid and adrenal imbalance.

More Zzzs Please!

Living in a state of anxiety is a common occurrence in today's fast-paced world. Uncertainty seems to pervade every aspect of our lives. Fears of losing our jobs (or not finding one), frayed personal relationships, tainted foods and medicines, terrorists, pirates, and a thousand other worries are heaped onto a life already moving at a hectic pace. And all of this is more present in our lives with television and the internet. This constant level of anxiety takes a toll, on both a physical and emotional level. For some, the fears become so overwhelming and out of control that they succumb to panic attacks and/or chronic insomnia. There are many herbal and natural remedies that can support relaxation and help us regain balance, peace of mind and restful sleep, alleviating or reducing the need for psychotropic drugs.

GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS:

1.    Get regular exercise
2.   Develop a sleeping ritual, aiming for improved relaxation, low lighting and low mental stimulation, with as much resolution of emotional dilemmas as possible before bedtime
3.   Reduce overall stress from sleep, work and family to improve sleep quality
4.   Improved sleep hygiene with the following:
-Minimize light, noise, temperature changes in bedroom
-Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex; avoid TV, computer, reading, or radio in the bedroom
-Avoid eating big meals and sweets before bed to avoid blood sugar drops and indigestion
-Limit stimulants, including caffeine, nicotine, alcohol during the day, especially close to bedtime
-Avoid vigorous exercise during the 2 hours prior to sleep
-To avoid worrying about falling asleep on time, cover the alarm clock to avoid anxiety
-Surround yourself with positive thoughts, people and activities
-Consider the Grand Rapids Center for Mindfulness to help you control stress and anxiety
-Consider Yoga Nidra, a form of gradient relaxation to improve relaxation and sleep

NATURAL INTERVENTIONS available at the Natural Health Improvement Center:

  • Kavinace (GABA precursor): 1-2 at bedtime and up to a total of 6 caps per day, as needed.
  • Natural Z’s (combination herbal): 1-2 at bedtime and up to a total of 6 caps per day, as needed.
  • Nusera, chewable: 1 chewed, up to 6 daily, for acute stress or sleep, in 15 minutes reduces cortisol 40%.
  • Tran-Q Chinese herbal blend: 1-2 at bedtime. More can be taken up to 6 caps per day, as needed.
  • TranCor (GABA support): 1-2 at bedtime. More can be taken up to 6 caps per day, as needed.
  • Formula 303 homeopathic of valerian and passion flower: 1-2 at bedtime and up to a total of 6 tabs per day, as needed. These can be swallowed or placed under the tongue to work a bit faster.
  •  Valerian Root (Douglas Labs): 200 mg, 1-3 or Valerian Complex (Standard Process) – valerian 140 mg, plus passion flower and jujube - we special order this item due to higher pricing, 1-4 tabs, near bedtime. 
  •  Melatonin: 3 mg, 1-4 tablets ½ hour before bed. With more than 9 mg watch for grogginess next morning. 
Tran-Q
26.00
NuSera
34.00

Have questions? Just call us and ask to be transferred to the Supplement Department!

A Message to Our Patients...

Are You Really Getting Better Value from Cheaper, Over-The-Counter Supplements?

All supplements are not created equal. In fact, even when you purchase the "same" supplement from Amazon that was recommended to you here in the office, you are taking a risk. There are a few important reasons we only use certain supplement companies here at the Natural Health Improvement Center. Here is why we are so picky about what we provide to our patients!

1.    CHEAPER BRANDS OF THE “SAME THING”: A cheaper brand of a doctor-recommended supplement does not always give you the same ingredients or effectiveness. Often, bargain brand supplements have unnecessary additives and can contain allergy-causing ingredients, preservatives and food coloring. (Click here to read a Washington Post article addressing the recent supplement scandal involving GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens.)

2.    “I CAN GET THE “SAME THING” ONLINE”: There are often hidden consequences to buying the same products we recommend cheaper online. Maybe they have been sitting in a warehouse, shipped in hot trucks, outdated and re-labeled, or are about to expire. Some of the suppliers we trust have done private laboratory studies on bargain supplements in an effort to see what the public is actually getting. What they find is that these discounted supplements have lost their integrity and have most likely been tampered with or mishandled. Our practitioners have spent countless hours researching the companies that formulate our supplements and have even toured their facilities. You can feel confident that products purchased from your provider are effective and of the highest quality available.

3.    OTHER REASONS TO PURCHASE FROM YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER: 
•    Your physician is in the unique position to help monitor your program and progress, enabling you to discuss and revise when needed. 
•    Only supplements dispensed by your physician may be eligible for tax deductions. 
•    Your healthcare provider can assure the proper handling and storage of temperature sensitive products. 
•    Your healthcare provider stands behind products purchased. Usually, a third party will not.

 

Do you have questions about supplements? Your answers are just a phone call away.