Prolotherapy

Do you experience painful joints? Do you have Osteoarthritis? Or have you had an old or recent injury and want to speed recovery and prevent future damage?

Prolotherapy could be the answer for you.  It is an injection therapy that stimulates regenerative healing and has been used for over 40 years.

Why do I have pain in the first place?

Most joint pain is from a result of damage to the surrounding tissues including; ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Ligaments attach bone to bone, and therefore surround all joints. The issue is that they have poor blood supply to support healing and once injured, stretch out and become “lax”.  Once this happens, muscles have to compensate and can spasm or cause referred pain or compress nerves. This can ultimately alter your entire axial skeletal alignment. As you can see, it becomes a domino affect.

How does it work?

The healing response is a complex inflammatory process. Injury leads to improper alignment of fibers and therefore decreases the future function of the structure.  The solution used in prolotherapy is a specific percentage of dextrose combined with procaine or lidocaine.  This therapy has been shown to stimulate cell proliferation and attract proper growth factors to allow tissues to return to pre-injury strength and length.

What to Expect

An assessment of the joint includes; range of motion, muscle testing, or specific orthopedic tests to determine the extent of damage or injury.  Followed by the injections of the prolotherapy solution.

Supportive treatment

While the Prolotherapy will increase blood flow and therefore nutrient flow, supplementing with the proper nutrients to ensure the collagen and tissue foundation is sufficient is a must. There will be important supplements recommended to incorporate that will aid and speed up the healing process.

Conditions treated with Prolotherapy

  • Osteoarthritis/DJD
  • Tendonopathies
  • Frozen shoulder/Adhesive capsulitis
  • Muscle strains/sprains
  • Bursitis
  • Chondromalacia patella
  • Knee injuries including: ACL, MCL, Meniscus tears/degeneration
  • Rotator cuff injuries 
  • Any joint, ligament or muscle tendon that is causing pain 

References:

Rabago, David, et al. "Hypertonic dextrose injections (prolotherapy) for knee osteoarthritis: results of a single-arm uncontrolled study with 1-year follow-up." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 18.4 (2012): 408-414.

Rabago, David, et al. "Dextrose prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled trial." The Annals of Family Medicine 11.3 (2013): 229-237.

Reeves, Kenneth D., and Khatab Hassanein. "Randomized prospective double-blind placebo-controlled study of dextrose prolotherapy for knee osteoarthritis with or without ACL laxity." Alternative therapies in health and medicine 6.2 (2000): 68.

Lyftogt, John. "Subcutaneous prolotherapy treatment of refractory knee, shoulder, and lateral elbow pain." Australasian Musculoskeletal Medicine12.2 (2007): 110.

 

SPRING LIVER DETOX

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It's FINALLY spring and you may be feeling like you want to get rid of those winter blues and jump start your health! Whether you want to lose a bit of weight, start eating healthier, improve your digestion, clear that foggy brain, improve your skin, increase your energy, optimize sleep, or balance your hormones! A liver detox can be just the thing to set the foundation of your health.  

There are SOOO many liver cleanse/detox programs out there, so how do you know which one is best for you? How long should you follow one? And what if you get side effects? Well I've designed this 10 DAY SPRING DETOX PLAN to avoid the confusion. What's even better? Is that you won't be going on this journey alone. You will be joining other like-minded people in your community who want to feel better, look better, and be better! Your's truly will support you along the way with daily struggles that I faced, along with tips and real strategies to enhance and support you along the way. 

What's Included in the Detox Journey? 

  • 1 hour Initial Visit with Dr. Heather Iverson

  • Liver Detox Supplements

  • Meal prep strategies 

  • Grocery list to make shopping easier 

  • Recipes for the meal plan

  • Exclusive Facebook Group access for the 10 days 

  • Tips, video's and daily online support 

COST= $399

The truth is, everyone can benefit from a liver detox. Our environment is full of toxins and the liver takes on the job of filtering those toxins. This can be an overwhelming job for one organ and the liver can get fed up and start storing toxins in other body tissues, such as fat cells, nerve cells, the brain and our joints!

The following conditions could benefit from a liver detox: 

  • Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis/joint pain
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Allergies
  • Hormone imbalances
  • inflammatory disorders 
  • IBS
  • Obesity/weight issues
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Constipation 

Call 604-858-7422 to Book & get set up & ready to go for the launch date of MAY 1ST, 2017

What's the Big Deal with Iron?

What's the deal with Iron?.png

Iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies among women (and the most controversial). Low iron levels can affect your health well before it shows up on a lab test. As a naturopathic physician, we see symptoms of low iron before a patient has entered the "anemic" category. 

So what is iron?

Iron is a component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin carries the oxygen in red blood cells from your lungs to the rest of your body.  The human body is made up of cells that require oxygen to make ATP (energy) and function optimally. We also require iron for estrogen and progesterone production as well as proper immune function.

What's the issue with iron?

The issue can be the bioavailability, AKA the "absorption ability", of iron. This is dependent on the source of iron in the foods we choose as well as our digestive health.  KEYNOTE: A person’s digestive health is the foundation for all nutritional deficiencies because even if we are eating or supplementing with specific nutrients, we need the proper terain to absorb them.

Why do I need iron?

Iron requirements depend on gender and stage of life. Women of course are the population of concern due to iron demands in childbearing years, but also high-level athletes can have issues with maintaining and generating iron stores. Here is a bit more information on some situations where iron is SUPER important.

Fertility & Pregnancy

As a woman, once we are pregnant, our iron demands go way up.  Iron is required for placental development, estrogen and progesterone production (main reason for miscarriage and fertility issues), infant brain development, and infant iron stores for the first 6 months of life. Iron deficiency is even linked with post partum depression. If you have a history of iron deficiency during pregnancy, unfortunately you’re iron deficiency risk increases for the next pregnancy.

Athletic Performance

During exercise and training, our endurance capacity depends on the ability to oxygenate tissues. Iron is required to oxygenate tissues and cells. This is mostly shown in an athlete’s amount of energy and aerobic performance. Depending on an athletes diet and iron stores will determine whether or not they would benefit from iron supplementation

Vegan or Vegetarian

There are two forms of iron, heme or non-heme. Heme iron is more "bioavailable" (a term I mentioned earlier), and is found in animal sources. Non-heme is found in plants and isn't absorbed as well. As a vegan or vegetarian it is important, and can be more of a challenge, to maintain adequate iron levels. If any symptoms of low iron arise, it can be more challenging and therefore is more important to replenish and build these stores as a vegan or vegetarian, so make sure your blood levels are sufficient to maintain overall health.  

Should I supplement with iron?

Supplementing with iron isn’t always the answer, as a matter of fact, supplementing when you don't need to CAN BE HARMFUL.  You need to run proper blood work to determine your iron stores and decide whether you would benefit from iron supplementation. Here are some symptoms that may indicate a need for lab investigation into your iron levels before supplementing:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Hair loss or weak nails
  • Bruise easily
  • Depression/low mood
  • Poor sleep and concentration 
  • Increased infections (Colds & flu's)
  • Dizziness/faintness
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Cracks in the corner of your mouth

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, I recommend seeing your local Naturopathic Physician to investigate your iron status. There may be an easy fix for your lack of energy and poor motivation. 

All the best in life and health :)

Dr. Heather Iverson, ND 


References:

Brownlie, Thomas, et al. "Tissue iron deficiency without anemia impairs adaptation in endurance capacity after aerobic training in previously untrained women." The American journal of clinical nutrition 79.3 (2004): 437-443.

Bothwell, Thomas H., and Robert William Charlton. "Iron deficiency in women." (1981).

Looker, Anne C., et al. "Prevalence of iron deficiency in the United States." Jama 277.12 (1997): 973-976.

Allen, Lindsay H. "Anemia and iron deficiency: effects on pregnancy outcome." The American journal of clinical nutrition 71.5 (2000): 1280s-1284s.

Haas, Jere D., and Thomas Brownlie. "Iron deficiency and reduced work capacity: a critical review of the research to determine a causal relationship." The Journal of nutrition 131.2 (2001): 676S-690S.

What is Adrenal fatigue?

Are you finding it hard to fall asleep at night because your mind is racing?  Do you dread getting out of bed in the morning? Do you wake up constantly throughout the night?  Is your energy dropping in the afternoon or are you just plain exhausted?  Are things or people irritating you more that usual and you can't keep your cool? Are you having issues losing weight or have you plateaued? These are just a few indicators that your adrenals are tired and need some care.

Our Adrenal glands don't get enough attention in the medical world but are gaining more and more interest. The truth is they are in charge of important physiological functions in our bodies.  They are a part of our endocrine system, and by endocrine system I mean HORMONES. Most people think of sex hormones when they hear the word 'hormones', but there are many other's that also play a key roll in our everyday well-being. For example; Cortisol is produced and secreted by our adrenal glands and is released as a response to stress. Cortisol also controls our circadian rhythm, AKA our wake-sleep cycle.  Everyone is always talking about the amount of inflammation going on in our bodies and how it's the foundation for the creation of disease, well guess what controls inflammation...CORTISOL!

It's scary because we are seeing a huge increase in the incidence of autoimmune conditions and this stems from inflammation altering our immune reaction. Adrenal fatigue can result in catching the cold/flu easily as well as developing allergies and sensitivities to the environment and food.

There are diagnostic tests to find out if you have adrenal fatigue, but a lot of the time a good health history can determine it on it's own. Treatment can also depend on your lifestyle and symptoms since the adrenals are intricately related to our other endocrine organs, MAINLY the Thyroid! Hope you enjoyed this post and go see your local Naturopathic Doctor if you are wondering about adrenal fatigue affecting your health. 

All the best in life and health :) 

Dr. Heather Iverson, ND

Are you Planning to get Pregnant? Tips on what to do prior to conception.

Having a baby may be just around the corner for you or not even on your radar. Regardless of what stage of life you are in, you might want to read ahead for some helpful tips on how to prepare for pregnancy.  The majority of information out there is focused around what to do once you become pregnant. I wanted to touch on how to prepare your body for pregnancy.  Unfortunately, it is quite common for children to experience an array of medical conditions that are only increasing in incidence.  These common conditions have been linked to an increase in toxins in our environment and consist of asthma, allergies, autism, ADHD, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and more.  It can be scary to think about so here are some steps to consider to ensure you are in optimal health before bringing your baby into this world.

 Identifying your Food Sensitivities and Healing your Gut:

This is important because if you are eating foods that you are sensitive to, it can trigger your immune system to react in ways that may trigger the same sensitivities in your baby. Once you have identified these, there are steps to take to heal the damage to your digestive tract that those foods have generated. After you have followed the steps to heal your digestive tract, you may potentially be able to reintroduce those foods and consume in moderation. Part of healing your gut is maintaining a good digestive flora (meaning “microbiome”) and balancing inflammation. More on this under supplements.

Detoxify your Liver:

We hear a lot about cleansing and detoxing these days. The main difference between a cleanse and detox is that a detox generally includes supporting the liver and kidneys to flush our system of toxins. Our environment is full of toxins that can build up in our liver and fat tissue. Toxins such as; BPA, phthalates and phenols, find themselves into our food chain through manufacturing waste, pesticide use, and water contamination. They have been known to disrupt our endocrine systems and therefore can mimic estrogen and other hormonal actions. It doesn’t just stop there; it all comes down to DNA methylation and epigenetics. Epigenetics is where gene expression can be triggered through environmental exposures.  This can be described looking at two children with the exact same genetic code but only develops asthma (for example).  Maternal heavy metal exposure has been shown to alter the epigenetics of the fetus. The heavy metals of concern are: cadmium, arsenic, mercury and lead. Once we are pregnant, the mobilization of these toxins is increased and therefore can be passed on to the baby in utero. 

There are urine tests to find out the amount of heavy metals stored in your tissues that may indicate a need to follow a chelation protocol prior to becoming pregnant. Detox programs can also be individualized depending on your health history.

Exercise and Optimal Body Weight:

Optimal weight is important because women who enter pregnancy overweight are at higher risk for prenatal and birth complications. There is also an increased risk that the baby will have health issues including, diabetes, eczema, allergies and even heart disease later on in life. Managing your weight before you get pregnant can decrease your chance of developing gestational diabetes (GDM). There has been research shown through analysis of both infant cord and maternal blood of an alteration in the leptin gene (Leptin is a hormone that tells us that we are full), and as a result can lead to metabolic issues for the infant later in life.  This isn’t meant to scare women who have struggled with their weight throughout their lives, and I almost left this information out, but then realized that would be unethical. I believe that knowledge can be power, but it can also be detrimental and cause unwanted stress.  If you have been diagnosed with GDM in the past or are concerned with your weight and want to get pregnant, please don't let this information discourage you.  Epigenetics is a large field of study and this is just one piece of information and it isn’t a definite outcome of the future health of your child. 

Nutrition tips:

Choose organic to lessen the toxic burden. Eat mainly vegetables and focus on colorful options to increase antioxidant and polyphenol content.  Make sure you are consuming at least a cup of dark leafy greens to ensure proper vitamin and nutrient intake. It has been shown that eating more of a Mediterranean diet due to its higher content of plants and fish and lower content of animal foods proves to have more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. This can be important during pregnancy and prior to.

Supplements (some are important pre-pregnancy but I also added some bonus info to refer to during pregnancy):

Prenatal multivitamin containing methyl folate (this is a form of B9 or also known as folic acid).  A large percentage of people can’t properly methylate folic acid and therefore aren’t receiving the much-needed prevention of neural tube defects in the fetus.

A probiotic may be indicated to ensure you have established a strong microbiome to pass on to your baby. Research is still being conducted on which strains are specific but it is known that the passing of mothers bacteria to baby can determine the babies immune and metabolic system.  According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there have been positive results showing perinatal administration of probiotics and to infants post delivery have been mostly focused around preventing atopic dermatitis (AKA Eczema), but also balancing blood glucose control, decreasing respiratory infections and reducing gastrointestinal symptoms.  Where there are some positive results, more research is still required to define the mechanisms and physiology behind the transmission from mother to offspring.

Our western diets are unfortunately very low in omega 3 fatty acids, which is why I mentioned under nutrition to follow a Mediterranean diet. Sometimes it is also important to supplement.  Here’s the bonus information on the importance of supplementing with omega 3 fish oils during pregnancy and in the first 3 months of breastfeeding. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, supplementing with Omega 3 Fatty acids, due to the content of Docosahexaeonic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA), during pregnancy has been shown to increase the infants IQ measured at age 4.  It has also been shown to reduce infant eczema because of its inflammatory modulatory effects and improve social behavior due to an increase in neural development.

For a more detailed pre-pregnancy plan that is individualized for you. Please contact Sardis Naturopathic Medical Clinic at 604-858-7422 to book an appointment with Dr. Heather Iverson, ND.

 

References:

Helland, Ingrid B., et al. "Maternal supplementation with very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids during pregnancy and lactation augments children’s IQ at 4 years of age." Pediatrics 111.1 (2003): e39-e44.

Hibbeln, Joseph R., et al. "Maternal seafood consumption in pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes in childhood (ALSPAC study): an observational cohort study." The Lancet 369.9561 (2007): 578-585.

Innis, Sheila M. "Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain." Brain research 1237 (2008): 35-43.

Mueller, Noel T., et al. "The infant microbiome development: mom matters." Trends in molecular medicine 21.2 (2015): 109-117.

Perera, Frederica, and Julie Herbstman. "Prenatal environmental exposures, epigenetics, and disease." Reproductive toxicology 31.3 (2011): 363-373.

Sanz, Yolanda. "Gut microbiota and probiotics in maternal and infant health." The American journal of clinical nutrition 94.6 Suppl (2011): 2000S-2005S.