Why Healthy Eating is Hard

This video is perhaps the funniest way we’ve seen to capture the confusion around food that the health industry has managed to generate over the years.

So funny, but also so true. It feels like nutritional advice is constantly shifting and contradicting previous advice. What to do?

For us, nutrition falls squarely into the category of simple but not easy. It’s simple to eat better: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

The trouble is that following that advice is not always easy. That’s where we come in:

  • Need to understand how your diet is affecting your health and how changing it can dramatically change how you feel? Book an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor.
  • Want some insight into what specific foods you might feel better avoiding? Get a food intolerance test to find out.
  • Looking for access to gluten- or dairy-free foods and other specialty nutritional items? Check out the new Pantry at StoneTree.

Changing how you eat isn’t easy. But it is simple, and it is possible. And we can help!

The 2 Big Reasons We Use IV Vitamins

We have administered over 10,000 IV vitamin/mineral infusions here at StoneTree. That’s a lot!

Why so many? The obvious reason is the results–using IV therapy just works.

For complaints like migraine headaches, colds and flus, muscle cramping, wound healing, allergies, chronic fatigue, and many, many others, it’s a therapy that can get our patients better faster than with diet changes or oral supplements alone. (Read on for a longer list of conditions and complaints that we’ve used IV therapy with.)

But the results don’t tell you why. And the why is important.

There are two main reasons we use IV therapies for our patients:

Reason #1: To ensure nutrients actually get into your cells

When you eat food (or take supplements), you absorb nutrients from your intestines into your blood. At least, that’s the idea, and if all your digestive mechanisms are working right, it’s a great system.

As you age, however, or if you’re sick or things just aren’t working correctly for any number of reasons, you often don’t absorb nutrients as well. Your food and supplements don’t give you the same benefit. When we put vitamins and minerals directly into the blood via IV we bypass the intestines entirely, ensuring that the nutrients are available.

The other place that nutrient absorption happens is at the cellular level. Nutrients from our blood need to get into our cells and this is not a passive process. Your cells have to “actively” transport nutrients inside. Compromised cells don’t do this as effectively as they should.

When we put vitamins and minerals directly into the blood, the concentration in the blood changes so that it’s higher outside the cell than inside. The nutrients can then passively diffuse into the cell. That can allow the cell to get the nutrients it needs to start the active transport system again. Think of it as jumpstarting your cells to give them what they need to continue the process on their own.

Reason #2: To get a specific biochemical effect

Vitamins and minerals have real biochemical effects in the body. Just like pharmaceutical drugs, if you can get the blood concentrations at high enough levels, you can get the body to respond in specific ways. Vitamin C, for example, has a wonderful anti-allergy effect at high enough blood concentrations.

Because of the absorptive mechanisms in the digestive tract, however, it can be challenging to get the blood concentration high enough to get the biochemical effect you want. (Anyone who has taken lots of Vitamin C will attest to the effect of taking too much: the bowels become overwhelmed, the Vitamin C isn’t absorbed, and you have to run to the toilet with an acute case of diarrhea.)

When Vitamin C is given IV, we bypass the intestines and the side effects of a large oral dose. The blood concentration can easily rise to the level needed for the anti-allergy effect, and the patient gets allergy relief without the drowsy side-effect of anti-histamines.

What We Use IV Therapy For

Those 10,000 IV’s we’ve administered? We’ve used them for many things–here’s a list of some complaints and uses:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Anxiety
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Alcohol craving
  • Anemia
  • Asthma
  • Athletic performance
  • Bipolar (mania)
  • CFS
  • Chronic candida
  • Chronic EBV
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cold/flu
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Diabetes (Type 2)
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Eating disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches (all types)
  • Hypertension
  • Infections
  • Insomnia
  • Lupus
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Mercury toxicity
  • Mono
  • Muscle cramps
  • Parkinson
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • PID
  • Polymyalgia Rheumatica
  • Post-surgical wound healing
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Seasonal Allergy
  • Shingles
  • Sinusitis
  • Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s

And more!

This powerful treatment tool has been very helpful here at StoneTree over the years. Talk to your naturopathic doctor to find out if it’s the right fit for you.

You can book an appointment here, or call 705-444-5331.

Terry Fox Run: September 17, 2017

Getting our kids moving is SO important for their overall health and success. In fact, movement is important for all of us–especially getting outside for fresh air and nature.

This Sunday brings a great community based opportunity to get outside and to move as a family, all in support of one of Canada’s heroes, Terry Fox.

The Marathon of Hope

It’s astonishing to look now at photos of Terry back in 1980. He was just 22, and running a marathon a day with an artificial leg that he dipped in the Atlantic in April before setting out to do the same the Pacific after running across the country.

Sadly, on September 1 of that summer, coughing and suffering severe chest pains, Terry’s run ended near Thunder Bay. His cancer had returned and spread to his lungs.

Terry died the following June. During his Marathon of Hope, he had run 5,737 kilometres in 143 days, inspired a nation, and kicked off what would become the single largest one-day cancer fundraiser in the world.

To date, more than $750 million has been raised worldwide.

Terry Fox from Nick Schelle on Vimeo.

You can help continue Terry’s legacy by participating in this year’s run. Registration for the Collingwood event is here.

Run Details

  • Sunday, September 17, 2017
  • Registration: 8:30 am
  • One Start: 10 am
  • Location: Harborview Park (behind McDonald’s Restaurant – Look for the tent for Registration)
  • Main intersection: First Street and Cedar Street
  • Free parking and public transit accessible

What to Bring

  • Dress appropriately for weather (can be cooler at the bay)
  • Water, snacks, warm-up, and music will be provided
  • The event is bicycle, stroller, and wheelchair accessible
  • And dog-friendly, too!

This event has no entry fee and no minimum fundraising amount. There are no barriers to entry. You don’t need a particular level of fitness. You can walk, run, jog, bike, or otherwise roll your way around the 2.5 km loop.

Register here.

Decreasing Heart Attack Risk by Tackling Inflammation

Recent research in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at 10,000 patients who had had a heart attack AND a positive hsCRP result. (This is a blood test for inflammation.)

All of the patients received high doses of statins, which is the present standard of care, then they were split into two groups. Half of the patients received an injection every three months of a drug called Canakinumab, the other half received a placebo injection of normal saline. This trial went on for four years.

Canakinumab is a form of anti-inflammatory medication. It’s used predominately in those with rheumatoid arthritis. But according to the research, when you give it to people with heart attack risk you get some interesting results:

  • 15% reduction in risk of a cardiovascular event like a fatal or non-fatal heart attack or stroke
  • 30% reduction in the need for expensive interventional procedures like bypasses or stents
  • No change in death rates in the 2 groups.

You can read some mainstream coverage of the news here, including the impact on cancer rates.

The short story? Reducing inflammation is good for your health, in particular your heart.

What’s the Catch?

All of this sounds like good news, and in theory, it is. But nothing comes for free. The problem with Canakinumab is that it decreases inflammation by suppressing the immune system. That means patients who take it may be more susceptible to infections, require increased healing time if injured.

Enter the Better News

Chronic inflammation is often lifestyle-related. A poor diet, being sedentary, being over-stressed and under-slept, smoking and/or exposures to other toxins—all of these things contribute to your overall inflammatory set point. And the magic of lifestyle issues is that they can often be fixed without medication.

Dealing with inflammation is a big part of what Naturopathic Doctors do. We have written about it often, and dealing with it in some form or another is a common part of our treatment plans.

It stands to reason that dealing with and improving your inflammatory lifestyle challenges would be helpful in decreasing inflammation. If you could reduce your risk without the need for intense anti-inflammatory medicines that suppress your immune system, wouldn’t you want to?

The starting point is easy. Finding out if inflammation is a problem for you is as simple as a quick and inexpensive blood test called hsCRP–the same one used in the study. All you need to do is get started!

For information on hsCRP testing or inflammation reduction, book online or call 705-444-5331.

Is Your Thyroid Medication Working for You?

Often, patients who have had a conventional thyroid test have been told that everything is fine. They know better. The symptoms of low thyroid function seem to be ubiquitously suffered, especially by middle aged women. A week doesn’t go by that we are not asked by one of our patients to look into their thyroid function.

There is another group of patients that come to us for help. They’re the people who are already taking thyroid medication but are convinced it isn’t working for them. Even though their blood tests suggest that it should be working, their bodies are telling them otherwise.

If you’re one of those people, it turns out you might be right.

The Problem with Thyroid Meds

The thyroid, a butterfly shaped gland in our necks, secretes thyroid hormone. This hormone is a big player, acting on almost every cell in your body, and it exists in a few different forms. The most common is T4, or thyroxine. This form of the hormone is not active. Instead, it’s the responsibility of our cells to use iodine and CONVERT this T4 to T3, or triiodothyronine, which is the active form of the hormone.

When patients are diagnosed with low thyroid function, they are given a drug form of T4. Levothyroxine is the most common, also known as Synthroid or Eltroxin. The assumption is that the patient taking this drug will convert it to T3, the cells will be happy, and all will be well.

What this piece of research tells us is that is not always the case. In fact, more than 20% of patients may not be converting to the active form of the hormone effectively.

Looking in All the Wrong Places

The real problem here is less that patients aren’t converting their medication, but that we are not doing the right tests to notice.

When these “non-converting” patients go to the doctor to complain about their thyroid symptoms, a thyroid test is done and it will almost always come back normal. That test, however,  is measuring TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone….which is not a thyroid hormone at all.

The level of TSH in the blood is dependent on the level of T4, NOT on the conversion of T4 to T3. That means that TSH and T4 levels in the blood can appear normal, even in a person who is NOT converting properly.

Remember it is the CONVERSION that allows the symptoms of low thyroid to be corrected by medication. If you’re not converting, the medication may not work.

So how do you know if your thyroid is working? Test the WHOLE picture. Work with a health professional who understands this relationship and can help your medication work better for you!

For information on thyroid and other testing, contact the clinic at 705-444-5331, or book an appointment online.