Trees

you’ve got the power

heart-4A few years ago, a patient came in with some unexplained symptoms. She’d been to the hospital twice, and even had a small surgery that didn’t help the problem. Bad as that was, she’d also gotten some bad news on a related genetic test. You can imagine she was pretty scared.

 

I told her: “Epigenetics is your friend.

 

Translated: Your genes are not your destiny. Your choices can protect against, prevent or override the genetic cards in your hand.

 

With that in mind, I was gratified to read a New York Times story confirming the power of lifestyle choice on health outcomes — even with uncongenial genes. (more…)

the third level of healthcare

You’ve been to your primary-care doctor. You’ve been to a specialist. Maybe you’ve even been to multiple specialists.

 

And they’ve given you bad news, or confusing news, or they say there’s nothing wrong when clearly something is.

 

That’s where the third level of care comes in. And that’s my specialty.

 

 

If you’ve got health issues and aren’t sure where to go, consider naturopathic medicine. You can even book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Learn more about naturopathic medicine here.

 

 

 

the three keys to optimal health

At its root, health really isn’t that complicated. Getting and staying health comes down to three simple things — assimilation, elimination and managing inflammation. In this short(ish) video, Dr. Izakson breaks it down and gives you the key to the natural-health kingdom.

 

flower essence training with Dr. Izakson

It’s no secret I’m a plant lover. It’s why I went into medicine.

 

I love that plants reinforce our connection to nature, while helping us navigate the modern world. Nearly every patient I treat gets some kind of plant-based prescription, whether it’s a powdered herb, a tea or an herbal extract such as a tincture or a gemmo.

 

The plant medicines I use most in practice are flower essences. They’re safe and gentle, don’t interfere with any other prescriptions and reliably make big changes in my patients’ well being.

 

Here’s one patient’s testimonial: (more…)

come out and play!

Dr. Izakson has some speaking gigs coming up, and she’d love to meet you.

 

First up, Dr. Izakson is talking about vital living at the Inspiring Woman Leaders Fifth Annual Women’s Leadership Conference on March 5 at the McMenamin’s Kennedy School. The event is even near the office, for those of you who love the Alberta/Concordia neighborhood.

 

One week later, check out the Women in Balance Institute’s Women’s Health Day. Dr. Izakson will be talking about detoxification — with a twist.

 

Both promise to be fun events. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

Oxbow-Oregon-Lifestyle-Head-Shot-WEB-084A5559

 

 

sugar raises heart-disease risk — a lot

Filed under: heart disease,Uncategorized — Tags: , — Orna @ 11:09 am

We all know that refined sugar is best as a rare treat rather than a dietary staple. The staggering prevalence of obesity in the US — as high as one third the population in many areas — offers a regular reminder.

 

Refined sugar significantly raises heart-disease risk.

Refined sugar raises heart-disease risk.

What’s less known is how sugar consumption affects heart disease — the leading cause of death in the U.S. —  and a new report shows it doesn’t take much to double your risk. (more…)

new year’s resolutions: biotransformation in 2014

December 31, 2013

 

Wishing you joy, laughter, freedom and light in 2014.

‘Tis the season to make resolutions. A time to reevaluate our choices, to envision a hopeful future in which we move forward into more perfect lives.

 

Although it hasn’t always been this way, as the Atlantic magazine explains in a Dec. 31 article, many of us make resolutions around our health. If you follow any blogs, Facebook pages or tweets on the subject, this is the time of year when you’ll be overwhelmed with possibilities for a New Year’s cleanse or detox program. You’ll lose weight! You’ll have more energy! That brain fog? Gone!

 

My friend and colleague Dr. Mahalia Freed wrote about this phenomenon on Facebook this time last year. Paraphrased (she said it so much better than I): You are not dirty, you don’t need to cleanse.

 

To which I said — and say again — hallelujah.

 

Health is not about fitting into your high-school prom dress. It’s not about just not being sick. We all have our definitions, but mine, today, is this: Health is enjoying our minds and our bodies, connecting with individuals and community and place, and fully living a life animated with meaning and purpose. (more…)

sunshine vitamin brightens dark winter days

As some of you may know I recently got my first smart phone. and on it there’s now a fun little app called D-Minder, intended to help track your vitamin D exposure. The app looks at your skin tone, size, location, local weather and sun angle to determine how much vitamin D you can get at any given time, or when your next vitamin “D opportunity” is.

 

Today, Nov. 15, the app says “your next D opportunity is in 113 days.”

 

Sunny Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Sunny Arrowleaf balsamroot, to remind you of summer.

All of this is a great reminder that at northerly latitudes like Portland’s, the sun’s angle is just too low for natural Vitamin D production for a big chunk of the winter. The D-Minder folks created this video, which gives the clearest explanation I’ve seen of how this works.

 

Why do you care? Vitamin D improves immunity and healthy bone building, protects against cancer and diabetes, regulates blood pressure and balances inflammation that’s thought to be a primary underlying cause of many debilitating chronic diseases. (Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute offers this monograph on Vitamin D.)

 

What to do through the winter? If you can’t get a break to the tropics or the southern hemisphere,  recommend a simple lab test to assess your individual need and then appropriate use of a high-quality Vitamin D3 supplement.

 

(How much Vitamin D is enough? My reading of the research, coupled with clinical experience of myself, my colleagues and my mentors, suggests the U.S.-recommended daily values are too low.  But seriously, testing is the best way to know what’s right for you.)

 

To find out more about Vitamin D, why you need it and whether supplementation is right for you, please call or email us to schedule a time to speak with Dr. O.

 

 

Want to read more on Vitamin D?

The Vitamin D Council website is filled with great information, including options for testing and the best ways to get the Vitamin D you need.  This site was created by one of the doctors who pioneered Vitamin D awareness wave in the U.S.

 

 

the sleep Rx for weight loss

Trying to lose weight? A recent raft of studies show that more sleep may be just what you need.

 

Here’s how it works.

 

First, well-rested people make better food choices. But when you’re sleep deprived, the parts of your brain associated with addiction do more of the decision making. That makes the doughnut look far more appealing than a yummy salmon salad — with predictable consequences for health and weight.

 

Second, inadequate sleep messes up hormones that control your hunger, satiety and ability to manage blood sugar — the latter having many negative health effects including taking you down the diabetes road.

 

From that article:

 

“Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University analyzed studies looking at the impact of sleep deprivation on weight and energy balance that were published between 1996 and 2011. They found in several studies that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night is linked with increases in the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin, decreases in insulin sensitivity (a risk factor for diabetes) and decreases in the hormone leptin (which is key for energy balance and food intake).

 

Scientific American reports the good news: Good sleep helps you lose significantly more weight:

 

“Researchers found that if dieters got a full night’s rest, they more than doubled the amount of weight lost from fat reserves.”

 

So how much sleep is enough?

 

This awesome New York Times article, part of a handout I now give all my patients, describes a couple of research studies that came to the same conclusion: Almost everyone needs 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Just two weeks of getting  6 to 7 hours nightly leads to reaction and cognitive deficits equivalent to being legally drunk. Even worse, those folks are so used to the sleep deficit they don’t even realize how impaired they are. These are the folks who insist they’re fine with just 5 hours of sleep each night. They’re almost definitely not.

 

So make sure you get your zzzzs. If you’re having trouble, give us a call. We have tools to help. 

how you eat will change your life. period.

This TEDx video has been making the rounds in emails and social media. A lot of these things get tossed your way. And you may have been leery about wasting 17 minutes of your busy time on yet another random video.

 

That’s certainly how I felt. But after seeing glowing recommendations from so many medical colleagues and friends, I got curious. And now I’m recommending — in the strongest terms — that you watch it, too.

 

Real food will change your life.

Seriously.

 

The story here is of an active woman, a medical doctor, who was crippled with Multiple Sclerosis. In MS, a person’s immune system starts attacking the sheathing that protects the nerves. That sheathing (remember the word “myelin” from high school bio?) is like the plastic encasing electrical wires, and does the exact same thing: helps electricity travel through the nerves and prevents shocks in the wrong places. MS is considered an incurable, degenerative disease.

 

The speaker, Dr. Terry Wahls, wasn’t willing to accept that prognosis. Because she’s an MD, she made sure she tried all the drugs, including the experimental ones. When that didn’t work, she started doing her own research. The video outlines her findings, but my patients and followers won’t be surprised — it’s basically the same diet I recommend for nearly everyone.

 

I really want you to watch the video so I’m not going to tell you how dramatically well this worked for Dr. Wahls. But the bottom line for you is this: How you eat changes your life.

 

So watch. Learn. Apply to your own life. You can feel awesome, whether or not you have an autoimmune, degenerative, incurable disease. And if all the competing  food choices have you (justifiably!) confused, give us a call. That’s what we’re here for.

 

 

 

Like videos? We’ve started a YouTube channel of our favorites. Watch for updates!

 

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