Trees

the sun is more than a vitamin

When it comes to health, Nature almost always does it better.

 

We talk about vitamin D a lot. It’s useful for healthy bones, healthy immunity, healthy levels of inflammation, healthy mood. In the past decade it’s gotten a lot of press.

 

But in the same way whole foods are a better source of nutrients than a multivitamin, there are things the sun can do that a supplement cannot. When it comes to health, Nature almost always does it better.

 

A 2016 review published in the journal Dermatoendocrinology offers a lot of science to back this notion. If you’re feeling super geeky, you can read the whole thing for free here.

 

If you’re less geeky, or don’t have the time to spend, here some bullet points.

  • Is sunshine good for you? Yes.
  • Is sunburn bad for you? Yes.
  • Does sunscreen prevent melanoma? Not so much.
  • Does a base tan prevent melanoma? Yes

Also, and importantly, the review shows ways in which sunshine helps health irrespective of Vitamin D levels. In other words, and in at least some cases, the sun is doing the healing, not the vitamin we make from it. For instance, the authors found that:

  • Sunshine (but not Vitamin D) helps prevent obesity
  • Sunshine helps you see better (preventing short sightedness)
  • Sunshine boosts your mood

The bottom line: Get outside.

 

Nature is the first and the best healer. Getting your Vitamin N (Nature) will help your health, with and without Vitamin D.

 

Does that mean you don’t need Vitamin D supplements? The jury is still out on that. We know that lower Vitamin D levels are associated with impaired health on many levels. What we don’t know is whether the low Vitamin D is a cause or an effect. I generally find patients with low Vitamin D levels feel better with supplementation.

 

The first step is to get your Vitamin D levels checked. This is a standard blood test doctors can order along with your cholesterol and similar tests as part of an annual preventive visit.

 

I like to see Vitamin D in the 50-100 ng/mL range. If your levels are low, we’ll talk about why that may be the case, and decide how to proceed.

 

Click on the button below to get started!

 

book now

bye bye, joint pain

Filed under: food as medicine,healthy living,weight management — Tags: , , , , — Orna @ 11:08 am

I talk a lot about food being the first and most fundamental medicine. You know that vegetables are good for you, and that donuts aren’t so much.

 

But what does that actually mean in terms of making you feel better? That’s what my patient Kelly wants to tell you about.

 

 

(more…)

healthy presents for the holidays

Stumped about what to get friends and family for special occasions? Want to help them get and stay healthy? Here are my top recommendations. (more…)

do you know how to eat?

Filed under: food as medicine,healthy living,Uncategorized — Orna @ 4:53 pm

Portlanders are a pretty food-savvy bunch. We know what to ask about the provenance of our food. We pay attention to ingredients, to gluten, to dairy, to grass-fed/free-range/high-omega-3/sustainability parameters (except when we just go for a donut.)

 

So it sometimes surprises me that folks who know what to eat often don’t know how to eat. And while great food matters, what’s the point if we don’t digest it well?

(more…)

Dr. O’s Holidays Stress Less Vitamin N Challenge

Filed under: healthy living,mood cures,Uncategorized,Vitamin N — Orna @ 2:23 pm

It’s two days before Thanksgiving and even though my plans are pretty mellow, I’m starting to feel the stress creeping into my body. This morning it woke me up, feeling like tendrils of tension wrapping around my throat and heart.

 

My still-half-sleeping brain began noodling on the question of what to do about it. And I thought, if Nature is the best medicine, what about committing to spending time out in it each day until the holiday craziness is safely past?

 

And then I thought, wouldn’t this be easier, more joyful and more effective if a bunch of us did it together?

 

And so I bring you my very first Vitamin N (nature) Challenge, which you can join on Facebook here.

 

Dr. Orna's Holidays Stress Less Vitamin N Challenge

 

Each day between now and January 2 I’m committing to a minimum of 7 intentional minutes with Nature as a way to tame my holiday stress.

 

Will you join me?

 

The rules: Since this is about reducing stress, the goal is to keep it simple and manageable. Say hi to an urban street tree for a few minutes. Put yourself into an amazing vista. Tickle whatever’s alive in your garden. Walk along a creek, river or beach. Get to wilderness, if doing so won’t increase your stress. And if you live in a deeply rural setting? Just take that 7 minutes a day to be in and appreciate some aspect of your landscape.

 

It all counts if you do it purposefully — as a commitment to connecting to nature, ideally outdoors, to reduce your holiday (or other) stress.

 

I’ll be taking and posting pictures of my daily Nature time to the Facebook group because 1) it’s fun and 2) it will hopefully inspire you. Please share your own pictures, stories and questions!

 

So here’s to a smooth slide through the upcoming season. Thank you for getting into Nature with me.

 

PS. Want to learn about my other challenges, classes and healthcare offerings? Sign up for my newsletter here.

(more…)

An easy way to eat more veggies

November 8, 2018

Wednesday is veggie box day at my house, and it’s been really helping me up my personal food game. I often recommend delivery services like this one from Full Circle to patients as a way to help keep fresh vegetables in the house — because eating veggies is a non-negotiable part of healthy living.

 

.

(more…)

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…)

Older Posts »

Address: 4921 NE 28th Ave. Portland, OR 97221 Phone: 503.335.9479 Taproot Hosting Site Design: Chipboard Creative | © Copyright 2014 Celilo Health