Additional Treatment Options for Vulvadynia Patients

Although learning about the low oxalate diet is almost always revolutionary for patients in my Journey of Health Medical Clinic, they find there are other tools that can help them heal faster than the diet change alone.

Everybody is an individual though and we must keep this in mind. Each person has their own story about how they developed vulvadynia; what aggravates this frustrating disease and how is started.

Goals for wellness in our La Mesa Naturopathic Medical Clinic include:

  1. Getting the bottom of it- figuring out where it first started and why is the body reacting this way.
  2. Identifying what is causing inflammation and decreasing the inflammation. This can be food, chemicals, bacteria, virus or other toxicities.
  3. Nourishing the body, particularly the parts of the body that are causing pain or dysfunction.
  4. Strategically target the where and what, while returning the body to normal.

These goals bring about the happiest patients without any symptoms.

There are many stories and many factors that contribute to vulvadynia – chronic infections, chronic antibiotics, fluoroquinolone toxicity, emotional components, sexual trauma and food issues. The good news is when you treat the cause, patients make very good recovery.

Tools that my patients find helpful for healing include homeopathy, botanicals and nutritional supplement. Homeopathy can encompass the physicals and emotional aspects of a person and create shift when people are stuck.

Botanicals or herbs in the form of tea, tinctures or capsules can help treat infection; inflammation as well as soothe tissues.

Nutritional supplements can help deficiencies and genetics.

Cell salts can provide essential basic nutrients for tissue healing.

Food intolerance testing can identify foods that irritate the body.

My hope for patients is for them to find their optimal health. Find a practitioner that will help you consider your options so you too may find your optimal wellness.

Panic Attacks

When patients sit in my La Mesa Naturopathic Medical Clinic and describe panic attacks, I hear all sorts of things. Sometimes they tell me they get hot or can’t take a deep breath. Patients also say their heart beats fast, or they may faint or they get tunnel vision.

       Sometimes they say they are not anxious at all but they can feel it closing in on them. They try all sorts of tricks to calm down- some find things that work in overcoming panic attacks and nothing seems to work for others.
       If others have not had a panic attack or felt anxiety symptoms, it’s hard for them to understand what the experience is like. No matter how your panic attacks are specifically played out- they aren’t pleasant and patients want to know how to stop panic attacks. It is often a pleasant surprise to patients and to me as a Naturopathic doctor to see panic attacks fade off and not return when we focus on general health, improving overall health. But there are times when patients are desperate for options.
       Panic attacks can indeed be caused by stress and emotions but there are several other causes that can increase the body’s tendency to panic attacks. Stress hormones are a crucial part of these. Panic attacks are a sign that you need help regulating those stress hormones. It may also be a sign that your adrenals are crying out for support. Helping your body break down stress hormones can help too. Bacteria in our gut, as we have heard on NPR, are crucial to our mood.
       Don’t panic. There are options for those pesky, not well timed panic attacks. Find the time to get into our Journey of Health Medical Clinic and get solutions. I, personally, love to see my patients find answers so they can do the things they love.

La Mesa Naturopathic Doctor Discusses Echinacea: A Top Selling Herb in the US

 Echinacea brought in $16 million in the U.S. and was 8th most popular herb sold. It is a wonder why it didn’t make #1!  Most everyone knows of echinacea, common name of Purple Coneflower. There are two types, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea augustifolia with the roots and leaves being used.
     Echinacea contains large polysaccharide molecules called heteroglycans. This is where Echinacea gets its shining reports. There are many types of heteroglycans such as Echinacin A and B and Echinacein and these constituents have the immune stimulating properties that most people are looking for in echinacea. There are other flavonoids, essential oil, and allyamides that help stimulate the immune system as well. Echinacea promotes natural killer cells to do their job and immune cells that act like pac-man to virus, bacteria, cancer, and trash. Echinacea constituents are well studied and continue to fascinate us with modern day paintball and laser tag action.
     There are many forms of Echinacea. Germany alone has 40 different echinacea products. Echinacea is usually taken as tincture or pills and less often as tea, although tea is fine too. Widely used for common colds, sore throats and flus, it is also used routinely to prevent illness in those with a less active immune system such as cancer, chronic fatigue, chronic infection, and AIDS. Lesser known uses include for recurring boils, topical use, and as an antidote for snake bites by reducing the venom effects.
     Echinacea is quite safe even in higher doses, in children and for autoimmune patients. Side effects are well studied and very few reported. Unfortunately, Echinacea is disappearing from the wild since it has been over harvested and picked for floral arrangements. In my La Mesa Naturopathic Clinic I use a variety of botanicals in our herbal practice and always use clean products without the fillers.

A Different Approach for Diabetics and Pre-diabetics

If you are on your way to diabetes or already have it, you need options.  It is not necessary to wait and see how treatment goes, watch your strength diminish, risk losing fingers, a foot or blindness due to high sugar levels.  It is often possible to keep the pancreas working even with Type 1 Diabetes.  It has long been believed that Type 1 diabetics have no insulin secretion from the pancreas but researchers are confirming that with hard work, it can be managed with minimal insulin and at times even reversed. You can heal from diabetes! Diabetes can be fixed!

For individuals who are dedicated to a better quality of life, finding not just your lifestyle options but also seeking out the triggers or start of disease can help empower you to better wellness.  The two most powerful lifestyle tools for diabetics or pre-diabetics is diet and exercise.  Research repeats itself when verifying how beneficial 30 minutes of movement on 5 days out of the week for increasing insulin sensitivity.  Diet is also crucial for managing blood sugar levels and often the most challenging part of a diabetic’s treatment.  High sugar levels in the body can be incredibly damaging for all the parts of your body that have small vessels- eyes, kidneys, fingers and toes and it is not worth the risk!  No sugar is worth the damage.  There are many yummy foods that can be eaten instead.  Proteins and veggies are your new friends, the foods for blood sugar control and the recommended diabetic diet.  Carbohydrates and grains should be limited or eliminated since they turn into sugar in your body.  Allowing fruit can be negotiable depending on the patient’s history.  Another way to deal with blood sugars is to ensure the pancreas and digestive system are working at tip top shape.

At the same time we are addressing your insulin and blood sugar, we need to protect your vessels and organs from damage. We can often do this with herbs. After we have achieved a safe balance of your sugar levels and protecting further damage, we can begin to find the cause behind the diabetes.  Although diet plays a role, many people may eat horrible diets without developing diabetes.

If you or a loved one, are ready to change your risk factors for diabetes or get diabetes under control, you may be a good candidate for our La Mesa Naturopathic Medical Clinic.  Please call our La Mesa Naturopathic Medical Clinic to find out more information about becoming a patient.

Homeopathy and Hydrotherapy for Families

Homeopathy can be a great instrument for families to use in dealing with boo-boos and other minor illnesses that come up at home. Many parents are seeking natural treatment options, holistic medicine for their children and ways to self-care. I’ve designed a class specifically on homeopathy for families. In my class, moms and dads learn how to use homeopathic remedies out of a kit in their day-to-day lives.  This is the ultimate natural care for families. Parents will learn ways to use homeopathic remedies for teething, ear issues, cough, menopause, pain and many other ailments and treatments. You will also learn about herbs and other therapy treatments to keep in your natural first aide kit.

Prescribing homeopathic medicine for chronic conditions is best left up to a Homeopath or Naturopathic Doctor, but learning how to use homeopathy for simple ailments is a great tool for a family to have in their first-aide kit.

My Homeopathy and Hydrotherapy for Families class starts May 7, Spring 2016! Space is limited in this popular class so be sure to enroll soon!
Homeopathy and Hydrotherapy for Families
San Diego Continuing Education Center City Campus

Saturdays, 9-12
May 7 – June 4
Class fee $75. Materials fee $10

  • Learn the basics and philosophy of natural medicine
  • Discuss specific remedies and common ailments
  • Learn how to use a homeopathic kit for families
  • Water therapy tips and techniques will also be taught
  • The instructor is a Naturopathic Doctor with a Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, and a Doctorate Degree in Naturopathic Medicine with research background in evidenced-based medicine.

Follow this link to enroll in Homeopathy and Hydrotherapy for Families.

Genetic Testing to Prevent Pharmaceutical Side Effects

One major concern I hear from patients is about potential side effects of pharmaceuticals. Most people don’t realize that there is actually a way to test for side effects before having to actually experience them. This can be accomplished through genetic testing. The human genome mapping was completed a few years ago, and this gives us the ability to take a look at your genes and predict how certain drugs will affect you. Some medications will react in specific ways with your particular genes, and others won’t. This technology is still in the experimental stage, but it is still a useful tool in predicting problems with medications.

For example, one of my patients was on some medications for GERD and had a horrible reaction of headaches. She came to me in a difficult spot of needing the medication for GERD but having side effects. As we worked toward addressing what was causing her GERD to begin with, we were able to test her genetics. We found a GERD medication that she was not reactive to since we identified the liver pathways that work well for her.

Another very common reaction we should to identify is antibiotics. Many people have reactions to antibiotics. In genetic testing, we can find the normally functioning pathways and make better choices to prevent reactions when antibiotic treatment is actually needed.

Genetic testing only needs to be done once. It doesn’t change. Therefore, it can be a good reference for any medication you may need in the future for arthritis, blood thinning, etc (the list is endless!). Education on your genes makes for better health outcomes!

To learn more about genetic testing, just contact our office.

SB 277 and Our Patient Families

Many of our families are concerned about the SB 277 that seems to be progressing through our California legislature. As a mom, my heart aches with the decisions our government is trying to make for our munchkin based on an outbreak of 300-some Pertussis cases. Healthier children handle disease better and tolerate vaccines better, and healthier brains learn better. As a doctor, I do see the need for families to educate themselves on how to protect their loved ones from harm. Unvaccinated or alternative schedule vaccinated families have usually put a lot of effort into their considerations for what is healthy for their kids.

There are still many changes that are likely to be made to the bill before all is said and done. So far, they have determined:

The Vaccines:


Hepatitis B

Haemophilus influenza type b







Varicella (Chickenpox)

Parents will still likely be able to prove immunity to these diseases if they have been exposed by running a blood test called a titer. Medical exemptions are still being allowed and not just autoimmune now but at the discretion of the MD. It is likely the board will be placing extra pressure on those who do offer more medical exemptions.

The Timing:

It looks like they are settling on students entering kindergarten through 7th grade. If a philosophical form has been filed with the school before the law goes into play, then that child is “grandfathered in.” This still does not address the concern of catching up on required vaccines for grade schoolers.

The Choices:

Home-based private schools and moving out of state are the most often discussed options among families. The overwhelming idea of schooling at home seems to be more difficult that the decision of what to do. Knowing your resources will empower you. Educated parents (whether on vaccines, education, or whatever topic is for the benefit of their family) are notoriously resilient in finding options regardless of the strictures placed on them.

Keep in mind that thinking outside the box will also create options for you such as:

  • Considering an alternative vaccine schedule over time to catch up on vaccines.
  • Developing a detox plan to go along with vaccinating your child.
  • Running titers for diseases your child has been exposed to.
  • Paying the fine issued to your child’s school for noncompliance of fully vaccinated recommendations.
  • Creating a co-op of parents to help with a home-study program.

Your options for achieving a healthy child are many. To my patient families – please have hope because I know you are resilient.

For more information, follow this link to read the text of the bill:  SB 277 Text

Treating Menopause Naturally with Naturopathic Medicine

Menopause is a change in balancing act. The body may have been going along pleasantly in rhythm and then there is a change in the hormones available for that rhythm. If you have not been pleasantly in a rhythm and have had an irregular period or painful periods, you are more likely to have more trouble adjusting to the changes your body is undergoing. As the rhythm changes, you will notice not just physical symptoms but also that your emotions will greatly change during this rite of passage for women. It is also a good idea to manage expectations around menopause – know what to expect, for how long, what is reasonable to put up with, and the pros and cons of the choices for treatment.

Physical Symptoms

Frankly, menopause is the failure of the ovaries. They are done putting out eggs. This means the layer of your uterus no longer needs to build up which means fewer and fewer periods.  There are different camps in terms of how to handle the ovarian failure and varied symptoms that come with it. Some believe that they can give you hormones, or even better, bio-identical hormones to replace the lower levels of hormones, the idea being that the hormones continue to make you feel young for a time or maybe even forever. Others believe your hormones can and will adjust naturally as you begin a new phase of life. In my La Mesa Naturopathic Medical Clinic I see both desires in patients. Their ultimate goal is to feel good. Some of my patients have been prescribed hormones by the many hormone specialists and end up in my office begging to get off of them because they either don’t feel as good as they thought or the hormones are too much work. Some patients find the minimally-adjusted hormones do help. A larger percentage of my patients find that bringing the body in balance and nourishing the organ systems with herbs, food, lifestyle, vitamins, liver support, and sometime homeopathy actually does the trick!

Menopause is a natural progression of life, much like childbirth, 1st grade and dating. It doesn’t need to be treated like a disease. Many times, our bodies just like some help getting into balance.

We are quite familiar with the commonly talked about symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, and trouble sleeping, but menopause can also affect our bones, thyroid, lipids, sex lives, brain function, digestion, and mood which in turn can affect career and family life! There are some commonalities in menopause but women do not experience menopause in the same way. Therefore, the same treatment approach is not appropriate for every woman. Some are more sensitive and some have higher risk factors. Careful monitoring of hormones is important during the menopausal changes so we can avoid the risk factors of estrogen-related cancers and common side effects of hormones and protect the heart!

Despite all these challenging issues that our office sees in women, Heart Disease continues to be the number 1 killer for American women. Our health care goals include proactive measures to protect the heart and looking forward to prevent any health consequences.


Mood usually catches women by surprise during all these menopausal changes and they may actually have to adapt life around their mood fluctuations. Tears flow more easily, boundaries are more readily held, and friends and family will hear it like it is! Those hormones that give us the nurturing, protective, mother-bear personality that mothers are so well known for are now decreasing. We no longer need so much testosterone and estrogen for our daily lives, which makes us more interested in taking care of ourselves first, and this is normal. Some women find this a hard mentality to let sink in and may even feel guilty about taking care of themselves before others. Hormonal changes give us more power to look within, be more in touch with our inner self, and a time to re-analyze what is really important to us, what life is about, etc.

Physical symptoms can actually relate to our mood. For example, if you have had a night full of hot flashes, you may consider in the morning who you might be angry with or where you may need to hold your ground and not be taken advantage of. Hormones are molecules too and they need to be recycled, broken down, etc. When there is an overload of hormones and emotions, the liver ends up overwhelmed and the body tries to adapt by ‘burning it up’, bloating, or not making sleep hormones adequately, etc. The more prepared women are for the emotional changes that come along with menopause, the sooner they can start adjusting instead of trying to figure out what is going on.

Expectations of Menopause

Most women know to expect something during Menopause but they may not know the anatomy and physiology behind it, the treatment options, or how long it will last. It comes as a surprise that there are other options to manage menopause symptoms besides hormone replacement therapy.

Hormone treatment orally or topically can be a treatment option and your doctor should talk to you about protecting your heart and bones while taking them. Botanicals can be helpful for supporting your adrenals, liver, and managing hormones, which are all important to function properly in menopause. Homeopathy can help with some physical symptoms as well as emotions. Nutrition is important and managing any nutrient deficiencies. Lastly, lifestyle and habits are important to talk about with your doctor and can add help to the balance needed in menopause. As long as symptoms are manageable, the length of menopause doesn’t seem to be important anymore but in general menopause can last from 1-10 years with African Americans in the longer range.

Once again, menopause is an attempt to get your body harmonizing again. The better periods you have now, the easier menopause will be. If you have period troubles, come in and get it addressed so you are more likely to experience a smoother transition in menopause. Expect and make plans to support the emotional aspects of menopause. Come to our La Mesa Naturopathic Medical clinic and learn about all of your options to treat your symptoms of menopause – not just the options your friends are taking. Empower yourself with the right plan for you.

The Art of Tea Making and Connection

I have a new husband. He has taken on the job of making my morning tea. In fact, he is so good at it that I have come to believe that I’m no longer the best tea maker, even though I taught him the art myself.

Loose leaf tea makes the best tea. After soaking the leaves and plunging the french press, my loving husband pours the hot, steamy liquid into a pre-warmed cup and adds almond milk and stevia or honey, tasting while stirring. Sometimes I have the opportunity to watch him in his ritual and sometimes he brings it to me wherever I am – laundry, bedroom, or even out back. He always presents it with a huge smile and pleasant sounds like “mmm… try this…”

Now, I realize how fortunate I am to have a tea connoisseur as a partner. More importantly, I have a connection, a confidant. Even if the tea weren’t tasty, it would still be good because of the delivery.

Research is readily available to show that cardiac patients do better if they feel loved. Children are more likely to have health problems as adults if they have been raised by a parent–especially a mom–who is distant and strained. Chronic diseases are far less likely if you were raised in a three-generational household. One study that involved injecting a virus in many patients found that those with greater social connections were less likely to actually get sick. Research also solidifies that empathetic doctors (those who create connections) will have patients with lower A1c numbers, better IBS outcomes, shorter cold duration, etc. Research collaborates happiness, job satisfaction, etc. with those who have more social connections.

Keep in mind that the rituals you have with your children, partner, and family members enhance your connections. Tea rituals have been used in many cultures for connection. Your rituals may be different and can be anything that create connection and health.

Doctor’s orders: Make tea or your own ritual and connect to improve your health.

Probiotics and Traveling

Patients often ask me about probiotics and many  find great help in the high quality probiotics that we sell in our clinic. These good probiotics have to be refrigerated, so how can we keep the good bugs coming when we travel or go on vacation? High quality probiotics can last for 5 days or so out of the refrigerator. I do not advise taking the whole bottle with you during travels but you can take the capsules that you will use. If there is no access to refrigeration away from home, there are two other probiotics that are stable at room temperature and that can help you stay healthy on vacations:

1. Culturelle – This is only one strain and a low dose, but it can work for many patients.

2. Pro Flora Intensive – This is a multi-strain option and a high protective dose.

Both of these recommended products can be found at our clinic.