Urinary Tract Infections: Natural Solutions

Urinary tract infections are not something we sit around the dinner table discussing, but google searching on the internet, that’s another story. Believe it or not, this topic is one of the most highly searched health terms. That means, you are not alone, and let’s hope there’s valuable information out there. When I asked my audience on media the other day what conditions they wanted information for, this was what they decided! I had NO CLUE that so many people were interested in UTI solutions, but considering that if many people get them, especially women, elderly, and men with BPH, I shouldn’t be surprised. The other thing to take note of is that if you get them, they often reoccur, which means antibiotics over and over again if you go a traditional treatment route and are unable to prevent them.

Let’s get down to business.

What causes Urinary Tract Infections?

The short answer? E. coli getting into the urinary tract, penetrating the cell lining and taking up shop. This is just another case of infection due to bacterial overgrowth.

How do you treat or prevent Urinary Tract Infections?

This is where visiting a doctor who can diagnose the infection and evaluate the severity is important. If there is a severe active infection, you may want to consider antibiotics as the treatment option that is needed because no one wants it to progress into a kidney infection! However, if it is somewhat early and benign, you may be able to get away with an antimicrobial combo like Uva Ursi and Berberine to get the job done.

In the case of prevention, my preference in practice is the use of cranberry extract that contains at least 36mg PAC (proanthocyanidins). These plant compounds found in cranberries have the ability to attach to E. coli and PREVENT them from attaching to the lining in the urinary tract. Having said that, that’s why we use this in folks who have the tendency to get them over and over. You know you want prevention for these patients, and cranberry extract supplements tend to be a great solution! Studies show that if you combine a cranberry extract with 36mg PACs with a broad spectrum probiotic, that it has even slightly better prevention rates (which were already great!) I’m pretty transparent about the supplement industry and what is pretty standard across the board and what you need to be intentional about in terms of quality, and this is one that is notorious for not having many PACs when tested. Be sure to ask your doc for a good cranberry extract!

In addition to antimicrobials for treatment or cranberry extracts for prevention, whether they be prescriptive or natural, you want to make sure to do implement the follow lifestyle habits:

  • drink plenty of water because hydration will help drive urination, flushing out the urinary tract
  • urinate after intercourse
  • wipe front to back, ladies. You don’t want anything bacterial from the back entering the front.
  • steer clear of too much sugar and simple carbs in your diet, because that tends to be a fuel source that bacteria thrive on!
  • take a probiotic or eat fermented foods to help keep your internal environment balanced

Implement these simple solutions, and you could avoid a trip to the doc, another round of antibiotics, and all of the time you waste not being able to pee, having burning during urination, or pain in the back and pelvis!

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Use an Infrared Sauna

Every winter I make my way to the sauna and I would go everyday if my schedule allowed!  For me, it started with the desire to be warm to the core and sweat during a season where it didn’t matter how many layers I worked out in, there was not a bead of sweat.  While the sauna certainly helped me warm up, and allowed me to sweat, I started to realize there was more to it than that.  There is valid research on the health benefits of the sauna, thermogenesis, activation of heat shock proteins, etc, but I just want to keep this simple.  After all, if you’ve never been to an infrared sauna, you are problem wondering whether it’s worth the time and effort.  I’m here to tell you that if I had one therapy in my office that wasn’t delivered by a person, an infrared sauna would be it.

Here we go…

  1. Detoxification– Sweating is one of the body’s ways to detoxify through the largest organ: the skin.  When I am working with patients that have chronic diseases, there is always a need to provide detoxification support. Heavy metals, pesticides, endocrine disruptors…they can all keep you from healing.  Sweat it out!
  2. Cardiovascular health– Cardiovascular events kill more people than any other disease.  It’s a real thing. Just like exercise gets your blood pumping, so does heat.  That means you get some of the same exact cardiovascular benefits from using an infrared sauna as you do hitting the gym!  That also means it’s a great way to continue “training” when you have an injury that keeps you from pushing your limits.  It has been shown to dramatically reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events in men due to having positive effects on blood pressure and vessel pliability.  The more the men used the sauna, the greater they reduced their risk in a Finnish study that has been following people over the course of a lifetime to study impacts of sauna use.  They aren’t quite sure yet, but it appears that 20 minutes or more is the magic threshold.
  3. Energy-It’s no surprise that getting your blood pumping to tissues like your muscles and brain make you feel more alive, alert, and energetic.  When I leave the sauna, I can honestly say I feel rejuvenated!  I’m starting to sound like an infomercial, but this is the real deal.
  4. Weight management– Ok, I have never used the sauna for weight management, but there are a few reasons why saunas help do this: metabolic expenditure, increased growth hormone, increased nutrients to organs that regulate metabolism like the thyroid, and increased mitochondrial activity. Let’s call it the lazy man’s weight loss program not just because of lost water, but because of the cellular influence and hormonal impacts.
  5. Sleep– I have always been a deep sleeper, but I have many patients that struggle with sleep.  There are tons of things that impact someone’s sleep quality, but drastic changes in body temperature is one that has an amazingly positive impact.  Exercise can do the same thing.  Think about a hard day’s work of manual labor, or how wiped out the kids are after a day in the sun, or how sound you sleep on the days you do heavy lifting.  Outside temperature or physical activity have an influence on core body temperature that helps you fall deeper into restorative sleep.

Cholesterol, Heart Disease, and What You Should Do

Coronary Heart Disease is our single most common cause of death and it is caused by something called atherosclerosis.  Atherosclerosis is a fancy term for “your vessels get more narrow due to plaques and that reduces the blood flow to whichever organ that vessel is going to.”  IF you have atherosclerosis of the coronary artery, then you have obstruction of blood flow to the heart…..hello, coronary heart disease: the number one killer.  Most people people are familiar with the most common form of coronary heart disease known as a HEART ATTACK!

Symptoms of the early stages:

  • During physical activity, people may experience chest pain that may go into the neck and left arm.  The pain goes away after rest in the early stages.
  • Fatigue during normal activities.  This is due to the lack of blood supply to the heart, so you feel fatigued doing normal activity.

Symptoms of heart attack:

  • Severe chest pain not connected to physical activity.
  • Fear, cold sweats, nausea

Given the fact that autopsies show that by the age of 60, 100% of people have some signs of atherosclerosis, it’s not surprising that people want to know what to do when the doc starts talking about this when they go in for their exam!

What causes atherosclerosis?

People have been led to believe that cholesterol and dietary fats are the root of all this nonsense. We’ve all had someone we know quit eating meat and eggs and opted for non-fat products in attempts to correct the cholesterol issues on their labwork. This is a myth you need to get comfortable rejecting, so keep an open mind here.  Atherosclerosis is an INFLAMMATORY condition! The plaques on the wall of arteries are not cholesterol stuck; it’s actually more like a damaged portion of the artery wall that is covered with a bunch of stuff, but the main component is actually tissue trying to repair that is mostly made from collagen.  The fat part of the plaque is mostly UNSATURATED FATS. This is complex, but the gist is:

  • Something in the bloodstream attacks the artery tissue
  • Immune cells come to the rescue to destroy whatever is attacking the artery tissue
  • Those immune cells call for more help by sending out the bat signal known as inflammation
  • As the body is trying to repair the damage, it grows more collagen and creates a cap on top of the plaque
  • When the inflammation stops, it becomes hard and calcium may take up shop there.  This is like a scar. THIS WOULD BE NORMAL AND WE ALL HAVE SOME SCARS IN OUR ARTERIES.
  • In atherosclerosis, the inflammation doesn’t stop and it forms something similar to puss in a wound.
  • Inflammation is driving the production of enzymes that break down collagen and if the cap over the area gets weak? Boom. Rupture.
  • Within second, the blood tries to thicken to stop bleeding, a clot forms, and the artery is blocked or a portion of it can break off and float downstream and stuck in another location.  This is what we all really fear.

Why avoiding cholesterol isn’t helpful:

The body uses fats and cholesterol as the building blocks for creating new cells and tissues in any healing process.  This is because a huge part of a cell is the membrane and it acts sort of like your skin.  Without it, what would hold in your insides?!  Those membranes are made out of fat and cholesterol and if you want to get geeky, many cells in the body have 50% of the membrane made from cholesterol. THE REASON WE SEE CHOLESTEROL IN AREAS OF PLAQUING IS BECAUSE THAT IS YOUR BODY’S ATTEMPT TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE TO THAT TISSUE!  It’s like saying umbrellas must cause it to rain, because every time it rains, I see all these people holding umbrellas.  Cholesterol is the umbrella.  It’s there BECAUSE OF THE TISSUE DAMAGE, not causing it.

Ok, so let’s cut to the chase.  You understand what I’m saying, so now you want to know what causes that arterial damage that starts this whole thing in the first place.  Without further adieu, let’s look at a list…

  • Chemicals: chemicals in your beauty products, medications, home cleaning products, cigarettes, pesticides, water, processed food.  I bet you had no idea that even what you slather on your skin goes straight to the bloodstream and could be contributing to heart problems!  Stay woke. (If you don’t know what that means, it’s ok, just keep reading)
  • Infections: if you have issues with the barriers between the outside world and inside of your body like gum disease, leaky gut, sinus infections, etc, then you basically have a highway for pathogens to get into your bloodstream and wreak havoc wherever they see fit, which means not just your arteries.  This is also a huge problem with autoimmune diseases and cognitive issues.  I bet you didn’t have any idea your oral hygiene could be a part of your heart disease.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: in order to repair, your body needs adequate building blocks and deficiencies in things such as b-vitamins, vitamin c, vitamin D and amino acids set you up for failure.  If you have b-vitamin deficiencies, you may see elevation in markers like homocysteine on your labs.  If your doc runs complex labs, you may also see vitamin C deficiency pop up as elevated Lipoprotein A. (you have a 70% greater chance of having a heart attack if you have elevated lipoprotein a!)

So, let’s simplify this into some actionable things you could do to help yourself:

  • Eat a healthy diet including lots of plants and good sources of healthy fats
  • Stop eating processed foods and excessive amounts of sugar
  • Clean out your beauty drawer from all the chemical crap (check out this website for information)
  • Work with a physician to get off as many medications as possible.  This is ironic when it comes to statins because statins cut off your ability to produce cholesterol, ultimately lowering your cholesterol numbers.  Knowing what you know now, is cholesterol trying to help heal or trying to hurt your vessels!  Bye, Felicia.
  • Take B-Vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids (1g for prevention or 3g for someone with active conditions), CoQ10 (100mg for those taking statins and want to prevent issues or 500mg if you are experiencing issues of statin use like forgetfulness or muscle/joint pain).  (If you want specific recommendations for the products I prefer, feel free to email me at angela@angelalucterhand.com for links to those)
  • Stop smoking.
  • Start exercising.

Take away points:

  • Prevention is key, so don’t wait until you have heart disease to take your diet and lifestyle seriously.
  • You MUST be on CoQ10 if you are going to continue to take statins.
  • Cholesterol is not the enemy, so do not go low fat in attempts to correct the problem.

Believe it or not, these cases are some of the easiest patient cases I take on!  It doesn’t take much time to see drastic changes in someone’s labwork in these cases, and the solutions are pretty simple when you compare them to more complex issues like cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Flu Prevention 101

2018 Flu Pandemic.  In full swing.  What should we do?

Well, flu statistics tell us that February is the month with the highest rate on infections.  So, the worst is yet to come.  Pharmacies are having difficulties keeping Tamiflu in stock, and they are saying this could be the worst flu season since the bird flu scare.  As a functional medicine practitioner, I have never been a fan of the flu shot for a couple reasons:

  1. The flu shot is a vaccine that we produce BEFORE flu season.  This means that we GUESS which pathogen will be the issue, and we are notoriously wrong.  That means that massive amounts of people are convinced to get a shot that includes adjuvants.  What are those?  Things that wake up the immune system.  Often times they use things like components of an egg.  It always makes me wonder if they has anything to do with why so many people have egg allergies now.  It’s just not normal to have egg anything in the bloodstream and it actually makes sense that the immune system would recognize this as abnormal and produce antibodies against it.  Hello food sensitivities.   Anyway, that’s exactly what happened this year.  We dispersed vaccines against a strain that was not the correct one.  So, even if you had a flu shot, you are just as susceptible as everyone else.  Sorry, Charlie.
  2. The flu vaccine was created specifically for immunocompromised populations.  The elderly, HIV patients, you know, people that will DIE if they catch the flu.  However, a healthy individual may be down for a few days, but then they will be fine.  We shouldn’t need to intervene with toxic therapies.

We can’t take back the fact that the vaccine was against the wrong strain.  So, is there anything we can do now?  Yup.  Here are my tips for preventing and treating the flu naturally and effectively:

  1. Wash Your Hands.  When you go around touching surfaces and then touching your face, you expose your mucus membranes to all the organisms that may have been resting on those ledges, hand rails, door handles, dollar bills, pens, you name it. So, washing your hands before you eat is huge deal right now.  Just do it.
  2. Eat plenty of plants and organ meats.  Plants are full of phytochemicals that keep your immune system robust.  Spices also contain compounds that can stimulate the immune system, so use them generously.  Organ meats (from appropriately-raised animals) are full of fat soluble vitamins like A and D.  These are heavy-hitters for the immune system.  They also have minerals like Zinc.  Zinc is a well-known immune-supporting mineral, which is why zinc lozenges adorn the shelves of every pharmacy.
  3. Get 8 hours of sleep.  When you sleep, cortisol levels go down.  When you wake up, cortisol levels go up.  Cortisol levels are inversely related to immune system function.  That means that you immune system is allowed to its best work at night when cortisol is down.  If you deprive yourself of sleep, then you don’t do much to support your immune system’s ability to fight infection.  Why do you think people just want to stay in bed when they are sick?  Sleep matters.
  4. Take supplements.  I’m not a huge supplement person, but there are a couple supplements to consider in these types of situations.  The first one is colostrum.  Colostrum contains antibodies.  The antibodies have the ability to bind up viral antigens like those present in influenza to eliminate them before they would get into your bloodstream.  The other supplement is one that has a mixture of herbs and nutrients that specifically support immune function.  You should be looking for beta-carotene, zinc, Vitamin C alongside herbs like Echinacea and Andrographis.  If you feel the slightest tickle in your throat or “off-ness” start taking an immune stimulating formula right away.

A word of advice:

The flu is caused by a virus, which means antibiotics have absolutely zero impact on it’s treatment.  If you have confirmed flu, consider denying the antibiotics and letting it run its course if you are healthy.  Most people will be just fine.  Keep hydrated, get rest, get some nutrients, and consider taking some supplements to boost immune function, but DO NOT take antibiotics and expect them to treat your flu.  What they will do is wipe out the healthy bacteria in your gut that is fighting for you  It will take 3 months to rebuild that bacteria, so think about it!

Cheers to a happy and healthy winter season!

Cancer, Chemo…Now What?

I want to start this post by saying there are thousands of people who have been touched by cancer, and I can’t imagine the decisions that have to be made under such circumstances.  Regardless of your stance on standard cancer treatments, there is a huge population of people, our people, that have been through it and deserve to know there are things they can afterwards that will help restore some of the health lost in collateral damage while going through treatment to save their life.  This post is for those people who have been there, done it, can’t change the past, but want to set up the best future possible for their health moving forward.  This is not a recommendation for cancer therapy, treatment, or anything of that nature.  This is the plan moving forward.

Are you with me? 

What is chemo and what does it affect?

Chemotherapy is just the name of drug therapy aimed at killing cancer cells under the premise that they multiply quickly and we don’t want them to spread.  However, it is not selective to cancer cells.  It has a major impact on ALL cells that grow quickly like certain blood cells and especially the cells of the intestines. Chemotherapy drugs and their byproducts are also toxic to these little organelles in our cells called mitochondria.  Mitochondria are responsible for producing cellular energy called ATP.  Now, that’s great, but what does this have to do with me!?  If you have been through chemo, you know these things are happening because the bowel issues that arise, and the fatigue that takes over.  And that’s ok.  You were fighting for your life!  But now we need to nurse those two things back to health if we don’t want recurrence, formation of neuropathy, autoimmune diseases, etc.  There is a chance you will never have 100% function in these areas again, but we can try our best!

How can I start healing my gut?

It’s not really a secret to health professionals that chemo changes the gut, but what I was surprised to find out while researching journals for specific measures of damage is that just one single day of chemotherapy increases the permeability of the intestines by 7 fold.  ONE DAY!  We are concerned about that permeability because damaging the cells in the intestines allows things that should stay in the intestines to get into the blood.  When they end up in the blood, your immune system freaks out and produces antibodies against them…rightfully so.  However, this is how we end up with certain systemic infections, allergies, and autoimmunity that has the potential to damage any organ’s tissue.  If the organ with the most depleted nutrients in reserve is your thyroid, then we may see Hashimoto’s.  If the organ is joint tissue, then maybe Rheumatoid arthritis.  This is an incredibly important issue to address.  Some very basic guidelines as to HOW to address this permeability are:

  • eat gluten-free
  • eat dairy-free
  • eat bone broth daily
  • eat fermented foods or take probiotics
  • consider supplements with growth factors like that signal cell repair like colostrum
  • don’t exercise too intensely
  • reduce stress
  • avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • get in the sun or supplement with vitamin D3
  • sleep 8 hours a night
  • consider periods of intermittent fasting to allow the GI tract to rest from digestion
  • juice fresh vegetables daily

How can I restore my energy?

We have almost all heard that we have 10 times the amount of bacteria in our body than we do cells.  A statistic you may not have heard is that we exponentially more mitochondria than bacteria!  Without these little guys in our cells, they don’t function.  It’s amazing to me that you can pluck the nucleus out of a cell, which contains the DNA, and the cell can still function because of the presence of mitochondria!  However, if you pluck out the mitochondria, it ends in certain, quick cell death.  So, these things are super important and are often the missing link behind conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, fibromyalgia, etc.  Today though, we are talking about how chemo negatively impacts your mitochondria.  Side note that certain antibiotics also have a negative impact on mitochondria…. Ok, back to what to do about it:

  • do burst exercise (it not only improves their function, but causes them to multiply)
  • intermittent fast
  • eat balanced macros (protein, fat, carbs) but try to slowly transition to lower carb for a while
  • eat some grassfed red meat
  • eat lots of organic, colorful vegetables and their juices
  • reconsider the use of statins or supplement with COQ10
  • use saunas
  • consider laser therapy

These are two areas that need your support in order to restore function to the best of your body’s ability.  It is ALWAYS essential to have a plant-based, whole food diet, good sleep, adequate exercise, and successful stress management.  However, those things are hard to implement sometimes without tools and a little direction.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Remember that may mean looking to a different provider.  When we have fires, we call firemen.  When we need the building restored after the fire, we call contractors and carpenters.  Alternative care providers are not experts at putting out the fire necessarily, but they are the expert at RESTORING AND MAINTAINING HEALTH.  There are always additional things that can increase healing beyond basic lifestyle, and don’t be afraid to explore those things either.  Things such as massage, chiropractic, supplementation, infrared saunas, detoxification baths, etc.  They all have a place, and it’s your job to explore and find what feels right and works for you.  I hope this was helpful, although somewhat basic, it gets the basics across. ;)

*This is not intended to diagnose, treat, or direct care for any patient.  Consult your physician for information that would be right for your case.

Jerky (paleo, gluten-free)

I am not a hunter, but my family members are; so, deer season usually means venison.  Recently, a processed deer came creeping into my freezer at home and I thought “this is it; I’m going to make jerky and if it doesn’t work, then I’m never using the dehydrator again!”  I took a frozen steak and sliced it into jerky strips after letting it thaw slightly through.  I put a marinade on it that I got from Primal Cravings cookbook (Jamaican jerk).  I let it sit overnight.  The next morning I turned on my dehydrator to 160 degrees and put the strips down on parchment paper for easy clean up.  I let it go from around 7:30 in the morning until around 2pm. Mine may have been a little hard for some people’s taste, so next time I may go for an hour or 2 less.  Check it periodically to find the texture you like.  Since it doesn’t have preservatives, I am storing it in the fridge; however, supposedly you can store it for 2 days at room temp.  It was really good!  Venison is an awesome option, too, because it is really lean.  You don’t want fat on your jerky strips because the fat will go rancid. ;(

This was the spice mix I used, but there are tons out there to choose from!  You can also do this in the oven. My dad used to make his in the oven when we were kids, but I have never tried it personally.  You can also use regular steak or turkey, as well! http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Beef-Jerky

Jerky Seasoning (variation on Primal Carvings Jamaican Jerk)

1tsp molasses

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp salt

Patient Journey: Hormone Imbalance

  1. What health issues were you struggling with when you began to work with Dr. Angela?

I had/have been really working through a few different issues. Mainly, trying to have a menstrual cycle without the use of drugs along with my mental well-being. I have struggled a great deal with self-image, self-worth, depression and anxiety for many years and am exhausted from the strain of these mental issues.

  1. What treatment methods had you tried prior to Dr. Angela’s program?

My main treatment for these issues was medicine – a pill for my period, a pill for my depression & anxiety, and yet another pill for my distracted and “busy” brain.

I had also been to see a few different therapists who were helpful at the time but never seemed to permanently resolve my issues.

  1. What health benefits did you gain from working with Dr. Angela?
  • Natural weight loss
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Confidence in my state of mind
  • How to improve my self-worth

4. What was your biggest struggle during the transition to a healthier lifestyle?

The biggest struggle was learning/knowing what to eat and planning ahead in order to prepare meals.

I also struggled with not letting the very anxiety I was trying to get rid of, hold me back from getting better. It was scary to learn the truth about the meds and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to give them up. I had no idea how to act or who I was supposed to be without my meds.

5. What did you find most beneficial to you in the program?

My favorite and most helpful parts of the program were the face to face meetings and the homework given.

Dr. A. gave me so much perspective and really helped me work on my frame of mind. The transition to a healthier lifestyle was less confusing and less frustrating knowing that she was there to help us!

6. Did your food options taste good?

The food took some getting used too but once my mind and taste buds got used to the change, the natural foods tasted delicious. I love eating fruits and veggies along with other clean food options and find myself seeking out those foods more – even at gatherings where other dishes are in abundance.

7. Did you have an ah-ha moment that helped you commit to the change? If so, what was it?

This has been such a huge transition in my life and because of that there was not been just one single “ah-ha” moment, there were several. A few of those being…

  • watching my husband become himself again with his improved mental and physical health
  • On a random day discovering that I feel strong and healthy mentally and knowing that it isn’t just a phase but who I really am ;)
  • Stepping on the scale after several months only to discover, without even paying attention, I had lost weight!
  • Really feeling and understanding what sleeping well does for me

8. If you were going to give a piece of advice to someone on the fence of following a program like Dr. Angela’s, what would you say to them in order to help them decide?

Please give the program a chance and just try it!!!

Be honest with yourself about who you are (or who you think you are) and where you REALLY want to go. Love Ok, at least try to “like” yourself enough to sit and just listen to what Dr. A. has to say – you just might be amazed what you can learn about yourself…

Dr. Angela’s perspective:

There were a lot of moving parts to this case including anxiety, hormone imbalance, low self-esteem, and many medications.   This case happened to have issues with low progesterone.  It took some tweaking with her supplementation to balance that, restore her period, and maintain normal cycles.  Along with her hormone balance came symptoms of weight gain, hair distribution issues, skin issues, mood disturbance, and blood pressure concerns. It was definitely more than supplementing to get hormones in balance; it was lifestyle work AND HEAD WORK.  What you tell yourself on a daily basis creates your reality.  It was such a pleasure to watch this entire family transform before my eyes.  I often did these appointments on Friday nights, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  It capped my week off with a full feeling because of their ability to be honest, vulnerable, and willing to examine all the aspects of life we brought to light.  Although many medication paths will lead women to believe there are quick pill fixes, or that it’s just your biology, I am here to tell you otherwise.  Your hormones decide so much about how you feel and look, and they should not be relegated to a mere band-aid solution.

Patient Journey: Eczema

  1. What health issues were you struggling with when you began to work with Dr. Angela?

I had food sensitivities like getting a headache within minutes after eating something sweet.  If I ate a mainly pasta meal, I would go into what I call a “Food Coma.”  This felt like I had been majorly drugged with plummeting energy levels and brain fog.  This would last about 15-20 minutes and my heartbeat would pound really hard.  After 20 minutes I would start to come out of it and about 20 minutes later feel completely normal, but sometimes I would have like a numb tingling all over my body for about a half hour afterwards.  I also would get terrible hemorrhoids.  My digestion was an issue.  Some foods I wouldn’t digest at all.  My energy levels were way down and it was awful to get up in the morning.  I would have to drink an energy drink just to get through the morning.  I was also slowly gaining weight.  And I had Eczema which is a horrible itchy skin problem.   If I didn’t put on my medicated steroid prescription cream for a week my skin would start breaking out.  Felt like someone was stabbing me from the inside of my skin, and the only thing that provided even a minute of relief was to scratch and scratch to the point of ripping my skin open.   I had Cystic Acne around my neck and ears and had Psoriasis on my scalp from time to time.


  1. What treatment methods had you tried prior to Dr. Angela’s program?                                                      When I was a kid a dermatologist prescribed a steroid cream to control my skin problem and it worked as long as I kept putting it on.   I had also learned a few principles of healthy eating and was taking vitamins and fish oil but nothing really worked that great.


  1. What health benefits did you gain from working with Dr. Angela?

My Eczema is gone!!!  My energy levels are up, and I lost 20-25 pounds with very little exercise.  I am not bloated anymore.  Didn’t realize I was continuously bloated until about 3 weeks into the program when the bloating left. My physical stamina has gone up and I can run farther and longer than I ever have in my life without getting side aches.  I am a professional juggler, and it used to take about an hour of practice to warm up before a show, now I only need about 10-20 minutes tops.

4. What was your biggest struggle during the transition to a healthier lifestyle?                                    Friends and family who didn’t believe this program would help me.   But as long as I had support from Dr. A who promised to stick with me for a full year and answer any questions I had through text messages, then it didn’t matter what my friends and family said.

5. What did you find most beneficial to you in the program?

The scientific physiological explanations as to why my body is doing what it is doing like leaky gut syndrome, and how that leads to an autoimmune response.   Also understanding how stress and not enough sleep plays a huge big role in physical health breakdown.  Understanding “WHY?” is what most helped me get onto the path of healing. The documentaries and books where helpful to fill in the gaps of the food industry.

6. Did your food options taste good?                                                                                                                                       Yes!!  Very much so. I eat waaaayyyy better tasting food now then I used too!

7. Did you have an ah-ha moment that helped you commit to the change? If so, what was it?           Yes 2 of them.    When Dr. A explained why the steroid cream worked to control my Eczema, and what it was doing in my body I was so upset that I was literally in tears the next day because of the realization of how I had been unknowingly abusing my body!!   2.  After I cut out processed sugar and then later restricted the amount of fruit I was eating and then cut out fruit all together for a little while, I was astounded at how the excess weight just fell off.

8. If you were going to give a piece of advice to someone on the fence of following a program like Dr. Angela’s, what would you say to them in order to help them decide?                                                                         If you are skeptical about Angela’s program I understand and totally relate.  It took me a long time to think it over and decide to do it.  There is a lot of medical quackery in the natural health world and lots of people in it who don’t know what they are talking about.   After taking Dr. A’s program I was able to see that I had learned a distorted version of the truth in the past when I first started studying natural health.  A has first hand experience helping many people overcome physical conditions.  She has all of the training any medical doctor has as well as an understanding of how the body works and how nutrition affects all parts of the body.  She doesn’t treat symptoms like my family doctor did to me.  She treats the underlying causes and takes time to get to understand you and your situation and your needs so that she can give you the care you need. When you talk to Dr. A, you’re not talking to an uneducated inexperienced novice.   With all of that said, it can be scary to make changes.  Food can be emotional for some people.  But I want to encourage you that it’s worth it!!  Dr. A gave me a quality of life I will enjoy the rest of my life.



Patient Journey: Anxiety and Depression

As promised, I am sharing patient journeys without any edits or influence! I ask the question, and they give you unadulterated answers to your burning questions. What is it really like to be on a healing journey through my patients’ eyes. Anxiety and Depression is a common patient complaint that land on my doorstep and the current treatment methods need a lot of work. There should be an approach that addresses the problem at the root. That could mean doing something much more drastic than taking medications; it could mean changing how you do life, how you eat, how you think, how you ARE.

1. What health issues were you struggling with when you began to work with Dr. Angela?
Anxiety and depression. Constant (almost daily) headaches. Also some issues that I did not know “could be” helped, like eyes watering, or eczema, lack of energy.

2. What treatment methods had you tried prior to Dr. Angela’s program?
Anti-anxiety and –depression meds prescribed by my MD.

3. What health benefits did you gain from working with Dr. Angela?
I feel like a “better me”, I have more energy, my mind is sharper, my memory is better, my mood is better. I can clearly identify certain triggers that happen when I eat “bad” foods and I do not want to feel that way.

4. What was your biggest struggle during the transition to a healthier lifestyle?
The ups and downs. Feeling good for days then having a setback. Forgetting that I have been one way for 39 years and only “my brand new healthy self” for few months. Giving up sugar (candy) was difficult but finding sweet treats to make from healthier alternatives was wonderful.

5. What did you find most beneficial to you in the program?
Understanding how the human body works and how everything affects everything. Also, learning to set up boundaries for myself as far as how much coffee I can enjoy per week etc. I am still learning the little triggers that set off certain reactions in my body.

6. Did your food options taste good?
Yes everything tasted so good. In fact both my son and husband told me that I make the best foods in the world. I am sure not all of it is my cooking ability, it has to be the good foods we are eating too.

7. Did you have an ah-ha moment that helped you commit to the change? If so, what was it?
When my MD told me that I would have to take meds for the rest of my life for anxiety. The side effects were horrible. I did not want to feel addicted to a pill that I have to take for the rest of my life. To me that was not normal.

8. If you were going to give a piece of advice to someone on the fence of following a program like Dr. Angela’s, what would you say to them in order to help them decide?
“You will not know how amazing you can feel, until you try it”. In the long run with all the medications and doctor visits you will throw out more money and still not get better than what the program with Dr. Angela costs; the difference is Dr. Angela’s program will heal you inside out. And you will feel better than you ever can think of. It is amazing how many people are on the fence about it, even though they could only start trying it for 30 days. What’s 30 days, it is a short amount of time!


Dr. Angela’s perspective:

This patient case had some food sensitivities involved, so reactions to food stimulants, and some actual allergies, too.  It’s always a puzzle with many pieces to find a home for.  That takes time, which is why it’s impossible to successfully treat or correct complex health issues in a visit every few months.  It’s a process and if I didn’t take adequate time, I would have missed valuable pieces of the puzzle.  For example, once everything was corrected for this patient, she wanted to continue care to address some other things such as eczema.  Some simple investigation and it was completely cleared with a supplement because of determining her particular cause: an environmental allergy.  In some ways, I wish treating patients was simple, but then I wouldn’t enjoy the “investigative hunt,” and that is half the fun for me.  Like many patients before this person, she did not commit to care until traditional treatments failed her.  I’m always waiting when a person may want to try a different route.

How Good is Your Massage Therapist?

I am the biggest fan of massage therapy!  I think EVERYONE should have a massage therapist, and I think everyone should get a massage at least once a month.  This article is not about the benefits of massage, but it is about whether you have found a good one!  Since moving, I have been dragging my feet to find a new massage therapist because the thought of vetting people sounds exhausting.  However, I got a massage this weekend and remembered just how important that appointment is to me, and how I assess whether I have a found a good therapist.  I get asked a lot for recommendations of good therapists, and just like doctors, there are different strengths within each therapist.  Because there is such an art to the practice of massage, you are really looking for someone that fits your needs. For example, maybe you’re a woman who would feel uncomfortable with a male therapist and therefore you need a certain gender to be able to relax.  That doesn’t mean the male is a poor therapist, but it does mean you need to find a female.  Having said that, there are a few things that I think are really important when determining if a therapist is right for you:

  1. Do they have a sense of where muscles are tight or may be sore without you telling them?

I think communication with your therapist is important, so being vocal about your problem areas is a must.  However, every single time I get a massage, I realize there are places on my body that feel tight or sore that I had no idea existed.  A good therapist will often pause at these places, revisit them, or even ask upon feeling them “Is this spot sore?”  When you use your hands for a living, you get really good at feeling tiny changes in the tissue, knowing what normal motion feels like, and seeing patterns in how patients feel when certain tissue changes happen.  This is the same thing with your chiropractor.  Without a patient even stating what is bugging them, often times the chiropractor can tell them just based on what they are feeling in the assessment.  This intuition comes with time and experience, so often times, therapists that have been around a long time will have a better grasp on this.  However, I have met a few young therapists that just have that intuition in their hands and you know it when you receive a massage that they have a bright future ahead.

2.  Do they have respectful coverage techniques?

Nothing makes people more tense (especially women) than feeling like they are exposed when they don’t want to be.  Your therapist should always make you feel covered, comfortable, and they should never go to those covered places unless there is medical necessity that has been discussed prior.  For example, there are a lot of muscle insertion points around the butt crease and front of the thigh.  They should be explaining what’s going to happen and ask permission to treat those areas before ever going there.  Your body parts should be fairly covered at all times except when they are working on them.  This keeps you warm, and it increases security and comfort which increases relaxation.

3.  Do you leave feeling better?

This one can be a double-edged sword because sometimes you have injuries or painful places that are sore after working on them, and you may not perceive that as feeling better.  However, when I say “feeling better,” I mean a few different things.  One thing is energy.  If you have a therapist that is negative, stressed, or full of poor energy, you receive that through touch.  I know that we are getting into quack world when we talk about this, but it’s true.  You are energy, you interact with energy, and when someone has contact with you, you inherit some of their energy.  This is also why therapists can sometimes be exhausted by the end of the day!  If they see people in pain, bad relationships, stressed out, etc, they inherit a little of that from their patients, too!  It’s important to enter a massage with the intention of focusing on how your body feels, relaxing your muscles, and being present.  That’s your duty as the patient.  It’s the therapist’s duty to come in with good energy, focus, and attentiveness.  With these two things alone, you will have a totally different experience than if you received the same massage from a stressed, distracted, angry therapist.  Trust me.  You can pass on the bad juju.

As far as physically feeling better, that can go either way in acute situations, but should be consistent with maintenance.  If you are going in for a maintenance massage, you should leave with a feeling of relaxation, better range of motion, and better awareness of your body.  If a therapist goes too deep and you can’t relax, you most definitely won’t have a great massage.  (There are times and places for deep, just for clarification).

This may be a short list, but beyond those three things, we are talking preference.  If you have found someone great in those three categories, then you may want to consider the following that I would consider exceptional:

  • great ambiance, lighting, temperature
  • calming music selection that you like
  • oil quality being top notch
  • use of essential oils for certain benefits
  • how well they explain what they found while working with you
  • how well they can dictate a treatment plan if you are injured

If you find the top 3 with the bottom bullets, hang on and never let go!  The first step is just to schedule a massage, try people out, and stick with one that you leave feeling great about.  Sometimes it’s simply an energy thing, and that’s impossible to measure on paper.