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What are probiotics, exactly?

Probiotics are the good bacteria living in your gut. When you take a probiotic, whether it’s a supplement or your favorite fermented food, you’re ingesting billions of live microorganisms that help keep your gut balanced, your waste system running smoothly, and your body healthy and happy.

Over the past decade, study after study has demonstrated just how important it is to have a diverse bacterial microbiome in your gut to support a healthy body and immune system. It has been observed that health issues begin to arise when the bad bacteria start to take over, or when there aren’t enough good bacteria present in your gut to help fight off illness and infection.

Everything from digestive problems to allergies—and even mental health issues—can be traced back to your gut and the harmonic balance of good and bad bacteria. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to your gut when you’re not feeling your best, as it’s likely there’s an imbalance in good bacteria causing you to feel out of sync.

When should I take probiotics?

Probiotics can be taken every day as part of your diet and supplement routine. They will help keep you regular, help balance your mood, promote good digestion, promote weight loss, enhance immune function and a long list of extra benefits.

If an antibiotic is necessary, we highly recommend taking probiotics during and after for at least twice as a long as you were on the medication. Since the antibiotics’ job is to kill off the bad bacteria that has caused infection, one unfortunate side effect is that they kill off all the good bacteria too. This can actually make you very prone to developing yeast overgrowth! That’s why taking a probiotic supplement is essential to restore your natural, healthy gut balance much faster.

What kind of probiotic should I be taking?

To make sure your gut bacteria is diverse and balanced, you should first and foremost take a look at your diet. There are many foods that are saturated with probiotics, including sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, pickles, miso soup, and even dark chocolate. Check out tutorials by Donna Gates for DIY fermented veg recipes. Yum!

If you’re not getting at least 1 tablespoon per day of fermented foods, start meeting your body’s needs with Ortho Biotic Capsules – 1 per day, by Ortho Molecular.

If you have any questions about your gut or want to try a probiotic supplement, feel free to give us a call at (612) 922-8100.

Be Fertile: 5 Ways to Combat Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal balance is vital to your overall health—especially if you’re having issues with fertility. Many fertility issues—for both men and women—stem from hormones gone haywire. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a number of different factors, from what’s on your dinner plate to your everyday stress levels.

We’ve put together a great list of things you can do right now to help balance your hormones and get your body on track for optimal fertility.

Decrease Stress

Decreasing stress is easier said than done, but it’s a vital part of creating balance in your body’s intricate endocrine system. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol which can disrupt your sex hormones and cause your fertility to plummet.

Some quick tips to help destress your mind and body include acupuncture, massage, meditation, epsom salt baths, reading before bed, developing a steady exercise routine, or taking an adrenal gland supplement that helps your body manage stress at a cellular level. The right combo of nutrients such as; ashwagandha, rhodiola, L-Theanine and even melatonin helps improve your body’s stress resilience and strengthens your stress response.

Improve Body Composition & Increase Exercise

Excess fat on your body can play a big role in disrupting your hormones. It’s a little cat and mouse in the sense that stress can cause excess fat, and having excess fat can further worsen your body’s physical stress. Increasing your muscle mass by regularly exercising is one great way to help rid your body of excess fat, clear your mind, and regulate your stress levels. Also, a clinically guided detox, can be just the thing to rid excess toxins out of stored fat!

Also, keep an eye on your diet. Diets rich in leafy greens, organic vegetables, and sustainable proteins will certainly help balance out your body composition and contribute positively to your overall health.

Decrease Toxins & Increase Nutrients

Toxins are an unavoidable part of life. Air pollution, non-organic foods doused with pesticides, smoking cigarettes, and unfiltered tap water can all contribute to more toxins being introduced into your body. Take stock of all the things you’re consuming in your daily life to see what sort of toxins may be affecting your body, and see what you can cut out right away.

Buy organic produce. They will help reduce your exposure to pesticides and chemicals farmers use on crops. If you can’t, check out the Environmental Working Group’s annual release of the Dirty Dozen, or the most pesticide-saturated foods. Try to avoid eating too many processed foods, even if they’re labeled “organic”. (Tip: Those organic processed foods can be expensive and are probably the things that are busting your healthy food budget!)

You can also filter your water, quit smoking if you still smoke, and load up on antioxidants to help combat toxins in your body. Nearly everyone in our office is drinking NutriDyn’s Fruits & Greens, which is a super antioxidant drink with the power of 20+ servings of fruits and vegetables—it’s a really great option for busy folks to get their daily dose of antioxidants.

Balance your Blood Sugar

Making sure your blood sugar is at a health level is vitally important to your hormonal health. We can check your blood sugar in office during our Functional Physical to determine where your levels are, and help you with a plan to get them back at healthy numbers. In the meantime, make sure you’re cutting back on excess sugar in your diet from drinks and sweets, and eating lots of healthy organic vegetables.

Get Good Sleep and Fresh Air

Don’t underestimate a good night’s sleep. Your body needs proper rest to be able to rebuild and restore after a busy day. Make sure you’ve developed good sleep hygiene, including a smartphone cutoff time to reduce your exposure to harmful, sleep-defying blue light right before sleep. Try using an eye mask if you have trouble with light, or talk to us about time-released melatonin that will help you get to sleep and stay asleep in a completely natural way. And don’t forget to get fresh air, it can help you relax and sleep better at night, too.

If you have any questions about hormone imbalance, fertility issues or what we can do to help get you on track, give us a call at (612) 922-8100.

What It’s Like Getting A Functional Physical

What it’s like getting a Functional Physical

As the new social media manager and blog writer at Lake Pointe, the doctors invited me in to experience a Functional Physical for myself so I could fully understand its purpose and process, as well as get an idea of where my health is right now.

What is the Functional Physical?

The Functional Physical is a series of tests that tell you how healthy your cells are, how your body is handling stress, what vitamins your body is missing out on, and a number of other very important measurements that give you insight into your overall health.

Right when we sat down for my appointment, Dr. Jessica explained the purpose of a Functional Physical in a way I had never thought about:

“Instead of waiting until something has gone severely wrong with your body—like getting a diabetes diagnosis—there are several warning signs and steps that we can flag during the Functional Physical that will help you change course and correct the issue before it gets to the point of a serious medical diagnosis.”

The doctors test your urine, blood, and several other biomarkers to determine how your health is right now. They also put a detailed plan together based on your results that includes supplements, vitamins, and minerals that will help balance your body.

Preparing for the tests

You’ll have to:

Fast 12 hours before your appointment, meaning no food or drink (sipping water is fine)
Collect urine in a clinic-provided cup after 4 a.m. for the Urine Test
Avoid brushing your teeth in the morning for the pH balance test (they use pH strips in your mouth for this)
Spit in a glass of water and take photos to determine the amount of yeast in your saliva (yes, this is real!)

They ask you to fast so they can get the most accurate baseline measurements of your body. The only hard part of this process is not eating breakfast before the appointment, drinking coffee, or brushing your teeth, since they’re ingrained habits. Dr. Jessica said it’s great to bring a snack, since you can eat right after all the fasting tests are finished.

The tests and results

The tests they run measure your body for:
Toxicity and inflammation
Cellular health
Amount of omega-3s in your blood
Your body’s alkaline and mineral status
Adrenal function
Blood sugar balance
Lipids & cholesterol levels

My results were mixed. Some things were great, like my Phase Angle score. I scored a 7 on this test, which ranges from 4 and under as severe, 4.1-6.9 as moderate, and 7+ as healthy. This test measures how strong your cells are and their ability to handle stress, which is great to know my cells are healthy. Another great number I had were my urinary sugars and glucose levels.

One thing the tests told me is I need to focus on are getting my Omega-3 levels a lot higher. A healthy Omega-3 level is greater than 8%, and my number was 5.03%, which falls in the severe risk category for Omega-3 levels. It’s important to get more of these essential fatty acids in my diet, because they help with heart, joint, and eye health, as well as a number of other health benefits. Our bodies also don’t produce them on their own, so supplementing them via pills or food is vital.

What I learned: Preventative health care is important for your wellbeing.

After going through the Functional Physical, I feel more in control of my health and my body than ever before. Dr. Jessica—or any doctor at Lake Pointe who runs your Functional Physical—will put together a plan for you to get your body on track to optimal health. I was put on a health plan full of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Omega-3s, an adrenal health supplement, and two shake mixes that will help get more antioxidants and nutrients into my diet.

It’s only been a few days, but I definitely feel better getting more vitamins into my body. It’s a relief to know what I need to work on to be as healthy as I can be, instead of guessing and taking a random multi-vitamin from the grocery store.

There are a number of great things that come from taking the Functional Physical, but first and foremost is the feeling of control and relief you’ll get knowing where your body stands. Give the doctors a call if you have more questions about the tests and health plans they put together for you.

Be Informed 2018: Why You Should Get A Wellness Evaluation

Be Informed 2018: Why You Should Get A Wellness Evaluation
Most people know what a physical is from your general doctor, but most people don’t understand it! Generally, an annual medical physical only identifies if you already have a disease or severe health problems. A Wellness Evaluation dives deeper into your health to improve your lifestyle now and prevent future health problems. Take action and be preventive!

 

What is a Wellness Evaluation?

A Wellness Evaluation is a series of tests done by your Lake Pointe doctors to determine what’s making you feel not-so-great, what can help you lose weight, what can help you recover from a disease or diagnosis, and more.

The data from these tests helps us break down what’s going on inside your body, and how your unique composition of cells and systems are functioning—or not functioning. If you keep having mysterious headaches, or something in your gut just doesn’t feel right, these tests will help us find answers and get a health plan in place to get you feeling as best as possible.

A Wellness Evaluation is a great way to take stock of where your body is in this moment, and to put together an actionable plan to live the healthiest life possible for you.

 

Wellness Evaluation Tests

The Wellness Evaluation lasts about 45 minutes, and includes these four tests:

  • Omega Blood Test

This test measures your omega-3 levels by running a simple blood test (just a quick prick!). Omega-3s are an important part of your overall health. Since your body can’t make these on its own, this test will determine any deficiencies you have in your diet, and help us put together a food or supplemental plan to get your body back on track.

  • Antioxidant Scan

Antioxidants are a vital part of your body that help remove oxidizing agents that are bad for your cells. This scan will measure the levels of 17 different carotenoid antioxidants, which are great indicators of a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

  • BIA (Body Composition) Test

This test gives us an accurate analysis of your body’s cellular health including; muscle mass, fat mass, hydration status and more! A BIA test is also the only test out there that measures your phase angle. This number is very important to know for every person because it tells us how fast your cells are aging. Toxins and stress can accelerate this aging and we want to help prevent this as much as possible to live a long and healthy life.

  • Zinc Taste Test

This simple saliva test screens for your body’s zinc levels, which is an essential mineral needed for immune support and healthy reproductive systems. This test is also a great indicator of your overall mineral status.

 

The Functional Physical

The Functional Physical is similar to the Wellness Evaluation, but goes a little more in-depth with a few more tests. If you have chronic health issues or want a more extensive look into your health, this test may be a better option. Let us know if you would like more information on this evaluation.

Avoiding Detox Symptoms

Does detoxing make you feel junky? Well, if you join us for the 7-day Core Restore Detox, you should encounter significantly less discomfort than with most detox protocols. That’s because it is designed to jump start the detox process and rest your body via the fasting days so your liver doesn’t get so backed up that it can’t keep up with the load, leaving your body a toxic soup for a few days. Even following this protocol, however, you may initially encounter a few “detox symptoms,” like headaches, fatigue, or irritability (I mean more than usual 😉 ). There are several reasons why the first few days of any detox might make you feel lousy and Dr. Hyman addresses them all in his video on the topic found below:

If you don’t have the time for the entire video (it’s only about 6 and a half minutes!), click here for to skim his article instead. If you aren’t feeling great a few days into the detox, or find that detoxing doesn’t seem to be quite enough to shift your health in a more positive direction, consider scheduling a consult with one of our functional medicine doctors to address underlying causes of your health concerns.

Chiropractic First: Your Chiropractor as a Primary Care Resource

Neck pain? Back pain? You could use a chiropractor! But that isn’t all the chiropractor is good for! Chiropractic care has been shown effective in treating a host of conditions that don’t always present themselves with back or neck pain. Have a kiddo who suffers frequent ear infections? Is your infant colicky, having trouble latching, or dealing with reflux? Is your immune system down and you’re fighting off a cold? Is sinus congestion ruining your day? Chiropractic is a great first choice for addressing these and other conditions. Realigning the spine to help restore proper function and communication is an important step in prompting healing in the body. Make your chiropractor your primary care doctor!

Be Informed! It’s Time for Your Annual Functional Physical!

January is always the month we highlight the most foundational aspect of any healthy lifestyle. We call it Be Informed. Without accurate information and a proper perspective, forming goals and addressing areas of opportunity is nearly impossible. The first step to establishing healthy habits and achievable goals is to gather your data.

Our bodies boast a complex communications system constantly exchanging data between cells and systems. Unfortunately, interpreting this data isn’t always as simple. What is this headache telling me? Why are my muscles twitchy? What made my digestion suddenly stop working and how come sleep isn’t as easy as it once was? Gathering data doesn’t always simplify things either. So what if my chlorides are high? I don’t see how that impacts anything!

Gathering data is only the first step; interpreting data and determining how to change that data is your best starting point. That’s exactly what your doctor at Lake Pointe has been trained to do. During a Functional Physical, you’ll take a look at your health history and test a series of biomarkers to gather important information on how your body is functioning. Then your doctor will interpret those results (and any recent test results you may bring in) and combine that data with your health history to form an accurate conclusion regarding the health of your body. From this vantage point, sighting your health goals on the horizon is simplified. Suddenly the numbers are actually communicating something, in a moment your symptoms and your data can be superimposed to form a clear picture. Not only will you gain a better understanding of what all the data means but your doctor will help you form a plan to change that data to better reflect your wishes. There’s no better time to start gathering the facts and forming a plan. Schedule now and Be Informed.

It’s Ok to Not Be Ok.

Wow! 2016 is almost over! In less than 48 hours, 2017 will have arrived! Reflecting on the closing year is a prime opportunity to check in with yourself. How are you feeling? What have you accomplished? Where could you use more support? What needs cleared out? What could be built up? Are there circumstances that have influenced you? How will you turn them into an action plan? What is your first step?

Initially it may seem overwhelming to catalog your thoughts, emotions, accomplishments, and set-backs. However, taking time to truly assess your well-being and honestly face your circumstances will allow a better foundation from which to start building a better outcome in 2017. Find out where you are at on your internal map so you can formulate a solid plan on where you want to go in 2017.

Maybe 2016 was full of goals met, moments celebrated, progress, peace, and things coming together. We wish this for each and every one of you! If so, take that momentum right into the New Year, with bigger and better plans on climbing higher in 2017! Maybe 2016 held brokenness, illness, loss, difficulty, failure, struggle, or conflict. While we at Lake Pointe would wish you a better set of circumstances and a more joyful place to stand today, we also realize that this is a reality in many lives at any moment and honor the truth that there are times when each of us is not ok. If you find yourself in this category, take a moment, openly assess where you find yourself mentally and emotionally and use that information to power your journey upward.

The functional medicine doctors at Lake Pointe understand the intricate connection between mental and emotional health and physical health. Feeling blue can be the result of any number of factors from circumstantial difficulty to low Vitamin D levels to poor gut health. Regardless of what might be getting you down, there are ways to support your physiology for stronger mental and emotional health. It’s ok to not be ok. However, finding the right support is key in your plan to regain, recover, and restart. True wellness is more than the lack of physical illness, but incorporates the health and balance of body, mind, and spirit. If any of these is not functioning properly, the whole is unwell. Partnering with a functional medicine doctor can help set you on your journey from maybe-not-so-ok to more balanced moods and mental health. Schedule a consult with your Lake Pointe practitioner to put together a customized plan for wellness. Call 612-922-8100 to get started. And may 2017 be a happy year!