April 11, 2013
Just like with hormones, it is about balance when it comes to amino acid therapy.
The relative amount of one amino acid, like tryptophan, to the others, is what makes the difference when it comes to mental health. Dr. Michael Greger, MD of NutritionFacts.org posted an interesting video about the importance of high tryptophan levels, relative to other amino acids, when it comes to boosting serotonin levels and treating depression. So eating animal protein, for example, isn’t helpful for boosting serotonin, whereas consuming seeds (pumpkin, sesame, butternut squash, etc), which have a particularly beneficial tryptophan to protein ratio, is helpful. I would advise eating raw (and sprouted if possible) seeds, as roasting the seeds alters the amino acid ratios.
We have long been testing the blood for amino acid imbalances in patients with mood disorders. Formulating the appropriate amino acid blend to create healthy amino acid balance, based on symptoms and the blood test results, makes a big difference in producing positive change. The most impressive changes I have witnessed in practice are with patients facing the challenges of anxiety, depression and autism disorders.
November 13, 2012
A new Danish study published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that women who had the flu or ran a fever for more than a week during their pregnancy face a greater risk of having a child with an autism spectrum disorder. There were nearly 97,000 children aged eight to 14 and born between 1997 and 2003 in Denmark whose mothers were surveyed, and one percent (976) of the children were diagnosed with autism.
Those mothers who had the flu during pregnancy were twice as likely to birth a child with autism, and those who had a fever that lasted more then seven days before 32 weeks gestation were three times as likely to birth a child with autism.
There was also an association found between antibiotic use during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism.
Articles are being written advocating that pregnant women receive a flu shot, as this was recommended by the researchers. We do not know the consequences of pregnant women taking a flu shot, that may contain chemicals like thimerosal…a mercury-rich preservative. The vaccine also is designed to illicit an immune/inflammatory response and inflammation from the flu is one very real consideration as to why the children of mothers with the Flu during pregnancy were more likely to be autistic. The flu causes inflammation in the body. There are also questions as to the efficacy of the vaccine itself. There are naturopathic ways to boost immune function and lower inflammation in pregnancy. With the help of a licensed naturopathic medical doctor or qualified holistic medical doctor women can take active steps to safely nourish their immune system before and during pregnancy.
November 4, 2012
Just a quick post to share my excitement as our medical practice expands to offer to our patients the only medical service of its kind in southern California.
As you know, I am passionate about integrative medicine, and after 15 years treating patients and teaching physicians how to practice this medicine, I am still in awe of the results that come with helping the body to heal itself. There are natural options available for major health challenges, like depression, infertility, ADHD, hormone imbalance, memory loss, chronic pain, and rheumatoid arthritis.
I have been practicing concierge medicine with our high profile patients and am now offering this service to more people.
As a concierge patient you have the option for home visits, a private line to the doctor, help with shopping for the best foods for your body, and a more personal and direct relationship, the way medicine used to be practiced, when your doctor was also a family friend.
Read about our patients’ experiences to learn firsthand from others who have gotten results with the help of this medicine.
You can call our offices at 310-734-0950 (Beverly Hills) or 949-715-9321 (Newport Beach) for more info.
March 28, 2012
A new groundbreaking study published this month in the journal Immunity contradicts the basis for the use of vaccinations. The current theory is that your body must produce antibodies to a virus in order to fight a viral infection. Hence the need for vaccinations that trigger a portion of your immune system, the adaptive response, to produce necessary antibodies that will fight the virus if you are exposed.
Now we are learning that the innate immune response, that does not require antibodies to a particular virus to fight, is effective in fighting viral infections. This portion of the immune system uses macrophages and interferons to effectively prevent fatal viral infections.
Just prior to coming across this new research, I had listened to a continuing medical education seminar on Autism treatments where a pharmacist outright stated that we should simply stop conducting any research into the link between Autism and vaccines because there is none. In light of this new information, that questions the very basis of vaccines, and begins the exploration into other means of preventing fatal viral infections, we should certainly be investigating the effects of vaccinations on our children and newborns, and whether the risks actually outweigh the benefit.
This is the most hope I have seen regarding the vaccine controversy. We have other options for viral protection, involving stimulation and strengthening of the body’s innate immune response, rather then its adaptive response. Breastfeeding, homeopathic preparations, and nutritional interventions all play a role in the innate response, that will likely gain more attention in the years to come. That is good news for those physicians and parents concerned about the damaging effects of vaccines on our children.
August 2, 2010
Please help the Autism Research Institute attain their goal of establishing a new program for homeless individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Below is their announcement.
Aloha from Kauai,
–Dr. Gina (Nick) Cushman
Help ARI Win $50k to Help Homeless Individuals with ASD
ARI was chosen to participate in the Pepsi Refresh Everything project and needs your support to win $50,000. Only the projects with the highest number of votes are funded. Voting is free and it started this morning – can you help?
Vote now and take a moment to return each day this month.
We hope to establish a model program to provide information and support for homeless people who are on the autism spectrum. First, we will establish a small office in downtown San Diego for one year, and the office would be run by two part-time people. They would meet with staff at shelters and missions to inform them about autism and suggest best ways to help those on the autism spectrum – for example, eat/relax/rest/sleep in a quiet, dimly lit or dark place. We’ll offer support and information on where to find vital resources including:
- shelters and transitional housing
- food and clothing
- medical care
- mental health services
- referrals to agencies for case management & life training skills
- referrals to agencies for government or other financial assistance
- referrals for outpatient consultation, evaluation and treatment intervention
- referrals to agencies providing skills assessment, job training & job coaches
We would also create a tri-fold brochure with relevant information and work to disseminate crucial information about the various support services available directly to those on the spectrum.
Click here to vote!
June 7, 2010
Exercising in the green, natural environments has long been known to boost – not necessarily the physical health benefit – but one’s mood, self-esteem and odds of avoiding mental illness such as depression and other psychological conditions. But a study has pinpointed exactly how much time spent working out in green environments – not sitting around outside but actually exercising in those parks, gardens, nature trails and nature-heavy environments – is required to achieve maximum mental health benefit. And it’s a mere five minutes. The study conclusions were released on May 1, by the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Click here and type in “depression,” “anxiety” or any other mood-related health challenge in the search bar to learn more about what you can do to enhance your outlook and stave off depression and anxiety. Another helpful site is SickSyndrome.com.
A few favorite natural supplements prescribed at our medical practice used to enhance mood include Tryptophan, Anxiety Pack, and the Sickness Syndrome Depression Pack.