Teenage Stress leads to Adult Health Challenges

April 2, 2009

Teenage Problems, Social Issues and BullyingA new study done by researchers at my alma mater, UCLA , further confirms the connection between stress and inflammation.  In this study researchers found that stress during the teen-aged years leads to silent inflammation as an adult, which then increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.  I will also add that it increases the risk of depression, anxiety and other mood disorders and a condition called Sickness Syndrome that is best treated with Naturopathic Medicine.

You can take a free assessment on-line to see if the depression, anxiety, sleep disorders or weight gain you are experiencing is due to this syndrome by clicking here:

The foundation protocol that I use to support the health of patients who have Sickness Syndrome can be found here:

For more information about the condition click here.

It is amazing to watch as people pull out of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, weight disorders and severe mental health challenges without the use of prescription medications (in fact I often have to work with their prescribing doctors to taper them off the medications so that their body and mind can get to a balance point, and benefit from the natural medicines).  Naturopathic Medicine works so well!  I am always amazed by the the body’s ability to heal itself when you give it what it needs, and remove the barriers to cure (e.g. stress, drugs, food allergies, hormonal imbalances, structural imbalances, toxicities, digestive imbalances).

Dr. G

Dr. Gina’s New Organic Vegan Smoothie Recipe

March 17, 2009

I’d like to share a new recipe with you that I have come up with that offers all around immune, digestive, antioxidant, and detoxification support. This is my new morning smoothie regimen. And it takes about 1 minute to make!

Here it is:

  • 2 scoops of Intestinal RejuvenX
  • 1 heaping tablespoon LTP Green Light
  • 1 heaping tablespoon LTP Organic Reds
  • 1/2 – 1 cups frozen fruit (banana, blueberries, etc.)
  • ice and cold water

Blend together to desired consistency and enjoy!

*** You can call the office to order any of these products as they are all stocked in our medicinary. Just mention you’d like the “new smoothie” products.

In joy, and in health,

Dr. Gina

Vitamin D Deficiency Causes Teen Health Challenges

March 16, 2009

A new study done at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals even more data on the association between Vitamin D deficiency and health. In this case, researchers studied approximately 3,600 boys and girls ages 12 to 19 who took part in a government health survey from 2001 to 2004.

The teenage boys and girls with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their blood were twice as likely to develop high blood pressure and high blood sugar.  Even more alarming, the teens with the lowest levels of Vitamin D in their blood were four times as likely to develop metabolic syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by a triad of conditions, namely high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels and high cholesterol, that are associated with diabetes and heart disease.  Metabolic syndrome patients also tend to store fat around their midsection.  This condition is closely related to stress and Sickness Syndrome.   Most of the patients that I treat for Sickness Syndrome Depression and stress-related illness inevitably have low levels of vitamin D in their blood.  This makes sense given that a key source for vitamin D is exposure to the sun, and lack of exposure to the sun will, in many people, lead to depression and inflammation.

In our office, we test the blood for Vitamin D3, which is the active form of the vitamin.  And oftentimes if a patient has inflammation, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or Sickness Syndrome, then Vitamin D3 testing and treatment becomes part of their path to optimal health.

If this is a topic of interest to you, please read previous posts on vitamin D3.

In health,

Dr. Gina

More Internet Time, Less Sleep and More Alcohol are Causes of Weight Gain in Adolescent Females

November 7, 2008


A research study published in the Journal of Pediatrics followed over 5,000 girls aged 14-21 from around the United States to see if there were any correlations between alcohol consumption, internet usage, coffee (with caffeine) intake, sleep and increases in body mass index.  Females, aged 18+ years who slept less than or equal to five hours per night or who drank 2 or more alcoholic beverages per week gained an average of 4 extra pounds over 1 year. And these behaviors were highly correlated with internet use.

What this study, and others like it, reveals is that older girls will benefit from replacing recreational Internet time with sleep and by avoiding alcohol. I also recommend that women in this age group consume a high potency multivitamin complex, essential fatty acids, and take in adequate amounts of quality protein each day.  All of these components will help their developing bodies to handle stress in a healthy way, which will translate into a healthy weight and will prevent unnecessary pounds from creeping in!

In health,

Dr. G

Beyond Thyroid Medication

November 6, 2008

Dead Tired

A number of my patients come into my office with a low functioning thyroid gland.  Typically they have symptoms including fatigue, weight gain that is difficult to overcome, thinning hair and mental “fog.” Nine times out of ten they have been prescribed Synthroid.  I will often re-test their blood levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH, T3 [active thyroid]) and TPO.  Additionally we have a medical test in our office called Thyroflex that tests the actual functioning of the thyroid gland.  I will then often switch my patients from Synthroid to Westhroid which is a natural alternative. One product I find beneficial for my patients who are not responding well to prescription Westhroid or who need additional support is Thyroid Support by Gaia Herbs.

I also find that patients with hypothyroid symptoms tend to have a vitamin B12 and iron deficiency, which is verified through blood tests we perform in our office.  Once that is treated, patients truly begin to feel better and their energy level, clarity of thought, and weight loss efforts dramatically improve.

And finally, for those patients that still do not feel fabulous after addressing thyroid function, I take a look at adrenal gland function and will test cortisol and DHEA levels in saliva to find out if the adrenal glands are playing a role, because adrenal gland function and thyroid function are interrelated.

In health,

Dr. G

Attention Chronic Dieters…Stay Away From Food in Small Packages!

September 7, 2008

According to new research published in the Journal of Consumer Research, “restrained” and chronic dieters will consume more calories if they are eating small foods in small packages (e.g. small bag of M&M’s or bite-sized 100 calorie Oreo cookie packs) as compared to “unrestrained” eaters who are not constantly dieting.  Unrestrained eaters will consume more calories from large foods in a large package. That being said, your best bet is to stay away from packaged foods all together…choosing fresh, unprocessed foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, and fresh protein like fish and organic meat.  Here’s to focusing less on seductive and misleading packaging and focusing more on quality nutrition to stay lean and vital.

-Dr. Gina

The Power of Probiotics

August 29, 2008

There is a lot of talk these days about the value of probiotics. Probiotics are the “good bacteria” that are naturally supposed to live in your gut. There are literally hundreds of strains of these bacteria, and they play an important role in immune function, weight loss, vitamin status, detoxification, absorption and digestion. When you take antibiotics, they clear out the “bad bacteria” in your gut, but they also clear out the good bacteria, and like every other system in the body, it is vital that you maintain balance in the gut. You need enough good bacteria in your gut to prevent bad bacteria from taking hold and causing symptoms. This bad bacteria can take many forms which can cause a wide range of symptoms such as a cold gas, bloating, fatigue and many others.

In my practice, one mistake I often see patients making is taking too much of one strain of a good bacteria, like acidophillus, to the exclusion of other good bacteria like Lactobacillus GG and sacharomyces.  When I test their levels of probiotics in their gut, I find that they have an overgrowth of one strain.  So again, it is about balance. If you take a probiotic, rotate which one you take, about every three months. Some of my favorites include ABX Support (especially if you are taking or have recently taken antibiotics), Probiotic Pearls and Culturelle.

Here’s to a healthy and happy gut!

-Dr. Gina

“Big Breakfast” Means More Weight Loss in the Long Run

June 18, 2008

New research shows that women who eat large breakfasts lose a lot more weight in the long run then women who eat a smaller breakfast.  In this study, presented yesterday at The Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco, and led by  Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, MD of the Hospital de Clinicas in Caracas, Venezuela, Forty-six women followed a very low carbdiet with a small breakfast for eight months (1085 calories per day, 17g of carbohydrates, 51g protein and 78g of fat).  A second group of 48 women followed a “big breakfast diet” (total of 1240 calories a day, 46g of fat, 97g of carbs and 93g of protein) that included a 610 calorie breakfast (58g of carbs, 47g of protein and 22g of fat); a 395 calorie lunch (34g carbs, 28g protein and 13g fat); and a 235 calorie dinner (5g carbs, 18g protein and 26g fat).

In the first four months of the program, the low carb dieters lost an average of 28 pounds and the “big breakfast” dieters lost an average of 21 pounds.  HOWEVER, during the next four months, which was focused on weight maintenance, the low carb dieters GAINED an average of 18 pounds while the “big breakfast” dieters LOST an additional 16 pounds.

Basically, the very low carb diet only works in the short term.  At our medical clinical , we prescribe a weight loss program that allows for long term results, because it is NOT a very low carb diet but rather a diet that balances blood sugar and hormone levels.  And that is why over 300,000 people on this diet (which was designed by a Naturopathic Medical Doctor and comes from Australia) so far have successfully lost weight and maintained their weight loss over the long term.

Women who follow this type of diet, that includes a balanced complete breakfast, report feeling less hungry, especially in the mornings, and having fewer cravings for carbohydrates.

-Dr. Gina

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