Dr. Laura: Drugs that affect the microbiome

Drugs are one of the major factors that affect the microbiome. The impacts vary depending on the drug and duration of treatment.

The environmentfoodstress and drugs  all contribute to changes in the microbiome. This is why it is important to recognize and address any contributors that cause troubles.

Clinical intake and tests flushes out root causes and provide clarity. 

Why should I care?

Unique patterns in the microbiome link to different diseases. An unhealthy microbiome links to depression, anxiety, autistic disordersvitamin and mineral status (nutrient absorption)hormone production,  eczemadiabetes, obesity, arthritis and inflammatory bowel psoriasis and other autoimmune, conditions, heart healthcholesterolnon-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diseases.  Research continues to expand this list.  

What is the microbiome?

The human microbiome exists in the gastrointestinal/urogenital tract and the skin. The trillions of cells that make up our microbiome actually out number the human cells that we have in our body by tenfold. Are we microbes having a human experience?

Healthy microbiome?

A healthy regular stool is not always indicative of a healthy microbiome. History of autoimmune conditions, food sensitivity, sugar cravings, gas, pain, bloating, bad breath, candidiasis, brain fog, mood changes, weight issues, skin issues, joint pain, trauma, stress, headaches, use of birth control or other hormones, frequent use of antibiotics and certain drugs can all be factors or indicators of microbiome disruption. 

What drugs affect the microbiome?

Your microbiome may be out of balance if you are currently, or have history of taking, any of the following drugs:

  • Antibiotics
  • Cancer Therapies
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • GI disorder drugs
  • Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-psychotic drugs
  • Anti-coagulants
  • Hormones: estrogen, birth control, thyroid hormone

Find out more…tests available

One helpful test to look at the key players of the microbiome is the comprehensive stool and parasitic analysis. Knowledge of the landscape certainly helps streamline the treatment. 

Food sensitivities often rise when the microbiome is off balance. It is important to recognize the foods that are bothersome. Then remove them for a while and do the work to remove unwanted microbes and replace with healthy ones while repairing the gastrointestinal tract lining. Protocols are patient specific based on the microbiome the lining of gastrointestinal tract and the overall health of the patient. 

Dr. Laura M. Brown ND is a Naturopathic Doctor with a functional medicine approach. She is a Certified Gluten Practitioner, a HeartMath Certified Practitioner and is a graduate of Adapt Level 1 at Kresser Institute of Functional Medicine. Essentially, Dr. Brown helps people better digest their food and the word around them. More at www.naturalaura.ca and  www.forwardhealth.ca

Spiritual Side of Heart Health

Heart Stores the Spirit

The Heart stores the Spirit. When the heart and the spirit are in harmony, one sleeps well, speaks kindly with compassion and their intentions and actions are shared, as the moment is right. This is so true. When I work with people to gain more resiliency or heart coherence, other things start to naturally fall into place in their life.

Anxiety is a wrinkle between the spirit and the heart

If you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, then your heart and spirit are out of sync. You see, when the heart does not get enough Yin or Blood, it lacks substance and then it cannot anchor the spirit, causing the mind to wander. Countless times I have witnessed when patients restore their spiritual connection, whether that is inviting the Holy Spirit into their souls, getting outside more in nature, or bringing themselves closer to God in relationship, their anxiety dials down a notch or two. Usually I get a big hug too, which is all confirming of their gratitude and joy.

Even and Regular Pulse

The Heart is also regulates the flow of blood, and when the Heart Qi and Blood are abundant and flowing, the pulse will be even and regular. The majority of Heart problems are a result of imbalance in other systems. This is because the Heart relies on other organs for its nourishment and energy. Treating other organs to reduce heat and nourish Yin are also ways of ultimately supporting the smooth flow of Qi and Blood to the Heart.

You may trace the acupuncture heart meridian by starting at your axilla (arm pit) and travel down along the inner aspect of your bicep, across the inside of your elbow, and go along your inner forearm toward and off the inside of your pinky finger.

 

By treating the heart channel with acupuncture, your mind will calm (reduce sadness fear, anxiety, mental restlessness), your heat will clear (treat dry mouth, red eyes), and you will feel invigorated as we tonify Heart Qi and stimulate Heart Blood.

Another tool I use in clinic is a HeartMath monitor. With this we can see how thoughts can change the rhythm of your heart rate. We can also see how regulating the breath while going into a pleasant memory can bring the mind and the body into complete balance. This is something, which over a period of sessions and practice at home, can help you learn to bring yourself into a calm, peaceful state without any drugs or supplements.

Sometimes to help stimulate the body’s own innate mechanisms to heal I will prescribe a botanical short term to help calm the mind and nourish the Yin. This can help while the acupuncture is doing its thing and you are learning how to balance your energies with your breath and your thoughts. Nourishment in the diet can also help build Blood and strengthen the Heart.

So if you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, maybe it is time to come in for an alignment of a different sort – one that has the love and care for your heart and spirit.

From the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

 

 

 

 

Science of the Heart

Certified HeartMath Practitioner and Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND explains how the heart and brain communicate and how the activity of the heart influences our perceptions, emotions, intuition and health.

How does the heart communicate?

Pulse

The pulse is measured in beats per minute. A normal adult resting heart rate is 60-90 beats per minute. The heart rate is slower in athletes, hypothyroidism, and when taking medications like a beta-blocker.

Pressure

Blood pressure. The top number is the systolic pressure, which is the force the blood pushes on the arteries as it squeezes through. Generally 120mmHg or less is considered healthy. The bottom number in your reading is the diastolic pressure. Diastolic pressure is the force the blood acts on the arteries when the heart is filling with blood. Around 80mmHg is a good number. A visit to your doctor will help you understand how often you should test and what your numbers mean if they are not around 120/80mmHg.

Electrical

Electrocardiogram or EKG measures the electrical impulse that causes the heart to pump blood.  Sometimes people get a pacemaker if the natural electrical system is not working properly.

Hormonal

The heart is hormonal. Two well known hormones are atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).  ANF and BNP are activated by increased wall stretch due to increased volume and pressure overload – they rise sharply right after a heart attack and can be monitored as an indicator of cardiovascular disease.

Rhythm

Heart rate variability (HRV), or the beat to beat variation of the heart rhythms are the clearest indicator of one’s emotional states, level of stress and cognitive processes. It is also the most consistent measure of cardiovascular health.  The 1994 Framingham Heart Study identified increased Heart Rate Variability (HRV) as the only common factor that was found in all healthy individuals.

 

 

Want to learn more?

Free Seminar on the Science of the Heart

Wednesday February 22, 2017, 6:30-8pm

Goodness Me!

From the mind and heart of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

Fish Oil Helps Heal the Heart

When seeking a quality fish oil, please look for one that is 3rd party tested and cleansed of heavy metals. Last thing you wish for is a mercury pill. Fish oil is great for so many things in health and here is one more to keep in mind, or shall I say, at heart.

 

The following is by Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN from his DFH blog about heart healing with fish oil :

According to a new study just published 3 days ago in the journal Circulation, high dose fish oils post heart attack improved heart function and reduced scarring.

After a heart attack, the shape and function of the heart can change, which could end up leading to heart failure. Unfortunately, there are limited things that can improve healing of the heart or prevent adverse remodeling. This new study demonstrates the significant role of omega-3 fatty acids in supporting the structure and tissue of the heart.

The study included 360 heart attack survivors. Researchers compared patients taking 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for six months to those taking a placebo. There was a 5.8% reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume index (predicts patient outcome) and a 5.6% reduction in fibrosis formation in the non-damaged heart muscle of the fish oil group.

The treatment was safe and effective. Both groups received treatment based on guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association. Blood tests were used to confirm that patients in the omega-3 fatty acids group were compliant to the treatment.

This study is significant, since heart failure is a major problem post heart attack. The results demonstrate that omega-3 fatty acids help to improve cardiac remodeling, which allows the heart to contract better and decreases fibrosis in the region that is not damaged.

Fish oil supplementation is essential for cardiovascular health. Some doctors recommend fish oils to improve LDL particle size and lower triglycerides, as well as for their anti-inflammatory properties and simply for their support of overall health, since these fats are essential for the normal function of all of our cells.

Patients with heart failure are individuals who have a disruption in their metabolic processes, and as the heart muscle weakens it cannot meet metabolic demands. Thus, additional nutrients are also essential for these individuals, including the energy-supportive nutrients ribose, CoQ10, and l-carnitine.

Ribose is a key nutrient for quickly restoring cardiac energy stores. It is needed to synthesize adenine nucleotides, certain vitamins, and other important cellular compounds.

CoQ10 plays a central role in the production of ATP and is required for muscle contraction and other cellular processes.

Carnitine supports the heart by the delivery of fat to the heart muscle, which is its main fuel source.

In addition, magnesium and potassium should be considered to support all cardiovascular conditions. These nutrients are often depleted in heart failure, most commonly by the use of diuretic medications.

By Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN

Shared by Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

 

Is Your Heart in Alignment?

If you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, then your Heart and Spirit may be out of sync. You see, when the Heart does not get enough Yin or Blood, it lacks substance and then it cannot anchor the Spirit, causing the mind to wander.

heartcharkra

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Heart stores the Spirit. When the Heart and the Spirit are in harmony, one sleeps well, speaks kindly with compassion and their intentions and actions are shared, as the moment is right.

The Heart is also regulates the flow of blood, and when the Heart Qi and Blood are abundant and flowing, the pulse will be even and regular. The majority of Heart problems are a result of imbalance in other systems as the Heart relies on other organs for its nourishment and energy.

heartmeridian
picture from pinterest.com

Treating other organs to reduce heat and nourish Yin are also ways of ultimately supporting the smooth flow of Qi and Blood to the Heart.You may trace the acupuncture heart meridian by starting at your axilla (arm pit) and travel down along the inner aspect of your bicep, across the inside of your elbow, and go along your inner forearm toward and off the inside of your pinky finger.

By treating the heart channel with acupuncture, your mind will calm (reduce sadness fear, anxiety, hypertension, mental restlessness), your heat will clear (treat dry mouth, red eyes), and you will feel invigorated as we tonify Heart Qi and stimulate Heart Blood.

Another tool I use in clinic is a Heartmath monitor. With this we can see how thoughts can change the rhythm of your heart rate. We can also see how regulating the breath while going into a pleasant memory can bring the mind and the body into complete balance. This is something, which over a period of sessions and practice at home, can help you learn to bring yourself into a calm, peaceful state without any drugs or supplements.

Sometimes to help stimulate the body’s own innate mechanisms to heal I will prescribe a botanical short term to help calm the mind and nourish the Yin. This can help while the acupuncture is doing its thing and you are learning how to balance your energies with your breath and your thoughts. Nourishment in the diet can also help build Blood and strengthen the Heart, and we talk about this too.

So if you are feeling anxious, have troubles sleeping or can’t seem to get your timing right, maybe it is time to come in for an alignment of a different sort – one that has the love and care for your Heart and Spirit.

From the heart and mind of your local Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.