To have the best time possible when traveling from a low place (like Juneau) to a high place (like Denver) here are some favorite naturopathic altitude assists. There really is less oxygen at elevation. From the moment you get off the plane, start drinking a lot more liquid than you usually do. Water, water and more water (and electrolytes). Eat regularly and maintain you blood sugar. Also, be careful, alcohol has a bigger effect in high places than at sea level. Best results come with homeopathic Coca in a 6 or 30C potency. Try taking it every few hours and/or in a water bottle spiked with the remedy. Tibetan or Machu Pichu trekkers love it. Some people swear by gingko, CoQ10, dimethylglycine and an assortment of adaptogenic mushrooms like Cordyceps and Reishi. Start early — ideally 3 to 4 weeks before travel — with your altitude adjustors. If you are the least bit anemic, try to correct that before travel. Some people are prone to swell a bit with the altitude. For them I have found a combination of Apis...

Brain Training to Keep Dementia at Bay: Buyer Beware Deborah Brauser November 21, 2014 MEDSCAPE Editors’ Recommendations Computer Training May Keep Older Brains Sharp Music Therapy Brings Dementia Patients ‘Back to Life’ Growing evidence suggests brain training may help maintain cognition and lower dementia risk, resulting in the rise of a billion dollar brain training industry. However, new research examining the efficacy of such programs suggests not all are created equal and that it may be a case of buyer beware. A meta-analysis of 51 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that included more than 4800 older participants showed that group-based brain training under the supervision of a trainer was significantly more effective for overall cognition, memory, and processing speed than self-directed, home-based training programs. “Our results send a key message to the public. They show that brain training carried out in a center can improve cognition in older adults, but commercial products promoted for solo training use at home just don’t work. There are better ways to spend your time and money,” senior author Michael Valenzuala, PhD, associate professor and leader...

from self-proclaimed “Geek Tim” For years, I listened to Limbaugh on my way to work, and to “Air America” on my way from work, specifically so I could ‘compare and contrast’.  In my opinion, the popularity difference is because they relate to their audience differently. Julia Sweeney has a great line that “listening to NPR is like listening to your mother telling you to clean your room”. •We have a gas crisis?  It would help if you used mass transit more •We have an education crisis?  It would help if you read to your kids more •We have a health care crisis?  If you exercised more and ate better, we wouldn’t have such a demand on the system.  Coming up next: 3 ways you can add kale to your daily diet. •Country <X> isn’t doing what we want?  If you knew more about their history, you’d understand why.  Coming up next: an interview with a prominent exile. The typical framing of the typical problem is about what you can/should do to help things get better.   On the other hand,...

New research is revealing something remarkable about why the body sweats. Beyond its obvious role in regulating body temperature, sweating has been found to facilitate the elimination of accumulated heavy metals and petrochemicals, indicating that if we want to be healthy we should put regular effort into doing more sweating.  Sweating has long been known as a source of bodily, if not also spiritual “cleansing.” But until recently, very little ‘scientific’ confirmation existed proving that using heat and/or exercise to facilitate perspiration-induced detoxification actually works the way that many natural health advocates claim.

  Expect to pee in a cup. An in-office urinalysis is a quick and inexpensive way to get a lot of information beyond urinary tract infection. For example it can rule-out overt diabetes or point to liver problems. Frothy urine can suggest congestive heart issues. Ketosis can suggest severe carbohydrate restriction. The pH should be slightly acidic — otherwise there may be something wrong with your stomach’s ability to produce stomach acid. Often when my patients have alkaline urine I ask them if they eat TUMS (or other acid blockers). Often they admit they do and we can have a conversation about how important stomach acid is for digestion. Sometimes I have the patient undress and get into a gown right away. If they are shy or new to me, we’ll talk first. I ask about their sleep and food habits. I’ll ask about exercise. If it’s a new patient I ask about their grandparents’ and parent’s health to get a sense of their genetic risk factors. I’ll ask about their current job and living situation to determine whether any...

First published in December 2012 issue of Better Nutrition Q: Hi Doctor Em!  Have you heard of earthing? A: Yes,”earthing” is a relatively new medical idea, with some impressive research from various disciplines behind it — but it’s as old as the hills.  “Earthing” means connecting with the earth — literally.  Humans have done this for thousands of years by walking barefoot on the ground.  The relatively new convention of walking with shoes, particularly rubber or plastic-soled shoes, has disconnected us from the benefits of the Earth’s electromagnetic field.  The planet herself gives out a frequency of about 10 hertz, which was discerned at the Max Planck Institute in the 1960s. 

Community Gardeners Less Likely To Be Overweight 22 Apr 2013 People who are involved in community gardening tend to have a considerably lower body mass index than their non-gardening counterparts, a team from the University of Utah reported in theAmerican Journal of Public Health. Previous studies had shown that community gardeners provide both nutritional and social benefits to neighborhoods, lead author CathleenZick explained. “But until now, we did not have data to show a measurable health benefit for those who use the gardens.” The Utah team used BMI (body mass index) to measure how close or far people were to their ideal body weight.

50 Shades of Gluten (Intolerance) Celiac disease is characterized by an immune response to a specific epitope of gliadin (alpha-gliadin) and a specific type of transglutaminase (tTG-2). But we now know that people can (and do) react to several other components of wheat and gluten — including other epitopes of gliadin (beta, gamma, omega), glutenin, WGA and deamidated gliadin — as well as other types of transglutaminase, including type 3 (primarily found in the skin) and type 6 (primarily found in the brain). This is a huge problem because conventional lab testing for CD and of gluten intolerance only screens for antibodies to alpha-gliadin and transglutaminase-2. If you’re reacting to any other fractions of the wheat protein (e.g., beta-gliadin, gamma-gliadin or omega-gliadin), or any other types of transglutaminase (e.g., type 3 or type 6), you’ll test negative for CD and gluten intolerance no matter how severely you’re reacting to wheat. Read More…