PALESTINIAN ZA’ATAR AND IT’S BENEFITS

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend that typically includes a mix of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt. It’s a staple in Palestinian cuisine and is used in various dishes, such as meats, salads, bread, and dips. While specific health benefits can vary based on individual ingredients and their proportions in the blend, here are some potential health benefits associated with Palestinian za’atar:

1.   Rich in Antioxidants: Thyme, oregano, and sumac, commonly found in za’atar, are rich in antioxidants that help fight oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

2.   Anti-inflammatory Properties: Many of the herbs in za’atar, like thyme and oregano, contain compounds that possess anti-inflammatory properties, potentially aiding in reducing inflammation in the body.

3.   Digestive Health: Some of the herbs in za’atar, like thyme and oregano, are believed to have digestive benefits, aiding in digestion and potentially soothing digestive issues.

4.   Possible Antibacterial and Antifungal Effects: Some studies suggest that certain compounds in thyme and oregano may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which could help infighting off infections.

5.   Improved Cognitive Function: Rosemary, sometimes included in za’atar blends, has been linked to improved cognitive function and memory.

6.   Rich in Nutrients: Sesame seeds in za’atar provide healthy fats, protein, and important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

                      It’s incredibly versatile and can be used in various recipes.

Here are a few ideas:

1.   Za’atar Hummus:

Blend chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and a generous amount of za’atar until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with pita bread or vegetable sticks.

2.   Za’atar Roasted Vegetables:

Toss vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, and zucchini in olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until golden brown and tender.

3.   Za’atar Grilled Chicken:

Marinate chicken breasts or thighs with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and za’atar. Grill until fully cooked and serve with a side of yogurt sauce mixed with a bit of za’atar.

4.   Za’atar Flatbread:

Mix za’atar with olive oil and spread it over flatbread dough. Bake until golden and crispy. Enjoy it as a side to dips, soups, or salads.

5.   Za’atar Salad Dressing:

Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of honey, salt, pepper, and za’atar. Drizzle over a mixed green salad or a chickpea salad for added flavor.

6.   Za’atar-Crusted Fish:

Mix za’atar with breadcrumbs or almond meal. Coat fish fillets in the mixture and bake or pan-sear until the crust is crispy and the fish is cooked through.

7.   Za’atar Focaccia Bread:

Add za’atar to the dough when making focaccia bread. Sprinkle extra on top along with olive oil before baking.

8.   Za’atar Popcorn:

Sprinkle popped popcorn with melted butter or olive oil and za’atar for a unique and flavorful snack.

9.   Za’atar Potatoes:

Toss potato wedges with olive oil and za’atar. Roast them until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

10. Za’atar Yogurt Dip:

Mix za’atar into Greek yogurt along with a little garlic powder, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Serve as a dip for veggies, pita chips, or crackers.

Feel free to adjust the quantities of za’atar based on your taste preferences. It’s a versatile spice blend that can add a unique and delicious flavor to various dishes!

It’s essential to note that while these herbs and spices offer potential health benefits, they are typically consumed in small amounts as part of a larger diet. The overall health effects will also depend on an individual’s diet and lifestyle. Additionally, the specific composition of za’atar can vary, so the health benefits might differ accordingly.

As with any food or spice, moderation is key. Incorporating za’atar into a well-balanced diet can be a flavorful way to potentially enjoy some health benefits, but it should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Your Partner In Health,

Didem Miraloglu, MD, MS

Camu Camu the Superfood

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Lets dive into the powerful benefits of a superfood called Camu Camu. Known for its exceptional nutritional profile, Camu Camu offers a wide range of health benefits. Additionally, we’ve included a delightful smoothie recipe to help you incorporate this fantastic fruit into your daily routine.

Understanding Camu Camu
Camu Camu (Myrciaria dubia) is a small berry native to the Amazon rainforest in Peru and Brazil. It has gained popularity worldwide due to its extraordinarily high vitamin C content, containing up to 60 times more vitamin C per serving than an orange. However, Camu Camu offers more than just vitamin C. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that support overall well-being.

The Health Benefits of Camu Camu

Immune Support: Camu Camu’s exceptional vitamin C content plays a crucial role in supporting a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and strengthen immune defenses.

Antioxidant Powerhouse: In addition to vitamin C, Camu Camu contains a range of antioxidants, such as flavonoids and ellagic acid. These compounds combat free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health.

Collagen Formation: Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, which supports healthy skin, joints, and connective tissues. Regular consumption of Camu Camu can contribute to the maintenance of youthful skin and overall joint health.

Mood Enhancement: Some studies suggest that Camu Camu may have mood-enhancing properties due to its high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds. Including Camu Camu in your diet may help support mental well-being.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Camu Camu contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds, including anthocyanins and catechins. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the body, supporting overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Here’s a refreshing smoothie recipe that combines the goodness of Camu Camu with other nutritious ingredients:
Camu Berry Blast Smoothie: 2 servingsIngredients:1 cup frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)1 small frozen banana1 /2 teaspoon Camu Camu powder1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)1 tablespoon chia seeds1 tablespoon honey, date paste or maple syrup (optional, for added sweetness)A few ice cubes IF your berries are not frozen

Instructions: Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired by adding honey or maple syrup. Pour into a glass and enjoy this antioxidant-rich, vitamin C-packed smoothie.
Note: You can customize the smoothie by adding spinach, kale, or your favorite protein powder for an extra nutritional boost.

Where to Find Camu CamuCamu Camu is available in various forms, including powder, capsules, and freeze-dried berries. Look for organic and sustainably sourced Camu Camu products from reputable health food stores, online retailers, or local farmers’ markets.
Consider adding Camu Camu to your daily wellness routine by incorporating it into smoothies, juices, yogurt bowls, or even homemade energy bars. Experiment with different recipes to explore the unique tangy flavor and reap the numerous health benefits.

Your Partner In Health,
Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Unlock Your Best Health with a Personal Health Coach!

Clarissa Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

New Year’s is the time when everyone is looking toward the year ahead and all that they want to achieve. While people make resolutions with the best of intentions, few follow through and achieve their goals. This is where health coaching comes in handy.

Health coaches help support clients as they work toward making sustainable lifestyle changes. They are passionate about helping others live happier and healthier lives. This includes helping them stick to New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to reduce stress, eat better, or move more, health coaches can guide the way.

The Power of Personalized Guidance:

A health coach is your dedicated partner on your wellness journey, offering personalized guidance that goes beyond generic advice. They work with you to create a tailored plan based on your unique needs, preferences, and health goals.

Medical Benefits of Having a Health Coach:

  1. Weight Management: Numerous studies have shown that individuals working with health coaches are more successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. A health coach helps you develop sustainable habits, making weight management more than just a short-term goal.
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention and Management: Health coaches play a crucial role in preventing and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Their guidance extends beyond conventional medical advice, focusing on lifestyle changes that can have a profound impact.
  3. Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being: Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being. Health coaches help you navigate stressors, offering support and strategies to enhance mental resilience. This holistic approach contributes to improved mental well-being.
  4. Improved Physical Fitness: A health coach can assist in developing personalized guidelines to follow that can help your fitness professional tailor your fitness routine to suit your lifestyle and preferences. Regular physical activity is linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased energy levels, and better mood.
  1. Improved Sleep: Getting quality sleep is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. It affects our mood, concentration, and overall health. From creating a bedtime routine to sticking to a sleep schedule, there are many ways you can improve your quality of sleep. Health coaches may suggest options such as avoiding screens a few hours before bed. Perhaps practicing mindfulness in the evening will quiet a busy mind. Even something as simple as lowering the light in your room at night to trigger your sleep cycle are a small change that can result in a big outcome.

How to Get Started:

If you’re ready to experience the transformative benefits of health coaching, reach out to us today! Our team of experienced health coaches is here to guide you on your journey to optimal health. Call 919.999.0831 to get scheduled.

Remember, investing in your health is an investment in a brighter and more fulfilling future. To your health and happiness!

References:

Wing, R. R., et al. (2018). Intensive lifestyle intervention in type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine.

Ockene, I. S., et al. (2007). The role of counseling in the promotion of healthy behaviors in adults. JAMA.

Huffman, J. C., et al. (2018). The role of stress and psychosocial interventions in cancer. Current Psychiatry Reports

Warburton, D. E. R., et al. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

Unlock Your Best Health With A Personal Health Coach!

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

New Year’s is the time when everyone is looking toward the year ahead and all that they want to achieve. While people make resolutions with the best of intentions, few follow through and achieve their goals. This is where health coaching comes in handy. 

Health coaches help support clients as they work toward making sustainable lifestyle changes. They are passionate about helping others live happier and healthier lives. This includes helping them stick to New Year’s resolutions. Whether you want to reduce stress, eat better, or move more, health coaches can guide the way. 

The Power of Personalized Guidance:

A health coach is your dedicated partner on your wellness journey, offering personalized guidance that goes beyond generic advice. They work with you to create a tailored plan based on your unique needs, preferences, and health goals.

Medical Benefits of Having a Health Coach:

  1. Weight Management: Numerous studies have shown that individuals working with health coaches are more successful in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. A health coach helps you develop sustainable habits, making weight management more than just a short-term goal.
  2. Chronic Disease Prevention and Management: Health coaches play a crucial role in preventing and managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Their guidance extends beyond conventional medical advice, focusing on lifestyle changes that can have a profound impact.
  3. Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being: Mental health is an integral part of overall well-being. Health coaches help you navigate stressors, offering support and strategies to enhance mental resilience. This holistic approach contributes to improved mental well-being.
  4. Improved Physical Fitness: A health coach can assist in developing personalized guidelines to follow that can help your fitness professional tailor your fitness routine to suit your lifestyle and preferences. Regular physical activity is linked to numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, increased energy levels, and better mood.
  1. Improved Sleep: Getting quality sleep is crucial for our physical and mental well-being. It affects our mood, concentration, and overall health. From creating a bedtime routine to sticking to a sleep schedule, there are many ways you can improve your quality of sleep. Health coaches may suggest options such as avoiding screens a few hours before bed. Perhaps practicing mindfulness in the evening will quiet a busy mind. Even something as simple as lowering the light in your room at night to trigger your sleep cycle are a small change that can result in a big outcome. 

How to Get Started:

If you’re ready to experience the transformative benefits of health coaching, reach out to us today! Our team of experienced health coaches is here to guide you on your journey to optimal health. Call 919.999.0831 to get scheduled.

Remember, investing in your health is an investment in a brighter and more fulfilling future.

To your health and happiness!

References:

Wing, R. R., et al. (2018). Intensive lifestyle intervention in type 2 diabetes. New England Journal of Medicine.

Ockene, I. S., et al. (2007). The role of counseling in the promotion of healthy behaviors in adults. JAMA.

Huffman, J. C., et al. (2018). The role of stress and psychosocial interventions in cancer. Current Psychiatry Reports

Warburton, D. E. R., et al. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

The Weakest Leak :

Autoimmunity and Leaky Gut Explained

They say that any system is only as strong as its weakest link. It turns out, our digestive and immune systems are only as strong as their weakest leak.

Imagine your gut as the body’s security guard. The tight junctions between the cells of your intestines decide who gets in and who doesn’t. But what happens when the gut becomes too permissive and allows unwanted guests through? That’s where “leaky gut” comes into play.

Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition where the lining of the intestines becomes more porous than it should be. Instead of acting like a strict bouncer to the coolest club in town, the tissue starts allowing substances that shouldn’t enter your bloodstream. This includes undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins.

When the gut barrier is compromised and unwanted intruders enter the bloodstream, your immune system, which usually only targets harmful invaders, can get confused and launch a response against your body’s own tissues instead.

It’s like friendly fire within your body! According to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) around 23.5 million (7%) Americans suffer from an autoimmune condition. And 75% of those affected are women.

Hashimoto’s thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, vitiligo and multiple sclerosis are some of the more than 80 known autoimmune diseases commonly seen at Carolina Total Wellness.

Three Steps to Preventing or Reversing Autoimmune Disease:
Not every autoimmune disease is curable or reversible but there are some proven steps you can take to reduce the effects on your health.

1. Manage Your Stress Stress isn’t just in your mind; it affects your gut, too. When we are facing a perceived physical or emotional threat, our bodies are wired to respond by directing resources to your vital organs and away from your digestive and reproductive functions. When you don’t have sufficient digestive enzymes and gastric acid to break foods down, they may be more irritating to your gut lining and/or penetrate the lining as larger particles than your blood stream knows how to handle. It’s not always possible to avoid stress but you can practice strategies to help you minimize the effects. Get 8 consistent hours of sleep each night. Practice saying ‘no’ – it is a full sentence. Go outside and take a walk – without devices. Laugh with a good friend.

2. Eat Gut-Healing Foods Eating a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining gut health. A diet rich in fiber, fruits, and vegetables promotes a diverse gut microbiome and a healthier gut lining. Use the rainbow as a template to guide your shopping list and eat foodsof every color several times per week. Probiotics, found in foods like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi help eliminate toxins and aid the digestion of nutrients from the foods you eat. Eat fermented foods several times each week to strengthen the lining of your digestive tract. Bone broth has proteins and gelatin to soothe the inner lining of the gut. Sip on some bone broth instead of coffee in the morning if you’re trying to kick the caffeine habit.

3. Fasting Fridays Once a week, skip breakfast (and the coffee/creamer.) An occasional, extended break from the hard work of digestion, also known as intermittent fasting, lets your gut clean out old debris and calms the immune system. You may discover improved mental clarity and energy, too. In fact, you may like it so much that you decide to skip breakfast two or three days a week. Healing the Gut.

If you suspect you have a leaky gut or an autoimmune disease, consult afunctional medicine practitioner. They can recommend personalized approaches like dietary changes, supplementation, and lifestyle modifications to heal your gut and reduce inflammation.

Autoimmunity and leaky gut are two puzzle pieces that fit together more than we once thought. Maintaining a healthy gut through a balanced diet, managing stress, and seeking professional guidance when needed can be your key to preventing or managing autoimmune diseases.

Remember, the journey to optimal health is unique for everyone. Keep exploring, learning, and making choices that support your well-being.  

Your Partner In Health,
Erica Nelson, MSPH, NBC-HWC

Foods for Menopause and Perimenopause

The hormonal shifts that accompany perimenopause and menopause lack a clear instruction manual, often leaving many women in a continuous cycle of trial and error when it comes to managing their symptoms. Fortunately, one of the most potent tools available for regaining control of your hormones is the food you consume. Certain foods contribute to hormone balance and can help alleviate perimenopause and menopause symptoms, while others can disrupt your body’s hormonal equilibrium.

When essential nutritional elements are lacking, hormonal imbalances can arise, leading to mood swings, weight gain, hot flashes, and reduced libido. The primary hormones affected during perimenopause and menopause are estrogen, progesterone, insulin, and testosterone, and your dietary choices can significantly impact these hormones. For instance, excessive sugar consumption can elevate insulin levels, trigger inflammation, and exacerbate nearly every perimenopausal symptom. On the other hand, incorporating vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds into your diet can provide phytonutrients and healthy fats that aid in managing even the most challenging menopause symptoms.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all diet, several foods have proven beneficial for most people seeking to balance their hormones:

1. Brassica (aka cruciferous) Vegetables: These include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage, which contain indole-3-carbinol—a compound that helps metabolize estrogen in the gut and liver. This can be particularly helpful in addressing estrogen dominance.

2. Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish are rich inomega-3 fatty acids and other fats crucial for reducing inflammation and supporting hormone production, especially progesterone.

3. Fiber-Rich Foods: Fiber is essential for gut health, which plays a critical role in hormone balance. Low-starch fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains can boost your fiber intake, aiding in estrogen metabolism and blood sugar regulation.

However, there are also foods and drinks that should be limited or avoided:

1. Caffeine: Excess caffeine can lead to increased stress hormone production and elevated cortisol levels, potentially exacerbating fatigue and estrogen levels.

2. Processed Carbs and Sugar: As tolerance to sugar decreases with age, limiting simple carbohydrates and sugars (like table sugar, baked goods, and packaged foods) becomes crucial for managing blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Alcohol: Even moderate alcohol consumption can disrupt hormones, affect brain aging, and lead to elevated insulin levels and estrogen dominance.

4. Gluten: Gluten sensitivity can contribute to gut issues, thyroid problems, and autoimmune conditions, making it advisable to assess its impact on your health

Balancing your diet can ease the transition into perimenopause and menopause, regardless of whether you’re just beginning to experience symptoms or are already in the midst of them. By making thoughtful dietary choices, you can navigate this phase of life with greater vitality and well-being.

Your Partner In Health,

Sara Yadlowsky, FMHC

Concussion Care 2023

Frances Meredith, MD

Concussion is so much more common than we realize, a frequent occurrence in kids and teens, especially athletes, and increasing frequency in the elderly and unstable of gait.  The fact that memory loss can be associated creates a scenario where concussions are simply not recalled, but can lead to long lasting symptoms and deterioration in quality of life.   Most people do not seek care, and when they do, they are usually given out dated advice unless seen at a dedicated concussion center or provider. Sadly, most medical professionals, even in an urgent care or ER, are not trained in current cutting edge acute concussion care. Concussion centers have only come into existence since 2000, and active research has been lacking until recently.

What is very clear is that with any symptoms suggestive of concussion (including loss of consciousness, dizziness, or feeling “detached”, vision changes, headache, nausea), physical activity must stop immediately. Theon field symptom that best predicts a longer recovery is dizziness followed by “fogginess”. Estimates according to Dr Michael Collins, head of the concussion center at UPMC University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, are that for every minute a player is back on the field, his/her recovery time is lengthened by7-8 days (1). The average recovery time for a mild concussion is 18 days, with15 minutes back on the field prolonging this to 44 days.  What is not widely recognized is that immediate evaluation, a graded exercise and brain rehab plan, and supplement support can greatly speed recovery.   
           
EVALUATION

An evaluation by a doctor familiar with concussion is essential after head trauma. Assuming the doctor feels you can be monitored at home, someone should stay with you and check on you for at least 24 hours to make sure symptoms are not worsening. This should be followed be evaluation by a true concussion expert as soon as possible. Evaluation should include an assessment of the mechanism of injury itself(video very helpful if available), vestibular ocular motor screening, balance and autonomic nervous system testing, and can include more sophisticated testing including a qEEG brain scan and Right Eye testing. An assessment of preconcussion risk factors which might delay recovery is important as well as a determination of the type of concussion. There are, according to current research, six types of concussion: cognitive fatigue, vestibular, ocular, migraine, anxiety, and neck based. These can overlap, and these different types are treated with different therapeutic modalities guided by testing.

MANAGEMENT

Mental rest and eye rest are essential in the early days after concussion. How long you’ll need to rest your brain and body will depend on the severity of your concussion and rapidity of resolution of symptoms. Your concussion specialist will help you to create a plan to allow the brain to heal. This will include lots of rest, optimizing hydration, and initially completely avoiding activities requiring mental concentration including homework, watching TV, playing video games, texting and using computers. These activities should be avoided for at least the first 48 hours after concussion, then gradually brought back incrementally as tolerated. Physical activity should also be limited in the first few days to mild activity such as walking that does not trigger symptoms. At that time exercise becomes essential in the healing process. Previously recommended complete bedrest, in darkness avoiding all stimuli, is no longer recommended.  A structured, gradually progressing exercise plan should be created with your concussion specialist. Exercise programs after concussion often consist of 45-90 min daily of intense activity to increase blood flow to brain. Exercise is the best way to increase Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), essential in neuroplasticity and brain healing.  Optimal sleep is essential, with experts recommending at least 8 hours nightly with consistent bedtime and awakening times, taking only short naps when needed during the day in order to ensure optimal nighttime sleep. Your doctor may recommend, as screentime and mentally focused activities are reintroduced, a lightened work/school schedule, and spacing out screentime such as homework in short blocks. Your doctor will likely recommend other modalities to “rebab” the brain including a combination of exercises for vision and balance, Neurofeedback, autonomic nervous system retraining, and laser therapy. Often chiropractic care will be advised to reestablish alignment in the neck as misalignment in the neck gives the brain incorrect information about where you are in space.  For pain relief discuss with your doctor whether Tylenol is right for you as NSAIDS such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin can increase risk of bleeding and actually prolong inflammation. As the brain is working hard to clear out damage, it is essential to abstain from other toxins to the brain such as alcohol, and lay off cigarettes if you smoke.

   “Energy Crisis”

Optimal nutrient support at the onset of concussion may have an impact on speed of recovery.  To understand why, it is key to understand what is happening in the brain in the minutes after concussion. The brain depends on glucose for energy.

Following concussion, an “energetic crisis” occurs in the first 24 hours after injury where the brain can no longer easily metabolize glucose. Just when the brain needs more energy to heal, it has much less. This is followed by neuroinflammation at the site of injury that can further impair metabolism and energy production in the brain. Neuronal damage is also accompanied by vascular damage in which the pumps that keep nerves stable begin to fail. Then glutamate, a neurotransmitter toxic when in high amounts, can leak out and create inflammation and cell death. The goal is to decrease energetic demands on the brain and provide an alternate source of fuel other than glucose: ketones. Ketones serve as an alternate fuel source for the brain, typically created from fat stores while fasting. There is limited research in this area but animal studies are supportive and human studies are ongoing.  The mechanisms of injury above guide treatment options that can be helpful in the hours to days after concussion. These can include:

 –Ketogenic diet: Ketones created in a low carbohydrate “ketogenic diet” support brain energy and can be supported by “exogenous ketones” in powder form.  Studies in rodents show therapeutic benefit(4,5); studies in humans are lacking and ongoing but safety of ketogenic diet has been established.

Anti-inflammatory nutrients and anti-inflammatory diet:  Nutrients such as fish oil, DHA, Vitamin D,NAC, Vit C, and curcumin have growing research to support their therapeutic benefit.

Phospholipid Support: Phospholipids, the main component of cell membranes, are made up of fats and phosphate. Studies suggest phospholipid support can help repair a damaged blood brain barrier and reduce tissue damage with traumatic brain injury (TBI)(8,9)

Hyperbaric oxygen treatment: Research suggests hyperbaric oxygen may be beneficial in both acute and chronic concussion or CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) (6,7) however more research is needed.
 
As the research grows, our approach to concussion will be fine tuned in the years to come.

Please spread this information to family and friends as this knowledge can be the difference between return to play with speedy recovery and a lifetime of frustrating neurologic and psychologic symptoms that can be the result of poorly managed concussion. With expert management, top practitioners in the field firmly believe that complete healing is possible.

Your Partner In Health,
Frances T. Meredith, MD

Prevention and Treatment of Viral Infections

(Including Covid, Flu, RSV and the common cold)

The providers at Carolina Total Wellness recommend the following lifestyle and supplement supports to optimize immune function, decrease viral transmission, reduce viral activity and support the body’s immune response to common viral infections.

Lifestyle:

Focus on eating foods that are organic and rich in antioxidants.  Try to eat 5 to 7 servings of vegetables and 2 to 3 servings of fruit every day.  Limit intake of sugar and processed foods.

Drink filtered water, avoiding plastics as much as possible. 

Limit intake of alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per week for women and 4 drinks per week for men.

Ensure adequate, quality sleep.  Aim for 7 to 9 hours a night, focusing on good sleep hygiene.

Integrate mindfulness and stress lowering practices every day.

Improve ventilation and air flow and utilize high quality air filters indoors, including home and work.

Nasal Spray for Prevention and Acute Exposure to Airborne Viral Illness

  1. Over the counter Covixyl is now available to help block airborne viruses from adhering to nasal membranes.  This is best used for prevention or within 4 hours of any known/expected airborne viral exposure. Follow instructions on product.
  • Xlear + Biocidin LSF (mix 5 pumps of Biocidin LSF with Xlear nasal spray) This nasal spray is an herbal anti-microbial that helps to kill viruses in the nasal mucosa.  This is best used within 1 to 2 days of any known/expected airborne viral exposure. Use 1 spray each nostril twice daily.

Prevention Supplement Options: (all supplements available in office or in online store)

  1. Orthomune – 2 caps once daily or 1 capsule twice daily (contains vitamin C 600mg, NAC 600 mg, vitamin D 2500 IU, zinc 25mg and Quercitin 250 mg)
  2. Melatonin – 3 to 6 mg daily (Long Acting Melatonin or Quick Dissolve Melatonin)

*** Orthomune and Melatonin are a great combination for viral prevention. If you prefer to take supplements individually instead of a combination product, we recommend the following;

  • Vitamin C – 500 to 1000 mg once to twice daily (Complete Vitamin C)
  • Zinc – 15 to 30 mg daily (Zinc CTW)
  • Quercitin – 200 to 400 mg daily (Allergy Ease)
  • Vitamin D3 – 2000 to 3000 IU per day (K-Force, Vitamin D3, Liquid D3)

Additional options to discuss with your provider include; curcumin (curcumin phytosome or Turmero), NAC, vitamin A, and adaptogenic mushrooms (Transfer Factor Multi Immune)

The following therapeutic options are started at the first signs of illness, positive exposure and/or positive testing.  Please notify your provider so that we can further personalize support.

Therapeutic Supplement Options: (all supplements available in or office or in online store)

  1.  Orthomune – Increase to 2 capsules twice daily (4 capsules contain vitamin C 1200mg, NAC 1200 mg, vitamin D 5000 IU, zinc 50mg and Quercitin 500 mg)
  2. Viracid – 2 capsules twice daily (contains vitamin A, C, B12, zinc, astragulus, Andrographis, echinacea, L-lysine and European elder)
  3. Curcumin – 500 to 1000 mg three times a day with food (Curcumin Phytosome)
  4. Melatonin – 3 to 6 mg at bedtime (Long Acting Melatonin or Quick Dissolve Melatonin)

***The above 4 products are a great combination for therapeutic treatment for the duration of viral illness.  If you prefer individual products, these are listed below.

  • Vitamin C – increase to 1000 mg two to three times a day (Complete Vitamin C)
  • Zinc – increase to 15 to 25 mg twice daily (Zinc CTW)
  • NAC – 500 to 1000 mg twice daily (NAC)
  • Quercitin 400 to 600 mg twice daily (Allergy Ease)
  • Vitamin D3 – 5000 IU per day (K Force, Vitamin D3, Vitamin D3 with K2, liquid vitamin D3)

Yours In Health,

Susan D. Denny, MD, MPH

Sleep and CBD

Full-spectrum CBD (cannabidiol) is derived from the cannabis plant and contains various compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While research on the specific effects of CBD on sleep is ongoing, some studies and anecdotal evidence suggest potential benefits for sleep, and full-spectrum CBD may offer additional advantages due to the entourage effect, where different cannabis compounds work together synergistically. Here are some potential benefits of full-spectrum CBD for sleep:

  1. Regulation of Sleep-Wake Cycles: CBD may interact with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating sleep-wake cycles. It could potentially help individuals with sleep disorders like insomnia by promoting a more regular sleep pattern.
    • Reference: Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4), 23.
  2. Anxiety and Stress Reduction: Anxiety and stress are common culprits of sleep disturbances. Full-spectrum CBD may have anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) effects, which could indirectly improve sleep by calming the mind.
    • Reference: Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal, 23, 18-041.
  1. Pain Relief: Full-spectrum CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may alleviate chronic pain conditions. Improved pain management can lead to better sleep quality for individuals who suffer from pain-related sleep disturbances.
    • Reference: Russo, E. B. (2008). Cannabinoids in the Management of Difficult to Treat Pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, 4(1), 245–259.
  1. Relaxation and Sedation: Some terpenes found in full-spectrum CBD, such as myrcene, have sedative properties. These compounds, in combination with CBD, may promote relaxation and sedation, making it easier to fall asleep.
    • Reference: Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(7), 1344–1364.
  1. Reduced Nightmares: For individuals suffering from nightmares or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), full-spectrum CBD may help reduce the occurrence of distressing dreams.
    • Reference: Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.

Remember – just because a company advertises ‘full-spectrum CBD’ does not mean that it’s what we are discussing here. It’s similar to the caution you need when buying eggs, and you see ‘cage-free’ or ‘free-range.’ Thanks to clever and deceptive marketing strategies, those phrases do not indicate that the chicken was allowed to roam on open pastures eating grass and bugs – that’s exclusive to ‘pasture-raised.’

The CBD market is far more unregulated than an established product like eggs, so it’s essentially the Wild Wild West, and it’s up to you to be informed and do your homework.

What authentic full-spectrum CBD indicates is a product that includes the full range of beneficial cannabinoids, terpenes, and other unique phytonutrients found in hemp. The best way to verify this claim is by looking at the company’s COA, and check to make sure a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes are present.

It’s important to note that while there’s promising research and anecdotal evidence, individual responses to CBD can vary.

It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including CBD, especially if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Always check for recent research and consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

Your Partner In Health,

Clarissa A. Kussin, ND, FMCHC, ERYT-500

How does Acupuncture work, and what can it treat?

Katie Depre LAc, LMBT, FABORM, NCCAOM

Though often described as traditional or ancient medicine, research has proven that Acupuncture has its place alongside modern medical practices. Hair-thin needles are placed in precise and therapeutic point locations along meridians. Meridians have been shown to mirror the fascial network of the body. Fascia surrounds all of the organs, muscles, bones, and nerve fibers. These points are located alongside nerve endings and blood vessels, thereby directly influencing blood flow and sensory nerves in the area (2,3). Functional brain imaging has shown changes in the brain when these points are needled (1). Since the brain controls the systems of the body (hormones, blood flow, stress responses, organ function, reproduction, etc.), influencing the brain and nervous system with Acupuncture will impact our health. Treatment encourages the body’s own systems of balance, commonly known as homeostasis.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health outlines many of the researched treatable conditions (4); these include: pain management, osteoarthritis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, cancer pain, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, depression, allergies, infertility, and menopause symptoms. Though more chronic conditions will require a series of treatment for complete resolution, I have personally witnessed immediate relief from insomnia, digestive complaints, anxiety, and pain in my clinic.  Especially because it is a non-pharmaceutical approach, many patients search out Acupuncture for treatment to acute and chronic conditions.

As a Fellow of the Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board of Reproductive Medicine, FABORM, I treat many patients with their fertility goals. By regulating the menses, we can prepare the body for pregnancy. Fertility work is best done weekly for three months prior to conception, as it takes three months for the egg to develop in the ovaries. During times of sympathetic stress (the flight or fight response), blood is shunted away from the ovaries and uterus. This can negatively impact egg quality and the thickness of the uterine lining.  By encouraging blood flow to these reproductive organs, switching the nervous system into a parasympathetic state (rest, digest, and repair), and regulating the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis, we set the body up for success.

For patients undergoing IVF, the Paulus Protocol is utilized. This is a series of points done before and after an embryo transfer. “Clinical pregnancies were documented in 34 of 80 patients (42.5%) in the acupuncture group, whereas the pregnancy rate was only 26.3% (21 out of 80 patients) in the control group (5).”

Please reach out today if you have specific questions on how Acupuncture can help you realize your health goals!

Warmly,

Katie Depre LAc, LMBT, FABORM, NCCAOM

Sacred-sea.com

(919) 808-2638

  1. Huang W, Pach D, Napadow V, Park K, Long X, Neumann J, Maeda Y, Nierhaus T, Liang F, Witt CM. Characterizing acupuncture stimuli using brain imaging with FMRI–a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e32960. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032960. Epub 2012 Apr 9. PMID: 22496739; PMCID: PMC3322129.
  2. Langevin HM, Yandow JA. Relationship of acupuncture points and meridians to connective tissue planes. Anat Rec. 2002 Dec 15;269(6):257-65. doi: 10.1002/ar.10185. PMID: 12467083.
  3. Bai Y, Wang J, Wu JP, Dai JX, Sha O, Tai Wai Yew D, Yuan L, Liang QN. Review of evidence suggesting that the fascia network could be the anatomical basis for acupoints and meridians in the human body. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:260510. doi: 10.1155/2011/260510. Epub 2011 Apr 26. PMID: 21584283; PMCID: PMC3092510.
  4. Acupuncture: What You Need to Know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2022, October). https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/acupuncture-what-you-need-to-know