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What’s up with my kid? And what am I gonna do about it? Part 1 of 4.

I heard a lecture recently from a pediatrician talking about OUR KIDDOS (for all of you who have children and grandchildren from babies to teenagers) as the “COMPROMISED GENERATION”.
WHAT?!?!?! Double take.
So, we don’t really know what we are doing as first-time parents. Gosh, I don’t know what I’m doing after 4 of them, nine years into the whole thing.
But our momma (or daddy) instincts are pretty strong, so they alert us when something doesn’t seem quite right.
  • My baby needs Prevacid or Prilosec?
  • My toddler needs miralax to go number two?
  • My baby has tongue tie and can’t latch well to breastfeed?
  • My kid keeps getting ear infection after ear infection?
  • My toddler keeps popping up with new allergy symptoms, and now needs steroids for asthma?
  • My son needs meds for hyperactivity to function at school?
  • My daughter is having horrible PMS and painful menstrual cycles since starting between 10-11 years old, and needs a birth control pill to control it?
  • My daughter is depressed and can’t focus at school, she needs Prozac now?
  • My son is withdrawn, and needs to be on antibiotics constantly to keep his acne under control?
Dr. BuchertWhat’s up with my kid? And what am I gonna do about it? Part 1 of 4.
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Why Migraines are a Bigger Problem than you think & how to Banish them.

What’s really going on!?

I have a particular interest in helping people with migraines being that I had debilitating migraines for years, before I found out about Functional Medicine and made the necessary changes in my life to stop the episodes.
Everyone knows someone who suffers from migraines, or maybe you even suffer yourself. Migraines are very common in our society, with incidence rates being almost 1 in 5 women (18%) and 6% in men. Migraines can be so severe that they can send people to the ER. Quality of life is greatly affected, and even lost productivity with work and/or school can be very significant.  Migraines also tend to run in families (80%) although there isn’t a particular gene that is linked to migraines. We do find that testing for and treating methylation genetics can lower the migraine threshold – that is the magnitude or intensity of a migraine trigger. This is likely related to the fact that efficient methylation processes in our body leads to lower inflammation, better detoxing, and better hormonal balance (along with many other things). We routinely check methylation genetics and associated blood lab markers in the Functional Medicine area of Mint Health .

My Story with Migraines

 

I started with migraines when I was 28 years old. Many, many people in my family have migraines, so it didn’t surprise me when mine started. Over the first few years of having migraines, the headaches became so severe that I remember times when I would hide in the maintenance closet at work because it was the quietest, darkest, coolest spot I could find; I would close my eyes and fall in and out of sleep which would give me mild reprieve. My headaches often lasted 12-18 hours and for a day after the migraine was over, I’d feel strange- joyful but foggy headed and tired, and I was always left with a dull, aching, bruised feeling inside my head where the migraine was. I often could tell I was going to get a migraine, because hours before, I would start smelling things that I couldn’t normally smell (I felt like a k-9 LOL), I remember once that I noticed the smell of the paper on my desk, then my right nostril would always get congested, and then I’d start with right maxillary sinus pain. I’d also start having trouble finding my words or concentrating. Then the headache would come, in my case 99% of my headaches were right sided. Before I had migraine medicines that worked, I’d end up nauseous and vomiting multiple times during a headache episode. I wouldn’t leave my house without having migraine meds on me. These meds were always in my purse. I remember going on a weekend trip once and when we were about 6 hours from home, I realized I only had 1 dose of migraine medication (I never knew when I’d need it, but often headaches required 2-3 doses). I felt panicked. I wanted to turn around, but I was with others and couldn’t ask then to do that. I felt desperate! The first thing I did was get my doctor to call in more medication to the place I was traveling to.
Dr. BuchertWhy Migraines are a Bigger Problem than you think & how to Banish them.
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The Most SURPRISING Root-Cause-Reason for Breast Cancer, Endometriosis, and Pregnancy Complications and Loss….

What we can do here at Mint Health

I generally feel pretty good, myself, because I have been working on my health through a functional medicine approach for years now. Most of the big symptoms I had that accumulated through my life are better or resolving. It wasn’t too long ago, though, that I decided to test myself and my husband for heavy metals (sometimes doctors are the worst patients!).  We had infertility for years, and toxic burden was something I never looked at for us, because I didn’t know to. Also, there is a lot of cancer in my husband’s family, and since we both have crummy detox genes (I found this out through 23andMe ), this is another reason I wanted to make sure I was being proactive with evaluating toxins.
When I did the testing, both of our urine tests for metals came back with moderately elevated lead and mercury, as well as more arsenic than I expected. (Yikes! I’m planning on testing our kids now as well!) This may sound weird, but I was happy I finally checked this for my husband and I, BECAUSE we were able to do something about it- we started mobilizing and getting it out to avoid higher risks of problems (you’ll read more about this below) down the road!
I use this urine test as one of the tools of evaluating for heavy metals for many individuals in our Functional Medicine practice in our search for root causes of the body not functioning well. There are many ways we all get exposed to mercury, lead, cadmium, and other metals and toxins (we routinely guide our patients on ways they can minimize these exposures) ( Get Started at Mint Health ). Some people’s bodies are effective at getting toxins out/excreted right away, but other people aren’t so lucky. If the body is not able to promptly get rid of a toxin (like a heavy metal) expeditiously, it will store it in the least innocuous way it can. This is often in places like our bones (a favorite place for lead), fatty tissues, and membranes of our cells and cellular organelles.  This “body burden” that can build up over time, can contribute to autoimmunity, cancer, pregnancy complications, chronic fatigue, neurologic dysfunction, and endocrine (hormone/glandular) problems, amongst many other health concerns.
Dr. BuchertThe Most SURPRISING Root-Cause-Reason for Breast Cancer, Endometriosis, and Pregnancy Complications and Loss….
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The Perfect Rainbow Food for Health

  • Why is it important to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet?
  • Are you getting 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day?
  • Why can’t our body utilize these nutrients as well when we are stressed?

Taste the Rainbow — No, we are not talking about skittles!

 

 

Building a Power House Smoothie

There is no better way to start your day than having a smoothie packed with nutrient dense, disease fighting, cell-revitalizing nutrients !!  

In our functional medicine practice, one of the first things we encourage is getting more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Why is this so important!? The reasons are endless! These nutrients are powerful defenders against chronic diseases because of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients within. These nutrients are essential for mitochondrial health (our mitochondria are our energy warehouses in all of our cells and when the mitochondria aren’t functioning well, this is when disease sets in), for DNA/RNA repair, for lowering inflammation, for healthy immune function, for detoxing (if you haven’t already, go back and read Dr. Buchert’s excellent article on detoxing ).
Dr. BuchertThe Perfect Rainbow Food for Health
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Heart to Heart with Dr. B AND The Best “Powder” of All Time!!

  • How many of you are 100% happy with your health?
  • If not, what symptoms are you struggling with?
  • Do we want to just continue to let things be the way they are?

Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries

I LOVE Ob/Gyn, so why the heck did I go to so much trouble to learn and add Functional Medicine to my practice? Why would we go and make things so  complicated  instead of just doing what everyone else is doing?!?!
Well, most providers who practice Functional Medicine have a very personal reason for what drove them to learn this extraordinary science. I am no different!
Here is my journey in a nutshell:
 
Dr. BuchertHeart to Heart with Dr. B AND The Best “Powder” of All Time!!
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Are You Into Retoxing or Detoxing??

Wilted and Dreary versus Vegatized and Energized!!

Stomach issues Resolved
Anti-inflammatory/Paleo diet
Energized!

Weight Loss
Auto-Immune in Remission
Energy!
Sleeping!

Why Should I Care Anyway?
Who needs to focus NOW on detoxification?
*Planning to become pregnant, currently pregnant, or have small children or children approaching or in puberty
*Feeling vaguely unwell and persistently fatigued
*Diagnosis of an autoimmune or neurologic disorder
*Sensitive to fumes, solvents, detergents, cosmetics
*Personal or strong family history of cancer (a sign your detox genes are not great!)
*Long history of constipation
*Past history of acute toxic exposure
How do we help at Mint? 
Come see us for a Functional Medicine consult to learn more about your body’s current detox state and work on optimizing these innate processes. ( myminthealth-getstarted)
We are what we eat, drink, breath, touch  . . . . . and can’t eliminate.
Dr. BuchertAre You Into Retoxing or Detoxing??
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What’s Cooking at Mint & How to be a Rockstar!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce our newest team member to Mint Health, Renee Beyer Boudreaux FNP- IFMCP.  Renee is truly an amazing woman, and below she shares her story and journey with us, so get ready to be inspired!  Over the upcoming weeks, we each, as providers, want to share with you our stories of how Functional Medicine has changed our lives profoundly (as that is why we work so diligently to do what we do in the Functional Medicine practice at Mint Health!), as well as a little more about what Functional Medicine really is (there are many misconceptions out there!).  We know many of you have stories that overlap with our own navigating this lovely but imperfect life!  We want you to know that we are right here with you (regular people, real life, as well as your diligent health care team!).  More than anything, we want you to know what is possible when you have the right tools and the right inspiration.
Renee is a Family Nurse Practitioner who is certified in Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), just like me.  We both chose IFM to further our health knowledge, because IFM is truly the global leader in promoting change in how we think about wellness versus illness.  You can check them out more here  https://ifm.org/ to get a glimpse of what the hype is all about.
Renee is experienced in addressing autoimmune conditions and immune dysfunctions, gut imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, food intolerances, detox, genetics, eczema, chronic illness like obesity and diabetes and heart disease, fibromyalgia, developmental delays and spectrum disorders in children, ADHD/ADD, hormone imbalances for women and men, mood disorders, dementia, and more.  With her extensive background, she is very experienced in working with not only women, but also children and men!  This is one reason she is such a great new asset to us at Mint Health!
As our team grows, we look forward to being able to spend even more time with you in the Functional Medicine area of Mint Health.  We truly value the extra time and tools that this approach allows for us in being able to go beyond what sometimes seems impossible (as you’ll see in Renee’s story below)!  We know and experience daily that caring for others is a huge responsibility and a privilege, so we always welcome your feedback and what each of you teach us every single day.
Sincerely,
Dr. Buchert
Renee Beyer Boudreaux FNP- IFMCP
Family Nurse Practitioner
Functional Medicine Provider

Renee’s Story

Dr. BuchertWhat’s Cooking at Mint & How to be a Rockstar!
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Why is Hormone Optimization so important for me?

We often joke about how hormone imbalance feels, but putting laughs aside, the disruptions that occur and all of the resulting health consequences are quite a serious health concern in so many ways, for so many women.  And worse, due to the increasing impact of hormonally disruptive chemicals in the environment (see the recent World Health Organization report for a summary: http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/), more younger people are also dealing with the health consequences of hormone disruption.  It is not just women and men in their 50’s that experience these symptoms anymore . . . . . .

So, I ask, is this the normal thing that is supposed to happen to us as we go through life, to just live with and tolerate?  Most of us prefer a better quality of life, for sure!  In the conventional approach, providers are taught to singularly treat symptoms with hormone therapy for the shortest amount of time, with the lowest dose possible.  And . . . . that’s about it!  The options to “treat” with are fairly limited, including pharmaceutical pills, patches, gels, and sometimes shots.  There is no guidance for us in our standard training on the best ways to OPTIMIZE hormones for health, and certainly no teaching on how to improve hormonal consequences & symptoms in a more well-rounded comprehensive health approach.

Appropriately addressed hormone balance is cornerstone, but to go the extra mile and help people feel their best again, we don’t want to stop there either!  We consider and understand the role of insulin metabolism and blood sugar control, the impact of stress hormones and inflammation in the body (this is a HUGE one!), and the impressive contribution of hormonally disruptive chemicals in the environment, less than optimal nutrition, sub-par digestion, and detoxification processes in the body.  These things affect nearly everyone, so we don’t pretend they don’t matter or exist!

Why is Hormone Optimization so important for me?

Hormone optimization is not just for women going through menopause, and men going through andropause, but is important for all of us!

Hormones are of increasing concern due to the huge impact of hormonally disrupting chemicals in our environment, nutrient depletion in soil and food, and the impact of stress.  It can be hard to avoid environmental chemicals and stress, BUT still effective to address the hormonal consequences, improve symptoms now, and prevent disease down the road!

We take more medications than ever that aren’t fixing our problems, and cause unnecessary side effects, but we CAN change this reality.

Who can benefit?

Do you have? fatigue, mood swings, anxiety, tension/irritability, poor sleep, depression, lack of focus, brain fog, hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, joint pain, headaches, bladder symptoms, and decreased interest in intimacy

Do you have? PCOS, Postpartum Depression, PMS/PMDD, Metabolic issues, Perimenopause or Menopause Symptoms

What are the big players?

  • TESTOSTERONE
    • From age 20-40, women lose 50% of our testosterone production (worse with stress)
    • Low testosterone in women = more risk for heart disease, dementia & diabetes
    • Benefits of optimization: protect the heart, bones, brain, and breasts; improve cholesterol, energy, sleep, feeling of well-being, reduce body fat, stronger bones and muscles, reduce “brain fog,” improve depression
  • THYROID HORMONE
    • Due to stress and the impact of environment chemicals, nearly 40% of Americans have low thyroid. Many of these cases are from secondary hypothyroidism and are missed by the common lab tests. TSH and T4 are normal, but T3 is suboptimal (but almost never checked!).
    • Low thyroid = feeling tired, weak & cold; having thin hair, nails & skin; weight gain and increased body fat, poor motivation, and poor mood
    • Benefits of optimization: regulate temperature, metabolism, cerebral function, and energy; protect against heart disease, cognitive impairment, fatigue, weight gain, and memory loss
  • PROGESTERONE
    • For some women, improves symptoms in PMS, Postpartum Depression, and Menopause, in particular anxiety and sleep
  • ESTROGEN
    • Plummets in menopause; has over 400 body functions including controlling hot flashes, maintaining bone density, memory, collagen in your skin, and increasing serotonin and dopamine (“happy” hormones in the brain)

While we all fear cancer, and rightfully so, the leading cause of death in women is actually heart disease.  When achieved as part of the kind of full wellness approach that we offer, hormone optimization can actually PROTECT the breasts, bones, brain, and heart.  Now, who doesn’t want to do that!  I certainly do! Over and over I hear how much energy has returned, how much mental clarity has improved, how much sleep is better, and how relationships have renewed.  One of the best comments I got recently from a patient was “I feel like a woman again” – WOW!  I LOVE that!  Another patient commented about her husband, after 4 months of working with us, “Now this is the man I married, I have him back, thank you!”

Please share this with those you know and care about, so they too can come and learn how to take back control of their bodies!  It is not just about taking the right medication, but rather understanding how to address all the important pillars of your health that contribute to your delicate and critical hormonal milieu, amongst many other health concerns!

For a hormone consult and the most up to date hormone health answers you can get, call 225-250-1025 ext 701, and make an appointment.  This is available for both women and men!

To get started in our progressive comprehensive functional wellness approach, come to our next event to learn all about The Modern Path to Wellness!   In this approach, hormone optimization is one of the pillars of health we address, but we don’t stop there – you’ll learn about all of the other tricks you need to keep you not only ticking, but rejuvenated, healthier, and happier for years to come!               Registration is required and space is limited, so be sure to grab your spot now:

http://www.myminthealth.comevents/   to register for an upcoming date

 

phytonutrient salad

Recipe of the week – The Phytonutrient Salad Bowl!

One of the best and first things to do for your health is to be sure to eat your colors every day!  I know . . . . . .  we learned this back in grade school at some point, and have managed to absolutely forget how important it is!

Think about this – how instinctually attracted are you to brightly colored foods?  A BUNCH!  Over thousands of years we have evolved to be drawn to a variety of colors that hold tremendous protective health benefits for us!  That is why the food industry has capitalized on this fact and created items with all sorts of artificial colors – would M&Ms be as appealing if they were all dirt brown?  I doubt it.

So, while we back away from fake/processed colorful food, we absolutely need to embrace and indulge in all of the colors that nature has given us, because each color has a special set of phytonutrients that are super important to us for the following reasons:

RED: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Cell protection, Gastrointestinal health, Heart health, Hormone health, Liver health

ORANGE: Anti-cancer, Anti-bacterial, Immune health, Cell protection, Reduced mortality, Reproductive health, Skin health, Source of vitamin A

YELLOW: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Cell protection, Cognition, Eye health, Heart health, Skin health, Vascular health

GREEN: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Brain health, Cell protection, Skin health, Hormone balance, Heart health, Liver health

BLUE/PURPLE/BLACK: Anti-cancer, Anti-inflammatory, Cell protection, Cognitive health, Heart health, Liver health

WHITE/TAN/BROWN: Anti-cancer, Anti-microbial, Cell protection, Gastrointestinal health, Heart health, Hormone health, Liver health

 

When I build my salad (which I do almost every day for lunch), I try to make sure I have an item from each color group in my bowl!  Not only is it beautiful and delicious, I am getting the phytonutrient spectrum in each day, which I know is a top priority for health.

What is in this lovely salad?

  • RED: Dried gogi berries that I found in the pantry and added after I took the picture! (I often use red bell pepper but had gobbled those up the day before, pomegranate seeds and beets are other favorites)
  • ORANGE: orange carrots (I also use leftover sweet potato when we have it from dinner!)
  • YELLOW: yellow carrots (another favorite is yellow squash!)
  • GREEN: green pea shoots, cilantro, fresh lime juice, green onions
  • BLUE/PURPLE/BLACK: purple cabbage, black olives
  • WHITE/TAN/BROWN: olive oil, and the white part of my green onions (I also commonly use mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and cauliflower)

After you have assembled your colors and topped with some vinegar or fresh citrus juice, and a splash of olive oil, pack some protein to go on top.  For this salad I had grass fed ground beef cooked with green onions and chile powder.  Other quick items I love to grab are canned wild caught sardines and boiled eggs.

YOU’LL NEVER BE BORED WITH SALAD AGAIN!!!

So, when you shop, make sure to look for nature’s colors, and teach your kids to do the same. Then when you open the fridge to put together your meal, you can’t help but choose all those lovely beautiful colors you have found.  Aim to get a couple of servings from each color group every day – KIDS TOO!

Interested in a little more science?  What are some examples of those “phytonutrients” we keep talking about? Various molecules found in foods have beneficial health effects. Isoflavones such as genistein and daidzein found in legumes can help reduce hot flashes and blood pressure; anthocyanins found in berries inhibit nitric oxide production, induce apoptosis, and decreased platelet aggregation; isothiocyanates found in cruciferous vegetables metabolically enhance the biotransformation of estrogen and protect against certain cancers; zeaxanthin found in some squashes may have beneficial effects on vision; the list goes on. Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes that come in different colors have a multitude of benefits.

That’s a lot of wordy words!  All you really have to remember is to eat your colors.

Phytonutrient Spectrum Checklist

Phytonutrient Spectrum Checklist for Kids

 

Dr. Betsy BuchertWhy is Hormone Optimization so important for me?
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Using Toxic Sunscreens?  My top 3 Tips for Safe Family Fun in the Sun!

Oh the joys of SUNSHINE!  While enjoying the mood elevation and active outdoor time, we want to assure you know how to safely protect our skin.  There are many false claims, toxic ingredients, and misleading advertising tricks out there, so here I provide you with a concise resource to determine what is best for you and your family!  (Kid tested and approved by my family, of course!)

Since our skin is our largest organ, and it absorbs much of what we put on it (remember many hormones therapies are actually put into creams to absorb through your skin!), we shouldn’t put anything on our skin that is not safe for swallowing!  This is even more important for children because they have more absorptive area relative to their size than adults, and their hormone systems are still developing, so are more at risk from toxins.  Unfortunately, many sunscreens contain alarming amounts of harmful chemicals that are potentially damaging to the hormone and immune systems, so we have to learn to watch out for them, especially for kids during their developmental years.

The BEST go to resource for safe sunscreen for adults and kids alike is The Environmental Working Group (EWG) 2016 Guide to Sunscreens, which you can view on-line here:

https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

You can learn about harmful ingredients, rate the current sun products you use for safety (hint: Banana Boat and Coppertone topped the list for terrible), and find the best products out there for you and your little ones!

From EWG: “ . . .  our investigation of more than 750 beach and sport sunscreens for our tenth annual guide found that serious concerns remain. Almost three-fourths of the products we examined offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin. And despite scant evidence, the government still allows most sunscreens to claim they help prevent skin cancer.”

My Top 3 Tips for Safe Family Fun in the Sun:

  1. Throw out your poorly rated screens and get the best products!  Our Buchert family tested and approved products we currently use for the whole family are Loving Naturals Clear Body SPF 30+, and KidSport All Terrain Lotion and Face Stick.  All get top safety & efficiency ratings on EWG and we order in bulk on amazon prime to keep it simple.  Before I was a mom in the know on this topic (ie. before I became a Functional Medicine Doc), I smeared on creams and sprayed those awful sprays, that caused their skin to burn and lots of tears.  Now, the sunscreen ritual is much faster for our four boys, no whining or crying, AND I’m not putting harmful chemicals in their bodies anymore.  These go on easily, stay put, and work great through swim practices and beach days alike!
  2. Absolutely avoid the top toxins found in many commercial brands:  oxybenzone (implicated in skin allergies, and a hormone disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen), retinyl palmitate (may actually contribute to skin cancer when exposed to sun), octinoxate & homosalate & parabens (more hormone disruptors), octocrylene (produces free radicals, which damage skin cells in the sun).
  3. Don’t leave behind the right gear!  Sunglasses, hats, and UV protection swim clothes and rash guard shirts all play an important role in protecting the eyes and skin from harmful UV rays.  Also, the more you cover up, the less cream you need to spread on!  This is a super important tip in rationing your supply of quality sunscreen, coming from the mom in a family of six.  (Just like we don’t want to waste our high quality organic foods, we don’t want to waste our high quality screens – this is how you make keeping your family safe and healthy affordable!)

magic milkshakes

Recipe of the Week – Magic Milkshakes!

Just like many of you, we love ice cream too!  But due to our commitment to avoid giving processed sugars and hormone/antibiotic laden conventional dairy products to our family on a regard basis, we indulge in this awesome, easy to make alternative instead!

In a high speed blender, blend together the following until smooth:

  • 1/3 cup cashews (or other soft nuts like pecan, walnuts, or soaked almonds)
  • 2-3 medjool dates
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of water
  • a splash of vanilla
  • optional: Add 1 Tbsp of raw cacao powder for chocolate, or 1 tsp. matca powder for green tea latte.

Then add 10 ice cubes and blend again. Doctor approved milkshake, simple as that!  We x4 this recipe to fill the Vitamix and serve up 2 large and 4 small shakes for our family.

Dr. Betsy BuchertUsing Toxic Sunscreens?  My top 3 Tips for Safe Family Fun in the Sun!
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Weight Loss – Functional Medicine Style (ie, the BEST way)

Woman not feeling well, stalled out on her "diet"Ok, so maybe your New Year’s resolution was to get healthy, but this early Mardi Gras and King Cake galore has halted your progress? No better time than the Lenten season to buckle down and make the commitment you need to make!

Join us for our next free dinner seminar “Stress, Hormones, and Health” to learn about Functional Medicine and the most enlightened and progressive approach to weight loss, health, and hormone balance. Trust me, as a medical doctor who has run the gamut searching for how to actually help my patients, this IS AS AWESOME as it sounds!

We have a few spots left to join in the fun – reserve your spot now on line at http://www.myminthealth.comevents/

What is different about the Functional Medicine Approach to health and weight loss that keeps you off that yo-yo scale and helps you actually reach lasting goals? Many of us falsely believe that if we could “just lose weight,” all our other problems and symptoms would go away. Well, this is no doubt the WRONG approach. Much better is to understand and address the UNDERLYING CAUSES that are keeping your body from returning to the healthy state it was designed to be in! I will teach you about and coach you along the path to healing your gut, calming the immune system, balancing your hormones (for real!), the right kind of movement, and the right kind of nutrition – all of which are key ingredients to restoring your health.

Dr. BuchertWeight Loss – Functional Medicine Style (ie, the BEST way)
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