The Mint Blog

Infertility?? No Finger Pointing!

Planning to conceive? Struggling with Infertility?? Expensive treatments and a fingers-crossed are not the only answer!

 

Even though we can sometimes force pregnancy with a multitude of fertility treatments, this is not always the best option to do first (even if we have to come back to this later), because many of the same things that put us at risk for sub-fertility, also put our to-be-children at risk for a host of issues ranging from allergies all the way to autism. Because epigenetics plays such a big role in our health and the health of our babies, it is vitally important to take the time to prepare our bodies (and our gametes –eggs and sperm) as much as we can ahead of time (sometimes up to a year prior).


Mint Health Fertility Checklist for a baby in Mint condition!

Any of these things that we commonly accept as normal are warning signs:
·         fatigue and sluggishness
·          allergies and recurrent sinus issues
·          puffy eyes
·          less than daily bowel movements or other GI issues
·          frequent headaches
·          inability to lose weight or build muscle
·          foggy thoughts or focus
·          anxiety and moodiness
·          not sleeping through the night

While this certainly is not a comprehensive list, below is a “Checklist,” and you want to be sure you are addressing as much as you can on it!

Make sure you have had a comprehensive male & female fertility evaluation . Men should consult with a urologist, and women with her gynecologist. The couple should consult with a fertility specialist, so they are sure to know all of their options for treatment in the conventional medicine arena.

Dr. BuchertInfertility?? No Finger Pointing!
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Can’t think straight? Feeling dull and tired?

Get your Brain in

Mint Condition

and KEEP Your Brain in

Mint Condition

Inspired by the Broken Brain series

 

I love this concept!!! How can you have this??? How can you have a thriving, resilient brain that can handle the ups and downs of life?
Are you having symptoms like migraines, headaches, brain fog, poor concentration, poor sleep, mood issues (anxiety, depression)? How can you help your kids if they are already showing signs of brain issues like developmental delays or spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, behavior problems and ADHD/ADD, immune system problems and food allergies? Yes all of these things can be the result of a brain issue.
But what if you just want to be more proactive so you and your children can hopefully head-off these kinds of issues and not be a part of these shocking, concerning statistics.
These topics are often on my mind, and last week Dr. Buchert and I got sucked into watching the Broken Brain series put together by Dr. Mark Hyman, a very well-known doctor who has been a real ambassador and leader in Functional Medicine. Watching this series was two-fold exciting: 1) because I love hearing all of the powerful stories of people regaining their health, and 2) because the great majority of what was discussed are things that we are already doing at Mint Health .
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Shocking Statistics:

Autism: 1 in 68, (boys are at greater risk than girls); 95% of these kids have gastrointestinal problems and 70% have immune system problems.
1 in 10 kids are on some kind of stimulant medication.
Dementia is present in 10% of people greater than 65, 25% of people greater than 75, and 50% of people 85 and older.
Having Type 2 Diabetes is associated with a 400% increased risk for dementia.
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So what is it that causes the brain to break? i.e. get out of balance and/or start a slow decline. Its not just one thing! It’s the accumulation of many things that we always consider in Functional Medicine. 
Dr. BuchertCan’t think straight? Feeling dull and tired?
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Getting Your Body Ready for Your Future Baby

This message is for future dads too!

For those of you that realize you have the opportunity to do a little planning and a little body-work prior to conception, consider yourself fortunate! For others, you may start thinking about this while you are pregnant, or even breastfeeding. Every little bit, good or bad, has an epigenetic influence. Epigenetics is defined as changes in an organism caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. This means we can up-regulate or down-regulate the expression of certain genes with certain factors. And guess What! A lot of these factors are lifestyle and diet. So many moms out there may not have had the thought or know how to consider this. I don’t believe in living in regret, we do the best we can with the knowledge that we have at the time. But, since we are bombarded with so many insults in this world, anything that we can do ahead of time to be shored-up will help with resilience and possibly even avoidance of a future health-related issue for your baby and yourself.


Planning for Mint Condition

 

Some things that will help in growing a healthy baby:
  • Minimizing exposure to toxins. Using household cleaning products with a safe ingredient list; see EWG.org for ratings.
  • Baton Rouge has very clean water, but nevertheless, getting a good water filter and using this with beverages and cooking can help to reduce exposure to toxins.
  • Avoid dry cleaning
  • Non-toxic skin care products.
  • Eat grass feed beef (FYI- Omega 3 to 6 ratio is 1:1 (good) with grass fed and 1:20 with grain fed (very bad!))
  • Pasture raised organic chickens
  • Pasture raised organic eggs
  • Grass fed yogurt
  • Sardines and anchovies
  • Avoid high mercury fish
  • Fermented cod liver oil
  • Fermented foods and beverages
  • Probiotics with a variety of strains (at least 10 different) and 25-100 billion per day
  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Unrefined, unfiltered, cold pressed oils from avocados, olives, sesame, coconut, etc
  • Avoid plastics; use glass and stainless steel

So what are some things that future parents can do to help create a better environment within their body to grow a healthy baby? The great majority of what can be done comes back to lifestyle and diet!! .
Dr. BuchertGetting Your Body Ready for Your Future Baby
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Dying to Know What We Know??

Who Wants Longevity?

I know I do!! Especially now that I am a 40 year old mother of a 1 year old.

It is probably not a surprise to most, if you hear that in our society, we are spending more than ever on health care, yet mortality rates are on the rise, disease rates are on the rise, and for two years in a row, the average life expectancy has declined! Concerning?? I’d say so! We already know that this current generation of children are not expected to live as long. There are a lot of reasons for this, and FORTUNATELY there are a lot of things that are still in our control.
The CDC declares the reason for lowered life expectancy is due to drug related deaths, particularly pain medication prescriptions, but really there is more to it than this. We are also seeing a rise in many different disease states- diabetes, heart disease, cancers, etc. I’m sure these conditions lead a lot of people to need pain medicine. Did you realize that people can also feel more pain when they are not nourished adequately, or when they have genetic patterns that affect pain and inflammation, and these patterns become further compromised by nutrient deficiencies. Depression, also on the rise, can lead to altered pain tolerance and pain perception…. again, impaired nutrition can make this worse.
Let me give you an example:
What if a 45 year old female who is fair complected and has always taken very good precaution to avoid the “damaging” effects of the sun using her sunscreens and shielding her skin with hats, etc, unknowingly has vitamin D deficiency? This puts her at risk for a number of health conditions as a result of having low vitamin D levels- depression, fatigue, inflammation and more. If her health care provider isn’t checking her vitamin D level, she will not know this needs to be corrected. She may end up on Prozac (depression) and Adderall (ADD) at first, then maybe Mobic (anti-inflammatory) and down the road Ultram (pain med).
Poor food choices, increased exposures to environmental toxins, lack of sleep or even lack of quality sleep, increasing number of prescription medications used which are not without side effects and are not often studied in a polypharmacy setting (I once saw a patient in her mid 50s who was on 23 different medications-GASP!)- all of these things contribute to health, or should I say lack of health!
Would you believe me if I told you that the 3 rd leading cause of death in the U.S. is medical related errors?! These are the errors that we know about. I’d imagine that this is even higher, as a lot probably goes unreported or even unnoticed in this area.
Dr. BuchertDying to Know What We Know??
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The Terry Wahls Story

Amazing Story of Regained Health

If you haven’t heard of Dr. Terry Wahls, your jaw will drop when you read her story.

Hi Everyone!
I’d like to share with you, Terry Wahls’ story of how she regained her health and her life. I never get tired of hearing this story, because it gives so much hope. So many people are suffering from a significant health condition and don’t realize that more can and should be done.
Dr. Terry Wahls, an Internal Medicine trained physician, was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Muscular Sclerosis (MS) in 2000 after over a decade of “minor” symptoms that were ignored. MS is a disease in which there supposedly is no known cure. Over the next several years, Dr. Wahls failed treatment after treatment and her disease progressed more and more. By 2007, she had failed all that conventional medicine had to offer. She was at her sickest, using a recumbent wheelchair to get around, because she was no longer able to walk or support her body, and she was no longer able to work or care for her family. She knew she was on her way to being bed bound. Even though treatment wasn’t working, she still continued getting monthly IV therapy of a very expensive biologic drug called Tysabri, because that was the only thing she knew to do. She felt terrible all the time, and she was depressed. Fortunately for her (as well as the many people she has now helped with her story), she began researching supplements that help with the brain and nervous system. As she researched, she began taking these supplements, and the decline in her health started to slow down. Then she began looking at nutrients needed for her mitochondrial to function, because as she researched, she noticed a theme, that mitochondrial dysfunction is a huge player, if not THE source of disease. Mitochondria are our energy warehouses in every cell of our body. There are essential nutrients that are necessary for them to function properly. Lack of nutrients and exposure to too many toxins (we are drowning in toxins these days!) can cause our mitochondria not to function properly. As she learned about these essential nutrients and considered the supplements that would be needed, she thought, what foods can I get these nutrients from? So she researched what foods contain these nutrients and put together a “diet”, ie “way of eating”, so that she could incorporate the healing nutrients her mitochondria needed.
Dr. BuchertThe Terry Wahls Story
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Favorite Holiday Recipes from Dr. B, Renee and Britany!

Favorite Holiday Recipes from Dr. B, Renee, and Brittany!

You don’t have to feel bad to have enjoyable holiday splurges!

There are so many wonderful things about the holidays, but there are also some obstacles, including health-obstacles when your eyes are open in a new light. Whether you are on a “health journey” or not, I commonly hear people complaining about the food potentials to come, knowing that in the near future there will be too many opportunities to eat, drink, and eat some more.  We overeat; we eat too many sweet-treats; we eat too many carbs; and, we eat to many processed foods.  These foods make us briefly happy, then miserable for hours.  We end up rubbing our bellies, pregnant or not. We lose motivation to work out, because we feel like a slug. We swear we will never eat again and within a few hours, craving start creeping back on us.


“Perennial joy or passing pleasure? This is the choice one is to make always. The wise recognize these two, but not The ignorant. The first welcome what leads To abiding joy, though painful at the time. The latter run, goaded by their senses, After what seems immediate pleasure.”
Katha Upanishad

 

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I’m not perfect, but I’ve definitely come along way with healthy eating. Since my body is more sensitive to the ill effects of poor food choices, this helps me to stay on track; pain can be a good motivator. Migraines used to be a given if I just sat back and ate whatever was served at holiday parties and family gatherings; sometimes I would even pre-medicate. Over the years, I’ve learned to get more creative in the kitchen, and fortunately these days there is no shortage of delicious and healthy recipes.
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So instead of dreading all of the holiday food, take the challenge to not let holiday traditions be a back slide. We are hoping that by sharing some of our favorite recipes, you can see how “do-able” and rewarding eating healthy through the holidays can be.
I was so excited to get feed back from someone in the Functional Medicine part of Mint Health . She told us how she had decided to host and prepare Thanksgiving dinner for her whole family, so that she could cook in a way that supported all that she had learned about using food as medicine for her body (a big difference from what had been happening prior when certain foods were actually hurting her body and keeping her sick).  She cooked whole-foods that are anti-inflammatory, and she said she felt great the whole day, AND her whole family ate and enjoyed the meal! It was a BIG win for all! I can imagine that her family was inspired and impressed by her efforts.
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Here are some of our favorite holiday recipes that should leave you feeling satisfied and energetic:

Dr. BuchertFavorite Holiday Recipes from Dr. B, Renee and Britany!
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Sitting is the New Smoking

Ok, before you start reading this, I want you to first do 5-20 chair stand-up/sit-downs. Seriously! Do it!
Now, I hope you really did it! If you did, don’t you feel a little invigorated now?? How many of you have a desk job and don’t move that much during the day?
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How many of you have heard –SITTING IS THE NEW SMOKING–??

This concept is not only referring to sitting on your couch in the evenings or on the weekends. This includes sitting at work too. I’d have to say sitting=smoking seems a bit extreme, but still there must be something to consider with this in relation to our health.

This topic is getting a lot of attention lately, because some of the research is showing that this can have deleterious effects on our health, and this idea isn’t just showing up in our Functional Medicine niche.
Are headlines like this one from CNN exaggerating when saying- sitting can kill you, even if you exercise?? Research shows that adults over the age of 45 sit between 10-12.3 hours out of the 16 hours that you are awake. (Hold on, reading this just inspired me to do a couple of desk push ups….I’ll be right back!). Research is now linking long hours of sitting to problems like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, depression, being over-fat, having cardiovascular problems, cancer, and shortened life expectancy (ie- all-cause mortality goes up), but can this seriously be correlated to sitting?? (I’m still not convinced, but nevertheless, I just felt the urge to do a few static lunges!!).
Dr. BuchertSitting is the New Smoking
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Forest Bathing for Stress Management

Don’t Let Stress Make You Sick!

Have you heard of Forest Bathing, Grounding or Earthing??

Hi Everyone,
We hope you had a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and got a chance to enjoy the beautiful, more-seasonal weather that we have had. Dr. Buchert and I both had a chance to enjoy the outdoors on the long holiday weekend, and we both came back to the office feeling rejuvenated and energetic. What is it about being in nature that helps to recharge us?? Did you know that this is actually a thing, using nature to recharge and re-calibrate?? It is called Forest Bathing, and this is not just some kooky Functional Medicine thing; you can hear people talking about Forest Bathing in the big news too!
Let me shed some (sun)light on this for you 😊
I know outdoorsy stuff is not necessarily for everyone; you don’t have to get muddy, or necessarily risk crossing paths with insects, snakes, and animals of other sorts to get the benefits of being in nature. Even if you live in the middle of the city, there are still opportunities to connect with nature. Forest Bathing is about taking the time to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment as if you were doing prayer and meditation; by doing this, you can clear the clutter from your mind, and disconnect from the rat race that we are often sometimes barely keeping up with.
Dr. BuchertForest Bathing for Stress Management
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What’s Up with My Hormones??

Do you sometimes feel cursed by your hormones??

Like you have to just sit back and accept symptoms that are keeping you from feeling your best??

There is often a lot of unnecessary suffering that people deal with because they have bought into what everyone else says or does (or should I say- doesn’t do). We just “deal” with the symptoms of hormone imbalance as if we have no power over it. Maybe your doctor will just try to cover up the symptom…. put a band aid over it with some type of pharmaceutical, often times trading one problem for another.
At Mint Health , we more often than not see men and women with hormone imbalances, but we realize this problem doesn’t happen overnight. Hormone imbalances are the result of a long continuum of dysfunction in the body related to toxins, stress, and poor nutrition coupled with your genetic picture.
We are seeing hormone issues in teens now too; girls will show up with significant PMS, dense breasts, irregular periods and very heavy and painful periods. Early menopause is another common condition we see that is not normal and not ok. Premature menopause sets you up for a host of health-related issues. The rise in infertility in women and men–these conditions are all warning signs the body is giving us. For some, the symptoms from imbalanced hormones can be near debilitating. We don’t want to miss the big red flags that the body is not functioning well and worst case scenario, we end-up with a hormone driven cancer, like breast cancer or prostate cancer.
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Red Flags

We shouldn’t feel dreadful or cursed by our hormones. If you are feeling terrible, this is a red flag and a sign that your body is not doing well with the surrounding environment (this could be internal and external).
Dr. BuchertWhat’s Up with My Hormones??
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Healthy Mind Environment

Do you ever feel like you have little control over your mind?

Have you ever been in a rut with negative thinking?? a.k.a Stinkin’ Thinkin’?

This is actually a very important topic and probably a topic that does not get enough of our attention. Our minds are very powerful! I know that this will not be the first time you have heard this concept, but the majority of the time that is all that happens, we hear it, and it is in one ear, out the other.
This topic keeps weighing heavy on me- it is an area that I could use some work in, and I also find it very pertinent with many of the people we are taking care of here at Mint Health. I want to encourage you to actually read this message and try to implement a change in your daily life with making more of an effort to correct negative thoughts and start to go through your day with the choice of a more positive outlook. We all have room to improve even if some of us are already practicing this.
Did you know that your mind actually works better when you are having positive thoughts? Negative thoughts can literally impair processing speed in the cerebellum, and memory, creativity, and coordination can take a dip.
I love the analogy Dr. Amen uses- Kill the ANTs. Dr. Amen is a world renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist, and he has written many best selling books helping people have healthy brains. Dr. Amen coined the mnemonic- ANTs for Automatic Negative Thoughts.
Do any of you have a problem with this… negative thoughts creeping in on your day? (imagine me barely raising my hand in the audience….. I’m guilty but not proud). This is why I’m following Dr. Amen’s suggestion of carrying ANT killer around with me! We have to kill the ANTs.
Dr. BuchertHealthy Mind Environment
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