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!!).
Have you heard of Forest Bathing, Grounding or Earthing??
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.
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.
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).
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.
When talking about Turmeric or Curcumin, the more the merrier is what we say!! ie- Don’t be shy with your Turmeric! Add it to almost anything you are cooking to enhance the health benefits of your food.
This spice tops the charts with having the MOST research and MOST health benefits! The health benefits are too many to count, but curcumin is commonly known for helping with arthritis, anti-cancer benefits, helping with healthy brain function and even Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
Who isn’t concerned with those all-to-common and serious health issues??
One of the reasons Curcumin is so beneficial to the body is because it has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body. Curcumin , the active ingredient of Turmeric, can be just as effective at its anti-inflammatory effects as some of the intended anti-inflammatory drugs on the market, and it’s safer! Seems like a no-brainer, right?! This spice is a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help protect us from oxidative stress, AKA— AGING and DISEASE!
Part of a healthy lifestyle includes eating fresh, high-quality, minimally processed foods.
When you begin to incorporate these foods into your diet, it can be hard to navigate the healthy claims made about organic foods, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and pesticides. What does it all mean??? How can you figure it all out???
Organic foods are foods that are grown without the use of genetic engineering or synthetic (or man-made) fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, irradiation, sewage sludge, hormones, and antibiotics. In order to be certified “organic” by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic farms are strictly prohibited from using these technologies and chemicals. In general, organic farms must demonstrate that they are protecting natural resources and conserving biodiversity as part of their operations. Foods that don’t meet the USDA’s strict requirements for the USDA organic label – but still meet the standard requirements for food production—are referred to as conventional foods. The technologies and chemicals prohibited on organic farms are legal on conventional farms, and they make the farming process much less expensive. Because of this, conventional foods often cost much less than organic foods. Conventionally-farmed foods are cheaper in the short-run, but they can contain hormones, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides – all of which have associated health risks. Conventionally-farmed foods may also have lower concentrations of nutrients than organic foods, depending on how and where crops are planted each growing season.
What about “All Natural” Foods?
Foods and food products advertised as “all natural” contain no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives, or other additives. The ingredients in “all natural” foods may be conventionally or organically farmed.
It is the season for vampires, and we want your blood! (Well… that’s not exactly true.)
We actually want YOU to have your own blood, but in a different kind of way…
Please let us explain.
We really aren’t that into Halloween here (or are we?!), but we are into always learning ways to help you reach new levels of wellness, and that is what triggered Dr Buchert to learn about the power of Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) .
We know that the body has a remarkable capacity to heal itself, and this process of regeneration of new tissue (aka healing) is made possible by our body’s natural production of stem cells. PRP involves the utilization of your body’s platelets which are rich in bio-active proteins and release growth factors to stimulate cellular regeneration and accelerate tissue repair in the body.
Platelet Rich Plasma is one of the most forward-thinking, effective and NATURAL (our Functional Medicine brains love that!) therapies for cellular rejuvenation in the body. Originally, PRP was used in wound healing, dentistry, and sports related injuries, but now has advanced into helping in physiological dysfunctions (which we discuss below), and even some aesthetic concerns, and the list continues to grow.
Dr. BuchertWhy do Vampires Love Blood? Here’s the new kid of amazing Natural Therapies!
No we didn’t make a typo! We are talking about TRUE prevention here.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and typically when I hear about efforts to have better prevention, I think…. prevention my “you know what”…. no disrespect, but a mammogram is not prevention!! A mammogram is important, but this is screening. Lets talk about what we really know to be true at Mint Health regarding prevention.
As we always say, do your best with the knowledge you have!
As most of you know, we have 4 amazing little boys; I’m going to refer to them as #1/2/3/4 throughout as to not use their names. Our first chosen are our twins (#1 and #2), that we were lucky enough to bring into our family at 7mo old. #3 was a rough ride through in-vitro, loss, in-vitro, loss, but he finally graced us with his birth. #4 was a pleasant little surprise. After so many years of pain and stress through infertility, the joy from them now is tremendous. And just like for all of you other parents, grandparents, and parents-to-be out there, the responsibility towards them is IMMENSE and INTENSE indeed!
Before I proceed, let me say that I work hard to focus on no regrets, only learning experiences that I want to share. We can only work with the knowledge we have at any given moment! I feel SO BLESSED for my family. Moving forward now, though, I learn everything I possibly can for them, and thankfully this is knowledge that overlaps with what I can share with my patients and other parents!
While working on #3, preconception and during my pregnancy, all I knew and cared about was getting pregnant and having a baby. I was generally “healthy” I thought back then (I exercised and ate “pretty well”) but I actually didn’t know anything about creating the best internal environment to grow a baby (ie, kick start another person’s life). At conception, my hormones were still a mess from my fertility treatments. I was in my last year of residency, and knew nothing about stress management or avoiding hormonally disruptive chemicals. When #3 was a 10 week fetus, we traveled to Ethiopia for #1 and #2 – amazing! I finished up my residency with very little sleep and lots of diet soda. I only learned that I should stop drinking this when our twins new pediatrician, who was quite enlightened, gaped at me with my diet coke in hand and noted that it was full of neurotoxins – as in killing my fetus’s nerve cells – and didn’t I know that as a 4 th year OB/GYN resident? Well, um, actually, NO!!! – we didn’t really learn stuff like that, or nutrition, or really anything related to it in medical school and residency.
Dr. BuchertWhat’s up with my kid? Part 2 of 4. Falling down the slippery slope.
What if I told you that your risks for heart disease and solid cancers were significantly impacted by Vitamin D levels??
Do you know what your Vitamin D level is? If it hasn’t been checked recently, or if you know that you have a history of low vitamin D, ask to have this marker checked!
The normal range for vitamin D levels is quite broad and what this vitamin does for our body is also quite expansive.
Low Vitamin D levels are associated with chronic inflammatory conditions, infections, cancers, heart disease, autoimmunity, hormonal imbalances, and more. The impact vitamin D has on our health can not be overstated!! If you have low vitamin D levels, you may have symptoms of depression, fatigue, frequent infections or allergies, or bone and muscle pain. These health conditions and symptoms can be impacted and even alleviated by making sure your vitamin D level is optimized. We have Vitamin D receptors on at least 36 different types of tissues in our body, and this Vitamin has a tremendous impact on Immune Function, Bones, and Blood Vessels.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and it is made from cholesterol when we have sunlight exposure on our skin. However, we can not count on sunlight exposure alone to give us optimal vitamin D levels. Since Vitamin D is involved in close to 1000 different genetic pathways and impacts a wide range of processes from calcium metabolism to antimicrobial functions, we recommend checking your level periodically. Even with the basic vitamin D amounts in our multivitamin, a diet rich in nutrient dense foods, and getting occasional sun exposure, we can still have low vitamin D levels. This is often because of genetics polymorphisms that affect our vitamin D levels; if we are missing certain genetics like VDR, we will likely need higher amounts of Vitamin D supplementation.
Dr. BuchertWho Wants a Body with The Best “D”? I DO!!
Maybe you are tired of taking more and more medications and still not feeling great, or having labs done that are “normal” but know you are not well.
Maybe you have a friend or family member that has worked with us, and you are ready to find out what they’ve learned that you are still missing.
Maybe you are ready to thrive, instead of just getting by each day.
What we do in our functional wellness programs here at Mint Health is truly unique, our patients amaze me every day, so we have quite a unique and different process for you to get started with us!
What does it mean to move towards resolving your symptoms or health concerns by identify and working on the actual root cause? Instead of just trying to medicate away each symptom by itself?
To help you understand, the first step in working with us at Mint Health is to watch our introduction to health, functional wellness, and our practice – called “Stress, Hormones, and Health”.
You’ll be blown away with insights, probably some relief that you’ve finally found the path you’ve been looking for, and definitely excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Click on the button below and visit our get started page to register for our health coach Brittany to plan your viewing. After you watch and learn everything you need to know to have a fruitful and effective consult with me, we’ll get you scheduled for your first visit!
Most people waste time thinking about what they’ll do tomorrow, or what they wish they would have done yesterday – but you aren’t most people. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Mint Yearly Functional Wellness Membership
Covers unlimited health coaching throughout the year and extended time with Dr Buchert to reach your goals (note: We do bill your insurance for your visits with Dr Buchert, so mandatory co-pays from your insurance may apply. Your membership covers extended time, open access between visits, and health coaching)
Access to the most up to date functional testing to help us find the root cause of your concerns
10% discount on recommended high quality nutrient supplements through the year
How do you get started with this program? Attend a seminar with Dr Buchert to learn about what we do!
Designed as a comprehensive easy to follow system to address all areas of your health and improve: Energy and Vitality, Digestion, Sleeping, Body Composition, Fitness & Strength, Anxiety/Depression, Chronic Pain, Hormonal Imbalance, Feelings of Well-Being
A community approach with group learning in the office and in our member’s only on-line forum, so you have a team to motivate you and hold you accountable
Is comprehensive to include your recommended nutrient support, functional testing, group classes, holistic health coaching with Brittany, and functional wellness coaching with Dr. Buchert over a set time frame so you can reach your goals
Note: We bill your insurance for your individual visits with Dr Buchert, so mandatory co-pays and deductibles from your insurance may apply. Aside from visits with the doctor and routine blood labs, your health insurance cannot be billed for recommended nutrient support, functional medicine testing, classes, or health coaching, thus we set up easy to follow programs for our patients that are one all-inclusive investment to include all of the services listed above when you get started with us! This is how we improve lasting success for our patients!
How do you get started with this program? Attend a seminar with Dr Buchert to learn about what we do!
Marie has always been a go getter, always had the energy to do whatever she wanted, burn the midnight oil, drink a little coffee and make it through the day just fine, keeping up with her exercise, her job, her kids – you name it, she could do it! But more and more lately she’s having trouble dragging herself out of bed. Her morning coffee has turned into 4 lattes just to make it through the day. She can’t focus at work and feels ineffective. When she gets home at night, she just wants to melt into the couch, and feels so snappy with her family. She’s just exhausted! She’s always felt she could handle anything that came her way, but now sometimes she just wants to disappear in a “poof!”-could she be getting depressed? Ugh! And not to mention her bowels – she thinks she’s always had the inclination to being constipated, but her doctor told her for some people it’s just normal to have a bowel movement 2-3 times per week. She finally found the time to get in for a checkup, and had some labs done for thyroid and anemia and told they were all normal. But Marie feels anything but normal – she is not herself. She just wishes someone could find something “wrong” with her so she’d know what to do to feel better!
Liz had a hysterectomy 6 years ago for heavy cycles, so she hasn’t had a period for a while, but she feels that she must be entering menopause now because something is just not right! She’s holding so much more weight around her mid-section and can’t lose it, waking up at 3am and can’t get back to sleep, sweating more than ever, and finds herself extremely annoyed or just plain crying because . . . . she’s not even sure what. Getting through the work day without crashing in the middle of the afternoon is a real challenge, and she feels like her brain can’t focus or get any work done. She went to her doctor for a checkup and had some labs done. Her blood hormone check indicated that she was not in menopause and that her thyroid was normal. Really! No way! Something must be wrong. She talked with her doctor about some things that could help her, and she recommended considering a trial with Prozac to help her mood, and possibly some Adderall to help with focus and attention. Liz is worried about the possible side effects (her sex drive is already in the dumps!), and wonders if this is the beginning of the slippery slope to being on 10 different medications like her mom. She is only 47 years old, and was planning to have another 40+ years of feeling great, traveling, spending time with friends and grandkids on the way, working on that painting hobby she’d always wanted to develop when her kids got older. Well it’s not going to happen feeling like this, and she suspects there has to be a better answer than Prozac and Adderall.
Beth has had irregular cycles for as long as she can remember. She was put on a birth control pill in high school to regulate them, and has been on it since. She’s thinking about stopping them soon because she wants to have a baby. Recently she has been having worse problems with keeping weight off – the scale seems to climb too easily. She’s also having embarrassing breakouts, bloating, hair changes, and funny twinges in her pelvis. She had some blood work and a pelvic ultrasound with her doctor and was told that she has PCOS, and she would need to start a medication called metformin and possibly another medication to make her ovulate when she is ready to get pregnant. She is worried about how these problems will affect her health down the road, and how they may affect her baby if she is even able to get pregnant with those medications. She is having increasing anxiety over why her body is not functioning normally. It seems like all her friends don’t have to struggle so much. She suspects there has to be a better answer aside from just taking a birth control pill to artificially control her cycle, and then taking more meds when she’s ready to get pregnant. She wants help getting to the root cause of the problem and working to fix it now so she can avoid the diabetes, depression, heart disease problems, and cancer that run in her family.
Anna has two adorable little boys – 2 and 5 years old. They are the light of her world (along with her husband!) but she feels like they have too many health issues for their little bodies. Both had terrible colic as infants, then recurrent ear infections as babies and repetitive antibiotic treatments. Her youngest was recently diagnosed with eczema and possibly asthma, and her oldest is having trouble in school, and the teacher wants him evaluated for ADHD. Anna and her husband are ready to have another child, but she is starting to wonder if she can prepare herself better, get her body healthier before and during pregnancy, take some other actions, to decrease the chances of their third child having the same uncomfortable early start in life. When she asked her doctor what to do, he told her these are just typical things that many kids and parents have to deal with. But Anna has read that more and more kids are having these types of problems – why is it increasing so much? She’s read some things on the internet that she wishes she’d known before and during her first two pregnancies, and needs to find a doctor to work with who “gets it” and can help her. One of her friends has thyroid problems and IBS and had a lot of complications in her last pregnancy, and Anna wants to help her find a way to not repeat that, too! She just has to know it’s possible . . . . .