The Mint Blog

Dr. Buchert’s Favorite Spice

Spicing Things Up!!

Liquid Gold- CURCUMIN!

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!
Dr. BuchertDr. Buchert’s Favorite Spice
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What’s Dirty-ing Up Your Body?

Understanding Organics, GMOs, and Pesticides

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???

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Let us help you get started!

Organic verses Conventional Foods

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.

Dr. BuchertWhat’s Dirty-ing Up Your Body?
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Why do Vampires Love Blood? Here’s the new kid of amazing Natural Therapies!

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!
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Don’t be a Sitting “Duct”

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!
Dr. BuchertDon’t be a Sitting “Duct”
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What’s up with my kid? Part 2 of 4. Falling down the slippery slope.

Missed Part 1?

 

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.
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Who Wants a Body with The Best “D”? I DO!!

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!!
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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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