Do you have any suggestions for loss of libido due to a hysterhectomy at age 50?

​I am 54 years old now and due to a strong family history of breast cancer, hormone replacement therapy is not an option.

This is a very common situation, since there is a high prevalence of breast cancer and hormone therapy poses many risks. In our practice, this issue is addressed naturally through nutrition and herbs.

​We use herbs that are naturally hormone balancing and that help stimulate libido. We also use adaptogenic herbs that nourish the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce DHEA, which is a “prohormone” that leads to estrogen and testosterone. Over time, most of the hormone production will come from the adrenal glands. Hormone testing is available through both blood and urine. Manual therapies such as that offered by a medical massage therapist may also be helpful. Acupuncture is also used to stimulate the nerve pathways necessary for sexual drive and function.

Each person’s case is uniquely different so we would encourage you to make an appointment so that we can develop your personalized plan. As a 37 year old woman, I feel that my hormones are out of whack. I have recently started educating myself more about how everyday toxins really have messed up our endocrine systems so I have started making some changes but am unsure of what to do.

Hormone balancing is definitely a complicated issue, as there are many hormones in our bodies that typically are self-regulated. These hormones include sex hormones, thyroid hormones, and stress hormone. Environmental factors such as diet and chemical toxins may affect normal hormone functioning. At the Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, hormone balancing is a health issue we deal with regularly and successfully. We can test for all hormone levels through blood and saliva on an individual basis. We can then prepare a customized protocol based on personal clinical history and test results, while always keeping in mind you own needs. We may recommend specific dietary modifications, vitamin or nutrient supplementation, or other natural therapies to bring hormones back into balance creating greater health and wellness.

My son, who is seventeen is experiencing hair loss. Do you have any recommendations for Alopecia?

​There are two major types of Alopecia, or hair loss.  Androgenetic Alopecia is by far the most common, and affects about 50% of all men and possibly as many women over 40 years old.

​This is more commonly known as “male pattern baldness” and is genetic.  Conventionally, hair loss can be slowed by using medications such as minoxidil (Rogaine) or finasteride (Propecia). Minoxidil acts to increase circulation to the scalp, and finasteride acts to block the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Naturally, there are specific herbs that we recommend that have similar actions to these medications. Alopecia Areata is hair loss that is most likely due to an autoimmune problem.  Hair loss  tends to be in small, circular patches. Your son being 17 years old does not exclude him from Androgenetic Alopecia. However, we would look to rule out other possible causes of hair loss such as metabolic conditions, anemia, dermatitis, stress or anxiety. Our treatment plans would be customized accordingly. We would strongly recommend determining cause before treatment.

What are the alternative treatment methods for spondyloarthropathy, and how effective are they?

​I currently take Enbrel shots, and am looking for other possible ways to control my arthritis as Enbrel wipes out the immune system.

Spondyloarthropathies are part of a family of disorders which include Ankylosing Spondilitis, Reactive Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

​What is common about these particular disorders is that they are autoimmune, as there is a genetic component involved. But what is also interesting is that these particular disorders are often set off by an infection in the gut. For example, Reactive Arthritis is often triggered by gastrointestinal infections caused by Shigella and Salmonella, or urinary infections caused by Chlamydia, in people who carry the HLAB-27 gene. Ankylosing Spondylitits can be triggered by a bacteria in the intestines known as Klebsiella Pneumoniae in people with the HLA-B27 gene. The goal of most conventional treatments of these disorders, since autoimmune, is to give immunosuppressants and/or anti-inflammatories. What I do as a Naturopathic Doctor at the Center, is support the gastrointestinal tract by getting rid of any unwanted bacteria with natural anti-microbials, and then replenishing with good natural flora. Dietary, I recommend foods to help reduce inflammation. There are also natural anti-inflammatories and immune modulators that I use for autoimmune disorders. At the Center, we tailor all specific treatments on an individual basis.

My son is eight and was recently diagnosed with ADHD…

​and previously with Asperger’s at the age of four. I am interested in looking for alternatives to traditional medicines.

 

Asperger’s syndrome is a mild type of Autism. For children with Autism, I investigate heavy metal toxicities and nutrient deficiencies.

​Heavy metal toxicities common with Autism include mercury and lead, and can be tested through the urine. Blood tests can be ordered to see if there are nutrient or vitamin deficiencies.

 

For children with ADHD, or Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder, I find that food allergies or chemical sensitivities can greatly affect symptoms.  I will recommend a specific diet plan along with vitamin and nutrient supplementation that is tailored to each case. Food allergy and chemical sensitivity testing is available through the Center, and is something I would highly recommend for children with ADHD.

My 2 year old daughter has likely contracted MRSA from her daycare center…

​I am concerned about the overuse of antibiotics and the development of resistance strains in her treatment through Infectious Disease specialists. What are natural ways to treat MR?

 

MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph. Aureus) used to be rare outside of long-term inpatient hospitalizations but because of the overuse of antibiotics not only within medicine but within agriculture and livestock environments that make their way to our dinner table, MRSA is now common and dangerous.

​RSA typically effects the skin areas that have been broken down by scrapes from non-serious local injuries.

 

One of the ways we have successfully treated these types of infections at the Center is through the use of high quality probiotics and herbal remedies such as “Para-gard” to support the skin and gut flora. Para-gard is a combination herbal supplement that includes therapeutic berberine, goldenseal and garlic.

 

Manuka Honey and Theives Oil can be used as topical salves to reduce the spread of the infection locally.

What can I do about the severe fatigue, nausea and vomiting caused by my cancer treatment?

​Research and practical experience show that acupuncture is a very effective complementary therapy for reducing the side effects of cancer treatment.

​Not only can it reduce many symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and anxiety, it can also improve white blood cell counts in patients receiving chemotherapy.

 

Thankfully it’s a relatively painless procedure and the cumulative positive effects of acupuncture are often long lasting, and. Patients rarely feel more than a slight pinch of the acupuncture needle, which quickly fades away. Some of our patients even fall asleep during treatment.

 

While acupuncture can help patients at any stage of treatment, it’s best to start the treatment as early on in the process as possible so that it can more quickly and effectively redirect the neurological pathways.

How do I know that my diet is right for me?

​Many of our patients experience irritable bowel, lack of energy, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, to name a few and wonder whether or not their diet may be the cause or if a change in their diet may alleviate their symptoms.

​The first step is to start a diet diary. Simply write down everything you consume (food, liquids, supplements), when you eat it and when you experience any kind of symptoms for a period of two weeks. After we have a chance to review your diary together, we may then suggest food allergy testing and herbal and vitamin nutrition options that are most beneficial for a particular condition.

You’ll know if your diet is working for you by how you feel. Do you have more energy? Are your symptoms decreasing? The old adage, “you are what you eat” is true. The more whole foods and nutrients you feed your body, most likely the better you’ll feel. Every body is different and absorbs nutrients differently, so it’s important to find the right diet for your body – and one that you can enjoy!

What is IV Nutrient Therapy? How do I know if it’s right for me?

​All IV Nutrient Therapy patients are evaluated for their current medications, diet and supplements and the simplest solutions such as dietary changes or use of probiotics are the always the first approach.

​If improvements aren’t seen after a reasonable amount of time, we recommend a patient may then start on IV Nutrient Therapy. In many instances patients have success with this therapy when nothing else worked for them. A consultation to discuss whether IV is right for you would be necessary before an IV treatment plan is begun.

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