Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Seasonal Health Talk Rescheduled

In the interest of health and safety, tonight's Seasonal Health Talk will be rescheduled at a later date. Most appointments are also being rescheduled due to the weather. If you have an appointment and aren't sure if you should come to the clinic, please call 503-691-0901.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Planning Ahead: Holiday Hours

Our offices will be open by appointment during the holidays. We will be closed for walk-in appointments from Tuesday December 23rd, 2008 thru Friday January 2nd, 2009. We will resume normal business hours Monday January 5th, 2009. We wish you and your families a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Seasonal Health: Surviving Cold and Flu Season, Naturally

Dr. Bijana Devo and Dr. Wendy Rogers will present a talk on Seasonal Health on Tuesday December 16 at 7pm in the group space at True Health Medicine. Come and find ways to keep yourself and your family feeling energetic and healthy through the cold and flu season. We'll discuss preventive measures, how to assemble a simple home remedy kit, what to do if you start to feel unwell and when you need to see a doctor.

Call 503-691-0901 or email frontdesk@truehealthmedicine.com to reserve a seat or if you have questions. There is suggested donation of $10 or 2 non-perishable food items. All proceeds will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grand Opening

True Health Medicine Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting
Wednesday October 15, 2008

8555 SW Tualatin Road
Tualatin, OR 97062

Sponsored by the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce
Questions, please call 503-691-0901

Kids Health Article

Stumbled across this article on kids' health while surfing yesterday. I was very impressed as I started reading, because they started off by talking about keeping our kids safe on the Internet, which I think is really an unrealized threat. Sure, we're all aware that there are online predators and might be talking to our kids about that, but what about basic boundary skills. This article stresses it from the college and career perspective, but what about the things you wish your friends, classmates, other family members and strangers to know. I was impressed to read something about this and agree with their advise to constantly be talking to your kids about what they're doing online.

However, towards the end of the article, I found a slightly misleading and offensive statement: that the flu shot protects against the occurance of the deadly MRSA. Scaremongering and inaccurate. The flu shot protects against the flu...sometimes. MRSA infections may occur on the heals of a flu infection, so not getting the flu may be protective against MRSA, but the flu shot itself does not boost your immunity or make one immune to MRSA. It's a bit of semantics, but I think it's an important point - not just to be factual about the actual meaning of the statement, but another reminder about the importance of reading between the lines.

Natural Pest Control

Some tips for non-toxic pest control, from Home Enlightenment & Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond

All-Purpose Spray
2 Tbsp liquid peppermint castille soap
1 gallon water
Spray around baseboards and countertop edges as a deterrant to flies, ants, fleas and mice.

Rodent Control
Crush an Vitamin D pill and mix with cheese or peanut butter. Lethally disrupts rodents' calcium metabolism. Keep it out of areas that will be visited by children or pets.

Homemade Nontoxic Fly Strip
Cut a brown paper bag in 2 inch wide strips. Mix 1/4 c. corn syrup with 1/2 c. sugar and spread the mixture on the strips.

1 c. borax
1 c. sugar water
Pour mixture into small jars filled with loose wads of toilet paper - punch holes and put where ants are.

Roaches -
Pour 1/2 c. beer in saucer. Sweep them up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clinic Open House

After months of hard work and planning, True Health Medicine is scheduled to open our doors Monday July 28, 2008. To celebrate this acheivement and 'warm' the clinic, we're having an open house Saturday July 26, 2008 from 2pm to 6pm. Feel free to stop by and see the space or give us a call to set up an appointment.

True Health Medicine, PC
8555 SW Tualatin Road, Suite B
Tualatin, OR 97062
Office Phone 503-691-0901
Office Fax 503-691-9018


More information about our clinic

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What CAN we say about food?!

Oprah was sued for $12 million dollars by a consortium of Texas cattlemen because she said she was never eating burgers again. Apparently due to the Texas False Disparagement of Perishable Food Products Act of 1995, her examination of the meat industry and statements were questionable. The lawsuit was either thrown out or lost, but that doesn't mean that Oprah can say whatever she wants. In fact, it means that a lot of people are not saying anything for fear of ending up in the same position that Oprah was in, spending loads of time and money to defend oneself from these libel suits.

The crux of food libel laws is that there must be reasonable scientific proof of claims or statements that are made about food. The problem lies with the various and differing opinions among food scientists and how this opinions may be shaped by the very industry under examination. For example, hypothetically, are researchers paid by the milk industry the best possible source for information about the need for milk in a healthy diet? I would think no. They would be swayed by their vested interest in the continuation of their industry. Likewise for the cattle industry, and to be fair, likewise for organic researchers funded by organic farms. That is enough to already create controversy over almost any statement about food.

However, a rumor about an amendment to food libel laws is chilling. The rumor I've heard is that there is a proposal to amend food libel laws such that even true statements that harm the industry will be considered for libel (source pending). If product x causes cancer 100% of the time and Oprah said on her show that it did, she could be sued for saying that because it harms the industry. This is a sad statement about the resiliency of American business if we must discard our First Amendment right to free speech (to freely speak the truth) because it harms business. Our concern should be if the business harms the people.

This is the same criticism I have of government agricultural subsidies. I believe in government agricultural aid, but I would opine that unending subsidies of mono-crops and agribusiness are misallocations and foster continued poor business decisions. Subsidies should promote sustainable agricultural and business practices rather than the further centralization and weakening of our food supply.

As a small business owner myself, I want my business to succeed, but not at the cost of the health of my clients and not on the basis of subsidies for continued sub-par performance. As a naturopath who makes dietary suggestions, some of which might be in opposition to certain foods, I wonder when my statements/suggestions/prescriptions or those of my colleagues will put us on trial.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Food Allergies

Knowledge about food allergies seems to be increasing these days. Someone told me that one of the reality shows is going a celebrity edition in which the celebrities donate their winnings to their charity of choice - and one is donating to food allergy research, because his daughter had terrible food allergies! I thought that was fantastic, not only because of the donation, but also because just by saying that on the show, it increases people's awareness that they, too, might have a food allergy.

So many people are affected by allergies, sensitivities and intolerance to foods and food groups that I'm surprised people don't accept this more readily. But I also know that food is a sacred cultural and emotional prerogative that can be extremely difficult to change. I did find something that can help, though: Living Without, a magazine for people living with food allergies. Looks like it might have interesting articles, references and recipes!

My advise for the general, healthy public is to diversify your diet. I think much of our modern problems with food stem from increasingly limited food stuffs that we eat - the most common food allergens, including wheat, corn, soy and dairy, are extremely hard to avoid because they are in almost all packaged foods. Try increasing your diet diversity by adding different fruits, vegetables, whole grains and seeds. Look up recipes online using ingredients you've always wanted to try.

Happy eating!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Drugs in the Water Supply

This Associated Press article sites pharmaceutical contamination of drinking water. Though there are no accepted standards for testing pharmaceutical contamination or the removal of such from drinking water, reverse osmosis filtration is a possibility. Yet another good reason to purchase and maintain a great home water filtration system. As a consumer and rep for Multi-Pure, I quote their recent press release:
"Multi-Pure has led the industry in introducing new technologies to address emerging contaminants found in our nation’s water supplies... Since 1970 Multi-Pure International has been an industry leader in high performance drinking water filters for home or office. Multi-Pure was the leading developer of carbon block water filters and was the first manufacturer to gain NSF Std. 53 certification for the reduction of many contaminants such as Lead, PCBs, Arsenic V, and Toxaphene."
Who pays for research into testing for pharmaceutical contaminates in pre- and post-treated water? Who pays for research into the effects of long-term low dose exposure to these contaminants? Who provides restitution to the habitat and humans injured as a result? Certainly not the pharmaceutical industry at the heart of this problem. Who pays so that this problem remains buried for years?

Friday, February 1, 2008


Attended a lecture on Noise tonight. Though there promised to be indications for health, there were but a few. Noise is being considered like the new chaos theory and there are both helpful and harmful elements of it when considered scientifically. However at the level of the human organism, we are not evolved to live an environment that is as noisy as ours. In the pre-historic environment in which early hominids lived, the world was a much quieter place. Loud, sudden and jarring noises were more likely to be cataclysmic events and often life threatening, so these early hominids had a strong adrenal response which allowed them to fight or flee. Though we are exposed to loud and sudden sounds on a much more regular basis, we have not evolved beyond the adrenal response of our ancestors.

In addition to this panic response, which may be sub clinical or undetected, noise interferes with our sleep and affects our hearing. A JAMA article estimated that 15% of American teens have levels of hearing loss comparable to the elderly - the article may or may not have attributed these levels of hearing loss to the use of headphones attached to devises capable to high decibel levels, but the speaker certainly did. He advised the responsible and careful use of such devises, because hearing loss can be insidious, resulting in a positive feedback loop where the listener continues to raise the volume on their [brand redacted] portable listening devises as their hearing diminishes, which only results in further damage.

The environmental impact of noise pollution also cannot be overestimated. Studies have shown that certain songbirds and humpback whales have had to raise the volume of their songs in noisy environments. The effect of this on mating amongst these animals is undetermined. The speaker also implicated low frequency sonar in the deaths of several beaked whales which have washed up dead, bleeding from the ears, a few hours after sonar experiments.

Aside from these negative impacts of noise, the way that noise may amplify an intentional signal was also discussed. Scientists are experimenting with this utilization of noise in the field of nanotechnology. Examples were given of how some crayfish and crickets use noise to amplify the vibrations caused by their natural predators, how the paddle fish of the midwest can only detect zooplankton within an ideal noise range and how neurons that act like switches may benefit from some level of noise. The more relatable example may be the way that someone hard of hearing may actually be able to hear a bit better in a slightly noisy room. And the author sited how a bit of background noise actually helped him concentrate when studying and taking examinations.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

All About Eggs

From Mother Earth News (Oct-Nov 2007)

Eggs from pasture raised hens (compared to USDA data for commercial eggs):
  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more Vitamin A
  • 2x more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3x more vitamin E
  • 7x more beta carotene

Another important distinction is that for most people, eating a moderate amount of eggs in the diet does not have a large impact on their blood cholesterol levels. In fact, eggs may be a healthy source for essential fatty acids (commonly called Omega-3's) as shown above. Most of the cholesterol circulating in our bodies is actually produced in the liver and not absorbed into our blood stream from our diets. However, our diets do have a strong impact on our cholesterol level. The culprits, such as sugar and saturated fat, act through hormonal mediators to stimulate the liver's production and distribution of cholesterol.

Weighty Issues

I remember an article I read a few years ago about how cavalier people were about judging and censuring smokers. The writer complained that strangers would approach her and ask "don't you know that smoking is bad for you?" Yes, the surgeon general warned her - it's written right on the pack. The author predicted that this kind of unsolicited advise would creep into other areas of personal choice, and specifically mentioned food and obesity.

It seems that we're getting there - I've read scores of articles lately on weight, obesity and diet. While food is my passion, it's disheartening to see the cultural obsession we have with fat, in food or people. The UTNE Reader has several articles on obesity including Shame on US: How an obsession with obesity turned fat into a moral failing, Love Your Fat Self and The Food Police. Even these diverse offerings don't touch on the cultural and historical value placed on big, heavy, healthy bodies.

Here's another video that I really like - mostly because of the statement: it's just a number. I want to help people acheive a healthy weight, but I also want people to have a healthy relationship with their food and their body. And I don't want to ever hear another person apologize to strangers for being fat. (Yes, this really happens.)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Flu Vaccine

I get a lot of questions about the flu vaccine. My answer is always to open my palm pilot and read them this memo:

"There is no evidence that any influenza vaccine thus far developed is effective in preventing or mitigating any attack of influenza . . . . They are worthless."
--Dr. J Anthony Morris, research virologist and one time Chief Vaccine Control Officer of the FDA. Dismissed for making such comments.

This video provides a more comical take.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Everyone's (Not) An Expert

While going through school and now as I'm setting up my practice, I work for New Seasons Market. One day a week, I work in the Wellness Department and part of my duties are to help people find and choose appropriate products. Often they just want to be pointed in the right direction, but sometimes they want serious advice. I happen to be a physician, but not everyone in my department is, and even I refer these more serious questions to our customers' physicians or pharmacists. It's important to know who is and is not a good reference for health related information. Health food store employees can
  • help you find products
  • tell you what products are good for certain conditions
  • can tell you what they or other customers have experienced with such a product
  • help you choose a specific product when there are several similar products available

Health food store employees should not
  • make promises or guarantees about the effects of products
  • prescribe products to you
  • diagnose your symptom or illness
  • pressure you to buy or use a specific product
Even more importantly, your postal worker, milkman, hair stylist and dog walker should not do those things. Keep in mind the source of information you are receiving about your health - my hair stylist gave me some great advise on weight loss - drink more water and walk 30 blocks a day - followed by some not-so-good advise - eat whatever you want. I overhear customers sharing their experiences with one another at the store all the time - this is great perspective, but just remember that you and your health care team are the best sources of information about your own health.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Average Day Philosophy

Great article in this months UTNE: Have an Average Day: Enjoying the ordinary is extraordinary.

I can't even come up with a good summary of how much I love this article. It's freeing just to read it. Here's my system of cumulative rewards :

Write on health related topics for 5-10 minutes a day.
That's 25+ minutes per week
That's 100+ minutes per month
That's 1200+ minutes per week.

At an average of just 10 words per minute, that's 12,000 words or 240 pages.
If I was of a mind to, I could write a book at that pace...if I was of a mind to.