Health Tips

Using Turmeric – Tip of the Week

Personal Healing Space: Getting Your Environment to Work for You

Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt better?  Have you ever asked yourself why?  Surprisingly, medical science has asked this question.

Most of us understand stress and the stress response.  When we perceive stress from any direction, at home, at work, on the road, or in a negative interaction with another person, our bodies pump our nerve chemical and hormones such as cortisol.  Most of us probably don't realize that just place and location can trigger either this stress response or even better place can trigger the opposite, a more calming response.

Ester Sternberg (Sternberg, 2014) has shown that design can greatly influence what response get produced this not only includes structure, but sights, sounds, smalls and layout of the environment.  Why not surround yourself with a healing space?  Here is the top scientifically accepted components of creating a healing space in your home or office.

  1. Access to Nature - While a window overlooking nature is best. Just pictures or a TV moving through nature pictures will enhance the environment
  2. Light - Our bodies area very cued into light and times of day. Having pleasant lighting as close to the natural light spectrum as possible will be calming the enviornemnt.
  3. Good Air Quality - Looking at eliminating anything that would create poor air quality. Our senses are cued into what may be harmful to us, an air purifier can be helpful.
  4. Privacy - Excess noise can be distracting, so
  5. Places for Social Support - While times for privacy are important, we thrive on social connection. Providing a corner for warm social interaction will strengthen the healing feel of the space.
  6. Positive or pleasant distractions - Allowing a place for the mind to be busy in a pleasant pursuit of mindfulness will keep a calm association with the space. Having puzzles,  coloring mandalas,  Zen Sandboxes or a labyrinth to follow are all possibilities to let the mind know it can rest in a pleasant place away from emotional

Looking for simple ways to lift the healing in your life can be powerful in reducing anxiety and stress. If you are interested in learning more about the science behind these recommendations I highly recommend Ester Sternberg's book, Healing Spaces.  Look at creating your own healing space today!

Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life,

Dr Sharyl Truty MD

 

 

 

 

Know your Fats.  Know your Numbers

Fat gets a bad rap even though it is a nutrient that we need in our diet, just not too much. Know your Fats. Know your Numbers. Eat Optimally.

The American Heart Association advisory committee released a statement about coconut oil in June that seems to have added to the confusion about diet in particular the role of fats in a healthy anti-inflammatory diet.  Unfortunately, most of the press was focused around the aspect of the statement that commented on coconut oil and the message was lost about how to understand the fats that you eat and what fats are best used in your diet.

Know your Fats.  Know your Numbers.

Fats are a very important to the body.  They are very important for neurological health.  Just like everything else.  They are best taken in balance with the other macronutrients: carbohydrates and protein.

Ideally fats should compose 30% of the calories in your diet. 

  •  20% of those calories should be from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats
  •  10% from saturated fat.

For women, this means 15 grams a day of saturated fat.

For men, this means 20-25 grams a day of saturated fat.

Fats often are not found in isolation.  It is difficulty to find fats that contain only saturated fat and one that contain only polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fat.  However, there are fats that that contain a higher percentage of saturated fat that others.  Coconut oil and avocado oil are one of those fats that are mostly saturated in nature.  In fact 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil contains, 13 grams of saturated fat. 

The healthiest diets that reduce inflammation in the body and reduce heart disease contain this small 10% amount of saturated fat, but contain a higher amount of polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.  Olive oil and canola oil contain the highest amounts of monounsaturated fat which seems to be the best.  Below is a great resource for knowing your fats and what to use in your diet.

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut oil is a great saturated fat and defiantly a great choice when cooking at high heat.  It may healthier as it is derived from plant sources, but best used in moderation along with other oils as a part of your "Balanced" diet.

Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life,

Dr Sharyl Truty MD

Dr. Sharyl Truty

If you feel like you need more information on diet or how an Integrative Medicine Consultation can be beneficial to your mind, body, & soul, then you owe it to yourself to contact us at Balanced Physician Care today (904 930-4774). Dr Sharyl Truty has the time to truly analysis your symptoms, find the root cause of your issues, and get you back on the path wellness.

 

 

 

* Chart reprinted from: Common Oils and Fats.  VA Nutrition August 2017

Why You Should Consider a Probiotic

 

What is all the fuss about probiotics? What are they?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide a health benefit to the environment that hosts them. Another way to think of probiotics is as good bacteria – similar to what is naturally found in our stomachs.

So, Your stomach feels fine.  Why add one more thing to your list of vitamins? Here is a few reasons why you should consider Probiotics.

  1. Improve Your Immune Function – Medical Science is beginning to uncover just how much of our immune system is not just located in our lymph nodes and spleen, but in our intestine as well.  The good bacteria in our gut play a large role in maintain this immune function.
  2. Mood Improvement – Our intestines also contain the nervous system chemicals that effect our mood.  Having a “gut” feeling is not just a saying anymore.  Replenishing the good bacteria in the gut can help to improve mood and rid your self of the upset “stomach” that comes with anxiety.
  3. Reduce Inflammation – Probiotics have been found in one study to reduce temporary inflammation throughout the entire body including your joints, skin and bones.
  4. Get more Nutrition from what you Eat – Probiotics help to reduce gut inflammation.  By reducing gut inflammation, the nutrients of your food is better absorbed.  If you eat healthy and your food is not well absorbed, you will not reap the same benefits of healthy eating as someone whose gut is in balance.
  5. Improve Your Oral Health – Your mouth is the very top part of your digestive system.  Certain probiotics can encourage long-term equilibrium of oral bacteria. 

What reduces these good bacteria?

Remember, these important “good” bacteria in your body are not just effected by taking antibiotics for medical conditions, but their balance is also effected by antibiotics in your food, food with too much sugar, environmental toxins, medications such as antacids and steroids, and stress.  It can take almost 9 months with probiotics to replenish what may be lost with one antibiotic course.

Replenish – Replenish your body with a good probiotic.  It is critical to choose a good probiotic.  If the “good” bacteria in the supplement can not get through the acid in your stomach it will not reach the critical place you need it, your gut.  Few supplements have the technology to make sure this occurs.  Also, your probiotic should be diverse.  Having only two or three strains may not be adequate.  Make sure to do your research or ask your doctor for a good brand. 

Why consider buying supplements from Balanced Physician Care?

The supplements that we have chosen are made from companies that we have screened for quality and purity.  Our guarantee to you as a medical practice is that the supplements you receive from our office have been screened to the best of our ability to have the highest quality and purity standards.  Because probiotics are live organisms, there are many challenges associated with manufacturing and distributing probiotic supplements. For a probiotic to be effective, it must be shelf-stable through the expiration date and precisely delivered to the intestinal tract, where it can have maximum benefit.

Supplements and Herbals are NOT regulated by the FDA.  Therefore, while the marketing label can look like a quality product there is very little in the way consumers can do ensure to check the quality and purity of supplements. 

Optimize Your Health, Simplify Your Life,

Dr Sharyl Truty MD

 

Sharyl Truty

 

Dr. Sharyl Truty is an Integrative Medicine Physician, Board Certified in Family Medicine, and owner of Balanced Physician Care in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  Do you have supplement questions?  Book a consultation by calling 904.930.4774

Summertime Recovery

"Summer, Summer, Summertime, time to sit back and unwind" - will smith

Summertime is often a time to rest and relax.  Many of us plan vacations to get away.  However, how many of us actually rest during this time?  Often we pack our vacations and our summer with many activities just different ones.  When the end of summer comes, will you feel rested?

Rest and recovery is a key principle to performance in any athlete.  Basic, sports training protocols include a period of rest and recovery in any performance training program.  Athletes know that physical improvements from all of their hard training only occur during recovery time.  This is true for both mind and body.  Sleep is the equivalent physical rest for the mind.  Growing evidence shows the importance of sleep in decreasing inflammation in the body and the brain.

Make rest a priority this summer.  Despite the drive to fill this time with summer activities and projects, find ways to make rest a part of your summer.

  1. Do Less. Make a conscious effort to double your estimation of how long any activities will take.  Give yourself more time with one activity to truly enjoy it.  Even with summer housework projects put limits on how much you want to achieve.  Give yourself permission to say "No" when things come up that threaten this easier schedule.
  2. Schedule Rest Time. Rest time can slowly slip away as we plan our summer. Put "rest" on your calendar just as you would any other activity.
  3. Try a relaxing activity. Try a low intensity activity something that quiets you mind. Put the earphones and audio away and just get absorbed in that activity.  It can be something as simple and out of the routine as stargazing, painting a bookcase or looking for shells on the beach.
  4. Be mindful during your vacations. Really enjoy your surroundings when you get away. Take time to get really interested in everything about the new experience you are about to enjoy.  Push away other demands on your time as much as possible and just enjoy the moment.
  5. Take an Adult Nap. As adults sometimes actually sleeping during the day can disrupt our sleep cycle. I call an adult nap a period of time where you just rest, recline and do something quite without an I-phone or a TV.  This can be crossword puzzle, reading a magazine or just swinging in a hammock. 
  6. Get out into Nature. Even if you are not the "outdoorsy" type, our brains are still wired to be cued into nature. Sounds, pictures and being out in nature naturally restore our minds.  Find you personal "green zone" whether this is your backyard or a local park and just enjoy some scheduled time outside.

Take back your summer.  Rest your body, mind and spirit and I guarantee you'll be ready to take on the world this fall. 

 

Dr. Sharyl Truty is a Board Certified Sports Medicine Physician and fellowship trained in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. She is owner of Balanced Physician Care in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

 

Treating Headaches without Taking a Single Pill

Life can get pretty busy and stressful, and the “common” headache is sometimes overlooked or masked with a painkiller

The first step to looking beyond prescriptions is to look at the contributing factors of the headache.  Some people will often use a headache diary to help them sort out these issues.

StressStress by far is the most obvious contributing factor to headache, but taking a moment to find solutions to combat your stress may not be as obvious.

Dietary Factors.  In the realm of diet, food additives seem to be the biggest triggers.  Make sure to take a look at the labels of the foods that you are eating to see if there are a lot of added preservatives and consider asking about the use of MSG at various restaurants.  Skipping meals has also been found to be a trigger as well.  Caffeine which was thought to play a role in the past seems to show mixed results on its impact on headache. 

Muscle and Joint Problems.  Often when it comes to tension and migraine headaches, the involvement of the neck is often over looked.  It may be worth getting an evaluation of you neck muscles and joints by a physician or physical therapist to see if there are any issues stemming from your muscle system.

"The exact mechanism of action of headaches isn’t fully understood. There are no true nerves for pain in the area where it is experienced. Pain and discomfort of this nature ultimately comes from blood vessels in the head that rapidly dilate and may become inflamed. Exactly how this happens is far from clear, but there are several plausible theories"

How can you address these issues without using a prescription, an over the counter pain reliever, or even an herbal pill?

1) Reduce Stress through Breath - Breath is very intimately connected to our mood states.  Just by practicing a simple breath exercise, you can train your brain to reduce you stress level immediately.  Pick a time every day and practice this exercise for just 1 minute.  If you can keep with it for 45 days you'll begin to see its effects and then when in a stressful situation comes, one breath is all it takes.

2) Reduce Stress through a Moving Meditation Exercise.  Yoga and Tai Chi are some of my favorites.  Look for a class that has a teacher is focused on calming movement and breath rather than just exercise.  You'll likely see results faster than on your own.  Here are just a few practitioner's in the Jacksonville Beach/ Ponte Vedra area who focus on this aspect of Yoga and Tai chi (Sheri Nicholson & Deb Joiner).  However, wherever you are you can find Practioners focused on the meditation aspects of these exercise practices.  If going to a class is just not possible, try a walking meditation.  Just take a walk for 10 min, but try to clear your mind of any thoughts while you walk.  Focus on your breath or one word.  Your mind will likely wander, but be gentle to yourself and come back to your practice.

3) Improve your Diet through small steps.  For headache sufferers this mean just making sure you eat small meals throughout the day without skipping.  It may also mean keeping healthy snacks handy in your purse or desk drawer so that you are not reaching for something quick stocked full of preservatives. Stay Hydrated, the dehydrating effects of coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol can certainly leave us with a killer headache.

4) Rejuvenate Muscles, Joints and Nerves through Acupuncture.  In the medical community,  acupuncture has the highest levels of studies behind its effectiveness both in helping with an acute migraine and with preventing them from occurring.  Despite what most have experienced in Western Medicine, the needles are for the most part pain free.  Very thin, sterile disposable needles that are small and hardly noticeable during a treatment.

The good news for headache and migraine suffers is that there are a lot of holistic options available to help and just a few are listed here.  Consulting a local Integrative Physician is a great way to understand what options are best for you.  If you are in the Jacksonville, St Augustine, & Ponte Vedra areas and interested in exploring more options, please join us for a workshop with Dr Nicholas Scotto & myself on Neck Pain and Headaches, June 18th, by calling 904 930-4774 or visiting our website at www.BalancedPhysicianCare.com

 

Sharyl and Andy Weil

 

Dr. Sharyl Truty is an Integrative Medicine Physician and owner of Balanced Physician Care in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

BalancedPhysicianCare.com  904-930-4774

Sleep

All of us will have an occasional sleepless night on occasion.  This is perfectly normal.  However, when stress, hormones or changing time zones often begin to effect our sleep on a regular basis, lack of sleep can take a real toll on our heath. 

Unfortunately, the easy answer for most people is to ask their doctor for a sleeping pill.  What most people do not realize is that most sleeping pills do not allow your body to get into the deep layers of sleep that are truly restorative to the body.

The best way to restore sleep is to work at creating an environment conducive to sleep.  The following is a list of steps you can take to return restorative sleep to your health.

  • Make sure to "wind down" before trying to sleep. In general, you need about an hour of not doing anything stimulating before bed, especially avoid any use of a computer or handheld device.
  • Avoid watching TV in your bedroom.
  • Avoid high glycemic and harder to digest foods as bedtime snacks. A whole grain snack is better as it  helps to support tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin. 
  • Discontinue caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime.
  • Minimize noise as much as possible or consider a "white noise" machine or MP3. Our brains are relaxed by certain beats and vibrations.
  • Minimize light in the room as much as possible. Even with your eyes closed you are sensitive to light.
  • Find your perfect temperature. Most people fall asleep well at a cooler temperature that they find their in their house all day.  69 F is a good temperature for most
  • Avoid vigorous exercise within 3 hours of bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol to fall asleep. It is true alcohol will often make you tired and fall asleep however it has a dark side it often causes early morning awakening (2am) and difficulty sleeping through the whole night.  You also get a poorer quality of sleep that is less restorative.
  • Melatonin is released by the brain in the evening to help maintain a normal sleep cycle. This can be helpful, but many people don't take the correct dose.  Make sure to talk with your physician about how to find the right amount of melatonin for you.
  • There are also several botanicals that help to calm the mind before bed without disrupting your sleep cycle.
  • Consider trying a gentle Yoga routine before bed. You can often find DVDs that provide a nice before bed routine.
  • Also try a regular breathing exercise or meditation before bed. Breath can often focus the mind.  Many people find a regular breathing exercise can provide a stage to let go of bothersome thoughts before bed.  Remember, to be patient with it,  it may take a few weeks to master

Keep in mind that "letting go" or surrender is key in sleep onset.  Efforts to force ourselves to sleep usually fail.  So rather than "try" to fall asleep, set the stage to fall asleep and open yourself to be receptive to it and let go.

Sharyl Truty

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and can not only make you look and feel better, it can help your body fight off or better deal with a range of chronic and acute illnesses.

Dr Sharyl Truty is a board certified Family Practice & Sports Medicine Physician located in the Ponte Vedra, FL area.  Her innovative approach puts you in charge of your health, free from onerous insurance and health systems’ mandates and protocols

 

Sources:  American Academy of Family Practice Journal, Primary Care Rap, and University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Alumni Fellowship

Running

Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

written by Claire Watson-Irving, NASM

Monday was the first day of spring and thoughts of spring cleaning may be on your mind.

In addition to sprucing up your home for the upcoming warm weather, it might be even more important to take some to time to spruce up your fitness routine and renew your motivation by trying new exercises, breaking out of the old routine and exercising outdoors before it gets too hot!

Here are my top ten tips to spring clean your fitness routine:

1. Reframe exercise as self-care

When you’re busy taking care of everyone else at home or work, exercise is often the first thing to be sacrificed. Think of it as way to improve your ability to cope with the demands of daily life; helping to improve quality of sleep, your ability to manage stress and feel sufficiently energized to deal with life’s daily demands.

2.  Set SMART goals

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Don’t set yourself up for failure. If your goals are too big you’ll get frustrated and give up exercising. Be realistic about how much activity you can do during any given week, and how long you can exercise for at any given time.

3. Get a workout buddy

You’re more likely to meet your fitness goals if you have someone you’re accountable to and who gives you the support you need, especially when you’re feeling like reaching for the Pinot rather than the gym shoes. Schedule time with a trainer, friend or family member to avoid slouching on the couch.

4. Change your thinking

Instead of focusing on physical goals like building muscle and weight loss, concentrate on how exercise makes you feel. The mood benefits of exercise are instant whereas physical change can take months, or even years to achieve. Note how you feel before and after exercising to maintain motivation. Compare your mindsets. Try exercising outdoors to intensify the endorphin effect.

5. Reward yourself

Don't forget to reward your body and take care of the ultimate machine. A massage is a great way to improve posture and joint flexibility by ironing out kinks in muscle fibers and is something pleasurable to look forward to. A foam roller or a tennis ball has a similar effect. Or try acupuncture for the ultimate therapeutic way to feel renewed.

6. Try something new

Whatever your goal, your body adapts to an exercise after just four weeks and it stops being effective. Change things up to get consistent results. Vary reps, weight, tempo, difficulty, equipment, time and type of exercise to add variety and keep your body on its’ toes.

7. Resistance train.

Many women take up running, yoga or pilates to improve fitness, but forget how important lifting weight is to maintain bone and muscle mass, which decline from the age of 30. Resistance training helps ward off degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis. Use lighter weights with high reps and you’ll look more like Kate Middleton than Arnie.

8. Sign up for a community event

Add a goal that helps focus your fitness routine by creating a sense of purpose. Signing up for a cause related race close to your heart renews commitment to exercise and offers something different from the usual routine.

9. Splurge on nice exercise gear

Ditch the washed out T shirt from ten years ago. Replace exercise gear about every six months, especially sports bras. Moisture wicking materials are a must in Jacksonville. Wear brands that reflect your style and values and you’ll be more motivated to work out and feel good in your skin whilst you’re doing it.

10. Exercise for you, not someone else

Every week there’s a new exercise fad or trend that comes to the market, it’s easy to jump on the band wagon and do something because it’s in vogue. Chose an exercise routine you genuinely enjoy, that works with where you’re at and you’ll be much more likely to do it habitually. If you like shaking your stuff in a sparkly Zumba skirt or going old school Cardio Stepping rather than Barre or PiYo, so be it.

 

Claire Watson-Irving is a certified Personal Trainer and certified Health & Wellness Coach and can be booked for sessions at Balanced Physician Care (115 Professional Drive STE 104, Ponte Vedra, FL32082).  For more information, please call 914-409-6554 or email irvingmotionislotion@gmail.com

 

 

Heart Health Risk

February is Heart Health Month. At hospitals across America you will see a host of "Red Dress" events raising awareness for the importance of heart health in women. Most of us may not realize that Cardiovascular Disease still remains the main cause of mortality among men and women.

However, what most women don't realize is that signs of a heart attack may be different in women than in men. Men will typically get a crushing, heavy chest pain in the front and middle area of the chest, but women can get a different type of pain. Pain in the upper stomach area that "may seem like heartburn" in fact be angina or heart pain. Pain that is also located middle of the back right behind the heart can also be a sign of chest pain.

So, how do you know?

If you have any concerns, go see your doctor right away, so they can help you to decide if you need to get your heart checked further with tests such as and ECG or Stress test.  Having said this, there are several wellness markers you can evaluate today to get a good understanding of your personal risk.

1) Get Your Cholesterol Checked

2) Know Your Blood Pressure and eliminate cigarette smoke from your environment

3) Know not only your BMI, but your Waist to Hip Ratio

4) Evaluate how much salt you eat on a daily basis.

5) Ask your parents about your Family History.  Who had a heart attack and how old were they?

6) Ask Your Doctor to Evaluate your Framingham Risk Score and know the number.

7) Consider getting your homocysteine and cardiac CRP levels checked.

8) Decide if advanced lipid testing is right for you.

Your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, age and smoking status are all used to calculate your Framingham Risk Score.  This is one of the most popular scores that helps doctors to determine your 10-year risk of heart disease.  We also know that an increased BMI (especially over 30) and an increased waist to hip ratio above 0.85 for women and above 0.90 for men {calculated as waist measurement divided by hip measurement (W ÷ H)} puts you at greater cardiovascular risk as well.  Any family members who were diagnosed or had heart attacks before the age of 50, increases your risk.  Reducing your intake of sodium below 2500 mg can help lower your blood pressure which is an independent risk factor for heart disease, so keeping tract of how much to take in on a regular basis will help you know your risk.  Finally, there are some "advanced" blood tests that further help you to understand your risk. 

Some of these are controversial, but worth considering. 

Your homocysteine level and cardiac c-crp levels are markers for inflammation in your blood vessels and since one of the fundamentals of developing plaque in your arteries is inflammation, knowing your overall body inflammation may help you to assess your risk.  Finally, medicine is finding that the "size" of your cholesterol particles is also important in determining your risk, so there are cholesterol panels available to check this; however, they can be expensive and may not change our recommendations for your treatment by much.  Also, cholesterol particle size is largely due to your genetics, so before considering the test, ask yourself if knowing this information will motivate your to change your behavior or just make you more anxious. 

Celebrate your heart this month.  Take time to understand your heart and what it needs to keep you healthy.

If you feel like you need more information on how screenings exams and checkups can benefit your heart health then you owe it to yourself to contact us at Balanced Physician Care today (904-930-4774). Dr Sharyl Truty has the time to truly analysis your symptoms, find the root cause of your issues, and get you back on the path wellness.

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