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Now displaying: July, 2017

Genneve wants to empower women to feel confident, sexy, and happy in the face of hormonal change. Join the conversation!

Jul 17, 2017

On July 10, we published Part 1 of our conversation on Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Jane Guiltinan, recently retired Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University.

In Part 1, we asked Dr. Guiltinan to give us a sort of Naturopathic Medicine 101 – since many of us are unfamiliar with the practice, we wanted to know what it was about, how it worked, and how we could find a qualified naturopathic doctor (ND).

In Part 2, we dug a little deeper into what being treated by an ND is like and the advantages this practice has for women in midlife and menopause.

Here’s what she told us.

1:18 What is my first Naturopathic Medicine appointment going to be like?

We’re quickly becoming convinced of the benefits of Naturopathic Medicine, so we asked Dr. Guiltinan what we could expect from that first appointment. How long will it take, what kinds of questions will we be asked, what should we walk away with? Some of the process will seem very familiar, she told us, like filling out insurance forms, but expect a much longer appointment and a more in-depth conversation about lifestyle, diet, underlying causes – not just the complaint you came in with. PS: there may be “homework” to prep for your next appointment!

“I’m a very strong believer in shared decision making and that this is a partnership.”

5:33 Honesty is the path to recovery – how to share ALL THE INFORMATION with your Naturopathic Doctor

Working with a naturopathic doctor is most effective when you have open and frank communication, we discovered. There’s no help claiming you eat healthfully if you really don’t. NDs are looking for the root causes of your concerns, so hide nothing! Chances are your ND has been trained to develop a relationship based on trust and to listen without judgment.

6:26 The “meaty” stuff about menopause – what do women in midlife want to know?

According to Dr. Guiltinan, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a cause for concern because many of us aren’t sure of the risks versus the benefits. So many women turn to their ND for information about bio-identical HRT which is considered “safer” and more “natural” in some circles (though research studies don’t necessarily support this belief). Dr. Guiltinan goes into the details on HRT, the length of time considered safe, and who qualifies as a good candidate.

11:00 Where do we get the idea that bio-identical hormones are safer?

Uh….let’s just say that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, and lay people can be extremely well informed, it’s probably best to check with a qualified medical professional before making a decision. An ND can be a great partner in helping you determine the healthiest, more effective path through midlife and menopause.

12:17 What can an ND do for me if I can’t utilize hormone replacement therapy?

Women with a history of breast cancer or other risk factors aren’t good candidates for HRT; what options do they have to manage menopause symptoms? Women in this category have many options, says Dr. Guiltinan. Diet, lifestyle changes, adding herbs and supplements like black cohosh or maca: all of these can be very helpful in making menopause easier, and your ND can work with you to balance all the factors and reach your healthiest you. (Bonus: maca may help rekindle a limp libido….)

15:09 That’s a lot of herbs. Which one works best?

If you’ve ever braved the “supplement” section of your grocery store, you’ve likely seen a bewildering array of choices: pills, powders, teas, creams … so many configurations, dosages …. Help? We asked Dr. Guiltinan how we can make informed decisions. Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA the way prescription medications are, so there is plenty of snake oil on those shelves, she told us. She gave us some great tips on how to determine which providers are legit and what questions to ask producers.

18:03 How long are we going to be meeting like this?

Perimenopause and menopause can affect a woman’s life for years. We wanted to know how long, typically, Dr. Guiltinan worked with clients to help them reach and retain optimal health. Like all things menopause, it varies with the woman and at what stage she came in for help, the Doc told us. The goal is to find what works as quickly as possible, get them on the path to health, and then only see them when things change.

19:25 What about those other hormones, progesterone and testosterone?

We talk a lot about estrogen in menopause, but progesterone and testosterone (yep, women produce small amounts of testosterone) also change during this time, and the difference in levels can be felt. There are dangers to taking some hormones without others – the ideal is to keep the body in the optimum balance – so testing by a professional is critical.

21:44 What else should women know as they travel the menopath?

“Menopause is not a disease,” says Dr. Guiltinan. Even though we talk about “symptoms,” it’s a natural and normal part of life, just as periods are. And here’s a news flash: “You don’t have to do anything about menopause if you don’t feel bad.” Crazy, right? If you’re not having symptoms that interfere drastically with your life, great! Carry on and enjoy your life.

Next week we talk with nutritionist Julie Duffy Dillon on “food peace,” so be sure to stay tuned to genneve.com!

 Dr. Jane Guiltinan recently retired as Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. A practicing naturopathic physician for thirty years, Dr. Guiltinan graduated from Bastyr in 1986, and has served as a clinical professor, medical director and dean of clinical affairs during her tenure there. She was the co-medical director for the first publicly funded integrated health clinic in the United States, the King County Natural Medicine Clinic. She served on the board of trustees for Harborview Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and part of the University of Washington Medicine system for twelve years and was the first naturopathic physician on the board of a large public hospital. In 2012, she was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Guiltinan’s practice is focused on women’s health, primary care, disease prevention, and wellness promotion.

Jul 10, 2017

Your body is powerful.

We don’t just mean for lifting weights or doing hard physical work, though women’s bodies can certainly do that too.

We mean your body is a powerful healer. Given the right conditions – good food, enough rest, movement, etc. – your body has “an innate capacity to restore itself to health.”

Naturopathic medicine is the practice of providing ideal conditions and removing barriers for the body to get on with what it does so well.

If you’ve ever wondered about naturopathic medicine or considered seeing a naturopathic doctor (ND) but just weren’t sure what to expect, Dr. Jane Guiltinan, recently retired Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University, explains it all.

In this Part I of our two-part series on naturopathic medicine, we talked with Dr. Guiltinan about what naturopathic medicine is, how and why it works, the state of naturopathic medicine in the US, and how to find a qualified ND.

1:38 – What is naturopathic medicine?
Most of us on team genneve are new to the idea and practice of naturopathic medicine, so we asked Dr. Guiltinan to explain the difference between naturopathic medicine and what we consider “traditional” western medicine.

Dr. Guiltinan described how we often get in the way of our body’s natural ability to heal itself. Naturopathic physicians both treat and educate patients to get them to health and maintain optimal health going forward.

4:35 – Why “doctor as teacher” is so empowering for patients.
Naturopathic doctors teach their patients to become an integral part of their own healing and health. Docere, the Latin word for “teacher” is a founding principle of naturopathic medicine. Dr. Guiltinan explained why it’s so powerfully healing to put patients in charge of their well-being.

6:20 – What it means to be aware of your own body.
In the western-medicine tradition, many of us are taught to hand over control to medical professionals – one outcome being that we’re often ignorant about our own bodies. How do NDs work with patient to bring them back to an awareness of their bodies? Dr. Guiltinan said all NDs practice very active listening, which can educate both the doctor and the patient. Hear how. (bonus: margaritas are NOT off limits)

8:10 – Preventing illness before it happens
Most western medicine focuses on the treatment of illness or injury. Naturopathic medicine is also about maintaining wellness, and in an ideal world, says Dr. Guiltinan, people would visit their doctors before problems appear. NDs are working to shift our mindset from “cure” to “prevention,” and it’s a powerful sea change.

10:40 – Yeah, but are they “real” doctors?
Naturopathic doctors are unevenly credentialed and recognized across the US, and many of us aren’t sure if NDs are “real” doctors. Dr. Guiltinan takes us through how a true naturopathic physician is educated, licensed, and credentialed.

15:08 – Dr. Guiltinan’s evolving practice and career.
Dr. Guiltinan has been practicing naturopathic medicine for more than 30 years, and during that time, her practice gradually evolved to focus on women’s health. Most of her patients now are women in the menopausal transition and beyond, looking for ways to maintain health as they age.

17:26 – What do women in midlife want “fixed”?
Because she has such a depth and breadth of knowledge on women in midlife, we asked Dr. Guiltinan what symptoms women in that category come to her to “fix” most often? Classically, it’s hot flashes, she told us, but naturopathic medicine can help treat a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, dry skin, vaginal dryness, weight gain, joint and muscle pain, and depression, among others.

19:25 – Why women consult an ND
Why do women come to NDs? For a variety of reasons, Dr. Guiltinan told us: they’ve exhausted “conventional” options or they want a more natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or, in many cases, they just don’t feel well but aren’t sure what the problem is.  

20:44 – How to find the right ND for me.
So, we asked Dr. Guiltinan, if I think a naturopathic doctor might be able to help me, how do I go about finding the right one? Do NDs specialize? NDs don’t have recognized specialties the way conventional medicine does (neurologists, dermatologists, etc.), but practices often evolve around a natural focus, such as women’s health, she told us, so it’s worthwhile asking the questions to determine if an ND has a focus on the area you need.

22:18 – Is my ND legit?
I’ve decided I want to talk with an ND, we told Dr. Guiltinan. Now what do I do? Depending on your state’s regulations, some people may be able to call themselves “naturopaths” with little formal training or licensure.

To be sure you’re getting someone qualified as an ND (whether they’re able to call themselves “doctor” or not in your state), be sure they graduated from one of the seven accredited doctoral programs in North America. States that have licensing have a state record of licensed NDs, as well as professional associations. Washington state, for example, has the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians. If your state doesn’t have licensing standards for NDs, you can find a credentialed naturopathic practitioner in your area on The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians site.

In Part II, we explore with Dr. Guiltinan some specific ways naturopathic medicine can help women in menopause. You won’t want to miss it.

Check in next week and subscribe to genneve on iTunes, SoundCloud or Stitcher, so you never miss an episode.

Dr. Jane Guiltinan recently retired as Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. A practicing naturopathic physician for thirty years, Dr. Guiltinan graduated from Bastyr in 1986, and has served as a clinical professor, medical director and dean of clinical affairs during her tenure there. She was the co-medical director for the first publicly funded integrated health clinic in the United States, the King County Natural Medicine Clinic. She served on the board of trustees for Harborview Medical Center, a level 1 trauma center and part of the University of Washington Medicine system for twelve years and was the first naturopathic physician on the board of a large public hospital. In 2012, she was appointed by Kathleen Sebelius, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), a center within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Guiltinan’s practice is focused on women’s health, primary care, disease prevention, and wellness promotion.

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