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521 North Argonne Road
Spokane Valley, WA, 99212
United States

509-919-1385

Naturopathic Medicine in Spokane Valley, WA specializing in discovering the root cause of your chronic symptoms.  We utilize environmental medicine protocols and holistic treatments to treat chronic symptoms and autoimmune diseases.  

Blog

Dr. Julie George aims to provide you with knowledge to take control of your life.  Our blog provides information for you to become informed, aware, and able to make confident decisions.  

 

Beauty and Anti-Aging in Spokane

DrJulie George

At Rivercreek Wellness we believe that beauty is truly within all of us. However, our culture is obsessed with eliminating wrinkles and looking good. We all want to feel good and have lasting confidence so we reach for modern day miracles to erase the time. The problem with doing so is we are usually reaching for cosmetics and personal care products that have numerous chemicals. The chemicals in these products often have not been evaluated for your safety, thus contributing to hormone imbalances and cancers to name a few.

Dr. Julie George was introduced to BeautyCounter and feels comfortable referring her friends and family to it. The company has taken an initiative to eliminate over 1,500 chemicals from their products. Dr. George is excited to say that she has been impressed with the results she has achieved with their products. She wishes she would have only taken before and afters to show off the dramatic results!

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COUNTERTIME is the line you are looking for if you are wanting anti-aging. Dr. George uses this line with great satisfaction. She cleanses with the First step and then washes with Charcoal Soap in between step 1 and step 2 to help remove makeup from her pores.

Plumping Face Oil is another great product to apply after washing your face in the morning and night. It can serve as an added oil or as a moisturizer. Dr. George loves, loves, loves the BeautyCounter Oils.

Overnight Resurfacing Peel holy moly, this one achieved some immediate results. This product along with the Cleansing Balm are the two originals that sold Dr. George on the entire BeautyCounter Line. These are what she calls her miracle treatments.

She will tell you about her love for the makeups in a following post. If you are interested in trying these fabulous safe cosmetics, you may order them here.

If you haven’t switched to clean, safe cosmetics then you may want to schedule an appointment for testing of these dangerous chemicals such as Paragons, Phthalates, Lead, BPA, VOC, and more. Dr. George has written articles online and published in Natural Awakenings on the dangers in your personal care products. There are multiple areas we address at Rivercreek Wellness when it comes to Anti-Aging, check out our services.

OAT Testing And Why You Need It

DrJulie George

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What is the OAT Test?

OAT Testing is also known as Organic Acid Testing. We have multiple laboratories that offer OAT panels, however, Great Plains Laboratories offers the most comprehensive test that we have seen. It is an accurate assessment of what is going on in your body. It evaluates over 70 urinary metabolites that can be useful in finding the cause of your chronic health symptoms.

If you have any health concerns then we recommend starting with an Organic Acids Test.

  • Attention Problems

  • Autism

  • Autoimmune Disorder

  • Chronic Pain

  • Depression

  • Digestive Problems

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Low Energy

  • Lyme Disease

  • Neurological Disorders

  • Poor Sleep

Sections of the Organic Acid Test

There are multiple sections within the Great Plains Organic Acid Test that can give us a lot of information. The Yeast and Fungal Markers will let us know if you are exposed to candida or certain molds in your environment. The Bacterial Markers look for dysbiosis within your GI tract. Clostridia Bacterial Markers help us evaluate for these toxins within your system that can be responsible for neurological and mental health symptoms. Oxalate Metabolites are often elevated in people with chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and vulvadenia. Glycolytic and Mitochondria Markers are useful in seeing how your mitochondria (energy production part of cell) are functioning. Ketones and Fatty Acids can also contribute to mitochondria dysfunction. Nutritional Markers are evaluated to see if you may have a deficiency in a nutrient. Glutathione status is evaluated which helps us learn about your detoxification system. Amino Acids Metabolites are also included to help us know if you may have a metabolic imbalance or inborn error in metabolism. Neurotransmitter health can be evaluated through the Phenylalanie and Tyrosine Metabolites, and/or Tryptophan Metabolites. Folate imbalance can also be evaluated through the Pyrimidine Metabolites. There are so many useful sections to this test that gives us a lot of information.

This test can point us in which steps to take next. For example if you have fungal and yeast markers elevated then we may need to perform a mycotoxin test next. If you are nutrient deficient then we may need to easily correct it with a professional grade supplement. If you have impaired detoxification status then we may want to look at your methylation cycle, toxic metals and/or nontoxic metal exposures. This test allows for us to find out what is going on without going on assumptions.

How Do I Get an OAT Test?

New Patient

If you are not a patient at Rivercreek Wellness in Spokane Valley, then we ask for you to call our office 509-919-1385 or Schedule Online. Once you have scheduled an appointment we will send you an invite to our PHR system and include your health questionnaire along with 4 consents. The first appointment will consist of taking a complete health history. At the end of the first appointment we will give you the test kit or we will have it mailed to you. We will do a second appointment about 3 weeks later to determine a health and/or treatment plan.

Existing Patient

We can discuss an Organic Acid Test on your next appointment or you may send us and email through your portal or call our office requesting a test kit. Follow Ups will be 3 weeks later to determine a treatment plan.

How Do I Prepare for an OAT Test?

OAT Testing is simple. We ask that if you are a woman and are having your cycle you wait to collect after menses. There are a few foods and juices we ask for you to avoid for 48 hours including apples, grapes, pears and cranberries. We also ask that you avoid arabinogalactan, echinacea, reishi, mushrooms, and ribose supplements for 48 hours prior to collection. The urine sample is collected on your first morning urine. The urine must be concentrated so we ask that you discontinue drinking water at 6pm the evening before. Once you have collected your urine and labeled the urine container, completed the requisition form, you will ship it through FedEx back to the laboratory.

What is the Cost of an OAT?

At Rivercreek Wellness we have you pay the testing company directly. If you have insurance then you will add your insurance information to the requisition and will be billed a LOWER price. If you do not have insurance then you will be charged the RETAIL price of the test. Testing prices may change from time to time, therefore we discuss all options with patients on their first visit or follow up visits.

Do I Need to Repeat an OAT?

Repeating an OAT is often individualized to each patients needs. It is often recommended to do a follow up OAT to recheck markers in the future. Each person’s testing will be individualized to their own health concerns. I recommend thinking about OAT testing as a yearly preventative test as well.

Protect Yourself From Lyme Disease

DrJulie George

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You may not be aware of Lyme Disease when you live in the Inland Northwest, but I guarantee you some people in the Spokane area have Lyme Disease.  Diagnoses of Lyme is happening all over the world.  Yet, there is still a problem with conventional medicine acknowledging Lyme Disease and/or Chronic Lyme.  The CDC states there are 300,000 new cases each year in the United States.  We have seen estimates that are 10x higher in some literature. Physicians were trained to look for a bulls-eye rash on patients presenting to the office with tick bites.  The problem with this observation is fewer than 50% of patients have a bulls-eye rash after a bite.  A lot of patients do not even remember being bit by a tick.  Physicians have also been trained that only certain areas of the country like the Northeast have ticks infected with Borrelia.  In today's world with people traveling and moving by planes, trains, and automobiles with their beloved belongings and furry best friends this seems outdated.  The conventional thought on Lyme is once you have been bitten and presented with a bulls-eye rash, or tested positive a round of antibiotics is the cure.  This is just not true for people with Chronic Lyme Disease.  Approximately 40% of Lyme patients end up with long-term health problems.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

  • Bulls-Eye Rash

  • Solid Rash

  • Severe Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Migratory Joint Pain

  • Muscle Pain

  • Headaches

  • Impaired Memory

  • Psychiatric Problems

  • Nerve Pain

  • Numbness & Tingling

  • Vision & Hearing Changes

Chronic Lyme Disease

A lot of people suffering from Chronic Lyme Disease do not even know they have it.  Two huge factors play in here.  The accuracy of testing is poor.  Laboratories often produce a lot of false negatives.  People go on with their lives trusting the lab was correct.  The spirochete that causes Lyme Disease can cause harm to any part of your body. Lyme Disease mimics a lot of other diseases which means they do not ever get the correct diagnosis. Yes, people that have been diagnosed with Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Mental Health Disorder may in fact have Lyme Disease.  

Prevention of Lyme Disease

When walking in the woods or tall grass wear long pants. It is best to wear high socks and tuck your pant legs into the sock. We recommend that you use a tick repellant spray while in areas with tick problems. The chemical based insecticides like DEET have been popular, however much safer essential oil based products are available. We recommend adults using Keys OmniShield which is actually a nontoxic product made for dogs. They have a product called ForceX for humans as well. There are other companies on the market making essential oil/NEEM/Karanja Oil as well. It is important to do a tick check of your entire body including your head after being outside. We recommend taking a shower following your tick check.

Should I be worried if I was bit by a tick?

We recommend contacting Rivercreek Wellness or your primary care doctor immediately. Doxycycline is an antibiotic that may be given for prophylaxis treatment in children over 8 years old and adults for 20 days or more. Children under 8 years old will need a different type of antibiotic. If you choose to not take antibiotics then you need to be knowledgeable of all of the possible symptoms. We are seeing a lot of patients that were denied antibiotics because the physician stated Lyme does not exist in the area of where they were bit. This simply is not true, an infected black-legged deer tick can be any where. We recommend saving the tick that was on your body and sending to IgeneX Laboratory for testing.

If you are experiencing chronic health complaints with multiple symptoms then ruling out a tick-borne illness may be of benefit. On an initial visit, Dr. Julie George will ask you a lot of questions. We can also give you a Lyme Survey to see how at risk you may be of having Lyme. When needed will recommend the highest quality testing available. Lyme physicians often diagnose through clinical assessment when testing is indeterminate.

Testing for Lyme Disease

There are many testing options available for testing for Lyme Disease and it's co-infectors. I recommend using the company IgeneX for testing. IgeneX is a lab that is dedicated to diagnosing Lyme disease. Patients can also run a ImmunoBlot, Western Blot or PCR through a standard lab, however it may not be as sensitive. Patients can get false negatives before they receive a positive test. The CDC requires 5 bands to be positive, and has not updated testing requirements. IgeneX requires 2 or more bands to be determined a positive test. If you are symptomatic and testing IgeneX positive then it may be worth seeking treatment.

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat your health conditions.

Are You Reacting To The Foods You Eat?

DrJulie George

Do you have a Food Sensitivity?

Isn’t it time you take the guesswork out of what you should and shouldn’t be eating? Food allergy and sensitivity testing can help you eliminate the foods that could be harming your body. Even healthy foods can be contributing to unhealthy reactions within the body.  People often confuse food allergies and food sensitivities. Food allergies are often severe and can be life threatening. A true IgE food allergy creates an immediate immune reaction. Food sensitivities are usually less severe, however, they still create numerous health problems.  A food sensitivity is often defined as a delayed IgG reaction. Some people report having symptoms up to 72 hours after they eat a specific food. Since reactions can be delayed for several days it makes it hard to differentiate which foods are aggravating you.

Common Food Sensitivity Symptoms

  • Weight gain or Loss that is unexplainable

  • Constipation or Diarrhea

  • Bloating

  • Headaches or Migraines

  • Fatigue

  • Brain Fog

  • Poor Concentration

  • Joint Pain

  • Skin Rashes

  • Eczema

  • Acne

  • Heartburn

  • Chronic Pain

  • Autoimmune Disease Flares

Testing Options

Food Sensitivity

We are highly selective on which food allergy and sensitivity test we offer to you.  For the most part food sensitivity testing is not covered by your health insurance. You may be special and have an awesome health insurance, unfortunately it isn’t the norm.  We have various testing kits for our patients.

Alletess Is the most affordable testing option.  Alletess offers 96 IgG and 184 IgG food sensitivities.  It is a finger prick test that the patient is able to do at home.   

Cyrex Laboratory is highly regarded for their immune screens.  They offer a Wheat/Gluten Array and Gluten Cross Reactivity Array.  Cyrex offers Food Immune Reactivity Screens. If you have an autoimmune disease or want to determine your reactions to gluten, then this is the lab for you.  Cyrex Testing can be expensive and requires testing gluten first, then gluten cross reactivity, and finally food reactions. They have 90 or 180 different foods/spices/food additives to test.  

Dunwoody Labs has set themselves apart from other labs by offering Complete Dietary Antigen testing.  They take 88 Foods and compare IgE, IgG, IgG4, C3d for all foods. This gives more comprehensive information for your immune health.  


Food Allergy

We blood test for the most common food allergies with True Health Diagnostics. Dunwoody does test for IgE responses to 88 foods as well.  Again, this will test only for immediate IgE reactions. It may be necessary for us to refer you to an allergist for further testing. If you have an IgE food allergy then it is necessary to always carry Benadryl and an Epipen.  


Common Food Allergies

  • Egg

  • Milk

  • Wheat

  • Sesame

  • Peanut

  • Soybean

  • Hazelnut

  • Almond

  • Shrimp

  • Tuna

  • Salmon

  • Cashew

  • Walnut

  • Scallops  


What to Do When You Have A Food Sensitivity or Food Allergy?

Food Sensitivity Testing confirms that gastrointestinal work is needed.  Food Sensitivity Testing may not be 100% accurate when you have leaky gut. It is important to eliminate the bothersome foods while you are working on your GI health.  Enzyme Science Intolerance Complex can help you while you are figuring out which foods to eliminate. Taking one capsule with meals may help if there is a possibility of cross contamination.  Caution- this is not to be taken if there is a known diagnosis of an immediate allergy or celiacs disease. If needed there are more specialized testing for leaky gut, LPS, and Gluten Cross Reactivity. Often times you are able to add food sensitivities back into the diet if you were diligent with the treatment plan.  

True food allergies must be avoided from your diet.  Children can sometimes outgrow their allergies. It is important to be careful in not cross contaminating your food.  Always carry an epipen and antihistamine medications. Always work with your doctor.

If you are in the greater Spokane area and want to know if foods are bothering you, then schedule your appointment now.  Dr. Julie George enjoys helping patients restore their gut health. This is for your information and is not a substitute for medical advise from your doctor. If you have questions or comments concerning your own health please schedule an appointment with our office or with your physician.



Are my dry eyes and dry mouth normal?

DrJulie George

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Guest Post by Michelle Darnell, OD

It is well-documented that as a person ages, the mucous membranes of the body, including the eyes and mouth, become drier. In fact, in my practice, the most common concern for women over the age of fifty is eyes that itch, burn, or water constantly. Many of those patients have discussed their symptoms with friends or family members, and as such, believe this discomfort is something they have to live with.

But what if it is not normal? Sjogren’s (SHOW-grins) Syndrome is an autoimmune condition where the body’s immune system attacks the tissues that produce fluid, most noticeably the tear and saliva glands. Sjogren’s is, in fact, primarily identified by its two most common symptoms: dry eyes, and dry mouth. Damage is not just limited to the eyes and mouth, however. In addition, it can attack our joints, thyroid gland, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin, nerves, and other mucous membranes, such as the vagina.

Sjogren’s is the third most common autoimmune condition, behind Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Approximately 50% of all Sjogren’s cases are “primary,” or existing without a co-occurring autoimmune condition, while the other 50% of Sjogren’s cases occur as a complication from an original auto-immune condition.

There are several risk factors for Sjogren’s. As mentioned above, a pre-existing autoimmune condition, specifically in the Rheumatic category (RA or SLE), puts a person at an increased risk for developing Sjogren’s. Being female also carries a higher risk, with 9/10 of all Sjogren’s patients being female. Collecting birthdays is the final major risk factor, with most cases not being diagnosed until the patient is over the age of 40. That being said, the worst case of Sjogren’s-related dry eye that I have ever seen personally was in a 17 year old girl. 

How do you know if your dry eyes and mouth are due to aging, or due to Sjogren’s? Diagnosis can be difficult, because the symptoms of Sjogren’s, especially in mild or moderate cases, can mirror many other common conditions, and are often considered a normal part of aging by patients. Other medications, such as antihistamines (anti-allergy medications), can cause the mucous membranes of the body to dry out, as well. The good news is that there are many blood tests available to look for markers indicative of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Your eye care provider may be able to perform a Sjo test, which involves a finger prick for blood, akin to the finger prick to check blood glucose, which is sent to an outside lab for evaluation. Your provider can also order a panel of bloodwork to look for anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-SSA and anti-SSB antibodies, and rheumatoid factor.

If you are diagnosed with Sjogren’s, it is recommended that you discuss treatment options with your provider, or with a rheumatologist. You may be placed on metformin, Plaquenil (Concordia Pharmaceuticals), or a DMARD-class medication to help control your body’s immune response. Discussing your diet and lifestyle with a provider who is specially trained in autoimmune conditions will be very helpful in mediating inflammation, as well. 

In addition, your eye doctor can initiate a dry eye regimen tailored specifically to you, and to your symptoms. Artificial tears are often the first step, though it is important to know that artificial tears are not intended to provide long-term relief, merely to help temporarily reduce acute symptoms. For those patients who use artificial tears more than four times per day, please invest in preservative-free artificial tears, as the preservatives in standard artificial tears, when constantly applied to the eye, can cause more harm than good over the long term. 

For those for whom the artificial tears do not “cut it,” other alternatives are available. Ointment that has the consistency of Vaseline can be used, usually at night, to prevent the eyes from becoming dry and “chapped” overnight, or during a bad attack of dryness. Specially-designed contact lenses that are large enough to cover the entire surface of the eye, called scleral lenses, are routinely used in severe cases of dry eye, as these lenses hold moisture against the eye all day long. Medications, such as Restasis or Xiidra, can also reduce inflammation on the surface of the eye and promote healthy tear production. In patients who have severe “attacks” of dry eye, we can even use contact lenses that are made out of amniotic membranes, which include stem cells and other natural healing properties that help repair the front of the eye. I have a patient who comes in every six months like clockwork, to get amniotic membrane contacts placed on her eyes to repair the chapping caused by her dry eye, which vastly improves her ocular comfort, as well as the clarity of her vision.

It is important to note that, even if you do not have Sjogren’s, if your eyes are uncomfortable, or you find yourself noticing watery, itchy, or burning eyes, have your eyes evaluated by your eye care provider. Your eye doctor can develop a treatment plan that will make your eyes more comfortable.

Michelle Darnell, OD is an optometrist who owns Lilac Family Eye Care in Liberty Lake. She actively treats dry eye, and routinely co-manages medical conditions, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome and other auto-immune diseases, by coordinating treatments with a patient’s complete healthcare team.

Are you overweight?

DrJulie George

Have you tried numerous diets and weight loss products with little results? Or did you lose the weight only for it to return plus a few extra unwanted pounds? Losing weight is a challenge. Despite what you hear with calories in vs. calories out, that doesn’t work for everybody. Trust me, I am one of them.

Medical Labs

When was the last time you had laboratory work completed? It is important to check your standard blood levels, inflammatory markers, thyroid markers, and possible other immune markers. There are some more advanced labs that can also be beneficial.

  • Thyroid levels are important to check on routine blood panels. If you are experiencing a under active thyroid then that can contribute to weight gain. We recommend a complete thyroid panel.

  • If you are experiencing a lot of inflammation then you may need a gentler approach. In fact, doing difficult workouts could be getting in your way of losing weight. This is because of the stress hormone cortisol. For more advanced testing we can test your cortisol x4 to determine how your body is handling the stress hormone throughout the day. Routine blood work can test basic inflammatory markers.

  • Having a food sensitivity can cause you unwanted weight gain and/or difficulty losing weight. Food sensitivities can do a lot of harm on the body including your gut. Gut health is very important to your overall health. Food sensitivities are usually not life long. There are several treatment options we use for repairing GI function and decreasing food sensitivities. We offer several different food sensitivity companies for testing options.

  • You could be hanging on to unwanted pounds due to unbalanced hormones. We have the ability to test your hormone levels. We recommend salivary or urine hormone testing panels.

  • Environmental toxin exposures can contribute to weight gain and/or a harder time to lose weight. Depending on your lifestyle and exposure risk then testing for phthalates, parabens, solvents, heavy metals, glyphosates, and others may be recommended.

Medical Weight Loss in Spokane Valley

At Rivercreek Wellness we offer medical weight loss programs that are individualized to your specific goals. We recommend Far Infrared Sauna to help you burn extra calories. We only recommend physician quality supplements to you, and we’ve made it easy to purchase through our online store with a 10% discount. Are you ready to take control of your weight, then schedule your appointment now with Dr. Julie George.

Got to Go

DrJulie George

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Summertime is the perfect time to travel near and far.  Here in the Inland Northwest people tend to spend a lot of time at the lakes, going camping, and touring the Oregon Coast. In Spokane, we are so close to so many spectacular sites to see.  There is so much fun and excitement putting a trip together, planning the itinerary and heading out with our packed bags.   We often don't think about our "Got to Go" moments until it is too late.  So many people get diarrhea and/or constipation while traveling.  The causes vary but often are from nervousness, change in routine, climate changes, different diets, dehydration, overindulging and even pathogens.  If you believe you have been infected with a pathogen or foodborne illness seek urgent care.  Being prepared with some natural therapies while traveling can help you prevent and/or manage GI distress.  

Lifestyle Habits 

Stay Hydrated - The average person requires 1/2 of their body weight in ounces of water each day (150lbs=75oz of water).  Remember that activity, heat, dry climate and alcohol consumption requires more water.  We like to take along Jigsaw Electrolytes Packets to help us replenish all of the electrolytes we lost to stay well hydrated.                                                                                                                                                                                         

Eat Nutritiously  - Check out some healthy restaurant cuisine on your trip.  Always include veggies with each meal and a serving of fruit per day.  Don't forget to add the salad.  Roadtripping is no excuse to swing by the golden arches.  Plan your meals and bring a cooler.  Camping?  No problem bring organic bagged greens or frozen veggies to add to your dishes.  Fiber-rich foods are required.  This is not the time to overindulge in heavy foods.  Traveling does not give you permission to eat gluten or your other food sensitivities. You will thank yourself for staying on your plan.                                                                                                                                                                     

Movement - Find activities to keep you active.  Even if you are road tripping to your destination stop and walk around the car, find something to see along the way, and park at the furthest pump.  Just MOVE!                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Relaxation - We often fill our itineraries with all of the sightseeing, visiting, shopping, etc that we forget that its a vacation and we should relax.  Take some time for yourself and breathe.  We must get quality sleep so enjoy that hotel room you paid for.

                                                                                                                                                                                 

Natural Therapies for GI Distress

Microbiome Labs MEGASporeBiotic - We have bacteria living within our GI system that regulates our immune system and GI health.  When the bad bacteria and yeast overpower the good bacteria we are prone to infections, allergies, inflammation, GI distress, mood imbalances, and lower energy.  MEGASporeBiotic is designed to balance the bad bacteria and yeast.  They have designed this probiotic to survive the stomach acid, therefore, it is far superior to the competition.  It is the only shelf-stable probiotic I endorse, meaning it is safe to throw in your suitcase.  Available through our office

Enzyme Science Critical Digestion - 95 million Americans report GI distress.  When traveling we do not want gas, bloating, abdominal pain, food intolerances, constipation and diarrhea getting in the way of our plans.  We often do not know what is in the foods when we are eating at a restaurant.  Thus I recommend enzymes with each meal to help break down the fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  

Jigsaw MagSRT - Magnesium is often deficient in the population.  Magnesium helps with constipation.  I like to travel with MagSRT because of the time release technology.

Homeopathic Nux Vomica - If you couldn't resist and overindulge on eating and drinking at dinner, then try homeopathy.  It is small enough to carry in your pocket.  Do not take with coffee or mint.  Homeopathy is best taken away from food and drinks.  

Ginger Tea - If you tend to feel nauseous or queasy try sipping on some hot ginger tea.  Easy to pack a few tea bags.  

For your convenience, you can order supplements through our online store  --10% off all orders.  All orders are direct from company to  Fullscript warehouse where they are properly stored and shipped directly to you.  

Naturopathic Medical Appointments

It is very important to have regular bowel movements each day.  If you do not have regular bowel movements then we encourage you to schedule an appointment.  We can test you for Leaky Gut and Food Sensitivities and design unique treatment plans.  GI health is important to your overall well-being, immune system, mood, and ability to detoxify.  

Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes.  We are not diagnosing or treating your medical condition.  If you have medical concerns please contact your primary care physician.  

Mold in Spokane Area

DrJulie George

 

Do you know someone that was highly productive maybe participated in Bloomsday or the PTG, and now barely has any energy?  Or perhaps you know someone that was a high achiever always making their goals and making life look easy, yet now they are having difficulty processing what to do next.  They could be fighting daily headaches or is it nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.  We probably all know of someone like this if it isn't us.  Some mold patients look great, and you wouldn't think they were even sick.  

Mold Illness is a real health problem.  Mold produces and releases tiny spores which are small enough to be in our air, water, and even insect-borne.  Mycotoxins are also produced from mold.  Both spores and mycotoxins can cause health problems.  One-quarter of the population is susceptible to chronic mold illness due to their HLA gene status.  HLA are antigens that are found on the surface of cells.  Antigens help the immune system label foreign invaders, however, people with a defect in the HLA gene will have difficulty clearing foreign invaders from the body.  When the body is under constant attack from foreign invaders the immune system can not handle it, thus the label Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome.  Mold illness is hard to distinguish from other autoimmune diseases and often has similar symptoms as chronic Lyme's Disease.  People with RA, Psoriasis, Lupus, Hashimotos, IBD, and Graves Disease often are triggered by mycotoxins.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF MOLD ILLNESS

  • HEADACHES

  • DISTURBED SLEEP

  • FOOD SENSITIVITIES

  • ALLERGIES

  • IBS

  • DISRUPTED VITAMIN D METABOLISM

  • INCREASE VIRAL ACTIVITY

  • HORMONE DISRUPTION

  • FATIGUE

  • LOW LIBIDO

  • BRAIN FOG

  • DECREASED IMMUNE SYSTEM

  • NAUSEA/VOMITING

  • DIARRHEA

SIMILAR SYMPTOMS OF MOLD ILLNESS AND CAN BE MISDIAGNOSED

  • FIBROMYALGIA

  • CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

  • MULITPLE SCLEROSIS

  • DEPRESSION

  • STRESS

  • ALLERGIES

  • IBS

  • ADD

TESTING FOR MYCOTOXINS IN SPOKANE VALLEY

At Rivercreek Wellness, Dr. Julie George works with the leading laboratories in the nation.  We recommend testing for molds and mycotoxins as well as checking other blood markers.  Mycotoxins and mold are often problems that need to be addressed with people living with chronic illness.

SPOKANE AREA HAS MOLD

When I moved to Spokane I inquired about mold with inspectors, real estate agents as well as physicians.  Do you know what the majority of them said?  "Mold, you don't need to worry about that on this side of the state."  I was dumbfounded by that response.  Mold is all around us.  We have water pipes in our homes, it rains and  snows, right?  According to OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1/4 of US buildings are water damaged.  Just because your home or office hasn't been flooded, hit by a hurricane, or had pipes burst, doesn't mean you are free of mold.  A lot of the times the mold is not on the surface, therefore not visible to our eyes.  

COMMON REASONS OF MOLD GROWTH

  • REMEDIATION DID INCORRECTLY

  • POOR VENTILATION & HVAC SYSTEM

  • FLAT ROOFS

  • FAKE STUCCO

  • CRAWL SPACES

  • BASEMENTS- INCLUDING FINISHED 

  • WATER LEAKS

  • SEWAGE BACKING UP

INSPECTION OF MOLD

Your average insurance mold inspector is not enough.  It is important that you work with a professional that runs the correct mold and mycotoxin testing.  Even I have hired the wrong local companies for testing. We are developing relationships with a few trusted companies that offer great testing and advice.  

 

This content is not intended to diagnose or treat your health conditions.  If you have any questions regarding your symptoms or health please contact your primary care physician.  

Holistic Healthcare for Multiple Sclerosis in Spokane Valley

DrJulie George

Natural Health for MS in Spokane

March is Multiple Sclerosis, MS, awareness month.  Are you familiar with Multiple Sclerosis?  MS is an immune-mediated response in which the person's own body is abnormally attacking the central nervous system (brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord).  Nerves contain a protective coating known as myelin.  For some unknown reason, the body's immune system will start attacking the myelin and nerves within the CNS.  This immune response creates scarring which gives the disease its name Sclerosis.  Once the nerves are attacked it creates interference between nerve signaling thus creating the symptoms of MS (1).  Each person that presents with MS has a unique set of symptoms.  Conventional medicine does not have a cure for MS, therefore they manage the symptoms with prescription drugs.  

Common Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle Spasms

  • Numbness & Tingling in face, body, arms, and legs

  • Muscle Weakness

  • Chronic Pain

  • Dizziness & Vertigo

  • Difficulty Walking

  • Bladder Problems

  • Gastrointestinal Problems 

  • Vision Problems

  • Depression

Naturopathic Medicine for Multiple Sclerosis

People that have been diagnosed with MS often have several specialists because the symptoms cross many systems within the body.  One specialty that is often not discussed is Naturopathic Medicine.  Naturopathic medicine utilizes a holistic approach to treat the patient while looking for the root cause.  

Dr. Julie George focuses her Spokane Valley practice on naturopathic principles and environmental medicine.  The Mulitple Sclerosis Society states on their website, "The cause of MS is still unknown – scientists believe the disease is triggered by an as-yet-unidentified environmental factor in a person who is genetically predisposed to respond(1)."  Therefore, Dr. Julie George believes that people with MS should be seeing doctors that focus on environmental medicine.  No matter what stage of MS someone is in it is a great idea to integrate care with naturopathic medicine to optimize your body's ability to heal. 

Nutrition & GI Health

Having a healthy digestive system and microbiome influence your overall immune system.  When someone has been diagnosed with MS, we believe it is important to utilize specific testing for GI health using leaders in the industry like Genova Diagnostics, Cyrex Laboratories, and Doctors Data.  We also know that special diets have made huge impacts on patients with MS.  Dr. Terry Wahls and her research team have done studies on adding nutritional dietary changes with neuromuscular electrical stimulation therapy which produced positive conclusions (2).   Optimizing nutrition can be of huge significance alone.  

Genetic Testing

We believe that knowing your methylation cycle is important for optimizing your supplement protocols and detoxification pathways.  We believe that this allows for us to individualize your treatment protocols specific to you.  

Pathogens

It is common to find certain viruses in MS Patients.  Lyme's disease is also commonly found in MS patients.  We believe that MS patients should test for Lymes and co-infectors with the leading testing company IgeneX.  Bacterial and Parasite infections can also be found in MS patients.  

Toxic Burden

Knowing your environmental health history and the possible toxins you were exposed to can help with restoring your health.  Eliminating as many exogenous chemicals from your life is important.  Exploring your toxic profiles, heavy metals, and mycotoxin levels may help.  We utilize Doctors Data, Genova Diagnostics, and other leading laboratories to obtain this information.  

Stress Management 

It is important to find stress-reducing practices that can become a habit.  Stress can initiate immune flares.  In addition, to lifestyle habits, we can explore your cortisol/adrenal health with specialty testing.  

At Rivercreek Wellness we optimize your nutrition with dietary changes and professional strength supplements, we provide advanced and standardized laboratory testing, and educate on lifestyle habits.  Dr. Julie George prefers to work with MS patients monthly.  We also feel that it is important to integrate your care with leading conventional MS specialists.   

Family History of Multiple Sclerosis 

Do you have a family history of Multiple Sclerosis?  Having a family history of MS is reported in 20% of MS patients.  There is a 2% risk of developing MS if a first-degree relative has the diagnosis (3).  Therefore, Dr. Julie George believes that being proactive with preventative medicine is much needed.  We have access to several scientific medical tests that can be beneficial to your health.  

Genetic Testing                                                                             

Learning your single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within your genes can be revolutionary to your current and future health.  We all have SNPs.  Being able to influence our genes expression is going to revolutionize healthcare.  This allows us to optimize our nutrition as well.  

Autoimmune Panels

Cyrex Laboratories has an autoimmune panel that determines your susceptibility to autoimmune diseases 5-10 years prior to a diagnosis.  When we determine that your body is already having immune reactions we are prompted to make major changes to your lifestyle.  

Toxic Burden

We can not avoid toxins, they are everywhere.  However, we can try to eliminate as many toxins from our lifestyle as possible.  We have the availability for testing heavy metals, solvents, glyphosates, parabens, phthalates, and many more.  Eliminating toxins from your body requires working with a doctor that is trained in environmental medicine.    

 

 

References

1.  National Mulitple Sclerosis Society. https://www.nationalmssociety.org

2.  Reese, D., Shivapour, E.T., Wahls, T.L., Dudley-Javoroski, S.D., Shields, R. (2009). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and dietary interventions to reduce oxidative stress in a secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patient leads to marked gains in function: a case report. Retrieved from https://terrywahls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Case-Report-Neuromuscular-electrical-stimulation-and-dietary-interventions-to-reduce-oxidative-stress-in-a-secondary-progressive-MS-patient-leads-to-functional-gains.pdf.

3.  Murray, J. T., Pryse-Phillips, W., Noble, J. (Ed.) Greene, H. L. II (Ed.), Levinson, W. (Ed.), Modest, G.A. (Ed.), Murlow, C.D. (Ed.), Scherger, J.E. (Ed.), Young, M.J. (Ed.). (2001). Textbook of Primary Care Medicine (Third Edition). Chapter 171 Multiple Sclerosis (pp.1623-1629). ST. Louis, MO: Mosby.

 

 

 

 

Protect Your Heart from Mercury

DrJulie George

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Have you heard that February is American Heart Month? Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.  During the month of February, you will hear a lot about basic prevention tips and patient testimonials.  However, one of the most ignored links to heart disease is heavy metal exposures, specifically mercury.  Mercury toxicity is highly correlated with high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases (1).  Conventional medicine usually will only test for metals if there is an acute poisoning.  

What is Mercury and Where Does It Come From?

You probably first heard of mercury in chemistry class when memorizing the periodic table.  There are three types of mercury: elemental, inorganic and methylmercury (organic).  Dental amalgams are the silver filling and the most common source of inorganic mercury toxicity.  The methylmercury form is found in sea life, vaccines, pharmaceuticals, coal plants, etc.  Our body can convert methylmercury to inorganic mercury and store it in our body (1).  Mercury is lipophilic meaning it likes to concentrate in fatty tissues.  Mercury can affect your organs especially your brain and heart.  The average 154-pound person has a told body burden of 13mg of mercury (2).

Mercury Sources:

  • Dental Amalgams

  • Seafood

  • Freshwater Fish

  • Water

  • Pharmaceuticals

  • Mercury-Containing Vaccines -Thimerosal

  • Natural Occurring

  • Industries

  • Coal Plants

  • Cosmetics

  • Crematories

Eating Seafood Increases Risk of Heart Disease

Numerous studies have linked mercury with heart disease.  A study in Finland linked cardiovascular disease and cardiac death with consumption of seafood containing mercury.  The study accounted for many variables and analyzed hair mercury levels in men.  The study found that men who consumed daily fish greater than or equal to 30g was associated with a 2.1 fold increase of having an acute heart attack and 2.4 fold increase in death related to heart disease when compared to those that ate less fish (2).

The American Heart Association published an article this month still promoting people to eat fish to keep the heart healthy.  They recommended eating fish for eating better, cholesterol control, and for weight loss (3).  I believe that eating fish on a regular basis could potentially cause a lot of harm within the body.  Each time we are exposed to heavy metals, they have the ability to lodge and store in our body.  Mercury increases our oxidative stress within the body. Glutathione is depleted with toxin exposures.  Glutathione is the number one antioxidant within the body that is required to combat oxidative stress.  Heavy metals and toxins damage our mitochondria which is our cells power house for generating energy.  This can lead to premature cell death.  Mercury has been shown to increase lipid peroxidation (1).  

Highest Level of Mercury in Fish!  

  • Swordfish

  • Albacore Tuna

  • Tile Fish

  • Shark

  • King Mackerel

  • The larger the fish the more mercury

What is your total body burden of mercury?

We feel that it is important to your overall health to know your total body burden of heavy metals for prevention.  At Rivercreek Wellness we have the ability to test for heavy metals.  We use laboratories that specialize in testing like Doctors Data and/or Genova Diagnostics.  It involves two collections of urine, one before chelator and one post chelator.  We prefer to prescribe an oral chelator for testing.  

Removing mercury?

Removing possible sources is the first step.  We usually recommend individualized chelation protocols for our patients.  Reducing heavy metals takes time and does not usually occur with one treatment or round of chelation.  

Disclaimer:  This is article is not intended to diagnose or treat your medical condition.  If you have any medical concerns please seek care from your physician.  

 

References

1. Houston MC (2014) The Role of Mercury in Cardiovascular Disease. J Cardiovasc Dis Diagn 2: 170. doi:10.4172/2329-9517.1000170

2. Salonen JT, Seppänen K, Nyyssönen K, Korpela H, Kauhanen J, et al. (1995) Intake of mercury from  sh, lipid peroxidation, and the risk of myocardial infarction and coronary, cardiovascular, and any death in eastern Finnish men. Circulation 91: 645-655.

3. American Heart Association News.  (2018) 7 proven ways to keep your heart healthy.  news.heart.org.