To say that bladder infections are a pain is an understatement. Approximately 20% of all women will experience at least one bladder infection in their life, according to WebMD, and the discomfort involved can vary from person to person. A very common, easily misdiagnosed bladder infection is interstitial cystitis (IC), in which the wall of the bladder becomes inflamed. Since the cause of IC is unknown, it generally diagnosed by ruling out other infections involving the bladder, and can sometimes be misdiagnosed as a urinary tract infection.

There is great disparity between the symptoms each person experiences when diagnosed with IC, from urinary frequency and urgency, to lower abdominal pain. Researchers speculate it is because there are subtypes of IC, the two most recognized being non-ulcerative and ulcerative IC. The most common form of interstitial cystitis is non-ulcerative, which can present itself in the bladder wall with small, pinpoint hemorrhages. Ulcerative interstitial cystitis is a rarer form, experienced by about 5 to 10% of patients in which the bladder wall contains what are called Hunner’s ulcers, patches of red, bleeding areas.

While the cause of interstitial cystitis is still somewhat of a mystery, researchers have paired down a few causes that might contribute to it, including bladder trauma, bacterial infection, spinal cord trauma, pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, and autoimmune disorders. What I have noticed in my patients is that sometimes sensitivities to certain foods can cause IC. I find that reducing the intake of foods they might be sensitive or allergic to, like fruits, sugar, dark greens, yeast products, or bananas, greatly alleviates the symptoms of IC.

As of now treatment for IC usually involves pain medications, modifying the diet, physical therapy, electric nerve stimulation, or acupuncture, in addition to other remedies. I would suggest reducing certain foods in your diet first to see if that helps—the types of food you eat just might be the cause!


The swelter of summer prompts us to wear little clothing and busy ourselves with outdoor activities from dawn till dusk, without thinking twice. Meanwhile blow-up pools sit in stagnant water for days in our backyards, outdoor fountains are used at longer intervals, and the free-standing water at the bottom of our potted plants collects as we increase the frequency of our watering. Each of these areas is literally a breeding ground for mosquitoes, who by their very nature have the ability to spread debilitating diseases like the West Nile virus.

Symptoms of the West Nile virus were first spotted in New York in the summer of 1999. Mosquitoes were infected with the virus from biting infected birds, and were then able to quickly spread the virus to humans across the United States. Because the symptoms of the virus are similar to that of influenza, most people do not even realize they are infected with it until they see a doctor. More commonly the symptoms appear as abdominal pain, fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, rash, and a sore throat among others, and disappear within 7 to 10 days. More severe cases, like West Nile encephalitis and West Nile meningitis, can be life threatening, inducing coma, loss of consciousness, and muscle weakness.

Prevention during this time of year is key. Wear a light long sleeve if you go out in the afternoon or at night, and if mosquitoes are prevalent where you live it might be a good idea to invest in a mosquito net to hang around your bed when you sleep. If you are bit however, I would suggest taking an anti-microbial agent like olive leaf extract or allicin, which is garlic extract. Anything to fight the bite!



Have you ever driven on the coast and looked out at the ocean, only to notice massive, dark patches of water near the shore? Sometimes this is just algae growing deep within the water, but other times when those distant patches take on a dark, maroon red color, it is the result of a massive overgrowth of algae called red tide.

Red tide is a natural occurrence in the ocean caused by rapid blooms of microscopic plankton, called dinoflagellates. While the symptoms experienced by swimmers and surfers range from mild eye and throat irritation to severe asthma attacks, red tide is more commonly harmful to people who consume meals containing oysters or clams. How exactly does red tide from the ocean affect our food? Usually after this rapid bloom occurs, shellfish, scallops, mussels, and other big fish eat the poisonous plankton, and these fish are what eventually end up on our dinner plates.

These microscopic, single celled organisms can do more than just give us food poisoning. Eating poisoned shellfish can cause neurological symptoms like paralysis or parasthesia, which causes a tingling sensation in the skin similar to what happens when your foot falls asleep. Another more serious condition called ciguatera, can also be caused by eating bigger fish who have eaten poisoned, smaller fish. Symptoms of ciguatera poisoning can range nausea and vomiting to symptoms of paralysis, and the inability to feel hot and cold sensations.

The coast is likely going to be whispering your name this summer, and there is no reason you should not be outdoors enjoying the sun. If you go to the beach though, just be aware of any water discoloration you see near the shore, and if you are planning on seafood for dinner, try ordering a lobster or shrimp, which are said to be safe from these kinds of microscopic toxins!




Life can be tough. The older we get, the more responsibilities we have- which is a recipe for stress and anxiety. Depression is often the result of too much stress or anxiety, which eventually has us turning to different sources for a solution, like therapists, self-help groups, supplements, or even prescription medications.

As helpful as these solutions are, there may be a better way to reduce anxiety naturally. A natural skin formula called GABA/L-Theanine Topical Cream has been proven to restore balance in the mind and body and decrease depression. It is rare to find something topical to reduce such internal unrest, but the cream calms the mind with a unique combination of the neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and the amino acid L-Theanine.

As a neurotransmitter, GABA is made in the brain and is responsible for regulating different levels of excitability of neurons in the brain. Essentially it inhibits nerve cells from firing in the brain, and has a calming and balanced affect on the body and mind. Without enough GABA, the mind is in a constant state of agitation, as in patients with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and anxiety.

Combined with L-theanine, an amino acid well known for inducing mental relaxation and alertness by stimulating alpha brain waves, the GABA/L-theanine Topical Cream is the perfect solution for anxiety and/or stress troubles. The cream can decrease the likelihood of experiencing side effects involved with prescription medications, and is much less of a hassle. It is also excellent for people who have trouble falling asleep, my first choice!

It is always best to go the natural route first, when it comes to dealing with depression and anxiety and restoring your heath. Give it a try and see for yourself!


Studies have shown that going vegetarian has tremendous positive effects on the body. Everything from a lower body mass index to lower blood pressure and incidence of hypertension is included in the list of benefits that comprise the vegetarian diet. Although the diet is met with some skepticism when it comes to being a healthier lifestyle, the amount of people turning vegetarian is steadily increasing. One thing I have noticed in terms of this diet is that some of my vegetarian clients have seriously handicapped immune systems because of their lack of essential amino acids, the building blocks of proteins found in meat products.

Without meat, the body is deprived of protein, which can compromise the intake of essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be made in the body, and are responsible for building cells, repairing tissues, and play a large role in mental health. Although vegetarians find they have to mix the right types of proteins like beans and whole grains to replenish their protein stores, sometimes it is not enough to boost immunity against disease.

I suggest getting your dose of amino acids from supplements if you are a vegetarian and seem to be catching a cold or flu more often than your fellow omnivore. Supplementing your diet with essential amino acids helps fortify and strengthen your immune system as it attempts to fight off germs. A great amino acid supplement called Master Amino Acid Pattern (MAP) acts as a great dietary protein substitute that blends a unique mixture of essential amino acids for the average vegan or vegetarian. Any radical change in diet, whether it is for your health or the environment, can affect your immunity and vitality. If you live a vegetarian lifestyle, make sure you provide your body all that it needs for an optimal state of being!






Fruits and vegetables are vital to our diet, as they are a great source of essential fiber and nutrients. One fruit that is full of nutrients and have benefits you would not have guessed is the cherry. Like most fruits, cherries can prevent the onset of chronic disease, although you would never know it by looking at them. Additionally, they can help you sleep, alleviate muscle distress, and help with joint diseases like gout and arthritis.

Research done at several prestigious facilities such as the University of California Davis has proven just how beneficial cherries can be, particularly in decreasing muscle inflammation. Cherries contain highly beneficial antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give cherries their dark hue and work to alleviate inflammation caused by excessive workouts, especially in athletes. These particular antioxidants are also found similarly colored fruits like blueberries.

I promote organic, pure (unsweetened) cherry juice to prevent muscle atrophy and pain. Also if you are looking for a healthy way to wean yourself off of sleeping pills or other nighttime substances, cherries are a perfect way to get a natural good night’s sleep as they carry melatonin, an antioxidant that stimulates a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

Try blending some pure, organic cherry juice into your morning smoothie, or mixing it up with some organic gluten free oatmeal for breakfast. If you decide to drink cherry juice from a glass though, sip it through a straw so it does not stain your teeth. Also, if you are going to buy cherry juice be sure to buy the brand that is 100% pure and not sweetened with sugar or natural sweeteners!






Do you ever wonder about the water restaurants use when they serve you coffee, soup, or tea? Do you sometimes find yourself drinking tap water because it is easier than buying a water filter? We all know how important water is for us, but not many take into account just how vital it is to ensure we are drinking the right kind of water. By the “right kind” of water, I mean water that does not contain sodium fluoride, a soluble, toxic salt that can be lethal to the body.

Sodium fluoride is found in many products we use on a daily basis. Toothpaste, mouth rinses, and vitamins for example, are notoriously known for containing sodium fluoride, as well as insecticides and cleaning agents.

Sodium fluoride is quickly absorbed in the stomach before it travels to calcium-rich areas of the body like teeth and bones. Shortly after ingestion, fluoride becomes hydrofluoric acid in the stomach which can corrode the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, causing discomfort, pain, and nausea.

Where our bones are concerned, fluoride builds silently in our bodies for years, contributing to bone deterioration as we age. This leads to increased fractures, particularly in the hip, and a common bone disease called skeletal fluorosis, which is commonly mistook for various types of arthritis.

Many dentists out there also advocate minimal amounts of fluoride for its anti-cavity benefits. However, ingesting even a small amount of fluoride can cause fluoride poisoning or potentially lead to dental fluorosis, a tooth defect caused by too much exposure to fluoride during childhood.

The best thing to do to lessen your ingestion of fluoride, especially here in Los Angeles is to find a good fluoride filter for your sink and shower. For drinking water, I suggest buying a reverse osmosis filter, a filtration method that rids the water of large molecules and ions, and can easily be attached to your sink. The least expensive one I have seen can be found at Costco for roughly $175. Also, change your toothpaste to a non-fluoride brand such as Kiss My Face Aloe Toothpaste.

When you go out, ask your server if the water they’re serving you is tap or purified. Also, if you can, try and cut those extra long showers or baths short too—the levels of fluoride found in tap water can be more easily absorbed through your skin as water temperature rises!



You might have noticed more and more people getting sick lately, and it is because it is the time of year when the influenza virus is at its peak. The weather gets colder and suddenly it becomes very easy for the body to become susceptible to disease. Lately I have found that so many of my clients are coming to see me with symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus that spread in early 2009. Even though it has been a year since the H1N1 tightened its grip on the nation, there are still different strains of it affecting people every day.

When the H1N1 flu first spread, many people were hospitalized and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) officially declared it a pandemic. The unfortunate thing about the virus, also known as the “swine” flu, was that it started out like a regular flu with the usual symptoms: coughing, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, sneezing, sniffling, and a high fever. This of course led many to believe it was just a bug going around. It did not become a pandemic until it started hospitalizing and even killing people in severe cases.

It seems that since the H1N1 hit the United States there has been more than one strain of it, and it has mutated from what it was to begin with. I find that it has changed in both intensity and strength since the first wave hit, and it is not easy to detect. It can cause anywhere from mild to severe respiratory distress, making it difficult to identify, but still easy enough to dismiss as a common cold. I’ve also found that most doctors’ offices do not even have a simple way of testing for it, as is done with more common diseases.

If you feel you are starting to get a little sick, the CDC recommends staying away from public places so as not to spread it, and washing your hands as often as you can. As always, it is best to consult your physician if you feel you might be coming down with a strain of the H1N1 virus. With all of the people that come to see me describing similar symptoms, it almost seems as though the swine flu is just as prevalent today as it was 2 years ago!




What do you think of when you hear the phrase “bed of nails”? If your first thought is pain, you are not alone. The other day a woman came into my office and asked if I would try a healing method similar to acupuncture called the Bed of Nails. At first I did not know how to react, but since I was given one to try I thought, why not?

The Bed of Nails at first was not at all what I expected. Instead of real nails, it has more than 6,000 nontoxic pointy plastic spikes. While it is definitely better than the real nails ancient Yogis and Gurus used centuries ago in India, the plastic bed of nails was definitely sharp! Not sharp enough to draw blood of course, but uncomfortable enough to force me to put a shirt between my back and the spikes the first few times I used it.

Lying on a bed of nails for ten minutes a day is said to relieve symptoms of stress, insomnia, back pain, muscle tension, headache, constipation, and a host of other symptoms. Like acupuncture, the tiny spikes are meant to rid the body of toxins and stimulate energy because the pressure stimulates endorphin release. Endorphins are good because they can create feelings of joy and pain relief with their release. While reactions vary by the end of ten minutes on the Bed of Nails, many people feel more alert, relaxed, and happy.



After about two weeks with my Bed of Nails, I can safely say my body has grown accustomed to the tiny spikes, and I can now lie on it bare skinned without a shirt.  After a couple of minutes, the uncomfortable feeling turns into this “good pain” that actually doesn’t hurt at all; it actually feels good! I will say that with consistent use it definitely puts me at ease and in a more meditative, calming state. I also love it when I rest my feet on it. I think we could all use a little endorphin release, even if it does require a little pain!




Thank you Carina from Bed of Nails for your product to sample and test, really enjoy using it with much appreciation!



In the wake of the Japanese Nuclear Disaster, many of my patients have been calling me to get the potassium iodide/iodine supplement. Everywhere locally from Whole Foods, Co-Opportunity, Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy and the rest of the nutrition stores are all out of the iodine supplement. My recommendation is not ingest iodine supplementation at high doses unless there are extremely high levels of Iodine131 in the environment. Many people are finding out that they are sensitive to high dosages that can cause irreparable damage to the thyroid gland particularly if you have an underlying autoimmune condition. Please note, the iodine supplement is only for high levels of radioactive iodine. According to South Coast Air Quality Management District, as of yesterday March 20, 2011, there is absolutely no increased risk of radiation above the background levels in Southern California.

The best way to reduce the risk of radiation affecting your body is to enhance your ability to defend against free radicals damage. Another term for free radical damage is oxidative stress. Whether you are exposed to radioactive uranium, plutonium, strontium, iodine, cesium or any other radioactive agent, the negative effect to our body will be oxidative stress. This can destroy cells, tissues and DNA and cause premature aging, inflammatory diseases and even cancer. Free radicals are renegade unstable molecules (pro-oxidants) that are constantly searching for electrons.  These pro-oxidants need to be neutralized by antioxidants (electron donors) immediately before cellular damage sets in and ultimately kill the cells and tissues.

Antioxidants are vital nutrients that prevent oxidation and cellular damage. The mother of all antioxidants is Glutathione (GSH). GSH will protect the cell against intracellular oxidation and neutralize and reduce all types of toxins and carcinogens. It will also facilitate DNA synthesis and repair. GSH protects damage inside the cell, where as another antioxidant, Vitamin C, works outside the cell the same way. Vitamin C and GSH work together and enhance each other. Here is a list of antioxidants that will help with oxidative stress caused by radiation, toxins/chemicals, pathogenic microbes and lifestyle/emotional stresses:

  • Glutathione- highest bioavailable formula, is taken through the buccal mucosa (between cheek and gum) and sublingually
  • Vitamin C- taken regularly throughout the day
  • NAC- N-Acetyl Cysteine
  • R-Lipoic Acid- stronger than A-Lipoic Acid (alpha form)
  • SOD- SuperOxide Dismutase
  • Vitamin E- tocopherols and tocotreinols
  • Resveratrol– in Trans form only
  • EGCg– green tea extract
  • Glutamine and Glycine – amino acids that helps produce GSH
  • Pycnogenol: proanthocyanidins (phytonutrient) from pinebark extract, which is 50X more powerful than Vit. E and 20X more powerful than Vit. C

There are many more I can list, but this is a great start!

Please note: Go over the list with your health care practitioner before you decide to use any of the antioxidants.


The content in this article/blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.