Good morning! We had banana pancakes with a drizzle of hickory maple syrup for breakfast today. And, as always, some good freshly roasted local coffee! Thomas has turned me into such a coffee lover. One cup is all I am allowed though — if I start to dip just one sip above that I get the caffeine jitters!
Isn’t it amazing what fresh air can do? Sometimes I will be going a little crazy at my desk, unable to focus, and I’ll take Gus for a walk. I have never once regretted this walk! I used to walk every day on my lunch break when I worked in an office, and I needed that outdoor time to balance the stale office air. I feel better from top to bottom and feel my worries melt away when I breathe in fresh air, even if just for a short time.
Speaking of ways to de-stress, I recently had the chance to do a virtual consultation with Harvey, a holistic and integrative medicine company that offers web and phone-based consultations with Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). Lab testing is done in-home, and the doctors aim to use principles of prevention, holistic health and integrative medicine to treat any concerns.
I met with Dr. Amanda Frick, ND, and had a wonderful experience. Because this was a review for the blog, I didn’t have a particular ailment that I had scheduled an appointment for, but we went over all of my lifestyle and health history to determine if there was anything I had overlooked that could be off. I mentioned occasional night sweats and low energy from 3-5pm, and so I ended up taking the Adrenals Test, which was a saliva test I did at home. The test had me spit into tubes at four specific times throughout the day. The packaging was all very lovely too.
My results came back and it turns out that my cortisol levels were just a bit low! I was surprised but also not surprised at the same time, as I had a more-stress-than-usual month preceding the test. Dr. Frick was the most “people person” doctor I have ever used in terms of explaining the complicated role of cortisol in a clear way. She prescribed HPA Adapt, an adrenal supporting blend of five adaptogenic herbs, which I am giving a try for a month or two.
If you’ve wanted to see an integrative health doctor and haven’t been able to connect with one in your area, Harvey is a great way to gain access. They work with patients on a wide range of small and complex health issues, from digestive to immune to hormones and more. You can use the code KATH to get $25 off of your first visit.
Thanks to Harvey for sponsoring this post segment.
This may be a really ignorant question, but does cortisol not increase during times of stress? As you stated, it is all a complicated process, and I certainly continue to learn new things. 🙂
I am still learning too but I think she said it can be low or high. Neither is good. She said not enough leads to tiredness. I asked what she thought caused it and she said a stress response over time “such as having young kids” and I replied “or having kids and going through a divorce?!” She didn’t know about either in my life but said yes likely.
Very interesting! Good luck on getting it resolved and feeling better!
Carrie this fit chick says
That’s a neat kit and very cool that your cortisol was low. I feel like its usually high for most!! Looks like a lovely breakfast to start the day 🙂
Too low or too high isn’t good so mine definitely needs fixing.
Other vitamins and supplements can also affect cortisol levels. I had rounds of testing for Cushing’s Disease because my cortisol level was off, only to discover it was due to taking a 3 mg melatonin pill at night. (I discovered this after searching if I could take melatonin and the overnight dexamethasone suppression test pill together. My doctor was surprised to see the results!)
Good to know!
Linda @ the Fitty says
I’m a certified Integrative Health coach, but I’ve never heard of a Integrative Health dr. Is there a specific difference between the two?
Your pancakes always look and sound so delicious! What is hickory maple syrup? I grew up in maple syrup country and am unfamiliar with hickory maple. Thanks!
Sorry I guess it’s not really maple syrup then is it! It’s syrup made from hickory bark.
This is so interesting! Our family has used applied kinesiology to help with quite a few things over the years, and I’m always amazed at how it works! From fixing bed-wetting to nagging injuries to toddlers learning to walk! Full dedicated blog post here.
Was this test in any way different from the one you might take at a “regular” doctor? My curiosity is piqued, because she also has a brand of supplements to sell. I’d be wary of this only being a ploy to sell products, you know? Sell me on it!
They don’t sell the supplements or make anything from them! They were just recommendations. And the lab test was a legit saliva test with a lab company. They also send a mobile phlebotomist to draw blood if necessary. (I was not excited about doing one of those – lol)
Kath, as a long term reader I’m really dissapointed that you seem to be promoting companies without really thinking about who they are. Can you tell your readers exactly what a ‘naturopathic’ doctor is? What kind of alternative medicine do they promote? Would you really prefer Mazen was diagnosed via the telephone?
I absolutely would use the service for Mazen if his pediatrician was stumped about a GI, nutrient, energy or other more lifestyle-y related problem. You go to the regular doctor when you are sick or need a general wellness check. This service is ideal if you are seeking more personal, relationship-driven care and want a holistic treatment, especially if you live somewhere where these services are not readily available. I would not have written about Harvey if I had not had a good experience.
Hi there, just as a bit of clarification about Naturopathic Doctors (NDs). They are doctors who do comparable training to MDs, but have a more holistic focus. In some states, they are covered by insurance in the same way an MD is. Here in Oregon, for example, NDs have full prescription rights, and can be seen as PCMs and so are covered by major insurance companies. Our entire family sees Naturopathic doctors for our primary care instead of MDs – we have found that they spend much more time (an hour, versus 15 minutes, per visit), have a more varied perspective, and when in doubt, ALWAYS have called in MD specialists. For example, my infant son was having mottling of the skin and some other issues that are often associated with cardiac issues, so our Pediatric ND referred us to a Pediatric Cardiologist at the best research hospital in Oregon to be safe. As it turns out, it was just congestion due to a dairy intolerance (that was an expensive discovery!), but it was nice to feel very taken care of in both the Western and Holistic setting. Of course, there are good NDs and not so good NDs, so do your research, but our experience with NDs has been nothing but positive.
Additionally, telemedicine is a fast-rising platform that is especially helpful to rural communities who don’t have access to quality medical care. As skype and high-speed telecom keeps rising, as does the cost of medical care, telemedicine relieves a good deal of the burden of medical care for issues that don’t necessarily require an in person visit. Of course, telemedicine will never replace in person care, nor should it, but it definitely has tremendous value. Just my two cents.
Supporting the adrenals is so so important & often overlooked! I was having some issues as well & started taking a blend of herbs & Whew! I feel so much & obviously managing stress better 😉
As someone who has struggled with high cortisol I’m shocked to hear that low cortisol could possibly be a problem.
Thanks for the review of Harvey – I would love for my son to see an integrative medicine DO, but the couple in my area do not see children. When his neuropsychologist gave me referrals for speech, gastro, and ENT it seemed ridiculous to see three different practioners when it could all be related.
Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) says
Hickory syrup!?! I am intrigued!! Sounds good 🙂