Category: Miscellaneous

What is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor?

Naturopathic Medical Doctors or Naturopathic Physicians (NMD) are the only licensed naturopathic providers in Idaho who are educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges recognized by the US Dept of Education. They diagnose, prevent, and treat acute and chronic illness to restore and establish optimal health by supporting the person’s inherent self-healing process. While naturopathic physicians can prescribe medications, they prefer to work to identify underlying causes of illness, and develop personalized, whole-body treatment plans to address them. 

In addition to practicing many natural modalities, NMDs can prescribe medications, order lab tests and imaging, and are licensed as Primary Care Providers in Idaho.

How are an ND and an NMD different?

The terms “ND” and “Naturopathic Doctor” and “naturopath” can be used in other states to denote licensed naturopathic physicians but these titles remain unregulated in Idaho and can be used by anyone – with or without any training.  In Idaho, only the title “NMD” is used by licensed naturopathic physicians.

What is Functional Medicine?

Many kinds of licensed and unlicensed providers use the term “functional medicine” to describe the services they offer, but there is no standardized training or requirements of education to use the term. Functional medicine providers sometimes have conventional training first and then add holistic training later, on their own or through a certification program. 

For More Information:

Are Your Medications Causing Nutrient Deficiencies?

Could your symptoms be nutritional deficiencies?  Medications can have many potential side effects that patients often aren’t aware of when they start a new prescription. Are you aware of all the possible side effects of your medications and the nutrient deficiencies they can cause?

Medications can cause nutrient deficiencies by:

  • Decreasing the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals
  • Increasing excretion of nutrients
  • Increasing the amount of a nutrient needed to help break down the drug

Common medications and the nutrients that are affected:

  • Magnesium
  • Folic Acid, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Co Q 10
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acid

What should you do if you’re taking nutrient-depleting medications?

  • Do NOT stop your medications abruptly without talking to your healthcare provider. Some medications may require tapering and some medications should not be stopped at all.
  • Consider getting your nutrient levels tested or talk to your doctor about possible symptoms of nutrient deficiency.
  • Consider supplementing to prevent deficiency with high-quality, third-party tested supplements.

Cortney M. Mospan. (2019, December 17). Drug-induced nutrient depletions: What pharmacists need to know. U.S. Pharmacist – The Leading Journal in Pharmacy.

Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail and How to Make Them Last All Year

As the New Year begins, people set intentions for self-improvement through the time-honored tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Among the most prevalent resolutions are those related to health. These resolutions reflect a genuine desire for better well-being and understanding the pitfalls can help navigate the journey to success. The unfortunate truth is that many of these resolutions fall by the wayside within a few weeks. Because of this, many people have given up on making their resolutions all together. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this phenomenon and explore effective strategies to make your resolutions stick this year.

Why Resolutions Often Fail

  • Lack of Specificity: One of the primary reasons resolutions falter is their lack of specificity. Vague goals like “eat healthier” or “exercise more” lack a clear roadmap, making it easier to lose focus and motivation.
  • Overambitious Targets: Setting overly ambitious goals can lead to burnout and frustration. Rapid, drastic changes are often unsustainable. Gradual changes are more likely to become lifelong habits.
  • Lack of Planning: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Without a well-thought-out strategy, it’s easy to succumb to old habits. Planning ahead minimizes the reliance on willpower alone, making it easier to adhere to the chosen path.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Unrealistic expectations can quickly lead to disappointment. Weight loss, for instance, is a gradual process, and expecting rapid results may result in discouragement. Instead, celebrate small victories and appreciate the overall improvement in well-being, not just the numbers on a scale.
  • Lack of Accountability: Going it alone can be challenging. Sharing resolutions with a friend, family member, or health care provider creates a sense of accountability. Having a support system can offer encouragement during challenging times and provide an avenue for sharing successes and setbacks.

Strategies for Success: Turning Resolutions into Habits

  • Set SMART Goals: Make resolutions Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). For instance, a SMART goal would be to “lose 10 pounds in three months by walking 30 minutes five times a week and eating one additional serving of vegetables daily.”
  • Start Small and Build: Begin with manageable changes and gradually build upon them. Small victories create momentum and instill confidence, paving the way for more significant adjustments over time.
  • Create a Plan: Develop a detailed plan outlining how the resolution will be achieved. This might involve creating a weekly meal plan, scheduling specific workout times, or seeking guidance from a healthcare professional or fitness expert. Be flexible with yourself and willing to adjust the plan if the first attempt isn’t working for you.
  • Focus on the Process, Not Just the Outcome: Shift the focus from immediate results to the process of self-improvement. Celebrate the journey, acknowledging the positive changes in habits and behaviors, even if the end goal is not yet reached.
  • Build a Support System: Share resolutions with friends or family who can provide encouragement and support. Joining a fitness class, online community, or partnering with a workout buddy enhances accountability and motivation.
  • If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again: Many resolutions are often abandoned after “falling off the wagon.” If you feel that you haven’t been successful when first attempting to achieve your goals, give yourself some grace. Improvement is the goal, not perfection.

Navigating Common Health Resolutions: A Practical Guide

  • Weight Loss: Instead of fixating on a specific number on the scale, aim to adopt a balanced, sustainable approach to nutrition and physical activity. If you already have healthy habits in place, consider seeing your healthcare provider to investigate non-lifestyle causes of weight gain. Celebrate non-scale victories like increased energy levels and improved mood.
  • Exercise More: Rather than committing to intense daily workouts, establish a realistic exercise routine that aligns with personal preferences. This could include activities like walking, cycling, or dancing. Consistency is key, so find enjoyable activities that can be sustained over time. If you don’t know what you enjoy yet, consider taking a few different types of exercises classes to see what they’re like.
  • Healthy Eating: Shift the focus from strict diets to creating a balanced, varied, and enjoyable meal plan. Gradually introduce more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while minimizing processed foods. Experiment with new recipes to keep meals interesting and satisfying.
  • Quit Smoking: Quitting smoking is a significant achievement that often requires professional support. Explore smoking cessation programs, counseling, and alternative therapies like herbal medicine and acupuncture to help curb cravings. Enlist the support of friends and family and focus on the numerous health benefits of quitting.

A Journey, Not a Destination

As the New Year unfolds, health-related resolutions can transform from fleeting aspirations into lasting habits by embracing realistic goals, cultivating patience, and building a supportive environment. Remember, the journey to improved health is ongoing, and each day offers an opportunity for positive choices.

Boise Natural Health Clinic now Carries Beyond Balance Product Line!

Boise Natural Health Clinic is now partnered with Beyond Balance Inc to provide gentle herbal formulations for our chronic complex patients. 

Chronic complex illness is complicated

As many of my patients know, chronic complex illness can not only be difficult to recognize and diagnose, but also difficult to treat. There are so many different factors that play into a body’s ability to tolerate various herbal, nutritional, and even pharmaceutical products. Oftentimes, patients’ bodies are very sensitive and what is well tolerated in one person (or even at one time in a single person’s life!) can’t be tolerated in another person (or time!). This is where Beyond Balance comes in.

We need products to use in sensitive patients

Beyond Balance was created and formulated by an herbalist, Susan McCamish, and is used comprehensively throughout the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Her formulations are targeted at supporting the body’s abilities to detox and heal at a cellular level using herbs. These supplements are formulated to be used at very low doses and tend to be very well tolerated in even the most sensitive patients. I typically use Beyond Balance in my Lyme, mold, and co-infection treatment plans.

Successful case study of patient with severe allergic reactions

Over the years, I have used multiple of their formulations, but my most significant response was in a VERY sensitive patient who would have a sensation of a severe allergic reaction to multiple everyday odors/environments. We had tried multiple detox supportive supplements, which all caused the same reaction in her. We even tried using food as medicine and found she reacted to adding a tablespoon of cilantro to her diet! We decided to try Tox-Ease GL, which is a very gentle detox formulation by Beyond Balance. We started at 1 drop once a week and, as she could tolerate it, she increased her dose. I’m happy to report that now she can live her life relatively unbothered by her symptoms (they are almost completely gone!) and even engage in activities that would previously trigger her! She’s not even on the supplement anymore. These products are easy to take and effective!

If you are struggling with chronic complex illness, call for a free phone consultation with Dr. Falkner to see if she might be able to help. 

Methylene Blue – The Oldest New Med: for Energy, Chronic Infections, and More!

Methylene blue is one of the oldest synthesized medications to exist. It was originally made in 1876 for malaria. It was approved by the FDA for a condition called methemoglobinemia, which is a relatively rare condition. In simplest terms, methylene blue helps increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the red blood cells.

So, what can methylene blue be used for?

– We have found that not only is methylene blue great for saving lives and fighting malaria (its official uses), but it’s an amazing mitochondrial support that also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant uses. Methylene blue has been in the news recently for these “anti-aging” actions. By boosting the mitochondria (remember in 8th grade biology- “mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell” – it generates the energy currency our bodies run on), we increase energy production in the body.

– We also use methylene blue for neurological protection and health, including for concussions, dementia, depression, chronic fatigue, and long COVID neurological symptoms. Methylene blue is especially good for chronic fatigue due to its anti-inflammatory effects, its mitochondrial support (it enables us to skip steps in energy production!), and its ability to also boost mood.

– Lastly, we can combine methylene blue with other meds and supplements to better treat difficult infections like mold, babesia, bartonella, viruses (including potential for long COVID and EBV), and even pain.

We can give Methylene Blue both orally and IV. Unusually, methylene blue is well absorbed and crosses the blood brain barrier easily orally. However, side effects can include nausea (much better with lots of water), headaches, fast heart rate, and blue/green urine and/or saliva.

Methylene blue has a long history of use for various conditions safely. We can use this as another tool to enhance brain function, energy, mood, and fatigue!

Mitochondrial Damage and Chronic Illness

In late May, I attended the 13th Advanced Applications for Medical Practice (AAMP)’s conference on Mitochondrial Medicine: Healing in Chronic and Post Infectious Illness. It is a 3-day conference that is packed with amazing information that I’ve been attending for the last three years.

The Cell’s Mitochondria – damage creates long-term symptoms

As some of us remember from school biology, mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell.  Inside them, complex processes occur to create ATP, which is the currency of energy for the body. These processes (anyone remember the Kreb’s cycle or Electron Transport Chain?) are very delicate and highly dependent on multiple nutrients to work correctly.

There is new information that chronic inflammation as well as chronic and acute infections (including Epstein Barr virus, COVID 19, etc), and even medications and toxins can damage our mitochondria and may contribute to post-infectious illness (such as Long Covid), chronic fatigue from other diseases like cancer, Lyme, and autoimmune disease, and other dysfunctions in the body.

So, when you treat the illness or source of inflammation, but still don’t feel better, you may need to address damaged mitochondria.  By giving more nutrients and also by removing obstacles to healing. 

Nutrients power energy production

The main nutrients needed to power mitochondrial production of energy include carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, multiple B vitamins, CoQ10, PQQ, selenium, zinc, and multiple other antioxidants. We also use phosphatidylcholine to help replace the delicate membrane of the mitochondria as well to allow better diffusion of nutrients in and energy out from both the cells and mitochondria. Here at Boise Natural Health Clinic, for broad spectrum mitochondrial support, we like MitoNRG, MitoCore, and BioPC Pro.

Are your Mitochondria Working?

We can indirectly test the function of mitochondria with a urine test called an Organic Acid Test (OAT). The OAT test is a nice 10,000 foot view of overall health. The test can give general information about the health of the mitochondria and Kreb’s cycle, gastrointestinal infections and health, indirect neurotransmitter measurements, vitamin levels, and detox abilities. I often use this test when I’m not sure where to start with a case or am suspicious of mitochondrial dysfunction, GI dysfunction, and nutrient deficiency. Contact us if you’d like to get an Organic Acid Test by Mosaic Diagnostics and get a glimpse of your mitochondrial health!

The Benefits of Humidity

Keeping Indoor Air at 40 – 60% relative humidity will help you feel better in your skin and reduce your risk of flu, COVID-19, and other respiratory illness. 

Every Fall, when the heater comes on, my skin, respiratory passages, and hair dry up.  It’s time to get out the humidifier.  We run it 24/7, all winter long in our bedroom and feel noticeably better!  I’ve cut way back on my lotion use.  My nose isn’t crusty.  I snore less because I can breathe thru my nose better.

Americans spend about 90% of our time indoors. 

What is relative humidity? – it’s the % of moisture in the air compared to the maximum water the air can hold at a given temperature.  Warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air.   40% – 60% is the Goldilocks zone.  Not too humid and not too dry. 

Benefits of moister air:

  • Skin – increased levels of moisture in the hair can help your skin feel soft, supple and more nourished.  Less heel cracking. 
  • Nose, throat, lungs – less snoring, less crusty noses, less chapped lips. 
  • Lower risk of respiratory illness – New research from MIT suggests that the relative humidity in the air in our homes may be an important factor affecting the transmission of COVID-19.  Many past studies have shown that many viruses stay alive in the air much longer at humidity levels below about 40%.  An airplane cabin is held at 20% humidity, one of the reasons we get sick when traveling.

Low cost and easy way to get the facts on your indoor air. About $15.


Some people have whole house humidifiers, but if you don’t, consider getting one for at least the bedroom.  I prefer the ultrasonic cool mist versions over the ones with the fans which are a little noisy.  I also like the larger ones, so I only have to fill every day or two.   Keep clean by following the manufacturer’s instructions.  Unplug and empty.  I use 1 cup of water and 1 cup white vinegar and let it sit for an hour.  Be sure to rinse the reservoir and nozzle well too – gunk can build up. 

Hydrate your body orally too!

Read another article by Joan Haynes NMD Could Your Symptoms be Due to a Lack of Water?  Sometimes it’s That Easy!  I share my recipe of home-made electrolyte water. 

Feeling Run Down? Consider Cellular Membrane Repair

Cellular membranes become damaged in every acute & chronic illness, environmental toxic exposure, and with aging.  I credit membrane lipid replacement with helping me recover energy that I didn’t know was missing.

Cellular membrane lipids (fats in the cell membrane) are essential to life and vital to cellular health.

  • They provide the barrier for our cells by separating the inside of the cell from the
  • outside environment
  • They assist chemical and enzymatic reactions
  • They are part of receptor signaling and cellular recognition
  • They store energy

Supplemental MLR has been shown to restore cellular functions:

  • restore cellular and mitochondrial function (think energy)
  • Reduce symptoms such as fatigue, pain, vision issues, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal
  • issues, chemical sensitivities
  • Increases absorption and transport of nutrients
  • Restore age-associated loss of function
  • Improve cardiovascular blood markers
  • Remove toxic chemicals and other substances
  • Be safe, inexpensive, effective, and convenient

Supplementation can supply enough membrane lipids to repair damaged lipids and return cellular membranes to normal function. They are quickly and efficiently absorbed. After a large meal, over 90% of glycerophospholipids are absorbed and transported into the blood within 6 hours.

The dose is 2-6 grams per day and higher doses (6g) if dealing with toxic chemicals, like the chemical exposure experienced by Gulf War Veterans. MLR is safe over long periods of time in high amounts without toxic or adverse side effects.

We carry BioPC Pro by Orthomolecular which provides approximately 6g per serving of glycerophospholipids. I credit this product with helping me recover energy that I didn’t know was missing! 

Two Simple Ways to Save Money on Health Care

Many insurance plans have high deductibles or limited coverage that don’t cover the tests or medications you need.  These two services below may be able to find you a lower price than your insurance co-pay.

  1. Order and pay for your own lab tests directly online.
  2. Get your blood drawn at Quest Diagnostic in Meridian
  3. Receive results yourself online.
  4. Share results thru BNHC Patient Portal or bring a copy to your visit.

Ulta will not bill your insurance and their receipt isn’t coded for insurance reimbursement.  In exchange, you don’t need a doctor’s order and they have very low prices.  They often run specials you can receive emails about.

Ordering labs can be tricky if you aren’t sure what to order.  If you like reading about health, Ulta offers lots of information that will help you navigate your choices.  Some tests need to happen in coordination with your medication or diet.  When in doubt, consult your provider prior to ordering.

  1. Find fee coupons
  2. Show coupon to your pharmacist
  3. Save up to 80%

Over 70,000 pharmacies participate for most commonly prescribed medications.   When you use a coupon, the pharmacy will not bill your insurance. You will often pay less than your insurance co-pay.  You may be able to submit your receipt for potential reimbursement or credit toward your deductible.  It’s easy to compare pharmacy prices.  Be sure to do your research AHEAD OF TIME so you can tell your provider which pharmacy to send your prescription.  

You might also want to check out Mark Cuban’s new drug company that has comparable offerings. 

Eye Health – Be Proactive

I recently took an Eye Health continuing education class.  It was excellent and I got caught up on the latest.  I learned some interesting and useful science about the eyes.  Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years of age and older. Luckily it is a “nutrition responsive disorder”.  

What is a Macula

The macula acts as a color filter through which light passes before it is perceived by the rods and cones in your retina.  It is responsible for some VERY important stuff:

  1. Our central vision
  2. Most of our color vision
  3. The fine detail of what we see

What Damages the Macula

Blue light comes from our light bulbs, computers and also the sun creates free radicals which damage the tissue.  Blue light creates reactive radicals (free radicals) in the retina damaging essential tissues.

Lack of eye resiliency that comes with age and poor nutrition. 

Macular pigments lutein and zeaxanthin quench free radicals and actively protect the macula’s nerve tissue from the damage

Orange Blocks Blue

If you’ve seen blue blocking glasses, you know that blue blocking glasses range from yellow to dark orange.  This makes sense, blue and orange are opposite each other on the color wheel. 

Pigments from Food get Embedded in your Macula

Some plants contain yellow/orange/red pigments such as lutein and zeaxanthin which then get embedded directly in the eye and directly contribute to your vision. 

To filter blue light, eat yellow-orange-red foods

Being Proactive

Macular degeneration is a “nutrition responsive disorder”.  The National Eye Institute has undertaken two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS) showing that specific nutrients can slow the progression of the disease.  

NIH Conducted a Study which Created a Supplement

AREDS – Age-Related Eye Disease Studies by NIH.  Enrolled for thant 5,000 people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), ended in 2001.  Showed that a specific formula of nutritional supplements containing high doses of antioxidants and zinc could slow the disease in those who have intermediate AMD and those with advanced AMD in only one eye. 

Follow-up study AREDS2 published in 2013 substituted lutein and zeaxanthin for beta-carotine.  Results showed that the AREDS2 combination reduced the risk of disease progression by as much as 19 percent and/or of vision loss by 25 percent. 

Not all AREDS Supplements are the Same

After taking the class, I wanted to start an eye health product and be able to recommend one to my patients. 

In a recent medical journal researchers compared 11 brand-name supplements and found that many of the products were lacking.   Here’s the product I decided on for myself and to share with my patients: 

To order using Fullscript

Sources and Resources