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Nutrition Archives - Texas Integrative Medicine
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Announcing New Location and New Team Members

Texas Integrative Medicine is moving to 3006 Bee Cave Rd Suite A-300 in Austin, Texas 78746

I am very excited to announce some changes coming to Texas Integrative Medicine.  On this February 1, 2018, our clinic will be moving to 3006 Bee Cave Rd Suite A-300 in Austin to the WestLake Hills part of West Austin.  We have simply outgrown the space we were using in Central Austin.  As a result of the fact that many of the folks who come to see us are very sensitive to a wide variety of chemicals, molds and electro-magnetic effects, I have taken special measures to reduce these factors in the new clinic to the greatest extent possible and we will function as a scent-free clinic.

At the same time, I am very pleased to announce that Becky Andrews ND, LAc and Kylie Bentley RD/LD, CLT will join the Texas Integrative team to bring their special areas of expertise to address the root causes of chronic disease, premature aging, weight gain and loss of optimum health and wellness.

I have found that to successfully assist folks to identify and overcome their blocks to wellness, a holistic team approach is by far the best way to identify root causes to their problems.  By using good “detective work” we can identify the environmental and genetic factors that make you so incredibly sensitive to toxins making you act like “a canary in the coalmine”.

Becky Andrews ND, LAc

Dr. Becky Andrews

Dr. Becky Andrews

Dr. Becky, as she likes to be called, has over 23 years experience as a healer treating chronic persistent illness.  She earned both her Naturopathic and Acupuncture degrees at the prestigious Bastyr University.  After graduating she maintained a busy practice in Seattle, WA for eight years, offering adult primary care, environmental medicine, physical medicine, acupuncture, massage, women’s health, weight loss, injection therapies for pain, IV nutrient and chelation therapies, herbal medicine, diet, nutrient therapy and more.  Prior to attending Bastyr University she completed a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Kentucky.  Later she received massage training at the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. Naturopathic doctors are not yet licensed in the state of Texas, so she now offers her knowledge and expertise as a health “coach”, “consultant” or “detective”.  Becky currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at AOMA School of Integrative Medicine in Austin.  She moved to Austin in late 2011 to work as the Education Coordinator for the American Botanical Council.  She has studied herbal medicine with master herbalists in Boulder, CO, Seattle, WA and the Amazon basin, Peru.
When I asked Becky to describe her philosophy of care she said:

“I blend Eastern, Western, traditional, and contemporary healing philosophies into a truly individualized approach for each client. I collaborate heavily with other practitioners (both conventional and alternative) in an effort to assure that my clients have the best tools for healing.
I believe that my role as a healer is to empower  clients in their unique journey toward the optimal health of their body, mind and spirit. I find this is best achieved by collaborating as an equal partner in the healing process, identifying the obstacles to health, and supporting the innate ability of each person to heal themselves.
Symptoms of disease are our body’s way of communicating that something is out of balance. Imbalance can be anything from nutrient deficiencies and toxic burden to improper diet choices and non-productive thought habits. One other thing I feel pretty sure of, is that illness and disease are rarely, if ever, due to a deficiency in a prescription drug. That is not to say that prescription drugs and surgery do not have a place in healing, on the contrary, I am a big fan of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine saves lives. Too often, however, conventional medicine fails to facilitate a return to balance and true health.
I value the genuine connection I have with my clients. It is important to me that my clients feel empowered and respected as individuals, but also challenged to move forward in their journey toward optimal health.”

Dr. Becky currently serves on the leadership team for the Texas Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

Kylie Bentley RD/LD, CLT

Kylie Bentley, RD/LD,CLT

Kylie Bentley, RD/LD,CLT

Kylie Bentley is a registered, licensed dietitian nutritionist and Certified LEAP Therapist (CLT) with over twelve years of experience helping individuals find a personalized path for better health. The specialized skill set that Kylie offers is unlike any other dietitian or nutritionist, combining integrative and functional nutrition with the expertise of a grocery store dietitian, unparalleled passion and desire to help which serves to provide her clients a unique, highly educational experience.

Kylie, who has been offering dietary solutions for chronically ill individuals for 14 years, earned a B.S. in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin and went on to complete an internship at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas in order to become a Registered Dietitian. From her internship, Kylie went straight into integrative functional nutrition counseling for a functional medicine MD. There she attained certification as a Lifestyle Eating and Performance Therapist (LEAP) for food sensitivities and established a solid foundation of experience counseling clients and knowledge in integrative and functional medicine.  She continued to work alongside various functional medicine providers for several years and maintained a private practice where she saw clients for a variety of concerns ranging from weight loss and food sensitivities to autoimmune conditions, fatigue, mood and acne.

While practicing on her own, Kylie ventured down another non-traditional dietetic path; supermarket dietetics. She has over seven years combined experience at the corporate level working for the largest grocer in Texas, H-E-B, and Whole Foods, one of the world’s largest retailers of natural and organic foods. At H-E-B, Kylie developed and taught nutrition education content company wide.  She also served as the in-store nutrition expert for both customers and employees, taught cooking classes, led grocery store tours, developed recipes and provided community outreach.  At Whole Foods, Kylie manages product specifications, provides nutritional guidance for new products, ensures each product meets strict quality standards and complies with government labeling regulations.

Kylie has presented for various groups, including The American Heart Association, Austin Registered Dietitians Alliance and appeared on several news stations. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Austin Registered Dietitians Alliance, Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Food & Culinary Professionals and Dietitians in Functional Medicine.

Texas Integrative Medicine’s vision is to establish a team of leading experts in the field of “root cause” integrative medicine and uses collaboration to solve each client’s unique health and wellness issues.

Solutions for Chronic Fatigue, Pain, Headache, Weight Loss, Autoimmune Disease, Irritable Bowel, Brain Fog, Depression and Anxiety

With the addition of Becky and Kylie to my own 40 years as a healer including 25 of those years as a functional medicine specialist, Texas Integrative Medicine now offers a combined 78 years of experience in treating the root causes of chronic, persistent illness in a holistic, natural way.  Some of the environmental toxins that we identify frequently contributing to persistent illness include stealth infection (viruses, parasites, Lyme and Coinfections, etc.), mold toxins, toxic man-made chemicals (drugs, pesticides, plastics, solvents, etc.), emf and dirty electricity, toxic metals (lead, mercury,aluminum).  Together we can partner with you to determine your underlying reasons for illness.  We will then travel with you down a path that will lead toward return to wellness and true health.

Please call 512-800-5309 to schedule your consultation to begin your path to optimum health that will allow you to enjoy all the wonderful possibilities in life that are waiting for you!

We look forward to helping you achieve the Perfect You!

IV Alpha Lipoic Acid and IV NAD at Texas Integrative

IV-Nutrition-Therapy-Beauty-SmartIndividuals suffering from chronic complex illness like chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chemical sensitivity, brain fog, joint pain, chronic pain, headache, anxiety, depression and sleep disorder caused by the effects of exposure to environmental toxins like mold, viruses, Lyme spirochetes and chemicals have substantial mitochondrial dysfunction in essentially every case that I have seen.  Research has shown that mitochondria react to these toxins in what has been termed by Robert Naviaux MD of the mitochondrial laboratory at the University of California San Diego to be the Mitochondrial Cell Danger Response.  This means that the mitochondria have ceased to function in a normal way to make our critical energy currency molecule called adenosine triphosphate or ATP for short.

Mitochondrial dysfunction with decreased oxygen utilization and ATP production is fundamental to most chronic illness

 

A cluster of normal mitochondria

A cluster of normal mitochondria

Restoration of normal mitochondrial oxygen utilization and ATP production is fundamental to the reversal of this group of chronic illnesses.  I have found that elimination of exposure to toxins and taking steps to clear toxins from the body can be helpful in restoring mitochondrial function.

I have also found that administration of critical nutrients needed by mitochondria can also result in substantial resolution of mitochondrial dysfunction.  IV Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and IV Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD), which we provide in our nutrient infusion center at Texas Integrative Medicine, are two vital nutrients that are particularly useful in this endeavor.

ALA also known as thioctic acid is a sulfur-containing fatty acid that has been called “the Master Antioxidant” due to its role of maintaining active levels of other critical antioxidants like glutathione and Vitamin E.  ALA is both water soluble and fat soluble so it can easily move throughout both the intracellular and extracellular spaces.  It is a critical nutrient for mitochondrial ATP production as it is needed for the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase, an essential coenzyme in the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl co-enzyme A.  ALA quenches damaging free radicals that destroy the body’s proteins, cell membranes and DNA leading to cell death, aging, even cancer, and it plays a vital role in liver health. Moreover it reduces the body’s resistance to insulin which may slow the onset or progression of diabetes.

ALA and NAD are required for normal energy to perform all the body’s functions

NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, an essential cofactor made from Vitamin B3 niacin, is necessary in the mitochondria for its role of carrying electrons derived from metabolizing fats and sugars to generate ATP, the body’s energy molecule and our body heat.  The electron transport chain of enzymes in the mitochondria cannot function to produce ATP without an ample supply of NAD+.    Without NAD we would be cold all the time.  Intravenous NAD has been shown to take away cravings for drugs and alcohol and is being used in clinics around the world to treat addiction.  It has also been shown to protect our DNA from damage which is a major cause of aging.

Administration of vitamins and cofactors like ALA and NAD by the intravenous or IV route delivers them quicker and in higher levels to the cells and mitochondria of our vital organs where they are needed than does the oral route.  Taken orally, these nutrients might not be absorbed well or they might be used up by the bacteria in our intestines (the microbiome).  When absorbed from the intestines, nutrients travel directly to the liver (porto-hepatic circulation) where they may be stored leaving less available to cells in the brain, heart, kidneys and other vital organs.

At Texas Integrative Medicine we provide IV infusions of ALA and NAD along with other vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential lipids to individuals who are in need of them.  Our infusion nurse (RN) is highly trained and experienced and under the direct supervision of our medical staff.  Why not call today for an evaluation to see if you might benefit from these essential nutrients?

METHYLATION AND MTHFR-WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

There has been a lot said about methylation in healthcare blogs in the past few years-and for good reason.  Methylation is arguably the most important metabolic process in our human body.  For many of us, it is not going as it should.  Let me explain.

Many of our most important molecules will not behave normally if they lack the addition of a methyl group.

A methyl group is a portion of a molecule made of of four atoms-one carbon atom and 3 hydrogen atoms abbreviated -CH3.

We have over 100 different enzymes in our body dedicated to moving a methyl group to where it is needed.  These enzymes are known as Methyl Tranferase enzymes.  Methyl groups are necessary to signal when a DNA gene will be expressed (turned on) or not expressed (turned off).  A methyl group is required to make some of the most important molecules in our bodies like serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, serine, methionine, choline, creatine, and melatonin.  Our body uses methyl groups in the process of removing undesirable substances like histamine and other toxins.

Healthy-FamilyBalanced methylation is critical for normal brain function and mood (neurotransmitter balance), removal of toxic chemicals (detox), normal immune function, normal hormone balance, normal cell division, and normal energy metabolism.  In short just about all of our critical body functions depend on normal and balanced methylation occuring each and every second of our lives.  Disorder of methylation plays a role in many chronic disease states including autism, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, hormone imbalance and deficiency, anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraine, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, immune deficiency, allergy, infertility, and weight gain just to name a few.         In fact methylation is so important that a website  http://www.mthfr.net    is dedicated to a more thorough understanding of this important process and the disorders associated with it.

 

S-Adenosyl Methionine (also known as SAM-e) provides the methyl groups needed for these methyl transfer steps.  In fact SAM-e is the second most commonly used chemical substance in our bodies after Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP) which is number one.  Our body must constantly regenerate SAM-e in a cycle known as the Methionine Cycle.

The cycle to regenerate SAM-e which is needed for billions of reactions in our cells every second requires the cofactors vitamin B12 and Folate to proceed normally.  The cycle needs a special form of B12 and a special form of Folate if it is to occur normally.

The form of Vitamin B12 which the body uses to regenerate SAM-e is called MethylCobalamine (sometimes called MethylB12 for short).  Other forms of B12 must first be converted to MethylCobalamine before methylation can proceed.

The form of Folate needed by the body to regenerate SAM-e is called by several different names but a common name is                                                 L-5-MethylTetraHydroFolate (often abbreviate MTHF for short).  This active form of Folate is formed by an enzyme known as MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase (often abbreviated MTHFR).  This enzyme and the DNA genes which code for its formation in the body are the subject of much attention and some controversy.  This is due to the fact that gene variants or pre-existing mutations are very common in the population and result in a slower rate of formation of MTHF (active folate).  The best known gene variant which is quite common is the variant known as MTHFR C677T.  In some human populations it can occur in over 40% of individuals.  You can see that methylation imbalance is quite common.

Depending on the availability of MethylB12 and MTHF in our cells the formation of SAM-e may be going too fast (a condition sometimes referred to as OverMethylation) or too slow (UnderMethylation).  Either condition is associated with observable symptoms and signs.  Methylation like in Goldilocks and the three bears is best when it is neither too fast nor too slow but “just right”.

The form of Folate known as Folic acid refers to a synthetic (manmade) form which is not useful to the cell unless it is converted to the active form.  Synthetic Folic acid is an additive in many foods and vitamins.  For individuals who lack the ability to convert synthetic folic acid to the active form properly, folic acid can be a liability and may block the function of the active form.  There is currently a movement to eliminate the addition of synthetic folic acid for this reason.

We know that over half of the SAM-e generated in the Methionine Cycle goes to the formation of two molecules- choline and creatine.  Since so much of our SAM-e is used up making these two vital molecules, it makes sense that providing choline and creatine can free up SAM-e for other important methylation steps.

Methylation is a very important piece of our metabolic puzzle and plays a critical role in our normal physiology.  Methylation plays a key role in normal aging, health maintenance, and recovery from disease.  Learning to optimize your methylation process appears to be important in achieving true health, sustained wellness, and long life.  Dr. Wally Taylor at Texas Integrative Medicine understands the importance of a balanced and normally functioning methylation system in the body and has experience in the evaluation and treatment of methylation disorders.  Call Dr. Taylor’s Austin, Texas office at 512-800-5309 if you have questions or to arrange for an appointment.