Ozone 101

Ozone 101

What is Ozone?

Ozone is a molecule consisting of three atoms of oxygen.  It is commonly known as an unstable portion of our atmosphere.  Ozone is also well studied and used in intravenous and oral remedies for many conditions.

Is Ozone new?

No, Ozone has been studied for over a century and was regularly used as a remedy for many common ailments.  It was discovered in the mid-nineteenth century.

What is Ozone used for?

Ozone has been used for improving the immune system by delivering increased oxygen supply to the body and forming more red blood cells.  Research has indicated that ozone is capable of deactivating bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast, and protozoa.  

Ozone has also been used to correct oxidative stress associated with spinal conditions and diabetes.  Oxidative stress is the balance in the body between free radicals and antioxidants. 

How can I use Ozone?

We have added multiple Ozone products available for use in your holistic health program:

  • Ozonated Toothpaste
  • Ozonated Deodorant
  • Ozonated Oils for topical use
  • Ozonated Suppositories for rectal and vaginal use 
  • Ozonated capsules, to be taken orally

Ask me at your next visit how ozonated products might be helpful in your daily self care routine. 

Yours in health and longevity, 

Kristen Clore, OTRL

I-MD & PhD student in Integrative Medicine & Quantum Physics

Holistic Occupational Therapist, Master Nutrition Response Practitioner ®

Basic Understanding of Cholesterol

Basic Understanding of Cholesterol

There are many misunderstandings about cholesterol.

A lot of people think cholesterol is bad, should be avoided, and holds only a negative role in the human body; cholesterol is actually a vital component to our good health.

Here are some common questions I receive about cholesterol:

What is Cholesterol?  

When you do a “Google search” for cholesterol, this is the answer that is provided– “cholesterol is a waxy substance found in your blood. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. With high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels.”

Now, let’s compare that to the definition in my Human Anatomy & Physiology book from college.  

Cholesterol- “a lipid produced by body cells used to synthesize steroid hormones and excreted into the bile.” [P 698, Hole’s Human Anatomy & Physiology, 10th edition]

When we compare these two sources, we learn that the Human Anatomy & Physiology book is giving an unbiased definition of what cholesterol actually is.  The definition that a Google search provides is an excerpt from the Mayo Clinic; this is not a definition but is an interpretation, which includes the negative impact cholesterol might have on the human body.  It leads us to believe that cholesterol is bad, and we lack understanding of the purpose or functional role that cholesterol has in the human body. 

Now that we know the Human Anatomy & Physiology definition of cholesterol, I recognize that there may be some words that not everyone knows the meaning of within that definition.  So, let’s define those words before we move on.

  • Lipid: a fat, oil, or fat like compound that usually has fatty acids in its molecular structure.
  • Cells: the structural functional unit of an organism
  • Steroid Hormones: fat soluble hormones, formed from cholesterol (some examples include estrogens, testosterone, aldosterone, cortisol)
  • Bile: a fluid secreted by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. 

Isn’t it better if we had zero cholesterol? My conventional doctor said the lower the better?

No, humans cannot live with zero cholesterol and the “lower the better” is a misunderstanding.  Cholesterol plays an important role in our health, cellular function, tissue repair, and hormone production. 

If I stop eating high cholesterol foods won’t my cholesterol go down?

Let’s look back at the definition– “cholesterol is a lipid produced by body cells used to synthesize steroid hormones…”. Cholesterol doesn’t only come from your food, it is also produced in your liver. Yes, in fact approximately 80% of cholesterol is produced by your body and only about 20% is directly derived from the food we eat.  This is why it is important to understand, diet can impact cholesterol levels, but your body needs cholesterol and will continue to create it as fuel, when more fuel is needed.

My conventional medicine doctor said my total cholesterol number and my LDL are high.  What about VLDL, HDL and triglycerides? I’ve heard these matter too?

The total cholesterol is truly a number that is somewhat useless without knowledge of the individual numbers for LDL, HDL and triglycerides.  Here is what each of these mean:

  • Total cholesterol: this is a sum of the LDL, HDL plus 20% of the triglycerides.  The HDL is commonly referred to as good and LDL is commonly referred to as bad because the LDL type of cholesterol is the kind that is found in blocked arteries.
  • HDL or high-density lipoprotein: this is the type of cholesterol that cleans up the “bad” cholesterol in the blood and takes it back to the liver.  Because of this function, this is the cholesterol that is known to protect us from cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack and stroke.  For both men and women, HDL should be over 60mg/dL.  When I get my cholesterol labs done, mine is 90-100! The higher the better!  Foods like wild caught salmon and other fish, walnuts, and flaxseed oil can increase your HDL count!
  • LDL or low-density lipoprotein: this is the type of cholesterol that can increase with a poor diet, lack of exercise, and increase in stress.  The American Heart Association reports that studies show a link to higher LDL and lower HDL that directly correlates to the level of a person’s stress at work.  Stress encourages the body to produce more metabolic fuels for energy, this causes the liver to make more LDL aka “bad cholesterol”.  A healthy diet and stress reducing lifestyle habits – including exercise and sleep – are important for correcting these numbers.  It is well understood that because cholesterol is the primary fuel required for stress hormones, such as cortisol, that the body will increase its cholesterol when more cortisol is being made in response to stress.  A normal LDL for conventional medicine labs is widely referred to as less than 100mg/dL.  However, it is important to understand VLDL, especially when LDL is high.
  • VLDL or very low-density lipoprotein:  this is primarily composed of triglycerides.  It is important to know your LDL number in relation to the mathematical equation that provides VLDL for us.  VLDL should be less than 19 for a very healthy individual.  
  • Triglycerides: created when we do not fully utilize the food we eat as immediate energy. This “unused” fuel gets stored in adipose/fat tissue as triglycerides.  When we are not eating, a hormone called HSL (hormone sensitive lipase) gets activated and helps us mobilize energy from the stored triglycerides- insulin can block that process. Insulin is a hormone that is triggered based on our blood glucose levels.  For someone who has a diet high in sugar, snacks often, or eats late at night, the body may begin storing too many of these unused energy particles as triglycerides.  Intermittent fasting, low carbohydrate diets, elimination and reduction of processed foods and sugars all help reduce unwanted high triglyceride numbers.

My cholesterol is high, what do I do?

If you have been told that your cholesterol is “high”, find out each of the numbers for your HDL, LDL, Triglycerides and VLDL and let your practitioner or myself know.  If you don’t have your VLDL, we can calculate it for you at your next visit.  We will review each of these individual numbers with you in order to help you determine next steps for your diet, supplements, and lifestyle to help correct any unwanted low or high cholesterol numbers. Another missed step by many doctors, both conventional and alternative, is looking at the trend of labs.  It is always important to determine if your labs are in an overall improving trend or not.  For example- if you haven’t had your labs drawn in 5 years, we should establish at least 3 follow up labs to determine the trend.  If you don’t have a primary care doctor that will run your cholesterol labs, let us know and we can help get that done for you. 

The least meaningful cholesterol number in our health practice is the “total cholesterol” because you cannot take proper action with diet, lifestyle or supplements based on that calculated number alone.

Yours in health and longevity, 

Kristen Clore, OTRL

I-MD & PhD student in Integrative Medicine & Quantum Physics

Holistic Occupational Therapist, Master Nutrition Response Practitioner

Why I Love Helping Kids

Why I Love Helping Kids

1. Kids are incredible humans.

The young people that I see in the office have magnificent minds. I see it in the way they thoughtfully answer questions. They are curious about everything. They listen to what is being said around them and notice even the smallest details. They are willing and able to do what is asked of them.

2. The idea that I can change healthcare for future generations.

As a child, I didn’t go to the medical doctor very much. There were some check ups that involved him listening to my heart, looking in my throat and ears, getting a few shots, and antibiotics when I was sick. When I got older (in my 20’s and 30’s) and started experiencing some symptoms, my visits to the medical doctor weren’t much different. But, I noticed I didn’t have much benefit from those visits. It was at age 36 that I found Dr. Schmidt and learned nutrition would actually help get to the cause of my concerns and the reason why I had symptoms.

I want kids to experience this benefit at a much earlier age than I did. I want muscle testing to be normal to them. I want supplements to be what they reach for when they need support for their body. I want them to know there are natural solutions to health. 

3. Children give me hope for a brighter future.

Young people are the future. Their ideas will shape the world, our nation, and all of our existence going forward. We have to treat them well and encourage their creativity, leadership, kindness, and strength so that they can lead us. I am counting on them to make this planet a better place.

I want to help give children the knowledge to be healthy, productive, and responsible far into the future. Maybe in this way I can change the world for the better.

P.S. Adults can have these traits and I’d love to help you, too.

Yours in health,

Kerry Cradit BS, Nutrition & Food Science

Vegetarian Protein Ideas

Vegetarian Protein Ideas

Here at the NHCAA, we know that diet is key to good health. 

Typically we recommend a diet that consists primarily of high-quality meats, vegetables, and good fats- we do not recommend a vegan or vegetarian diet.  Although it is possible to do a meatless diet in a healthy fashion, it is very difficult to get adequate protein while simultaneously keeping carbohydrates low.

Even though we do not recommend a vegetarian diet, I do understand that for some individuals, vegetarianism or veganism can be a strong personal or religious conviction.  If you are one of those individuals, I highly encourage evaluating your macronutrients (macros).  How many carbohydrates are you consuming in a day in relation to your protein and fat intake? I also recommend you examine the sources of your protein.

The app we recommend for tracking macros is Cronometer.  

Cronometer is our app of choice because it is comprehensive and, most importantly, has a very accurate database.

The minimum protein I typically recommend is 60-80 grams per day while the maximum amount of carbohydrates I recommend is usually between 75-125 grams per day.  Fats should be enough to keep you satisfied and full, so you don’t need to snack (see my video Good Sources of Fat for more). Your diet can accommodate more or less fat depending on how many carbohydrates you are consuming (more fat if your carbs are lower and less if your carbs are higher).

Many vegetarians rely heavily on soy-based products to get their protein, as these products are protein dense.  I do not recommend soy as the basis of any diet.  Soy proteins are typically GMO (genetically modified organisms) and highly processed.  When consumed in high amounts, soy products can also negatively impact hormonal balance.  I also do not recommend mock meats because they often contain soy or gluten and are highly processed.

Getting enough protein while avoiding soy and keeping carbohydrates down on a Vegetarian or Vegan diet is tough!  There is less room for error on these diets.  Although balancing macros on these diets is a challenge, it is still possible.  I have created a list of higher protein items that can assist with a meatless diet. 

VEGAN PROTEIN FOODS:

SOURCEQTYPROTEIN (gm)CARBS -net (gm)FAT (gm)
Hemp Hearts3 tbs9.471.414.6
Chia Seeds2 tbs419
Flax Meal2 tbs2.5646
Lentils0.5 cup9120.4
Pumpkin Seeds0.25 cup9215
Hummus0.5 cup9.51012
Banza Noodles2 oz 11303
Peanut Butter2 tbs7516
Ripple Milk- Unsweetened (pea)8 fl oz8<14.5
Kite Hill Greek Yogurt- Unsweetened (almond)11410
Great Northern Beans0.5 cup8.3140.5
Black Beans0.5 cup711.70.4
Green Peas0.5 cup870.3

This high-protein foods list was designed to fit both vegans and vegetarians. If you are a lacto-ovo vegetarian- eggs and some dairy, like Greek yogurt, can be great sources of protein as well.

Health is not a one size fits all concept, there are many pathways to health.  However, there are basic nutritional truths that apply to every person and every diet.  For good health, you need enough protein for tissue repair and muscle building, and you need to limit carbohydrates and sugars to keep inflammation down and the immune system balanced.  I hope these vegetarian protein ideas help you to find a better balance with your macros.

Your Holistic Pharmacist,

Dr. Amanda Childress, PharmD – Bio

Stress Support Supplements

Stress Support Supplements

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… and, it’s the most stressful for many. 

It doesn’t matter if your stress is from the demands of work or due to family- we can all be stretched thin throughout the year, especially during the holidays.  Lucky for you, there are supplements that can assist your nervous system and your adrenal glands, which both respond to stress.  When our stress loads stay high, we use nutrients like B vitamins for fuel.  When we couple that stress with eating sugary and starchy foods, we utilize even more B vitamins to clean up the metabolic waste products.  Adding B vitamins or even adding minerals or glandular support to re-feed your body can be like filling up your empty gas tank on your car.  These nutrients can keep you functioning better!  Here are three supplemental supports for stress that you might have or can request at your next health visit.

Cataplex B is an energizing blend of B vitamins that help boost your energy when you feel sluggish.  Especially if you eat some sugar over the holidays, you might find yourself feeling tired shortly afterward- Cataplex B can help.  Adding Cataplex B to your day and increasing your dose as directed by your practitioner can help decrease fatigue and refuel your engine!

Cataplex G is a calming blend of B vitamins that help you to relax when you feel wound up.  This tends to be more helpful if you get so nerved up around the holidays that you find yourself feeling tense or “stressed out.”  Adding an increased dose of Cataplex G as directed by your practitioner can help you keep your calm this holiday season. 

Min-Chex is a combination of B vitamins, minerals and glandular support.  When you’re burned out, run down, and you just feel like you need help to be energized but also need help to calm down, Min-Chex is here for you!  Follow the instructions from your practitioner to increase your Min-Chex dose to help you get a good night sleep and to help you boost your energy through this busy season!

If you don’t have these stress support supplements, call the center to set up a visit with your practitioner to see what could be most helpful for your health goals.

Yours in health and longevity, 

Kristen Clore, OTRL

I-MD & PhD student in Integrative Medicine & Quantum Physics

Holistic Occupational Therapist, Master Nutrition Response Practitioner ®

About Kristen Clore

Giving Thanks For Some Of My Favorite Things

Giving Thanks For Some Of My Favorite Things

Every once in a while I like to assess where I have been, what I have learned, where I am, and what I hope to accomplish in the future. This seems to be an appropriate time to do that.

I am incredibly thankful to have been raised by two loving parents who gave my brothers and I a very strong foundation to grow. My extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles) is an important part of my life and learning. I am married and I am thankful for the support of my husband. We will celebrate our 30th anniversary this summer.  My adult daughters have brought me so much opportunity to learn and grow. Raising them was the hardest and best job I have ever had. Now, I am trying to do all I can to make my grandson’s future the best it can be.

I am grateful for being able to seek the truth and learning new things every day. What I learned in school (the science) was good. The application was skewed. I learned in school that I should tell a diabetic patient to use artificial sweetener. But, at the same time I was writing research papers that showed the toxic effects of aspartame. So, I learned the value of seeking knowledge and the truth for myself.  I am very happy that I learned biology, physiology, chemistry, and food science. It gives me the ability to research now and look for true answers instead of just following a headline.

My health before The NHCAA was good for the most part. I was a Dance and Pilates instructor. My life was busy with kids and family.  But, I had headaches almost daily, frequent sinus problems, and back pain that brought me to The NHCAA to see Dr. Schmidt. I also had a fearful outlook of the future. I made decisions based on fear (rather than hope and a positive outlook of the future). If I was scared something wouldn’t turn out right, I would avoid it or do something different. The positive changes in my health (too many to mention here) and outlook on life are a product of strengthening my body and mind with nutrition and learning new things. My focus now and going forward is “how can I help more people?”.

Dr. Schmidt has taught me more in the 15 years I have known him than I could ever have imagined. He researches constantly, which improves the quality of life of every person around him. His patients and staff all get to benefit from the things he says every single day. He is knowledgeable about so much more than nutrition which makes every day a learning opportunity. To say I appreciate the opportunities to learn from him is an understatement.

I am so appreciative of my patients and what I learn from them each day. I learn about new foods, recipes, products, and what is helping them. I listen to their experiences and discover more about how to help others. Connections between people are so valuable. Thank you for making me better, stronger, and more capable as a Practitioner.

Finally, I am grateful for the tools we use in this office. We use supplements to help the body with nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, and immune challenges. And, we recommend other devices for healing. 

Some of my favorites supplements for this time of year: 

  • Vitamin C (example: Camu Camu Vitamin C) to keep your immune system healthy and adrenals (one of our stress handling organs) and heart strong. 
  • Vitamin D (example: Solray D) for immune system, heart, bone, and brain health.
  • Quercetin (example: D Hist  or Quercetin Phytosome) to help with the immune system, inflammation, allergy symptoms, and more.
  • Zinc (Zinc Chelate) to help the immune system, hormone balance, and healing.

Recently, we have been recommending a Nebulizer for many people. This is a tool that can be used with distilled water and hydrogen peroxide (or Hydroxygen from CellCore Biosciences) to help with breathing problems, sinus congestion, and headaches. Here is a link to a nebulizer: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K7P7FYD/

I have more people and things in my life to be grateful for that I didn’t list in this article. I appreciate all of you for your support and inspiration. I am going to continue my thankfulness journey. I hope today and every day you can find something to be thankful for that gives you hope for a brighter, healthier future. I am here to help any way I can.

Gratefully Yours in health,

Kerry Cradit, B.S. Nutrition and Food Science

Kerry Cradit, B.S. Nutrition & Food Science Bio

Parasites: Better Out Than In

Parasites: Better Out Than In

This article isn’t pretty. It is actually a pretty gross topic. But, parasites are a major cause of health problems worth addressing.

In the holistic nutrition world we have known and talked about parasites for many years. Every once in a while a story will surface in the mainstream that will get some attention. This was on the Today Show in 2020 – “Woman’s grapefruit-size ‘liver cancer’ tumor was actually a parasite”

Parasites can deplete you of nutrients your cells need to function, leading to many problems in your body. This can cause a variety of symptoms: floaters in your vision, jaw clenching and tightness, teeth grinding, and sinus and lung problems. Other common concerns we see with parasites are bed wetting in kids, itchy anal area, mucous in stool, and digestive problems (upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation). Also, dizziness, crawling sensations in the body, anemia, headaches, depression, anxiety, low energy, sugar cravings, and skin problems can be linked to parasites. Symptoms can often increase around the full moon. There have also been links to chronic disease such as cancer (1).

We can be exposed to parasites from pets, walking in sand and dirt, swimming in lakes, streams, oceans, and pools, eating food, human contact (kids frequently pass them in pre-school), and bug bites.

There are no age limits to who can get parasites and no geographical boundaries to where parasites live. They are more prevalent in some areas than others. But, they are everywhere.

In the medical world testing for parasites could be a stool sample or blood test. But, these don’t find all types of parasitic infections (2). In our office we use muscle testing to determine if parasites could be part of your problem. We find that gut health is so important, most people would do well with some sort of parasite detox.

Some solutions to addressing this immune challenge are keeping your digestive system healthy with adequate stomach acid and well functioning bowels. You need a strong immune system that can detect and fight off parasites.  Wash your hands properly and maintain a good diet that limits refined sugar and carbohydrates.

Foods that are anti-parasitic include pomegranates, psyllium husks, pumpkin seeds, figs, papaya, flax seeds, beets, pineapple, onions, kelp, and cabbage. Herbs that can be used for immune system health and parasites in particular are: Garlic, Wormwood/Artemisia, Oregano, and Black Walnut.

Cleaning tips to prevent pathogens: use Tea Tree, Oregano, Thieves (Young Living) or OnGuard (Doterra) Oils. Wash your fruits and veggies in Lemon Oil. And, wash bedding, towels, and underwear in hot water and dry at high heat.

A jumpstart to detoxing parasites is coming to our office. We will be offering a Parasite Detox using CellCore Products; most people benefit from periodic parasite cleansing.

If you need more help with your health call 734-302-7575 or email us at [email protected] to set up an appointment to address your specific needs.

Sincerely yours in health,

Kerry Cradit, B.S. Nutrition and Food Science

Kerry Cradit, B.S. Nutrition and Food Science Bio

Do You Know What Your Spleen Does?

Do You Know What Your Spleen Does?

Learn About Your Spleen and How to Keep it Healthy

 

 

 

 

What and where is the spleen?

 

 

The spleen is a soft, small organ that is about the size of an avocado and is positioned in the upper left side of the abdomen under the ribcage.   The spleen has many functions; although, it is primarily an immune organ.

 

 

What does the spleen do?

 

 

The spleen is a hub for the lymphatic system.  The lymphatic system is the system that drains fluid from organs and tissues and circulates white blood cells to help the body fight infection.  The spleen is the largest organ involved in this system.  The following actions are some of the known functions of the spleen:

 

 

  • Blood storage
  • Blood filtration
  • Production of infection fighting antibodies and white blood cells
  • Maintenance of fluid balance in the body
  • Maintenance of blood volume

 

 

How do I know if my spleen is compromised?

 

 

Common indicators that your spleen may be under stress are as follows:

 

 

 

 

  • Frequent bacterial infections
  • Chronically swollen lymph nodes (often manifests as small, swollen knots, especially on the back or front of the neck, under the chin, behind the ears, in the armpits and in the groin area)
  • Unexplained pain or fullness in the upper left belly
  • Chronic skin rashes/conditions
  • A history of Mononucleosis (Mono) infection 
  • Bruising or bleeding easily
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia that doesn’t respond to iron supplementation

 

 

Are spleen issues dangerous?

 

 

It is unusual for spleen issues to be dangerous.  Medically, the spleen is not typically addressed unless in medical emergency conditions.  As the spleen is a soft, spongy organ, it is possible for it to rupture if it is injured.  Injury usually comes from abdominal trauma.  A Mono infection often causes the spleen to enlarge, which increases the spleen’s vulnerability to injury. As a result, individuals with Mono should be careful to avoid injury until the spleen returns to normal size, which can take weeks or months.  A spleen rupture can be life threatening, but is extremely uncommon without abdominal trauma.

 

 

Unlike conventional medicine, holistic medicine addresses the spleen preventatively.  Early warning signs of spleen symptoms can be addressed naturally to assist with overall health.

 

 

Can you live without a spleen?

 

 

Yes! You can live without your spleen.  The liver will take over some of the spleen’s functions in its absence.  

 

 

Some individuals are born without a spleen, or sometimes too many spleens that don’t function properly.  I once heard of an individual that was born with five spleens!   In his case, more was not better and all five were surgically removed.  There are other cases where individuals had a history of a ruptured spleen or a surgical removal.

 

 

Often, life without a spleen can mean living on chronic antibiotics because the immune system is compromised.  However, a spleenless life doesn’t have to be that way!  I’ve had multiple patients, without a spleen, function with healthy immunity without the need for antibiotics, by taking additional immune, lymph and liver support.

 

 

How do you support your spleen?

 

 

 

 

There are many ways to support your spleen, or your immune system if you don’t have one.  Here are the 3 primary ways to support your spleen:

 

 

  1. Reducing your toxic load.
  2. Eating a healthy diet.
  3. Taking spleen and immune supporting supplements.

 

 

It is important to reduce your toxic load because one of the functions of the spleen is to filter the blood. Eliminating toxic cleaning products, personal hygiene products and additives to foods is a great way to help your spleen and thus your immune system. 

 

 

Diet is always a cornerstone of immune health and plays a role in the quality of your blood.  The best diet for your spleen is a low carb diet that is focused on high quality meats and proteins, high in vegetables (and in this case, especially cooked vegetables and greens) and good fats, with minimal carbs from starchier vegetables and fruits. 

 

 

What supplements are good for the spleen?

 

 

There are many supplements that help to support the functioning of the spleen.  Any immune system support may have an application in this case.

 

 

Here are a few of my favorite supplements for general spleen support:

 

 

  • Chlorophyll Complex from Standard Process:  This supplement contains the component of plants that makes them green.  Chlorophyll helps to purify and build the blood.
  • Immuplex from Standard Process:  Immuplex is a whole food supplement that helps support the immune system and white blood cell maintenance.
  • Scolopendrium from Marco Pharma:  This supplement is an herbal blend that serves as a drainage remedy for the spleen. I have had many patients solve pain in the upper left abdomen using this remedy.

 

 

Final Note:

 

 

The spleen is a frequently overlooked organ because when it functions properly, there is little reason to think about it.  However, your spleen is very important to your immunity and the quality of your blood and is thus worthy of attention.   If you have any indicators of spleen stress, you should take proactive steps to heal it.  At the NHCAA, we use Muscle Testing to evaluate your spleen for stress and to help locate the correct support in your individual case.  If you need help with healing your spleen, contact our office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Holistic Pharmacist,

 

 

Dr. Amanda Childress, PharmD

 

 

 

 

Amanda Childress, PharmD Bio

 

Overcoming My Hair Loss…

Overcoming My Hair Loss…

I never realized what my hair meant to me until it started falling out.

As much as I told myself, “It’s just hair” or “hair doesn’t define me as a person” I still could not shake this deep sense of loss.  As my hair became thinner and the bald patches broadened, I felt like I was losing sense of myself as a woman. Losing my hair was like losing a part of my identity.

Magazines, television, and social media all glorify women with lustrous, flowing locks of hair.  A popular hair growth supplement company slogan boasts, “regain the hair that makes you, fully you.” Day to day life is permeated with messages just like that about how we should look or how we should be, and I was subconsciously not immune.  It is tough to admit, but I felt ugly and a sense of shame that is difficult to explain.  I felt like I had failed as a woman and as a health practitioner.

My hair loss story began on Christmas morning 2015 when Santa did not bring quite what I was expecting.  I washed my hair and felt a slick spot on my scalp.  I knew it was a bald spot, but I didn’t accept it at first.  A bald spot did not make any sense.  I had to recruit my family to investigate, and I received confirmation of “the spot.”  Upon this first discovery, the bald spot was about the size of a poker chip.

What was so haunting about the spot was the mysterious disappearance of my hair! I never found a clump of hair on my pillow, in my hands, or in the shower drain.  My hair just vanished without a trace.  It was as if the Tooth Fairy’s evil cousin, the “Hairy Fairy,” came into my room during the night and snatched a chunk of hair out of my scalp and ran off cackling into the darkness.  Alright, that may be a bit dramatic, but that was the image in my mind, and I could not help but wonder when she would be back.  I was 33 years old with the equivalent of a monster under my bed. 

I was confused and upset, but I held it together.

This strange incident was just a little setback.   I knew I was a seasoned Holistic Pharmacist. Hair loss? HA!  I laughed in the face of hair loss.  I would just take all the right supplements, eat all the right foods and my hair would grow back in no time.  Right?

I maintained that high level of optimism for many, many months. I tried so many ingenious diets, supplements, and natural treatments, but the hair kept falling out at an alarming pace.   I also began experiencing significant scalp pain.  As positive and proactive as I was, I had absolutely no concept of the amount of time and effort it would take to heal from this “little setback.” The quick fix I anticipated turned into YEARS of stressing and battling, not only for my hair, but for my health.

I started to lose hope and would become stressed to the point of tears when getting ready to go out.  I was frequently finding new bald patches.  I tied my hair tightly to the side to try to hide the hair loss.   I was often asked about my new “Robert Palmer Girl” hairstyle.  As “simply irresistible” as it may have looked, I felt embarrassed. I sometimes wore hair pieces which was a completely foreign and intimidating practice to me.   I began shopping for wigs but was anxious about wearing one.  I thought a wig would look conspicuous when all I wanted was to hide.  I was concerned about my patients knowing about my hair loss. What would they think of me?  Would they be disgusted?  Would they doubt my ability to help them if I could not save my own hair?  

At the peak of my hair loss in 2017, I had lost at least 40% of my hair.  Most of the right side of my head was “Mr. Clean” bald and I had begun thinning all over.  With that level of hair loss, I realized it was likely that I would go completely bald.  I began preparing for my life as a bald woman.  

Underneath my worries about my appearance and judgement passed by others was the fear of what the hair loss meant about my health.  Obviously, something was very wrong. The migraines I had previously eliminated with my nutrition program had returned and were once again debilitating.  I was having joint pain flare ups and muscle weakness, weight gain that I could not seem to control, and I was constantly exhausted.  There were many mornings that I would cry in bed because I doubted that I would be able to drag my body through the day.  I consulted with a medical doctor, an endocrinologist, a gynecologist, and a dermatologist. They provided very few answers.  I heard the echo of, “It’s Alopecia Areata.  We don’t know why it happens.” 

In conventional medicine, Alopecia Areata (AA) is considered an autoimmune condition.  As the case is with many conditions labeled “autoimmune,” there is very little known.  The theory behind Alopecia Areata is that the body’s immune system attacks its own hair follicles. AA hair loss is usually in patches and is often potentiated by “stress.”   No single cause for AA has been isolated, but it has been medically recognized as more common in individuals with a family history of autoimmune conditions.  

The only treatment option I was offered was steroid injections into my scalp, which I declined.  From my research I knew that steroid injections often create a temporary improvement by reducing inflammation.  Often, the scalp gets inflamed again and the hair loss starts over.  I did not want to open myself up to the effects of these injections on my overall health with such a limited expected outcome. What good was hair regrowth if it would likely fall out again?  I knew from my medical and holistic experience that if I didn’t isolate the cause of the problem, the inflammation would return and so would the Alopecia.  The only logical solution was to heal my body so that the hair loss stopped.

With so few answers medically, I had to dig deep with research, self-experimentation and some faith. 

I am happy to say that through my efforts and with the help of my own NHCAA practitioner, my Alopecia has been reversed. 

Within the last year, all my bald patches have filled in and all my hair has grown back.  Many of the old symptoms that were making me feel so unhealthy have dramatically improved.

You probably want to know exactly what I did to overcome hair loss and regrow my hair. Well…that’s an extremely lengthy discussion for another time.  But what I will share with you right now are key ingredients to my recovery that are true for ANY health condition.

The first ingredient to my recovery was accepting my hair loss.  I reached a point where I decided I would be fine if all my hair fell out.  I am not going to pretend that being bald was my preference, but I stopped agonizing about it and fighting my body. I had a plan for shaving my head once I lost more hair.  It took me years to get to that point, but it was such a relief once I got there.

I have realized that by being at peace with my hair loss, I performed an action that is necessary for anyone to heal.  I stopped chasing the SYMPTOM.  When I stopped basing all my evaluations of success or failure on the status of my hair, I started making progress.  In fact, one of the critical steps I took in dealing with Alopecia Areata caused my hair to fall out much worse in the beginning.

Once I let go of the fear of losing my hair and was willing to experience what was happening with my body, I examined what it was that I really wanted. 

No one truly wants to NOT have something.  My real goal wasn’t to NOT lose my hair or even to have great hair.  When I changed my perspective and confronted why I was attaching so much significance to my hair, I finally understood what my true goals were.  What I wanted was to feel comfortable and confident in myself and in my health.  Once I understood this truth, my priorities changed, and I made better decisions that got results.

The second necessary ingredient to my healing was PATIENCE.  I have a tremendous amount of patience with others, but I have not always extended the same courtesy to myself or my body.  It has been over five years since the hair loss began and it has only been within the last year that my hair has fully grown back. In many ways, it would have been easier to give up after the first year, but if I had, I would be in a much different condition than I am today.  I am still healing but I am stronger, healthier and more confident than I was prior to this experience.

My advice to those who have Alopecia, or any chronic health condition, is threefold:

  • Be willing to experience your condition.   Being willing to experience your condition is much different than giving up on getting better, but it is in fact an important measure for wellness.  Accepting what you are going through with your health is by no means easy, but it is very important to not fight your body or to over analyze it.  The stress of the battle with your body and constantly being in “fight or flight” mode can completely undermine your healing process.  Worry and stress launch an assault on your mind and body. Many ill people lose trust in their body’s ability to heal because it has betrayed them.   However, even bodies with autoimmune and/or chronic disease can heal.  You are where you are with your health – so start there and don’t compare yourself with others.  Continue taking healthy, proactive steps rather than falling into despair that you are not healing the way you think you should.
  • STOP CHASING SYMPTOMS!  Your symptoms are what are driving you to act, but they should not be your immediate focus.  You should examine why you want to be rid of the symptom.  How would your life be different without that symptom and why is that so important to you?  Your motivations may be quite revealing.  The focus of the pathway you choose to heal should be uncovering the root causes. The root causes must be addressed in order to get lasting results.
  • Be patient.  Healing takes time. We are trained by a lifetime of being in the medical model to expect instant results from getting treatment.  Many drugs will bypass the body’s normal processes and force an effect, but true healing usually does not yield quick results. Regardless of what kind of condition you are dealing with, healing is a process.  There will be ups, and there will be downs. There will be good days, and there will be bad days.  When you are working on being healthy, it is not as if one day you do the one right thing and suddenly you have health that lasts a lifetime.  Health is a state that you inch toward continually and that you must constantly create. Success in healing is not just doing the right things; it is doing the things at the right time and for the right amount of time.

I am sharing my experience as a real-life example that even in complex conditions like Alopecia Areata, or other chronic diseases, healing IS possible.  The body has a miraculous ability to repair and restore once given the correct environment, both internally and externally.  By sharing my mindset that led to my hair regrowth, I hope you recognize how to jumpstart your own healing process.  

 

Your Holistic Pharmacist,

Dr. Amanda Childress, PharmD

Amanda Childress, PharmD Bio

What Our Patients Are Saying

What Our Patients Are Saying

This hardcore nutrition blog is part 6 in a series of 6 that make up Chapter 3 of my eBook called “Healthcare The Way Mother Nature Intended!”.

This is a blog full of patient testimonials about our natural treatment center – Please Read!

I’ve watched Dr. Schmidt’s youtube videos for about 3 or 4 years now and have come to believe that he honestly wants to help people and in turn would only hire people who feel like he does. After my appt with Kerry, I feel that she is knowledgeable and wants what is best for me. I felt supported and never talked down to. She is willing to seek further knowledge about topics that pertain to me and are new to her.

Everyone at The NHCAA is soo sweet, so informative, takes their time with each visit, listens to my concerns. I am so happy I decided to come here to see Dr. Amanda. I look forward to each visit!!

success at the nhcaa

Everyone was so kind, so on top of it and so helpful! I feel like I am finally able to get somewhere with my health and getting to the bottom of things. Also, the whole building was VERY clean and smelled clean!

We love Kristen, she always comes with the positive to our time together. The front desk crew is engaging and is patient with us. We travel a couple of hours to make our appointment and if we need something they help.

Because NHCAA is excellent.

Because my health has improved greatly

Recognizable improvement in my overall health, vitality and weight loss

 Review Submitted on Tue, Sep 15 2020, 3:05 pm

If you want to read the entire eBook called “Healthcare The Way Mother Nature Intended!” – Click here to download:

Kerry is a great listener and uses her expertise in patiently guiding me toward a healthier life.

It’s making a difference in my health, and I feel the difference.

Kerry is fantastic! Treating the cause of your health issue and healing using natural methods is the correct method rather than taking a chemical compound that has serious side effects and only masks symptoms.

Dr. Taggy was a very good listener and was very caring

Testimonials at the nhcaa

Clean. Informative. Nice staff.

We really need doctors like dr. Schmidt! He knows how to get to the cause of the problem, not load you up with Pharmaceuticals! I am so impressed with his knowledge. Dr. Schmidt makes it possible for us to truly get well.

Incredible care.

     Review Submitted on Thu, Sep 10 2020, 11:06 am

I have been seeing improvements under dr Schmitt’s care over the past 2 months – more improvement than I’ve had over the past 20 years of seeing other alternative and medical doctors.

I always find either identification of my issue with a plan or complete resolution of my issue.

Kristen Clore has been excellent in the recovery of my health

     Review Submitted on Wed, Sep 2 2020, 11:54 am

I was very impressed. This was the cleanest, up to date, personable doctor’s office I’ve ever visited.

Dr. Amanda always listens to how I feel and works towards helping me.

The Nutritional Healing Center is my go-to place for managing my health. I generally seek them out before going to a traditional doctor, and they often address the issue so then I don’t need a traditional doctor.

Chapter 1 of the eBook is about ‘Avoiding Chronic Disease’ – To download your free copy – click the button:

Everyone in the office is friendly and helpful. Dr. Amanda doesn’t act rushed to get out of the room during appointment.

You’re the best!

We are two of Darren’s very first patients and he changed our lives! We send everyone we know to see one of you there.

Always great experience and keeps me healthy.

clients get results at the nhcaa

Dr. Schmidt is knowledgeable, patient, humble, and tenacious. It is taking time to get to the bottom of my son’s health issues, but progress is happening!

Because I feel so good! 💕

I’ve been watching Dr. Darren’s videos a long time! I finally made it to the “Dream Doctors” that actually have the answers! Kristen is Great! Thanks! ❤️

I love working with Dr. Schmidt. I like the way his brain works. And the fact that he doesn’t push the Vegan agenda, and instead encourages animal-based is the icing on the cake.

All the staff was friendly and knowledgeable and the practitioner was kind and thorough and I felt reassured I was going to get this broken body fixed. 😊

Submitted on Sun, Aug 9 2020, 3:15 pm

Dr. Amanda provides the best care and I routinely send my friends to her.

Very friendly staff, and Dr Schmidt is wonderful. Finally getting results after 18 years.

 Review Submitted on Fri, Aug 7 2020, 11:37 am

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You are wonderful, compassionate, understanding people and very helpful in understanding our own bodies.

Loved the muscle testing approach. It was a quick, non evasive way to gain insights into my body

    Review Submitted on Wed, Aug 5 2020, 12:19 pm

Excellent visit! Kerry was fantastic! Great advice! Had all the supplements I needed.

Nice facility and people. Great doctor.

Dr. Amanda is encouraging, celebrates wins, is careful, understands her patients, and wants them to improve their lives.

Because I really like Dr. Schmidt’s philosophy about health and nutrition and I am healthier because of it! And I really like that he does educational video

The staff was very friendly and efficient. Dr. Schmidt is so knowledgeable and passionate about getting to the root cause of my issues. It was a breath of fresh air to have a Doctor address issues synergistically rather than just provide a bandaid for my symptoms. I’m looking forward to the healing process and can already feel a difference with what supplements I’m taking. Great experience!

Because Kristen has healed me and continues to do so.

Patients love the nhcaa

Covered everything. Was not rushed. Quick in and out. No wait.

I feel heard and well care for. Kerry is the best.

Friendly staff support. The doctor is knowledgeable and easy to speak with.

I love the amazing attentiveness, and knowledge from Amanda

Kristen is awesome! 💡😇

Honesty.

Because you all really help people.

I’ve see tremendous results after only being on the program a short time.

Helpful staff/admin, Dr. Amanda Childress is wonderful, results in energy/weight loss in less than a month

Kerry is amazing in communicating and listening to patients. The staff is friendly. Environment feels safe and clean.

Because you ladies took your time with me, let me spill my guts to you, listened, and made me feel so incredibly comfortable. I am so thankful to have heard of this place and I cannot wait to come back and get started on a new treatment plan!!

Everyone was very kind and helpful and Kerry quickly identified issues.

Super friendly staff, very knowledgeable and helpful. You all are just the best.

Love to work with Kerry for her honesty and genuine concern.