My COVID Miscalculation

My COVID Miscalculation

I’m the guy balancing the mattress on his head in the wind, going,” I got it, I got it!”

I have ALL things medical figured out, especially my own body… and oh, how often I am humbled.

My recent COVID-19 infection was no different. I should have listened to my wife.

What is it my wife advised? Well, after I finally felt like the Mack truck had finished rolling over me and then backing up so all 18 wheels could hit me again for 10 days with my infection, I thought I knew best and went right back to my previous activities and my beloved Crossfit routine.

My wife asked, “Do you think you are giving yourself enough time to recover?” because telling me I wasn’t is a sure-fire way to make me stubborn. I scoffed at her and kept on truckin’.

Well, I screwed up.

I am genetically inclined to have a pretty severe inflammation reaction from COVID-19, as proven with my PureGenomics report. My genetics did not disappoint here. Thank goodness I took all the right supplements to support this inflammation, like liposomal glutathione, zinc, Vitamin D3, Vitamin A, NAC, and selenium, to name just some of the cocktail I concocted. I did not have any long-term effects except that I still don’t need a  shower but once a week, according to my nose. My family may feel differently.

It turns out COVID-19 literally messes with your head. I did not rest appropriately, so my cortisol (the brain’s energy steroid) started going haywire. It was dropping during the day (super tired) and spiking at night (awake at 2:30 every night). Well, being Mr. Smartypants, I thought I would just supplement my way through this setback and keep my schedule of working out 4-5 times per week. I took Phyto-ADR, Sereniten Plus, and Relora to fix this “adrenal fatigue” or “HPA axis dysfunction” and did not slow down. I was served another piece of humble pie.  Without proper rest and giving my body a break, I did not improve.

It has been 2 weeks since the “ha-ha” moment that my wife was right, dammit, and have significantly curtailed my activity. Three months after having my brain invaded by COVID, I am finally getting things right in my recovery.

Listen to your body (and your spouse), do not work out unless you have no daytime fatigue and your sleep (quality and length) is back to normal. Take it slow.

Things are turning around for me now. My body is recovering. I am still supporting my brain and cortisol production with Phyto ADR during the day, Sereniten Plus, and Relora at night, but these were not the critical piece of my recovery. REST was.

Time for a Parasympathetic Response to COVID-19

Time for a Parasympathetic Response to COVID-19

There are so many things right now that can upset us about the new pandemic that is sweeping the world. Who to believe, how to protect ourselves and our family, how much toilet paper is enough? With all these questions and more, it really is hard to avoid having a major sympathetic response, which is our flight or fight mode. This response, when in a sustained state, is counterproductive to staying healthy, because what we need now, more than ever, is to have a parasympathetic response. Which state we are in determines how our immune system interacts with and reacts to our environment, and of particular relevance right now, to COVID-19.

We now know that the importance of slowing COVID-19 is that we can flatten the curve of spread and not overwhelm our health care system so that when people really need it, it will be there. The attached diagram explains it well. We will not “stop it cold” with school closings and canceling events, but we will flatten the curve which I think is extremely important.

COVID-19 Healthcare System Capacity

This is a bigger picture approach to coronavirus, but what can we do personally to get ready? (And no, it does not involve stockpiling toiletries.) There are things that have been covered ad nauseam on a personal level to control the pandemic, if you have not been living in a cave, such as

  • Washing your hands. I won’t get too deep into the importance of washing your hands, but I will say wash them like you’ve been cutting up jalapeño peppers and have to put in contacts or have to pee. Being from Louisiana and loving all things hot, I know what this entails and I imagine you do too. Whoa, Nelly!
  • Don’t touch your face. Ok, this is hard. Touch it with tissues as much as possible, or I guess we’re all going to be walking around with a bunch of crusty noses.

There are other tips that the CDC is sharing via their website. Be sure to read it. None of these things, however, address how to create a dynamic immune system that can take on the challenges of viruses. How do we make a dynamic immune system? Well, one answer is to get into a parasympathetic mode and support it with some very familiar interventions.

The parasympathetic mode of our autonomic nervous system, which is the opposite of fight or flight, sympathetic mode, is the relaxation mode. It’s when we are in this mode that our immune system is better able to identify pathogens, think COVID-19, cancer, and other threats. This is the reason stress, anger, and anxiety are so counterproductive, and when we see people who live in these states, they respond poorly to curveballs like cancer and infection. So how do we shift our autonomic nervous system to this pathogen-killing vigilance of parasympathetic mode? Well, you have heard most of it before, but I want to remind us of the simple things that will help us during this time of uncertainty.

Sleep. This is the most powerful tool we have and most Americans are only getting 6 hours a night or less. They have shown this deprivation to increase our risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and yes, increases our risk of infection. Let me urge you to make this a priority now and in the future. Here are some small steps that may help:

  • Blue light avoidance 1-2 hours before bed (cell phones and computers) or use blue light glasses that filter this cue to wake up.
  • No exercise 3-4 hours before bed.
  • Tape your lips. (See blog on this cheap fix–I love it.)
  • Be careful of caffeine intake. (See blog on how this affects sleep, even what you consume in the AM.)

Food. What you eat matters in the way your immune system responds. If we eat processed, high-sugar foods, then our immune system gets revved up, and not in a good way. It moves toward attacking self, and not toward attacking non-self, or things like coronavirus. That’s why this lifestyle choice of healthy eating is associated with health and not disease. Our immune system likes things it recognizes, such as foods that are in the form nature intended. This helps with the parasympathetic state, which allows the immune system to monitor our environment, and if we get coronavirus, not overreact to it, but to efficiently remove it. COVID-19 gets nasty with overreaction, as it causes our immune system to attack our own systems. Keep it simple. Eat whole foods and avoid inflammatory foods which are processed, high in sugar, and contain preservatives.

Meditation. The simple process of focused breathing qualifies. It’s not necessarily 2-hour deep dives into the Universe I am talking about here, but focused breathing that takes us from a sympathetic state to that most important parasympathetic, virus-killing, state. For some of us, this is a big step, clearing our mind and focusing on breathing, but there are apps for that like 10% Happier. Try it. It could start with just 5 focused breaths and trying to not think about where you are going to get enough toilet paper because the leaves are not yet on the trees for backup.

Exercise. The good news here, as well. No need to be a Tri-athlete, as prolonged intense exercise may be counterproductive, but moderate exercise is key, and here is some support for that:

Exercise has a profound effect on the normal functioning of the immune system. It is generally accepted that prolonged periods of intensive exercise training can depress immunity, while regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial.”[1]

Even that staple of just walking 30 minutes a day showed the following:

“A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.”[2]

Another well-researched exercise that improves parasympathetic response is yoga. If you have the flexibility of an oak branch like me and have done yoga, then you understand it is exercise. The great thing about yoga is that it can meet you where you are physically and help you get as intense as you want it to be, or not be in my case. This is the exercise you can do at home and still be in a virtual class.  This is one of my favorite options for exercise right now.

It may seem counterintuitive to say exercise improves our parasympathetic response, and improves our immune system, but data supports that although you stimulate your fight or flight sympathetic nervous system initially, you have increased parasympathetic nervous system response over time with regular mild or moderate exercise, which will keep you fighting and overcoming viruses.

Supplements. Disclaimer: I love science-backed supplements, and have used them with all the above interventions for years, to significant effect. I will not go in-depth here in supplement analysis but wanted to give some staples with another disclaimer, which is, make sure the supplements you get are FDA inspected, third party tested supplements as they do you no good if they don’t have what they say they have in them. This list is good for anyone who is immunocompromised as well, if tolerable. If needed, there are liquid forms available.

  • Magnesium– Here’s one that you might not be thinking of. This is big for the ability to have a parasympathetic response and it also helps immune function. Most Americans are deficient, so adding some to your regimen can only help (read more in this magnesium post). I would use chelated magnesium like Mag Glycinate or Sucrosomial magnesium like Ultra Mag and take 300 mg or more a day.
  • Vitamin D3– This one helps with immune function and improving responses to things like flu. I recommend at least 2000 IU’s a day. You can use more than 5000 IU’s per day, but be sure to get your levels checked every 2-3 months until you know this is a stable dose for you.
  • Zinc– I like 30-50 mg a day of zinc picolinate or zinc citrate, as most Americans are also low on this mineral. They have shown it to decrease the symptoms of the common cold by 2-3 days in some studies and is essential for a healthy immune response.
  • Vitamin A- because of genetic issues, many people have trouble converting beta carotene from things like carrots and sweet potatoes to retinol (Vitamin A). Vitamin A is a super potent virus fighter so adding in 2500 to 5000 units a day is not a bad idea. You need to make sure you are taking this with Vitamin D, and more is not necessarily better as there can be toxicity with higher doses.
  • Vitamin C- This is a no-brainer for me. My Mama gave this to us every day during cold and flu season and for good reason. It has extensive literature that supports its use to both prevent and treat viral infections. To prevent, I would look at 500 mg a day, and if you get an infection increase this to 2000 mg a day. Here is a paper with an overview of Vitamin C and its benefits.

Though not all the above supplements are directly parasympathetic oriented, they’ll help you get through this time in which a highly efficient immune system is so important.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in unprecedented times. It’s time to empower ourselves and control what we can control. We cannot control the hoarding of bizarre things that will have no bearing on outcomes, but we can calm our autonomic nervous system and get our bodies in tiptop virus-fighting shape. We will all know someone with COVID-19 before this is done, I’m afraid. Yet, we have to go on living and hopefully, thriving, knowing we are doing all we can by taking care of ourselves.

[1] “Exercise and Regulation of Immune Functions” Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci, 135, 355-80 2015



Connection Between Appetite and Addiction and Why Sugar Can Be a Drug

Connection Between Appetite and Addiction and Why Sugar Can Be a Drug

It seems that there’s a genetic connection with the FTO enzyme and its abnormal variation and a dopamine receptor variation. This connection shows that when you have both, you are more likely to not only be overweight but also be predisposed to addictive behaviors. I have always said that when people give up a drug of dependence they pick up others like sex, nicotine, and especially sugar. Dopamine is the connection here and people with certain genetics need more. Sugar is a very quick fix and, like other drugs of addiction, needs constant replenishment. Try taking sugar out of your diet and you’ll have many signs and symptoms of sugar “withdrawal.” It’s not imaginary, but a very real thing.  

I highly recommend limiting sugar intake, as it leads to fatty liver, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many more diseases of chronic inflammation. But you ask how to do this for such an addictive substance? I recommend dopamine support with things like L-Tyrosine, Rhodiola Rosea, and DopaPlus. These have been a godsend when it comes to my own sugar cravings and inability to focus at times (dopamine is the key in ADD/ADHD). These supplements will help with other addictions too (does golf count?).

How Did We Forget our ABC’s?

How Did We Forget our ABC’s?

There are few things worse than seeing your baby struggle with bright red cheeks, oozing wounds, and scratching themself bloody. Watching their skin flake off and leave piles where they sat is horrible. The sleepless nights and tortured cries are gut-wrenching. 

As a parent and a clinician that sees this on a weekly basis, my heart goes out to the parents who are watching their little ones suffer. I’ve been there myself having had eczema and with little ones that had it too, so I can relate to the experience of the parents and the kiddos suffering through it. 

Thankfully, you can solve the eczema puzzle with the right steps. The key is identifying the underlying root causes and treating them appropriately. 

In adults, the underlying causes are many ranging from genetic predispositions, stress/trauma, and toxicity, to dietary factors, hormone and nutrient imbalances, and a disrupted microbiome- especially in the gut. Inflammatory conditions like eczema arise when the environmental factors mentioned collide with genetics (dig deeper into this subject in another article I wrote).   

The GREAT news is that eczema in little ones is much easier to resolve since they don’t have decades of stress, trauma, and environmental exposures that make it trickier in adults! Plus, their little bodies have an incredible capacity to heal.  

Taking a Thorough History to learn more about your baby’s eczema

The first step in this process is taking a thorough history to uncover predisposing factors. Some of the issues we commonly see in little ones with eczema are:

  •  C-section birth or birth complications/ interventions 
  •  Mom had Group B Strep, UTI, or yeast infection during pregnancy 
  •  Stress for Mom during pregnancy
  •  Mom having known GI issues that were not resolved prior to pregnancy.
  •  Family history of the allergic triad (allergies, asthma, and eczema), 
  •  Nursing or feeding troubles, colic, or early food allergies (rejection of solids or food   avoidance can be a sign something is off with the gut)
  •  Seasonal skin flares indicating an allergic component
  •  History of mother or baby living in a moldy environment or near high chemical or pollutant concentrations such as farms, golf courses, airports, highways, industry, etc.
  •  Baby or child having constipation, diarrhea or loose stools, gas, burping or bloating

Having a thorough history allows us to see the big picture of what the likely causes are and what tests we need to order. I always order a comprehensive stool analysis so gut imbalances like dysbiosis can be identified, as well as the bacteria, fungi, and parasites that may be causing it. GI health markers are also helpful in determining inflammation, immune activation, and digestive function. 

Additional Testing for an accurate diagnosis and treatment

Additional testing is sometimes necessary and could involve: 

  • serum labs to assess the immune system or allergens 
  • organic acids to assess fungi/mold and harmful bacteria
  • food allergy or sensitivity testing or other specialized testing 
  • we can also do genetic analysis if the child or parent has completed a 23andMe.  

Regarding testing, it’s important to note that you should wait until you see a qualified provider to decide which tests are needed. If you order them on your own, you may order the wrong ones and end up having to spend extra money unnecessarily on the right ones. In my practice, the only tests we order are ones that directly inform the course of treatment. 

Once the test results are received and reviewed, a treatment plan specific to the needs of the patient is made. The bulk of treatment in little ones is generally focused on balancing the immune system, replacing nutrients, and supporting proper gut and digestive function. 

Skin healing typically begins during the first 1-2 months and is often almost resolved by 3-4 months. Total treatment time for babies is generally around 4-6 months total and sometimes a little longer in older children. 

Our goal is not only for your child to find relief and have soft, smooth skin, but also to give parents the tools to support their kiddos if skin issues crop up again. 

Dr. Stephanie Davis

All That I Have Lost

“How can you stand it?”

That’s what they say when the bread is delivered to the restaurant table. I don’t have the slightest bit of sadness at abstaining from the loaf or the butter that comes alongside it. It does remind me of all I’ve lost by giving up foods that irritate my body.

Here’s a short list:

  • Arthritis
  • Life-long fight with overwhelming depression
  • Fluctuations in body weight
  • Brain fog
  • The inability to breathe during exercise
  • Lack of circulation in my extremities
  • Headaches
  • Problems with my teeth and gums
  • Regular yeast and fungal infections

Yes, I think that is a pretty good list. These things affected my life everyday, not to mention my pocketbook. (Root canals are very expensive!)

You know how a good bed salesman gets you to spend your money by telling you that you spend one third of your life in bed? I wish I could sell a good lifestyle that way, since it affects 100% of your time here on Earth. Self-love, self- respect and self-value is a gift we can only give ourselves. So when the bread comes, I inhale deeply and give thanks that at least I can smell it without consequence, and I remember (and celebrate) all I’ve lost.

Annie Morris, LMT

The Mind Piece

These 4 Key Concepts along with other gratitude practices will be a leading force in restoring your health and freedom. These Key Concepts, or perhaps ones you create, will help you no longer rely on will-power alone. By practicing these key concepts, and other positive psychology tools,  you will heal self-sabotaging, destructive thought patterns. This is how we create successful and sustainable behavior change.


We believe Autism and Chronic Conditions are a tap on the shoulder to learn how to live a life to best support our bodies to function more optimally. Once we begin to accept we are exactly where we are meant to be, doing exactly what we have been called to do, the anger can begin to subside. Choosing gratefulness in place of anger helps to embrace what is being gifted to us by our healing journey, rather than focusing on all that may be taken away. This concept can help to heal past traumas, grief, and anger, all of which contribute to the development of chronic conditions and can sabotage our efforts to heal. In order to heal, our thoughts must be aligned with our end goal of improving wellness to reclaim our freedom. “Our thoughts create our words, our words create our actions, our actions create our habits, our habits create our reality.” Ghandi  When we think about what we are thankful for and talk about what we are doing to improve our wellness and reclaim our freedom, more opportunities seem to present themselves. This is how we maximize our healing experience. It is common for patients’ lives to become more fulfilling and happy because of life lessons learned and past traumas healed from living the solution to place symptoms of Autism and Chronic Conditions into Remission.


When we become aware of our thoughts and our words, we choose actions which create an Atmosphere of Healing.  Rather than talking about the stress and despair associated with Autism, and Chronic Conditions, we actively practice talking with our children and spouse about what we want, what we are presently working to layer into our care plan, and what we are thinking to layer next. This will include everyone in co-creating this atmosphere, in and outside of the home. Everyone in the family is living the solution. Many family members will have similar symptoms as the one with the diagnosis, perhaps to a less severe degree however, everyone will benefit from this lifestyle. When everyone is included in the atmosphere of healing, the family can focus on the solution rather than constantly staring at the problem. The home becomes the headquarters for healing. The home is our safe haven where we protect our air and water quality and the foods we have available. When we constantly stare at the problem, we only get more evidence of that problem. What we focus on grows. Recognizing when we have depressing thoughts and replacing those thoughts by answering the question “What Can I Do right now?” and by practicing other positive psychology tools, we can steer ourselves in the direction of creating an atmosphere of healing.


A great idea for families is to have weekly Family Meetings to determine what everyone CAN DO to adopt this lifestyle and to contribute to the Atmosphere of Healing. When we include our kids in our decision-making process it empowers them as part of the solution. This can even be done around the dinner table. Everyone needs to be involved, even if your child seems like they can not understand the conversation, I can bet they understand more than we give them credit.  The entire family is affected by the diagnosis, therefore, everyone must be a part of the solution. What Can I DO helps to train our minds to shift from the depressed chain of thoughts commonly associated with Autism, and  chronic conditions to identifying what is reasonable to do so we can build upon our success. Some days, we will be able to do more than others. However, the more we identify what we can do and act upon it, and become consistent, the more confidence, motivation determination, and conviction we will feel.  This is when the behaviors and symptoms stop being the focus and stop ruling our world. This is how we own our own healing.


Friends, Co-Workers and Extended Family can challenge a health care plan which is different than the “standard of care.” When you are in social settings, it’s important to be Matter of Fact that you are CHOOSING to eat foods which are not high allergen foods. You CHOOSE to remove as much burden from your body as you can to help it to heal. There is no reason to argue with others who feel Gluten Free is a fad or a waste of time. Being Matter of Fact about your conscious choices will help you to build confidence and to stay on board even in social settings. Chances are you could be helping save someone else’s life leading by example.
Care Plan Appointments are fantastic ways to learn more about positive psychology tools. These tools help us to better understand the philosophy of healing. We can be eating all the right foods, and taking all the supplements but may never experience improved wellness or regain our freedom. Healing is much more than nutrition and supplements.

Call today to learn if Care Plan Appointments are a good fit for you and your family. 513-273-9944.

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

The Truth About Autism Recovery

The Truth About Autism Recovery

Recovery or Remission?

It is true; Children are emerging from this once thought dead end diagnosis. Autism is no longer a mystery. We understand the complex biological and cellular dysfunctions resulting in the symptoms referred to as Autism.

In the face of environmental exposure and toxicity, two processes get started in the human body– a chronic inflammatory response, and oxidative stress. These processes, when that human body cannot adequately address them, further manifest as compromised methylation pathways, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, Th1/Th2 immune imbalance and immune dysfunction, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Children living with AD/HD, ADD, Asthma and Allergies all have similar root causes resulting in the symptoms of each diagnosis.

When these root causes (underlying medical conditions) are acknowledged and addressed, the symptoms of AD/HD, Asthma and Allergies and the behaviors and developmental delays referred to as Autism improve significantly.

Families have many more options today rather than learning to manage their children’s behaviors. Our approach is different than the traditional standard of care such as ABA. ABA focuses on correcting the behavior; we strive to heal the underlying medical conditions creating the behaviors.  When children feel better, they behave better and therefore, their therapies are more productive.

Dr. Nathan Morris, MD and Kara Badgley, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, each have spent the past 11 years saving their families from Autism. Over time, they have learned their children have not recovered but more correctly, their children’s  Autism is in Remission.

The Reality

It has taken both Dr. Morris and Kara Badgley more than a decade to heal their children’s bodies from the underlying medical conditions. Every system in these children’s bodies are burdened; it takes time to experience improvement. Recovery insinuates their is a finish line; however Dr. Morris and Kara Badgley both understand they will always need to support their children’s bodies to keep their symptoms in remission.

Regressions are part of the healing journey. Exposure to high inflammatory foods, or environmental triggers such as mold, or high stress levels can create a surge of inflammation; which the child can not regulate. Regressions can happen even when the child is said to be recovered. This is exactly why we choose the word Autism Remission in comparison to Autism Recovery.

Regression is not always a bad thing. We are obsessed with progress; we want this Autism to just go away. Sometimes Regression can sometimes be better explained as Rebuilding. When we are asking the child’s body to perform more efficiently, although this is healthier, and in the long run will create a strong foundation for him/her to emerge, it is uncomfortable and therefore the child regresses for a time. Time and time again we see these “Rebuilding” Phases lead to improved functioning, communication and sleep. If a “Rebuilding” phase goes on for longer than a few weeks then it’s recommended either to see how to better support the methylation and detox pathway or to scale back on the dosage of the most recent supplement/prescription most recently introduced.


To become a patient of Dr. Morris’  Become A Member


Remission of your child’s Autism Symptoms  only comes when the parents lead by example. The healing of the family is a shared journey with the child. This life empowers the entire family to heal; which creates sustainable change to experience autism remission. Autism Remission, is a community outreach program offered in communities beginning Spring 2018. Coaching sessions are also available with Kara Badgley. Online scheduling to be available soon.
Conscious Conception: Family Steps to Baby Planning.

The first steps to a healthy family happens before your baby is born. Pre-Natal planning starts with you; your health and your environment.

Preparing your own body prior to conception allows you to optimize your fertility plus your baby’s development& health.  Conscious Conception is a program for couples to be intentional about their family’s future through functional medicine principles


Ultimately we all have to find our own way; but these truths will be universal for any journey parents take to save their family.

    1. Make a plan. Autism Remission outreach program helps families to create, organize, budget, document and track their care plan. Success comes from layering interventions to work in combination. A plan helps to layer well timed interventions based on each families current and unique circumstances.
    2. Your child will mirror your habits. If you want your child to do anything, you first have to lead by example. You HAVE TO LIVE THE SOLUTION.
    3. No one said this life will be easy. No one is spared from trials and tribulations. Learning to be thankful in times of misery is a key to self-actualization. Practicing Mind Body Techniques such as deep breathing, yoga & meditation help us to shift into the Parasympathetic Nervous System. It is from this state that we no longer react to the chaos but can hear the guidance we all are praying for…
    4. Begin to think about long term planning rather than short term gain. A journey of placing symptoms into remission is not something you try. It’s something you become. Autism never goes away. Even when you are in remission, there is chance for regression.
    5. A little bit of food dye, gluten, casein and other high allergen & artificial foods and preservatives does hurt. A lot.
    6. There is no cure. There is no one thing, no one silver bullet, that will make everything better. It’s going to be intelligently timing, and layering interventions to work in combination for the rest of time. And yes, THE BASICS ARE ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED.
    7. You are not alone
    8. Your child knows everything you are saying. Please stop talking about how terrible his/her behavior is or how much you suffer in front of him/her. Likewise, they understand way more than we give them credit. Explain what you are doing and why; educate them also as you layer pieces into your care plan.
    9. What you do right now: the thoughts, the words, the actions which create your habits, which create you character, which create your destiny -right now is what counts. Surfacing from Autism is an accumulation of choices every minute of every day that YOU choose (you are in charge, not your child). These choices ultimately take you toward your goal. Focus on what you can do rather than attaching to all the odds stacked against you. (See #4)
    10. Miracles happen. If you choose to show up.

You may also like:
Sleeping on AD/HD
The Missing Element
Cut Autism by 300%

About the Author:
Kara Badgley is the Clinical Coordinator & Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach at Good Medicine. She has been a health coach since 2002. For the past 4 years Kara has worked in the clinical setting with families living with Autism. She co-creates personalized care plans with families based on what they are ready to do. Her passion is to meet a family where they are at in their current circumstances and identify the next reasonable steps, and help the families to budget, organize, document and manage their care plans to live the solution. She loves most when families, who previously had lost all hope; are now enjoying their freedom and their families once again.

To hear more about Kara’s journey through Autism and her insight on How to Live the Life of Recovery click Here.

Good Medicine respects families who celebrate their children’s Autism. Good Medicine works with families whose children are clearly struggling and who are clearly in pain; therefore, the family is in pain.

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

Pimple Be Gone

So often with disease, as I am often apt to point out, we can prevent it. Once again here is a disease process that has its connection to your diet, even though a lot of doctors claim there is no connection to food, the data does not bear this out. It’s interesting something so commonplace and insufferable as acne is treatable without meds and is so readily responsive to changes in lifestyle. Puberty does not have to be the “Time of the Pimple.”

Testosterone increases the size of sebaceous (sweat) glands and this is why puberty brings about increased incidence of acne. We cannot get rid of the testosterone, although most parents of teenagers would love to, but we can defuse the powder keg this hormone presents to the sebaceous glands by addressing the “fuses.”

Acne is a response to inflammation. This inflammation and hormonal changes affect how your sweat glands react. With increased swelling your sebaceous glands get clogged, infected and viola’ you have acne. No amount of face washing will rid you of this problem. You have to get to the bottom of it and it starts with your fork-let me explain why.

Pimples are a symptom of disease just like water on the floor is a sign of a broken sink. We need to fix the sink if we are going to get rid of the problem and not just mop up the floor. There are several underlying factors in acne and I will explain how by addressing these we are going to fix the “sink.”

Acne is one of the signs of the body having insulin overload. That is why eating lots of sugar and processed food predispose you to this problem. Insulin is responsible for building up tissues and growth. It makes sense that sebaceous glands (sweat glands) also would grow from its stimulation and we get acne. To solve this aspect of acne it becomes simple-stop eating or drinking crap with high sugar content and foods that are highly processed. This is simple in theory but becomes hard when we think about all the things we eat that fit this description, but it is a place to start. With the demise of Hostess this all becomes a little easier.

Milk is another hidden acne contributor. Although the marketing for milk suggests it does a body “good,” I have to disagree. This food has insulin growth factor 1 in it, and increases insulin resistance in the long run. Research Link With this molecule the sweat glands are more primed for overgrowth and a “bad” diet, greatly increases our predisposition to acne and eventually, when one looks at its mechanism of action, diabetes. No society that lives without milk as a staple suffers from bad health or weak bones. We will be just fine without it and our skin will thank us.

“Warning: Broken record to commence….” Inflammation is caused by diet. Gluten is a very inflammatory molecule in our diet. Keeping gluten out of our diet, or at least to a minimum, will decrease inflammation. Inflammation causes acne so gluten elimination is another factor to consider as treatment.

Supplements are helpful in acne and zinc is a must. This simple element in one study reduced acne from 100% to 15%. This has to do with anti-inflammatory processes and improvement in insulin receptors. This needs to be elemental zinc and 30 mg a day is very helpful (Zinc Piconilate is my favorite because of increased absorption). Other supplements that should be considered include Chromium at 200 mg a day (improves insulin resistance) as well as Selenium (400 mcg) and a very good omega 3 fatty acid (fish oil-decreases inflammation along with good diet).

Acne is not inevitable for teenagers or adults. We have to change our lifestyle and make better choices in our diets and make sure our deficiencies are addressed. Testosterone increase for young adults is inevitable, but with lifestyle changes this plague on teenage dating is easily treatable and can help those adults who are suffering as well from diseases of increased testosterone such as Polycystic Ovary Disease.

Alzheimer’s, One Or Two Lumps of Sugar With That?

Alzheimer’s, One Or Two Lumps of Sugar With That?

I am often amazed at the number of patients who feel that due to family history they are doomed to a particular disease. One of the most frightening of these “inevitable” diseases is Alzheimer’s disease.

I have some skepticism with “cures” as they suggest we are powerless until the medical industrial complex saves us. I do sincerely hope that we find a “cure” for Alzheimer’s, but in the meantime let’s go with what we have, and boy do we have a lot to go on, especially in the area of prevention. That this disease is preventable and even treatable, yes it is treatable, is welcome news and I’m glad to give it.

As so often occurs in life, you don’t get something for nothing, so let’s explore what you should be doing now to not only prevent Alzheimer’s but other diseases such as diabetes and what kind of changes it will require.

They are now calling Alzheimer’s, Type 3 Diabetes, because of its intimate connection with the brain cells inability to move sugar into the brain cells secondary to insulin resistance. Studies are now showing the Alzheimer’s and insulin resistance go hand in hand. This is relatively new science as it was long thought that the brain did not need insulin for uptake of sugar but that is not true, especially in the area of the brain needed for memory. With insulin resistance your brain basically starves, as it can no longer move sugar into the brain to create energy to stay alive.

So the solution seems easy right? Pass you another Ho-Ho you say? Yeah, if only that were the case…but that just makes it worse, unfortunately for you and your Ho-Ho addiction, despite what Marie Antoinette would have to say about your brain and what it should eat. It’s like dying of thirst in the middle of the ocean. To understand this we need to understand that sugar is a two edged sword.

Sugar is our preferred energy source but too much of a good thing, is well, too much. Our cells start protecting us from it because it causes damage to cells when there is too much of it. In this way sugar actually prevents energy production, and stunts the body’s ability to clean up toxins as it should.

Much like Lucy and Ethel in the famous candy factory episode, there is so much excess sugar and nowhere else to store it, that it ends up back in the blood stream (stays on the conveyor belt) continuing to circulate, raising blood sugar and ultimately causing insulin resistance in the cells.

Insulin resistance causes cells to “starve,” brain cells need sugar, so insulin resistance/diabetes causes brain cells to “starve” to death. As studies have shown it’s hard to have Alzheimer’s without insulin resistance.

We consumed 4 lbs of sugar a year 100 years ago and since then some estimates have us consuming over 140 lbs per year! “Holy Crap” is what you should be thinking right now and rightly so, that is a lot! Where does all this sugar come from? Most patients I talk to invariably tell me that they don’t eat much sugar, but as I pull apart their diet I start pointing out the numerous sources we don’t think of as being loaded with sugar and without realizing it, their diet is loaded with sugar.
Every thing that comes in a package should be considered refined (broken down from a whole food and made into a processed food) which in and of itself is creating simple sugars that enter the bloodstream very quickly and cause sugar overload. Then there is the hidden sugar in such “great” nutritious foods like yogurt. Most of it is full of sugar. Soda, diet or not, is too blame for a great deal of our sugar pounds (diet soda increases appetite and in some studies causes more weight gain than regular soda).

Avoiding this is simple. Eat food without modification, i.e. whole foods. Here is a great place to start… . I find it to be quite helpful in understanding healthy foods.

Every time we smoke, eat char-grilled foods, get exposed to mercury, eat chemically modified foods, or get exposed to pesticides, to name a few examples, the body cleaning system has to be diverted to clear these toxins and cellular clean up is slowed and insulin resistance is brought on as cells shut down energy production until “wastes” can be removed. We are on are way to Alzheimer’s, cancer, or diabetes by choosing increased toxic exposure through non- organic foods or inflammatory foods such as “fast food” and other environmental pollutants such as BPAs from plastic bottles etc.

What are we to do? Even if we have already started on the path of Alzheimer’s we can help delay these processes with changing lifestyle , and with well chosen foods and supplements we can even reverse the damage or least stop the decline.

Coconut Oil
One of the most fascinating food substances that helps with Alzheimer’s is coconut oil. This food remedy is starting to show up more and more in mainstream media and Alzheimer’s groups due to in large part from the efforts of Dr. Mary Newport, who wrote a fascinating book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What if There Was a Cure” about how her husband was brought back from the brink of dementia with the use of medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil.

This is an unfairly disparaged food source, which is very healthy and bypasses the brain’s dependence on sugar. Our brain loves the energy provided by coconut oil and will use this instead of sugar when it can no longer utilize sugar effectively. Not everyone responds to this but a majority of Alzheimer’s patients have noticeable improvement with 1-2 tablespoons twice a day in shakes, used like butter, or used for cooking. It does not cause heart disease and may actually help, so give it a try and read up on it in books such as the “The Coconut Oil Miracle.” What a wonderful energy source it is for the brain that bypasses the brain’s need for sugar.


  • The use of Co Enzyme Q10 is a great place to start at 100-200 mg a day and is very potent anti-inflammatory.
  • Magnesium is another essential element at 600-900 mg a day and would use Magnesium Taurate for the calming effect of Taurine on excitable neurons. Magnesium is also important for insulin resistance.
  • Green Tea Extract, from high quality supplement manufacturer such as Thorne, is extremely potent anti-inflammatory and helps with insulin resistance.
  • Vitamin D3 at 2000-4000 IU per day with a high quality Curcumin supplement at 1000 mg a day has actually in studies been shown to remove plaques of Alzheimer’s from the brain and is also a very good combination for diabetics (noticing a pattern yet?).
  • Omega 3 is a potent anti-inflammatory as well, and in studies has been shown to be beneficial in diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Invest in high quality products to avoid an increase of inflammation. Poor quality fish oils are oxidized (exposed to oxygen) during processing, and therefore cause more damage to cells.
  • A good multivitamin oriented toward diabetics such as Pure Lean Nutrients from Pure Encapsulation (one of my favorite multivitamins) that contains some of the previously mentioned nutrients plus diabetic nutrients such as chromium, zinc, and cinnamon all in one bottle.

So are we cursed to follow our family history? Not at all, and most importantly we are in charge of our destiny as we combat so called inevitable diseases such as Alzheimer’s/Type 3 Diabetes. As Mark Hyman MD** puts it so succinctly- the greatest tool for treating these diseases is our fork.

** Great book by Dr. Hyman which explores the sugar problem in America is Blood Sugar Solution- a must read if you want to understand this better