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Alyssa | Nurse Practitioner


Certified Functional Medicine 🌱 Family Nurse Practitioner Hormones:Gut:Energy💫



21 posts

Gut Health

22 posts

Brain Fog

15 posts


Part 2: probiotics/prebiotics:
Did you know that many fiber containing foods are not prebiotics because they also feed bad bacteria and are considered non-selective? What this means is that while you may be doing some good for your beneficial bacteria who “feed” on these fiber containing foods, it’s possible that if you have a problematic bacteria or a condition called SIBO then these types of foods will also promote the growth of problematic bacteria = negative health symptoms.
This even includes things like psyllium husk, pectin and flax seed.

I’m excited to share more about my favorite selective prebiotic foods and supplements! These foods will selectively target your beneficial bacteria and clinical trials have seen the growth of these beneficial bacteria and reduction in problematic bacteria that are present when adding the prebiotics to a diet.

Examples of these selective prebiotic foods include: whole almonds, wild blueberrries, brown rice, cocoa powder, kiwi fruit, prunes, pistachios and of course - green tea! 😊🍵

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on selective prebiotic supplements to take and support the health of your beneficial bacteria.

Also, I am not trying to cause fear of fiber containing foods - I’m a huge supporter of eating a diverse, colorful, high fiber diet! I simply aim to educate on the different prebiotic options and why there may be a place for selective prebiotic supplementation if you have digestive symptoms or other health concerns or want to optimize your gut microbiota.

Matcha Latte Recipe 😋
✨Add 1 tsp of match to ¼ c hot water, mix in 1 tsp of honey, 1 tsp of cinnamon (or to taste)
✨Add this mixture to 1 cup of iced milk of your choice.

Enjoy!! 🥰

#healthygut #guthealthmatters #prebiotics #prebioticfoods #functionalmedicine
Replying to @family4evr elevated anti-thyroglobulin antibodies can be an indicator for thyroid nodule growth. The nodule may be benign which means it isnt anything to be concerned about, or it could be cancerous. The size of the nodule is important and sometimes what is determined from the ultrasound is that the nodule is small enough there is no concern right now, but may need to be monitored and repeat ultrasounds done in a year, 2 years or 5 years.
Its fairly common for somebody with thyroid autoimmunity to have thyroid nodules so I dont want to cause fear, but for sure should be something to be aware if and look into if your antibody levels are elevated. #hashimotosthyroiditis #hashimotosdisease #hypothyroidism #hyperthyroidism
Having low diversity of beneficial bacteria has been linked to many chronic health issues such as increased risk of allergies and asthma in children, obesity, insulin resistance, high cholesterol and triglycerides, autoimmunity and body wide inflammation. So what should the focus be for improving these conditions and wanting to optimize your health? Gardening! 🌱🍓🥦🥬

Gardening has been shown in a recent study, to improve diversity of the beneficial gut microbiota. Until recently, humans have alwaysing interacted with soils, which is a rich source of microbes. In this study the microbiota were tested prior to gardening season and again at peak gardening season and it was found that the diversity significantly improved in families who gardened as little as 30 minutes a week, as compared to the families who did not. (p=0.03) (Brown et al, 2022)

It was also found that it’s better to use compost from chicken or cows as opposed to plant only compost because the beneficial bacteria found in families were the same beneficial bacteria in chickens and cows. (Bu et al, 2022)

Also, increasing the diversity of vegetation in your yard and interacting with those shrubs, trees, plants (touch etc…) will increase bacterial diversity as well. The greater number of shrub species growing, the greater amounts of Faecalibacterium and Bifidobacterium species were found, which are important beneficial bacteria and lower levels of Clostridium were present which is a problematic bacteria. (Parajuli et al, 2020)

What are some of your favorite plants to garden??
When there’s period pain, excessive flow, PMS issues, irregular cycle or other hormone symptoms - the general thought is that the root cause is with estrogen and progesterone. BUT, what’s the root cause of the progesterone and estrogen imbalance? 🤔🤔

Look to master hormones Insulin, Thyroid and Cortisol. This is true whether you are 25 or 45. We want to makes sure the issue is not with a master hormone first. If the only solution provided to fix your hormone balance is to take progesterone, but the insulin or cortisol issue is going unaddressed, then relief from symptoms will likely be short lived.

Let’s address Insulin imbalance:

First: Fasting labs to evaluate blood sugar balance.
✨Glucose (IMO 65-85)
✨HgA1c (IMO optimal 4.6-5.2)
✨Insulin (IMO optimal 3-5)
(These optimal ranges are applicable for non-diabetics.)

Second: Pick a few goals that feel attainable and you will be able to be consistent for at least 3 months.
✨Time restricted eating 12-15 hours every night.
✨Exercise 30 minutes 5-6 days a week.
✨Daily fiber intake of 30+ grams a day.
✨Eat breakfast by 10 am, with protein (eggs, cottage cheese, lentils) and colorful fruits, veggies or whole grains (fiber)
✨Avoid processed sugar most days of the week.

Third: Consider taking a supplement to help with insulin cell sensitivity and blood sugar balance.(discuss with your provider first)
✨Vitamin D
✨Alpha lipoic acid
✨Psyllium husk or ground seed
(I used to recommend Berberine or NAC for blood sugar balance. But I only recommend those for short term treatments now.)

If blood sugar imbalance is the primary driver for your hormone symptoms, you should notice good improvement with your symptoms by the 3 month mark. You can always request repeat labs to help mark the improvements you’ve made.

If you know blood sugar control is not a problem for you and you have hormone symptoms - next to look at is Thyroid, Cortisol and gut health. 👌🏼

#hormoneimbalance #bloodsugarbalance #bloodsugarcontrol #endometriosis #pcosawareness #thyroidproblems #guthealth #guthealthmatters #functionalmedicine #utahcounty
In a nutshell, 2 quick and easy ways to evaluate if a probiotic might be of higher quality and well manufactured is if the label lists:

#1 The Genus, Species AND the strain. You don’t necessarily need to know what the strain of probiotic is beneficial for, but seeing that the manufacturer acknowledges and values individual strains by listing them on the label, can give you a level of trust in that manufactured product. Otherwise, I’d question that they may not even be aware of what strain they are isolating. If you want to look into it further, give them a call and see if they can answer that question.

#2 The number of individual strains colony forming units (CFU’s). This is important because MOST strains need at least 1 billion CFU’s to be beneficial. There are some that have been shown to be effective at lower doses (see Culturelle’s research), but the 1 Billion per strain is a good rule of thumb.

These are a few of several things to be aware of when choosing a probiotic. We want to know that we’re not wasting our money and that the probiotic we choose will help in the way we want it to.

If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter, please join me every few weeks for tips on gut health, fatigue, hormones and thyroid topics. And let me know if you have specific questions I can cover!

#functionalmedicine #guthealth #guthealthmatters #hormones #hormonebalance #probiotics #qualityprobiotics #utahcounty
When it comes to our health, so often we are searching for actions to take: what’s the best diet to follow? What are the best supplements to take? What kind of exercise should I be doing and how often? What are the best products to buy for cleaning? Hygiene? The list gets long of things to be DOING.

There is equal importance in “not doing”.

When our days are filled with to-do lists, responsibilities, places to be, and people to take care of…feeling like we are always in go-mode takes it’s toll. A toll on our minds, bodies and health.

If you can find the balance with your time for play, try something new and fun! Or maybe it’s taking a moment to recognize something simple and feel gratitude. Or making time for quiet and rest - you will find the positive impact on your health is tremendous!

Writing this makes it feel like I’m adding to the “to-do” list which is the opposite of what I want 🙈

Here are examples of things that bring me balance these days:

- Feeling the suns’ warmth and light on my face
- Taking a walk and observing my surroundings - the sky, the spring plants beginning to pop through the ground, my pups ears bouncing like pom poms while we walk.
- resting and listening to an audiobook or podcast (one I am loving right now is “The Creative Act” By Rick Rubin. His voice is so soothing it put me to sleep in the sunshine yesterday on my deck. My arms may or may not be bright pink today ☀️🤪)
- yoga or simple stretching
- art, my husband and I just took a pottery class for the first time! It was a little frustrating learning something new that I am not good at (“I’m a beginner, it’s okay”- is what i reminded myself…over and over) - in the end I made a cute vase (mostly the instructor made it), that makes me happy and will hopefully bring me joy when i pass by it at the office 🥰

What are things that bring you joy in life and help to balance stress??

#functionalmedicine #functionalmedicinepractitioner #stressedout #hormoneimbalance #guthealthy #utahcounty #americanfork #findingbalance
Replying to @user4428075375886 If ferritin is below 50, consider this could be causing your hypothyroid symptoms. Then search for the root cause of why your iron storage is low. Poor iron absorption because of gut issues? Heavy menstrual bleeding? Iron supplementation can help the symptoms but you want to find the root cause.
#hashimotosthyroiditis #hashimotosdisease #hypothyroidism #functionalmedicine #fatigue #ironanemia
Replying to @user1838565360263 ever been told your thyroid labs look normal even though you have all the hypothyroid symotoms? Please make sure they are testing your TPO and thyroglobulin antibodies to rule out autimmunity!
#hashimotosthyroiditis #hashimotosdisease #hypothyroidism #functionalmedicine
Replying to @Valen Differing reference ranges do notnhelp the confusion. My understanding is the industry standard to be 34+ is positive for Hashimotos. When in doubt, request a thyroid Ultra sound. #hashimotosthyroiditis #hashimotosdisease #hypothyroidism #functionalmedicine
Replying to @CatieeB that can be the upside of taking Levothyroxine (T4) and Liothyronine (T3) vs a combo medication like Armour. Its easier to manipulate the dosing of each medication.

#hashimotosthyroiditis #hashimotosdisease #hypothyroidism #functionalmedicine #hashimotosdisease
Replying to @Maxine most people who have high TSH and low T4 feel better when thyroid medication is added, but it can be short loved if you arent addressing the underlying inflammatory condition (the autoimmunity/thyroid antibodies).
#hashimotosthyroiditis #hashimotosdisease #hypothyroidism
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