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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Did you know I opened my practice on April 1st?  Let me explain why.  When I was going through all the hoops of starting a business, I was told my two different consultants that I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t have a successful practice based on bio-identical hormone replacement therapy and all that includes.  They warned me that my business would likely fail.  Then I met with a female accountant who thought my practice was a great idea, and told me to not let anyone rain on my parade.  So I decided that if these “expert” consultants think I can’t do it and I’m going to do it anyway, if this is truly a foolish idea, then I’m going to open on April Fool’s Day.

 

And here I am, fourteen years later.  Has it been easy? No.   Am I glad I took the accountant’s advice and pursued my dream? Yes.

 

Happy 14th Birthday to Abundant Life Health Care.  It is worth all the work to be the Nurse Practitioner that I want to be, providing health care the way I think it should be done.  One on one, individualized, based on science, integrating natural medicine, and incorporating 14 years of clinical experience (and counting).

Posted by Karole Beck at 4/1/2020 8:55:00 AM
 Tags: birthday 14
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coffee.  People love it or hate it.  People try to justify that it’s good for their health.  Some people vilify it.  What do the studies show?

 

The majority of research suggest health benefits, though some studies offer conflicting results, which has led to research into each biologically active compound. Coffee contains hundreds of biologically active compounds (acids, carbohydrates, lignins, minerals, nitrogenous compounds, caramelized products, lipids, and volatile compounds), which all have different effects on health. 

 

Did you know that coffee is known to have estrogenic activity? This was documented over 80 years ago! Although estrogen’s action on the reproductive tract, mammary glands, and ovaries is well acknowledged, it should also be noted that estrogen effects other areas of the body such as the bone, nervous system, heart, and brain.  

 

Summary of general beneficial health findings:  

  • An inverse association between daily coffee consumption of 3-4 cups/day and all-cause mortality has been observed.  In other words, when people drink up to 4 cups of coffee per day, there are lower rates in all causes of death.   
  • Coffee appears to lower the risk of heart disease, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, degenerative neurologic disease, liver disease, inflammatory disease, and cancer.  
  • Improvements in diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, obesity and asthma have been observed.  
  • A meta-analysis found an inverse association of coffee/caffeine with breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.  
  • Several studies indicate that caffeine consumption reduces the relative risk of various cancers.

 

Summary of beneficial health findings, specific to estrogenic activity of coffee:  

  • Some of the compounds found in coffee (caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and vanilic acid) have estrogenic activity and have shown promise for bone protection and in the treatment of osteoporosis.  
  • Nicotinic acid is associated with protection of the cardiovascular system through estrogenic activity. 
  • Caffeic acid, caffeic acid phenethyl ester, ferulic acid, sinapic acid, stigmasterol, and theophylline demonstrate estrogenic action and may help relieve menopausal symptoms.  
  • Caffeine, gallate (octyl), serotonin, beta-sitosterol, and gamma-tocotrienol show mostly estrogenic action and seem to offer protection to the neurologic system.

 

While there are many studies that support coffee’s health benefits, there are also studies that show negative health effects. 

 

Summary of negative findings on general health:   

  • Coffee can increase the risk of anxiety, insomnia, headaches, tremors, and palpitations, especially in heavy users.   
  • There is evidence that coffee can increase blood pressure in people who already have hight blood pressure for approximately 3 hours after consumption.
  • High coffee consumption (4+ cups daily) was associated with a small reduction the bone density of women, but that did not translate into an increased risk of fracture. 
  • Coffee has shown to increase risk of low birth weight, and preterm birth during pregnancy in a dose dependent fashion.  

Summary of negative health findings, specific to estrogenic activity of coffee:   

  • Caffeic acid at low doses and trigonelline seem to exert unfavorable effects on bone, though it is thought that low estrogen levels are required for this to happen. 
  • Trigonelline, a natural component in green coffee beans and other unidentified compounds, was found to be mutagenic (cause damage to cell DNA), especially after roasting.  
  • Excessive estrogen can potentially cause endocrine disruption, and reproductive dysfunction. These effects were reported for coffee extracts, hippuric acid, humic acid, lecithin, and β-sitosterol.  
  • Acrylaminde, a substance formed during the roasting process at high temperatures in the Maillard reaction, may have carcinogenic activity.  

The health effects of coffee can be traced back to each biologically active compound, such as caffeine. Though the research specific to estrogenic activity is interesting, it is likely premature to gain any solid clinical implications from it.  

 

Coffee consumption is generally safe within usual levels of intake, with estimates indicating the largest risk reduction for various health outcomes at three to four cups each day, and more likely to benefit health than harm it. 

 

However, some people, including those with high blood pressure or anxiety, may be more likely to experience the negative effects of caffeine. Some evidence suggests that it may be prudent for pregnant women to limit coffee consumption to 3 cups per day. Women at increased risk of fracture (possibly due to low estrogen levels), may also be more vulnerable than the general population. 

 

Although it is not discussed in any of the studies I read, coffee may impact cortisol and adrenalin levels.  For people struggling with adrenal fatigue, it may not be recommended.

 

Research is ongoing, because people love their coffee, and more information will continue to be released.  So if you fall into one of the groups that coffee may benefit, then moderate consumption (3-4 cups per day) is okay.

 

                                                                                   

 
 
Posted by Karole Beck at 3/12/2020 2:44:00 AM
 Tags: coffee health estrogen
Monday, February 10, 2020

A couple months ago, I wrote that the best and worst part of my job is getting to know my patients as more than just patients.  They become friends.  I celebrate good things happening in their lives, and I grieve the bad things too.  I was recently shown that the love goes both ways.

 

Last week, my husband was injured at work.  I was coordinating between him, the ER, and our kids and had to take personal phone calls and return text messages during patient appointments.  Every patient that afternoon offered to reschedule their appointments.  Every. Single. One.  Often they told me, “No, really. It’s not a problem for me to reschedule, if you need to be with your husband.”

 

I am grateful for that.  My patients are some of the nicest people I know.  To offer to reschedule an appointment because my personal life was interfering with my professional life meant a lot to me.  I felt the love, understanding, and respect they gave me.  (I didn’t reschedule anyone, but did have to interrupt every appointment to take brief phone calls or return texts.)

 

So thank you to those patients, who were so willing to let me take care of my personal minor crisis in the midst of my professional business.  I hope if any of you are ever in this position, that you’ll be offered the flexibility I was given.

 

For those who are wondering, my husband’s injury is serious, but it could have been much worse than it is.  I am very thankful for that.  With time and healing, he will be okay.

 

Posted by Karole Beck at 2/11/2020 1:07:00 AM
Thursday, January 30, 2020

As we say goodbye and thank you to Lesa for 5 years as Office Manager at Abundant Life Heatlh Care, she had something she wanted to say to everyone.  So here it is, in her own words:

Posted by Karole Beck at 1/31/2020 3:07:00 AM
Sunday, December 22, 2019

‘Twas two days before Christmas
....

Posted by Karole Beck at 12/23/2019 5:57:00 AM
Monday, December 16, 2019

 

I love being a Nurse Practitioner. Even working in a fast paced family practice clinic, I made a difference.  For the last 13+ years, I’ve been able to practice how I think is best for my patients.  I spend more time with them than I could in a typical medical practice.  I get to know them.  I get to know their stressors, their highs and lows.  I can help them in meaningful ways, not just writing a prescription.  Some of my patients have been with me since I opened my doors in 2006.  This is the best part of my job.  These patients are more like friends.  I don’t need to look at their charts to know what medications they take, what surgeries they’ve had, what foods they’re allergic to.  I know what they do for a living, how old their kids are.  I get to celebrate marriages, graduations, births, job promotions, beginning new careers, marriages that have made it through hard times.

 

But the opposite side of that coin is that I also play a small part in their sorrows.  Divorces, aging parents, lay-offs, cancer diagnoses, and deaths.  I can’t always separate my professional objectivity from my personal emotions, because these patients are my friends.  Today, I’m particularly affected by the death of a child of one of my patients.  I don’t just know the mom.  I know the aunts and grandparents of this precious child.  The mom and I were pregnant at the same time, and we compared belly sizes and pregnancy symptoms.  The grandma made a special baby blanket to welcome her first grandchild, and she made one for my baby too.  See? They’re friends.  And this is the worst part of my job.

 

As I sat at the funeral just 10 days before Christmas, I grieved with everyone else who was there.  My professional objectivity was no where to be found.  And in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Christmas season, I’ve been forced to pause.  Look around me.  Look at my children.  Look at my husband, my extended family.  Remember that I’d rather make memories than wrap presents. Errands can wait till later if I can bake cookies with my youngest child.  Even dishes can wait if it means watching a TV show with my family. That unpredictable tragedies can happen to anyone.  My kids don’t want hugs anymore, but fist bumps and back scratches are still okay.  I made sure they all got those at bedtime last night.

 

We always talk about taking a step back and evaluating our priorities.  But when was the last time we really did?  I’ve been doing that in the last week.

 

Posted by Karole Beck at 12/16/2019 11:07:00 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Why should you choose a hormone expert?

Posted by Karole Beck at 11/6/2019 12:11:00 PM
Thursday, October 31, 2019

This is our BEFORE.  Come see our AFTER!

Posted by Karole Beck at 10/31/2019 9:06:00 AM
 Tags: Open House office
Thursday, August 1, 2019

A new study was published in June, 2019 which looks at the effect of curcumin supplementation on cholesterol levels.

Posted by Karole Beck at 8/2/2019 4:06:00 AM
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Abundant Life Healthcare is moving on July 1st, so you may want to mark your calendars. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving you from our office in Garden City, but it’s time to make a change. We won’t be moving too far, though, and we found the perfect office for our practice-- we’re sure you’ll love it, too. 

Posted by Karole Beck at 6/20/2019 2:14:00 PM
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