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Monday, October 11, 2021
Hot off the press! A new study published in late September showed that diets high in Omega 3 fatty acids and low in Omega 6 fatty acids decreased mood variability in people with bipolar disorder. Of course, they conclude that more study is needed before diet recommendations can be made. BUT, they are looking at it. To me, it's just common sense. Neurotransmitters are made from fat. If a diet is rich in high quality fats, the body can make more neurotransmitters that it needs. If a diet is deficient in high quality fat, the body will do the best it can using poor quality fat (what is found in typical American diets). Once again, the old adage is correct--we are what we eat.
Posted by Karole Beck at 10/12/2021 4:39:00 AM
Wednesday, March 24, 2021


Life Lessons From A Tea Pot


This tea set gets a lot of love at my office.  It’s decor in the receptionist’s room.  You can see it from the checkin and checkout desks.  I bought it several years ago to be an office decoration but I loved it so much that I kept it at home for two years before I brought it to the office.  It’s an actual useable tea set that I’ve used many times.


Take a good look at it.  First of all, the tree design just speaks to my heart.  (Note: my practice logo is a stylized tree of life design.)  It’s whimsical.  It’s dainty.  It has a bell in the teapot that gently tinkles as the tea is poured.  It has multiple shades of green, teal, and yellow blended and running together.  It’s a bit wonky: the saucers don’t match perfectly, the cups lean a bit, the pot is a bit tipped back. 


The artist sold this as a second.  It wasn’t perfect.  She told me it warped in the kiln and she was so disappointed in it.  She sold it cheap, because she just wanted it out of her studio, because she didn’t want to look at it anymore.


What the artist saw as failure and disappointment and a mistake, is what I love about it.  It’s unique.  It’s one-of-a-kind.  The artist will never be able to replicate it.  The imperfections are what caught my attention (plus the tree design, obviously).  The imperfections are what make it special.


It’s the same way with life.  We want our mistakes, our failures, our disappointments to go away.  We don’t want to see them anymore.  We don’t want to think about them anymore.  Yet, those are the things that make us.  We become the people we are because of them.  They make us grow, stretch, realize what we really believe is true, and hopefully become better people.


So let’s celebrate who we are, because our mistakes, our failures, our disappointments are part of who we are.  And they help make us unique, one-of-a-kind, impossible to replicate, and special.  It’s how we live well and live abundantly.

Posted by Karole Beck at 3/25/2021 12:50:00 AM
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Critical thinking skills are very important. It's the "why" that I ask my patients. Why did you do action X? What was the thought behind it? Sometimes, the thought is a good, critical thought and the action is a good, important one. But too often, we do things without thinking about them, because that's how it's always been done, because their sister said to do that, because they heard an ad that was endorsed by a celebrity/talk show host/news show host.
This is why I am an advocate for patient education. I teach every patient what I want them to do and why. Why this vitamin, lifestyle change, or hormone is important. What it is going to do for their health. People are more likely to follow through with instructions when they understand what I'm prescribing and why. And they are less likely to be swayed by their sister or a public figure who recommend something different.
Posted by Karole Beck at 12/10/2020 1:39:00 AM
Monday, October 19, 2020

Today, a number has gotten my attention.  217,692.  What is this number and why is it important?  Continue reading...

Posted by Karole Beck at 10/20/2020 2:32:00 AM
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Almost every woman experiences a hormone imbalance at some point in her life, whether it's PMS, perimenopause, or menopause, and some women are unlucky enough to deal with all three! You don't need to suffer! Hormone imbalances can be corrected when your levels are tested correctly (with a saliva test) and treated correctly with bio-identical hormones, nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle changes. For more information, please call us at 208-433-9188 or visit our website by clicking here.

Posted by Karole Beck at 9/23/2020 9:19:00 AM
Thursday, September 3, 2020
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
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