Dr. Taz MD Living Healthy, Naturally Issue 19

Expanding Your Options: ADD/ADHD

Eating organic food, using supplements and in-depth testing can seem costly, however, many people find it’s worth it by healing the body rather than treating or masking the symptoms. Over the years, I have found that treating the symptoms typically leads to additional conditions or the need for increased medication. In this column, I take common medical issues, show different approaches and offer an natural alternative to conventional treatment. I like to think of it as Expanding Your Options!

TIP: ADD and ADHD is becoming more of a common diagnosis among children and adults alike. Usually, patients are prescribed prescription drugs and sometimes they are helpful and other times they are a short-term fix. While my treatment of ADD/ADHD is very specialized, here are my favorite integrative approaches:

  • high dose of omega 3 – best in fatty foods like fish, nuts, seeds 
  • high protein diet for an abundance of amino acids 
  • supplementation of b vitamins and magnesium 
  • consistent sleep cycles 
  • limited electronic use- create an electronic budget and take frequent screen breaks 
  • eliminating sugar, dyes and food additives.
Integrative Approach 

*This column information is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any medical condition. Prices are approximate and taken from online industry averages.

Beauty Buzz
Six Steps to Glowing Summer Skin

Summer is a great time to shine! So whether you will be working in the garden, heading to the pool for the afternoon or taking a beach trip – try these summer sun tips and your skin will thank you!

Woman cleaning her face with cotton swabFollow these six steps to gorgeous skin and put your healthiest face forward! And in case you missed it, now is a great time to go back and read my Top 5 Sun Safety Tips to get healthy sunscreen recommendations and learn how to keep your skin protected.  

1. Exercise. That dewy glow isn’t your imagination. When you break a sweat, not only are toxins released through the surface of the skin, but the increase of blood flow nourishes the skin’s cells with oxygen and nutrients. Exercise also helps regulate digestion, reduces stress and boosts mood – all of these perks are reflected in your skin.

2. Eat fish twice a week, especially wild salmon. Salmon contains a good dose of omega 3 fatty acids as well as a unique combination of antioxidants including DMAE and astaxanthin (which makes it pink). All of these constituents control inflammation and contribute to a hydrated and youthful appearance by keeping skin cells strong and able to hold in water.

3. Drizzle on the extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is an anti-inflammatory fat that is great for skin whether you are drizzle it on your salads or apply it directly to your face! Olive oil (as well as other oils) can deep clean the skin while keeping it moist. Simply massage a quarter-size dollop directly into your unwashed skin (don’t get it wet beforehand). Remove it thoroughly with a wet, warm and very soft washcloth.  You’ll be amazed at how clean and soft your skin feels!

4. Shun highly inflammatory foods such as sugar and refined carbs. Limiting these foods keeps sugar and insulin levels balanced which can greatly improve the appearance of your skin. Focus on good protein, healthy fats and plant-based foods and your skin will thank you.

5. Stay hydrated. During the summer months cut down on heavily salted processed foods and drink plenty of water. Eight glasses a day is the usual recommendation but it varies based on diet, weight, health conditions and activity level. For deeper hydration, try making a lemonade electrolyte drink with equal parts water and coconut water. Just add fresh lemon juice, raw honey and unrefined sea salt to taste. The potassium from the coconut water and the sodium from the salt replenish electrolytes that are lost during exercise, keeping you (and your skin) hydrated.

6. Switch from coffee to green tea. Drinking coffee can raise cortisol levels and, in some, enlarge the appearance of pores. Consider switching to green tea which has a lower caffeine content and will give you a healthy blast of antioxidants that sweep up free radicals caused by sun exposure.

For a delicious recipe to give your skin a boost – try a favorite recipe of mine from Nicholas Perricone, MD, a board-certified clinical and research dermatologist, who I included in my book, What Doctors Eat.

unnamedAsk Dr. Taz MD

Q: Dear Dr. Taz,
One year ago, I was diagnosed with Eosinophilic Esophagitis and shortly after developed GERD symptoms and erosive esophagitis. I had food allergy testing and nothing came up as a trigger. I am unable to eat any foods on the GERD list and I have lost weight as I find a lot of foods and drinks cause pain after eating. This past week, I have felt a constant burning in my chest and my gastroenterologist has prescribed Dexilant. I am concerned about being on PPI’s for a long period of time, but I also want relief. Do you recommend any natural alternatives or any tests that could determine more about what’s going on with my stomach acid?

A: There are many natural remedies that help with Eosinophilic Esophagitis. My favorite remedy is glutamine, an amino acid. The starting dose in 2-3 grams per day. You can also add slippery elm, 1-2 droppers per day. I would make sure you get food intolerance testing done again at some point to see if there is something causing the EES.

Click here to Ask Dr. Taz MD your questions!

Living Healthy Tip
Stay Healthy on the Road with Dr. Taz MD


I’ve been doing a lot of travel lately in an effort to spread the word about Living Healthy, Naturally™ and some members of my team were asking how I take care of my health while traveling. We decided to jot down my tips and share them with you!

  1. What are some healthy items that can be found in your suitcase? B vitamins to keep my energy up, digestive enzymes to tolerate all the travel food and Magnesium and 5-HTP to help me sleep while I am away from home. 
  2. Do you have a favorite skin care product (or products) that you take with you on the road so that you look fresh for your TV appearances? Yes- I take a hydration mask, vitamin-C serum and moisturizer to keep my skin plumped. 
  3. How do you eat healthy at restaurants? I usually stay gluten free…so salads, steamed veggies and grilled meats are my best bet. 
  4. Do you have any tips for getting a good night’s sleep in a hotel room? I use a sleep mask, music and aromatherapy to help me relax!

 Check out more tips on my blog! 

Breast Cancer: Janet’s Story

breast-cancer-wikipediaJanet is an amazing woman and a patient of mine whom I deeply admire. Today she shares her breast cancer story – from the moment she “got the call” while in the checkout line at the grocery store, through her treatment and beyond. If you know someone who could use a little guidance or encouragement in their own path, please pass this on.

Janet, please share a little about yourself.

I’m a 51-yr old healthy woman. I was a retail store manager for most of my working career. I have also had several businesses. I was a personal assistant and an organizer. I have been a stay at home mom for the last 13 years. I have a 26-year-old stepdaughter and 2 sons that are 8 and 13. I enjoy cooking, yoga, walking, gardening, flower arranging and travel. I have always practiced living a healthy lifestyle.

When and how did you find out that you had breast cancer?

I found out I had breast cancer after a routine mammogram. I will never forget the day I was diagnosed. I was in line at Whole Foods when I got the call. I had to ask the physician to call me back. I knew what she was about to tell me by the tone of her voice.

What emotions did you feel at that time?

My initial feeling was for my family. How would my husband and children survive without me? I was in shock. How could I have cancer? I never smoked, I was not overweight, I ate healthy and I exercised!

This was a very emotional time.  I cried a lot. The day I found out, my husband and I felt it was very important to tell our children. We were all in this together.

Please tell us a little about your treatment plan.

My treatment plan was fairly standard. I started with 6 rounds of chemotherapy. I went to an infusion center once a week for six weeks. I now felt like I had cancer. My hair fell out and I had a lot of side effects from the chemo.

One month later I had surgery. I had a unilateral mastectomy using my own tissue from my stomach. I recovered extremely well from surgery and had no complications. When the results were read from the lymph nodes that were removed my doctors recommended radiation. I had been through so much I did not think I would have to do this too. I did 5 weeks of radiation, this was a daily treatment.

Throughout the process and beyond, you have supplemented with natural therapies. What has helped the most?

I used a supplement and diet regimen that Dr. Taz recommended. I believe the one supplement that helped the most was the Glutagenics which is a powerful gastrointestinal lining support. I avoided mouth sores because I was using this supplement. I believe this dietary supplement helped my body tolerate my treatment.

I would suggest to anyone who has cancer to take the supplements, diet and lifestyle recommendations from Dr. Taz to help get through treatment. I also did several vitamin drips that helped my immune system stay strong.

How has your outlook on life changed?

My outlook on life has changed dramatically. One of my mantras is, “don’t sweat the small stuff”. In the past I let stress consume me. I have a different attitude today. I have started doing yoga again. I surround myself with positive people. I try to keep negativity as far away as I can.  

I thank God daily for all the blessings I have received since I was diagnosed with cancer. I had an amazing medical team, a community of family and friends that helped me get through the tough times.

If you could give one piece of advice to new cancer patients what would it be?

This is a tough question. I think the best advice is to take help from others. When you are faced with a battle you need an army to help you. As the saying goes, “it takes a village”. I do not know what I would have done without all the help I received. If I could add one additional piece it would be to stay positive. I had days that I did not feel great but I stayed positive and it made all the difference.

I feel that having the support of an integrative medicine doctor like Dr. Taz helped me get through my battle with breast cancer. I had a wonderful oncologist, surgical oncologist, plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist. They were the part of my team to get rid of my cancer. Dr. Taz is on my team to help me make sure the cancer does not come back and to help me keep my immune system functioning to the fullest.

Top 3 Health Issues Facing Men
This week, it’s all about men in honor of National Men’s Health Week! And my, how I have learned from you guys over the years. I don’t want to generalize too much, but here are a couple of things I’ve noticed.

  1. You are fact finders. The “why’s” behind my recommendations both interest and motivate you. I love that because it keeps me on my toes.
  2. You are doers. You like a plan and when you are motivated there is no stopping you. (When you are unmotivated that is a whole different story and we will get to that later in the week!)

Today, I’m taking advantage of these great traits and giving you the rundown of what I see as the top 3 health issues facing men today. Now listen, remember and run with it! (I’m also offering a men’s health bundle at $16 off the regular price. It includes 4 supplements that protect your heart, prostate and colon health!)

1. Your Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American men. In fact 1 of 4 will lose their lives due to heart disease. This is partly a silent epidemic as half of all men who die suddenly from cardiac arrest did not notice any previous symptoms. It is inflammation, rather than cholesterol that is at the root of heart disease. Risk factors include a family history, diabetes, chronic stress, being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet choices.

What can you do?

  • Practice stress management techniques. Take a moment to close your eyes and clear your mind throughout the day – even if it’s just a minute or two. Let this build upon itself and before you know it you’ll have a little meditation practice. You deserve to live a life not consumed with stress!
  • Eat an anti-inflammatory diet that is low in gluten and dairy (especially if you are sensitive to these foods). Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats including low-mercury fish such as wild salmon 2-3 times a week, and a variety of whole grains eaten in modest portions.
  • Turmeric (a root that looks much like ginger) is highly anti-inflammatory. Add it in its raw form to meals or juices or sprinkle the ground spice over foods. I also sell a turmeric supplement for those who prefer it.

To continue reading, visit Dr. Taz’s blog!

Anxiety & Depression in Children Today
An excerpt from Dr. Taz’s recent HuffPost article.

image01-300x199There has been a sharp rise in anxiety, depression and mental health disorders in children since the early 1990s. Approximately 13 to 20 percent of children in the U.S. have a mental health episode yearly.

Our medicated children today, think it is commonplace to take these medications to perform, function or maintain relationships. Unfortunately, the disconnection we see in our children may simply be a symptom of the disconnection that exists today, within our homes, our communities and our nutrition.
Anxiety and depression, along with the often accompanying diagnosis of ADHD and OCD, affects children more today than in any other decade. It is interesting that mental health for children is increasing in rates similar to obesity, autoimmune illnesses, allergies and eczema. From an integrative medicine perspective, these are all conditions reflecting that complex interface between genetics, culture, lifestyle, food and nutritional status. Having started my medical career as a pediatrician, I want children healthy, vibrant and active. Here are patterns that I have seen in practice, as children enter with multiple psychiatric medications, that often serve as blocks to their vitality.

Nutritional Deficiencies

The connection between nutrition and mental health is nowhere more obvious than in our children. I have seen countless young and adolescent children heal their anxiety and depression by understanding their nutritional deficiencies. Diets low in protein and healthy fats affect neurotransmitter function. Deficiencies in B and D vitamins also affect mood since these vitamins are the building blocks for neurotransmitter production and break down. In fact, diet is so powerful that maternal prenatal and antenatal diet can even be related to childhood anxiety and depression.
While we don’t want to chalk up mental health disorders to simply taking a vitamin, why are we not at least checking for nutritional deficiencies and making this a part of a standard evaluation for adults and children with mental health disorders? The answers may not be a guarantee that a child will be unmedicated, but maybe helpful in having a child on fewer medications or even, smaller doses.

To continue reading, click here.

Goal of Dr. Taz MD’s Living Healthy, Naturally

The goal of this guide is to inform you about current and topical health issues. To ensure that you have the best available information, our research team at our Atlanta Center of Holistic and Integrative Medicine is aboard to help vet our material from a broad group of established and reliable sources.

If you like what you’re reading, I encourage you to send this newsletter to a friend or family member so they too can enjoy living healthy, naturally.

With gratitude, 
Dr. Taz Bhatia MD