Best Detoxification Programs

Spark Lifestyle Services

Video Transcript:


When people think ‘detox program’ they are likely to think of things like juice cleanses and maybe bowel purging kinds of programs.  As much as we love a fresh clean green juice, these are not the optimal way for most people to detoxify.

The most important parts of detoxification are cleaning up the diet dramatically so you stop throwing toxins in to the system.  This can include some fruit and especially vegetable based smoothies, but cooked foods like soups and stews are easier on the digestive tract and since most of us could use some gut R&R as part of the detox, too much raw fiberous food can be hard on the gut.

It is also important to have a high dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants available for the liver to detoxify at max speed.  This is really the most important limiting factor for detoxification. And there are plenty of herbs that also are helpful for the liver.  Not in helping to purge the bowels

Finally doing things that draw toxins of the body faster, thru the main detox pathways is a helpful component. Things that increase circulation such as hot and cold alternating therapy (like alternating hot/cold in your shower) are helpful.  Any kind of sauna (especially infrared saunas which heat the tissues more deeply) increase the transportation of toxins from the tissues to the liver for processing and also increase sweating to get them out.

Keeping the bowels moving with proper hydration and fiber is critical, though purging the bowels is generally miserable and rarely accomplishes true detoxification internally.

Detox programs that incorporate these things are those that are a more comprehensive and complete type of detox that will have a bigger impact on your wellness.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Common Pediatric Health Problems

Video Transcript:

At Spark Health, the three most common pediatric health concerns we see are constipation, skin rashes particularly eczema, and frequent illness like chronic ear infections or colds coming one right after another with a slow recovery time.

Constipation is often blamed on poor hydration and low fiber intake.  Those certainly can be part of the problem. But it is much more common to have some combination of imbalanced gut flora or bacteria along with poor toilet habits, such as not wanting to go at school or not wanting to stop play to visit the toilet.  A combination of behavior changes and treating gut imbalances is key.

Skin rashes are often linked to gut health.  We have a lot of success looking at food allergens and gut infections to get to the root cause.

Finally, immune system issues, are (surprise) also linked to gut health.  Besides checking on that, there are a number of really great, safe, botanical and vitamin supplements that help boost immune functioning.  Things like elderberry and vitamin D.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Daily Detox



We always say that detoxification is something that you need to pay attention to on a daily basis.  Here are some easy ways to go about it.

First, be sure that you aren’t adding toxic chemicals to your body un-necessarily.  Check cleansing and beauty products to make sure they are clean, especially those that stay on your body like lotions or things that go on your lips and get ingested.

Don’t cook or store food in plastic, especially hot or acidic foods, as the plastic residues leach in to the foods.

Buy organic as much as you can afford to, especially animal products, which carry more chemical residues, and also produce from the notorious “Dirty Dozen List” which are the most toxic fruits and veggies to but conventional.

Now despite your hard work, we are all exposed to toxins every day, and our bodies make lots of things that also need to get detoxified.  Anything you can do that increased your circulation, increases your sweating, or increases your bowel regularity, is generally supporting better detoxification.

Try dry ski brushing to stimulate the circulation of detoxifying lymph.  Consider ending your hot shower with 15 to 30 seconds of cold water to stimulate blood circulation.  Stay well-hydrated, and address gut health so you are not constipated.

Finally, don’t forget about getting enough good nutrition.  Your body can only detox as fast as it has enough nutrients to run those detox reactions.  The B vitamins, magnesium, and others are hugely important. This also includes having enough antioxidants to process oxidative toxicity, which really slows down the liver.

Doing these things daily will help keep your toxicity levels manageable for your detox organs to handle with ease.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Detoxification – General

Detox Basics


Detoxification is something your body does all the time.  But depending on how much you have to detoxify (and in this world it can be a lot), your detoxification systems likely could use periodic help.  Helping your detoxification means both reducing your exposure to unnecessary toxins, and also doing things to help your body process and eliminate toxins more quickly.

Some of our toxic exposures are from chemicals, such as pesticides or plastics that we come across every day.  These chemicals are often hormonal, neurologic, or genetic disruptors. They are widely un-researched, unregulated, and increasing in prevalence.  While their effects are not fully known, we are certain that even very small doses can be harmful.

Our bodies must also detoxify and eliminate used up hormones, cells, and body proteins.  I would also include here the need to neutralize and eliminate oxidative molecules before they cause damage (accomplished with dietary anti-oxidants).

Proper detoxification means reducing exposures on a daily basis, making sure your detoxification organs (your liver, gut, kidneys, and skin) are working properly, and doing a more thorough cleanse periodically.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .


Diabetes – Nutrition – Exercise

Spark Lifestyle Services

Diabetes is a great example of a condition that naturopathic medicine excels with, not only because it can be largely controlled or improved with lifestyle changes, but also because there are some great supplements that can help prevent complications from high blood sugar while we working on the rest of your treatment plan.

The main diet strategy is a very low carbohydrate diet, and this is done in a way that is healthy and nutrient-dense so general nutrition does not suffer and cardiovascular risk is not increased. Increased blood sugar levels can deplete several nutrients and diabetics also generally have a lot of oxidative damage so a diet rich in fresh fruits (especially berries that are high in antioxidants) and vegetables like leafy greens, lean proteins, nuts and seeds, and other healthy fats is really important.

Exercise is critical for diabetics to help lower blood sugars and increase lean muscle mass. Sometimes this needs to be implemented gradually, depending on a patient’s health. But working up to more intense interval-based training, especially with a weight-lifting component, can support weight loss and lowered insulin resistance.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Diabetes Supplements

Alternative Medicine San Diego


There are two main types of supplements for diabetes.  The first are supplements that help lower blood sugar levels.  Chromium is well known for this, cinnamon is another. These can be important, especially early on, for those that are working on the dietary and exercise changes that are really the most important components of blood-sugar lowering.  There are a lot of great combination products that mix and match several of these together in to one product.


The other category are supplements that help protect the body from the blood vessel and nerve damage of high blood sugars.  Alpha-lipoic acid and benfotiamine are especially helpful and well-researched.


High blood sugars can also increase the excretion of some important nutrients so a lot can be done with vitamin and mineral repletion and specific antioxidant supplements to protect and nourish the body.  


If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Family Medicine – Health

Spark Lifestyle Services

Health is a great thing to take on as a family!


Your family can be a built-in support network while you are trying to make healthy changes.  Especially with things like exercising together or working on new habits to reduce stress.


Particularly when it comes to making diet changes, it is really helpful if families can adjust their diets together so meal prep is more manageable.  And when parents make healthy diet changes while their kids are young, those habits will stick with kids long-term (sometimes after a brief disappearance during teenage years).


What also sticks with kids is that health is a priority and that it is important to pay attention to when you don’t feel well so you can correct it, and that the things we do every day (like what we eat, how much sleep we get, how much we move) help directly control how we feel and indirectly help us achieve our larger goals in life.


If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Hormonal Influences on Weight


Hormone balance is critical for healthy weight loss.  You absolutely CAN lose weight if you are not in hormone balance, but the stress of that will slow the metabolism gradually over time.  And then as soon as you stop your dieting program, your weight returns, and becomes, sometimes, even higher than when you started. This is the story of the weight loss industry.  


But when you approach weight loss from a place of balanced hormones, your body can lose weight without that level of metabolic stress. There are three hormone systems that are huge players here:


Insulin is the first one- if insulin is high (as happens when blood sugars are higher) it becomes extremely difficult to burn fat.  One of insulin’s functions is to shuttle more fat in to storage, not allow it to leave.


Thyroid hormone also plays a huge role in weight loss if it is too low.  Not only does it slow the metabolism down, but it makes you feel tired, which makes it harder to exercise and to make healthy choices.  Unfortunately, the thyroid gland gets slowed down by lots of other things in the body like nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, and other hormone imbalances.


And finally, stress hormones being too high or too low can slow weight loss.  When they are too low a person feels really tired, and it often slows down the thyroid.  Also, low DHEA (one of the adrenal hormones) can deplete testosterone in women. And low testosterone makes it hard to keep muscle mass.  High stress hormones can increase blood sugar levels and insulin and slow down the metabolism. Our bodies have evolved to slow weight loss during stressful times, which is helpful in a famine, but not necessarily in today’s world.


Checking to make sure you are in hormone balance before starting a weight loss program can help make your efforts more successful and more permanent.


If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

How is Naturopathic Medicine Different From Conventional Medicine

Spark Lifestyle Services

Naturopathic medicine shares a lot with conventional medicine.  We both rely on lab testing and physical exams to help make sense of a patient’s symptoms.  We both share common roots in medical science and researched-based treatments. But we also offer things beyond conventional medicine.


First of all, we go broader.  We have a broad focus that looks at the whole body.  We want to understand how the different systems of the body are working together, since they can affect each other.  So your rash or your headache isn’t just a problem with your skin or your head. We need to look more broadly at the body to understand what’s happening.


Second we go deeper.  We don’t just rely on a single screening test- we often have to go more in depth to understand complex problems, and to help catch things early, which is important if you are concerned with preventing illness, since it is easier to correct a problem in the early stages.


Finally, we think outside the box.  There is testing beyond what is conventional that can be incredibly helpful such as more comprehensive gut testing, food allergy testing, additional inflammation and detoxification tests and nutrient panels that all help us provide the best possible care.


We are also different in the types of treatments we focus on.  We do sometimes need to use prescription medications but our top choice is usually diet changes, exercise, supplements of particular vitamins or other natural products, detoxification protocols, etc.  These things are usually a gentler intervention on the body and not only solve the health problem, but leave the body healthier.


If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .

Lab Tests for Kids


There are some lab tests we rely on for kids that are not the typical tests you would find at your pediatrician’s office.  We are not usually diagnosing acute illness like strep throat or the flu. Instead, the tests we use most often, help uncover the cause of more chronic health problems.  A lot of kids have tummy problems, whether it be chronic abdominal pain, constipation, or bloating. Comprehensive stool testing is helpful in not only looking for infections like bacteria or yeast (or occasionally parasites) but it can tell us what kinds of healthy bacteria is in the gut.  Many tummy issues are related to imbalances in normal gut flora or bacteria, and finding and correcting these imbalances eliminates symptoms.


At Spark Health we also use food allergy testing, which can be a blood draw or finger stick to help with digestive complaints, but also for symptoms outside of the gut like allergies, asthma, and skin rashes.


Finally, there are is urine-based, Organic Acid testing, that looks for signs of nutrient deficiencies by seeing what amounts or substances get excreted in the urine.


And we do sometimes recommend standard blood draws as well, especially to help evaluate nutrient levels.  Mild iron deficiencies or omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies are not uncommon, especially during times of fast growth and can really impact mood, energy, and cognition.


As kids become teenagers the tests run start to look more like the adult blood work since they are less likely to be traumatized by a blood draw and we may want to look at additional markers such as hormones and blood sugar levels.


If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 858.228.4188 or visit us online at .