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Supplements and Your Health

Addressing Common Ailments with Supplements

Many medical issues can be successfully prevented and treated through the use of high-quality supplements. In many cases, they can be an affordable, safe, and effective alternative to over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Of course, anyone who has seen the vitamin aisle at the supermarket knows how confusing choosing the right supplements can be. Adding to the confusion is lack of government regulation on vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies. How do you know what you are really getting, and how do you know if it will meet your individual needs?

Dr. Joseph Johnson MD and the other medical providers at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center (get to know us here!) include the use of supplements and other natural solutions as an aspect of the full-spectrum medical care they provide. Incorporating supplements into a health care plan that involves cutting edge diagnosis techniques, personalized health consultations, and traditional medicine ensures that you are receiving the best care possible.

Make an appointment now to speak with a provider about potential natural solutions to your health concerns, or continue reading to learn what makes the supplements at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center superior to other options.

  • Supplements vs. Prescription Drugs, A Comparison
  • Some Benefits of Supplements
  • The Importance of a Physician’s Guidance
  • Finding Quality Supplements: Sierra Nevada Wellness Center
  • A Brief Overview of Some Widely-Used Supplements
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Supplements Vs. Prescription Drugs, A Comparison

Prescription drugs are often the most effective way to treat conditions. The providers at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center have extensive training in prescription drugs and always stay up to date on the latest medical research and, when a prescription is the best option, it is always prescribed carefully and responsibly. This includes prescribing affordable generic drugs unless another option may work better for a certain patient or has unique benefits.

However, there are many reasons to look beyond prescriptions as a default solution to health concerns. Over the years, Dr. Johnson and his staff have seen many patients whose ailments have gone unresolved, or who have suffered terrible side effects, while using prescription drugs. A key reason for this is that our bodies are equipped with amazing enzymatic processes that regulate levels of substances naturally found in the body.  Pharmaceuticals typically have more side effects because they include foreign, rather than natural, ingredients. Motivated by a desire to reduce side effects and costs while offering numerous health advantages, the physicians at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center have researched and found reputable alternatives for cases where traditional medicine does not offer satisfactory answers.

Did you know…

  • Researchers have found prescription drug side effects impact one in four patients.
  • Americans spent a staggering $374 billion on prescription drugs in 2014, nearly quadruple the amount spent in 1999.
  • In 2013, enough prescriptions were filled for opioids alone that every adult American could have a bottle of pills

The good news is that there are often other ways to treat chronic symptoms and common complaints.

Ask yourself these questions. Have you suffered from persistent symptoms for months—or even years—without relief?  Are you concerned about the rising cost of prescription drugs, or of their sometimes frightening side effects?  Are you feeling like you may need to resign yourself to living with your symptoms?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone. Fortunately, many ailments can be lessened or entirely alleviated with the right supplements! A visit to Sierra Nevada Wellness Center can help you determine if your symptoms can be treated in a way that reduces costs, virtually eliminates side effects, and provides a sustainable, long-term solution.

Some Benefits of Supplements

Here are just a few of the common ailments with which supplements can help.

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hot flashes
  • Unwanted hair growth
  • Excess acne
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Bloating and gas
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Frequent and nighttime urination
  • Anxiety or mild depression
  • Excess weight

This list is far from complete. Whether or not your personal concerns are included, there is an excellent chance that the right supplements could provide a solution for you.

The Importance of a Physician’s Guidance

Determining the right supplements for your individual needs is an important medical decision. Some people believe reading unverified sources and buying products on the internet or from an herbal store will bring results. It may, but too often people waste money or suffer unfortunate consequences by taking that route. You know how important it is for your doctor to decide the dosages and types of prescription drugs you take. It is just as important for your doctor to do the same for your supplements.

Buying from our office also ensures that you are getting truly beneficial natural products. Natural substances can effectively treat a variety of conditions and often have fewer side effects than manufactured drugs, but “natural” does not always mean “safe.” For example, many stimulants found in nature are unsafe. Certain natural stimulants enjoyed recent popularity until data emerged about their detrimental effects on health. In this case, the government stepped in and forced companies to alter their advertising and even pull the products from store shelves. Unfortunately, since the FDA does not generally regulate vitamins, herbs, and supplements, many “all-natural” products still accessible on the market are unsafe for human consumption. You need a trusted medical professional to guide you through the many available options.

Even if you are suffering from irritating or even debilitating symptoms, take the time to make an appointment [Make an Appointment link] and receive medical advice. Sometimes symptoms do not arise until a problem becomes serious, so it is important to stay current on labs and determine the cause of your ailment. Incorrect levels of various vitamins, minerals, and hormones can lead to chronic problems and even fatal diseases. Ascertaining your exact condition will enable us to determine the right treatment, and that treatment will often include supplements with clear, targeted therapeutic purposes.

Finding Quality Supplements:  Sierra Nevada Wellness Center

The FDA does not regulate the supplement industry, so many companies provide inaccurate descriptions on labels. A recent study of fifteen glucosamine products, commonly used for joint and arthritis issues, showed that thirteen of the fifteen products either did not contain as much glucosamine as they claimed or did not contain any at all! Similarly, in 2015 the New York attorney general’s office found that 80% of herbal supplements sold in major retailers “did not contain any of the herbs on their labels.” To make matters worse, the mislabeled products often contained hidden allergens that could worsen conditions for some people.

Products may also contain unexpected components based on the methods used in harvesting and manufacturing. Omega-3, for example, comes from fish and can help with heart disease, joint pain, and a host of other issues. When gathered from farm-raised fish, however, omega-3 supplements may contain toxins and elevated levels of mercury. Our omega-3 products come from wild-caught fish, minimizing these elements. This is just one example of how buying products from a reputable source matters.

Even if a label accurately describes the contents, the ingredients may not be delivered in a way your body can use. Poor absorption rates indicate that you body is not really benefitting from what you take, and the average over-the-counter multivitamin has about a 3% absorption rate. High-quality vitamins, like those sold at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center, have absorption rates well above 90%. That equals over 30x the actual effectiveness, usually for a comparable price!

We carry only pharmaceutical-grade supplements in our office. What does “pharmaceutical-grade” mean? It means the products contain what they claim so that, when properly used, they can do what they say. Our supplements are third-party tested—an independent lab verifies the ingredients and potency of everything we sell. It also means that medical providers with years of training in pharmaceuticals will make sure you are taking the best possible items for your personal needs. Our physicians know how drugs and supplements affect bodily systems, have detailed knowledge of each item we sell, and understand when and how to apply both natural and traditional medicinal solutions. Other sources for supplements simply cannot match our level of quality and expert guidance.

It is extremely gratifying to us when we see a patient start on a new supplement, after being properly tested, and come in for the next office visit exclaiming—and sometimes even crying—“I haven’t felt this good in years!” Your success stories are our success stories. We have seen such victories much more often ever since we began emphasizing the use of supplements for our patients.

It sounds good, doesn’t it?  No matter what your symptoms are, you just want to feel better. Now you know that the right natural products, in the right dosage, and taken based on sound medical advice and proper lab information can play a major role in resolving your health concerns.

A Brief Overview of Some Widely-Used Supplements

There is not room here to cover all the supplements our office offers and all the benefits they can provide. In fact, creating a complete list would literally be impossible. We are constantly researching and offering new products, and the potential benefits depend on your individual medical needs. Please take a few minutes to learn about a few of the supplements that have made a very real difference in the lives of many patients. When you’re done here, make an appointment [link to Make an Appointment] to get personalized care from one of our providers or check out our blog [link to Blog Posts] to learn more about what we offer.

Vitamin D – There is an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency in our population today, with a number of theories as to why including the use of sunscreen, less time spent outside, and nutritional depletion in the foods we eat. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to increase the risk for cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and recurrent infections, in addition to worsening chronic pain. It may also be related to fatigue and restless leg syndrome. Many over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements, however, contain only Vitamin D², which doesn’t do as much good because the active form in the body is Vitamin D³.  Also, dosages are not typically high enough to bring Vitamin D levels up to optimal range. The only way to know your Vitamin D level is through a simple lab test. We offer this test to almost all our patients, and the results confirm what studies have found—about 60% of the population is low in Vitamin D, even people who are outside all the time or drink lots of milk. We offer high grade Vitamin D³ in dosages customized to genuinely improve levels within the body. As far as benefit for the dollar, this has got to be one of the best in history.

Adrenal Support – Many people suffer from daily fatigue and sleeping disorders, and medical research has linked these issues with adrenal dysfunction. The #1 cause of adrenal dysfunction is chronic stress. The adrenals are responsible for producing cortisol, a hormone that gives us energy. With chronic stress, people produce too little cortisol in the morning and, ironically, too much at nighttime, causing sleeping disorders. Lab tests can determine your exact level or cortisol. Then, with the right adrenal support vitamins and herbal remedies, patients can have healthier adrenal gland function and feel significantly better.

Progesterone – This is one of the main female hormones, and, unlike estrogen, it has been shown to actually decrease breast cancer risk and heart disease. Years of testing have shown that most women are not deficient in estrogen after menopause, but they are deficient in progesterone, which can cause very similar symptoms. Even pre-menopausal women with menstrual irregularities, severe PMS, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) often have progesterone deficiencies the last half of the cycle. Supplementing with a high-quality progesterone source can diminish many of these symptoms. For many patients, this proves to be a healthier and more effective means of addressing symptoms than using birth-control pills (which can increase the risks of blood clots, especially when coupled with smoking or obesity, and cancer). In order to provide the optimal results, we check lab results to know your exact progesterone level, since progesterone supplements can be less effective if the level is too high or too low.

Prostate Support – Prostate enlargement in men sometimes creates problems with frequent urination, nighttime urination, dribbling, hesitancy, and slow stream. There are a number of ways to help treat prostate enlargement, and a great natural way to treat it is with our Prostate Support. This product contains saw palmetto, pumpkin seed, lycopene—which may decrease risk of prostate cancer—and other ingredients that address this common condition. It is important to take prostate-related supplements under the guidance of a doctor, since they often reduce PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels, and we can monitor this.

Red Yeast Rice – This is a natural way of reducing total cholesterol and LDL. Some studies indicate that this may have a better side effect profile than commonly prescribed statin drugs. Red rice yeast was actually marketed as a pharmaceutical quite a number of years ago, but it has subsequently been over the counter for quite some time. Of course, formulations vary in effectiveness. We offer the highest quality red yeast rice in multiple dosages that can be tailored to your individual medical needs.

Mood Support – Anxiety and depression are related to low levels of serotonin in the brain.  Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicines work by blocking a receptor in the brain that tends to keep low levels of serotonin more functional. We have precursors of serotonin in the brain, and increasing these aids in the formation of serotonin. Using supplements that contain these precursors that are naturally found in the body, we can increase the serotonin levels without some of the typical side effects seen with antidepressants. If you are dealing with moderate or severe depression or bipolar disorder, however, pharmaceuticals will work better for you. Your healthcare provider at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center will be able to help you make the right decision about your care.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

  1. Can natural supplements have interactions with medicines and other supplements?
  2. Yes, there is a possibility of adverse interactions, which is why you should discuss all your medications and supplements with your physician. Pharmaceuticals tend to have more interactions than supplements, but caution needs to be taken when supplements, medicines, or both are taken.
  3. Is there really a difference between supplements at the grocery store and the ones available at your office?
  4. Finding Quality Supplements: Sierra Nevada Wellness Center [link] above explains why the answer is a resounding yes and what some of those differences are.
  5. Do insurances pay for supplements?
  6. Usually not. You may be able to use your health savings account or flexible spending account to purchase the supplements, however, especially if they are purchased at through Sierra Nevada Wellness Center.
  7. Do all medical centers offer supplements? Why should I choose Sierra Nevada Wellness Center if I am looking for natural solutions?

It is important that you work with a professional who is trained and experienced in the area in which you need help. Our providers are specialists in both traditional and natural solutions, and over the years they have helped many people just like you find ways to resolve chronic symptoms and complaints. Our approach often involves the safe and effective use of supplements. This approach differs from the professional philosophy of many healthcare providers. If you are looking for someone who shares your desire to explore natural solutions, the physicians in our office have the training and experience you should expect from your practitioner.

Housing multiple medical providers under one roof also means that you can find someone who can work with your schedule (including evening hours) and with whom you personally feel comfortable. You should choose a doctor who is easy to talk to and listens to your concerns. We believe that you, like our thousands of loyal patients, will find such a provider at Sierra Nevada Wellness Center. We welcome you to make an appointment to discuss your medical concerns and get to know one of our highly skilled, caring providers.

The information provided in this report is meant as a general source of information. Consult your medical provider regarding individualized medical advice.