Archives for September 2016 | Integrative functional medicine blog

"Any fool can Know. The point is to understand" - Albert Einstein

4 Steps to a less toxic kitchen

4 steps to a less toxic kitchen.
toxic kitchen

We are continually bombarded by toxins. We are even getting exposed to them while we cook.
Most people don't even think twice about what they cook their food with. Recent innovations in cooking utensils and appliances are not as safe as we think of them to be. They get sold as “easy to clean, non-stick, time and lifesaving innovations” that you can’t live your life without. But they fail to inform you of the dark side. The silent killer that lurks beneath. wooooooo…..(scary music).


A better artichoke dip recipe.

A Better Artichoke Dip Recipe.

artichoke dip

I am functional medicine, and I approve of this recipe.

Ok, so after my little endorsement, I will cut to the chase. Many recipes we use can be made just as good but with a healthier slant. It’s all about the ingredients we use (and how much).

This is just one of those recipes. Many more to come. This recipe was actually given to me by a patient and I have to say, it’s a good one.


Olive oil
2 Frozen Organic Spinach bags
1 Jar artichoke heart
1/2 Sweet onion chopped
1/2 Can organic coconut milk

1) In a pan sauté the onion with a little olive oil.
2) Place artichoke hearts and defrosted spinach in a food processor. Blend to desired consistency.
3) Add the blended artichoke and spinach to the pan with the onions. Stir and mix in coconut milk (you vary the amount of coconut milk depending on the consistency desired.
4) Add a little
salt (use this kind) and pepper to taste.

Put dish into serving bowl and voila - a healthier alternative to an often unhealthy dish.

Bon appetit!

Dr. Craig Mortensen

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How fast are you getting osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis: How Fast Are You Losing Bone?

Osteoporosis is reaching an epidemic status.
It leads to 1.5 million fractures per year.

photo of bone loss

The traditional way one is evaluated for osteoporosis is the standard Bone Density Test. Although important to have done, this is a static test and "only" provides information on the amount of bone that has already been lost.
It’s not always where we have been but where we are going.

Unfortunately it does not provide data on the rate of bone loss.

Wouldn't it be wise to know how fast you are losing bone?
Wouldn't it be of great value to know if the treatment you are doing is slowing down the rate of bone loss?


Well the good news is there is a functional medicine test called the Bone Resorption Assessment that provides an accurate measurement of the rate of bone turnover.
In short, it tells you how much and how fast you are losing bone density. Are you the turtle or the hare?

slow vs fast

Testing allows the practitioner to identify those more likely to develop osteoporosis, to intervene before significant loss has occurred, and to monitor the efficacy of treatment regimens.

It is important to identify individuals currently losing bone at an accelerated rate so that effective treatment can begin before significant bone loss has occurred.

Advantages of Urinary Bone Resorption Testing

Biochemical markers are convenient and inexpensive dynamic measures of bone turnover.

Biomechanical markers provide immediate information on the rate of bone loss, thus helping to predict future losses.

Bone density tests, unlike biochemical markers, are inconvenient for regular monitoring of therapies due to invasiveness and expense.
The following is an actual bone resorption test:
bone resorpbtion test results

This test reflects a high rate of bone loss

The following is the functional medicine science behind the test:

Pyridinium crosslinks are stabilizers of collagen molecules.Pyridinium crosslinks consist of both
pyridinoline (PYD) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD). Deoxypyridinoline is found predominantly in bone tissue, whereas pyridinoline is found in both bone and cartilage. Bone collagen contains both pyridinoline (PYD), which is reflective of collagen loss of all types, and its component deoxypyridinoline (DPD), which specifically reflects bone collagen.

Presence in the urine of higher than normal amounts of PYD and DPD
indicate a rapid rate of bone loss.
The test above reveals that the level of pyridinium crosslinks is elevated. Abnormally high pyridinium crosslinks in urine suggest increased cartilage, connective tissue, and/or bone resorption. 

Again in the test above, the level of deoxypyridinoline (DPD) is elevated, indicating an
increased rate of bone loss.

In individuals with no underlying bone disease, this is an important marker in the development of osteoporosis.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I strongly recommend that you have your doctor order a
bone resorption test. If your doctor is not trained in functional medicine, then I recommend consulting with a health professional trained in functional medicine and have them evaluate you and find out "why" you have osteoporosis. 

Simply taking the common family of osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates like Actonel,Boniva and Fosamax without seeking to identify the underlying reason for why you have the disease is not wise.

Again, be pro-active in your treatment and management of osteoporosis and find someone who specializes in functional medicine - Like me ;-)

If you need a little help achieving better health please contact Dr. Craig Mortensen to set up a consultation.

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Article provided courtesy of Dr. Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S 


Vitamin D levels still suck?

Vitamin D levels still suck? This may be why.

declining vit d

I get a ton of patients whose vitamin D levels just plain stink (below 50nmol/L). In the toilet, and they can’t get it up.

I’ve got a quick check you can perform on your own to see if this little know fact can help you get your vitamin D levels back into the optimal range again.
Which by the way, should be around 70-80nmol/L.

BTW. If you haven’t had your vitamin D levels checked, you should. You can ask you doctor to run it as part of a routine blood lab or you can get it done with a simple
pin prick test here or check out our Functional test page for discounts on lab testing. CAUTION: Vitamin D is fat soluble vitamin (meaning you can overdose), its best to have a doctor supervise you and your levels.

Most people know the importance of healthy levels of vitamin D. If not, here is a short list of the reasons why you should care. This list is by no means comprehensive, there are simply too many too list all of them here.

  • Fights disease - including multiple sclerosis, other autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and even the common flu.

  • It help fight depression and fibromyalgia

  • It boosts weight loss, partially by acting as an appetite suppressant.

  • Helps with bone health and bone density

  • Decreases the risk of diabetes

  • Decreases the risk of developing cancer - particularly breast, colon, prostate, ovary, esophagus and of the lymphatic system.

  • Decreases the risk of certain issues in pregnancy such as preeclampsia, cesarean section, bacterial vaginosis and even food allergies.

Most vitamin D supplements or multivitamins have around 400IU, sometimes up to 1000IU if you are lucky.

(Please stay away from grocery store brands - save your money). The dosage of 400IU per day is the bare minimum to prevent a disease called rickets, it does not promote optimum wellness nor provide any of the health benefits as those listed above.

It’s fairly standard in todays day and age to routinely take up to
5000IU per day, sometimes even up to 10,000IU per day. That is about the minimum I use in my practice for my patients. Just about anything less just doesn’t do the trick.

After treating thousands of patients, when I can’t get a patients vitamin D levels to go up…….Wait for it……..Wait for it………

I check Magnesium levels.

This can also be done with an easy blood or urine test. If your
INTRACELLULAR magnesium (not serum magnesium) is low, then it may be helpful for your vitamin D levels if you increase your magnesium intake as well.

Here is a magnesium hair elemental test you can get on Amazon.

Hair Mineral Analysis

A possibly cheaper and quicker way to get the testing done is to check out our
Functional testing page for lab discounts mailed directly to you with no shipping or lab orders emailed within 48 hours you can take to any labcorp location around the world.

magnesium rich foods

We will thoroughly cover which type of magnesium is best for you in a later blog. For now,
check out this link for some of the magnesium supplements I use in my practice.

Get out, get some sun, enjoy life, and be healthy.

Dr. Craig Mortensen

If you or someone you know could use some guidance to better health please don’t hesitate to
contact me.

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