I am a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in fertility, pediatrics, Autism, and ADHD. I love working with women who are considering conception to help prepare their bodies for pregnancy in a way that supports optimal health for their future baby. There is so much we can do to set our kids up for a healthy life. I use functional lab testing to look at the root of whatever symptoms your child is experiencing and I treat that root with targeted diet, lifestyle, herbs, and nutrients. The best thing about these interventions is they don’t mask over the symptoms, but instead treat what is causing those symptoms to “nip it in the bud”. I find that interventions like these are able to create lasting impact and promote health long into adulthood.
I graduated from UC Davis with a bachelors in Biological Psychology and from Bastyr University with a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. I also have a background in research and my project studying infant nutrition and neurodevelopment was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. This research further fueled my passion for early intervention for prevention of future disease.
I wanted to be a pediatrician since I could remember. I have photos of myself as a child dressed up in a white coat with my toy stethoscope in hand. I loved to give my family members “check ups” and would watch “A Baby Story” in my free time. I entered undergrad as pre-med and always assumed I would go to conventional medical school. Throughout my studies, I shadowed many MD’s and realized that their model of care wasn’t for me. I wanted to go into medicine so I could get to know my patients and make a true impact on their lives, which did not fit into the fast-paced conventional medicine model. I then changed course to become a Registered Dietician, then a Psychologist. . . and I found myself wanting more. I then learned about Naturopathic Medicine, which combined medicine, nutrition, and psychology and preached root-cause medicine. So I decided to see an ND as a patient and was incredibly impressed. My doctor spent 90 minutes asking questions about my health and my goals and truly listening to me. She ran labs that revealed the root of my symptoms and she explained them to me in such detail that I called my mom after and told her she was the smartest doctor I had ever seen. After working with her, I felt so much better and decided I wanted to take this path because I felt it offered the greatest education and opportunities to truly help my patients.
In my free time, I like to cook, tend to my vegetable garden, and walk the beach for sunset with my family. I make sure to carve out time for cooking and quality time with my family each day to remain grounded so I can be present for my patients. I'm currently writing a cookbook with a friend and colleague of mine that will be published soon! I'm also on the board of 2 non-profits. I am the president of Thrive Wellness Collective, which aims to decrease the maternal mortality rates in America by providing low-cost holistic maternal healthcare services to families in need. I'm also the secretary of The American Initiative, which provides rehabilitative equipment and services to active duty special forces military and first responders. I absolutely love giving back to these communities!
There are many forms of medicine to be practiced. You are likely familiar with MD’s (Medical Doctors), who typically work in hospitals and provide care, such as pharmaceutical interventions and surgeries. You may not be familiar with ND’s (Naturopathic Doctors), who typically work in the outpatient setting and specialize in interventions such as nutrition, nutrient therapy, and herbal medicine. ND’s are also called NMD’s (Naturopathic Medical Doctors) in some states. For information on the education of ND’s vs MD’s, check out this document from the AANMC.
Another hallmark of ND's is that we treat the root cause instead of masking the symptoms. A great example of this is the treatment of anxiety. When visiting an MD for this disorder, you may immediately be placed on medication. This may treat the symptom, but rarely the cause. Many people don't realize anxiety usually has a biological cause. When visiting an ND for anxiety, you will have comprehensive labs ordered to check for nutrient deficiencies and anything else happening under the surface. You will also be asked about your diet and blood sugar management, lifestyle and environment, stress and coping strategies. When needed, pharmaceutical interventions may be implemented, but it is important to understand what is causing the anxiety first. This is especially important when treating children, because we are creating foundations of health that they can build upon for a lifetime.
It is important to remember that all health professionals have a place in a child’s care. I often work alongside your conventional pediatrician so your child has a point of contact for times that they may need specialist interventions. Having comprehensive care is very important!