Probiotics and Fish Oils During Pregnancy Linked to Healthier Children

What we know about childhood allergies and eczema:

Group Of Happy Running Kids
  • Approximately one in thirteen kids have food allergies and 40% of these kids have more than one food allergy.

  • Food allergies are caused by the immune system overreacting to these foods, the most common food allergies are to nuts, milk, eggs and wheat.

  • Kids who suffer from allergies commonly also experience eczema.

  • The causes of this immune system link are not fully understood.

  • Ten to twenty percent of infants have eczema and 60% of children may have eczema throughout their life.

Allergies and Eczema are on the rise, how can we prevent them?

The Imperial College of London produced a large scale study of more than 1.5 million people looking at the relationship of diet on the prevalence of allergies and eczema. The study looked at dietary factors like the amount of fruits, vegetables and avoidance of the most common food allergens, they found that these factors do not have a clear effect on allergies and eczema. A healthy diet during pregnancy is obviously important for many other reasons, but it didn’t have a huge impact on the risk of infant or childhood allergies and eczema.

  • What the study did show was that fish oil and probiotics did have a positive effect on decreasing the risk for these ailments.

  • The researchers found that when pregnant women took a daily fish oil capsule from 20 weeks pregnant, and during the first three to four months of breastfeeding, the risk of egg allergy in the child was reduced by 30 per cent.

  • The study also found that taking a daily probiotic supplement from 36-38 weeks pregnant, and during the first three to six months of breastfeeding, reduced the risk of a child developing eczema by 22 per cent.

Cropped image of doctor performing ultrasound on pregnant woman

Why fish oil and probiotics?

Both of these supplements play a role in dampening immune reactions. Fish oil also has an anti-inflammatory action while probiotics help to restore optimal gut bacteria important for a healthy immune system. Focusing on the digestive system is important because approximately 80% of our immune system comes from our digestive system.

Quality matters!

  • All fish oil and probiotics are not created equal and the dosing may depend on the pregnant mother’s health and risk factors.

  • Work with a qualified naturopathic doctor to determine the appropriate pregnancy plan for you.

Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a naturopathic doctor at Inner Gate Acupuncture. She focuses on fertility, pregnancy and postpartum care. She has guided many women through healthy pregnancies using her deep knowledge of natural medicine and naturopathic medicines.

Personalized healthcare

3d render of dna structure, abstract  background

The mapping of the human genome published in February 2001, launched healthcare into a new era of medicine. DNA sequencing paved the road for more individualized medicine and gave birth to the concept of genomic medicine.  Heather Krebsbach ND is able to utilize the growing knowledge and understaning of genetics to inform her naturopathic medicine practice here is Portland, Oregon.


The National Human Genome Research Institute defines genomic medicine as "an emerging medical discipline that involves using genomic information about an individual as part of their clinical care (e.g., for diagnostic or therapeutic decision-making).”


Genomic medicine has helped to identify: 

·     Targeted medication for individuals to decrease side effects 

·     Medications that are more effective for specific diseases 

·     Examine the relationship our environment has on our genes

·     Ways to change diet and lifestyle to support the genes we were born with 


Genomic medicine isn’t confined to cancer research or what medications to use, there are a number of tests that are centered on optimizing health. For instance, we now have a picture of how each individual is detoxifying as well as making neurotransmitters. With this information, supplements, diet and lifestyle recommendations can be personalized. 


This technology is going even further by mapping out our intestinal microbiota, or the community of bacteria, yeast and viruses living in each of our digestive tracts. Many of these organisms have a beneficial relationship that keeps us healthy and much research is going into this area to identify the effect specific organisms have on diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. There are numerous tests on the market, but it’s important to have a conversation with your healthcare provider to determine the “right” test for you.


Sport Injury and Sports Recovery Research and Development

The field of naturopathic medicine excels in its ability to individualize health care to combine diet, lifestyle, herbs and nutraceutical supplements. Now genetic testing is taking this quality of care to new heights by enabling naturopathic doctors to identify and treat chronic or underlying conditions in a more holistic way. 



Optimize Your Thyroid Function

Heather Krebsbach ND

Heather Krebsbach ND

Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a naturopathic physician seeing patients at Inner Gate Acupuncture’s Halsey street location. She has been practicing naturopathic medicine in Portland Since 2006. She specializes in bio identical hormones and endocrine health. In this post she offers her insights on understanding and optimizing thyroid health.

The thyroid is a little butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck responsible for metabolism and other essential bodily functions.

The Thyroid Controls:

  • Digestive function

  • Heart rate

  • Mood

  • Muscle control

  • Menstruation

  • Body temperature

  • And much more!

The body relies on the thyroid to be balanced and secrete appropriate amounts of its hormones. When the thyroid is not in balance, there can either be too much or too little thyroid hormone being secreted, therefore causing hyper or hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of too much thyroid, or hyperthyroidism, is less common then the latter and diagnosis is typically much easier to determine due to the severity of the symptoms. Compared to hypothyroidism, which can create low-grade symptoms or mimic other illnesses.

Common Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism:

  • Heart racing or palpitations

  • Weight loss

  • Insomnia

  • Diarrhea

Common Symptoms of Hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue

  • Hair loss

  • Weight gain

  • Constipation

  • Cold body temperature

  • Menstrual irregularity

  • Foggy thinking


Treatment Options:

Treatment considerations for hyperthyroidism are very different from treatments for hypothyroid, it is important to be properly diagnosed for the right treatment focus. When we think about optimizing the thyroid function, we are usually talking about improving a sluggish or hypo-thyroid.

Certain nutrients, such as Selenium, Zinc, Iodine, Vitamins C, A, E and D are needed to help the thyroid function properly and to convert thyroid hormones to active forms that the body can use.

The Thyroid Loves these Foods:

  • Brazil nuts: high in Selenium

  • Pumpkin seeds: rich in Zinc

  • Green leafy veggies (spinach, collard greens and kale): have a bounty of Vitamin C, A and E

  • Fish and Seaweed: contains iodine

Consuming a diet with a bounty of veggies, nuts and seeds along with protein and a small amount of whole grains can be helpful to keep the thyroid functioning optimally.

Dr Krebsbach assesses thyroid function through blood tests as well as symptoms to determine the appropriate thyroid treatment. If lab results are out of normal ranges, medication in addition to diet and supplements may be needed to help support the thyroid and all the body’s essential functions.

Quality Foods = Quality of Life

Beets, peppers, onions, green beans, spices on a dark background. Fresh garden vegetables. Vegetarian, detox, diet food

What Do Diets Have In Common?

We are constantly inundated with the latest and greatest diets or food trends. All this information can make it difficult to know what we really should be eating. But if we strip away all the hype, we can see that the majority of diets have a couple similar themes; such as eating more vegetables, less refined carbohydrates and minimal sugar. For the best outcomes, we can skip the latest dietary trend and instead focus on incorporating these main principles to improve the quality of our health!

A Bounty of Vegetables, a Bowl of Grains and a Dash of Sugar

To promote optimal health, we need the cells in our body to function as optimally as possible. When we eat vegetables, they are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential anti-oxidants for healthy cellular function and the prevention of disease. Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamins A, C, K, B, Folate, Calcium and Iron. And, when we add an array of colorful veggies like bell peppers, carrots, cabbage, purple kale, radishes and squash we are eating our daily multi-vitamin. These foods can decrease inflammation to lessen pain, protect our vessels, support our brain and improve our energy level. 

On the flip side, cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup is considered to be pro-inflammatory and can damage our cells and vessels, which contributes to dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Refined carbohydrates, like bread, pasta and crackers increase our blood sugar levels and can have the same impact in our body when consumed in high amounts or on a regular basis. 

A 2014 review of studies examining carbohydrates and chronic disease showed that a diet low in refined carbohydrates may offer anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce the risk of type 2-diabetes and heart disease.[1]

Buddha bowl with quinoa, avocado, chickpeas, vegetables on a wood background, Healthy food concept. Top view.

How Should I Add These Foods Into My Diet?

  • Strive for 2 servings of green leafy vegetables per day. Such as spinach, kale, chard, arugula, mustard greens

  • Add 3-5 servings of colorful vegetables per day 

  • Avoid cane sugar and high fructose corn syrup 

  • Eat refined carbohydrates no more than 20% of the time. Instead choose intact grains like brown rice, wild rice, Forbidden rice, quinoa, millet, oats and squash

  • Choose organic fruits, vegetables and meat whenever possible

  • Incorporate healthy fats at every meal like avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds

  • Pay attention to the cooking temperature of oils and store them in a cool, dark cabinet

Ward Off Disease by Looking In Your Refrigerator!

The old saying “you are what you eat” holds true. We now know that quality matters and not all calories are the same. And in order to spark your metabolism and improve the function of all your cells, you need proper nutrition. So, if you want your body to perform at it’s highest level then you need to fuel it with the highest quality foods. 

Research is now supporting the benefit of high quality food such as organic, free-range meat and wild caught fish. A study published in 2018, showed that eating a diet high in organic food was associated with a reduced risk of cancer.[2]And not only is the quality of our food important, but how we prepare them as well. Incorporation of healthy fats is essential, but keeping them from spoiling will reduce oxidative damage

CLICK HERE to find our more about how you can optimize your diet and improve your health with Dr. Krebsbach. 

[1]Buyken, AE, Goletzke, J, Joslowski, G, Felbick, A, Cheng, G, Herder, C, Brand-Miller, JC. Association between carbohydrate quality and inflammatory markers: systematic review of observational and interventional studies. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Am J Clin Nutr. 99(4): 2014;813-33.[2]


Many of us have been searching for the best diet to help us achieve optimal health. Some of us have tried plant-based diets, while others have explored eliminating certain foods. Traditional diets from all around the world, some completely plant-based and others heavily animal-based, have all produced healthy populations. All of these diets have one thing in common:  no or little sugar or processed foods. 

What is Sugar?


Many foods we don’t think of as containing sugar actually convert to sugar. For example, all carbohydrate foods such as breads and pasta are converted to sugar by the body. 

The glycemic index is a great tool for understanding the effects of sugar on the body.  The index is a measure of how quickly a particular food turns to sugar in the body.  High levels of sugar in the blood are associated with kidney failure and increased cardiovascular risk. 

White sugar or glucose, which enters our blood stream very quickly, is given the index of 100.  All other foods are rated relative to glucose.  

The highest glycemic foods are the worst for your blood sugar, these include:

·     White Bread 

·     White Rice

·     Potatoes

·     Processed Corn Foods

·     High-Glucose Corn Syrup

How Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?

When we eat sugar, our bodies break it down and send it into our blood stream. From the blood stream, the sugar can be picked up by our cells for use.  The cells use insulin as a mechanism to move sugar from the blood stream into cells.  If the body has been overloaded with sugar for long periods of time, the cells will develop insulin resistance.  The excess sugar in the blood cannot be used by cells and begins to cause all the problems we associate with diabetes:  kidney failure, excessive urination, fatigue and headaches. 

How does Sugar Cause Cardiovascular Disease?


Sugar in the blood stream is damaging to the cell walls of our arteries. When this damage occurs, our bodies try to repair the damage by laying down cholesterol to protect the arteries.  If the damage continues, it eventually impedes blood flow. 

Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a knowledgeable and caring resource at Inner Gate Acupuncture here in Portland. She can help you design a healthy diet and lifestyle. 

Call to make an appointment today at our
Inner Gate Acupuncture Halsey Clinic

Cancer Therapy

At Inner Gate Acupuncture we provide adjunct therapy for people undergoing a variety of different cancer therapies. We are not able to do primary care for patients. We do work with many highly qualified medical doctors and naturopathic doctors to coordinate care for patients undergoing cancer care. 

Controlling nausea and vomiting: One of the difficult side effects associated with chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting.  Our acupuncturists understand how to use acupuncture to calm the stomach and the digestive tract to provide relief. 

Immune system enhancement: Having a strong and vital immune system is important in the treatment of cancer. Chemotherapy drugs can reek havoc on the immune system. Furthermore, a depressed immune system may be a contributing factor in the formation of cancer. Acupuncture has been shown to increase important immune cells and can be a crucial tool in immune enhancement. 

Calming anxiety: Acupuncture helps calm the nervous system. Relaxation and deep rest can be profoundly restorative to anyone living with cancer and even to those people supporting them. This component of healing can't be underestimated. 

Build blood: Chemotherapy drugs can destroy the bone marrow, the tissue responsible for generating blood cells. This destruction can lead to fatigue and exhaustion. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine supports the bone marrow and increases blood counts increasing energy.  

Address local trauma: With radiation therapy and surgeries there is often substantial tissue damage. Using Chinese medicine and acupuncture can increase local circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote the healing of these damaged tissues. 


Bone Broth Recipe

basic bone broth recipe

This recipe is a basic bone broth recipe.  It can be easily modified to suit your tastes and by what ingredients you have available in your home.  Of course it is recommended that you use organic meats and vegetable when possible to avoid contamination with hormones, antibiotics and chemical fertilizers.  

3-4 pounds beef marrow, knuckle bones, or chicken carcasses
½ cup raw apple cider vinegar 
4 quarts filtered water 
3 celery stalks
3 carrots
3 quartered onions
1/2 cup of fresh parsley 
Sea salt 

Place the bones in your cooking pot or crockpot, add apple cider vinegar and water, and allow the broth to sit for 1 hour. The vinegar will leach minerals out of the bones and into the broth.  
Add the vegetables and bring to a boil.  After 5-10 minutes skim the thick layer from the top of the mixture and discard it. 
Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook for 24-72 hours.  Crock pots are the safest way to cook continually overnight.  If you don't trust your stovetop it is okay to turn the broth off overnight and then resume cooking in the morning.  
When the broth is almost complete add the parsley for flavor and added minerals.  
After the broth has cooled strain out the bones and other material.  
Add sea salt for taste.
You can store the broth for up to a week in the fridge or 6 months in a freezer.


5 Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

As we have heard in recent years.  Vitamin D deficiency has become epidemic.  Many of us don't receive the daily allowances needed to provide strong bones, healthy immune systems, and vital hearts.  It is important to spend sufficient unprotected time in the sun or supplement effectively.

5 Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Here are 5 symptoms that may indicate you need more vitamin D

  1. Dental cavities and osteoporosis: Good bone density is associated with sufficient vitamin D.

  2. Depression: These are receptors in the brain for vitamin D, in areas associated with emotional health like the hippocampus. Vitamin D may play an important role in the treatment and prevention of depression.

  3. Childhood allergies: Children with normal levels of vitamin D had reduced allergic sensitization compared with children who had low levels of vitamin D.

  4. Cardiovascular disease: Research is beginning to reveal links between increased risk of cardiovascular disease and low vitamin D. The exact mechanism is still unknown.

  5. High Cholesterol: It has been shown that vitamin D precursors are turned into cholesterol by the body in the absence of adequate sunlight.

Anti-Cancer Mushrooms For Health

There are thousands of known mushroom species in the world but only a few have been scientifically evaluated.  And while only a small percentage of these have been studied for medicinal use, many that have been reviewed have shown a great capacity to stimulate the immune system.

Shitake: Known in Chinese as Xiang Fu, or “Fragrant Mushroom”, is a tender and delicious mushroom easily included in many meals. Shitakes are prized as a delicacy and a powerful medicinal.  Shitake mushrooms contain a glucan named AHCC (Alpha Hextrose Correlated Compound) that has been shown to enhance the T-killer cells and cytokines activity, two important chemicals in the fight against cancer. Glucans are a type of polysaccharide.  Lentinan, another polysaccharide found in shitake mushrooms, has been isolated to make anti-cancer drugs that stimulate the immune system.  Clinical studies have associated lentinan with a higher survival rate, higher quality of life and lower recurrence of cancer.

Maitake:   Known in Chinese as Hui Shu Hua, or “Grey Tree Flower”, is another culinary delight.  Originally used in Japanese cuisine, it is becoming more popular but remains rare here in the United States as well. Studies have shown that maitake mushrooms effect both innate and adaptive immunity, meaning they boost rapid immune response to infections and also improve long-term immunity. Maitake mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants, protecting cells and decreasing the inflammatory factor COX2 enzyme so prevalent in cancer physiology.  Maitake mushrooms inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, reducing the likelihood of them metastasizing.

Cordyceps:  Dong Chong Xia Cao, which translates as “Summer Bug Winter Grass due to it’s interesting lifecycle, is not a culinary mushroom. It is one of the most commonly used mushrooms in anti-cancer formulas in Chinese Medicine.  Cordyceps stimulate the immune system by increasing both Killer T-Cells and Natural Killer Cells.  Cordyceps have been shown to prolong the life of white blood cells allowing them more time to attack cancers.  It has demonstrated anti-tumor properties and also protects the kidneys from chemotherapy and bone marrow from irradiation. Beyond its anti-cancer properties, cordyceps also increases ATP production and improves energy and endurance.

Reishi: Know in Tradition Chinese Medicine as Ling Zhi or “the Mushroom of Immortality”, this mushroom has long been thought to increase longevity and increase vitality. Reishi enhances the immune response and benefits anyone suffering from weakened immunity. The glucans present in reishi mushrooms encourage immune cells to bind strongly to tumor cells, effectively destroying them. Another substance in reishi mushrooms, called canthaxanthin, slows tumor growth.  Despite the FDA’s unwillingness to evaluate natural medicines, other countries like Japan classify Reishi as an anti-cancer medicine.

Health Benefits of Curcumin

Curcumin For Your Health

Curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory with many beneficial secondary effects.  The research is so promising that Inner Gate Acupuncture has begun to carry highly potent and tightly regulated curcumin supplements.

Curcumin is an organic compound found in turmeric.  However, turmeric is only about 3% curcumin by weight and is poorly absorbed in the digestive tract.  Therefore, to fully receive the benefits of curcumin it is recommended to take as a potent supplement.

Benefits of Curcumin

  • Anti-Inflammatory: Curcumin acts on several portions of the inflammatory cascade. Because it blocks multiple steps of the inflammatory pathway it has been shown to be as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs without any side effects. It is believed that chronic low-level inflammation plays a role is many chronic degenerative diseases. Curcumin helps reduce this inflammation strongly limiting the impact of degenerative diseases.

  • Potent Antioxidant: Oxidative damage is one of the mechanisms behind disease and aging. Free radicles, highly reactive particles, cause oxidative damage and if left unaddressed, lead to disease. Curcumin is a free radicle scavenger. It destroys free radicles and stimulates the body's innate antioxidant system making it doubly effective in promoting health.

  • Neurological Health: In order for the brain to continue to generate new neurons a hormone called "brain derived neurotropic factor" is necessary. Many brain disorders have been associated with decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin has been shown to increase the brain's levels of brain derived neurotropic factor and it is thought to play a role in maintaining mental health.

  • Heart Disease: Heart disease affects millions of people in the United States. It turns out that curcumin may play a role in stunting several steps of the heart disease process. The lining of the blood vessels are important in regulating blood pressure, blood clotting and several other factors. Studies show that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial regulatory function. One study shows that it is as effective as exercise, while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin, a popular cholesterol medication. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects discussed above also help promote overall heart health.

  • Alzheimer's: Alzheimer's is a leading cause of dementia affecting our population. The disease is characterized by brain degeneration and plaque formation in the brain. Curcumin has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier. Because of it's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, early research suggests that curcumin may play a promising role in the prevention of Alzheimer's, though more rigorous study needs to be performed to fully evaluate it's potential benefits.

  • Depression: Depression is a difficult disease to manage and many patients don't like how anti-depressants make them feel. Curcumin has performed well in a few small studies showing it may be as effective as some standard depression medications. Patients taking both curcumin and their regular medications experienced the best results.

  • Cancer: Cancer is a disease of uncontrolled growth of cells. Studies have begun to suggest that curcumin can affect several of the components of cancer's growth and spread. Curcumin can slow angiogenesis, the process of blood vessel growth that promotes tumor proliferation. It can prevent metastasis, the spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body, and influence apoptosis, controlled cell death. Many of the initial studies performed have been very promising and researchers are now moving forward on studying human populations.

  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a disease of the joints. It involves inflammation and pain. Because curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory it can help reduce the symptoms of arthritis. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis has been show to respond well to curcumin supplementation.