Welcome friends and health seekers!
I'd like to introduce myself and this brand spankin’ new blog...My name is Briana Monroe and I am a 30-year old female who just received her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I also just moved back to where I’m from, Sacramento, CA.
My mother’s name is Priscilla Monroe. She is a Naturopathic Doctor with 20 years experience, and has been in practice in the Sacramento region since 1993.
Over the years, my mother and I have discovered so much conflicting health information, whether it was from magazines, Dr. Oz, online, or from friends and family. Through research, trial and error, and the teachings of Naturopathic medicine, we would like to use current research and popular education to provide information to you.
This blog is a mother-daughter health conversation duo, hence the “Dr. Mom” bit. This blog is designed as somewhat of a conversation between a consumer/citizen (myself) and a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (my mother) in order to provide as accurate of information as possible, and to dispel some health myths that are in circulation today.
In the future, Dr. Monroe may be offering webinars around specific issues, and other interactive discussion and teaching options. For now, we pick the topics, answer questions, and provide the conversation to help you, your friends and family gain control over your own health by empowering you with information.
About “Dr. Mom, Naturopath”:
A little about my mother and her journey as a Naturopathic Doctor seeking solutions to her own health problems:
“I am a Naturopathic Doctor of 20 years and have a baccalaureate degree in Nursing that gave me experience in pediatric intensive care, orthopedic surgery, and working a general medical-surgical ward in an Army hospital in Germany. I got married a little late in life, had three kids in two years; the second birth being twins. Shortly after my children were born my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I took care of her at home until she passed. By that time, I was in severe adrenal fatigue, experiencing asthma, chronic sinusitis, allergies, irritable bowel, irregular menstruation, and insomnia. After being treated by traditional medicine with no relief, I discovered Naturopathic Medical School.
The first thing I discovered was that I had lifelong food allergies. Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t able to be perfect on the diet. I felt I had to be a good mother, a good wife, and a good student. The only place I knew how to screw up was with my diet periodically! When I was able to be “good” I saw such a dramatic improvement in my health that it was increasingly easier to avoid the foods that caused me symptoms. It is a hard transition to make, considering where we live, how our food is made, what we have access to, and how much of our socialization revolves around food.
As I learned about adrenal fatigue and its role in my health problems including hormone production, allergies, sinus problems, and irritable bowel, I began to see big improvements as I was able to adhere to my diet. With these lifestyle changes, diet changes, and herbs, I came back to my full health and energy.
I realized that the migraines and long-term constipation that I suffered from as a child were due to food allergies as well.
Luckily, (or unluckily, as the case may be) my three children and husband all had the same familial propensity for asthma and food intolerances/allergies. My children have never had to be on any drugs for their asthma and have learned from their own experiences how to respect their diet (most of the time)!”
“Being human, we all take exceptions to our diet. The difference now is as we get symptoms, we don’t have to be victims to our health any longer, which to me is a huge step in empowerment. We don’t always want to follow our diets but when we choose to feel good, we know how to get there.”
My philosophy: “The gift I want to give my patients is empowerment. By that, I mean with my knowledge and experience, I make recommendations. If you give them a chance, your body will be your guide and nobody will have to be an authoritarian figure with power over your health.
When I was first in practice, I had patients who brought their babies to me, and then I didn’t see them for years at a time. I doubted my abilities as a new Naturopath. After about five years of practice, I ran into some of them occasionally around town or at the supermarket. I’d ask them how they were and if my services were not what they expected. The former patients all said the same thing: “My child isn’t sick! I have no reason to bring them in!” I was filled with relief knowing that I was where I was supposed to be, and patients were gaining something from me as a Naturopathic Doctor.
As it is called the ‘practice of medicine’ I get to learn as much from my patients as they do from me. I hope to continue to share some successes and failures as I encounter them.”
Some of you may not know about Naturopathic Medicine. What is it? What can it do for me?
“As a naturopath, I am trained in herbs, homeopathy, and nutrition. I believe nutrition is the foundation of good health. I do very little homeopathy. I believe in supporting the bodies’ natural healing processes using the premise of “First, do no harm.” I believe that we are mental, emotional, and physical beings and we manifest physically that which is mental-emotional. For instance, a person who is high stress and maybe obsessive-compulsive will always manifest with weak adrenals until they can learn to heal themselves. That could have been a person who never felt loved or felt they had to be perfect in order to be loved. Throughout the healing process, they can learn that they are lovable so that they can let go of their compulsiveness and stress on the adrenal gland and can heal fully. The gut and the brain are highly interconnected. The health of the gut (gastrointestinal tract, stomach, and intestines) play a major role in our immune system. When I eat foods I am allergic to, I am unable to get into a deep sleep due to the receptors speaking to each other from the brain to the gut. A lot of people just look at the fact that I can’t sleep, not the interconnectedness.”
What is the difference in Naturopathic Medicine and traditional medicine?
“The first two years in medical school are almost identical to traditional medical school (Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Pathophysiology) but then we as Naturopaths go on to be trained in how to support the bodies natural healing processes instead of introducing drugs and surgery. For instance, I don’t know of anyone who is actually deficient in the little purple pill (for heartburn), but many people have gut problems due to food allergies and/or intolerances that lead to the symptoms that cause the heartburn. By learning about and removing the cause, we can help ourselves heal without the use of prescription medications for most ailments.
My name is Dr. Priscilla Monroe and I serve the greater Sacramento region in California. I can be found online at www.drpriscillamonroe.com or by contacting me directly at drpjmonroe(at)gmail.com. I am 61 years old, and very healthy. My goal is to keep healthy and walking on my feet as long as I can without a walker! I currently enjoy kayaking, going to the gym, hiking, biking, and paddle boarding.”
That’s it for our intro. Any questions, please post them or send them to drmomnaturopath(at)gmail.com regarding the blog. We will tackle a question and/or topic per week and give you as much information as we can throughout our education journey.
Thanks for reading and we look forward to your involvement and hearing about your own health journey!