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The Wild Geese – Michelle Jackson

Wild Geese: ‘In the US, there’s an attitude of ‘go for it’i-c36fwG5-X3

From Dublin, Dolores Van Bourgondien found a rewarding nursing career in Florida

Born in Raheny, Dublin, Dolores Van Bourgondien was only a child when her father moved the family to Zambia in 1975. She returned to finish her education as a boarder at Mount Sackville and was awarded a degree in English and Psychology from UCD in 1986.

“In June 1986, I left Ireland for good. My father felt that, with the economic climate at the time, there was no way all five of his children would get jobs in Ireland. He left a job as managing director at Airmotive Ireland to run an aircraft parts and engines sales business in the US.

“In order for me to enter the US, as I was over 21, I became a student and did an MA in English Literature at Hofstra University on Long Island.”

While studying, Van Bourgondien worked part time in the aircraft business doing sales and marketing. “As luck would have it Homeland Security came knocking on my door when I graduated and I had to leave the US, but the aircraft company offered me a job in the UK.”

For the next three years Van Bourgondien worked in the UK but, after winning a lottery visa in 1991, she returned to Florida and continued working in marketing and sales in the aviation business.

When her father died in 1999, one of the last things he said was: “I have no regrets.”

This prompted Van Bourgondien to go back to school as she had always wanted to be a nurse.

“As soon as I could, I left a high-paying job in aviation, with a self-employed husband and two children and went back to school,” she says.

Graduating as a registered nurse in 2005, she worked as an emergency room and trauma nurse in an inner city hospital in downtown Fort Lauderdale, otherwise known as a gun, knife and drug club! While nursing full time, she obtained a masters in nursing in 2013.

She is now an advanced practice nurse practitioner acute care/internal medicine’ – an ARNP – and her patient population is psychiatric.

“I work at most psychiatric facilities from Palm Beach County to north Miami. Unfortunately these days, we are dealing with a drug addiction crisis fuelled by out of control opiate addiction. Our patients are also ravaged by synthetic drugs which are cheap and imported into the US, mainly from China.

“Drugs such as Flakka and Mollys are common place and we deal with the medical problems associated with these drugs. In addition, there is a health care crisis which is compounded in those with mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety and depression.”

As an ARNP, Van Bourgondien also completed training in administering botox and fillers and has been working on setting up a health and wellness practice with a concentration on anti-aging.

New generation

Van Bourgondien’s husband, Mark owns a gym, Synergy Fitness Boca and has a very successful weight loss program.

As far as Van Bourgondien is aware, the position of ARNP, with its high level of autonomy that attending physicians give her in the US, is not replicated in Ireland.

“Nurse practitioners are valued here by physicians, and our opinions, especially our medical opinions and decisions, are trusted and respected. Also I think that, in the US, there is an attitude of ‘go for it’. I feel sometimes in Ireland that you are often talked out of why you can’t do something.”

As for quality of life in Florida, she is emphatic.

“I’m going to go out on a limb”, she says. “I love the US. This country has been good to me, given me opportunities in varying fields and it has rewarded me for my hard work. In terms of a social life I have been able to socialise all the time with co-workers and the families of the kids my children went to school with and more. You do have to put yourself out there though and take the lead in trying to meet new people and friends.”

To the new generation of emigrants, Van Bourgondien says: “The US still values brains, smarts, innovation, and it will seek out those types of employees/emigrants. Ireland has an extremely well-educated population, great universities and I think we also have a great work ethic and eagerness to do well.

“There will always be room in the US for those types of emigrants. The question is, though, under the current administration and what’s being portrayed worldwide, will emigrants still want to come here?”

Van Bourgondien has exploited professional networking bodies but not in an area where expat groups have banded together. Professional groups such as the Trauma Nurses and Emergency Nurses Association have been more beneficial.

“There are no comparisons to Ireland here which does make me homesick. You have to appreciate the weather, the outdoor lifestyle, palm trees etc. but I do miss a windy day in Sutton or a walk around Howth summit.”

She is currently working on a complete online health, wellness and anti-aging programme in conjunction with Synergy Fitness Boca (Her husband’s gym).

“I would love to be able to split my time between Florida, Ireland and Mark’s homeland, The Netherlands in the future.”

 

Picture Credit: Devon McManama at

Devon Marie Photography


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Depression and Supplements to Add to your day to fight depression symptoms

Depression  – 5 Supplements to Fight Depression

 

Parts one and two of my articles on depression dealt with the basics of how to control depression symptoms.  As I stated already when symptoms become severe, when they last more than a couple of weeks, when you can’t even get out of bed or function then you need to get professional help.  If your feelings of depression are mild or if they are improving, in addition to the tips mentioned in articles one and two you can add in the following natural supplements to help increase mood.  For many of these supplements I have written individual and more substantiate articles previously and I have included those links after each supplement.

The following are 5 basic tips to help with depression:

  1. Omega 3 – Decreases Anxiety and Depression and acts as a mood stabilizer– Studies suggest that those patients that took Omega 3 Fish oils showed a marked improvement in their depression symptoms. In one study alone 64% of patients who took 10 Gms of Omega 3 over 4 months showed significant improvement in symptoms. In addition, fish oils help play a role in brain function and include both EPA and DHA which many who suffer from depression are deficient in. For more info on the benefits of Omega 3 please check here. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/omega-3-5-benefits-decrease-depression-anxiety-and-even-pms/                     Unknown
  2. Vitamin D – Recent studies have shown a strong link between depression, fibromyalgia, bipolar and low levels of Vitamin D with symptoms improving with supplementation.  Seasonal affective disorder, commonly seen in Northern countries such as Norway, Sweden, Ireland probably have higher levels of hypovitaminosis than countries located on the equator.  Sadly, according to Dr James Greenblatt Vitamin D deficiency (levels less than <20 ng/ml) are regularly seen in schizophrenia, psychosis, elective mutism and anxiety.  The take away from this is have your Vitamin D25 Level Checked and supplement accordingly with between 600 -800 IU Daily this is assuming that you are getting 450 IU of Vitamin D from food sources (not often easy to do).  Good Vitamin D Food Sources are Salmon, Fish, Mushrooms, Eggs, Fermented Milks, Vitamin D3 Only Capsule 600 – 800 IU daily but please consult with your health care profession.  https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/the-imp ortance-of-vitamin-d-the-dangers-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/

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  1. B12 – Low levels of vitamin b12 and other b vitamins have been implicated in depression and these vitamins have been shown to affect brain chemicals, mood and other brain functions. Reasons for low levels of vitamin b12 can stem from poor diet, mal-absorbtion, celiac or Crohn’s disease.  Correcting B12 deficiency starts with correcting diet imbalances. Eating a diet that is rich in b12 plentiful in animal products such as fish, lean meat, poultry, eggs, and low-fat and fat-free milk. Additionally, there are foods that are fortified such as cereals.  If you need to be supplemented 500 mcg by mouth daily is a suggested recommended dose.

 

  1. Theanine – L- Theanine is an amino acid found in Green Tea. Recently L-theanine has been extracted from green tea and is being used to treat both anxiety and depression. L-Theanine works by increasing the synthesis of GABA which in turn leads to increased brain levels of dopamine while decreasing serotonin thereby increasing feelings of calm and wellbeing.

 

  1. Turmeric – Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/09/05/5-benefits-of-turmeric-anti-inflammatory-anti-bacterial-and-fights-depression/
  1. Maca – Last but not least one of my personal favorite supplements especially for its all round benefits. In recent studies Maca was shown to decrease depressive symptoms I postmenopausal women.  The Fatty acids in maca root support brain function, which may be responsible for stabilizing analytical skills, cognitive function, and rational thinking and depression. Many doctors focused on holistic wellness often recommended omega-3 fatty acids (like the ones found in maca) as a first step toward alleviating certain symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. https://synergyhealthandwellness.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/maca-decrease-hot-flashes-and-mood-swings

 

Bonus Turmeric Tea Recipe

I’m Irish so Tea to me is a magical elixir with healing properties.  All the problems of the world , all the ailments could be solved with a cup of tea, the thing your Mum would rush to make for you if you had a bad day, had broken up with a boyfriend, had a fight with a best friend.  While I often reach for a cup of Barrys Gold Tea I do make this healing, anti-inflammatory, calming Turmeric tea and actually drink it daily.  I don’t know whether it’s the ritual of boiling the water or steeping the turmeric blend, the aromatic smells and tastes but I always feel an air of calm come over me when I drink it.

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Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

 

 

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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How to halt and even reverse aging ! The Telomere Effect.

How to halt and reverse aging!

1329410057_kim-richards-sandra-bullock-lgDo you ever look at someone and wonder what age they are?  Are you often surprised how some of your high school friends have aged terribly and how others appear to have found the fountain of youth?  We often blame it on our genes, on the hand we were dealt but an amazing new book, The Telomere Effect explains to us how we can maximize the hand we are dealt and minimize the aging process (the crow’s feet, aching joints and sagging skin)

I am always researching and reading the latest and greatest health news.  I have a responsibility as a Nurse Practitioner to stay abreast of the latest research and knowledge as it pertains to my practice.

I have just finished reading The Telomere Effect by Elissa Epel and Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn.  Dr Blackburn discovered telomerase and the role that it plays along with telomeres themselves in not only halting but also reversing the aging process.  Dr Epel is a lifestyle psychologist who specializes in showing how specific lifestyle and psychological habits can improve quality of life slowing down the aging process by direct protection of telomeres.

There is so much crammed into this book that it is hard to pick just 5 Top Tips to halt and reverse aging but here are 5 Snippets and hopefully many of you will buy the book or stay tuned for the Synergy Health and Wellness Seminar Dates!   The premise of the book is that shorter telomeres are an indication of premature cellular aging and what we do or don’t do in terms of diet, exercise, stress, depression and even environmental toxins have a direct effect on telomere length.

Stress:

imagesI love the observation that “Cells are listening to your thoughts”.  According to Epel and Blackburn a small dose of stress does not damage or shorten telomere length but subject the individual to chronic long term stress, stress that is not resolved and these individuals have noticeably shorter telomere length.  Those people who are caretakers or suffering from job burnout or going through a protracted divorce, for example are all subject to severe and prolonged stress.  We all know that inflammation is bad for us but did you know that shorter telomeres promote inflammation.

Recommendation:  Try stress reduction exercises such as meditation, yoga, journaling to reduce the amount of stress in your life.  Even better identify stress triggers and try to negate or minimize them.

Depression & Anxiety:

Like stress depression and anxiety wreak havoc on telomeres and studies show that they shorten telomeres.  The more severe the disorder (think mild versus major depressive disorder MDD) the shorter the telomeres.  More than 350 Million people worldwide suffer from depression and studies show that telomeres are shortened in those with depression and there is also a link to the duration of the depression or anxiety episode.  Telomerase, an enzyme that is secreted in response to shortening telomeres is increased in depressed individuals in an attempt to counteract telomere shortening.

Recommendation:  Early identification and treatment for depression and anxiety is essential.  Treatment modalities such as mindfulness based cognitive therapy and mindfulness itself can also be used in treatment and again modalities such as yoga and meditation have been shown to be effective in the treatment of both depression and anxiety.

Exercise:

images-4Its well known that exercise helps with stress reduction, improves symptoms of anxiety and depression and aids in weight loss – so it’s a no brainer to exercise daily.  What The Telomere Effect reports is that HIIT type exercise programs (think of all the programs available at Synergy Fitness Boca) increase telomerase activity helping to increase telomere length.

Recommendation:  HIIT exercise programs 5 times a week for 30-45 minutes a time will help protect telomeres.  Add in resistance training to your program as well.

 

Diet:

images-3What’s the best diet to protect your telomeres, increase their length slow or reverse the aging process?  Easy!  Fruit, vegetables, wholegrain, fish, chicken, Omega 3 rich foods, alcohol, fat, processed food avoidance.  Also avoid those foods that cause inflammation (these may differ from individual to individual) but cow’s dairy, fatty red meats, cheese, soda, processed and cured meats.

Recommendations: Follow a clean diet with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Mediterranean and Okinawa diets are good examples.  Limit alcohol, processed and refined foods!

Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements:

Epel and Blackburn would rather that we get the majority of our Vitamins and minerals from our foods eating those foods high in antioxidants.  But we may not get enough of certain vitamins and minerals from our diets and they suggest that adequate amounts of Vitamins D, B (folate) C, E and Omega 3’s promote telomere length and telomerase.

Recommendations:  Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, wholegrain, legumes and low fat proteins such as chicken and fish.  Eat Omega 3 rich food and reduce foods that cause insulin resistance and inflammation.

Sleep:

images-1Lack of sleep, insomnia and sleep deprivation all lead to shorter telomeres.  If you are tired during the day you are not getting enough sleep – Simple as!  But lack of sleep is implicated in depression, anxiety and so much more.  Sleep should be of good quality, the same time each day and for an adequate amount.

Recommendations:  Go to bed at the same time each night, if you tired during the day go to bed earlier.  Avoid alcohol and drugs and for more sleep information check out my previous article on sleep. (http://bit.ly/2dE7N45)

There is so much more in this book than mentioned above and I urge you all to buy it and implement the strategies included.  Stay tuned as we will be doing a more comprehensive lecture on how to halt and even reverse aging by promoting telomere friendly strategies in all areas of our lives.

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer by Elizabeth Blackburn and Elissa Epel is published by Orion Spring unknown-1

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores


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5 Benefits of Turmeric: Anti-Inflammatory, anti-bacterial and fights depression !

 

5 Benefits of Turmeric!

Turmeric a beautiful vibrant orange Indian and middle eastern spice has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines for its healing properties and health benefits.  Treating everything from infections to inflammation to calming and stabilizing mood its no wonder that western medicine is now paying attention. Here are 5 benefits to using turmeric and why we should be incorporating this spice into our daily nutrition routine.

Turmeric

  1. Blocks Cancer Cells– Some research has shown that curcumin (Turmeric) can help decrease cancer cells with best results seen in breast, colon, stomach and skin cancer. In studies chemo and curcumin combined worked more effectively in killing cancer cells than chemo alone and curcumin stopped the spread of cancer from cancer cells to other parts of the body.  More research is needed but if we also look at lower rates of cancer occurrence in those countries where between 100-200 mg of Turmeric is consumed there is validity to the argument.
  2. Anti-Oxidant – Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants seek out and eat up molecules in the body known as free radicals, that cause to damage cell membranes, alter DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.  In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.
  1. Anti- Inflammatory & Pain Relief Turmeric and its most potent active ingredient Curcumin contain more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six different COX-2-inhibitors (the COX-2 enzyme promotes pain, swelling and inflammation; inhibitors selectively block that enzyme) Dr. Weil. Turmeric research has shown positive results in the treatment of arthritis showing better pain relief when compared to NSAIDS such as Diclofenac (Voltaren) without the dangerous side effects we often see with conventional medicine.  Other studies have also show good results in conditions influenced by inflammation such as fibromyalgia, Crohns and IBS
  2. Diabetes – Great news for pre-diabetics (those with HGBA1C between 5.7 and 6.4 and blood glucose levels between 100 -125). In one 9-month study use of curcumin significantly lowered the number of individuals who would go on to become diabetics.  Additional curcumin seemed to improve overall β-cells performance.  Curcumin is a good adjunct to prediabetes treatment.
  3. Antibacterial: In a March, 2015 Study against 4 common bacteria Gram-positive (S. aureus and E. faecalis) and Gram-negative (E. coli and P. aeruginosa). It was found that Curcumin worked effective as a  broad-spectrum antibacterial by damaging cell membranes so that bacteria could not proliferate.  In these days of increasing antibiotic resistance it we need to find additional antimicrobials with low cytotoxicity (poison threat) and turmeric’s membrane damaging property may work either by itself or synergistically with other antibiotics to treat more resistant bacterial strains and super infections.
  4. Bonus Tip : Fights depression – Some studies have shown that Turmeric worked more effectively than Prozac in tests. Chronic inflammation can decrease serotonin and dopamine levels.  Turmeric is a powerful anti inflammatory and antioxidant agent which can help restore these neurotransmitters and protect the brain, eventually leading to improvements in mood.

 

Turmeric is a Spice:  Add it to chicken, meat or fish along with curry powder, make tea with it, and add to vegetables

Bonus Recipe:

Turmeric Tea – Blend Turmeric Root, Ginger, Lemon Juice into a Paste (I make enough for 1 week and store in Fridge).  Add Cayenne pepper to the paste and add boiling water and natural white honey.  Steep and then strain.

Recommended Dose:  1.5 – 3 Gm of Root Daily

Contraindications:  As with all medications please consult with your doctor before using and especially if you take anticoagulants such as Warfarin as Turmeric may increase the effects, with diabetic medications as Turmeric may increase events of hypoglycemia and if taking acid reflux medications.

For more confidential help or if you have a topic you would like discussed – you can call me at 561-866-1211.  Thanks Dolores

Synergy Health and Wellness   Dolores@synergyhealthandwellness.net or go to my website http://www.synergyhealthandwellness.net


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5 Tips if going to the ED

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5 Tips if Going to the ED

Having to go to the Emergency Department can be frightening – We know we are not seeing you at your best and often times we are there to help you through a major medical crisis.  While no visit is easy here are some tips that may make your visit a little easier.

  1. Is the ER really the right place for you ? Did you know that of all patient visits in busy ED’s only between 30% of the pateints are actually admitted.   In fact most patients are treated and discharged and usually after a significant wait.  Many ailments can actually be treated in an Urgent Care Center or in many of the “Free Standing ER’s” being set up by hospital networks.  Medication refills, pregnancy tests (yes we do see this) mild abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and many more complaints can be treated in Urgent Cares.  Chest pain, seizures, worst headache of your life, major lacerations, stroke symptoms, broken bones– Head to the ED !
  2. History & Physical – We are going to ask you tons of questions so please know your history and these questions may be asked by multiple providers !  When we ask past medical history and you answer “none” you need to know that history is anything that you have been diagnosed with even if that condition is under control with the use of medication – so that includes Hypertension, Diabetes and High Cholesterol even if those conditions are well controlled with medications.  Please also know the surgeries and approximate dates for those operations.  Family history is also important – we are interested in all family history but most importantly mother, father and siblings.  Know your allergies.  Please know height and weight (though we will weigh you for weight based meds).
  3. Medications – Please bring in a list of ALL mediations. That includes all over the counter meds, vitamins and supplements. Please see medication record tip at the bottom
  4. Please bring a friend/family member or another set of eyes and ears – While we may bring only you in initially (in order for us to get you triaged, labs drawn, immediate blood work etc) we do appreciate someone who can provide additional information and also for your sake someone who can act as your advocate. It is not unusual if you have pain or discomfort to not remember instructions or information that is often provided to you.  If you come from a large family please designate one spokesperson and point of contact.  It is so much easier for all concerned to only have to relay information once.  Ask questions – yes we love questions – and respectfully question why we are doing certain tests etc !  Most Doctors, Nurses and Paramedics will not take offence at being sked why they are doing certain things.
  5. Leave all valuables at home: Do you really need that $10,000 ring and watch in the ED? And while you may have been brought in by ambulance please, at your earliest conveience, give a family member your personal belongings.

 

One last piece of information – the definition of triage is (in medical use) “the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.”  ED personnel are REALLY good at determining degrees of urgency.  If a person who came into triage gets assigned a room before you, there is usually good reason. This may include any of the following A.  Their emergency is more acute than yours B.  A bed has become available in an area they are appropriate for ie an OB/GYN emergency may be seen in a different area as may a minor emergency than an abdominal pain.  C. Patient may be directly admitted through the ED for things like ohhhhhh Transplant and many more.  Believe me as a former ED/Trauma Nurse we like nothing more than treating patients and discharging them – we don’t like overflowing waiting rooms as much as you don’t and our goal is to get you seen and discharged as quickly as possible.

Here’
s a great medication card that you can put in your wallet.  A little trick – write your meds in pencil – therefore if your provider changes the frequency or dose you only have to erase and change those items and wont have to completely rewrite the card.

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If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Dolores at Synergy Health and Wellness  at 561-866-1211.

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