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Biography

Dr. Kara Fitzgerald received her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Fitzgerald is lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s updated Textbook for Functional Medicine. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Fitzgerald received her doctorate of naturopathic medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She completed the first CNME-accredited post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix (now Genova) Clinical Laboratory under the direction of Richard Lord, Ph.D. Her residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center, a large, integrative medical practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Fitzgerald is lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a contributing author to Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Institute for Functional Medicine’s updated Textbook for Functional Medicine. She has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Fitzgerald is on faculty at the Institute for Functional Medicine, and is an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She regularly lectures internationally for several organizations and is in private practice in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

  • Doctorate of naturopathic medicine from National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon
  • Post-doctorate position in nutritional biochemistry and laboratory science at Metametrix
  • Residency was completed at Progressive Medical Center
  • Lead author and editor of Case Studies in Integrative and Functional Medicine
  • Contributing author for IFM’s Textbook of Functional Medicine
  • Contributing author for Laboratory Evaluations for Integrative and Functional Medicine
  • Contributing author for Oxford University Press Integrative Gastroenterology, 2nd edition
  • Author of Fitzgerald KN, Hodges R. (2016). Methylation Diet and Lifestyle. (n.p).
  • Co-researcher, in collaboration with the Helfgott Institute at NUNM, Methylation Diet & Lifestyle Study
  • Faculty member at Institute for Functional Medicine
  • Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP)
  • Approved supervisor for Certified Nutrition Specialist candidates seeking experience hours
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald on Instagram

During a recent episode of New Frontiers, I was honored to welcome Dr. Jonathan Prousky, a naturopathic physician who focuses on mental health, for a discussion on his work and how making time to get outdoors can do wonders for your mental health. Learn more about the vital role nature experiences play in optimizing mental health and managing stress at the link in my bio: https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2021/04/01/depression-anxiety-suicide-addressing-mental-illness-with-dr-jonathan-prousky/ ...

In light of COVID-19, people are paying more attention to our vitamin C intakes. But as a pregnant woman, consuming adequate levels of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is even more important. Vitamin C intake epigenetically influences DNA methylation modulating phenotypic change and is essential for ensuring proper development in utero to help to prevent diabetes later in life.

An easy way to consume vitamin C is through your diet – citrus fruits, dark leafy green vegetables, and tomatoes are great sources of vitamin C. About 200 mg of vitamin C can be found in 5-8 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. So, remember to add in some vitamin C-rich foods during your next grocery run!

For more advice, book an appointment with Dr. Espinal (@drdarisaespinal). Link in bio: https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/kf_team/darisa-espinal-nd-ms/
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This is an ideal birthday for me. 🎂Izzy. Bike. Beach. In that order🥰 🚴 🏖 and happy bday to my scientific soul sister @romillyhodges 😙 ...

In today’s world, we are increasingly exposed to multiple environmental toxins and this cumulative exposure can wreak serious havoc on our hormone balance. And since hormones control many different body systems, it is not an issue to be taken lightly.

Luckily, there are many natural ways to support detoxification and hormone balance. In addition to mindfully reducing our toxin exposure, lifestyle and nutrition interventions can make a big difference to our body’s ability to handle this increased toxin load by modulating certain key biochemical processes.

One such process is methylation which affects gene expression, fat metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, clearance of toxins, hormone metabolism, and more. Indeed, this pathway is so important that we at Sandy Hook Clinic have developed our own Methylation Diet & Lifestyle program (and soon to be published book!).

There are also specific nutrients that can help with toxin & hormone metabolism too, such as Kudzu root extract which promotes xenoestrogen clearance by supporting phase I liver detoxification, Genistein which enhances phase II liver detoxification and Flax seed lignans which are a great source of fiber and support estrogen metabolism.

Curious to discover what other nutrients support optimal detoxification and hormonal balance? Watch our Teach-in today, free registration required (link in bio): https://www.drkfeducation.com/teach-in-3-19-21/
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Omega-6 fats get a bad rap. And, yes, when we consume too many omega-6s at the expense of omega-3s (which is common in a Standard American Diet) we can run into trouble. But omega-6s aren't something to avoid altogether.

Here's why:
- Omega-6 fats are considered essential - which means our survival depends on getting them regularly in our diet
- Certain omega-6 fat derivatives also have anti-inflammatory properties including DGLA and lipoxin (which are derived from arachidonic acid)

Good sources of omega-6 fats are nuts and seeds. We DON'T recommend industrialized vegetable oils as an omega-6 source.

On the other hand, good sources of omega-3 fats are fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and dark leafy green vegetables.

Thanks, @romillyhodges.

#nutrition #fats #inflammation
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Fatigue is a symptom of almost every chronic illness and the number 1 health symptom stated in medical records. Unfortunately, determining the reason behind fatigue can be tricky, leaving tens of millions of people in the world looking for a solution.

This is why I am so excited to be taking part in The Fatigue Super Conference 2021, the largest ever online conference dedicated to this issue. This free online conference, hosted from April 19-25 by Alex Howard of @OptimumHealthClinic, will bring together over 40 of the world’s leading experts to discuss the impact of fatigue on mental and body health, in-depth fatigue recovery stories & solutions, and even real-life case studies! If you or someone you love are suffering from fatigue, this online conference is the event for you.

Sign up for free:
https://www.fatiguesuperconference.com/?affid=kfitzgerald

Link in bio!
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Early peanut introduction is proving successful in reducing allergies.

Infant feeding guidelines changed in 2016 to recommend the early introduction of peanuts and other allergenic foods to reduce rates of allergic disease. Now, data from Australia lend support for this change:

In the city of Melbourne, peanut introduction within the first 12 months of life has risen from less than 30 percent before 2016 to close to 90 percent today. At the same time, peanut allergy has declined 16 percent.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, under a physician's guidance, high-risk infants (those with severe eczema or egg allergy) be introduced to peanuts between 4 to 6 months of age. For moderate-risk infants (those with mild to moderate asthma) at 6 months.

Link in bio: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091674919310280
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Yesterday's news of the first of its kind evidence of biological age reversal in humans begs the question "What is biological age, anyway?" In short, it's a better measure of your health than your chronological age because it measures the health of your DNA. As a result, reversing biological age may hold the key to longer, happier, healthier lives. https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/2021/04/13/biological-aging-and-methylation/ ...

Is aging a given? Or can we become biologically younger, even as we get chronologically older?

Turns out the answer is a rather exciting “yes!

Our first-of-its-kind study in the journal Aging and conducted at Helfgot Research Institute with scientists, clinicians, and nutritionists from McGIll University, UC San Diego, the Institute for Functional Medicine, and the American Nutrition Association was able to reverse biological age in healthy older adult men by a whopping 3.24 years as compared to the men who didn’t participate in the program. And we did it in just eight short weeks.

Best of all, the only interventions were straightforward dietary changes and simple lifestyle practices.

Would you like to learn more? You can join the Younger You community (link in bio): http://join.youngeryouprogram.com or dig more into the study: https://www.aging-us.com/article/202913/text
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Eczema can be especially troublesome for infants and children, and we know that it increases the risk for allergic diseases. Now, new research confirms what we already know - that the good kinds of skin bacteria actually help kill off the bad kinds that can colonize and worsen broken eczema skin.

Link in bio: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01256-2
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Spore probiotic + bacteriophages? That's pretty creative.

Unlike traditional probiotics, spore-based probiotics are highly resistant to stomach acid, allowing a larger amount of beneficial bacteria to reach the intestinal tract.

These soil-based bacteria can neutralize LPS generation and thus help reduce LPS toxicity in the bowel. They are also anti-pathogenic against other microbes.

Bacteriophages are “intelligent bugs” which can selectively target unwanted bacteria in the gut. By attaching to specific bad bacteria bacteriophages allow for good bacteria to thrive.

Used together with spore biotics, their effectiveness is multiplied leading to a healthy, thriving gut microbiome and a balanced immune function.

Tune in to our Teach-in to find out how Dr. Rick Mayfield and @femdocere_drkristihughes are using this creative combination in their practice.

Link in bio: https://www.drkfeducation.com/teach-in-3-19-21/
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Nearly all chronic diseases, and aging itself, are mediated in part via epigenetics. Targeting a healthy balanced epigenome is key to health and longevity.

Link to study in bio: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6312997/
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The @EnvironmentalWorkingGroup's new Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists are here to help you make smart food choices for the whole family!

Link in bio: https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean-fifteen.php

Shout out to my colleague @romillyhodges for sending this over.
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Compounded bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (cBHRT) uses hormones that are identical to those produced by your body to regain and maintain hormone balance.

Unlike the standardized dosage forms and strengths of commercially-available drugs, compounding allows practitioners to fine-tune prescriptions to meet the individual needs of each patient.

For example, if a patient has trouble swallowing pills, a compounding pharmacist in collaboration with a practitioner may be able to formulate the medication as a topical cream or gel for them instead.

Women’s International Pharmacy believes that every practitioner should have the option to choose a treatment plan tailored to their patients’ specific health requirements.

Since 1985, Women's International Pharmacy has helped practitioners help their patients achieve hormone balance—and optimize wellness—through cBHRT.

LINK IN BIO: Click the link in the bio to learn more about the importance of hormone balance and Women's International Pharmacy's work.
womensinternational.com
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At Sandy Hook Clinic we often call liver “nature’s multivitamin” due to its rich nutrient content. Indeed, it is an epigenetic superfood that contains high levels of methionine, cysteine, zinc, B2, B3, B6, folate, B12, betaine, and choline.

No other ingredient matches its broad-spectrum methylation nutrient support and with all of these nutrients comes a whole host of benefits, such as:

Increased energy
Healthier skin & bones
Enhanced immune function
Improved mood & cognitive function
Increased antioxidant levels

Understandably, liver is not everybody’s cup of tea due to its rich taste. A friendly way to introduce nature’s most nutrient-dense food into your diet is by making a creamy & smooth liver pate – and we’ve got a super easy recipe for you (link in bio).

Remember, because the liver is a detox organ, ALWAYS choose organic when purchasing. Although it does not store any more toxins than any other part of the body, the cleaner the source of your food is the less work your own liver will have to do to process and clear toxins.

Link in bio: https://www.drkarafitzgerald.com/recipe/chicken-liver-pate/

Thank you for the photo, Miranda Kusi (@inspiredbymiranda).

#liver #nutrition #methylation #mdl #youngeryou #health #wellness
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Toxic mold exposure can cause a variety of health issues and affect both short and long-term health. I'm delighted to join 45+ health experts in sharing vital healing and prevention strategies for dealing with toxic mold at the Toxic Mold Summit, which will take place April 26th - May 2nd.

Sign up to join me now and you'll also receive a free eBook from @HealthMeans, which includes lifestyle practices you can take to keep your home and life mold-free.

Unlock your eBook and reserve your seat! Link in bio:
https://toxicmold.byhealthmeans.com/reg-gift-3/?idev_id=20789
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Can we really make sweeping statements about what the right amount of fruits and vegetables is for everyone?

According to a recent study that pooled data from 2 million people, we can (PMID 33641343). The study authors conclude that the right amount is 5 servings, ideally as two servings of fruit and three of vegetables.

But we disagree. These kinds of studies look at averages only - and we can tell you the person sitting in front of you in your office is no "average." Generalized studies can't tell you which individuals may benefit from more than 5 servings per day (we have endless clinical examples where that's been key). And other studies caution that, for certain individuals, "the general recommendation to consume >=5 servings of vegetables and fruit per day... could underestimate needs" (PMID 32717747). In some individuals, specific vegetables such as those high in FODMAPs are problematic and may need to be temporarily avoided.

Nutrition is personal. Period. Thanks to @romillyhodges for point this out.

How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you feel good eating per day? And what are your favorite kinds?
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It's hard to find a food as good as blueberries are. In addition to being high in antioxidants and scientifically vetted to improve blood pressure, memory, and recovery, wild blueberries have even been shown to benefit your oral microbiome.

I'm not saying to throw away your toothbrush and all other foods - but blueberries do make for a good snack and are a powerful source of several methylation adaptogens. Grab a handful or toss some in a smoothie and start reaping the benefits!
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Did you know vitamin D functions like a hormone and every single cell in your body has a receptor for it? Another fun fact is that your body makes vitamin D from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is an extremely important vitamin that impacts several systems throughout your body that affect mood, immune function, bone density, and inflammation.

It’s important to know your vitamin D levels, especially if you live in areas where sunlight is sparse throughout the year or you are experiencing symptoms of low levels. If your healthcare practitioner has declared that you are deficient in this critical vitamin, it’s imperative to find the right supplement for your needs. Metabolic Maintenance has a line of varying doses that may provide just what the doctor

Link in bio: https://www.metabolicmaintenance.com/Vitamins-Minerals/
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