Chronic Pain Management with Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Pohala Clinic Client Julie A. Fast talks about working with Julie Foster for chronic pain management help.

“Managing chronic pain is more than medications. It’s about lifestyle changes and helping a person find natural ways to exercise and work with the pain in order to have a functional life.” 

 

I’ve worked with nurse practitioner Julie Foster as my primary care physician in Portland, Oregon for over ten years. During this time, she has helped me through a variety of sport related injuries that eventually led to a problem with chronic pain.  With her help, I have regular body treatments from various processionals,  have worked on my diet and eventually got my pain under control.  Julie’s advice is always specific. We talk about sleep and natural treatments. We use homeopathic remedies and acupuncture and well.

 

She reminds me that what I put in my body will be reflected in how my body responds to injuries. I know this and am working on it daily.

I want to share my story with others who are looking for help with chronic pain so that they can hopefully work with Julie in finding a plan that works in all areas of life.

Chronic pain is with me daily. I know that without my own way of dealing with the ups and downs of energy I experience depending on my pain levels, I will have a tough time in life.

 

Do You Need Help with Chronic Pain? 

We all need a plan to help us get on with life, even when the pain makes it difficult to get out of bed. I consider myself half way through this journey of getting my body back to where it was before I had my biking accident. This is something I love about working with Julie Foster. She gives me time. There is no judgement when I tell her I’m still having trouble with sugar and there is always a celebration when I am able to better follow her advice. Her patience with me has allowed me to find help for chronic pain that got me out of my special anti gravity chair and back in the world.

 

Julie taught me that chronic pain can have a life of its own. I need to be aware of what is real in my body and what is being created by my overloaded brain.  Julie often says, “The body and mind often trade off. The mind gives us trouble and when we have this figured out, the body then sends us a message that there is still more work to do. Eventually, balance happens when the mind and the body are healthy at the same time.”

 

This is my goal. Julie allows me to be human.  When I am not able to follow the diet in a way that I know will help, she reminds me that the next day is another chance to make better choices. This has allowed me to learn more about what I need. My weight has stabilized and I am now working on finding an eating plan that helps with the pain in general. This includes the following:

 

  1. Night shades such as tomatoes and chili peppers cause an immediate flare in my body. Stopping my favorite Mexican and Thai dishes has not been easy, but for now, I am very conscious of my night shade intake and it is helping greatly.

2. Movement. Chronic pains tells us that we can’t move. This is rarely the case. Even someone like myself with multiple injuries can move.

3.  White sugar.  Julie once said to me, “Julie, the fat that is created on the body from sugar consumption becomes its own organ. It can become yet another source of pain.”  When I am free from white sugar, even for a week, my pain levels go down greatly.

4. Medication pain management.  My goal is to be pain medication free.  To do this, I continue to work with Julie and the other practitioners in my life who are helping me change my diet and work on my specific injuries.

Without Julie, this would be too overwhelming. With her, I am reminded that I can get my body healthy again. It takes a team and Julie is an important part of that team.

 

 

Julie A. Fast

 

To book a time with Julie Foster or one of our Pohala Practitioners, please call the Pohala Clinic and let the receptionist know that Julie A. Fast referred you!

 

Help for Sleep When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Pohala Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster is often asked for quotes regarding her mental health work. Julie was interviewed for the following Health Central slide show on getting better sleep when you have bipolar disorder.

From the article:

Bipolar disorder responds well to a sleep plan that respects the body’s circadian rhythm. Learning to prevent mood swings by making good “sleep hygiene” choices is an inexpensive and natural way to prevent mania and depression. Sleep changes are not always easy in our very busy world, but please know that making even a few of the changes discussed here can reduce the need for certain medications and ultimately prevent mood swings.

Click here to read 9 Tips to Help Sleep With Bipolar. 

Mahalo,

Team Pohala

 

Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon Accepting Clients with Bipolar Disorder

Julie Foster has over 20 years of experience working with people who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She also works with clients who are not sure if there is bipolar or if it is simply depression or anxiety.
Do you wonder: Do I Have Bipolar Disorder? 
Julie’s appointments allow for time to explore your history in order to come to a decision on what management plan will work best in your current situation. It can be a bit scary at first to think that you have a mental health disorder. Julie provides a safe environment where you can explore symptoms and come up with an answer.
Partners and Family Members are Welcome
Julie also encourages partners and family members to attend appointments so that their questions and needs can be  heard. Pohala encourages a family approach to stabilizing the mood, but as Julie makes very clear when asked about the role of family, your family is comprised of the people you choose to have in your life. They may be relatives or it may be you have found a family that is not related to your family of origin that supports your beliefs in life in order so that you can stay healthy.
How do you Help a Person Who Asks Do I Have Bipolar Disorder
Julie Foster describes her approach:
When I meet a new client who thinks bipolar disorder is in the family, I look at the whole person first. What is happening in the person’s life?  What is going on in the person’s relationships? What substances is the person using that could lead to symptoms that look like the symptoms of bipolar disorder?
It’s a very important time when someone comes to see me about mood swings It means that either they or someone close by has said,  “I think you have bipolar disorder!”  This is life changing and I  want to make sure I’m present and open to what the person is feeling.
I then ask questions about sleep, nutrition, relationships and life events.  I look at bipolar disorder as an opportunity to help the whole person. When we figure out what is going on with the mood and come up with the time of onset and the family history, it’s easier to figure out if bipolar is the actual diagnosis. From there, I explain my philosophy of the illness, listen to what the client feels is happening and come up with a plan that addresses the mind and the body.
I definitely use traditional psychiatric medications as needed, but I also supplement this treatment with natural treatments including homeopathic and herbal remedies. I am a careful study and make sure that what I recommend will not make my client more manic or depressed.
Please know that I have lived with bipolar disorder in my own family for all of my life and I’m very careful to make sure the treatments I suggest will keep a person well and not add more stress to a person’s life. I’m also open to any discussion of spiritual experiences and how there are many different approaches to mental health treatment around the world.
Please call Julie today to book a session and finally get the answers you need:
Do I have bipolar disorder?
What is the best treatment plan for the illness?
What help do I need?
How can I involve my family or partner?
And most importantly…
Am I going to be ok?
If you are a family member, Julie can work with you to get the best care possible for a loved one with bipolar disorder.
Julie’s approach is gentle and firm, based in sound medical practices that incorporate spiritual modalities. Give Julie a call today and book a session. It’s a good time to finally get help and start yourself on the road to stability.
What Julie’s clients say about her bipolar disorder work:
Julie Foster has been my prescriber and advocate for over ten years. I already knew that I had bipolar disorder when she took me on as a patient. I had written a few books and had a pretty good handle on how to manage the illness, but I often had problems with medications and wanted to know what non western treatments she could add to my regular plan. Julie is so compassionate. She understands bipolar as she lives with it in her own family. She is someone I can turn to when I feel overwhelmed with the the enormity of having this illness. She has helped greatly with my never ending sleep problems and I know I can call her at any time when I have a question. I highly recommend Julie as a prescriber and most importantly, as an overall provider for all of the problems many of us with bipolar disorder face including issues with our physical health. 
Julie A. Fast

Steroids, Allergies and Bipolar Disorder: Q&A with Portland Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster

Julie Foster-Pohala Clinic
Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Bipolar disorder author Julie A. Fast has been a client of mine for over 10 years.   We often discuss over the counter and prescribed medications that can cause mood swings for people with bipolar disorder. She’s currently writing an article on the topic and asked me to describe my process of prescribing steroids if a person has bipolar disorder or depression and what I use instead of a steroid when helping a client who has bipolar disorder or depression manage allergies or asthma.

Julie A Fast:  Julie, When you have a client with bipolar who has severe allergies, how do you talk with them about the effects of steroids on bipolar disorder if they have an allergy doctor who wants to prescribe prednisone? What is the plan if the person can’t take steroids, but they have terrible allergies?  Steroids are known to affect the mood. For many people with mood disorders, they can cause mania and depression. 

Julie Foster: In general I do everything I can to avoid steroids in the general population whether it be for allergies or other needs. However with my Bipolar patients,  I am extra cautious. Unless I have exhausted all other options and the person is finding no relief either completely miserable or their breathing is comprised I do not prescribe.

Allergies are on the rise as we are exposed to more environmental debris and toxins and the effects of modernism on our immune systems.  Here are my suggestions for clients who want to manage allergies without the use of steroidal drugs.

  1. Look at the diet. Many allergies come from the foods we eat.  Eating a healthy diet can be hard for people with mood disorders as food is often used for comfort, but small changes can make a difference. Look for what is called a clean diet, one free of preservatives, hormones and GMO food.  When possible, limit refined sugars (look at the label and if it says high fructose corn syrup- choose something else) and white carbohydrates and go for natural fruits and vegetables. This is never easy when you are not feeling well, but over time you will feel better and will hopefully have less allergies- which was the original goal!
  2. Think about your life rhythm.  This includes the circadian rhythm of sleep and the rhythm to your work and relationships. How is the stress in you life? Our bodies are connected to our minds. A high stress level can affect the immune system that then affects our ability to handle allergens.
  3. Try healthy remedies. Homeopathic remedies including Sabadila, Euphrasia comp and Allergist.  Use Vitamin C up to your bowel tolerance (if the tummy has trouble, lower the dose) and add steaming and sweating to your daily regime.  Use an air purifier at home and try a honey remedy (Julie, explain this one- what do you do with the 1 tsp of honey?)

Julie A. Fast:   Julie, when you have bipolar disorder, it’s essential you check everything you put in your body to make sure it doesn’t lead to mood swings. How do you help clients figure out this maze of treatments and medications when they are having trouble  breathing as well as having mood swings?

Julie Foster:  Some of the herbal and supplement options for allergies can affect the mood of a person with bipolar which is why I go with the above plan first.  Congestion from allergies comes up when the body cannot eliminate properly. Another natural option for managing allergies is proper digestion.    Acupuncture is a good option as well as massage and maintenance through osteopathic or chiropractic adjustments. People with bipolar disorder and depression can find steroid free ways to manage allergies and asthma.

Please call to make an appointment with Julie Foster or another member of the Pohala Clinic professionals.