Dr. Kimberly Ostero treats patients of all ages, ranging from newborn babies to end of life cancer care patients. As a homegrown local resident of Northern BC, she is proud to provide world-class knowledge and medical treatments to Northern BC and Alberta patients.
Dr. Kimberly Ostero offers comprehensive laboratory testing from many different laboratories throughout North America. The most commonly requested laboratory tests at Kontinuum are:
- Hormone Testing
- Food Allergy Testing
- Vitamin/Mineral Deficiency Testing
- Heavy Metal Testing
- Digestive Health Assessment Testing
Dr. Ostero discusses all laboratory testing options with her patients dependent on their health care needs and personal health interests. Kontinuum’s laboratory testing menu continually evolves based on current medical research.
What is Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy?
There are many health benefits from utilizing Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy:
- Improves energy/alleviates mental and physical fatigue
- Restores excitement for life and personal drive
- Improves mood by alleviating depression, anxiety and mood swings
- Restores cognitive functioning, poor memory and low concentration
- Weight loss supportive; improves ratio of fat to lean muscle mass
- Improves sleep quality/resolves insomnia
- Restores thinning hair
- Improves skin texture and hydration and reduces wrinkles/sagging skin/cellulite
- Eliminates headaches caused by hormonal imbalance
- Resolves female hormonal imbalance symptoms – irregular menstrual cycle, PMS, breast tenderness
- Boosts immune function, improving healing capacity
- Improves cardiovascular health and is a preventative for heart disease and stroke
- Increases bone density and bone mass, decreasing risk of osteoporosis
- Increases the desire and endurance for exercise
- Eliminate hot flashes and night sweats
- Increase libido and low sex drive
- Resolves dryness – vaginal dryness, skin dryness, eye and hair dryness
- Eliminates urinary incontinence
- Improves erectile dysfunction
- Decreases, reverses and prevents chronic disease states including cancer and dementia
- Look and feel younger – BHRT is truly Anti-Aging Medicine!
Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), also known as “Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy” refers to the therapeutic use of hormones that are identical in chemical structure to hormones produced naturally in your body. Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) involves the administration of specific hormones in order to replace those not being made by the body, or those not being made in sufficient quantities with the main goal of restoring hormonal levels to achieve optimal health. Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy offers an effective and safe alternative to commercially produced hormones (which is known as Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT) as well as providing numerous health benefits. Awareness regarding BHRT has been expanding to the general population over the past few years; however, most individuals are not aware that hormone imbalance can lead to the majority of serious health conditions that can occur later in life, which are normally attributed to “aging.” BHRT helps to establish an optimal hormone balance for each individual patient to stay feeling young, productive and vital for as long as possible.
Hormones are chemical messengers made by our body which are critical to our health and well-being. Hormones are produced by endocrine (hormone-secreting) glands in the body that act as our cellular messengers. Hormones tell the body’s internal organs and the brain how to function! When we reach middle-age we start to produce fewer hormones. Researchers now believe that hormonal decline is actually a major cause of aging.
The topic of BHRT has led to a lot of controversy in medical practice and in the media based on misinformation. One common issue regarding the confusion about BHRT is that the term “Bio-Identical” Hormone implies that it is a “natural” hormone. All Bio-Identical Hormones are created synthetically from vegetable products in a chemical process that is not “natural.” Bio-Identical Hormones are distinct from conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) in that Bio-Identical Hormones are structurally the exact same as hormones produced by the body, making them “human-identical.” On the other hand, pharmaceutical hormones known as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) have been molecularly altered from natural human hormones so that they can be patented and sold as a synthetic substance; synthetic estrogens and progestins are what are commonly prescribed as HRT medications. Conventional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) uses animal based-substances (including pregnant horse mare urine) as well as laboratory derived synthetic hormones for HRT preparation. Therefore, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) medications do not fit into hormone cell receptors like BHRT medications; this mis-fit in molecular structure of HRT appears to have created some of the health problems associated with HRT Hormone Therapy which has been discussed in the media over the past few years (the Women’s Health Initiative Study (WHI) was released in July 2002 indicating health risks associated with synthetic HRT use). Unfortunately, millions of women have been prescribed HRT by their medical doctors although neither they nor their doctors completely understood the full risks and benefits associated with synthetic hormone/HRT use! Bio-Identical Hormones on the other hand have an excellent safety profile and do not carry the risks that have been well documented with synthetic/conventional hormone therapy (HRT), which include an increased risk of heart disease, blood clots and cancer. Studies on Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy have shown that it may actually reduce disease risk including reducing risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer!
As shown through continually evolving research, Bio-Identical Hormones (BHRT) offers an effective and safe alternative to commercially produced hormones (HRT) as well as numerous health benefits. Bio-Identical Hormones are available through certified compounding pharmacists who adhere to strict regulations. The types, combinations and dosages of Bio-Identical Hormones are customized by Dr. Kimberly Ostero to fit each individual patient’s symptom profile as well as their laboratory testing values. The Bio-Identical Hormones required to treat health conditions for men and women are the same; the hormones involved in BHRT generally include estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, cortisol and testosterone.
Hormone imbalances can occur at any time in a person’s life, from teenage years to senior years. For many women and men, use of Bio-Identical Hormones results in dramatically improved quality of life, particularly around menopause for those who exhibit severe hormonal imbalance symptoms. Symptoms of hormone imbalance and/or deficiency which occurs during menopause commonly includes hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, difficulty concentrating/ poor memory, fatigue, depression, anxiety, irritability, other mood changes and difficulty losing weight. In women who have a menstrual cycle, their cycle may become irregular and there may be exacerbation of PMS symptoms and/or cramping. Hormone imbalances are also be implicated in younger women who suffer from menstrual cramps, PMS, endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Use of Bio-Identical Hormones corrects these imbalances, improves health and well-being, and results in effective symptom relief.
Rather than simply replacing hormones, Dr. Ostero’s goal is to re-establish optimal hormonal levels, as well as to support the body’s ability to maintain a proper hormonal balance on its own. The first step in hormone optimization is to assess patient symptoms and health history, followed by conducting laboratory tests (via blood, saliva or urine) to determine patient hormone levels. She takes into account lifestyle factors including stress, nutrition and physical activity, all of which play a significant role in hormonal health. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Ostero customizes a BHRT treatment plan for each patient, in combination with diet, supplements, homeopathic medicines and botanical medicines, as well as other naturopathic medical treatments which can include IV Nutritional Therapy for hormone balancing.
Dr. Kimberly Ostero is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M); currently she is one of only a few Naturopathic Physicians in Canada who is completing her Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Metabolic and Functional Medicine (FAAMFM). The main goals of BHRT are to improve quality of life, balance and support and symptoms of aging and most importantly, to prevent disease. Considering the importance of this medical therapy, Dr. Ostero continues to learn about BHRT at conferences around North America to bring new information back to her patients for their health optimization!
Neural Therapy was first discovered in 1925 by two German physicians, Ferdinand and Walter Huneke who discovered that the intravenous injection of novocaine was successful in eliminating migraine headaches. With the completion of further research, the Hunekes created a new system of healing that they referred to as Neural Therapy, which combines the use of local anesthetics, namely procaine. Neural Therapy is a gentle injection therapy technique that involves the injection of local anesthetic into tissues such as peripheral nerves, scars, glands, acupuncture points and autonomic ganglia. This therapy is based on the theory that trauma can produce longstanding disturbances in the electrochemical function of tissues.
Neural Therapy supports the healing of chronic illness and chronic pain. Neural Therapy is also used for the treatment of illnesses including focal infection, allergies, chronic bowel problems, kidney disease, prostate and female gynecological problems, infertility, tinnitus and other medical conditions. Neural Therapy supports detoxification and balancing of the parasympathetic nervous system.
What is Perineural Injection Treatment (PIT)?
Perineural Injection Treatment (PIT) is a safe and effective, non-pharmaceutical injection therapy for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. Perineural Injection Treatment (previously known as Neural Prolotherapy) was developed in New Zealand by Dr. John Lyftogt MD.
PIT involves a series of small injections of a low concentration sugar-water solution (also known as dextrose 5% in sterile water or D5W) around inflamed painful nerve fibers that are causing neuropathic (nerve) pain.
Perineural Injection Treatment involves the use of a very small and finely gauged needle directly under the skin over muscular or joint areas where nerve inflammation commonly occurs. Patients with pain (known as neuropathic pain) experience pain relief often times immediately after treatment!
The long term outcome of PIT therapy is to resolve nerve (neuropathic) pain and restoration of normal functional movement. Pain resolution initially lasts 4 hours to 4 days with the first treatment. With subsequent treatments the duration of pain-free time lengthens.
The number of treatments depends on the specific symptoms of each patient case; however, the average number of treatments required is on average between 6-8.
How does Perineural Injection Treatment (PIT) work?
PIT does not target muscle, tendons, ligaments or joints directly but does treat nerves associated with these painful areas. Dr. Lyftogt proposes that the dextrose/sugar solution helps to repair and hydrate inflamed nerve fibers. These inflamed nerve fibers located in the fascia underneath the skin are known to cause chronic pain called neuralgia/neuropathic pain or what is known commonly as chronic pain. Research has proposed that the nerves responsible for muscle, tendon and ligament health are inflamed and are preventing healing of these structures.
What conditions may benefit from Perineural Injection Treatment?
PIT is used to treat painful conditions due to sport and occupation as well as treatment of other chronic pain related issues. Such conditions include:
- Headaches (tension, cluster, migraine)
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Lower back pain
- Elbow pain, wrist pain and hand pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Hip pain
- Knee pain
- Foot pain
- Achilles tendonitis
- Symptoms of numbness and tingling
- Post-herpetic neuralgia
- Muscle strains
- Ligament sprains
- Whiplash injuries
- Sports injuries
- CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
Dr. Ostero is thrilled to offer Perineural Injection Treatment (PIT). She has seen remarkable recoveries in a variety of pain-related conditions and has seen her patients regain their quality of life with this therapy!
What is Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is the foundation of Regenerative Injection Techniques commonly used for many types of joint or musculoskeletal injuries. Prolotherapy is the non-surgical method for permanent repair of damaged connective tissue. Prolotherapy injections involve pre-anesthetizing the area of ligament damage and then selectively injecting the appropriate prolotherapy solutions to initiate renewed growth of the damaged cartilage and connective tissue. It is also used in musculoskeletal pain management. Prolotherapy involves the injection of dextrose/sugar solutions with dilute anaesthetic. Prolotherapy solution acts as an irritant, which is typically injected into a joint space, tendinous insertion or ligament. Dr. Ostero provides prolotherapy in a non-anaesthetic/drug-free manner depending on the wishes of the patient.
How Does Prolotherapy Work?
Prolotherapy’s purpose is to stimulate the body’s own regenerative mechanisms to encourage healing, new tissue development and improved strength and functionality.
Prolotherapy involves injections of proliferant solutions directly into areas where tendons and ligaments attach to bone, and in places where cartilage is worn or damaged for the purpose of repairing and strengthening tendons, ligaments and cartilage of the joint space. This results in a localized controlled inflammatory responses that stimulates the repair mechanism to heal and regenerate the damaged tissue.
What conditions may benefit from Prolotherapy?
Prolotherapy is effective for acute or chronic pain, arthritis and unresolved injuries that do not respond to rest or other less restorative treatments (surgical, anti-inflammatories or cortisone injections).
Prolotherapy is commonly used for:
- Musculoskeletal pain, overuse injuries, sports injuries
- Headaches, whiplash, neck pain
- Back pain, knee pain and instability (meniscus/ligament), hip pain, foot/ankle pain (ankle sprains), plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder pain and instability/Rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, golfer/tennis elbow
- Wrist pain, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Injured tendons and ligaments
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves a range of traditional medical practices which originated in China several thousand years ago; TCM views health as a harmonious balance between the body and the outer world/environment; disease occurs when our biochemical and biophysical factors become out of balance. Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses symptoms of the current illness to the root cause; treatments including traditional herbal medicine and acupuncture help to bring the body back into a healthy state/healing.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the main treatment modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture involves stimulating points along pathways called meridians (acupuncture points) of the body with needles or acupressure seeds. Acupuncture allows the proper flow of Qi energy through the system of meridians/electrical pathways that are located through the human body. Patterns of disharmony or “sickness” such as chronic pain results from disruptions of the body’s energy flow along the series of meridians in the body. There are 12 standard meridians, each corresponding to different organs in our bodies.
Ensuring proper flow of Qi through meridians will allow the body to heal. Medical research conducted over the past few years has shown effectiveness of acupuncture as noted in clinical research studies.
What conditions may benefit from Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is used to treat (some examples – many conditions are treated with acupuncture):
- Sports injury
- Musculoskeletal pain – fibromyalgia, muscular tension
- Stress relief
- Migraine headaches
- Fertility issues
- Digestive issues
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sleep disorders
- Mood disorders
- Birthing complications
- Treatment of addictions
- Immune system dysfunction
Dr. Ostero continually researches the best-quality nutritional supplements for her patients. She has customized supplements compounded for her patients to meet their individual health needs. Dr. Ostero discusses nutritional supplement use with her patients at each appointment to determine the best optimal nutritional supplement plan to support her patients’ health goals.
Dr. Kimberly Ostero has achieved her Pharmaceutical Prescribing license as a Naturopathic Physician in the province of British Columbia. She works with local pharmacists and compounding pharmacists in providing pharmaceutical prescriptions including compounded medications when necessary.