During this interview, Dr. Sharon Norling, a well-known and highly-respected functional medicine doctor, shares her experience with Sanseco’s targeted nutritional formula, Procite-D™ and low dopamine.
Dr. Norling is board-certified in OB/GYN and has a deep interest in integrative medicine and medical acupuncture. Throughout her life, she has worn many hats in the medical world. She has been a nurse, a medical doctor, and a hospital administrator. She is also an author, an international speaker on numerous health topics, and a strong advocate for misdiagnosed patients. Her number one goal is to treat the patient. She does so by identifying and addressing the root causes of symptoms in her patients. Dr. Norling specializes in treating neuroendocrine imbalances and disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Her practice is currently in Hendersonville, NC.
Read on or listen (19 minutes) to Dr. Norling share how low dopamine impacts her patients and the benefits they have received from Procite-D.
Get to Know Dr. Norling and Her Practice
Could you share with us a little bit of information about your journey as a healthcare provider?
Yes, it goes back my entire life practically. I became a nurse first at the Mayo Clinic, and I think I was really motivated to do that because of one patient that really stands out. I will never forget her. I will never forget her you know like laying on the sofa, crying out in pain. She went to the local doctors, and she went to Minneapolis, and she went to the Mayo Clinic, and they said, “There’s nothing wrong with you.” And, she went to the Mayo Clinic, and they put her on anti-psychotic medication and said, “There’s nothing wrong with you.” She died within a year of the stomach and esophageal cancer. She was 38 years of age and she was my mother. I was 12.
So, that instilled in me a passion for listening to the patient and finding the right things to do to help them. That’s how I got into medicine. After I worked as a nurse for several years, I decided I wanted to become a physician. I did, and I went to medical school at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. I’ve trained at USC and UCLA. I’m boarded in OB/GYN, and I taught it (OB/GYN) in that department as a member of full-time faculty at the University of Minnesota in the medical school.
I also got involved in functional medicine, which is an advanced conventional medicine model for finding out the root cause of an illness or symptom. Because I think treating the average is way overrated. I think “one size fits all” does not work. We really need to look at a different way of approaching our patients and approach them in a personalized manner. So, that’s how I got involved with this company (Sanesco), and its understanding of neurotransmitters. But, my journey has been a long one and a great one, and I’m happy to be doing what I am doing.
Are there any common clinical complaints you encounter in your practice?
No. There is no one thing that I hear from all my patients, but I ask them lots of questions. They fill out a very extensive health assessment form which is about 16 pages long because I want to know about the person. And I ask the question, “Are you anxious? Are you depressed? Do you have fatigue? Are you have difficulty focusing? Do you lack motivation? Are you restless? What’s going on in your life?” And, I would say 98% of my patients had some of those symptoms, so that’s why I started using Sanesco’s Neurolab.
How did you initially hear about Sanesco?
I heard about it 15 years ago. I’ve been with Sanesco since it basically started, and I heard about it from a practitioner in California. And, it just made sense to me because what I liked about it, was really treating the patients and finding out how their specific symptoms line up with the levels of neurotransmitters as well as their cortisol levels. Because, when those are out of balance, then we can fix it specifically for that patient. I like the approach of using the targeted nutrient therapies to correct those imbalances.
If you (practitioners) have a patient, and they need to change to get healthier, you can help them. If they’re anxious, if they are depressed, if they are tired and they can’t sleep, or if they lack motivation and they can’t focus, you can help them. Their ability to embrace change, or go to the store, buy whole foods, prepare them at home, do some exercise, decrease their stress, all of these situations are compromised by neurotransmitters that are imbalanced (including low dopamine). So, if you really want to serve your patients, I think this is a great way to start. I do another testing (on my patients) as well. But, if I don’t have those neurotransmitters in better balance, then it is extremely difficult for the patient to participate in their care. And that’s the whole key of getting well. Yes, I’m good at figuring out what the issues are, but the patient must participate in them to get well and stay healthy. So that’s why I use Sanesco’s NeuroLab on every one of my patients.
Procite-D and Low Dopamine
Procite-D is one of two excitatory support formulas Sanesco offers. It is a catecholamine support formula specifically targeting low dopamine while also supporting norepinephrine, epinephrine, and beta-endorphin pathways.* Additionally, this formula supplies, coenzymatic and/or phosphorylated/methylated form, B vitamins, which are critical for proper neurotransmitter conversions.* The ingredients within this formula are Mucuna pruriens, DL-phenylalanine, N-acetyl-L-cysteine, N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal-5’-phosphate), Folic Acid, Methylcobalamin, Selenium, and Sanesco’s Nutrient support blend (NSB).
Are you (Dr. Norling) familiar with Procite-D and low dopamine? Are there any health concerns you find this product most helpful for?
I have patients who are symptomatic with low dopamine levels, and I found this product, Procite-D, to be very effective in changing that.* Patients will come to me, and they will say, “I just can’t focus anymore. I lack motivation. My libido is low. I have cravings.” There is a range of cravings. Some examples are food, sex, and buying clothes. They also sometimes express they have addictions, and sometimes it’s drug addictions. When people have low dopamine, they are more at risk for developing addictions than if the dopamine level is normal. But, dopamine is the neurotransmitter of joy and euphoria. It’s the one that gives that sense of well-being and puts a bounce in your step.
I’ve had patients come in and say, “You know, I don’t have any joy in my life anymore. As a matter of fact, I went to my daughter’s wedding last week. I looked around, and it was perfect. And I thought, ‘You know I should be happier than I am.’” These are the type of stories that come to me through my patients. If they have low dopamine, that is a typical story. “I don’t get excited about things that I used to.”
It is very important to make sure low dopamine moves into the normal range because it helps the patient to make better choices in the life that they are leading. I have used Procite-D for low dopamine for decades with my patients, and it’s very helpful.* They get more energy and more focus.* And, as I said, it can increase their libido.* But it’s safe, and it’s an effective product.*
Are there any clients you would (or wouldn’t) recommend this product for?
Well, first of all, I am an OB/GYN by background, so I don’t give (Procite-D) to any patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. You should not give anything to a pregnant woman or one that’s breastfeeding. There haven’t been studies for that set of patients on all the medications that are prescribed, and we really don’t know the long-term issues. So being overly conservative, I don’t use any supplements other than a multivitamin and maybe I’ll order some vitamin D. But, I’m very careful. I do not order a lot of supplements that aren’t natural to patients who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
The elderly need Procite-D! Again, this is all individuals, but the elderly tend to be struggling with their focus, memory, or energy. And yes, it may be because they’re older. But if their dopamine is low, it’s going to add to that scenario. I want to make sure that the elderly are as calm as they can be, as happy as they can be, and as energetic and focused as they can be because this is a special time in their lives.
I always consult with the pediatrician if I’m going to be recommending it (Procite-D) for a child. Generally, I do not give this product to children under the age of 5. With a pediatric population, I will adjust the dose of the other Sanesco products.
Do you have any tips for using this product (when, how much, sensitive patients)?
So that’s one of the nice things about NeuroLab’s report. They give you some general recommendations towards the end of the report about which products may help to correct the neurotransmitters and then the approximate dose. As clinicians, we all know our patients better than the lab would. So, I sometimes adjust the dosing. But generally, the reports will recommend Prolent™ or Lentra™ (Sanesco’s inhibitory products) to increase the low serotonin or GABA, so the patient is calmer. Then two weeks, sometimes three weeks later, we will add the Procite-D because that’s going to give the patient more energy, more focus, and less fatigue.* If Procite-D is given when a patient is not calm, the patient can become wired. We need to use the inhibitory neurotransmitter support first for a couple of weeks, and then, add the Procite-D.
Do you have a specific story you would like to share about Procite-D?
I hear stories in my office every day, but it’s not about just this product but the combination. With Sanesco’s products, people will say, “I can’t believe how good I feel.” They will share with me that they’ve tried many different mood-altering pharmaceutical drugs. And now, the patients will say to me, “It’s working. I feel better. I’m sleeping better. I have more energy.” It changes their lives.
The other thing I want to say about the neurotransmitters is that they work with the thyroid gland, they work with the adrenal glands, and they work with sex hormones. If you’re only looking at thyroid, and you only treat the thyroid, or you only treat the adrenals, or even the sex hormones, it’s like you are sitting on a one-legged stool. You must balance the nervous and endocrine systems for the patient to not only feel better and live their best life but to be healthier. Every cell in the body contains receptor sites for estrogen, for thyroid, for neurotransmitters.
The other thing I wanted to say is to treat the GI tract. It makes 30 neurotransmitters, 30. So, if the GI tract is not functioning well, or a person has irritable bowel syndrome or lots of symptoms related to his or her GI tract, then their neurotransmitter production is compromised. So, it’s important to treat the GI tract for that reason and many others. As a matter of fact, 95% of serotonin is made in the GI tract.
Do you use the dosing recommended on the lab results for Procite-D and do you ever change it? If so, how do you know whether or not to do that?
I do that quite often, but that’s because I’ve been using neurotransmitter testing and targeted nutritional therapy for so many years. Also, I have the patient sitting across from me, so I can get additional information that isn’t always captured by a lab report. The reason I change the dosing is that I find that sometimes the patient might need more of a particular supplement than may be indicated.
My patients are usually surprised that there is a way to test neurotransmitters. They’ve seen 25 doctors for their mood disorders, and they’ve never been tested. And, I think testing is key. How can you fix something if you don’t know what’s causing it?
Also, we wouldn’t give insulin to a diabetic unless we knew what the blood sugars were. We wouldn’t treat thyroid unless we knew what the labs were. We wouldn’t even put a cast on an arm unless we had an image showing it was fractured. That’s how we practice medicine. So, I think our patients deserve better than guessing and just having a prescription written for a mood-altering pharmaceutical drug. I think that testing (neurotransmitters) is important whether you’re using pharmaceutical drugs or targeted nutrient therapies (TNT). I tend to use just the targeted nutrient therapy, and it’s with good success.
If you are a patient interested in Procite-D, find a Sanesco provider in your area.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Interview conducted and transcribed by:
Clinical Support Intern at Sanesco International, Inc.
Anna Nazemi is currently a senior at UNC-Asheville pursuing a Bachelor of Science in General Chemistry. In her free time, she likes to swim, run, and hike with friends.