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Naturopath who works at Oregon City's Natural Health Works to present a free event about 'Power of Good Food'

Joanne Gordon recently came across an adage that stuck with her: "There are three causes of disease: breakfast, lunch and dinner."

Dr. Joanne GordonThe quote prompted Gordon, a naturopath who works at Oregon City's Natural Health Works, to present a free event called "The Power of Good Food." The talk is aimed at people suffering with pain and inflammation, including joint pain, back pain, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

It will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Providence Willamette Falls Community Center, 519 15th St. in Oregon City.

Reducing pain

"I want to have this event because I am passionate about educating our community about the power of good food and the impact that diet has on our health," Gordon said.

"Every day, I see miracles before my eyes on how simple foods can make a difference in people's lives.

"I use my medical education as a tool to help bring people back in balance whether it be digestive, hormonal or pain and inflammation. It brings me joy when I can help restore a patient's health and wellness."

Gordon has practiced in the field of bio-identical hormones and musculoskeletal medicine for over 17 years. She is a nutrition expert who focuses on healthy aging and regenerative medicine therapies at Natural Health Works, a naturopathic medical clinic offering individualized treatment programs for patients of all ages and medical conditions.

At the Oct. 19 event, Gordon will talk about the effects of foods on health, as well as naturopathic principles such as the healing power of nature, identifying and treating the root cause of disease, treating the whole person and prevention.

She also will discuss the importance of gut health and the effects poor diet, overmedicating and stress have on the digestive tract and immune system.

Gordon has asked Katy Hoogendam to speak at the event because of her inspirational story.

"Katy had a rough childhood: She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very early age and never knew a day without pain until recently, when she turned to food as her medicine," Gordon said.

"I wanted her to share her story and let everyone know about the true power of foods in not only reversing a disease like Katy's, but also preventing other chronic diseases from occurring."

One person's story

Hoogendam is 26 years old and graduated from a private Christian school in Oregon City in 2010.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Katy Hoogendam loves her greens and her plant-based diet and isn't afraid to show it.Before she was even a year old, she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory, autoimmune disease that is progressive and destructive.

"The body attacks itself; it attacks the lining of your joints, slowly destroying your joints from the inside out. It is terribly debilitating and ruins lives," Hoogendam said.

Because she was in so much pain all the time, the disease affected her social life and she felt lonely, insecure and self-conscious throughout her early years.

Once Hoogendam stepped into the career world, the pain became so unbearable that a doctor prescribed Vicodin to help her function at work. At the same time, she was experiencing depression, fatigue and suicidal thoughts.

Diet changes

Once Gordon suggested that Hoogendam go on a low-fat, plant-based, vegan diet, her pain levels dropped and she was able to get off the Vicodin.

"Previous to this change, I was taking [more than] four pills a day, just to survive. Three days after starting this diet my right arm, that was once much shorter than the left, has straightened out quite a bit," Hoogendam said.

"My energy level has increased dramatically, my morning stiffness is no more, my joints have loosened up, and I can wear heels for the first time in my life," she said.

"Now I'm excited for my future and I have hope again; no more depression, fatigue and suicidal thoughts."

During the talk, Hoogendam will tell the audience about her progress in reversing lifelong rheumatoid arthritis naturally, and how it has enabled her to get off some medications and restore her happiness.

"I owe everything to Clint Paddison, author of the 'Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis.' He is my mentor and my No. 1 inspiration."

Hoogendam added, "I started going to Bikram Hot Yoga at Forge Hot Yoga in West Linn six or seven days a week around the same time as starting my diet, and that has also been a big part in lowering my pain levels and increasing flexibility."

Fight pain

What: Joann Gordon will present "The Power of Good Food". There is no admission charge

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 19

Where: Providence Willamette Falls Community Center, 519 15th St., OC

More: Call Gordon, a naturopath at Natural Health Works, at 503-722-7776. The clinic is located at 710 John Adams St., Oregon City.

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