Carolyn is currently a licensed nurse practitioner and owner of Prevention & Healing of Iowa. The majority of her practice involves family practice, women's health issues, detoxification and infectious illness in the context of functional medicine. She graduated from the University of Iowa in August 2000 with a Master of Science in Nursing and is board-certified through ANCC as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In 1986 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand View College in Des Moines, IA.
Carolyn attended The Institute for Functional Medicine's "Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice" for an intensive one-week course in Dallas, Texas in March 2006. This means she is evaluating the body's chemistry and restoring function with missing nutrients rather than treating symptoms solely with standard drug therapy. She attended this venue with Sue Horton, owner of Central Iowa Compounding and two other Central Iowa physicians. She formed her Functional Medicine clinic, Prevention & Healing of Iowa in 2006.
Carolyn was awarded a Health Professional Scholarship by the Veteran's Administration in 1985 and worked her first two years after her BSN in the Veterans Hospital system. From 1988 through 1997 she worked several years in home health care nursing as well as a school nurse and a home-based nurse consultant for a major insurer. She has been certified in Community Health nursing through ANCC since 1991 and enjoyed coordinating health-related presentations for homebound aging residents of assisted living centers. Click here to read more...
In 1999, during her studies at the University of Iowa, Carolyn piloted an Adult Education class on Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) in her community. The first class had 44 participants, which was phenomenal attendance for an Adult Education class. She has continued to co-instruct BHRT classes with a local compounding pharmacist. They have held well over 50+ classes with over 5000+ in total attendance since 1999.
Carolyn has an in-depth understanding of BHRT through extensive continuing education at Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). Many health care providers do not realize that BHRT involves an in-depth history and laboratory evaluation of a person's steroid hormone status. Replacement involves prescribed hormones compounded to an individual's specific needs. While a student at the University of Iowa she received a research grant from Sigma Theta Tau/Zeta Chi Chapter for her research project titled, "Why Women Choose Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy." Carolyn published an informational article about BHRT in the journal Advance for Nurse Practitioners in May 2001.
Her work has been recognized by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) in 2002 with the State Award for Excellence. She has presented on BHRT to several hundred nurse practitioners at an AANP National Conference in New Orleans in June 2004. She has also spoken to this topic in St. Louis at a Complementary Medicine conference in June 2004 and in 2009 & 2011. She has continued to present across the US, sponsored by PCCA and ZRT Labs. She has also lectured at a local medical university and various businesses.
In addition, Carolyn has been a member of the American Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau since 1986. She has also been a member of the Iowa Nurse Practitioner Society (1999), the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (2000), the Institute for Functional Medicine (2006) and the International College of Integrative Medicine (2007).
Marty Rhea received a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Texas at Dallas in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphasis in Science and Math in 1997. While pursuing a degree intended to result in further medical education, Marty worked as a nationally certified pharmacy technician at a retail pharmacy in Plano, Texas. In completing the Bachelor's degree, the responsibilities of four teenage children prevented the commitment required for further medical education at that time and Marty continued working until moving to Des Moines, IA in July of 2000.
After moving to Des Moines, Marty decided to apply to pharmacy school to further use her knowledge in health care. She was accepted to Creighton Pharmacy School, but once again, after weighing requirements for school against family needs, she decided against dedicating the required time and finances to complete a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In 2004 Marty traveled to Albany, Ohio to learn the practice of BioAcoustics research from Sharry Edwards, the founder of Human BioAcoustics research. She also completed coursework to become a Certified Natural Health Professional in 2009. The CNHP allowed for many other opportunities for education for Marty as well. One of the first training courses Marty completed after becoming a CNHP was to study under Dr. Howard Loomis to become a Loomis Digestive Health Specialist.
In August of 2011 Marty completed her Naturopathic Doctor degree, Master Herbalist Certification, and Certificate in Nutrition Counseling. In October Marty took her boards and became a Board Certified Naturopathic Doctor.
Carolyn R. Walker, MSN, ARNP
Owner, Prevention & Healing of Iowa "Over 20 years ago (1995) I did not believe I would have been alive today. Symptoms were occurring which I had never experienced before and those I had had were worsening. There were afternoons where I was totally exhausted and would have to put on an alarm clock for a nap just to get me through the evening. A new symptom of depression was creeping into my life which I had not experienced before. I was constantly cold, hair thinning, gaining weight, had heart palpitations, fibrocystic breasts and could not sleep at night. I prayed to live long enough to see my children into their adulthood. Click here to read more...
At that point in time, one-half of my thyroid gland had been removed (turned out to be a benign goiter) and there was discussion of a possible hysterectomy due to very heavy menstrual flow. I was placed on Synthroid, Prozac, various antihistamines and pain medications without relief. I then decided to investigate Functional medicine options where more in-depth labs would be done to evaluate my hormones for imbalances. Once identified and treated with bio-identical compounded hormones and a more natural thyroid medication, my life changed dramatically for the better. It was at that time that I questioned why patients were not offered what seemed to be a more logical option in investigating and treating imbalances in one's health…simply by working with one's biochemistry.
As I pursued my Master's in Nursing in the late 1990's at the University of Iowa, I immersed myself in the international medical literature addressing bioidentical hormones. I conducted a retrospective, descriptive research project of 100 subjects using compounded bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) and found 96 out of 100 subjects still happy and using BHRT 12 months after initiating treatment. This is rare in the world of commercially available HRT where only a meager 20% of women may continue long-term use of HRT due to side effects. There were 37 different presenting symptoms amongst the 100 subjects and 25 of the symptoms were statistically significant in their resolution over time using BHRT.
During my education at the University of Iowa, I also proposed that the compounding pharmacist (who helped me to initially understand BHRT) and I pilot an Adult Education class on BHRT to women. We would teach them about female physiology as well as the difference between various hormone preparations and how they work in our bodies. Since January 1999, we have addressed BHRT to several thousand Iowa women as we have continued to offer BHRT classes through local Adult Education and other venues.
I became a licensed Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner in 2000 and developed a steady practice serving men and women with nutritional and hormone imbalances. Since 2006, I am seeing more children on the Autism spectrum of disorders. This has evolved due to my personal experience with heavy metal toxicity in me and some family members.
My practice broadened to incorporate other facets of Functional and environmental medicine when in 2001 I found that our son and I suffered from undiagnosed heavy metal toxicity (mercury, aluminum & lead). I discovered this by ordering a nutritional panel which included a heavy metal screen amongst 130 other metabolic markers. Since heavy metal toxicity will always disrupt hormone function, it then made sense as to why my adrenals, ovaries and thyroid glands were struggling against the odds of heavy metals in my body. This awareness was confirmed working in concert with my physician in St. Louis, Dr. Simon Yu as there was no physician in Iowa familiar enough with environmental medicine to help my son and I. I am pleased to state Dr. Yu is now a trusted mentor to me and has helped many of my patients with their toxicities as well. With detoxification, my health continued to improve. With detoxification, our son's energy level, focus and concentration has dramatically improved.
In 2008, I found that underlying many health disruptions in my health was a genetic methylation disorder. This means I cannot make glutathione sufficiently to detoxify many environmental toxins we are all exposed to. This explained various times in my life where exposures caused illness that I can now look back and understand. One example was in my teens when my health took its first turn for the worst after having dental amalgams (>50% mercury) placed in my teeth. I went from a healthy 10th grade honors student to missing school due to fatigue, terrible PMS and foggy thinking…these were all new symptoms “out of the blue” at the time. I’ve since helped some families to save their children from mental health placement related to depression caused by mercury in new dental fillings. Again, those families with genetic methylation polymorphisms are at risk for illness related to environmental toxin exposures. This is not a focus in current medical training…it is in Functional Medicine though.
In 2012, new alarming symptoms appeared which were very elevated blood pressure (I am a slim woman and never had that issue before), near-syncope (feeling faint; actually fainting 3 times before diagnosis was confirmed) and worsening heart palpitations (had those since my late 20s). I flew to Phoenix to be evaluated by a brilliant MD, Dr. Bruce Shelton (Homoeopathist). After evaluating my history/physical exam, head/neck thermogram, and heart-rate variability testing he surmised I might have Lyme disease. He was correct as in the next few months I was diagnosed with Borrelia, possible Bartonella (I had been treated with antibiotics when that test was done and there was evidence of this bacteria in my red blood cells), Mycoplasma pneumonia, Chlamydia pneumonia, Epstein-Barr virus (mono virus), Cytomegalovirus and HHV6. This combination of bacteria and viruses along with significant methylation genetic defects stressed my immune system over time so it could not contain these any longer. A test call VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) was extremely elevated due to the inflammation from the above infections in my vessels…hence the elevated blood pressure/near-syncope.
Today, my husband often comments that I'm not the same person I was back in the mid-1990s when my health was initially so challenged. Once my hormones were balanced, the heavy metals had been detoxified/chelated from my tissues, and I realized how abnormal methylation genetics underscored a lifetime of health disruptions, my husband has wondered if I had an "off switch" as I seemed to have so much new-found energy. One of my dreams has come to fruition as owner of "Prevention & Healing of Iowa" in 2006 provide Functional integrative medicine and healing.
My testimony is now being replicated over and over in others as I assist my patients in identifying and treating their nutrient and hormone imbalances, as well as environmental toxicities." I extend my utmost gratitude to the following mentors in my life:
Testimonial Coming Soon!