Patient Advocates Here to Help You and Your Family Navigate the HealthCare System


RN Patient Advocates, PLC, opened the door to independent, nurse-based patient advocacy in 2002. We are a national community of specially prepared, qualified and experience clinical RNs. Our Mission is to Empower People in Their Healthcare through Advocacy, Education, and Guidance Through the Healthcare System.

Have you or any of your family or friends ever experienced problems in the healthcare system? 12 million patients are misdiagnosed each year (Institute of Medicine, 2015) indicating that it might be true for many of us. RN Patient Advocates help you be safe in the system and also, how to do this for yourself!




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Karen Mercereau, RN iRNPA Tucson Nurses Week Certification Awarded as Fabulous Fifty Nurses May7, 2011

Importance of Observation

We are only 10% human. What? Microbes outnumber human cells by 10 to 1 and are essential to our health.


bacteriaThere are the harmless ones, the ”favor traders” who rely on us for survival as much as we rely on them for survival (this is the greatest percentage), and the small percentage of potentially dangerous ones called pathogens.  These microbes are every bit as important – and perhaps more – as the genes we inherit from our parents.  

Your inherited genes are fixed – although you can influence which ones become more or less active – while it may be possible to reshape this second set of genes in our bodies.  Certainly this happens every time we take antibiotics or probiotics.


Disorders in this microbial system may lead to obesity and a wide range of chronic illnesses as well as some infections.  In fact, “fecal transplants” – putting a healthy person’s gut bacteria into a sick person’s gut – can effectively treat a deadly microbe called C. Difficile.  Conversely, research is demonstrating that transplanting the microbes from a thin person’s gut to that of an obese person causes weight loss and improvements in insulin sensitivity.

What else do our microbes do for us?

  • Support and protect our immune systems
  • Help manufacture neurotransmitters like serotonin
  • Play a role in producing critical enzymes and vitamins – like B and K
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Play a critical role in the absorption of our food

What can this mean?  Well, one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal microbial environment.  To do this, diet is a key player.  Processed food and the Standard American Diet all erode the good bacteria.  Something to think about.

Learn more about your internal microbial world. . .

Confused about the latest controversy with vitamins? All is not as the headlines say.


thumbs_up_downMark Hyman, MD, a leading clinician of Functional Medicine and renowned educator, cautions us that “The recent media hype around vitamins is a classic case of drawing the wrong conclusions from good science. “ He explains several flaws with the recent study:

Hormone replacement was not taken into consideration. Women in the study who also took hormone replacement therapy were more at risk already for increased rates of cancer and heart disease and strokes (remember the Women’s Health Initiative study that clearly linked hormone replacement therapy to these.) 

Iron should not be given to older women. Older women should never take iron unless they have anemia. Iron is a known oxidant and excess iron causes oxidative stress and can lead to cardiovascular disease and more

Patient background was ignored. In this observational study (watching behavior and its effects, not intervening with specific therapies) it was not known why people started supplements; perhaps these older women started taking the vitamins because they were already at risk with heart disease or cancers or other chronic illness

The population was not representative. The study looked only at older white women – clearly not representative of the whole population. This makes it impossible to generalize the conclusions

Forms and quality of vitamins were not identified. There was no accounting for the quality or forms or dosages of the vitamins used.  Taking vitamins that have biologically inactive or potentially toxic forms of nutrients may limit any benefit observed


A realistic comparison between vitamins and other medications as cause of death was not made. 0ver 100,000 people die every year from properly prescribed medication in hospitals. These are not mistakes, but drugs taken as recommended.  The study does not show the medication effect in the women who died

This recent observational study confuses, not clarifies.  Dr. Hyman urges “Please, be smart, don’t stop taking your vitamins.  Every American needs a good quality multivitamin, vitamin D and omega-3 fat supplement. It is part of getting a metabolic tune up.

Learn more about this controversy here. . .

Myths About Osteoporosis! Is it a normal aging process? No! What? Let’s look more closely:



Susan Brown, PhD, a bone health nutritionist and educator, explains myths surrounding osteoporosis.  We’ll look at the most common ones here and you can read further to protect yourself.

Myth #1: Osteoporosis is a function of aging

“Most individuals do lose bone mass as they age. But simply losing bone does not equal osteoporosis. The remaining bone of a healthy aging woman is strong and capable of constant self-repair. This bone, though lower in mass, should be able to withstand the stresses and strains of daily activity.

In osteoporosis, bone loss goes beyond that of normal aging. It is a condition in which bone becomes excessively fragile due to a loss of both mineral and protein matrix. . . when the body attempts to compensate for factors interfering with its normal biochemical balance. Some of these factors include poor nutrition, lack of sunlight exposure and low vitamin D levels, high caffeine intake, lack of exercise, inflammation, an acid-forming diet, the use of various prescription medications, and chronic stress.

Myth #2: Osteoporosis is caused by low calcium intake

Living mature bone is about 60 percent calcium compounds and about 40 percent collagen (a fibrous protein). Notice that the calcium is in combination with many other minerals and needs specific co-actors to be healthy.  These include magnesium (malate form), Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, zinc, copper, manganese, boron, potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and strontium.   Calcium alone is not the answer.

Myth #3: Once bone loss occurs, it is impossible to rebuild bone.

Bone is dynamic, living tissue that constantly repairs itself. Similar to the cells of our skin, bits of old, worn-out bone are replaced by fresh new bone regularly. Tiny microfractures occur daily and are healed through a several-week process of bone repair. When full fractures occur, our bones spontaneously heal and generate new bone. Equally, we have a capacity to rebuild lost bone mass.  Bone can be rebuilt with the normalization of proper nutrition and supplementation plus regular physical activity.

Want to learn more? 


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RN Patient Advocates, PLC

3400 West Goret Road
Tucson, AZ 85745
Phone: 520-743-7008

Copyright © 2017 Karen Mercereau, RN Patient Advocates, PLC. All rights reserved.