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Dr.Mona Morstein’s life is, in one way, the epitome of how overcoming challenges can lead to lifelong changes and a passionate career journey. When she was young, she had a typical sweet and carb craving. She ate the sweets that everyone ate, but fortunately, it was poison to her body. At age ten she began having odd seizure type moments, petit mal variations, where she would completely lose the sense of anything, but was still able to function. It occurred mostly with physical activity. Her first episode was while playing tetherball at summer camp when she blanked out, kept playing, and came to when the game was over, but she didn’t remember playing it or who had won.
Around this time, she also developed the obsessive-compulsive disease (OCD). It came on at night when she had to tidy up her bedroom, the bathroom, ensure doors were closed, faucets were off. Afterward, she’d have the undeniable urge to get out of bed and recheck everything over and over again.
She was examined by medical doctors and given the obnoxious six-hour glucose test, and her blood was drawn several times. She was found to be borderline hypoglycemic No treatment was given, as her mother turned down psych medications offered. These two conditions continued for six long years. At times the OCD brought her near to a nervous breakdown with her having to get out of bed to recheck things up to 30 times a night. Her mother, who had gone back to school and earned her Masters in Nutrition around that time, asked her to read the book Sugar Blues and recommended various supplements.
She read the book but did not change her dietary habits. It was only when Dr. Morstein was sixteen, the day after Halloween when she had gone out and gotten a lot of candy, that she decided to avoid refined sugar. It was miraculous! After one month, she had no more seizures, and after two months, her OCD was completely gone; neither was ever to return (unhappily for her mother who now discovered her daughter’s true, messy inclinations!).
This had a profound effect on Dr. Morstein. She got interested in nutrition and, with her mother’s help, began eating a lot healthier- stir fry, more vegetarian foods. Although Dr. Morstein was involved with sports all year round at her high school and saw her teammates eating their typical sugar before and after games, Dr. Morstein only ate apples. She realized even then, in her adolescence that to her brain, refined sugar was an absolute poison, and she had no ability to prevent the harm it did to her if she ate it.
However, Dr. Morstein developed episodes of recurrent diarrhea for an unknown reason. Around four times a year, she’d have diarrhea. Luckily, her pediatrician did not recommend drugs but simply told her to eat the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast) for a few days. When she did, the diarrhea was abated but not cured. He did no actual test-ing though to uncover what was causing it. So, four times a year, she did the BRAT diet and lived her life.
Her college career was a bit skewed, as she wound up studying everything she was interested in—math, religions, Japanese studies (in Japan), but realized the biological sciences were truly what she loved the most. At Arizona State University, she majored in Foods and Nutrition and worked at a Co-Op health food store nearby. In that store, she found “The Herb Book” by John Lust. On the back was an herbal formula for patients who had diarrhea. She gathered those herbs from the health food store, and in her little studio apartment made a tea out of them. After several days of drinking it, she never again suffered an episode of recurrent diarrhea. Somehow those herbs had cured her of whatever etiology had lingered in her intestines. Another healing miracle!
This got Dr. Morstein even further interested in alternative medicine (as it was called in the 1980s). After she graduated with her BS, she was supposed to enter into the program to become a Registered Dietician. Dr. Morstein, however, had been unsatisfied with her nutrition education at ASU. She had never learned how to actually heal people with nutrition, how to investigate what was harming them, and how to recommend dietary changes and supplements to bring them back to balance. She learned the basic diets that national organizations recommended for various conditions. She learned the RDA levels of nutrients and the most basic use of vitamins and supplements. Dr. Morstein did not wish to proceed with an education and career that did not truly help patients recover from arthritis, migraines, irritable bowel, rheumatoid arthritis, and so many other travails of humanity.
By chance in the ASU bookstore, she came across a book called “The Holistic Health Handbook,” which discussed all different medical therapies from chiropractic, massage, yoga, and so forth. Naturopathic Medicine was listed there, and it was the first time she ever heard of it. Thus she set forth on her lifelong mission. After connecting with a local ND and convincing her parents she wanted to go to naturopathic medical school, Dr. Morstein wound up at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (now called the National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland Oregon. There she learned anatomy, neurology, gastroenterology, prescription drugs, all the aspects of Western medicine, combined with the philosophy and modalities of naturopathic medicine.
True nutrition was taught, how to use food and supplements to help heal patients, homeopathy, spinal manipulation, counseling, Western botanicals, all the different nutraceuticals. It was an amazing time for Dr. Morstein, where she grew both as a person and into her career.
Top Doctor Magazine
Top Doctor Magazine

Top Doctor Magazine is a magazine from doctors for doctors and patients. We cover everything from cutting-edge medical techniques and procedures to enterprising doctors, dentists, surgeons, naturopaths, chiropaths, orthodontists, and more who are thought leaders within their own medical practice and changing the way we all experience medicine for the better.

We wish to be your one-stop digest for inspiration by other professionals in your field who are making waves and setting trends. If you, too, are a trend-setter, reach out to us so we can interview you for your own spotlight within an upcoming Top Doctor Magazine issue!

Brianna Connors & Derek Archer Co-Editors