Dr. Penelope McDonnell



By giving the body all that it needs, it will heal itself.

Beyond general health and wellness, Dr. McDonnell specializes in four difficult to treat categories: cancer support, nutrition-based lifestyle planning, women's health, and small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO).  These four specific health categories demand the highest level of care by thorough assessment, matched with detailed, and customized treatment plans.

Photo: Teavana

Photo: Teavana

Cancer: Coping & Recovery Support 

A cancer diagnosis is a shock to every patient. The next steps of choosing a hospital/oncologist/surgeon/radiologist, understanding cancer lingo, and making all of the important treatment decisions can be daunting. I work with patients at all stages of treatment to support their health - during and after treatment - as well as developing personalized lifestyle, diet and supplement protocols after treatment that aid recovery, detox, and prevention.

First, a granular analysis of all tests, scans, surgical reports, and treatment plans in place is done. Next, a detailed intake of lifestyle, diet, and medications is performed.  From there, a phase by phase protocol is developed that supports the patient through medical treatment and after. A typical example is a patient who comes into my office starting (or already on) chemo. Importantly, no herbal supplements are used during this phase – though there are plenty of effective targeted dietary and lifestyle supports that can be put in place to help the body through. Afterwards, support – when applicable - during the surgical phase, radiation phase and the detoxifying healing phase is done – with office visits timed before the start of each.  Regular check in emails are included.

Photo: Rishi Tea

Photo: Rishi Tea

Nutrition For the Young Professional

Long hours, early mornings, and late nights all put a strain on your health and wellness, especially for the young professional. The demands of a busy social life and a rigorous work life wreak havoc on your energy levels, sleep quality, and food choices, just to name a few.  We understand how tough it is to balance wellness and work, so we partner with you to develop a customized nutrition and wellness plan fit to your needs.  And yes, we can help you avoid work time hangovers, curb those sugar cravings, and make it to that workout class.

Photo: Mannatech

Photo: Mannatech

Family Nutrition and Wellness

Parents are always asking what to feed their children for optimal wellness support and immune function. We take a detailed look at your family lifestyle – diet, exercise, schedule – and tailor a wellness plan for both parents and children. 

Photo: The List/ Shutterstock

Photo: The List/ Shutterstock

Women's Health: Fertility

Being as healthy as possible is always the goal of couples and single women trying to get pregnant.  How do you do that? Should you detox (the answer to that  - NOT right before trying to get pregnant), should you change your diet (maybe), lifestyle (depends)? Are there tests that can be run to look at nutritional deficiencies and endocrine disrupters that can affect pregnancy likelihood and baby health (there certainly are!)? Ideally, six months before starting to try to conceive is the ideal window of time to take a look at and remedy any possible issues as well as to put basic wellness support in place. That being said, I also see couples that have been trying unsuccessfully to conceive and come in for analysis and treatment.  Once pregnant, I guide couples toward safe – and appropriate supplements and dietary support. 

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SIBO: Treatment & Support

Suffering from intermittent or constant stomach pain, indigestion, bloating or bad breath that won’t go away? Are you constipated, have diarrhea or both? The first step is a full clinical intake where we review your symptoms in detail, your current food and drink intake (through a 4-day diet diary), and any testing you have had done or may need to have done, in order to check for for bacterial overgrowth, parasites, inflammation, food allergies, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth), low digestive enzyme function, yeast and more.

Curative modalities include specialized diets tailored to your unique symptoms and lifestyle as well as supplements to support healing and improved function. We follow the 4 R’s naturopathic philosophy of Remove, Replace, Repair and Reinoculate – as this has shown – even in the more difficult cases of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis -- to be effective in supporting healing.  Proper bowel repair can take time and we carefully monitor symptoms through regular check-in emails, making sure that progress is being made. 


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 Other Areas of Speciality