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Can Acupuncture Help Me Lose Weight?

  
  
  
  
  
  
acupuncture

The short answer is “YES!”  but the true answer is much more involved and requires several more questions in order to decide how to best achieve long lasting weight loss.

Chinese medicine and Acupuncture can be an effective “assistant” to weight loss and weight maintenance but how do we go about finding out why there is a weight issue to begin with?

Many Factors Affect Weight Loss

There are several factors when considering a weight loss plan that need to be discussed.  For example,

  • Is the weight gain due to poor dietary and exercise habits? 
  • Is there a metabolic function issue that needs to be addressed?
  • Are there psychological factors contributing to the inability to lose weight?
  • Is there a hormonal or thyroid issue
  • How is your digestion?

As you can see, there are many reasons why a person gains weight and, as such, there are many techniques to help lose that weight. 

Holistic Pediatrics: How to Protect Your Child From Heart Disease

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

Childhood Illnesses: Colds…Chicken Pox…Heart Disease?!

Starting three years ago, it became routine to test all 9 to 11 year olds for cholesterol level.  According to a December 2011 Pediatric News article, “…heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems in adulthood are often the end result of cardiovascular risk factors that went unrecognized throughout childhood…”1

I’m glad to see that we, as pediatricians, are acknowledging the fact that heart disease, like many other diseases, really starts in childhood.  And while I fully support the screening process, I’m much more interested in prevention.  What should we do during that first decade of our children’s lives to make the screening unnecessary?  It’s all about diet and lifestyle. 

Trending Toward Disease

For the past thirty years, child health has been going in the wrong direction. Childhood overweight and obesity has skyrocketed during the past 3 decades.  And that trend is directly linked to the increased incidence of a variety of heart related disorders in children, most notably high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol levels.  This is a very serious problem, given that epidemiologists are proposing that life expectancy for this rising generation of children could be shortened by as much as eight years.  So, what are the primary factors leading to these disturbing trends?

3 Steps to Detoxify Your Body and Lower Your Toxin Load

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Chas Gant MD, PhD

What does it take to be healthy in a modern, toxic world?

We are lucky to be living in a fast paced modern world that has brought us so many amazing benefits.

But, at the same time, we see unintended problems like chemicals in household and personal care products, energetic pollution (WIFI, cell phone, anyone?) and malnutrition from eating “convenient” processed food, all of which are contributing to toxicity-related health problems. Many chronic psychiatric and medical problems may be caused by toxins derived from chronic infections, environmental exposures from the air, food and water, psychotropic drugs, medications, genetic vulnerabilities and gastrointestinal imbalances. Efforts to help patients detoxify can take up the lion’s share of your time with a medical provider, but you can make some lifestyle and dietary changes today that will assist natural detoxification and begin to improve your health status. 

Here are 3 ways to detoxify to help your body rid itself of health-stealing toxins.

Step 1: Avoid or minimize exposure to toxins.

Step 2: Enhance the detoxification of toxins already stored in the body.

Step 3: Make detoxification a way of life.

Step #1 Avoid or Minimize Exposure to Toxins

Limiting exposure to toxins can be relatively simple. For example, adopt a routine lifestyle habit that includes consumption of organic food and filtered clean water, and avoidance of air pollution wherever possible. Minimize contact with Wi-Fi, microwaves and high power lines, and wear devices which decrease their biological harm to offer some protection. If you are a health care provider or healer, since toxicity is the cause of so much disability, make it a routine activity in the care you provide to design a program to mitigate this exposure side of the equation.

Conventional and Natural Treatment of Head Colds

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Victoria Goldsten HD, LMT

During my nursing studies I learned that there were no medications to kill the viruses that caused the common head cold. Tylenol was recommended for the fever, aches, and pains and antihistamines for the runny nose.  Once the infection turned bacterial there was a treatment for that cause and then antibiotics were given. As a nurse I thought I was doing all that I could do at the time.

Natural Treament for the Common Cold

Now that I have studied and personally used natural methods I have found a broad range of treatments for the common cold.  What I found was amazing and unbelievable.  It forever changed my path in health care.

The remedy treatments I am referring to are homeopthics, herbals, and therapeutic oils.  Although all not proven scientifically, through my years of study and treatment I have seen miraculous results.  The one remedy most important is the homeopathic viral nosode.  This  nosode homeopathic remedy is derived from a dead virus or viruses that has been repeatedly diluted and agitated in a water and medicinal alcohol solution. Based upon homeopathic theory this remedy stimulates the immune system to fight the virus in a similar way to a vaccine but it is harmless to the body. 

I have experienced thousands of clients' positive reactions to this remedy as well as myself, family members, and friends.  It was impossible to ignore the overwhelming positive results.  In addition to the viral nosode I found herbs, sublingual oligo liquid zinc, and therapeutic oils to be very beneficial. Many times I used them in conjunction with the viral nosode remedy to intensify the treatment.

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Is It a Big Deal That My Child is Overweight?

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

 

One in three American children are overweight or obese

It’s now common knowledge that childhood obesity has become an epidemic in our country. One in every three children is overweight or obese.  While this issue has been getting less media attention recently, we don’t want to underestimate the looming health crisis that will result from such large numbers of children being overweight.   We have already been seeing a staggering increase in common childhood illnesses, such as asthma and allergies, because of the increasing toxicity of our environment.  Overweight and obesity add yet another burden to our children’s stressed systems. 

Overweight and obesity may put your child at risk for the following diseases:

Type 2 Diabetes: Obesity is the most significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.   A serious illness, diabetes is the leading cause of many serious medical problems later in life, such as kidney disease, blindness, heart disease, and circulation problems leading to amputation.

High blood lipid levels: By lipids, we are referring to cholesterol, triglycerides, low and high density lipoproteins to name the most common ones.  Obese children often have lipid disorders, specifically: high cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, high LDL levels, low HDL levels.  These abnormal lipid levels lead to increased cardiovascular risk.

High blood pressure: High blood pressure also increases with overweight and obesity in childhood.  Just like other health problems, it continues into adulthood which sets these children up for cardiovascular disease later in life.   

Can Diet Affect ADHD?

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

Is there such a thing as an ADHD Diet?

I’ve been asked this question quite a few times. 

The answer is yes…and no. 

What I mean is this: a child’s diet is a critical piece in the treatment of ADHD.  However, the right diet doesn’t treat just ADHD symptoms, but it makes the brain work better in general.  So, an ADHD diet is what I prefer to call a brain healthy diet.

What happens in ADHD? 

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are brain disorder diagnoses usually made by a pediatrician or psychologist. It is characterized by inability to concentrate, restlessness, and impulsiveness, but may be difficult to diagnose. It is often first reported by teachers or parents. There is no single cause of ADHD. Rather, scientific research suggests the effects of many underlying causes, which taken together are expressed through each individual's genetic make up as a group of symptoms qualifying for a diagnosis of ADHD.

When a person has ADHD, the brain has difficulty focusing and staying on task; it has difficulty planning and self-regulating. In order for the brain to carry out these tasks, it needs adequate amounts of building materials.  The brain is one of the most metabolically active parts of your body, and therefore it needs a constant flow of nutrients to work well. 

Here are the Building Blocks of an ADHD Healthy Brain Diet

1. Protein: Many children today eat a diet that’s heavy in simple carbohydrates and low in protein.  A brain healthy diet needs a good supply of healthy proteins. Even though lean meat and eggs are good sources of protein, make sure you remember plant sources.  For example, beans, nut butters, certain vegetables, such as broccoli, and certain whole grains such as quinoa, are healthy sources of protein. 

2. Complex carbohydrates are essential for brain health because they provide steady energy to keep up with the brain’s high metabolism rate.  A variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as beans and whole grains, provide this energy source.

3. Healthy fats are finally being recognized for their critical role in brain function. Almonds, walnuts, avocados and flax seeds are important sources of fat for your child’s diet.  Also, wild salmon once or twice per week provides essential fatty acids.  If you use oil when cooking, the best choices for brain health are coconut and extra virgin olive oil.

Diabetes Awareness: The Truth About Carbohydrates

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Anita Capizzi RN, CHC

I have long been talking about pre-diabetes and Type II diabetes as conditions that we DO have control over. The foods that we choose to eat and our lifestyle choices are of paramount importance.

November has been designated as National Diabetes Awareness month.

Personal awareness has to be the starting point to turn the tide of this chronic disease. So what can you do to prevent or slow the progression of diabetes?

It’s all about the carbs!

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar and insulin levels. When a large part of the diet is made up of carbohydrates, insulin levels remain high throughout the day. Eventually, even though there is plenty of insulin in the bloodstream,  the body stops responding to it- creating insulin resistance- and body fat increases and insulin can no longer do it’s job of escorting sugar out of the blood and in to the cells for energy. Blood tests then reveal high blood sugar and a diagnosis of pre -diabetes or Type II diabetes is made.

All carbs get broken down in to sugar. Period. What’s important is whether or not that carbohydrate has fiber. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar and that’s a good thing because it lessens the amount of insulin needed to remove the sugar from the blood. The goal is always to reduce the amount of insulin needed to get the job done and that happens when we eat foods that are low in carbohydrates.

5 Reasons to Choose a Holistic Pediatrician

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller M.D., Ph.D

One of the most important decisions you have to make as a parent is the choice of pediatrician.  Whether you are expecting a baby, or have just moved into a new area, or are simply no longer satisfied with your current pediatrician, you have the task of choosing the right doctor among the numerous pediatric services in your area. Many prospective parents call my office as they are searching for a pediatrician, wanting to determine if a holistic pediatrician can meet their needs.  While different parents all have their own unique concerns, I have found quite a few commonalities among parents in the search for a pediatrician who will partner with them in the best interest of their children.  

Here are the common concerns for choosing a pediatrician: 

1. You want to raise your baby in the most natural way possible. When your child develops an earache, a stuffy nose or constipation, what should you do?  You want to know safe and effective options that are drug-free if possible.  You want to know herbal or homeopathic options for your young child.  While most conventional pediatricians aren’t familiar with many of these interventions, a holistic pediatrician will be.

2. You want accurate information about vaccines and the choice of vaccination to be yours.  After studying mountains of vaccine information on both sides of the issue, one thing is clear: there is a lot of misleading information pro and con.  As a holistic pediatrician, I believe it’s my responsibility to know both sides of the issue, and objectively discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with you, the parent, so that you can make an educated, informed decision based on facts instead of fear.

Breast Cancer Prevention Begins in Childhood?

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

We often direct the awareness message to women, recommending steps they can take to detect breast cancer early or to reduce their risk of cancer.  But breast cancer prevention actually begins in childhood.  Several recent studies show the relationship of childhood diet to breast cancer risk.

Childhood Diet and Cancer Risk

It’s long been known that early puberty is a risk factor for breast cancer, likely because of the increased length of time the body is exposed to higher levels of estrogen.  Interestingly enough, onset of puberty is significantly impacted by certain dietary factors. 

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2012 showed that increased meat and dairy intake is associated with an earlier age of puberty onset.  On the other hand, a diet higher in vegetable protein intake was correlated to a later onset of puberty.  This study specifically looked at the diet when the children were only 3 to 6 years old. 

Good Sleep is Essential to Brain Health

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

In a previous blog, Seven Ways that Exercise Helps Maintain a Healthy Brain,  I outlined the importance of exercise for brain health.

Now on the flip side of that is the importance of sleep for brain health.  Lack of sleep is so significant to brain function that 24 hours without sleep or a week of sleeping four or five hours a night induces an impairment equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.1%.  That is higher than the legally drunk blood alcohol level of 0.08%!

Sleep deprivation:

  • causes impairment of performance, concentration, vigilance and memory 
  • can have permanent effects on memory and brain cell connectivity
  • impairs reaction time and cognition

 Is your child getting enough sleep?  Studies show that 30 – 40% of children do not get enough sleep each night. More and more children are having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. 

So, given how important sleep is to our brain health, here are 5 strategies for helping your child sleep well:

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This is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease.