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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:

Winterize Your Medicine Cabinet with These Natural Remedies

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

We all know that feeling of waking up with a stuffy nose and scratchy throat. That feeling of dread that “I’m coming down with something.”  It’s that time of year when we’re are about to be bombarded with the winter viruses, bringing their familiar illnesses such as the common cold, bronchitis and influenza. How many times have you been caught unprepared for the illness?  I’m going to suggest that you winterize your home now by stocking your home medicine cabinet (and kitchen pantry) with natural and effective tools you’ll need to fight back against the illnesses that are surely coming your way. 

Here are 7 things that you should have around to be ready for the winter:

1)      Zinc is great for the immune system, and studies have shown that it can shorten the duration and the severity of a cold. When the scratchy throat starts, have some zinc lozenges in the house.

2)      Vitamin C: As soon as that runny nose or cough hits, you want to load your body with vitamin C.  Make sure you keep vitamin C rich foods, like bell peppers, broccoli and strawberries, on hand all through the fall and winter.  And also, have a vitamin C supplement on hand.  The last thing you want to do when you’re sick is drag yourself to the market.

3)      Garlic is a natural antibiotic with both antiviral and antibacterial properties.  Crushing fresh garlic releases its immune-boosting properties.

4)      Ginger is both antiviral and anti-inflammatory.  And it also settles an upset stomach.  So if the stomach flu hits your home, you’ll definitely want this on hand for relief.

Worried About Enterovirus D68? Here’s What You Can Do

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Teresa Fuller MD, PhD

Many people are calling enterovirus D68 the “new respiratory virus.”  In fact, there’s nothing new about this virus which was first identified in 1962.  Enteroviruses are a common cause of respiratory illnesses in the summer and early fall.  This particular strain of enterovirus, D68, can cause respiratory illness that ranges from mild to severe.  I’m sure you’ve seen many of the severe cases highlighted in the news. 

So here are 5 things you can do to help your child prevent enterovirus infections:

  • Make sure your child is using the basic infection prevention strategies which include frequent handwashing, coughing into her sleeve, and avoiding sharing utensils or cups with people who are sick.
  • If your child develops respiratory symptoms, make sure you’re giving him lots of healthy fluids like water, soup broth, freshly made fruit and vegetable juices and tea.  You can use herbal teas such as ginger tea or Echinacea.  Add raw honey and lemon which also help fight bad bugs.  Do not use honey with children under the age of 12 months!
  • Boost your child’s vitamin and mineral intake by giving her lots of fruits and vegetables.  Flavor your vegetables with disease fighting extras such as garlic, turmeric and onions.
  • Use a humidifier. Moisture is an important defensive weapon that your upper respiratory tract uses to keep out the bad bugs.  You can power up your humidifier by adding a few drops of lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, oregano or peppermint essential oil to the water reservoir.  These essential oils help fight infections, reduce congestion and improve sleep.
  • You’ve probably been advised to use a saline nasal spray to help with congestion.  That’s a good idea.  But even better is using a Xylitol nasal spray which is anti-microbial in addition to reducing the swelling.

These tips will help your family prevent and fight enterovirus and the multitude of other respiratory viruses that you’ll face in the coming months. 

 

Teresa Fuller MD, PhD, is an integrative pediatrician at National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, serving Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  She is double board-certified in pediatrics and integrative holistic medicine with a doctorate in physiology. Dr. Fuller is in a unique position to positively impact the health of children by identifying  the underlying contributors to disease such as nutrient deficiencies, toxicities, infection and stresses, in order to reverse symptoms and restore your child’s health. Her focus is prevention of chronic illness and obesity in children and young adults, ADHD, asthma and allergies.

Are Allergies No More Than Toxicity?

  
  
  
  
  
  
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Autumn Frandsen ND

                Allergies can develop at many points in a person’s life, often going unnoticed or unrecognized until they are a major hindrance. They can present as a sinus infection, headaches, itchy eyes, and even colitis. I have found that emotional turmoil, stress, exposure to chemicals, poor diet, defects in detoxification pathways, and frequent antibiotic use can all cause allergic reactions. The threshold for toxicity is different in everyone and once it is reached the nervous system and immune systems become hyperactive. At that point it is no longer enough to use antihistamines and anti-anxiolytics. A more holistic allergy treatment must be focused on unburdening the body through increasing antioxidants, repairing damaged caused by inflammation (particularly in the gut), and desensitizing both the nervous system and the immune system.

                There is a delicate balance between the nervous system and the immune system. Adrenal function affects both of them greatly and in those with pronounced stress, whether physical or emotional, adrenal output is usually diminished. At any given time there can be surges of cortisol, causing the nervous system to by up regulated, which in turn causes hyperactivity of the immune system as it searches for stressors and invaders. This increase in immune system reactivity causes increased inflammation, leading to destruction of the GAP junctions in the gut lining. This causes “leaky gut” and suddenly (or insidiously) food allergies or sensitivities never before present or bothersome increase in number and symptom presentation.

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