Gluten and the Whole Body

Gluten Sensitivity is very real. If you don’t test clinically positive to Celiac Disease you could still have issues with digesting and assimilating gluten. Gluten can have huge implications in the body; it impairs the absorption of beneficial vitamins and nutrients, creates inflammation in the gut lumen and circulatory system, and can affect the nervous system by way of balance, stability, mood and sleep.

Here is a list of symptoms NOT related to the digestive system that can be caused by gluten:

• Craving high sugar foods
• Difficulty keeping weight normalized
• Iron deficiency anemia
• Frequent headaches
• Sinus congestion
• Migraine Headaches
• Vertigo
• Poor memory or Brain fog
• ADD or ADHD
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Neuropathy
• Irrational irritability
• Mood swings
• Restless leg syndrome
• Muscle & Joint Symptoms
• Joint pains with or without activity
• Chronic muscle aches or spasms
• Fibromyalgia
• Autoimmune arthritis
• Bone pain
• Fatigue
• Infertility
• Thyroid issues
• PCOS
• Asthma
• Yeast infections
• Eczema
• Psoriasis
• Dermatitis Herpetiformis
• Gall bladder problems
• Elevated liver enzymes

Some common issues with Gluten that are often missed by conventional physicians include:
• Gluten can cause vitamin B12 deficiency
• Excessive gluten consumption can cause both excessive weight gain or loss
• Lab tests for gluten sensitivity may not be accurate and tend to deliver false negatives
• Gluten can cause asthma symptoms
• Gluten can cause iron deficiency anemia
• Gluten can cause seizures
• Gluten can cause migraine headaches
• Gluten can cause thyroid disease
• Gluten can cause liver damage
• Gluten can cause IBS
• Gluten can cause Ataxia
• Gluten can cause many different skin diseases
• Gluten can cause nerve pain and neuropathy
• Gluten can cause gallbladder disease
• Gluten can lower testosterone in men

Science shows us that even the healthiest gut which consumes gluten in the quantity of a breadcrumb, can have intestinal damage that takes three hours to repair. Gluten is one of the leading causes of leaky gut, which comes with its own set of inflammatory and auto immune issues. However, eliminating gluten isn’t always that simple. There are many medications that can mimic gluten sensitivity and cause the same symptoms in a person avoiding gluten. The same inflammation caused by gluten, can be caused by corn, soy, dairy, and parasite infections in some individuals. Processed food that is assumed (or labeled to be gluten free) can be cross contaminated with gluten up to 41% of the time. It is estimated that over 90% of the people following a gluten free diet continue to have health problems because of cross contamination, processed food, and consumption of corn, rice, sorghum and other grains. Gluten can be found in products used at the dentist or orthodontist. Gluten is often found in cosmetics and skin products. Gluten free on the label doesn’t make the food healthy.
There are many proteins found in grains that can mimic gluten and therefore create symptoms in a sensitive individual. In many cases, gluten gets blamed for health problems that are caused by the pesticides found on gluten containing grains. Almost all processed products that contain gluten also contain folic acid which “enriches” the product; this folic acid can also create inflammation in individuals sensitive to it (with or without MTHFR).
The good news
Vitamin C can help heal the damage caused by gluten
Probiotics can help reduce inflammation and enhance digestion while healing from gluten sensitivity
Children with learning disabilities respond well to a gluten free diet
Gluten sensitivity can be recovered, but it can take 3 years
There are thousands of unprocessed whole foods that do not ever contain gluten that are delicious and nutritious and help heal your gut!

For more information check out my book!

Extra Chromosome & Absent Enzyme; A look at Down Syndrome and MTHFR

Down Syndrome is a genetic mutation identified by an extra 21st chromosome. MTHFR is a genetic mutation identified by the absence of a vital enzyme essential for folate metabolism. There is an intimate connection between these 2 conditions, and by identifying MTHFR in children with Down Syndrome risks for many co-morbid conditions can be reduced or eliminated.
Contributing Factors
Environmental and Maternal Disposition. There has been recent research showing there is a higher incidence of children with Down syndrome born to mothers that are positive for MTHFR. Multiple polymorphisms were identified in this study which simply correlates the association. Practically speaking MTHFR mutations are seen in elevated levels in autism, spina bifida, fetal cardiac defects and Down syndrome. However, to solely implicate genetics in any medical condition is bad medicine. The environment plays such a large role in influencing our genes. Because of the role that MTHFR plays in folate metabolism and Homocysteine metabolism this association bears regard and acknowledgement.
It has been well researched that Children with Down Syndrome have higher incidences of:
Midline Development Issues
Heart defects. Almost one-half of babies with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease, the most common type of birth defect. MTHFR mutations are associated with a higher incidence of Heart Defects. MTHFR effects “midline development” the heart is an organ that develops form the midline in utero.
Hypothyroidism. Occurs more often in children with Down syndrome than in children without Down syndrome. Close evaluation of thyroid health, diet, supplements and possibly medication can assist in balancing this condition. Again, the thyroid is developed from the “midline” embryonic tissue. The same layer that is effected by the presence of MTHFR mutations. Research shows us children with Down syndrome are born to mothers with MTHFR mutations themselves. Genetics, and an extra chromosome leads to a much higher incidence of hypothyroidism.
Dental problems. Children with Down syndrome generally have a higher palate. This changes the landscape of the mouth and jaw and can cause teeth and speech development that differs from what is expected. Gum disease, is also very common. Gum Disease is well studied as a problem with digestion, bacteria imbalance and nutrient deficiency. MTHFR mutations are closely correlated with dental problems. Again, the gums and teeth develop from the “midline” during pregnancy. MTHFR mutations cause an “inefficiency” of folate metabolism. When this system is impaired the body uses additional vitamins and minerals (stored in the teeth and bones) to properly run its cycles. If nutrient levels are lower that the body’s demand the teeth and gums will suffer.
Sense Organs Issues
Vision problems. More than 60% of children with Down syndrome have vision problems. MTHFR defects can affect the eye. The vessels of the eye are so small that any kind of inflammation or excessive toxicity can “get stuck” in the small vessels of the eye and effect vision.
Hearing loss. About 75% of children with Down syndrome have some hearing loss, sometimes because of problems with ear structures. Children with Down syndrome also tend to get a lot of ear infections, due to narrow canals and anatomic variation which should be watched closely. MTHFR is more highly associated with sensory issues associated with hearing impairments.

Immunity and Blood Issue>s
Infections. Kids with Down syndrome are 12 times more likely to die from untreated and unmonitored infections compared to kids without Down syndrome. The Immune system develops differently in kids with Down Syndrome, which can cause problem with immunity. This poses challenges with children and the current immunization schedule. In children with impaired immunity, vaccines can cause unanticipated reactions, which can lead to further health concerns. MTHFR and its ability to metabolize folate plays an intimate role in the immune system. These mutations can cause reduced immune function, bone marrow suppression and the inability to produce proper components of the immune system.
Blood disorders. Are common in children with Down syndrome. There is a 10 to 15 higher incidence of developing leukemia. Kids with Down Syndrome are at higher risk for a diagnosis of anemias of all kinds (low iron, low B12, high red blood cells, etc.). MTHFR is the enzyme that controls folate (B9) metabolism, however proper signaling of methylation, the pathway signaled by the MTHFR enzyme also requires proper interface with B!2 and B6, without these other B vitamins the pathway operates ineffectively and can further problems with anemias of all kinds.
Structural Issues
Hypotonia (poor muscle tone). Poor muscle tone and low strength is a common contributor to “delayed” milestones in Children with Down Syndrome. Low Tone can also effect nursing, swallowing, speech development, constipation and coordination.

Many of these problems can be addressed with skilled providers educated in the specificity of Down Syndrome Concerns. MTHFR pathways assist to eliminate toxins in the body. The benefit of an efficient elimination system means the body reduces its exposure to toxins and therefore reduces its potential for disease. Keeping MTHFR in good working order helps the body better balance muscle and strength development as well as reduce the problems associated with low tone.
Atlantoaxial Instability. Is present in 20% of children with Down syndrome. This is associated with an increased incidence of spinal cord injury and should be evaluated by a skilled provider for the best course of treatment. MTHFR is not associated with Atlantoaxial instability, however it is well reported that individuals with MTHFR have a higher incidence of damage to ligaments and tendons when ingesting “floxin” antibiotics. This should be thoroughly researched by any provider prescribing antibiotics to children with Down syndrome.
Digestion Absorption and Elimination
Digestive problems. Digestive problems in kids with Down syndrome, range from structural defects in the digestive system, food sensitivity or food allergy, and food aversions or addictions. Due to the metabolic and genetic components with Down syndrome very specific diets can be recommended and useful for a lifetime of healthy digestion, assimilation and weight balance. The research shows that approximately 80% of individuals with MTHFR have food allergy or food sensitivity. Remember that individuals with MTHFR have a harder time with detoxification where as individuals with Down syndrome have an impaired immune system.
Celiac disease. Is very common with Down syndrome. Celiac is an immune and gastrointestinal inability to digest the protein found in wheat and other grains containing gluten. Gluten should be completely avoided throughout a lifetime, this can be of benefit for a host of conditions that are associated and co-diagnosed along with Down syndrome. Individuals diagnoses with MTHFR have a 60% incidence of having Celiac disease as well. This is an important screening for all kids with any sort of immune dysregulation. Kids with Down syndrome can be susceptible earlier and with more severe symptoms.
Mental & Emotional
Mental health and emotional problems. There is a very high incidence of anxiety, depression, perseveration, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder associated with Down syndrome. Individuals with MTHFR have higher incidence of anxiety, and depression. In some cases, the proper balance of specific B vitamins can improve symptoms in a very short timeframe avoiding medication and its problematic side effects.
Sleep disorders. Many children with Down syndrome have disordered sleep. This can be due in part to obstructive sleep apnea, narrow structures in the head and neck, food sensitivities or side effects of medication. MTHFR mutations can certainly cause issues with sleep. When folate metabolism is impaired a dysregulation in the body occurs. Also, effecting sleep can be B12 levels which can cause bedwetting, anxiety and restlessness

In conclusion Down syndrome and MTHFR are closely related and treating and supporting proper functioning of the MTHFR enzyme can dramatically improve outcomes or assist to avoid complications kids with Down syndrome may occur in their lifetime.
________________________________________
1. Bull, M. J., & the Committee on Genetics. (2011). Health supervision for children with Down syndrome. Pediatrics, 128, 393–406. [top]
2. So, S. A., Urbano, R. C., & Hodapp, R. M. (2007) Hospitalizations of infants and young children with Down syndrome: Evidence from inpatient person-records from a statewide administrative database. Journal of Intelle
3. Hardy, O., Worley, G., Lee, M. M., Chaing, S., Mackey, J., Crissman, B., et al. (2004). Hypothyroidism in Down syndrome: screening guidelines and testing methodology. American Journal of Medical Gen
4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3078648/pdf/nihms-259545.pdf
5. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110863015000889
6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11807890
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168164/
8. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/4/429.long

.

Stay on track with your healing diet during the Holidays!!

 

The holidays can be a stressful time, both financial and emotional. Added to that is your new regimen of a healing diet to improve your lifelong health. Remember there gazillion foods that don’t contain any of your triggers! Focus on those and remember keeping with your healing diet will be worth it in the end.

Here is a list of pitfalls to avoid!

hi-turkey-istock-000016829766.jpg

  • Plain turkey is gluten free! Be sure it has not been seasoned or marinated with something that contains an allergen or trigger.
  • There are plenty of stuffing’s and gravies that can be made allergy free too!
  • Even though ham is usually gluten free, it can be very inflammatory and should be avoided during times of stress.
  • Try a beautiful slow cooked brisket. There are many traditional recipes that avoid many of the typical allergens.
  • Traditional mashed and roasted potato, turnip or sweet potato recipes are well tolerated on most healing diets.
  • Avoid or modify some traditional holiday recipes that contain allergens. Many wonderful substitutions are available to fool your family “not yet diagnosed”.
  • Potato, onion and egg (or egg replacer), salt and pepper to taste make an amazing allergy free potato pancake for anyone on a healing diet.
  • A great egg replacer is chia seeds or flax seeds mixed with water.
  • Just a reminder most Vegetables and Fruit are safe for healing diets and should be plentiful on your holiday table.
  • Be mindful about cross-contamination issues. Remember when healing the body can be more sensitive to allergens or “offenders”. Gently remind your family chefs to be cautious with cooking and utensils.
  • Always plan to bring something to eat to the party. It’s an opportunity to point out “healthy food” can be delicious (and you are sure to have something to eat).
  • Better yet! You host the dinner and be sure to tell your party goers exactly what to bring, most people appreciate the direction and organization tips!
  • Include “new and improved” tradition, a mild veer away from the typical but still about family, food and fun! It takes the focus off “your healing diet).
  • To simplify holiday baking, use simple mixes or no bake style desserts, most of your dinner guests will be too full to eat dessert anyway.
  • Remember food is for nourishment and eat until you are full not stuffed.

If all else fails remember

breakfasttime008_zps4bc795a5.jpg

  • Walnuts are a good antidepressant
  • Oatmeal contains natural calming properties
  • Almonds balance blood sugar
  • Blueberries strengthen your immune system in times of stress
  • Dark Chocolate protects your heart, and stabilizes your mood

Holidays are a temporary experience, staying on track to healing leaves you with a lifetime of benefit!

for more recipes check out my blog or book!

***

Lung infections and MTHFR; Chiropractic can help!

It has been widely reported that individuals with MTHFR are more susceptible to asthma and other lung infections. In the winter, particularly in New England bronchitis and pneumonia is rampant, even among our kids. Conventional medicine offers little to support these kids and usually leads them down a road of more steroids and antibiotics, increasing susceptibility.

Sadly, we know that many classes of antibiotics given to individuals with MTHFR can leave kids with more symptoms than when they were initially seeking treatment. Steroids, lifesaving in many cases, are often over- prescribed, assaulting immunity in our youth, and leading them down a road that requires steroids as their only treatment.

Chiropractic has been a mainstay in medicine for nearly 150 years. However in many cases, families believe that chiropractic is for “back pain” or “after a car accident”, yet the research shows us that chiropractic is very effective for many, many acute medical conditions as well!

hippocrates

The lungs have an extensive supply of nerves that communicate with them.  What would happen if there was interference with communication to the lungs? It may lead to respiratory problems, bronchitis or respiratory infections.  Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic care and improved respiratory function, breathing difficulty and bronchitis.

The premise of chiropractic is wellness and true prevention. So, the idea is we don’t get sick at all when under chiropractic care; however, stress, mal-adaption and dis-ease can set in to all of us!

Studies have shown chiropractic care is safe and effective, meaning proper adjustments can restore health sooner and more effectively than other modalities.  Especially in the presence of shortness of breath, asthma, allergies, coughing and hiccups!

One of the biggest symptoms that young children experience with pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis is air hunger. Air Hunger is the feeling that “you are running out of air”, it is part of the process of healing the lungs after an infection and it can last a few weeks! There is little conventional medicine can do     for this symptoms, but chiropractic can make a big difference.   In discussing such cases, the term “somatic dyspnea” is suggested to denote air hunger or shortness of breath related to somatic dysfunction.  Somatic dyspnea is a condition, which may accompany other causes of dyspnea (lung pathology, psychogenic or “functional” causes etc.)or can exist alone. There are multiple studies that prove, this symptom of air hunger was alleviated or abolished following the correction of vertebral subluxation complex or other somatic dysfunctions, aka, a chiropractic adjustment.  The response to chiropractic adjustments is sometimes so dramatic and rapid that patients may have an emotional response to taking their first FULL breath in a while!

The take home message is, first of all conventional therapies are useful in acute life threatening conditions or episodes. Secondly, individuals with MTHFR are likely more sensitive to everything; drug dosages, dis-ease, imbalance and environmental change. Thirdly, chiropractic is more than just for back pain; it’s useful in many acute conditions and can restore health and balance safely and effectively. Lastly, take care of your body, watch for signs of dis-ease, imbalance and illness and address them immediately!

Don’t make chiropractic or holistic medicine your “last resort “make it your first stop to better health!

asthma-and-chiropractic-upper-cervical-14

 

 

 

 

Chiropractic adjustments of the cervicothoracic spine for the treatment of bronchitis with complications of atelectasis.  Hart, D.L. Libich, E, Ficher R. International Review of Chiropractic, 1991; Mar:31-33.

Chiropractic management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Masarsky CS, Weber M. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1988; 11:505-510.

Adjustive osteopathic manipulative treatment in the elderly hospitalized with pneumonia: a pilot study. Noll DR, Shores J, Bryman PN, Masterson EV. Journal Of The American Osteopathic Association 1999; 99(3): 143-6

Somatic Dyspnea and the orthopedics of respiration.  Masarsky CS, Weber M Chiropractic Technique, 1991; 3:26-29

Specific upper cervical chiropractic care and lung function.  , R Abstracts from the 13th annual upper cervical spine conference, Nov 16-17, 1996 Life College, Marietta, Georgia.  Pub in Chiropractic Research Journal, Vol. 1V, No.1, Spring 1997 p.27 (also Kessinger R; Changes in pulmonary function associated with upper cervical specific chiropractic care J Vertebral Subluxation Research 1997; 1(3):43-9.

 

Let Them be Dirty and Healthy

dirty kid.jpg

Cleanliness is next to GODliness right? Well that’s what society has implied over the last 50 years. We have turned health into a disease and indoctrinated our children into it before their birth!  Why did we start hating dirt, bacteria, germs and microbes? When families moved out of the farming fields into the service industry we became “cleaner” to a fault. Research has shown that this may not be the healthiest option for the human form. There is always opportunity to change, balance and heal..so start today!

When babies are born and pass through the birth canal they receive a load of beneficial bacteria to help model the immune system properly; if this is not the case babies should have some assistance with proper immune support in the form of probiotics. It takes approximately 5 years to lay down a properly balanced immune system. Excessive antibiotics or other medications can alter the growth and development of immunity. Breastfeeding, properly timed non allergenic food introduction, and baby-wearing can actively support the proper development of immunity in our toddlers.

When they get a bit older, send those kids outside! Playing in fresh air and fresh dirt can dramatically boost immunity and help the proper balance of bacteria to form in the gut, out first line of defense! Having pets and minimizing and eliminating anti-bacterial cleaners also help the body’s immunity develop properly. In Scandinavian countries many hours of the day are spent outside with young ones! They are bundled for the cold and play until it’s time for a nap! Here in America, Antibiotics are over used; there are epidemic rates of asthma, allergies, autism and atopic skin conditions; as well as high rates of infant death!

infant death.png

Feed your kids well and support a healthy gut!!

What do bad bacteria love to eat? Sugar!!

The introduction of sugar-full foods such as rice and other starches, as well as dairy and processed foods, actually alter the development of proper digestion bacteria in the gut! These foods then become nutrients for sugar loving bacteria and not nutrition for your baby! First foods should include delicious and fatty avocados or sweet potatoes, which are easy to digest and low in “allergenic potential”, in 2013 over 70% of children below the age of 2 received antibiotics! A developing gut and immune system needs to be supported while on antibiotics! Be sure to replete with probiotics and keep “bad bacteria loving foods” away from sick kids and those on antibiotics for at least 2 weeks (during and after treatment).

Growing up in America is hard enough! However if our kids have a good foundation in family and health the body is more resilient and heartier! Amazing medical research regularly report breakthroughs as to how to heal the gut and balance proper gut bacteria! But if we have the knowledge and the power to help develop it properly from the beginning, give that gift to your baby!

 

What a post-partum mom really wants when you visit her and her baby

dsc00968

Truth is visits from well-meaning family and friends are always welcome! It’s the unsolicited advice or subtle (pressured) offers to hold/ care for the newborn we could all do without. Research has shown us time and again that the first weeks of life are critical for bonding, proper milk supply and post-partum recovery of the mother.

The best things we can do for mom and her new baby is:

1) Take their other kids somewhere. Older siblings are usually under stimulated by the daily goings on of a newborn. So take the other children for as long as you can, and bring them back exhausted and fed.

2) Feed the mama! Remember she is constantly feeding another human! Be sure to check with here to see if there are particular things she is or isn’t eating. Be sure the dish is disposable or a gift. Post-partum moms do not have the best memory capacity.

3) Collect some cash or a gift card for cleaning services! Who has time for cleaning after you have just spawned a human from your loins! Find a trusted service or person to do the job! Worth every cent!

4) Offer to watch the baby while mom naps or showers. Both those items become scarce in the immediate post-partum period. A few minutes of your time are a huge gift to a tired or smelly mama!

5) Help to recognize signs of postpartum depression. “Baby Blues” can last 6 weeks, anything beyond that that could be cause for concern should be addressed and guided to the proper provider. As you all know regular chiropractic has been shown to reduce post-partum depression. Be Sure to on the lookout for tell-tell signs that mama might be struggling.

6) Invite mamma and baby to get out of the house. We all know what kind of Olympic sport it is to get a newborn fed, changed and clothed to get out; help her get a change of scenery, even if it is only a short walk around the block.

7) Offer to run errands for her, do her grocery shopping in person or online, pick up a few items at the coop, grab that homeopathic for the baby’s prickly stomach (remember #6) it is likely she will gladly accept the help.

8) Make a sign for their door that says “Baby Sleeping” or “please come in..and do some laundry” in early postpartum days sleep is precious get any and all you can! And avoid being disturbed by the UPS guy or the neighbor’s kids who want to play.

Truth is we have all been there and we all need the help. This is an amazing way as women we can support each other and grow together. When mama is recovered she will be ready to help you with your bundle of joy!

Natural Treatment for School Time Illnesses

Many parents experience the joy of sending their healthy child off to school ..only to have them home sick shortly after classes begin. Classrooms can be breeding grounds for organisms that cause illnesses in young children. Here are some common afflictions children can get in school and some simple tips to treat them naturally and effectively!

Head lice

head-louse-nymp-2

Head lice are a common problem among children attending daycare, and elementary school.  This louse is most often spread by direct contact with the hair of an infected person. It is uncommon for head lice to spread by contact with clothing, furniture, or personal items used by an infected person. A diagnosis of head lice should always be confirmed because head lice can be mistaken as lint or dandruff.

Some natural treatments for head lice include:

  • Salt and vinegar
    • Mix one-quarter cup of salt and one-quarter cup of vinegar thoroughly.
    • Gently spray the solution onto your hair so that it becomes slightly wet
    • Put on a shower cap and leave it for about two hours.
    • Then wash and condition hair.
    • Repeat this every three days to get positive results.

Tinea capitis/ringworm

ring worm 2

Tinea capitis, also known as ringworm, is an itchy fungal infection of the scalp that can occur at any age. Typically, the affected areas appear bald, round, scaly, and red or inflamed. Low-grade fever, and swollen glands may or may not be present. Ringworm infections are contagious and can spread easily to others by direct contact with an area of ringworm on the body of an infected person, by touching personal items and by pets (particularly cats). Ringworm is effectively treated with home remedies and anti-fungal medications if necessary.

Some natural treatments for ringworm include:

  • Topical use of Apple Cider Vinegar or Tea tree Oil

Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD)

hand foot mouth 1

HFMD is an acute viral illness. HFMD typically affects children younger than 5 years, although it can also occur in adults. Signs/symptoms include a skin rash, blister-like sores in and around the mouth and hands & feet, and fever. It is spread from person to person by direct contact, and contaminated surfaces. There is no specific therapy, and children should be out of school until all the blisters are completely gone or scabbed over, which can sometimes take up to 10 days.

Some natural treatments for HFMD include:

  • Boosting the immune system with elderberry or vitamin d
  • Soothing the rashes with coconut oil (which is naturally anti-viral)
  • Offering warm bone broth and cold coconut water or coconut water popsicles for soothing the mouth
  • Wet socks help to boost immunity and shorten the duration of the illness

Strep Infections and Sore Throats

StrepPR-A-enIL.jpg

 

Strep bacteria are the most common causes of sore throats. Although anyone can get strep throat, it is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15 years. Kids may develop sudden symptoms 2-5 days after they come in contact with the nasal secretions or saliva from infected persons. The symptoms may be mild or severe and include sore throat, fever, reddened throat, nausea, and malaise. Currently the AAP recommendation is an antibiotic regime for any positive strep test.  However, the sensitivity with the testing is limited and approximately only 70% of valid strep infections are detected.  The primary concern for missed strep infections may subsequently cause Scarlet fever.  Scarlet fever is a disease caused by untreated strep bacteria getting into the bloodstream.  Symptoms include a rash with a “sandpapery” feel usually appears first on the neck and chest, and then it spreads over the body, lasting for a week or more, Other symptoms include fever, pharyngitis, chills, vomiting, and abdominal pain. A “strawberry tongue,” a tongue with a whitish coating and a red and bumpy appearance, may be present. Also peeling skin in the hands and feet may appear. The major concern with scarlet fever is that if it is left untreated, a small percentage of patients will develop rheumatic fever.

Some natural treatments to support the treatment of strep infections include:

  • Zinc which helps kill bacteria
  • Eliminate most dairy products while the child is ill; causes congestion and excessive mucus
  • Goldenseal kills strep bacteria
  • Garlic boosts immune system
  • Apple Cider Vinegar gargle helps to relieve throat pain
  • For Children that have constant infections consider a specific probiotic sold here to reduce the number of infections

 

Conjunctivitis

conjunctivitis.jpg

Conjunctivitis is common in children presenting with a red or pink eye. Characteristic signs include red swollen eyeballs, mucus drainage, itching and pain. Most cases are self-limited, but pink eye spreads easily in schools and daycare.

Some natural treatments for pink eye include:

  • Topical application of chamomile tea
  • Topical application of breastmilk (this works like a charm)
  • Consider a daily dose of probiotics which can reduce the incidence of reoccurrence. Probiotics have been shown to reduce daycare absences because of fewer colds, and the use of antibiotics.

Fifth disease

5thdz.jpg

Fifth disease is generally a mild, self-limited illness. The initial symptoms are often nonspecific, such as fever, headache, and runny nose.  After a few days, most children will develop a “slapped cheek” facial rash, which is the most recognized feature of this disease. Kids usually become ill within 4-14 days after becoming infected. Fifth disease spreads through respiratory contact when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Fifth Disease can cause concern in pregnant women, who can develop fetal hydrops and possibly fetal death. It is important to inform pregnant mothers and teachers of the risk from exposure from infected children or teachers should have “titer” levels drawn by blood work to identify if they are immune and not at risk. Fifth Disease can also cause an aplastic crisis in patients with sickle cell disease and other blood disorders, these individuals should be identified as well.

Some natural treatments for Fifth Disease include:

  • Echinacea has been shown to support the immune system, prevent the frequency of viral infections.
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc viral infections, especially colds, absences from school, and antibiotic use in kids.
  • Minimal or No sugar or fake sugar foods which cause the immune system to not work optimally

Impetigo

impetigo-s1-facts.jpg

Impetigo is an acute, highly contagious staph infection; it’s the most common skin infection in children. It tends to affect skin on the face or extremities that has been disrupted by bites, cuts, or abrasions.

Some natural treatments for Impetigo include:

  • Topical coconut oil
  • Topical goldenseal
  • Topical tea tree oil
  • Consider Vitamin C orally to help prevent future occurrences
  • Boost immunity by reducing sugar in the diet which can block the immune system from working properly

For more information on healing the gut and keeping kids healthy check out this.

 

This information is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem.  Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own primary care physician or other healthcare provider.

Start the school year OFF SWEET!!!

egg-boats-with-sail-healthy-snacks-kids.jpg

School is right around the corner! Back to packing lunch, and managing the nutrition of our kids from a far. In many cases parents may choose foods out of convenience instead of nutritional density leading to a large amount of sugar consumption by kids during the school day. High sugar consumption and processed foods, all be it organic can cause issues for our kids during the school day and beyond!

If your child suffers from:

  • Stomach aches, Constipation and diarrhea
  • Fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain
  • Frequent infections, especially of the ears and throat
  • Skin irritation and rashes
  • Behavioral issues
  • ADD/ADHD or other problems with concentration
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Frequent bed wetting
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

 

Take a look at the diet and their lunchbox selections before making a battery of provider appointments and planning extreme measures with the school.

A good list of things to avoid include:

  • Gluten
  • Sugar and fake sugar substitutes
  • Preservatives (like BHT, TBHQ, MSG, etc)
  • Food Dyes (red #40, Yellow #5, etc)

Of course, dramatic changes in diet, especially for a picky eater can seem overwhelming. Every parent wants their kid to be healthy and fit in, but sometimes “special diets” (even if they are sugar-less and not processed) can make a child feel left out.

palm-tree-snack-477

Some easy tips to help your child (and the rest of the family) adjust:

  1. Empower your child- have your child help with the shopping, teach them how to read labels, or better yet choose foods without labels, like fruits and vegetables. Teach your child which symptoms to look for and how they can articulate or recognize them in their own bodies. Remind kids that food may not affect just their belly that food can affect their brain, skin, and sleep cycles too. And remind them that there is not often a direct ‘eat the food>> have a symptom” relationship.
  2. Emphasize all of the delicious foods that your child CAN eat, instead of focusing on the few they can’t.
  3. Eat what they eat. As parents we have an awesome opportunity to set the exact example we want our children to follow.
  4. Explain to kids about the food industry processing, how sugar (and other substances) can actually change brain chemistry and cause “addiction”.
  5. Teach your kids how to cook, teach them how to ask questions in restaurants and order food that they can enjoy. SKIP the kids menu, there is likely nutrient poor, processed selections that leave kids craving more junk instead of feeling full when they leave.
  6. Eliminate the chance for sneaking foods, or making non-optimal selections by taking all the processed foods, sugar foods and other “offenders” out of your home.
  7. Support them by removing the food from your house. Chances are, the offending food isn’t so great for anyone else anyway. It’s best to remove problematic foods like gluten and dairy before illness has a chance to take root.
  8. Understand this is a process and healing takes time. Kids taste buds will eventually change and their palates will improve.
  9. As parents (and our kids) we can educate other parents and teachers. In many cases the information is welcomed and may be a catalyst for changes in their own homes.
  10. Find support among your peers. The more visibility around healthy eating we can bring the more people will lend support. You many know many people with the same eating philosophy than you think!

Bottom line..change is hard but possible! Kids deserve every advantage we can offer! Enjoy the journey and reap the rewards.

For more information or recipes check out MY BOOK

Autism healing begins in the Gut!

gut.jpg

It has been well reported that autism is intimately connected to the immune system and acts in some way as an autoimmune conditon. Immunity begins to develop during the 14th week of gestation, as undifferentiated developing immune cells, which later become major cells of a human’s immune system, with specific and necessary function. The placenta, provides nourishment for the baby, also secretes hormones, primarily progesterone, which shifts mom’s chemical profile away from Th1 (offers protection to pathogens that pose a threat to get inside of cells) and towards Th2 (response offers protection against pathogens outside of cells).  The baby then will trigger his/her increase in Th1 when travelling through the birth canal and swallowing, sitting and slipping through on its earth side voyage. The development of the Th1 mechanism is continued during breastfeeding, for which the “World Health Organization” recommends at least 2 years, to glean all the necessary immunologic benefits for the baby.  Continued, through childhood with encounters from viruses and bacteria help build this individualized Th1 response to properly enhance the child’s immune system. If at birth immunity is skewed toward Th2, for such reasons as a c- section, multiple exposures to antibiotics in utero or mother receiving passive immunity exposure, breastfeeding is interrupted or cut short; Th2 is accelerated and can predispose a baby toward eczema.  If the baby is prone toward a Th2 response, as they were unable to develop a proper microbiome, autism can be triggered or allergies and asthma may also develop.

The answer to the triggers for these conditions may be found in the gut bacteria that babies are gifted on their way down the birth canal. Since we know, One third of all antibiotic prescriptions given to children are unnecessary (according to medical research). Antibiotics are well reported to disrupt a child’s gut microbiome in ways that a growing amount of evidence suggests may have long-term consequences, including asthma, allergies, and eczema.

All-Disease-Begins-in-the-Gut.jpg

Balancing gut bacteria with proper diet free of chemicals, processed foods, irritants and GMOs help balance the biome. Identifying triggers and reducing or eliminating passive immunity can also help improve these conditions. When a body is inclined toward a Th2 response, the cells will “over react”, with an inflammation response. Passive immunity such as vaccination bypasses the Gut and triggers this over response in the blood stream. This compounds the “inflammation” cascade and revs up the immune system in an “autoimmune” fashion creating a global multi-faceted reaction that will prone the body toward constant “reaction” as seen in eczema, allergies and asthma.

Conventinal Pharmecutical modalities may cause additional “stress” to the body, and since stress and stress hormones can elevate inflammation, they are intimately related.

Autism is rising at epidemic rates with some prognostication that 50% of our children will have autism in the next generation!

Some easy tips to get started on healing the gut and rebuilding your microbiome are:

  • Eliminate inflammatory chemicals in your environment; start with anything with a scent and replace them with non-toxic bio degradable choices
  • Eliminate inflammatory foods such as Dairy, Wheat, Corn, Soy; these are the most common food triggers associated with autism, asthma, allergies, and eczema
  • Eliminate GMOs; these chemicals are not digested or assimilated well in a healthy gut, worse for one that needs healing
  • Use only products you can eat on your skin, like coconut oil, avocado or shea butter for example
  • Check Lab work with a qualified provider, check immune markers, MTHFR status, stress hormones, vitamin and mineral levels; all of which play into the inflammation cycle.
  • Remember there is no one size fits all approach; every child is different and every healing process is different

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2015.04.006

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/

B Vitamins; Better Protection for Baby

It has been well reported that women who conceive in late spring and summer have children with a higher incidence of allergies. The theory behind this finding is (especially in the NorthEast) there are higher levels of pesticides in the air due to farming and a short growing season. Although we all should take extreme care of ourselves walking around in a hypoallergenic bubble is not compatible with a satisfying life.   Luckily for us recent research at Johns Hopkins has shown that if women maintain adequate levels of B vitamins are more likely to get pregnant and stay pregnant. This study also concluded that there are some protective aspects to B vitamins, not only in pregnancy and conception but in the presence of pesticides and pollutants (namely DDT, known for causing reproductive problems in multiple species). While the US banned DDT in the 1970s, it is still used in other countries around the world.

In this three year Johns Hopkins study which looked at women who had early miscarriages showed; Women with high DDT levels and sufficient levels of B vitamins (B6, B12 and folate) had a 42% increased risk of early miscarriage than women with lower pesticide levels. But in those with high pesticide levels and vitamin B deficiencies, women were twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage before six weeks of gestation. The researchers discovered that the risk to a pregnancy was higher with B12 and folate deficiencies and with deficiencies in more than one B vitamin, and one can extrapolate that multiple deficiencies were likely caused by MTHFR mutation, which can increase risk of oxidative stress and miscarriage risk. In addition, researchers found that women with high pesticide loads and low B vitamin levels took almost twice as long to conceive in the first place.

 

“This study tells us that improved nutrition may modify the toxic effects of pesticides, by better preparing the body to cope with environmental toxins and stressors. We have shown that women with high levels of pesticides who also had high levels of B vitamins had a better chance of getting and staying pregnant than those were deficient in those vitamins.”

 

We are exposed to pesticides, herbicides, chemical solvents, xenobiotics, pharmaceuticals, free radicals and industrial chemicals of all kinds from the food we eat, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. These toxins accumulate in the body and contribute to the total toxic load that can cause a variety of health problems. In the presence of MTHFR mutation when toxic load can be higher due to impaired methylation and inflammation uncontrolled due to the inability of the body to detoxify properly the body can begin to malfunction and the human form can become weak, or worse, infertile.

In my opinion, this study validates the idea that sufficient B vitamins and improved nutrition protect our bodies from environmental toxins, enhance fertility and reduce the incidence of miscarriage in an ever toxic world.  It can also be inferred that B vitamins are protective to the human body and can counteract the toxic effects of pesticides, environmental toxins, and other stressors we get exposed to on a daily basis.

pregnancy pic

But,

The care we give to our bodies in preparation for pregnancy or maintenance of health should not stop with taking the proper B vitamins alone. Because this world can be so toxic it is important to remember to keep our environment as “clean” as possible. Eating a Wholefoods “organics as much as possible”  diet, using non-toxic cleaning supplies, educating our friends and neighbors about the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and processed foods, reducing or eliminating EMFs and toxicity from our own homes and lives is a great place to start. Also planning in advance for babies and conception, making sure B vitamin levels are adequate BEFORE conception assures a better pregnancy outcome.  Women who have adequate levels of B vitamins in their bodies are more likely to get and stay pregnant even when they also have high levels of pesticides or toxins.

Be sure to discuss with your qualified health care provider the importance of B vitamin levels and to be sure women intending on getting pregnant get adequate B vitamins and micronutrients before they even conceive.

 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150105141701.htm

This information is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem.  Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own primary care physician or other healthcare provider.