When A Child’s Cough Just Won’t Go Away

When A Child’s Cough Just Won’t Go Away

     When children have a persistent cough, one of those stubborn conditions that seem to last forever, it’s only natural for parents to seek an immediate solution.  As a primary care doctor specializing in pediatrics, I understand that parental inclination.  No parent wants to see their child sick or suffering, and there are legitimate concerns about lack of sleep and long term damage.

     Coughing is a natural response to threats or irritation.  It helps get rid of everything from allergens to pollutants to microbes and mucus.  Most children who have coughs that hang on after colds or other viral infections don’t really need any treatment beyond a certain amount of patience.  Studies on OTC cough and cold medications for children show that they have not proven to be any more effective than placebos.  However, there have been many problems with side effects and overdoses.

     When a cough won’t go away, the challenge for a doctor is determining the nature of the condition.  For example, dry coughs are usually less of a concern that a wet cough.  Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing call for a visit to the doctor’s office.  At the same time, there are many times where the best response may be to just wait out the cough until it goes away on its own.

     Fortunately, as a naturopathic doctor, I have many more tools in my kit than conventional medicine provides.  If a child’s cough requires medical treatment, there is a wide assortment of herbs, homeopathics, and other natural formulas that are effective.  If the cough does not need medical treatment, I can give parents other natural remedies that soothe the child while waiting for nature to take its course.  Read the article here or click on the photo.

 

How Much Protein Is Too Much?

How Much Protein Is Too Much?

     People need protein because it supplies indispensable amino acids that our bodies cannot synthesize on their own.  Protein and amino acids combine to provide the essential building blocks to make and maintain muscle, bone, skin and other tissues as well as many important hormones and enzymes.   However, the body can only digest and absorb a certain amount of protein at every meal, between 20 and 40 grams.  The average adult can easily achieve the recommended protein intake in their meals — 46 grams of protein a day for women, and 56 grams for men.  American men average nearly twice that at 100 grams a day.

     Doctors have concerns about the long-term effects of excess protein.  Studies show that protein-rich diets do not preserve muscle mass over the long term and several large observational studies have linked high-protein diets with an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and other ills.  One study of 6,381 adults found that those who ate a high protein diet between the ages of 50 and 65 were four times more likely to die of cancer than those who consumed less protein, but these affects were significantly lessened or eliminated if protein was plant based.  The bottom line:  I generally advise people to eat a good amount of plant based protein and to consult a holistic physician well versed in nutrition, as different medical conditions can have very different nutritional needs.  Find the article here.

Surprise! Walmart Beat Amazon and Costco in Transparency of Harmful Chemicals

Surprise!  Walmart Beat Amazon and Costco in Transparency of Harmful Chemicals

     A report by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, recently ranked the 11 biggest merchants on a 130-point scale that rated the companies on how well they let consumers know what’s in the products they’re buying.  The 13 metrics include ingredient disclosure, trustworthy safety screening, and efforts to find safer alternatives.  As I’ve previously posted on my Facebook page (April 27, May 27, July 13, and August 19, 2016), the research is revealing potentially serious health damage from even small exposures to some chemicals.  This article has a chart that shows the scores of all 11 companies.

Consumer reports finds supplements are not always safe. Some are even causing liver damage. Here are some answers.

Consumer reports  finds supplements are not always safe.  Some are even causing liver damage.  Here are some answers.

     As a naturopathic doctor, I received extensive nutritional training in medical school and continue to research nutrition for my patients.  I do my own investigation of supplements and herbs before recommending them to my patients and offer prices that meet or beat online retailers like Amazon.  For most conditions, I can put together a nutritional regimen based on foods and supplements rather than prescribing pharmaceuticals. 

     The medical researchers who did the investigation on supplements are especially concerned about body building supplements and green tea extract, used in many weight loss products.  But many other supplements are also problematic.  Liver damage is very serious and can be irreversible, even life threatening.  However, supplement manufacturers can voluntarily register with NSF, a non-profit organization that has a program of Good Manufacturing Practices which assures that what’s on a supplement’s label is accurate.  I have included a link with a listing of these supplement companies.  (Unfortunately, most conventional medical doctors are not trained in nutrition and are not familiar with which supplements are certified by NSF.)  http://info.nsf.org/Certified/GMP/Listings.asp?Program=DIETSUPP

     I know that even though the listing on that link is valuable, it can still be confusing to know which supplements are safe and right for your condition.  Because the situation is serious, if you are not a patient of mine and want to purchase supplements that are safe, effective, and reasonably priced, please call the office at 808-783-0361 and mention this Facebook post.  (Click on the picture below to read the full article.)

 

Your Fish May Be A Phony

Your Fish May Be A Phony

     A recent report by the ocean conservation group Oceana, revealed that one in five seafood samples tested worldwide is completely different from what the menu or packaging says.  In a meta-analysis of more than 200 studies from 55 countries, more than 25,000 seafood samples were group analyzed.  The research revealed that 20% were incorrectly labeled.  An interactive map shows where cases of phony fish were found.

      The biggest impostor was farmed Asian catfish, which was sold in place of 18 types of more expensive fish, including perch, cod and grouper.  Two Southern California sushi chefs were charged with selling endangered whale meat as fatty tuna.  In addition, 58 percent of the mislabeled samples were substituted for fish that could potentially pose health risks to certain consumers, especially pregnant women and children.  Some were endangered species.

      We are fortunate to have an abundant local fishery, and purchasing fish caught in Hawaiian waters is a good way to have more confidence that you’re eating what you think you are.  Nationally, one way to combat seafood fraud is by consumers supporting stricter regulations for fish-tracking that extends throughout the supply chain.  Read the article here.

Obesity Now Tied To 13 Types Of Cancer And 42% Of All New Cancer Diagnoses

Obesity Now Tied To 13 Types Of Cancer And 42% Of All New Cancer Diagnoses

     A prominent medical publication, the New England Journal of Medicine, just published a review of over 1,000 studies which provided solid evidence that being overweight or obese is linked to most of the common types of cancer, including colorectal, breast, kidney, liver, gallbladder, pancreatic, thyroid, and ovarian. 

      According to the chairman of the working group behind the study, only smoking comes close as a risk factor for cancer:  “Obesity is associated with significant metabolic and hormone abnormalities, and with chronic inflammation, factors that may help explain its link to cancer.” 

     This study affirms the emphasis that holistic medicine has long placed on the importance of overall health, beginning with good food.  People who grow up eating highly processed foods can damage their body’s balance mechanisms at a young age, which can lead to a lifetime of weight and health issues.  The study emphasizes that the priority should be to avoid weight gain, because so few people can lose weight and keep it off once it’s there.  Find the article here.

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