Thursday, February 26, 2009

Colds in Young Children

Many parents turn to Vick's VapoRub when their children are sick, either as a rub or in a vaporizer. However, recent research has discovered that Vick's may be damaging to the respiratory health of young children. Vick's can cause an increase in mucus production, which may then cause airways to become overly narrow. This is a case where many people do not read the label. The Vick's VapoRub label states that it is not to be used in children under 2 years of age.

Simple treatments are best when treating young children. If your child begins struggling for breathe get them medical attention. Otherwise, rest and fluids are ideal. Neti pots and nasal suction are ideal for relieving sinus congestion. Hydrotherapy is a great way to treat general congestion. Golden Leaf Clinic offers classes on home treatments, sign-up for our newsletter to get information on our class schedule.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


For years, I have been telling my patients to make sure they get enough sleep. I recommend at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Many people rebel at this recommendation because they have "too much to do."

I understand that fitting in 8 hours of sleep can be difficult in some situations. To maintain your health you must prioritize sleep! Even throughout my years as a full-time student, and mother, I prioritized sleep and on average slept at least 8 hours every night. Being fully rested helped me to maintain not only my concentration, but also my health.

Think of how far you fall behind when you get sick. Many people try to continue their normal activity level when sick, but this is a bad idea. They simply stay sick longer and may spread the infection onto many other people.

A recent study found that people who slept under 7 hours every night were 3x as likely to catch a cold as those who slept longer. Other studies have recommended at least 7 hours of sleep to reduce the risk of heart disease. I think that sleeping at least 8 hours is a simple cheap way to maintain health. Why spend lots of money on drugs to treat illnesses that can be prevented by adequate sleep?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Our health care system desperately needs to be changed. We need universal health care!

As a physician I have seen patients who lost their employer-sponsored health care because of the recession. One patient was denied insurance coverage because they had not had their screening colonoscopy performed. This routine exam had already been schedule to occur in a month, but the patient couldn't afford the exam without insurance! They were caught in a situation of not being able to get insurance without the exam, but not being able to get the exam without insurance. This is an all too common and frustrating experience.

Many patients are unable to afford to be seen for routine preventative visits. They need universal health care! An inexpensive visit that covers diet may prevent someone from developing diabetes, and later having a toe amputated. Just think how much money society could save by providing preventative health care. Lives can be saved by providing universal health care.

Everyone deserves access to health care. Ongoing wellness care can help prevents illnesses, costing everyone less money. It is deplorable that a 20 year old type I diabetic could be denied access to life saving insulin because its too expensive. It is morally repugnant to send home widowed seniors hours after surgery for a fracture because they don't have insurance. The current health care system is leaving doctors with no time to see patients; and patients are receiving suboptimal care

Please join me in by participating in the National Call-in Day for HR 676
February 12, 2009: Call Congress, and the President Congressional switchboard: 202-224-3121 (ask for your representative's office)

If your member is a current co-sponsor, thank your rep. and ask him or her to stand firm for HR 676 and actively seek additional co-sponsors.

If your member was a co-sponsor in the last Congress, ask him or her to sign on immediately as a co-sponsor in this Congress.

If your member has yet to co-sponsor HR 676, ask him or her to please become a co-sponsor, select one or two talking points here.

In a letter to Col. William F. Elkins written November 21, 1864, Lincoln wrote: "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, remind your member of Congress to honor his words and heed his warning as we look to reform his precious nation's healthcare system. Urge your member to accept testimony from panelists to explore the serious flaws in the Massachusetts health plan and examine why it cannot serve as a national model for providing universal and comprehensive care, on Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 2:00pm-4:00pm, 2226 Rayburn House Office Building.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hemorrhagic Fever in the US

The CDC recently released a retrospective study disclosing that a Colorado man had bee infected with Marburg. Marburg is a hemorrhagic fever that is around 80% fatal. We got lucky on this case. The man recovered from his illness, and apparently did not spread the infection. This is the stuff that horror movies are made of, think Outbreak.

This infection terrifies me since the man was not diagnosed for an entire year! The damage that could have happened in a months time is pretty serious. I do not know what symptoms he presented with, but I would think that someone presenting with signs of a hemorrhagic fever would be at the top of the CDCs priority list, especially someone with a history of recent travel to Africa. That's why I'm terrified that it took them a year to determine the diagnosis.

In this age of quick and easy international travel, we all need to take precautions. According to the CDC, people traveling internationally should
  • Avoid contact with bats and other wild animals. Travelers should not enter caves or mines where bats may live.
  • Go to a doctor right away if you have a fever AND you had contact with animals or sick people, or visited bat-infested caves in Africa during the past three weeks.
  • If you are bitten or scratched by an animal or if body fluid (such as saliva) from the animal gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound, take these steps:
    • Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
    • Go to a doctor or hospital right away.
  • Consider buying medical evacuation insurance if you are visiting a country where there may not be good access to medical care.
We all need to consider the risks of international travel. People are able to quickly travel and can be on a different continent before developing symptoms. We've seen this repeatedly, most notably with SARS and now Marburg. Before traveling please consider not only your own health, but that of your friends and family. Visit your doctor before departure for recommendations specific to the area you are traveling to. A naturopathic physician can help you with not only travel vaccines, but also trying to strengthen your immune system.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The fight against human obesity

Our society is being overrun by an obesity epidemic. There are many studies underway to fight it. One recent study suggests that arginine may prevent obesity. We need to be cautious in our use of arginine though.

Dietary arginine can exacerbate herpes outbreaks. By the age of 50, 90% of Americans may be infected with herpes. Herpes can present genitally and orally. Oral outbreaks are commonly called cold sores, or fever blisters.

People should focus on cheap, simple, and effective treatments. A healthy diet and excercise will treat and prevent obesity in many cases. We must put personal effort into our own health. There are very few magic pills out there. Most pills have possible negative side effects, including supplements.

People need to be aware that arginine may make their herpes worsen before starting to supplement arginine. Naturopaths are experts in supplements and can assist you in finding a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs. To schedule a consult with me please call 541-663-6962.
Related Posts with Thumbnails