In This Issue
How Can I keep My Kids Healthy This Winter?
Nutrition Consultation
November Special

October 2010 Newsletter
Happy Halloween!





How Can I keep My Kids Healthy This Winter?

I hope this newsletter finds everyone healthy and well! Cold and flu season is nearly upon us, and I’ve been asked what steps we can take to keep our children, and ourselves, healthy this winter. This is especially pressing on my mind as my 10-month old daughter, Kenzi, has just developed her second runny nose and cold!

I invite you to attend one of our upcoming classes on cold/flu prevention and treatment and take the opportunity to learn, and personally ask our practitioners questions, about how to help your child through this cold/flu season. These classes will go much more in depth than I can in this brief article, but I hope that this will provide a good start to a healthy winter for your whole family! Dr. Sandy Newmark and Kandice Stellmon, nutrition consultant, will offer this class on Saturday, November 6. Dr. Donna Ruiz and Kandice Stellmon will offer this class again on Saturday, December 11. Please use the following link to see the full details about these classes on our website: Get Your Child Through the Cold and Flu Season...Naturally!

Commonsense Measures to Prevent Cold/Flu
Of course, there are several commonsense measures which most of you are likely already doing to prevent cold/flu. But just as a reminder:
  • Wash those hands frequently, especially before eating or touching your face.
  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. These are full of antioxidants which will destroy the free radicals that weaken our immune system.
  • Avoid simple sugars and processed/junk food. Did you know that your blood shows lab evidence of a lowered immune system within 30 minutes of eating simple sugars (like glucose, refined sugar, and fructose), and causes a 50% reduction in your white blood cells' abilities to kill germs? This effect was most noticeable 2 hours after ingestion, but was still present 5 hours later! Maybe that’s why your child always seems to get sick after those birthday parties replete with birthday cake and juice or soda. Conversely, keeping blood sugar levels healthy has been shown to enhance immune system activity.
  • Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t overdo it!
  • Get adequate sleep. An increase in sleep actually increases the number of your white blood cells. On the other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night, increases inflammation in our body which makes us more susceptible to developing a cold or flu.
  • Minimize stress. Emotional stress creates a physiological stress on our bodies that lowers our immune defenses and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Stress has been shown to lower our white blood cells' abilities to kill germs, and actually create more inflammation that may make us feel even sicker. No, it’s not just in your head!
Nutritional Supplements to Boost the Immune System
Apart from these measures, there are a variety of nutritional supplements that can further boost the immune system and give your child’s body that extra defense to more effectively ward off and fight colds and flus. The dosages that I mention are only intended as general guides, and may vary according to each child’s unique needs. We encourage you to make an appointment with one of our pediatricians to discuss an individualized immune support plan with specific dosage recommendations for your child:
  • Fish oil - of course! While not specifically shown to prevent cold and flu, omega-3 essential fatty acids have a host of immune benefits too long to list!
  • Probiotics - A study published last year showed a drastic reduction in fever and upper respiratory symptoms in children who took a probiotic with a specific combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium daily throughout the cold and flu season. This combination is found in Metagenics Ultra Flora Plus. The recommended dosage for children and adults is ¼ tsp or 1 capsule 2x/day.
  • Vitamin C - The studies looking at vitamin C for cold/flu prevention have mixed results, but the bottom line is that vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which assists our ability to ward off and deal with infection. I have been using Metagenics Ultra-Potent C because it has added ingredients such as lysine and glutathione which assist in fighting viruses. In general, I recommend Vitamin C 500mg 2x/day.
  • Vitamin D3 - There is speculation that rates of illness increase over the winter because of the widespread deficiency of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that people supplemented with adequate levels of Vitamin D3 during the cold and flu season had significantly lower rates of infection. Vitamin D3 actually increases our body’s production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial compound. The Vitamin D Council recommends a maintenance dosage for children of 1000IU of Vitamin D3 per 25 pounds of body weight (the dosage may be higher in people with Vitamin D deficiency, which is epidemic and can be measured through an easy bloodtest).
  • Zinc - Zinc is required for the normal functioning of white blood cells. Supplementing with just 15mg of zinc per day can improve the ability of our immune cells to ward off infection.
  • Arabinogalactan - This is a natural sugar derived from the bark of the larch tree that enhances “natural killer cell” and macrophage activity – these cells are part of our first line of defense against any invading organism. We carry the Vital Nutrients arabinogalactan powder, and generally recommend ½-1 tsp 2x/day.
  • Imu-Max - A recent study found that a preparation of echinacea, propolis, and vitamin C remarkably reduced the episodes of illness and fever when given daily during a 12-week winter period. This preparation is found in Ortho Molecular Products “Imu-Max”, with the dosage studied at 1 tsp 2x/day for children ages 1-3 years and 1.5 tsp 2x/day for children ages 4-5 years. (A word of caution: echinacea should not be used daily for very prolonged periods, and should not be used in individuals with autoimmune disease).
  • Beta-Glucans - Found in mushrooms like maitake, shiitake, and reishi, beta-glucans stimulate the immune system, increase antibody production, and enhance our white blood cells' capacity to engulf and destroy germs. Daily beta-glucan intake has been shown to remarkably reduce the frequency of cold and flu and reduce the incidence of fever and severity of illness. So what can you do if you or your child just isn’t that into mushrooms? Thorne has a great product called Myco-Immune, with a recommended dosage of ½ tsp 2-3x/day.
  • Astragalus - This herb, traditionally used in Chinese medicine for immune support, has been found to boost antibody production, improve natural killer cell and macrophage activity, and have antimicrobial properties. The typical dosage for prevention during the winter is 250-500mg/day for children and 1 gram/day for adults. While great as a preventive measure, astragalus is generally not given to children when they have a fever – according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, “hot” conditions like fever maybe worsened by astragalus.
  • SyImmune and/or Mucococcinum - These are homeopathic medicines that may help to prevent influenza infection. I take one of these each per week for cold/flu prevention and give the same to my daughter. I also give my daughter 1 SyImmune before or right after any known “germfest” – i.e., birthday parties or plane travel.
  • Xlear nasal spray - I am religious about irrigating my nasal passages with Xlear nasal spray at the end of every day, and after any potential exposure (work, school, playgroups, plane travel, etc.). This is a saline nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. You cannot overdo it, and will not get “addicted” to it. Other options for nasal irrigation are a regular saline spray or neti pot. Apart from regular hand washing, I believe that daily and frequent nasal irrigation is one of the MOST important things that we can do to prevent influenza and other viral infections. This is because after exposure to a virus, the virus tries to invade and multiply in your nasal passages for at least 1-2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to take hold, and thereby prevent many infections from happening in the first place!
What Can You Do If Your Child has the Cold/Flu?
I have found that starting various homeopathic and herbal medicines at the very beginning of my cold/flu symptoms can significantly shorten the duration and severity of illness and even knock it out of my system within a day or two. This is what I take and recommend for my whole family at the start of a cold/flu:
  • Windbreaker - This is a Chinese herbal formula by Kan Herbs. It works GREAT for cold/flu, fever, even allergies! Add Chest Relief if there is a cough or other formulas depending on the specific symptoms.
  • Elderberry syrup - Elderberry has been found to prevent invasion by viruses and bacteria, and also improve cough. During last year’s swine flu scare, I reported that a study found that elderberry has the ability to inhibit H1N1 infection in vitro. The authors of the study note that “the H1N1 inhibition activities of the elderberry flavonoids compare favorably to the known anti-influenza activities of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).”
  • Esberitox - This is a combination of echinacea, wild indigo, and thuja. Esberitox has been found to reduce the duration of colds/flus and increase natural killer cell and macrophage activity. The recommended dosage is 1 tab 3x/day for children ages 2-5 years, 2 tabs 3x/day for children ages 6-12 years, and 3 tabs 3x/day for children over 12 years and adults.
  • Pelargonium sidoides - Pelar-what? Also known as Umckaloabo, this traditional African herb can significantly shorten the duration and severity of colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, and throat infections. It has been found to improve macrophage activity, kill bacteria and viruses, and improve the ability to clear mucous from the lungs. We carry an alcohol-free syrup of Pelargonium sidoides called ViraClear. It can also be found over-the-counter as Umcka Syrup by Nature’s Way. The recommended dosage is ½ tsp 3x/day for children ages 2-6 years, 1 tsp 3x/day for children ages 6-12 years, and 1.5 tsp 3x/day for children over 12 years and adults.
  • Oscillococcinum - This is a homeopathic flu remedy. The recommended dosage is 1 vial 3x/day for 1 day, preferably at the onset of flu symptoms.
  • SyImmune or SyInfect - These are also homeopathic remedies used for any acute infection or fever. The general dosage is 1 tablet every 2-3 hours during the first 1-2 days of illness.
  • Increased Vitamin C.
  • Increased nasal irrigation with Xlear nasal spray.
Specific homeopathic medicines, such as homeopathic Aconitum Napellus, Belladonna, Ferrum Phosphoricum, Gelsemium, Bryonia, and Pulsatilla, to name a few, can also be very helpful for cold and flu. The particular homeopathic medicine(s) used will depend on the specific symptoms that are being experienced by your child. An individualized treatment plan can be best determined by a thorough exam and sick visit with one of our pediatricians.

When Should My Child See the Doctor?
In general, if you or your child has come down with a cold or flu, it is best to stay at home and rest, and avoid contact with others. You should, however, seek medical attention for your child if he/she has:
  • Fever for more than 3-4 days
  • Confusion, excessive drowsiness
  • Inconsolability, excessive irritability
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Dehydration (no urine for more than 6-8 hours)
We wish everyone a healthy winter season. Eat your fruits and veggies, get plenty of rest and exercise, and most of all – stay well!

Sincerely,
Dr. Song and all of us at Whole Child Wellness


Nutrition Consultation November Special

$150 for a nutrition consultation (regularly priced $250)


Do you have questions about your family’s diet, or just want to know how well you or your children are eating? Schedule a nutrition consultation with Kandice Stellmon, our Certified Nutrition Consultant, to find out!

Kandice sees children and adults!
While the rest of the practitioners in our office are Pediatricians who only treat children, Kandice sees patients of all ages for nutritional consultations. During a 1-hour session, Kandice will analyze you or your child’s diet using a 3-day diet record to determine whether you are receiving adequate macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats), and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You will leave your appointment with effective strategies and receive delicious recipes and menu ideas to enhance your diet and ensure that your nutritional needs are being optimally met.

Kids and nutrition
Whether you are addressing a specific health concern or simply want to make certain your child is getting the nutrients his or her growing body needs, a nutrition consultation is one of the best things you can do for your child. From birth through adolescence your child’s nutritional needs are always changing. Many childhood health problems can be prevented or addressed with a nourishing diet. Eczema, food allergies, obesity, failure to thrive, behavioral issues, developmental delays, digestive disorders, eating disorders and acne are just some of the health concerns that can be addressed through diet. Nutrition consultations can also address issues surrounding picky eaters and are great for parents who want to help build healthy eating habits early on. Prenatal appointments are also available for Mothers-to-Be!

Adults and nutrition
Nutrition is a key component to adult health and well being. Many chronic health issues can be prevented, supported, and often alleviated via dietary intervention. Conditions such as Obesity, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes Type II and other blood sugar issues can often be completely reversed simply with dietary changes. Nutrition also plays a key role in reducing painful inflammation that is associated with so many of today’s chronic illnesses such as arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disease. For those of us who just feel ‘tired and stressed all the time’, a nutrition consultation is a perfect place to start feeling better and more energized. Food is powerful and can positively affect our health from the inside out!

An initial nutrition consultation or follow-up may include some, or all, of the following services depending on each individualís needs:
  • Computerized Dietary Assessment based on 3 days of your diet
  • A customized diet tailored to your specific health needs
  • Supplement and herbal recommendations
  • Lifestyle & exercise recommendations, including stress management
  • Functional nutritional testing
  • Menu planning, optimal food choices and shopping lists
  • Delicious recipes for you to try at home, including many yummy allergen-free recipes!
To book a nutrition consultation appointment with Kandice, please call our reception at 650-595-KIDS (5437) or email info@wholechildwellness.com. Be sure to mention this offer when booking your appointment!

 

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