First Foods for Babies with MTHFR

 

In conventional medicine there is a gross disconnect between our health and our food.  It is always important to remember each and every thing we consume affects us in some way. This is ever so apparent in our babies, who have immature detoxification systems and immune systems. So why is the “general consensus” to offer complex nutrient poor foods, often times before the baby is even ready to digest them?

First foods are so important for baby! But “offering food before age one is just for fun” which means that the bulk of nutrients for babies under 1 year of age should be from breast milk (The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months and then concomitantly with nutrient dense food until the age of 2). Formula in many cases poses a problem for families affected by MTHFR, as most formulas are fortified with folic acid. Folic acid should be avoided in all individuals with MTHFR, since individuals with MTHFR lack the proper functioning of their enzyme to properly convert the synthetic folic acid into usable folate for the cells.  

Always look for signs of readiness in a baby to be sure their digestive system is ready for food.

A-Baby-Sitting

Be sure baby is:

        • sitting up nearly unassisted
        • Has teeth or is actively teething
        • Shows an interest in food or chewing
        • Has begun to develop a pincer grasp

Some of the best recommendations for first food are avocado and sweet potato. Avocado is a folate rich food, which helps the body methylate properly. Generally parents will alternate these foods for up to 3 months before introducing other foods. When a baby is teething or gets a cold they may lose interest in food and prefer to just nurse for a while. If baby is voracious and very interested in food then parents may consider advancing the diet slowly.

General rules of thumb for food introduction include:

  • Introduce one food at a time with at least a week in between new foods.
  • Be an example for your baby by also choosing these foods or offering them off your plate so baby feels included.
  • Start with Orange veggies followed by Yellow veggies followed by green veggies; fruits can be introduced as well after this time, avoiding the most acidic fruits such as oranges.
  • Of course, when the time is right lots of green, folate rich veggies can be delicious and nutritious for baby, Folate stores help the body methylate properly, reducing the complications with MTHFR.                                                                                                                 squash

Most babies tolerate high quality meats and fish with scales by around a year of age, which is perfect timing as iron stores drop as baby lays down muscle and brain tissue quickly during development; This can lead to a diagnosis of anemia.

With MTHFR food introduction may be a bit more complicated if a tongue tie has gone undiagnosed. These babies may show little interest in food or eat a lot and then appear to be in distress. It is always wise to have a tongue tie issue assessed and addressed as early as possible. Remember, tongue tie and lip ties are midline defects, defects that should be “prevented” with proper folate dosing, however in individuals with MTHFR, or who have been counselled that folic acid and folate “are the same” may experience these issues with a higher incidence; people with MTHFR have trouble converting their folate into a useable form.

In general supplements are not recommended for babies under the age of 2, however speak with your provider about individual needs.

What foods to avoid?

  1. Avoid offering any processed foods, many of which have added synthetic folic acid.  Instead eat  and offer whole foods to your baby with no added chemicals or preservatives.
  2. Avoid using plastics if possible, BPA is banned in baby products but that doesn’t mean it disappeared. It has been found in breast milk in multiple scientific studies.
  3. Babies with MTHFR often get diagnosed with reflux and are prescribed proton pump inhibitors, this depletes minerals, vitamin d and essential Vitamin B12 absorption. Visit your local chiropractor to get adjusted or visit your local holistic provider to have baby evaluated.
  4. If you do not have a MTHFR mutation but your baby does, parents should avoid synthetic folic acid and processed foods too. Folic acid can functionally cause you to have all the same problems as someone with a MTHFR mutation.

In closing, our genes (or mutations) do not define us; nothing beats a good diet, exercise, quality sleep and kindness, show this to your kids and your parenting investment will be returned in spades….

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime 

 

Migraine Headaches & MTHFR

kid_migraine

If you or your family member sufferers from migraines it is important to look at the triggers and links for optimal treatment.

A headache can come on at any time and for a number of reasons. However, People who suffer from migraines experience much more complicated symptoms that are often debilitating. Aside from pain, migraines often bring on nausea, vomiting, visual, light and sound sensitivity. Migraines can start as early as 5 years old and can be triggered by foods, stress, hormone changes, chemicals and the environment.  A number of studies have implicated genes such as MTHFR in migraine headaches.

MTHFR also affects the characteristics of migraine symptoms. One study found that having 2 copies of c677T was associated with migraine with aura and one-sided headache, yet, one copy of c677T was associated with “physical activity and stress as a migraine trigger.” The researchers also found there is tremendous difference in symptoms between men and women. Males with 2 copies of c677T, for example, were more prone to bilateral headaches while the females with one copy of c677T experienced symptoms of nausea and odor aversion more frequently. These studies conclude that there is an overwhelmingly higher incidence of migraine in patients with a MTHFR mutation than without one.

Other gene SNPs associated with migraine headaches includes MTHFR, KCNK, TRPV, and HCRTR. Yet, MTHFR C677T is the most studied in relation to migraines. When an individual is diagnosed with a vascular type of migraine it is highly correlates with c677T and elevated homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine, can inflame the inner lining of the nerves and blood vessels, which can contribute to migraines.  Another other concern with migraine and MTHFR is the increased incidence of stroke and cardiovascular compilations. Carrying a MTHFR mutation can also predispose the brain to being more sensitive to changes in weather, neurochemical production and have impaired detox capability, all of these can make a brain more sensitive and prone to migraine.

Some easy tips to treat migraine include:

  • Avoid any food triggers such as preservatives, chemicals, dyes, aged foods (with mold or fungus), gluten and dairy proteins; all of these can be neurotoxic to the brain. The diet should be followed for 3 months before any result is evaluated.
  • Get tested for MTHFR and manage the mutation properly with a qualified provider, individuals with MTHFR OR Migraine are not candidates for hormonal contraception or treatment and should avoid this trigger.
  • Individuals with MTHFR may have elevated homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine is also found in individuals with migraine. One study proved lowering homocysteine levels through vitamin supplementation reduced migraine disability. Speak to your provider about testing and management.
  • Check your blood sugar, highs and lows with blood sugar can trigger a migraine, keep your eating consistent and check out my book for more recipes.
  • Make sure sleep is adequate, the body needs rest and relaxation; avoid TV, blue lights or screens in the bedroom.
  • Consider chiropractic the research is overwhelming in success of treatment of migraine.
  • Detox the house, be sure there aren’t chemical triggers or chemicals triggering the migraine in your home. Consider natural cleaners, natural products and testing on water and paint for toxicity or chemicals.
  • Fix the gut. Using quality probiotic and fish oil can be very helpful in reducing triggers, inflammation and increasing oxygen to the brain. Ask your provider about the highest quality supplements and be sure they come from a reputable source or they could do the opposite in your body.
  • For children, allow them to be a part of their healing, talk to them about health and nutrition, and model healthy choices for them, explain the disease process and how to reduce the incidence.

Remember healing takes time, migraine can feel very isolating, get help, get support and get better!!

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19384265

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10714533

 

The New normal is SICK—start with the gut for your better health

art.eczema.baby.face.aad

One of the most amazing life experiences is the witnessing of a natural birth. However, as awesome as the experience is, as a witness or active participant, necessary biologic processes are happening to supply this new human with a proper balanced immune system. 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, 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.

gut bacteria.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.

Common treatment for these conditions usually includes antibiotics and steroids. Both modalities cause “stress” in the body, and since stress and stress hormones can elevate inflammation, they are intimately related.

It is so important to get VERY far away from “the new ‘NORMAL’ IS ‘SICK’” and get back to Health for our kids’ sake!!

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 asthma, allergies, and eczema Jump Start Healing Diet’s here
  • 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
  • Make sure Lab work is normal, 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/

this information is never to replace the advise of a qualified medical provider. Consult your physician before making any changes to your healing regime 

Bedwetting and B12

bedwetting

Bedwetting

We all diaper and clean our babies, and then at some point, almost like a switch, we decide this is no longer acceptable. “Potty Training” begins and there is a billion dollar industry that boasts “simple” and ‘quick” ways to facilitate this process.

Let’s review how we got to this point….

We diaper newborns because their nervous system is not yet fully developed. As these little beings grow, we feed them nutrient dense breast milk and foods to develop a properly functioning nervous system.  As children continue to grow and develop, the frequency of nighttime wetting decreases and continence improves. Yet some children continue bedwetting while others stop.

Methylation and bedwetting

As with many facets of development, there are numerous reasons why a single condition, such as nighttime wetting, can have multiple contributing causes.

The bulk of cases are more stubborn than the amelioration by common sense remedies such as reducing or eliminating sugar, urination just before bedtime, elimination of caffeine, and removing or reducing electronics in the sleeping space.  These cases require further evaluation. Recent research has brought to light the Methylation challenges that can cause bedwetting issues in children.

b12

We know bedwetting occurs in those with delayed central nervous system development.  We know that the body needs ample B12 and Folate to develop the nervous system properly.  Supporting with proper B12 and folate can be very helpful in these cases. Other research has shown that kids with bedwetting issues have lower folate levels (compared with the “control group”).

Upon further evaluation, assessing gene SNPs such as MTHFR, PEMT, DAO, COMT and FUT2 were common in kids with bedwetting troubles (all of the SNPs mentioned have some effect on B12 or folate metabolism). B12 and Folate are critical for proper methylation. If an individual has low folate and low B12, then their methylation system is going to function less optimally. Interestingly enough, Methylation genes are passed from parents, so it is likely there is a family history of bedwetting in many cases.

Causes of low folate and B12

Other than genetic predisposition there are a list of reasons that could predispose kids to Low Folate, and B12 levels and subsequently bedwetting such as:

  • Vegan and Vegetarian diets (low in B12)
  • Medications (antacids, and other pharmaceuticals that rob b12 and folate stores)
  • Low protein intake (fussy eaters; kids need 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight)
  • Caffeine (found in many sodas, and never recommended)
  • Limited vegetable consumption (provides folate and fiber)
  • Limited red meat intake (provides B12)
  • Limited healthy carbohydrate consumption (too much gluten containing foods and processed foods rob the body of B12 and folate)
  • High sugar consumption (a pseudo diuretic effect can occur and kids can excessively urinate)
  • Stress and fears (uses up methylation nutrients faster)
  • Food allergies (use up B12 and folate quickly)

Supplements that could help

Supplements to consider in a bedwetting child (provided all the obvious steps have been taken); to maximize proper methylation:

  • Methyl Folate
  • MethylB12
  • B6
  • B2 (supports MTHFR)
  • Zinc
  • Glycine (if children are anxious over the situation)

It’s worth noting that bedwetting can occur in adults too.

 

This article is for educational purposed and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified health professional.

 

Vaccination and Informed Choice

Vaccine-yes_no1

In my clinical practice I am not endorsing non vaccination I am supporting choice, and FULL disclosure. Because of the mandates of the AAP and the mandates put forth by the state of Connecticut, I made the decision approximately 3 years ago to discontinue offering vaccines as a “service” in my practice. Connecticut put fourth mandates under the guise of “obamacare” stating that parents must choose between  ALL vaccines or NONE. This was not a comfortable position to be put in, as a provider who has studied vaccination for nearly two decades. So, my hand was forced and I decided to offer supportive care to clients in the absence of vaccinations.  This is not a decision that had come easily and is not right for everyone but, in the absence of philosophical choice, parental judgment or personal decision to delay or avoid vaccination, I was forced to choose a side.

Here are some of the reasons why we believe parents deserve choices in healthcare decisions. Let me first point out this post is NOT Reasons Why You Should Not Vaccinate Your Child. Real pro and con discussions are rarely fairly portrayed in the media and usually twisted with fear based information that plays on the heartstrings of parents trying to protect their child; consummate unbiased research on the health and well being of vaccinated versus un-vaccinated children is not available, and when questioned many physicians dismiss parental concerns over side effects or adverse reactions.
Here are some things to think about that could be complications to vaccinations as stated on the vaccine inserts.
• The “long-term consequences of preventing natural exposure to agents covered by vaccine are not known.”
• Vaccine side effects are largely under-reported because the passive nature of the legal system puts the onus on the victim to make the connection, file extensive paperwork, and report the issue.  The medical model of care rarely correlates vaccines and reactions.

Here is just a small list of potential side effects:

  • Increased risk of respiratory infections after receiving the flu vaccine
  • seizures
  • food allergies
  • asthma
  • eczema
  • sensory integration issues
  • auto immune disorders

Parents can always choose to vaccinate…but never choose to UN-vaccinate
• No vaccine is 100% effective. Natural immunity is clearly much more effective in the body
• Fully vaccinated children (and adults) can still get the infection the vaccines are designed to prevent.  In fact, in recent outbreaks of whooping cough and measles, the majority of those affected were fully vaccinated.  Researchers have also speculated that some forms of whooping cough are becoming resistant to vaccines.
• Vaccines are the only type of “medicine” not put thru the rigors of clinical trials before being released to the public.
• Every doctor that purchases vaccines pays into a “vaccine injury fund”.  Compensation in 2013 was nearly $2.5 billion to injured parties who said their health issues were caused by vaccines.
• The mechanism of herd immunity is a myth. “You can’t expect your neighbor to wear a rain coat and you don’t get wet in the rain”

vax safe
• Being unvaccinated does not make the individual the “person Zero” because if vaccines work like the manufacturer recommends the unvaccinated would be the only one at risk.
• Most vaccines are proving to provide less durable immunity than previously thought, meaning disease can still thrive and spread in fully vaccinated populations.
• Many ingredients in vaccines are toxic, harmful and would never be allowed in levels found in vaccines in our water supply, food or medications.  (These include: Aluminum, egg protein, antibiotics, formaldehyde, MSG and thimerosal, to name a few.
The take home message is make an informed choice about the health of your child and find practitioners that will allow you to parent your individual child in the way you see to be the most beneficial. With every decision there are risks and benefits, be sure to weigh them out and make the best decision for your individual child.19905_398781900216001_1135874753_n

Contact the office for a consultation for vaccine education. 860-572-7711

Lyme Time—Summer In New England

lyme

What’s especially worrisome is that ticks’ favorite meal appears to be kids. Children between ages 5 to 14 are the most common sufferers of Lyme disease. Lyme disease can present with a wide array of symptoms such as joint pain and fatigue, as well as neurological, behavioral, and emotional disturbances.  Children can be playing in the park, a yard or even in inside your home and still get bitten by a tick. Playing outside in direct sunlight actually boosts immunity so, send those kids out (just check them for tick when they come back inside).

One CDC study of grade school aged children with Lyme disease, found that the average length of their illness was 363 days, and the mean number of school days missed because the child was too ill to attend was 103 days. 78% of the parents stated that their children experienced a fall in grade point average during the time of illness.

Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines for keeping kids safe from ticks this summer and beyond.

  • Be sure to Prune excess bushes and keep the grass short in the yard.
  • Using mulch to line your perimeter helps keep the ticks from entering your yard.
  • Also keep a close eye on your pets. Pets can carry ticks into your house and they can migrate onto your family.
  • Chickens eat all those ticks, consider tending a flock.
  • Encourage kids to wear long pants and socks; as the ticks tend to attach to their ankles and legs first.
  • The essential oils of lemon and eucalyptus are and effective tick repellent for up to 8 hours and safer for repeated use than DEET and picardin chemical tick repellant, according to the CDC (use with caution on children due to the caustic nature of Essential Oils)
  • Remember ticks are carried on small rodents like mice, squirrels and rabbits. They are also found on migratory birds, which can be found in any city or town.
  • IN THE EVENING check your kids’ bodies for ticks, and wash bodies and clothes. Ticks move around most during the cooler parts of the day and year, so be sure to do a thorough check!
  • Ticks mostly live on wood or bushes and tall grass. They’ll attach to the leg and can crawl up to  the waist, armpit, earlobe, or scalp.

IF YOU FIND A TICK

  • Use thin tweezers to catch the tick at the insert site, closest to the skin and gently jiggle the tick until it detaches.
  • IN GENERAL ticks embedded less than 36 hours DO NOT transmit Lyme Disease.
  • Holistic Doctors have long recommended the use of the herb astragalus daily if you live in an endemic area; and a one time a high dose astragalus at the time of a tick bite.
  • At the removal site apply andrographis or neem tincture to the bite area, and then cover the area with a clay pack, for preventing infection.
  • Never burn or squeeze a tick. The tick carries most of the bacteria in the stomach and by squeezing it you run a risk of injecting the contents into the person.
  • Some Labs do testing on Ticks to assess if the tick carries an illness.
  • Typical symptoms of Lyme disease are flu like symptoms, joint pains or swollen joints, sudden change in behavior, sudden development of repetitive movements, lethargy, fatigue, and headaches.
  • A classic “bulls-eye” shaped rash is present in less than 50% of cases and should not be the reason a child is NOT treated for Lyme disease.
  • Generally treatment consists of antibiotics that should be administered for AT LEAST 4 weeks. The treatment is usually well tolerated, and immunity and gut microbiome should be repleated after antibiotics.

When Lyme Turns Chronic

Current studies at John’s Hopkins University show that up to 35% of people develop chronic symptoms despite treatment for Lyme. “We do not know what the exact reasons of these chronic symptoms are,” “Scientists have postulated that it could be an autoimmune reaction that is triggered by the infection, chronic inflammation, or continued infection by the bacteria.” (Quoted by JHU scientists. However we know the association is highly correlated with MTHFR and adrenal fatigue..a discussion for another day).

Some issues with Lyme disease include poor testing “The current test misses 89% of Lyme disease cases in the first 8 weeks of infection.” IGenex Lab testing appears to be more accurate with reporting positives than any lab looking at the restricted number of bands stipulated by the CDC’s epidemiological criteria. However other issues in society with toxic overload may set the body up for an autoimmune reaction and chronic Lyme disease.

Understanding Lyme Testing

To reiterate, there are lots of false negatives (when a test is negative but the individual actually has the disease). However a “clinical” positive must meet certain criteria in order to be considered “infected with Lyme”. To review, we assess various antibodies to look for Lyme reaction in the immune system. First to appear during an infection is IgM antibodies which are produced in great quantity. IgM antibodies are large. IgM antibodies, when present in high numbers, represent a new active infection or an existing infection that has become reactivated. Over time, the number of IgM antibodies will decline as the active infection is resolved.

Following IgM antibodies, are IgG antibodies, which are produced once an infection has been going on for a while, and may be present after the infection has been resolved. Generally speaking, if IgG antibodies are present but IgM antibodies are negative, an individual has developed antibodies or re-activated a previous infection but does not have a current active infection.

igmigg

Lyme Notes

  • IgM is a sign of a current infection.
  • IgG is a sign of a current infection, or of a past exposure to or past infection by the organism.
  • Lyme Bacteria can hide in the brain and nervous system and by altering its surface proteins, can remain invisible to the immune system for a long period of time.
  • Once the immune system figures out what it is and starts making antibodies to it, it shifts is surface proteins once again, fooling the body into thinking the infection is over.
  • Lyme can turn itself into undetectable L-forms which also help it elude the immune system. When the immune system can’t see it, the immune system can’t antibodies and fights the bacteria
  • A seronegative result (false negative) does not mean the person does not have an active or latent Lyme infection. It just means that this particular test was negative.
  • Lyme Disease is called “the Great masquerader” because it causes a wide range of symptoms being presented by the patient.
  • The CDC’s criteria for what constitutes a positive result is very conservative, as a result of that underreporting, and underdiagnosing occur, minimizing the catastrophic epidemic of Lyme disease in the United States.
  • In general, a clinical positive requires at least 2 IgG and or 2 IgM bands (varies based on testing used)
IgG

IgM

Band Definition
18 kDa Not specific for lyme
22 kDa may be specific for Lyme or cross-reactive.
23-25 kDa specific for Lyme
28 kDa Specific for Lyme
30 kDa Specific for Lyme; California Strain
31 kDa May appear after vaccination
34 kDa May appear after vaccination ; Specific for Lyme
37 kDa Specific for Lyme
39 kDa Specific for Lyme; associated with Joint pain
41 kDa Other bacteria, not specific for Lyme
45 kDa appears for Ehrlichosis
58 kDa not  specific for Lyme; check viral infections
66 kDa Not specific for Lyme; Consider E.Coli
73 kDa may be specific for lyme
83 kDa Specific for Lyme
93 kDa an immunodominant protoplasmic cylinder antigen, associated with the flagellum. Specific for Lyme

remember you know your body best. Be vigilant and keep seeking answers until you find them. Knowledge id power and NoBody should suffer with this debilitating disease especially our children.

Natural Medicine

naturalmedicine

Naturopathy, or Naturopathic Medicine, is a distinct, integrated system of primary health care offered by licensed physicians.  It consists of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of human disorders by the therapeutic use of natural methods and materials.  These might include Nutrition, Herbs, Contrast therapy, Homeopathy, or ancient medical systems TCM. Naturopathic Medicine is a natural approach to health and healing that recognizes the integrity of the whole person.

The practice of Naturopathic Medicine includes six underlying principles of healing.  These are based on the observation of health and disease.  This observation process involves the use of modern scientific methodologies and language.

The following principles make Naturopathic Medicine different from all other medical approaches:

First do no harm:  Primum Non Nocere

Dis-ease is a purposeful process of the organism. The process of healing includes the generation of symptoms which are, in fact, an expression of the VITAL force attempting to heal itself.   The physician’s actions can support  (vis mediatrix naturae) — the healing power of Nature.  Therefore, conventional methods designed to suppress symptoms without removing the underlying causes are considered harmful and to be avoided or minimized.

The healing power of nature:  Vis Mediatrix Naturae

The body has an inherent ability to establish, maintain, and restore health.  The healing process is ordered and intelligent;  Nature heals through the response of the life force.  The physician’s role is to facilitate this process, to identify and remove obstacles to health and recovery, and to establish or restore a healthy internal and external environment.

Identify and treat the cause:  Tolle Causum

Illness does not occur without cause.  Underlying causes of disease must be discovered and removed or treated before a person can recover completely from illness.  Symptoms express the body’s attempt to heal, but are not the cause of disease.  Symptoms, therefore, should not be suppressed by treatment.  Causes may occur on many levels including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  The physician must evaluate fundamental underlying causes on all levels, directing treatment at root causes rather than at symptomatic expression.

Heal the whole person: Tolle Totum

The naturopathic physician must treat the whole person by taking these factors into account.  The harmonious functioning of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects are essential to recovery from and prevention of disease.  This requires a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

The physician as teacher: Docere

A cooperative doctor-patient relationship has inherent therapeutic value.  The physician’s major role is to educate and encourage the patient to take responsibility for their own health.  The physician is a catalyst for healthful change, empowering and motivating the patient to assume responsibility.  It is the patient, not the doctor, who ultimately creates/accomplishes healing.  Teaching with hope, knowledge, and understanding, the physician acts to enable patients to heal.

Prevention: Prevention is the best cure

The ultimate goal of any health care system should be prevention of disease.  This is accomplished through education and promotion of life-habits that create good health.  The physician learns to assess risk factors and to sharpen their deductive reasoning, and understand the patient’s circumstances.  Appropriate interventions are then sought to avoid further harm or risk to the patient.  Building health works better and more surely than fighting disease.

Naturopathic philosophy serves as the basis for naturopathic practice.  The current scope of naturopathic practice includes, but is not limited to:

Nutrition–A cornerstone of naturopathic practice is that food is the best medicine.  Many medical conditions can be treated more effectively with foods and nutritional supplements than by other means, with fewer complications and side effects.  These methods can be used as either alternatives to mainstream medicine, or as complementary and in concert with it, depending on the desires of the patient.

Botanical Medicine–Many plant substances are powerful medicines.   Their organic nature makes botanicals compatible with the body’s own chemistry; they can be gently effective with fewer toxic side effects.  Their availability and safety make them more useful and affordable for home care of chronic conditions.

Homeopathic Medicine–Homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of “like cures like.”  It works on a subtle yet powerful electromagnetic level, gently acting to strengthen the body’s healing and immune response.  Because these are both effective and very safe, naturopathic physicians share a respect for this system of medicine with practitioners of many other healing arts.  Homeopathy is a central part of our comprehensive training for these reasons.

TCM–TCM is a complementary philosophy of natural healing brought to the medical community, largely through naturopathic medicine.  Asiatic and Oriental systems offer an important understanding of the unity of the body and mind, which add to those of the West.  Unification between philosophy and practice in the East and West offers health benefits for all of our cultures.  These promise to help harmonize the imbalances present in disease conditions and restore the dynamic balance of health.

Holistic Pediatrics

 

holsistc ped

My practice looks beyond the symptoms to determine the true causes of your child’s illness. Nothing is more important or valuable than the health of your child. If you’re one of the thousands of parents who feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the different kinds of medical advice you’re getting from doctors, or being bullied into care you do not feel is right for your child, this may be the practice for you.  At the Family Wellness Centre, Dr. Becker uses disciplines of homeopathic remedies, herbs, supplements as well as diet and lifestyle suggestions that are practical and effective. Dr. Becker incorporates the best of both mainstream and alternative medicine to aid parents in dealing with common and complex childhood concerns.

~~Vaccination is a very sensitive topic. Here in this practice we are not endorsing non vaccination we are supporting choice. Because of the mandates of the AAP and the mandates put forth by the state we were forced to make a decision about choosing ALL vaccines or NONE. So we have decided to offer supportive care to clients in the absence of vaccinations.  This is not a decision that has come easily and is not right for everyone but here are some of the reasons why we believe parents deserve choices in healthcare decisions. Let me first point out this post is NOT Reasons Why You Should Not Vaccinate Your Child. This is the direction we are going based on solid research.
Real pro and con discussions are rarely fairly portrayed in the media and usually twisted with fear based information that plays on the heartstrings of parents trying to protect their child.
Here are some things to think about that could be complications to vaccinations too early in life.
• The “long-term consequences of preventing natural exposure to agents covered by vaccine are not known.”
• Vaccine side effects are largely underreported because the passive nature of the legal system puts the onus on the victim to make the connection, file extensive paperwork, and report the issue.  The medical model of care rarely correlates vaccines and reactions.
• Here is just a small list of potential side effects, Increased risk of respiratory infections after receiving the flu vaccine, seizures, food allergies, asthma, eczema, sensory integration issues, and auto immune disorders
• Parents can always choose to vaccinate…but never choose to UN-vaccinate
• No vaccine is 100% effective. Natural immunity is clearly much more effective in the body
• Fully vaccinated children (and adults) can still get the infection the vaccines are designed to prevent.  In fact, in recent outbreaks of whooping cough, the majority of those affected were fully vaccinated.  Researchers have also speculated that some forms of whooping cough are becoming resistant to vaccines.
• Vaccines are the only type of “medicine” not put thru the rigors of clinical trials before being released to the public.
• Every doctor that purchases vaccines pays into a “vaccine injury fund”.  Compensation in 2010 was nearly $2 billion to injured parties who said their health issues were caused by vaccines.
• The mechanism of herd immunity is a myth.
• Being unvaccinated does not make the individual the “person Zero” because if vaccines work like the manufacturer recommends the unvaccinated would be the only one at risk.
• Most vaccines are proving to provide less durable immunity than previously thought, meaning disease can still thrive and spread in fully vaccinated populations.
• Many ingredients in vaccines are toxic, harmful and would never be allowed in levels found in vaccines in our water supply, food or medications.  (These include: Aluminum, egg protein, antibiotics, formaldehyde, MSG and thimerosal, to name a few.
Our take home message is make an informed choice about the health of your child and find practitioners that will allow you to parent your individual child in the way you see to be the most beneficial.

Dr. Becker Specializes in Asthma, allergies, Atopy (eczema), and Autism…She is Connecticut’s 4A Specialist.

Magic Socks

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A drug free method of stopping a cold or flu is called  “MAGIC socks.” This treatment, has been commonly prescribed by physicians for hundreds of years.  Magic socks, involves putting on ice-cold socks and … sleeping in them! I know, I know!! Try it.
This treatment increases the systemic circulation and decreases congestion in the head, neck and throat and chest. It also has a sedating action, and many patients report that they sleep much better during the treatment. It can be used as a treatment for babies who do not sleep well at night, those that cannot sleep due to stress or minor anxiety without any stuffy head symptoms. This treatment is also effective for pain relief and increases the healing response during acute infections. All in all nature’s panacea, and the best part is…  the healing power of nature is free.
This treatment works by enhancing the body’s immune system.  The body reacts to the cold socks by increasing circulation, which also stimulates the immune system.  Stimulating the immune system, with the cold socks, systemically enhances the entire system, and enhances the battle against the nasty virus or condition, minimizing the suffering and length of the condition.
Magic socks can be used in conjunction with other treatments to treat inflammation, sore throat, headaches, migraines, nasal congestion, upper respiratory infections, coughs, chest colds and sinus infections. Magic socks do not interact with medications or other treatment modalities.
It’s best to start the wet sock treatment on first day of an illness, ideally repeating it for three nights in a row, if symptoms are still present. People with chronic conditions or a compromised immune system should consult with a doctor before starting the wet sock treatment. After one night of magic socks, in the morning your socks will be dry and your symptoms gone.
Magic Socks are only one component of an integrated treatment plan.
Magic Socks Recipe
Supplies:

1 pair of cotton socks-preferably white                                                         1 pair of thick wool socks                                                                       Cold water
Directions:
1. Soak the cotton socks in cold water. Wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.

2. Make sure feet are warm before application of cold socks.  This is very important for the effectiveness of the treatment. It could be harmful if your feet are not warmed first.

3. Place cold wet socks on feet. Then cover with thick wool socks.

4. Go directly to bed. Avoid getting chilled.

5. Wear the socks overnight. During the night, you may wake up sweaty. If so, change into dry pajamas, but leave on the socks.

6. Cotton socks will be dry in the morning.
This information is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a licensed health care practitioner is recommended for anyone suffering from a health ailment.

The Sunshine Vitamin Free and Easy

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Dr. Kendra Becker

Summer is here with all its benefits and exquisite pleasures. Coats, cozy fires, and long cold nights are distant memories. It’s time to enjoy all that summer has to offer including long walks in your neighborhood or local park, as well as locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Take advantage of the free, easily available, and most important sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D. So open the windows and let the sun shine in!.

Even though Connecticut summers are full of sunshine, scientists still continue to report an overwhelming Vitamin D deficiency among the nation’s population. Vitamin D is beneficial for many vital body processes and a deficiency of Vitamin D can certainly leave the body out of balance.

Vitamin D is a fat soluble pro-hormone that is most well known for regulation of calcium absorption…. But wait there’s more! It is also very important to metabolism at the cellular level, and it is an important aspect of insulin production, immunity, and inflammation reduction. Low levels of Vitamin D have been shown in patients with cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic pain conditions, and auto-immune diseases.

Most Americans get 90% or more of their Vitamin D from the sun.  The rest comes from diet. Sadly, recent increases in skin cancer rates worldwide and increasing nutrient poor foods that are consumed regularly, have allowed for long forgotten diseases like rickets to make a comeback.  Dietary sources of Vitamin D clearly play an important role in over all health.

There is a wide range of individuals managing chronic illnesses that are associated with low Vitamin D levels. The range includes those who are obese, or individuals with diseases of the colon or malabsorption problems (eg. Celiac or IBS); as well as individuals with MS, SLE, Crohn’s disease, RA, Psoriasis, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Seasonal Depression, cancers, and most commonly, bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Age related Vitamin D deficiency is often found in the elderly.

For most people 15-30 minutes of sun a day, in most areas of the country gives the body adequate Vitamin D. Even on cloudy and cold winter days, the sun provides the Vitamin D the body needs. Always use safe practices and limit sun exposure to just enough to benefit health. It is important to note, that sunscreens decrease Vitamin D synthesis by nearly 99%.  As we age we lose the ability to utilize Vitamin D.  Darker complexions require 5 to 10 times as much sun exposure than lighter complexions in order to produce the same amounts of Vitamin D.

Choosing to get Vitamin D from food in combination with minimal sun exposure is also an option. Vitamin D can be found in large amounts in foods that have been enriched with Vitamin D. Research shows that Vitamin D3 is the best form absorbed in the human body; so when looking for enriched foods, look for the Vitamin D3 on the label.  Natural sources such as fatty deep sea fishes and orange juice are rich in Vitamin D. Another option is a tanning session at your local tanning salon.

When making decisions about Vitamin D sources keep in mind the following word of caution. Excessive levels of Vitamin D can cause serious consequences, such as kidney damage.  Although there are no reports of excess Vitamin D from the sun, over exposure to the sun causes skin damage which can lead to other serious health problems including skin cancer.  Be sure to see you healthcare provider and have your Vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test before increasing your exposure and intake of Vitamin D.

Once we understand the importance of Vitamin D, each of us can more fully appreciate the health value of this vitamin. Adding more Vitamin D to the day’s activities will help us feel better and healthier which will feel as good as sunshine on a sunny day